May 3, 1999 Monday
Just finished ten pages worth of “Bottle” today to turn in to Tama Bladwin for my final portfolio. It is, I feel, still far from done, and I have not yet completed “The Biggest Show in Town,” “A Full Deck?” and a few others that will sharpen the storyline. If I have not already stated, the end goal of our portfolios is to mail them off to a few publishers we’ve already chosen. I do hold at least a few of them might be put in print.
But that is not what this entry is about. After turning in the poems I was leaving Simpkins when I saw something scrawled across the steps in white chalk. Moving to better view, I read:
“If you loved Vietnam you’ll love Yugoslavia.”
I couldn’t help but take a moment and state at it. It was the first political graffiti or signage I’ve ever seen at Western. It seemed like a big moment, even if I had to question its validity, beyond being quick, quippy, and sensationalistic. At the very least it’s the first protest message I’ve seen about an unpopular conflict. Yet, it is in every sense a war. We have even had P.O.W.s. I remember the Gulf War very clearly and everything that happened. The leaders of this country were very direct in their goals, and did not waver from, since as declining to remove Saddam Hussein from power. This mess is anything but clear. Will this NATO-led assault escalate into a Vietnam? I don’t know why, but I suppose there are similarities. This could easily go either way, and with it the future of my generation. Could we be placed in the same position as our parents, having to chose our place according to world events? Could rallies and protests in the streets be close behind? Anymore, nothing would surprise me.