Are people in the press idiots?
That’s what happens when you choose to be a follower.
I have been talking months about Trump’s Chaos Narrative, the press now finally clues in.
Trump is down, not out. For those of us who didn’t try our brains with cocaine in the 1980s, he has gone through this kind of thing before. His enemies think they have backed him in a corner, and he does something unexpected and rises from the ashes.
His Chaos Narrative is over. This is intermission. The Phoenix Enigma is a completely different rule book. His detractors are now clinging on to a script that just got burned.
You can turn over the rules in more than one way.
That I learned in high school.
When I was in junior high, we had a yearbook and I was on the committee for both years. We didn’t actually do anything, I noticed, other than make posters. The teacher actually did the entire book from all the photography to the layouts. I had the lone poem published in my Grade Eight yearbook, but the “committee” seemed to be in name only, and I found it frustrating.
Then I went to high school and was on the yearbook committee every year, and in my senior year, I was yearbook editor.
Unlike junior high, I was heavily involved in its creation. I took lots of pictures. I did the layouts and came up with the ideas. By Grace 11, I did more pages than the entire committee combined. I kept track of every page as I looked for events to cover.
I didn’t like it, however. The first teacher advisor spelled my first name wrong on my personalized copy, which was the alleged “perk” of working on the committee. Alexander instead of Alexandra? I typed out my name, and then she ruined my Grade 9 yearbook for me.
And then it happened again in my Grade 12 Yearbook, but the advisor didn’t give me a personalized yearbook. I was furious when I came back to pick it up the following year. I typed the sheet and handed it in, and I know how to spell my own name.
In my Grade 11 Yearbook, one of the members did a two-page spread with tiny writing crammed around artistically, with my advisor not paying attention to what a teenaged boy would try to sneak in — only after it was printed did her husband notice. I was editor of the current book and it took a lot of arguing to convince her not to tear out those two pages, but have him black out the offending parts every single book instead.
I caught a lot of attempts at people trying to get crap through. I was more eagle-eyed than what kids assumed I would be.
But as I said, I didn’t care much for yearbooks one way or another.
But I found being on the committee extremely useful and instructive.
For one, you know everything about everybody. The office would print out lists of everything from teachers and students and hand it over to us. I knew everyone’s credits, grades, and the like.
Second, I knew exactly how the year would play out right in September. Student life was predetermined. Everything was tightly controlled and scripted, and we’d get the playbook from Day One through the yearbook committee.
That way, I could plan my year knowing in advance what was the rigs with my roadmap.
And I don’t like scripts.
I was doing a lot of things off the script, such as finishing my studies one year early. I also did a literary journal. I wanted to do a short comedic play, but the only way I could do it was by presenting as advertising for yearbook. I had organized a simulation experiment that got serious local media play because there were parents throwing fits about it — but there was a lot of positive feedback from students, the press and the public who supported it. (It was a simulation of Apartheid in South Africa, for the record. Most students received a “black” passport and were forbidden from a lot things that the “white” passport students got to do. I didn’t invent the concept, but I got feedback from my friends who had it in their high schools, telling me what a flop it was; so I tweaked it just enough to get publicity and praise for it. It almost got derailed when Student Council got wind of it and went ballistic, trying to water it down. My advisor for that committee went ballistic in turn, and demanded an emergency meeting where I pushed and presented my case for it, and they backed down and had it go as is. Then parents went ballistic and called to complain because they thought watching racism and inhumanity on the news was enough, and then the principal cancelled it after half a day and students were upset because they actually wanted to feel the same loneliness as people who were oppressed as a show of support, but then that same principal turned around on graduation and used it in her speech about what a great school we were for having it because of the positive press and laurels they got for having the courage to do it.)
I had access to things because of that committee. I did fight for things, but if I couldn’t get them one way, I knew how to bypass it. When I suggested we have a small literary section in the yearbook, I was shot down by the advisor, but then I just made my own journal. I didn’t have a seat on Students’ Council, but I didn’t want it, either, because once you had a seat, you got tethered.
I did have a seat when I was yearbook editor. You could be elected by your fellow students or appointed if you were in charge of the committee. My seat came from the latter. I found it to be a real drag, but it was amusing nonetheless with students thinking they had control over their committee, when in fact, I knew that was coming up because I was on yearbook. It was all preset for us.
I had a peculiar reputation back then: one the one hand, I was seen as a Miss Goody Two-Shoes. I didn’t drink or do drugs. I was academically-focussed.
But on the other hand, I was seen as rebellious. My old yearbooks have inscriptions from friends who called me wild, gutsy, and even insane. I was repeatedly referred to as a “chick.” I dressed wildly. I often wore a beehive or flip to school. I wore leopard print and mini skirts with boots. Sometimes I wore a black stocking on one leg and a white on the other. Back then, everyone wore Polo by Ralph Lauren. I wore Mondi, Christian La Croix or something exotic my grandmother thought up for me.
Grandma’s designs were wilder by a mile. Some kids said I dressed like an alien. I didn’t care, but it was fun.
Child of the 80s who dressed more like she was from the 60s.