A Strange And Salacious Memoir Of Life At The Ultimate Hippie College During The Height Of Reaganomics Opening Its Doors In , Hampshire College Was Once Known As A Land Of Eternal Partying, Where Countercultures Thrived And Jocks Were Nowhere To Be Found Self Proclaimed Nerd Richard Rushfield Knew This Progressive Massachusetts Campus Was The Place For Him, Offering A Chance To Shed His Squeaky Clean California Upbringing He Was Part Of The Freshman Class Of , Hiding Out From Reagan Era Excess In A Liberal Haven Where Overachievement And Preppy Clothes Were Banned By Turns Hilarious, Ironic, And Steeped In History, Don T Follow Me, I M Lost Takes Readers To A Campus Populated By Deadheads, Club Kids, Poets, And Insomniac Filmmakers, At A Time When America Saw The Rise Of Punk And Grunge Alongside Neo Conservatism, Earnest Calls For Political Correctness, And Take Back The Night Vigils Shunned By All Of The School S Reigning Subcultures, Rushfield Joins The Most Hated Clique On Campus, The Supreme Dicks, Navigates A Dating Scene Where To Express Interest In Anything Is Social Suicide, And Mostly Avoids Class Where Hippie Professors Blather On About Post Structuralism Culminating In A Mad Clash Of Slackers And Yuppies, Don T Follow Me, I M Lost Captures A Watershed Moment For American Youth In One Hilarious And Unforgettable Trip I chose to read this book because I considered applying to Hampshire College, but instead went to Hampshire s public and West Coast equivalent, Evergreen in Olympia, WA I started college during the same year as this author and was interested to read his perspective on going to a liberal and non traditional college in the 80s Clearly Rushfield chose Hampshire for the wrong reasons because he had a hard time finding his niche As he figured out a way to acclimate to the environment, he chose to align himself with a group of post punk radicals called The Supreme Dicks Based on the author s portrayal of this group, it was hard to find any redeeming values or purpose to their existence None of the members seemed at all likeable, including Rushfield.The most shocking passage of the book includes a very brief and dispassionate mention of one of The Supreme Dick s siblings who committed suicide by drinking cyanide on public access TV I was so shocked by this information that I did an internet search to learn since the author didn t bother to provide details nor did it seem to phase him at all.This speaks to the core problem of this book the author is continually distant from the reader I understand that he is lost in the college he has chosen, but instead of building a narrative on these feelings of alientation he chooses a tone of detachment that made it impossible for me to care. Rarely do I fail to finish a book However, I must say that this book is one for which I was happy to make an exception The narrative, which is in fact essentially fiction, conforms to Dorothy Parker s dictum and I paraphrase This is not a book to be set aside lightly it should be thrown with great force When I was a student at Hampshire, I avoided people like Richard Rushfield, just as I avoid them now.And by the way, Hampshire is what you make of it If you are immature, there is a good possibility you will make nothing of it or worse, become a malignant force like Mr Rushfield and his pals. In 1986, Richard Rushfield left his hometown of Los Angeles and traveled to Massachusetts so that he could begin his freshman year at Hampshire, a liberal arts college At first he felt lost being thousands of miles away from home but then he slowly began to adapt to this New England campus and eventually he started to hang out with a group of students who had a reputation for being misfits Young, away at college and on their own for the first time, Richard and his friends skipped class, got drunk, smoked pot, snorted cocaine and partied late into the night Eventually their destructive behavior caught up with them and they were either placed on probation or were being threatened with expulsion Despite all the trouble he got into or the spectacular adventures he had his words , Richard Rushfield considers the time he spent at Hampshire College the most memorable years of his life.I enjoy reading memoirs, especially from authors who are close in age to me and are from my generation because it s always fun for me when that author mentions a song or band in their book that I grew up listening to and when that happens, I get to enjoy traveling down memory lane and reminisce about that time of my life Unfortunately, in this memoir that occurred only occasionally the majority of this book was about the different shenanigans Richard Rushfield and his friends pulled and it got to the point where I felt like they were scenes out of the film Animal House Richard and his friends come across as childish and immature and after a while I was bored with this book and couldn t wait to finish it. Love it It s a love song for a very crazy and special time and place. I really, really want this book to be a movie, because I want to absorb the hilarious absurdity of Richard s book in than one medium This is the anti college memoir, if you will, where those who suggest wet T shirt parties are equated with fascists and rapists It ll make you want to join a frat, even if you re a girl I know this isn t a very helpful review but you just have to read it to enjoy it, especially if you have a hankering to read about an alternate universe where the put upon are the bullies and life is generally bizarre. I never realized that The Dicks were Hated It was my experience that most people did not really think they were that importantjust a group of people who felt they needed to give themselves an identity with a name, who does that Really and had to make a name for themselves by offending othersit was very pathetic You could not help but to feel sad for them.Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is fairest of them all Heaven forbid the mirror may speak truly, and praise another over Junkie Pride.cover to cover A small liberal college where the values of the 60 s meet the nihilism of the 80 s at the height of Reganomics holds what significance for the 21st Century As one who was there at the time, I do have to speak about some specifics, the racist sign was offensive than is described.The reaction to the sign inspired a candle light vigil that arose spontaneously like a road side memorial for one who has fallen victim to a terrible fate Having lived in small towns even smaller than Hampshire college, the solidarity of community in response to an offense was no different from many who live in main stream america This seemed to be a unique experience for many who came from towns with than 2000 people Perhaps it was an important experience About the wet tee shirt party, what I recall was some female students being pressured to attend.I recall a memo from the school.I recall attending a seminar on Signs to look for at a college party that would be indicators of violence against women, and asked as a man to look for such behavior and not to be afraid to speak out against them After I read the book, I saw richard s picture.I remember him from freshman year.I was told after vandalising many dorms with references to male rape from the book Less than zero , he was caught peeping at women in the showers and went back to L.A..I guess that must have been wrong and just a small town rumor at a small college.I discovered this was a rumor when I lived in a housing unit near where Richard lived the only trouble I remember was once when a fire alarm went off, me and my buddy went through the dorms to make sure no one was trapped inside during a fire.and the fire chief balled us out afterwards for not acting properly during a fire drill the night was dark and the sky was bluedown the alley the cadillac flewhit a bump and someone screamedyou should have heard just what I seenwho do you love Sorry Richardour bad.nice conversation with you that night before the fire chief yelled at us.but I lived in a small town in alaska smaller than Hampshire college.so why tell the fire chief about a false alarm when it has already been settled like I said, I ran into Richard, and he remembered me that night from the old hall.but that was it..I doubt he remembers me now like I said, I traveled in different circles.we heard of the supreme dicks once and a while, but they were never really importantI never realized Richard was one of the people who needed to form a group and label themselves to have an identity.we felt sad for them and oh yeahregarding the pretending to be part of a singing group to crash a party at Smith.it is much fun when you are actually invited I learned the jitter bug from a lady from Shang hi at the same event.and when a bunch of nerds bused in from Princeton to sing for the girls kept asking me hey man, you are from hampshire.can you score us some drugs and after a dozen refusals on my part.I realized I had some aspirin.excedrine to be exact.and said Be careful what you pray for fella because I am tired of being insulted and I took their money and gave them pills with a big E on it and they told all their friends that they just got a big score.and with the money, I took two lovely ladies to Dennys and had fun than just talking about it.I regret doing that now.it was a swindle.it is theft and bearing false witness.I was angry at the insults from the harrassement of ivy leaguers to be their drug dealer.and they would not let me walk away.I offer this not as an excuse for my selling aspirin, only an explanation of how the morality of my youth failed under peer pressureI was angry.so I sold them excedrine and they left me alone.i wish I had done better and not done that.but it did fund a great date with some great ladies I thought I was going to miss that party at Smith too but I worked on a construction site to earn cash, and a buddy of mine who worked construction on the site because he had a warrent for his arrest in NY City for armed robbery of a gas station and he fled the state instead of showing up for sentencing, and he had no drivers license, but told me he would pick me up on his motorcycle to get me to the party..but we had to stop to pick up 2 other fellas on the way.and one of them was hauling some beer.and because the driver had no license, once he got to northhampton, he got scared 4 people and a 1 4 barrel on a motorcycle may attract attention, so he deceided to drive on the sidewalks of Smith College.at full throttle, and shove us off the bike at each stop.really.it is much fun when you are invited All in all, i found the deeds of the book far less adventurous than the exploits of most from Hampshire collegehave pity on us poor richard. Richard Rushfield s memoir, Don t Follow Me, I m Lost details his years spent at Hampshire College during the late 80 s early 90 s I simply did not buy into his story at all It felt like someone who was recalling a series of events that over the years grew monumental in his own mind I also think they are stories that are far interesting to the people who were actually there, rather than the reader I felt like I was reading a bunch of inside jokes that I just didn t get.Rushfield explains that Hampshire was a very experimental college I get it I have done the small liberal arts college thing In fact, my experience at Bard, included a very odd class registration process that seems would have fit right in as part of Rushfield s college experience I just didn t buy into the extremes of Rushfield s story It was too much It was also not very interesting to read If you re going to be outlandish, at least be entertaining. I was around for much of what went on in this entertaining and endearing book Meg Before reading it, I read in the promo blurb that the Hampshire student body hated the Dicks and friends I was like, really Its possible No wait, I think I knew that at the time Did I No, that can t be true I was scared to read it, paranoid that Rich would write something embarrassing about me Hampshire was comprised mostly of smart, dynamic, diligent students whose brains and accomplishments are absolutely respectful The Hampshire administration can tell you about them Richard did well in his final 2 years there but that would not an amusing tale make, and that s not what this book is about Its about his first two years spent creative floundering discovering what you are passionate about And, the socializing one experiences at college usually the first time an 18 year old lives independent of parents But first, the non accurate, IMHO Richard mentions a rumor that the Dicks cheered on the kid who drank cyanide laced cool aid as part of a performance on a campus TV broadcast I never heard that rumor I was not inside the TV studio, but I do not believe anyone cheered him on The Dicks were were dicks but not that dickish I don t think Steve took 10 years to graduate Re the graffiti sign incident the language on the sign that he quotes I believe is somewhat inaccurate From what I heard, the grafitti was even funnier than what he writes If the school had showed the sign to anyone, it would have been 100% obvious that it was a sarcastic, PARODY of political incorrectness Think Daily Show or Bill Maher mocking PC ness The school never told the student body what the graffiti said Oh, and he left out a funny tidbit that when one of the students who was forced to write a public apology submitted it to the administration, they made this person edit out the phrase black cloud , as in the incident cast a black cloud over the campus The administration thought this sounded racist OK, now the accurate Yeah, I d say its an accurate depiction of mod 21 life Weirder and crazier shit was also going on at the time that is not in this book and I suppose was not a part of RR s intimate experience there But, Richard could have exploited some other fucked up antics and behavior but did not Thank you, RR I thought the Dicks were brilliant at the time Well, their and my films were brilliant Conceptually, so was their music Emphasis on conceptually Think John Cage as an arty, post punk 20 year old in the 80s I thought everyone in the Pioneer Valley saw our nocturnal clan as The Artists and Philosophers of the school, if not the world I thought people respected us for what they were incapable of doing You know Why be conventional and boring when you could be avant garde Hmm Yeah, I actually thought this shit I was young and naive I was mean at times to people who were Normal I remember now, and I feel just terrible about it What was I thinking Oh, I remember now I was angry due to a fucked up childhood in sheltered middle America Where American punk and thrash came from I think my our generation was notoriously unprepared for the real world I m OK now, don t worry Our pre baby boomer parents were unenlightened to things like expression of emotions and doing what makes you happy They were still running on some kind of 1950 s way of seeing the world It sucks to be raised by that I think the generations before and after us got better deals the baby boomers were happy saving the world and growing their personal wealth, and their offspring had the benefit of communicative, involved parenting In this respect, the book can be seen as socio anthropological examination of the marginalized Generation X I could be wrong I was no American Studies major Which reminds me that most HC graduates seem to go on to grad school The consensus is that grad school is loads easier than Hampshire too, btw Also, this book takes place in the days just b4 everyone ate Prozac like candy I wonder how the recent prevalence of ADD meds and antidepressants has changed the student culture landscape in the years after I was a student I wonder if they are bunch of well behaved good student zombies How boring that would be OK, I have to go to the gym now Good lord I am such a normal, bourgeoisie pig now Whatever Read the book its a hoot Yes Kids, before facebook and the interweb we would gather sit around and listen to albums not saying much to each other At times we would go out and do something silly I have always been interested in hearing stories about Hampshire which was the polar opposite of the 79 Babson business school that I attended I glad Richard wrote this I enjoyed the book which was a funny and quick read this was what it was like.http www.youtube.com watch v umeRwl
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- Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost: A Memoir of Hampshire College in theTwilight of the '80s
- Richard Rushfield
- 23 August 2019 Richard Rushfield