Category Archives: the Eighth Grade

March 6, 2008, 1:50 pm

Good Morning, Vietnam: A Shout Out From An Old Radical To Some Younger Radicals

As a historian I know perfectly well that the war in Iraq has major differences from the war in Vietnam, and it’s not just because depleted uranium weapons are now used in conventional combat, or because the troops are fighting in sand for oil, as opposed to fighting in jungles against Communism. But when I was driving to rowing practice at around 5:00 a.m. and heard about this bombing of the military recruiting center in Times Square, I thought, Wow. That I should live to see this again in my lifetime.

When I was a kid in the 1960′s and ’70′s, such bombings were associated with an increasingly militarized anti-war movement, made up mostly of white college students. I followed the doings of the Weather Underground very closely: my research on this radical antiwar movement and an unhealthy fascination with the doings of the Philadelphia mob are probably what, in the end, either led me…

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June 17, 2007, 12:15 am

In Which the Radical Descends Upon Madison Avenue

I have always thought I had a little bit of the haberdasher in me, but now I know I do, since I have successfully collaborated with Extravaganza to dress him for eighth grade graduation, shepherding him through a variety of men’s stores downtown and on Madison Avenue to put together the Perfect Outfit. He actually picks his own clothes very well, and has an acute sense of personal style that some adults will never achieve, so all I have to contribute is what grown ups usually contribute on such missions. He is also a striking boy, as are his brothers, so dress him in a paper bag and he looks good; go to a little effort and he looks like a movie star. Since Ex was deserving of both a birthday present and a graduation present, we had agreed some time ago that we would go to New York and shop for his first Stylish Suit (my partner N. was a 50% backer of this expedition, you will be glad to…

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