Friday, October 2, 2015

"The active patient wisdom of wise courageous action..."

In the current Weekly Standard John Podhoretz reviews a documentary, Drunk, Stoned, Brilliant, Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon. From the review:
.... In less than a decade, the magazine had inspired the creation of Saturday Night Live, created a new movie genre with National Lampoon’s Animal House, and seeded American comedy with the performers and writers and directors who have dominated the form from that day to this. It was during this time that Kenney and P. J. O’Rourke created the brand’s enduring masterpiece, National Lampoon’s 1964 High School Yearbook Parody. The yearbook was the perfect encapsulation of everything that made the Lampoon great: its meticulous attention to detail, its pitch-perfect understanding of Middle-American culture, and its refusal to kowtow to the political correctness of its day. ....
I own a copy of that "yearbook." It is dated "1964" — the year I graduated from high school. After digging through several boxes of saved junk I found it. The yearbook belonged to Larry Kroger (who went on to matriculate at Faber College in Animal House).  The high school was C. Estes Kefauver Memorial High School in Dacron, Ohio.

The yearbook was (like thousands of real yearbooks that year) dedicated to JFK who had been assassinated the previous fall:
can be enlarged
We proudly dedicate the 1964 Kaleidoscope to John Fitzgerald Kennedy, whose tragic death marred the passage of this year at Kefauver High, a man whom we admired not for what he did for himself but for what he did for his country and we as citizens of it.

JFK, perhaps we learned more from you than from any other teacher in high school. You taught us the courage of action in West Berlin, the wisdom of patience in Southeast Asia, the action of wisdom in our space race, the patience of courage in desegregated schools, and the active patient wisdom of wise courageous action at the Guantanamo Naval Base. You are gone, but, you have left behind a legacy of peace and prosperity at home, abroad, and in school. And, though the Presidency has passed on to other able hands, it is you who remains 'President of the Class of '64" in our hearts. You who might as well have said, "Ich bein ine Kefauver Senior."
That year the band director at my high school led an effort to rename it "John F. Kennedy Memorial High School."

A fairly representative page from the Clubs section of the kaleidoscope:

click to enlarge
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