Parting of the Ways

26 11 2008

As the country prepares to welcome an historic president, it is also doing its best to send a formal farewell to its current one.  While President Bush achieved new lows in approval ratings at home and abroad, President-elect Obama prepares to be welcomed into the masses’ waiting arms.

I have to say, though, that I’ve never seen known such a level of unadulterated hatred for an outgoing president.  Even when President Clinton left office after all of his wacky hijinx, I remember a distinctly obvious level of restraint among even his greatest detractors.  Perhaps it is simply the ramifications of President Bush’s decisions that have drawn this new level of ire, but there’s a large part of my political psyche that winces every time I hear vitriol spewed upon the name of our sitting president.  In fact, I worry that this election has signaled the dawn of a nastier era of political commentary than ever before.  And really, that’s something to lament no matter who you rooted for 22 days ago.  To offer up a real observation for once, I think that politics have become too much like a sports arena:  People rarely change their allegiances, no matter what evidence may come their way; People would prefer to favor a professional who is good at playing the game rather than someone they actually like; Most notably, people can rarely discuss their views with those of different opinions without resorting to churlish arguing.

Perhaps we should just accept it and start wearing jerseys…?

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On a more peripheral note, the approaching of a super-majority in the Senate makes me long for the 2F’s rather interesting original plan for the presidency.  I mean, come on — if the popular vote is really as important as everyone in 2000 said it was, why not give it even more power?





Cravings

25 11 2008

Micah won tickets and front-row passes/sentences to Scott Weiland in Hollywood tonight.

Really, it was everything I hoped it would be.  He even signed my cd after asking my name — and now I have a drunkenly-signed album cover from the lead singer of Velvet Revolver made out to either “Rod” or “Rog”.  Either way, I win.

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Why do people refuse to slake their desire for intimacy through means other than rash marriages?

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The good that lies in front of me is currently superseding the pleasurable that lies behind me.  One can ask for little more than that.





People Watching

24 11 2008

Quickly, I would like to point out one of my favorite new blogs: The Sartorialist

Written by a professional photographer, this site solely consists of photographs taken in Paris and other major metropolitan areas.  The subject matter?  People, dressed…well, you’ll have to see for yourself.





St. Jude

23 11 2008

Seems like we’re miles from here

Alighting at some foreign station

With luggage in hand, leaning to the right

Our sight deceives us as we look for the lamp.

Oh, how they love us American boys

Smiling at our insignia

Nodding to faces that never ask for approval,

Nobody passes without taking a little piece

In exchange for their self-congratulations;

As if their gestures were consolation for Hell

And their smiles a balm upon dead flesh,

They tear off layers of insulation

With sinuous smiles

Exposing the mortified flesh beneath

So with a weakened complexion, they hurry on.

Clap your hands, children

Clap your hands tonight

For the boys are coming home

Everything’s gonna be all right.





Quick Notes

21 11 2008

I’m still alive.  Barely.  No time for talk about whatever cancer is eating me alive right now, though.  It’s business time.

-Teaching would be more fun if it weren’t for all the other adults.  I’m sure kids feel the same way about school.

-Fire is only good when used to cook meat or start engines.  Anything else is either for women or Smokey-haters.

-Corey and my tirade of hatred for Brendan Morrison made a game into so much more.  Only I couldn’t scream because I was dying.  Did I mention that?

-I really want to love It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  Please, convince me why I should look past the persistently sophomoric humor that undergirds this magnificently-constructed work of art.

-Remember kids, the best medication is always beans and pulp.  Any kind of pulp at all, really.  Grapefruit pulp, Lime pulp, Lemon pulp, womanly Orange pulp…it’s all your white cells need to start kicking butt and taking names.   Also, medicine and health insurance.

Also, this picture:d





Jane Eerie

11 11 2008

At Pace, one of the subjects under my purview is reading comprehension.  Basically, this entails the children’s reading a story about two pages long and answering some questions about it.  If you’ve taken the SATs, you know the drill.

What I hadn’t thought about, however, was where they got the short stories or essays that are included in the textbook.  I’ve seen everything from the biological reasons for left-handedness to abridged tales of Holmes and Dupin.  While this never really bothered me, I have held occasional curiosity about how these collections come about.

Unfortunately, I don’t care how they’re collected.  I want to talk about Jane Eyre.

One of my 6th graders came up to me towards the end of the day yesterday and told me that she was having trouble understanding one of her stories.

“Well, let me see it and I’ll try to help you with it,” I said.

Lo and behold, I found myself looking at a two-page version of the scourge of literature classes everwhere.

While I try not to disparage the often sub-par textbooks in front of the kids, I found myself having to bite my tongue harder than usual as I realized the task before me: I had to make a two-page synopsis of this (of all books) 400+ page novel seem accessible to a student who grew up in China.

This was going to be tough.

Here’s what Irene probably heard me say:

So this girl who is kind of ugly and plain grows up in a scary orphanage sort of and then gets a job as a governess (yes, like in Sound of Music! That helps!) at an old (but not too old) guy’s house. One night, she smells smoke and saves his life right after hearing spooky noises from upstairs but he tells her not to tell anyone because apparently fires are very low-key sort of things that no one else noticed.  He sort of loves her and finally asks her to marry him but she asks him who that freak up in the attic is and he says he can’t tell her until they’ve been married for a year and a day (wow, that’s a long time not to know that! Yes, it is. He’s weird. They’re both weird). So they get married but except not because some guy says that Mr. Rochester’s wife is still alive and it’s the beastie living in the attic so Jane is sad because she can’t marry the guy who lied to her and she runs away to live at freak village with creepo pastor then comes back and marries the guy because his beastie wife jumped off a roof after burning the house down and now Mr. Rochester is blind and crippled and burnt but she loves him and they kiss (ew!) and they’re happy I guess even though this seems like a sad story.

How that one made it into Reading Comprehension Level 3A, only Mrs. Rochester knows.

Personally, I prefer Wuthering Heights.





Frontier II

8 11 2008

With the undying hope and the blazing conviction

Even the skeptics fell in with the victims

Of passionate love and unfathomed forgiveness

Truth with the Beautiful for all to witness

Burning and searing what falls in its path

Demanding nothing but sane psychopaths

To wander this land of no regret

One cannot hold onto one’s head

It’s within the releasing that truth can be grasped

For dreamers and skeptics with logic collapsed

The Logical Truths and the Frivolous Fancies

Have been collected through singing and dancing,

Understanding free madness shall anger discourage

As Truth will be found by whomever will forage

Into the forest of fanciful fate

Naught but their delaying shall make them to wait;

As nothing before now has ever impacted

A heart, with the Light, is finitely refracted.