Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Stories / HierCon / Army /
Culture has literature. Government has forms. One of the induction station forms had a section totaling perhaps one half a square inch of writing space for comments. It reminded me of the time I decided to write in my gubernatorial choice at the poll. You could flick a switch for the Republican candidate or the Democratic. Or you could, if your were a cross between Wilt Chamberlin and Harry Houdini, cipher markings into the teeny slit for the purpose, up by the booth’s ceiling. The slot kept trying to close, keeping my ballot secret from me. There was room for perhaps my initials, perhaps the word “me.” To write “Nelson Rockefeller” I would have had to have the calligraphic skill of a miniaturist: one of the guys who illuminated medieval books of hours.
I volunteered my comments into this half inch of space and continued them crazy quilt in the margins all over the form. My choice was clear. Stand for my conscience and spend five years in jail; or tell a lie under duress and spend two years in the army. I explained that my not screaming denial at the swearing in ceremony meant nothing but that they had me by the balls. Such a vow wouldn’t stand up for one second in any honest court (if there ever were such a thing as an honest court: I sometimes doubt that God’s court will be honest).
Whitehall Induction Station, NYC
Anti-War Protest, 1966
I was processed in the early 1960s.
I referred to this statement of mine on more than one occasion in the couple of years that followed with me in uniform. No one I so addressed ever admitted to having seen it, never hinted that they suspected its existence. Bureaucracies notice only the records they chose to: all others are automatically “lost.” It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if my form had been filed in the circular file. Who monitors government agencies for filing errors? Has any bureaucrat ever gone to jail for losing a form? Even when such loss can ruin a life? Deny Constitutional “Rights”? Etc.?
I love to imagine a Judgment Day in which the thief’s fingerprints glow for all to see: and God shows candid camera records of every act thought done in secret. Truth will count in the long run.
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