Jerks of the Eight Seven

Ha! I just put on Rolling Stones "Let It Bleed." What a title track, ‘eh? What an album (produced by Jimmy Miller).

You’re know your getting old when you start thinking about small times, like twenty years worth of time past.
“Man! We are jerks!”

- Either Dave or Eddie
Somewhere, USA, summer 1987
Twenty years ago I was part of a group of young men, each of us purportedly working together as a group, but each of us had a very different agenda and were on a completely different trip. Our means were similar, our goals different. We needed each other for a short period of validating time. And, it was about mid-June when we hit our collective stride.

We spent that summer being rude, being obnoxious, and being quite stupid. But, we were also the smartest, the most superior, the cleverest, and the greatest of all time. We knew we were the best.

From the large group of say, 120 – which had varying degrees of talent and confidence; self-esteem and ambition – there were about six of us who formed a bit of a clique. We were The Only Children. Some of us were actually only-children, but we all acted like we were the centers of our respective universes.
We were the hardest of the hard core. We were the ringleaders and the generals. We were the six who stopped believing in the system and decided to become the system. We were the new paradigm. There were others who would occasionally join, or observe, and cheer. There were some who attempted to join, but never penetrated the core -- the faithless core.

I spent the best part of two consecutive years, nearly every day of that time, with these people. We discovered at some point that we were special, the most cerebral, fucked-up, haughty, progressive, subversive, and dedicated-to-the-art motherfuckers around. We were brought together self-selectedly by chance.

Trouble. Underlying personality defected trouble. Our unofficial motto was “So!” As in, what the fuck are you going to do about us? You put up with us or you lose. You are witnessing history. We are the superior. We are unafraid.

Ask anybody. Whether they were there or unembellished through history. Hooligans might be the better word. Perhaps, pirates. We did it on our own. We did it our way. We had enough rope to hang the bunch of us (which we did). Stoically unaware and sardonically under whelmed.

I had been a jerk long before turning 21 (and have been a jerk long after), but it was that season that validated everything. Being the best among the best of the best is addictive, seductive, and nastily affirming. It became official in the eight-seven. The coming of age. It wasn’t the level of jerk-dom exhibited that season; it was the consistency of the execution. The accuracy of judgment and the depth of stealth. A lot of shit went down back then. But, what stands out is that it was the ease to which one could leave the system behind and comfortably find one’s true self and just…just be…forever. Not happy or anything, there is much suffering to art, but the truth is liberating.

To my homies in the 1987 SCV Battery. Although we don’t really care if anyone saw it or believed it, we do hope that the world was somehow affected by our nudge.

So! We're only children.