Date: Mon, 25 Sep 1995 00:44:20 -0500
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Justin Hall)
Subject: youthI had been contacted by this guy to give a seminar and a workshop or two at a boarding school in Charleston, South Carolina. We'd worked out October 6th as the day I was to come down, hang out, energize some youth personal publishing potential.
After a few weeks of unusual silence, I recieved this mail Sunday:
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 1995 18:26:06 -0500
Subject: Re: http://www.links.net/contact.html comment
Sorry it has been a long time since you heard from me. After getting an idea of costs I approached the powers that be. After a couple of them went surfing at your site it became apparent we can not confirm a speaking engagement. Specifically, it was the link to electriceclectic - the Swathemore radio station? It was the up close picture of a bowel movement in action (on my PowerBook grayscale I couldn't make out what it was - in color at work...). After discussion we felt there was no way to have you speak with out addressing the content of your site or having our students to go there. We could not in good conscience advocate eleven year olds traveling some of the links.
I still believe you would be a good speaker on the cutting edge of what the net can be - you have a story to tell. You just need the appropriate audience.
I'm a thin man. Barely more than a boy, I don't really have any body hair, I've never shaved.
Most of the women I sleep with seem to find it easy to act young around me, somehow I free them to act childlike.
In spite of my youth, I don't get carded anymore at the state run liquor store here in Swarthmore. Even in my cut-off blue-jean breeches and a ratty t-shirt, they don't stop to think I'm not twenty-one.
I don't drink all that often, I find drinking slows me down too much. Like beef. I used to eat two double cheeseburgers a day, and keep crankin' on into the night. Now a bit of cow sends me into a deep coma. I can't stand being tired.
Sometimes I have trouble sleeping, cuz when I think too much, I wanna get out of bed and write it down, make it happen.
I expect this energy to run out someday. I will find what it is I'm crazy chasin' after, and I will settle down to quiet repose. All the pieces I leave scattered behind will either line up behind who I become, or lie on trails where I tried to find myself.
Blake said the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. Recently, I've looked back on the paths I've beaten, and I'm already double crossing myself. I used to promise I'd never regret anything. While I fight guilty maturation, the breadth of my extremes becomes more staggering with time. It's not my soul I fear for, I know I was struggling, hard. It's that others might fear what I have been, will deny my gifts for my gropings.
Damn I'd love to fire up those eleven year olds. The longer I live, the more I live to teach. Having a subject that people come askin' to learn is just a godsend.
Still I am twenty, barely two decades on that long road to the palace of wisdom.
I have removed that picture. In black and white, the original photocopied advertisement for my radio show, it was an effective optical illusion - few figured it out. It hung for a month and a half next to the door to the Swarthmore College Admissions Office without remark.
On the web, in colour, it was an entirely shocking affair. The power of the statement was not matched by any point I'd hoped to make, besides it was an advertisement for a radio show now defunct.
When I consider my priorities, teaching eleven year olds ranks far higher than retaining anal integrity.
I imagine the powers that be have little interest in associating with me either way; that's to be expected. After recieving your letter, I was happy, but surprised you were open to me speaking in the first place. I do, after all, talk rather openly about sexuality.
Besides that picture, there is little at my site to offend. While I do discuss sex, I believe my perspective to be utterly honest and humane.
If you are going to show these kids the Internet, they are going to seek, and find, sex. I am a far more responsible guide than most.
If you want to protect them from online sexuality, get Surfwatch (tm). If you have SurfWatch, you needn't worry about them discovering my raunch.
I echo your regretful sentiments. Poised on the bleeding edge of revellacious exposure; in my more deluded moments I imagine myself a good role model. I won't deny I've reached out for negative attention, leaving memories and surprises to trip me up today.
I am sad I won't be teaching your kids.
Thank you for your initial consideration. If there is ever room for me up at the head of the class, I'm on a train tomorrow.