This must have been sixth grade.
On the first page, we find this mimeographed page of questions. I’m not sure if my answers were supposed to record comprehension of the material presented in class or my own opinions.
Why do you think young people and adults use drugs? Name some:
excape from reality
Do drugs have good uses? Name some:
I remember lots of “don’t smoke cigarettes” messages, like this one. I remember the creepy feeling of knowing that “Hamilton Burger” was already dead of lung cancer by the time I watched it.
But where this came from, I have no idea.
Another scary article in Harpers about AIG and its private “fire fighters” that run around ritzy neighborhoods spraying their customers’ homes with retardant. It also includes a history of fire insurance.
Before Barbon there was Hammurabi, the sixth king of Babylon and originator of the first forms of insurance. Hammurabi’s Code was harsh in places. But its edicts an on insurance captured all that was communal and good about the idea. In 1700 B.C. Babylon, if a man was robbed, the community reimbursed him. If a man himself was stolen, the community paid his relatives one mina of silver. If he “owed a debt for aloan, and a strom prostrates the grain, or the harvest fail, or the grain does not grow for lack of water; in that year he need not give his creditor any grain, he wases in debt-tablet in water, and pays no rent for this year.”
Tis is what our concept of insurance became-we understand it as a way to reduce risk, to improve life–but this is not all that insurance became. When it turned private and for-profit, part of the free market, insurance was combined with something else: the need for growth. And a system meant to reduce risk soon began to crave more of it.
The 30th High School Reunion is coming up, and inspired by a classmate who posted the 9th grade photo on facebook, I dug out a box of memorabilia from those years. I don’t seem to have much from high school, but I do have the junior high yearbooks.
8th grade wasn’t all that great.
9th grade was better. I was an editor on a literary magazine and started writing.