February 11, 2019:
There's a clean-cut blonde kid who looks like Katherine Ross' fiancé in The Graduate.
That's already weird enough. Usually dudes who look like that don't volunteer at radical bookstores.
It takes him just a few moments to tip his incompetent hand. "If we really want to shut down the campus, shouldn't we blow up the generators?"
Resisting the well-deserved urge to laugh, I explain patiently and to his great disappointment that "That would be undemocratic. Our purpose is to convince students and particularly staff that Apartheid is evil and that the University should divest, as so many other universities are doing around the world."
He's so visibly deflated. He was sure he had us radicals bagged. That it was up to him personally to prove who was who and what was what, and that he himself had the superior intellect and the talent and the undercover moxy for the job.
I put him to work cleaning cockroach shit from the highest shelves. He lasted a day and a half.
Granted the imbecility of this particular fool, there's a larger lesson to draw. Consider the power of ideology to completely bedevil the brains of the innocent. There was a movie in his head that he didn't put there. The Campus Radicals! Starring Jane and Peter Fonda and whoever the fuck else. Where secretive, cynical cliques of embittered, bomb-throwing traitors skulk and scheme and blow shit up. Until unmasked and exposed by the intelligence and perseverance of good clean-cut kids like himself, and his two pals Frank and Joe Hardy.
Ten-to-one he's a lawyer now.