Thursday, November 20, 2008

Writers Guild Office Boy 1970 (x)

I also continued to listen at home to more vinyl records on my small, cheap portable record player, whenever I wasn’t, instead, listening to FM rock radio stations on my cheap portable radio. In late 1970, you could still sign a coupon indicating you wanted to join one of the corporate music company’s “record clubs”; and the record corporation would then mail you out 10 free vinyl albums. I also began listening in my cheap, Bronx slum apartment to the many Folkways records that I could take out for free at the Donnell Public Library on 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenue—which was located only a few blocks away from the Writers Guild-East talent union office at which I worked.

Besides taking records out of the Donnell Library around this time, I also would sometimes stop by at the local branch of the Bronx Public Library that was near Fordham Road every few weeks and re-read some of the classic books that I had previously skimmed through while in high school and college, such as Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and Thoreau’s Walden.

By early December 1970, the campus turmoil of the post-Kent State Massacre/post-Jackson State Massacre historical period was beginning to seem like ancient history, since the U.S. campuses were now politically quieter in the Fall term of 1970 than they had been in either the Fall terms of 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969. And there had been very little anti-war youth protest on the streets prior to the November 1970 U.S. congressional elections. But while bringing the Writers Guild office postage meter to the Rockefeller Center branch of the U.S. Post Office to receive some more postage value for the postage meter, I noticed that some of the U.S. anti-war activists with whom I had done campus organizing at Columbia University, when I was a Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) student activist there, now had their photographs posted on the Rockefeller Center post office branch wall in “Most Wanted By The FBI” notices!

Naturally, I felt it was both morally wrong and historically absurd for J. Edgar Hoover to put the same anti-war activists I had worked politically with for three years on his “Most Wanted By The FBI” list. So I immediately felt, in late 1970, that the U.S. anti-war Movement should then demand that the “Weather Fugitives”, who were my friends, should be granted amnesty and taken off the “Most Wanted By The FBI” list. And by 1976, most of the charges against the anti-war activists who were on the “Most Wanted By The FBI” list in late 1970 had been dropped because of the illegal methods (like office break-ins and burglaries) that the FBI agents apparently used to try to track these New Left anti-war activists down prior to 1975.