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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Operation Chaos - 1972

I've been accused on more than one occasion of having a problem with authority. I suppose I do when it comes right down to it, but I like to think it's more of a problem with "oppressive" authority than with authority per se.

I ran my own version of the soon to be infamous Operation Chaos during my senior year of high school. There were 5 girls that ran the school pretty much the year I graduated from Academy (1972). It was a little boarding school down in Weslaco, Texas just 3 miles from the Mexican border. Lovely school, but the good old girls network that determined pretty much everything that went on amongst the student body really were beginning to get on my anti-authority genes by year's end. So I, being me, started a subtle campaign to drive them crazy.

I come from a long line of folks who left their home countries because they didn't want to be bossed around by people who believed they had a right to boss everyone else. I can't resist poking little holes in well-deserving gas bags, so I spent the last couple of months of school merrily deflating things.

The campaign culminated in a classic protest march.

It was near the end of the year when we had the annual Picnic in the Orange Grove - the big student body event of the year. Debbie, our Student Association President and leader of of the 5 was even going to make a speech. A couple of other hairy revolutionaries and I got together and I proposed a Men's Liberation March. It was the 70's and ever other day, angry women were getting together to burn their bras. So we got together a bunch of the geekiest guys we could find, mixed in a couple of jocks (literally as you'll see in a moment) and made some signs.

Just as the wing ding was getting under way, a bunch of us guys came marching out of the grove doing the Winkie Army marching song from the Wizard of Oz - Yo wee oh, yo ho....

Leading the group was this skinny fresman kid with a sign that read "How would you like to be a mere sex object?" We had lots more signs of a similar nature. We gathered in front of the podium (an early 70s version of speaking truth to power).

I climbed on a picnic table and did an Abbie Hoffman-style speech complaining about mistreatment of males by our oppressive matriarchal overlords and then we lit up a jock strap and a pair of Fruit of the Looms.

What was even funnier was that our 5 Amazons thought we were absolutely serious. They even wrote snotty comments in my yearbook about it weeks later. I went back and asked them if they thought we were serious.


They did find a couple of ways to get even with us by ratting us out one night, but it was worth getting detention for skinny dipping in the school pool at 1AM  for a chance to tweak the noses of our oppressors.

There's an appropriate text in Revelation that comes to mind. "The smoke of their torment riseth up forever and ever...."

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