Why I Ate My Draft Card


Fifth Estate # 35, August 1-15, 1967

from WIN Magazine (UPS)

Well, first of all, it wasn’t really my draft-card but my Selective Service Notice of Classification. My Registration Certificate, laminated with a rather untasty variety of acetate plastic, remains intact. Furthermore, I did not commit this act of ingestion by my lonesome, but rather with the aid of a dozen or more accomplices, most of whom I ran across at a DuBois Club concert in New York last November. But why should I devour my classification?

Primarily I wanted to be certain that I complied with the law which requires every American male to carry his Selective Service certificate at all times. Experience has taught me that conventional means of compliance (such as keeping the cards in my pocket) are wholly inadequate; on so many occasions I found myself in bath or bed in defiance of the law that I began to fear FBI intrusion at these rather personal moments. In addition, I feel that it is the responsibility of every individual to at least attempt to internalize the norms of his society. Since I have found it exceedingly difficult to accept the prevailing double standard in regard to human life, it has become much easier for me to internalize a tangible symbol of our society’s norms-my draft card.

Finally, I was hungry and broke!