back to the future

I turned off the radio (KUOW, online) where they were talking about Bush and the war, to listen to the copy of Nevermind that I checked out of the library last week.

I’d actually forgotten how freaking catchy that album is. I never owned it, but so much was on the radio back in ’91-’93, and what wasn’t I seem to have gotten on mix tapes that are either buried or were stolen in the great house robbery of Xmas ’93.

mmmm, Gulf War….

This war sh*t continues to get me down, with the same feeling of grinding hopelessness that I remember from sitting in 11th grade American history class watching bombs fall on TV. My history teacher, most of the year, was an recovering alcoholic ex-hippie with a deep, deep cynicism and a fierce resentment of the school system. He hated extracurricular activities; once he assigned a paper on the Spanish-American War that was due the next day because he knew most of the class was at some kind of choir thing. (Thank goodness for Irina, who took notes for us!)

The memory of him, and the first Gulf War, that’s stuck most is from a day, probably just before the war actually started, when someone organized a peace protest. They gathered in the outdoor amphitheater where people ate lunch and where they (used to) hold graduation. I was standing up by the main building overlooking the amphitheater, and he was there too. He said, “It won’t change anything.” Or words to that effect, and what I got out of it was his utter contempt for the attempt.

I wish I’d had him as a teacher 10 or 15 years earlier; I bet he was a firecracker, back in the day. As it was, he left school shortly after the war because he’d been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer…he died not too long afterwards. (The main substitute sucked, and I missed the old bastard.)