The Ghost Of Pumpkin Trotsky

Two weekends ago thousands of New England college students converged on Keene, New Hampshire. The annual Pumpkin Festival ended in a riot. My nephew attended the celebration of the Jack O’Lantern. Eric told his father that he had left before the disturbances flared into violence. Paddy and I looked at each other. We had been young once.

In 1965 three friends and I had vandalized an abandoned missile base on a hill south of Boston. That skein of destruction had nothing to do with politics. We trashed the missile silos, offices, bunkers with a Hun’s delight and that same spirit ruled the blooding running through the veins of Pumpkin Fest rioters.

The euphemism for this outlaw behavior is ‘blowing off steam’ and William Osterweil of pointed out this week that “the white college kids in Keene flipped cars and threw bottles at cops for the fun of it, the media called them rowdy booze-filled revelers and all sorts of other euphemisms. By contrast, when Ferguson protesters aggressively confronted the police, the media framed the actions in terms of rioting, thuggery, destruction of their own community and other harsh verdicts. The two incidents offered an object lesson in the media’s racial bias.”

I was not there.

I was not at Ferguson.

But I condone any resistance to the will of the police.

Ferguson or Keene.

Whose streets?

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