Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Fugitive Generation (xvi)


Jim and Marlene converse as they eat lunch. Both smile and laugh frequently.

JIM: How did you come to get so politically active?

MARLENE: I guess it was the War. When I was a freshman, the SDS chapter was already broken up. But I was against the War. And when they invaded Cambodia and shot the students at Kent State and Jackson State, I really got active and radicalized.

JIM: What were you into before you got into activism?

Marlene laughs.

MARLENE: Oh, I was your All-American girl in high school. Cheerleader. Prom queen. In all the clubs.

JIM: I'm glad you became radicalized. The cheerleaders I knew in high school never got involved in the anti-war movement.

MARLENE: Most of my old high school girlfriends didn't get involved either.

JIM: Do you know what you're going to do after you graduate?

MARLENE: I don't know. Maybe teach. I try not to think about it.

JIM: I don't blame you. It's a real death culture out there. Once you get off campus you realize what a fantasy world a place like Ann Arbor is.

Rachel enters restaurant.

RACHEL: Hey, Marlene? Did you see this?

Rachel reads aloud from the "Michigan Daily" student newspaper.

RACHEL (CONT'D): "Air Force Colonel Washington will be speaking about `The New Military' on Friday night."

MARLENE: Why don't you bring it up at the People Against The Air War meeting tonight? Maybe people will want to have a picket?

Jim smiles.


About 25 students are sitting around in a circle on floor of lounge, listening to Jim speak.

JIM: I think we can be more effective if we do more than picket outside. I think we should go inside the auditorium to show the slide show about the air war. And then debate the morality of the war with the Air Force Colonel.

MARLENE: I call myself. I like that idea. If the Colonel is willing to speak on campus, then he should be willing to debate the air war with students on campus.

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