Trolling 1978 Style

I found a high school relic that proves I’ve been a troll since at least 1979.

New Wine was apparently the literary magazine of Northwest Missouri State University’s English Department. By appearances, it’s a well produced zine. I can find no reference to it on the sum total of human knowledge, the World Wide Web. I may have the only extent copy of this literary effort.

You should understand that this is the older definition of “troll”: putting something out there that looks like the author is terribly misinformed, in hopes of luring self-righteous corrections. This exposes stuffed shirts and the overly confident.

New Wine small college literary magazine

This happened during my junior year of high school, in Mrs Hoag’s English class. This doesn’t entirely work out chronologically, because I only went half-time to high school my senior year, and I don’t believe I took an English class in that half-time, certainly not Mrs Hoag. But the New Wine is dated 1979. My senior year was 1978-79.

We got extra credit if we submitted poetry or short stories to regional “literary magazines”. So I submitted Huntin for Caraway Seeds At Safeway and another poem titled Homage to a Red-Blooded American Shrine The latter was about Crawfordsville, IA, one of two putative birthplaces of the Republican party. I only remember the final line of that poem, “as I groveled in the patriotic dirt”.

There was a rigid format for submissions, 8.5x11 paper, large margins, double-spaced, and your name, address and school had to appear in the upper right hand corner of the page.

My parents had been grade school teachers in Kansas in the mid-to-late 1950s. My dad had shown me a copy of a McCarthy-era loyalty oath he’d signed as part of being a teacher back then.

I typed up two copies of my submissions, one with the name/address/school, and one with the loyalty oath, which I signed. I turned in the submissions with the loyalty oath in the upper right hand corner. This caused Mrs Hoag to have an aneurysm. I took back the loyalty oath “submission”, and gave her the carefully-formatted, real submission.

parody poem from New Wine

Damned if these parody, over-the-top poems didn’t get accepted, one of them in New Wine.

Just to prove that the entire New Wine wasn’t a facetious parody zine, here’s a fragment of one of the other, extremely earnest, high school literary efforts:

story fragment