You think it’s a good idea that blacks and whites should live together [in Los Angeles], but that’s not going to get you through the crisis that you are going to face daily going downtown. You’ve got to come up with a new position. If you’re going to heal this thing between blacks and whites, leaders must experience themselves as neither black nor white. If we are going to heal what is going down between men and women, we are going to have to produce spokesmen that are neither man nor woman, then come back to being a man or woman. It’s a question of how wide is your embrace. I can’t deal with the shackles of loneliness any longer. And it’s only when I break something, when I flee from something, when I locate something that is wilder, freer, deeper and crazier, can I survive from one moment to the next. I just can’t buy the bullshit. I can’t buy the bullshit of who’s right and who’s wrong. I don’t care who wins the war.
Remember what I say: ‘Duck!’
From Maverick Spirit: Leonard Cohen by Jim O’Brien. B-Side Magazine: August/September 1993.