Thursday, April 09, 2009


From the book 'When Skateboards Will Be Free: A Memoir of a Political Childhood' by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh.

On one occasion, I mustered the courage to ask my mother to buy me a skateboard (they were all the rage at the time) and she took me to Sears to have a look. In the middle of the sports department was a bin filled with skateboards in bright bubblegum colors. A sign read $10.99.
"Once the revolution comes,' my mother said to me, 'everyone will have a skateboard, because all skateboards will be free.' Then she took me by the hand and led me out of the store. I pictured a world of long rolling grassy hills, where it was always summertime and boys skateboarded up and down the slopes.
One Christmas a tree was donated to us by a local charity.
'When the revolution comes everyone will have a Christmas tree,' my mother said.
'Will we have them year-round then?' I asked.
'When the revolution comes no one will want a Christmas tree because no one will believe in God.'
Then we spent the afternoon decorating our tree together, stringing popcorn and kumquats, hanging lights from the branches, and when we were done we cut a moon out of cardboard, wrapped it in aluminum foil and placed it on the top.
The difference between our family and other poor families was that my mother actively chose to be poor.
Ruth Bernhard, In the Box, Horizontal, 1961. Gelatin Silver Print, 16” X 20”

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