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Keep Our Campus Beautiful

Thanks to my old school chum Aaron V. for sending me this scan. He retrieved this flyer near Ballantine Hall on Sept. 28, 1989.

Keep Our Campus Beautiful

Keep Our Campus Beautiful — Keep Bart Clothed

I don’t actually recall ever seeing this flyer before. It’s hilarious.

PS: If you wanna understand the context for this flyer, please read the full story.

Published inPix


  1. Robyn Robyn

    I love this post. I love how it gets into the mind of a smart young idealist at the peak of his rebellion. I’d love to be able to write a novel about this character–and how he grows and focuses his idealism and rebellious energy. There’s a lot there.

    But there’s something I don’t understand. You wrote in your journal entry right after your second arrest that you didn’t think you had done anything wrong. How can that be? I understand how young Bart might have thought he was morally in the right in relation to the streaking, but not in relation to the shoplifting. Can you explain what you were thinking? And how do you feel about it now?

    Feel free to ignore the question, if you want. But I thought I’d ask because I’ve thought about it a couple times today, and I can’t figure it out. I’m just interested in understanding where that kid (young Bart) was coming from.

  2. Well, shucks, thanks Robyn. This is why I blog — for comments like this! Thoughtful and also thought-provoking. Your sticking point is in fact one of those things that might make the novel interesting. Trying to get myself back into that mindset, I suppose I thought I wasn’t doing anything wrong stealing a pharmaceutical product from a chain retail conglomerate, because I saw these interests as monolithic and anti-human. Steeped in the critique of global capitalism, I suppose. I didn’t see myself as hurting people, only thwarting the system. Perhaps the contradictions in that worldview enrich the narrative?

    As for how I feel now, it’s slightly more nuanced — but only slightly. I don’t shoplift these days, not ever. The risks far outweigh the benefits now. The morality hasn’t shifted so much.

    For what it’s worth, I know a friend, a contemporary, who has a similar but far more embarrassing shoplifting story. If you ever write that novel you must let me relate it!

  3. Robyn Robyn

    And this is why I read strangers’ blogs . . . The opportunity to sort of get inside the head of people I’d probably never meet in real life. Yeah, I waste some time doing mindless shit, but every once in a while I hit something that makes me think a little bit. How cool is that?!?

    Thanks for answering. It was a tricky question to ask in a way that didn’t sound like a parent saying “I’m *trying* to understand what you were thinking!” You know?

    Anyway, I think I get it. I think it’s also fascinating that you wouldn’t do it now, but ONLY because the costs of getting busted are so high. I wouldn’t do it either, but I’ve never even thought about why.

  4. At the time I was just about as poor as I’ve ever been. I literally ate from the trash. (We throw away a lot of good food in this country.) When one has very little money, theft becomes more appealing.

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