Friday, February 19, 2010

Shoes For Industry -OR- Going, Going... GONE!

I don't have a clue about the personal hell in which John Six-Stack lived. Something about him having his own plane suggests that it was truly on another plane. Not of any realm with which I am acquainted. Yesterday's post here touched some of the same themes as his attributed missive (to which I will not link). I and many other curmudgeonly bloggers have been critical of almost everything Mr. Stack included in his message.

His delusional act didn't change anything, didn't help anybody and in the end, solidified the status quo he could no longer tolerate. In short, he was NOT a very practical anarchist. The body blow, he thought he was delivering, failed to land. (gallows humor?) His was not the first, nor the last, insane blaze of Howard Beale glory. It was only significant and deemed newsworthy for its conjuring salaciousness.
Today, somewhat thankfully, we have Tiger Woods to fill that RDA in the newsfotainment diet.

I'm not sure exactly why I was reminded of high school by Stack's act, but I was.
Way back when I was a freshman in high school, my school's cafeteria served hot meals on REAL china plates with real knives, forks and spoons. Many of the 10" plates even had the school's crest inlaid complete with gold leaf. I often wish I had taken one as a souvenir. Being high school, and being the late 60s, there was a contradiction between past, present and looming future. By the time I graduated all the china plates were gone; replaced by divided styrofoam trays and plates with plastic utensils.

The time in between made lunchtime interesting. You never knew when it would happen. There were always rumors and anticipation. I learned that the bowls of "mashed potatoes" were particularly effective IEDs (improvised entertainment devices). You could take the smallish bowl and stick it to the underside of the table. The potato -like substance had enough cohesion to hold it in place to both surfaces. As the substance dried out, the cohesion would be lost and the bowl would drop noisily to the tile floor while you were alibied elsewhere. On some days this would start an all-thumbs-a-thon and all manner of breakables would start crashing to the floor. The attrition rate of plates was high.

The break fests were grand events. Much more sophisticated than the more routine food fights. The trick was finding ways to make the impromptu concerts appear accidental and coincidental. Pre-emption was a daily focus for the cafeteria's zookeepers.

We would imagine ourselves sitting, much the way young Ernest Hemingway, the school's most famous alum, had back in his days at OPRF. Ranking on classmates, vilifying the swill being served, noisy and active. Yet these were very uncertain times. While college loomed for some of the class, the draft was the more likely concern for the average male. The hippie anti-war caste faced off against the jocks and young republicans. Drugs were present but not defining. We were a very mixed bag.
Mostly unaware, unfocused hatchlings with fairly bland expectations and a fairly well indoctrinated cold-war fatalism. The world changed in 1968 taking the world I knew with it. I was young enough to think this was the start of something or the end of something, but whatever it was I had to find my way in it.

I'm much older now. A contemporary of John Stark. We went to different high schools together. I glean a sense of how unfair his world had become in his mind, but he could have smashed some plates instead of his option. It's an unfair world. Wear a helmet.


Pellora said...

High school was not my favorite. I was different, and in high school being different was hell. In college I was still different, but I didn't much care what other people thought so I was good to go. I am still different. One copes with Life somehow, in some way, and is successful or not. I think Stack tried to fit in, get rich, join the Old Boy Network. I don't think he was successful, not least because the Old Boy Network doesn't want new members. And he got angry and bitter and felt tricked. So he opted out and decided to take some of them with him, and make a big statement. In the end the statement he made was not likely to be the one he thought he was making. And in the next life, karma will be a bitch.

Anonymous said...

Hoss, I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.

Bless ya, fuck the insolent idjit who tried to put innocent lives on the line for HIS angered fortitude.

He's a putz, a loser, and that's the end of story.

What a fuckin fuck. He was.