It has been, I have to admit, an inspiring week. Anna and I went to go see kids from her school perform at Louder Than A Bomb last night. LTAB is an event that brings in kids from high schools all over the city, from the suburbs to the extreme southside to West Town (where Anna works) to compete in a poetry slam again each other. So we went to their first round, and I was just blown away. So many people talking about so many powerful things! Talking about race, about immigration, about Bush, about teenage moms and prostitution and hiphop and the power of kids from the ghetto writing poetry. Talking about what's really important instead of what their being told to think is important, talking about how teenagers are silenced and treated as nobodies and like they can't think for themselves. It was truly a great event.
The big finale was the performance of a group slam from each school. One school, which had until then had pretty good poems but poor performance technique, supassed themselves in an indictment of the government and the pledge of allegiance. Another group did a piece on hiphop and how it should be, what role it should be filling. And then, Anna's school just blew us all away. God, it was amazing. It was kind of loosely in the form of a letter to Bush, about how people like them are the real weapons of mass destruction, the real terrorists, and how they really were louder than a bomb. One boy said he was embracing his identity as a gay border-crosser, and how every time he touches a boy's hand he feels the bulls-eye on his back. God, I wish I had known in high school what these people seem to have such a grasp on. They finished with the phrase "we are louder than a BOMB!" with the "bomb" whispered into the mikes as they stepped back, and the crown totally exploded. Everybody was on their feet, even kids from other schools. It was so powerful.