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About This Issue

By David R. Ignatius

This Supplement is the first fruit of an attempt to revive an old form of Crimson journalism: the quirky, eccentric, extended essay. The Dump Trucks of several years past were written in a different environment, and were more confessional, more casual, and more devoted to the sensibilities of the youth culture. They really were "dump trucks" to unload younger writers' heads.

Times have changed a little. If we wrote the things people wrote several years ago they would seem obvious, even a trifle irresponsible. We have decided, in our first supplement, to return to the avant-garde youth culture that spawned our predecessors, and to talk about it in an historical perspective. The old Dump Trucks tended to have an anti-intellectual bias; we hope that we have not over-compensated for it in the other direction.

The piece on Italian Futurism was researched in Prof. Daniel Bell's seminar, The Relation of Culture to Social Structure, and he gave patient and helpful support. The author does not read Italian, and drew heavily on three accounts of the Futurists: James Joll's Three Intellectuals in Politics; Marianne Martin's Futurist Art and Theory; and Joshua Taylor's Futurism. Citations have been omitted to save the reader's eye, but can be had at the Crimson if anyone would like to know precisely who said what where.

We would like to thank The Museum of Modern Art in New York for giving us permission to reproduce examples of Futurist painting and sculpture that are in its collections; we would also like to thank the Fogg Art Museum for loaning us several reproductions.

The line drawing animal illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard (Copyright 1933, 1953, Charles Scribner's Sons; renewal copyright 1961 Ernest H. Shepard) from the Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame are reproduced by permission Charles Scribner's Sons.

The Mayakovsky poem and drawing are reproduced by permission of Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, from Mayakovsky, translated by Herbert Marshall. Copyright 1965 by Herbert Marshall.

We would also like to thank Jean Acko who drew the cartoon of Marinetti in his automobile on short notice; Steve Potter, who photographed the roaring automobile on the cover; Lynn Darling, who helped with content, proofreading and layout; Rich Meislin, who typeset the supplement; and Garrett Epps, who gave us encouragement, many of our ideas, and superb editing, as well as many ha-ha's.

Finally, although this supplement is written as a civil polemic against youth culture lifestyle politics, it would be a great mistake to take the theme of the piece as an equation of the New Left with Fascism. That canard was used opportunistically by Senior Faculty several years ago and seems to us to be no less malarky now than it was then. Those who saw Hitler Youth in University Hall deliberately allowed the contours of their analogy to obscure the political content of New Left anti-war agitation.

If we see an overriding theme in this first Supplement, it is that the aestheticization of politics can have disastrous consequences. And that because of this, New Left politics should not be seen as a way of life, but as a strategy for social change.

Future Dump Trucks will carry an essay on George Orwell by Garrett Epps; an extract from an oral history of three generations of a Mississippi sharecropper's family, being compiled by Ted Rosengarten; an ethnography of various neighborhoods of Cambridge, by John A. Day; and other topics that occur or are suggested to us.

Suggestions, letters, critical comments and the like should be addressed to Dump Truck, care of the Crimson, and will be published in succeeding issues.

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