1984: Murder in F-flat at the Daily Nebraskan

1984 was an interesting time to be alive, because you felt, every day, as if you were living in the George Orwell novel of the same name. Reagan was president, and the world seemed to be collapsing around you — likely just as many of us feel today with another, repressive, Republican president. 1984 also happened to be the year I started writing for the Daily Nebraskan — the school newspaper for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I was a Sophomore in 1984, and I was writing a weekly, serialized, novel called “Murder in F-Flat” — in the wake of Mark Twain, and others like him — and the effort was curious, odd, joyful, frustrating, and purely delightful.

1984 was the dawn of the Personal Computer Age, and while we could save electronic copies of our writing, the work was stored on a fragile 5 1/4″ floppy disk that was kept in a sleeve because its magnetic surface was exposed to the elements. You wrote on the computer, printed out your articles, handed in the paper, and an editor retyped what you wrote into their computer. Yes, you saved what you wrote, but retrieving it later, was an issue then, as it is now; so when I discovered yesterday that the Daily Nebraskan archives for 1984-1987 were now online, I pounded my memory to try to remember when, and what, I wrote in 1984; and the key to the memory trick was my 1984 September 28 pay stub from the Daily Nebraskan. I remembered a check was cut for us every 30 days and each article paid $10.

My search began, and ended, in money — and now I present to you what I was able to find — four installments of “Murder in F-flat” by Dave Boles. I think a couple of episodes are missing from the online archive; I will keep an eye on that Daily Neb portal, and if the other stories flash into the now from the past, I will dutifully update this article! If you prefer a larger version to read, please head over to my Boles.com Periodicals Archive.

August 31, 1984
Too bad you can’t see the whole graphic logo for the column — and today, you’d never want a graphic byline, because your name would never index online as text — “Murder in F-flat” is stylized, and hand-drawn, and I wish I could remember the artist’s name. I just realized now, the pen doing the writing, is being held the wrong way, and is actually stabbing me, the author, in the chest. Murder, indeed! The opening reference to “last week” tells me at least one previous episode installment is missing, so we’re leaping into the story mid-stream.

Continue reading → 1984: Murder in F-flat at the Daily Nebraskan

Notice of Civil Rights Violation

U.S. Department of Education via Fax

I am writing to inform you of a Civil Rights violation that occurred on the campus of LaGuardia Community College on October 15, 2016, and was sponsored by the LaGuardia Program for Deaf Adults, Sorenson Communications and the U.S. Department of Education, as a “Deaf Self-Advocacy” seminar.

Continue reading → Notice of Civil Rights Violation

We Are Our Works: Anthea Syrokou Responds

written by Anthea Syrokou

[Publisher’s Note: In my recent, David Boles: Human Meme, podcast entitled — “We Are Our Works” — loyal listener Anthea Syrokou wrote a smart, and thoughtful, response to that piece of work and, with her permission, we share her fine mind…

Continue reading → We Are Our Works: Anthea Syrokou Responds

Performing Arts and Broadcast Entertainment Professors Should Not Compete with their Students

One of the first things my friend, and mentor — and Columbia University in the City of New York professor — Howard Stein told me, was that he was once a produced, and award-winning Playwright, and when he decided to teach other Playwrights at the University of Iowa for a living, he gave up his Playwright life because he didn’t want to compete with his students. I thought that instinct was honorable and right and the lesson sticks with me today. New plays have a hard enough time getting produced on their own, and when you’re in direct competition with your professor for stage time, and production dollars, you quickly discern how easy it is for the amateur Playwright to fail in the same professional arena as the Professor.

Continue reading → Performing Arts and Broadcast Entertainment Professors Should Not Compete with their Students

Call me a Nigger from the North

If you are easily offended by history, and the muscle memory mnemonics of words like — nigger — then you should not read the rest of this article. Over the many decades we’ve been publishing original work online, one word keeps popping back up for examination in various memes. Yes, that word is — “the N-word” — and we just call it like it is here, because that’s how Nigger has been used in the context of life beyond the Uncanny Valley.

Continue reading → Call me a Nigger from the North

The Value of a Liberal Arts Education

We live in a sneering world where if one isn’t majoring in business or actively becoming a lawyer — one’s future is worthless and their worldview is infantile. Who needs a Poet when you can sell your soul and then sue the person for breach of contract when they buy it and try to take it home from you?

Continue reading → The Value of a Liberal Arts Education

The 1968 Columbia University Riots

The 1968 riot and takeover on the Columbia University campus is still a rotting sore that ruins the day.  The matter drowns in infamy and many wish it soon to be forgotten — much like the student strike of 1932 that took over the campus — but if we hope not to repeat the mistakes of the past, we must remember them, share the facts of the moment, and preserve the truth into the future.

It is interesting that, just as during the campus strike in 1932, the 1968 riot centered on athletics at Columbia university.

I was able to purchase the historic images you see in this article, and I’m sharing them all with you now to help set the definitive timeline of what happened in Morningside Heights in the Spring of 1968 — and why the riot happened, and how Columbia, still to this day, wrestles with the hard matters had at hand half a century later.

Some of the dates and captions may seem off — I offer them to you directly as they appear in situ — no editorializing or changing of the information has occurred.

Some ghosts never die — they remain, haunting you, forever; not from the shadows — but from the bright sunlight of College Walk.

4.14.68

SCHOOL DAY
New York: Statue of Alexander Hamilton looms above students outside Hamilton Hall during a protest rally at Columbia University April 24th.  Hanging from the balcony are photos of Stokely Carmichael and a Viet Cong flag.  Acting dean Harry S. Coleman and two other Columbia officials have been barricaded inside the building since April 23rd. One target of the student sit-ins is the university’s plan to construct a gymnasium in a Harlem park, which Negro students contend will deprive residents of a recreation area.

Continue reading → The 1968 Columbia University Riots