Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Factotum Notes: Reagan Years

Notes from the 1980s, excerpted from a notebook I bought in 1984 for $1.39. It's lined, with a spiral at the top of each page instead of the left corner. There are no transitions and little context is provided, but I believe this entire section was scrawled out during a "required" Statistics class.   

How many temp jobs have there been? A lot. Did you learn something at each job? Yes.

Job moving trucks last two days. You drive from the dealer to the exhibition hall, five miles, then take a shuttle back and do it again. A taste of what it must be like to be a cab, bus or shuttle driver.

Radio ads. Toyota has sold 19,955 trucks!
Celebrate your right to sleep comfortably!

I wish I could believe in communism. There is lucid insight in Marxian analysis of Capitalism, but in practical response, the communist solution seems as absurd as anything else people can come up with.

I'm taking a Statistics class surrounded by Reagan youth. The teacher is peculiar. His voice is timid, he's easy, but no one can hear him. So far there's been no homework, no reading, nothing. A slack class, whereas in Art History I have a lot of reading and analysis to do.

Root Boy Slim [either at the Cat's Cradle or Rhythm Alley within that past week or so]. Step back into foolishness, Cheech and Chong clones, every third man with a moustache and Hawaiian shirt . . . The music is a a sort of jazz fusion that quickly grows tiresome, but the Big Chill people love it. See them move and groove to the confused band. No, the band's not confused at all. They've got this routine down to the last crude detail. Root Boy himself, a bug-eyed slob. I never heard that song about WWIII before. "Inflatable Doll" was trite and most of the show just gross. Interesting to observe. [I've since learned that Root Boy Slim died in 1994, age 47. Obviously I thought he was horrible at the time].

Saturday I worked all day at Durham County Stadium with Clifford, J.C., Billy U.G., Old Joe, Slick and Whimpy Bob (who'd been to Ecuador for seven months). That was for the Chattanooga Tent Co. and a lot of banging pipes. However, after a lot of work we got up the big tents for a festival [an English Cultural Festival, I think]. 

This guy, whose name turns out to be Greg Samsa and not Batavian the Armenian, has an unnerving capacity for inaudible speech. His volume is so low that most words are indistinguishable. Thus it is a ludicrous charade.

Conservatism is so flagrant and rampant. Chapel Hill feels dead. It's an effort to even get worked up about it anymore. I sent away for The Guardian today. . . . [The year was 1984].

Today's Rune: Flow.  

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