Page 206 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 206

186                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            provided through the open-minded arts seems a likely avenue into their
            unfilled minds.
               Everyone sees some TV, some movies, some magazines and news-
            papers. The point here is: the popular arts of our popular culture can be
            more meaningful than frothy fluff and nonsense.

            A PERSONAL NOTE
            Maybe this week’s column is too defensive, but if more parents with their
            children would look somewhere for some social answers about what it is
            to be human in our crazy society, then maybe I won’t be tear-gassed again
            as I was last Wednesday while lecturing before 200 teachers at a “Teachers
            of English” convocation at Western Michigan University. The students
            blamed the police and the police the students, and all we teachers stood
            arm-in-arm outside at the entrances to the building to keep the two sides
            apart. [The campus riot that day was the largest and most violent in
            Western’s history.]
               When society squares off against itself, and the peace of art loses out
            to the violence of politics, I blame education and cities that fall short in
            encouraging art communication. That’s a short-circuit which society can’t
            afford. Tear gas is frightening in a crowd where twelve-thousand dollars’
            worth of damage is done. And we can all expect more of this from people
            and police alike before the Second American Revolution is over.
               I’m still looking for an alternative to the coming violence.
               [Editor’s note: Fritscher’s intuitive conclusion was prophetic. On
            May 4, 1970, approximately seventy days after this article was published,
            the National Guard fired their army rifles on a peace demonstration at
            Kent State University, killing four and wounding nine.]

            III. Eyewitness Illustrations

             Detail from a page of “Impeach Nixon” stamps, early 1970s.

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
   201   202   203   204   205   206   207   208   209   210   211