Monday, February 14, 2011

Slowin' Down

I'm down-shifting. The internet has gots to go... Begone, I say! Hellllooooo immediate, tactile space.

Thank you for readin' and chattin'. I liked this experience very much. Now, I'm going to enjoy other things. Slower things.

Ethan, JRB, Charles, Jack, BDR and everyone else who spent some time with my thoughts... you've been lovely... your involvement (because I think you're quite wise: fawning alert!) has lent me poise and confidence.

My final blog thought is a command: Enjoy! (it must be done)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Old Man Avoids Shame

I like this. Teems clarity. I bumped into it in McLuhan's The Extensions of Man (this isn't McLuhan's pen; he suggests he found it in Werner Heisenberg's The Physicist 's Conception of Nature, which McLuhan describes as an example of the new quantum physicist whose over-all awareness of forms suggests to thim that we would do well to stand aside from most of them. He points out that technical change alters not only habits of life, but patterns of thought and valuation. Page sixty-nine of an old paperback:

As Tzu-Gung was traveling through the regions north of the river Han, he saw an old man working in his vegetable garden. He had dug an irrigation ditch. The man would descend into a well, fetch up a vessel of water in his arms and pour it out into the ditch. While his efforts were tremendous the results appeared to be very meager.

Tzu-Gung said, "there is a way whereby  you can irrigate a hundred ditches in one day, and whereby you can irrigate a hundred ditches in one day, and whereby you can do much with little effort. Would you not like to hear of it?"

Then the gardener stood up, looked at him and said, "And what would that be?" Tzu-Gung replied, "You take a wooden lever, weighted at the back and light in the front. In this way you can bring up water so quickly that it just gushes out. This is called a draw-well."

Then anger rose up in the old man's face, and he said, "I have heard my teacher say that whoever uses machines does all his work like a machine. He who does his work like a machine grows a heart of a machine, and he who carries the heart of a machine in his breast loses his simplicity. He who has lost his simplicity becomes unsure in the strivings of his soul. Uncertainty in the strivings of the soul is something which does not agree with honest sense. It is not that I do not know of such things; I am ashamed to use them."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Funny thing I've been doing: Lying

Lying could — if one were so inclined — be used to cheat. But, is every lie dishonest? Of course not. Being Ahem-ployed by the gubmint forces me to lie all. of. the time (hell, you simply can't voice "radical" political and social thoughts and not get crushed, I opt to conceal, misdirect, and lie). This proclivity towards the lie is unfortunate — or, not to my liking — but the results of said lying are not exclusively misleading. In fact, my lying illuminates a spit-shined truth: I am a coward.

Damn straight. A coward. I would prefer to lie than risk potential material harm. How is that for some weak-sauce? Next, I'm going to (just for fun) argue the other side.

Not a coward: I simply don't have any real convictions. I don't believe in me, so why portray myself "honestly". So, if my honesty doesn't mean a thing, I prefer to protect something that does mean something, my money (and all the delicious food that comes with it).

In both scenarios, my lying is not misleading. Rather, it is an essential part of understanding me. Hooray.

Side Story:

Like you, when talking with new people (I possess an agreeable and altogether inviting mien, so it happens constantly... a wink for you), I get asked, "what do you do?" After I say teacher, they say (every god damned time) what subject? The "truth" is stupid and misleading (maybe not misleading, but it certainly doesn't capture what I do in the classroom), so I tell another version of the truth when I answer: aesthetics. Yep, I'm an Aesthetics teacher. The responses, as you might imagine, are wildly varied, but always better than if I had told the truth.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

If only we had a good reason to stop trying to destory each other...

This made me giddy. Oh, it was good... so good.

When, in the last ten seconds,  he laments that we can't wait (just thinking about it makes it hard to type, I'm crying right now) for the alien attack to unite us.... ahahaaaahahah... oh, it's just so fucking funny... ahahahahaha. When he points up (what the fuck is he pointing to???)... oh god... here it comes agai — ahahahahahahahaahaaaahh — he's fighting a smile, the whole time, his smile is soooo big, he can barely talk... oh, shit... I can't stop.

Intergalactic war will save us... from ourselves. What a relief. I had almost lost hope.

Up — ahahha — date! He...ahahah, was talking to high schools kids!! Ahahahahah

I'm still on coffee, haven't even switched to cocktails yet — it's gonna be a good one.

Today's cocktail:
A glass
Squeeze a blood orange... not too much
DryFly Gin until you're excited
bubbly water
blood orange twist

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fighting fire with anything other than fire

I encounter shitbirds (actual birds, I apologize for the term). Empathize with me. These people, poor things, just can't wait to splash their shit all over the unwitting.

In the library, with the kids... she (the shitbird) lumbers in my direction, sporting the mindless confidence that defines the species, her face reads: "I'm about to drop a little ethical righteousness on you". She leans in and announces, in a tone that begged my wrath AND loud enough that a few of my students could hear, "you know... you really shouldn't let them use Wikipedia." I resist. My students exchange knowing looks.

"Why do you say that?" I'm thrilled to have nailed the tone I was hoping for — genuine surprise, as if I have no. fucking. idea. what she's about to say. This royally fucks up her game. Poor shitbird thought she was going to have an easy landing... not today.

"Well, it's not reliable..."
"Oh?" my fake genuine surprise has moved to fake genuine concern.
"Anybody can edit those pages." looking vindicated, like she just scored two for a take-down.
"Yeah. I was wondering about that. What is their editing policy?" Again, I'm on a roll. Genuine question? hardly... but my ability to fake-it is ruling the day. The nonsensical blubbering that came next does not lend itself to summation. I don't know what the hell she said, but it was 15 seconds of I-don't-know-what-I'm-talking-about backpedaling.

Not usually this cute
She departs, quietly... as if she didn't just try to tell me about my business — nothing happened, she'll tell herself. But, I assure you, this shitbird will steer clear of my masterful defense in the future.

Be gone, Shitbird!

My teaching time isn't wasted if the kids master the concept I stealthily stress: the burden of proof falls on the shitbird who seeks to control your actions... and "proof" isn't easy to come by. Make em' earn it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What's the story here?

It is necessary for a violent culture to adopt the precept: it is impolite to talk of politics. 
Some of the Mubarak supporters were working class men who arrived in buses. Some headed to the battle with their sticks or their knives stuffed in their pants. One was a doctor who wore spectacles and held a club wrapped in electrical tape and armored with tacks.

Some were men like Mohamed Hassan, an accountant, who had actually attended Tuesday’s antigovernment demonstration. “Of course we needed a change,” said Mr. Hassan, standing on the Corniche not from the Egyptian Museum. Mr. Mubarak’s speech to the nation had changed his mine. “I think all of our demands were filled. We need change, but step by step.” (italics mine, typos theirs)

This is going to be my "warm-up" question in class tomorrow: What the fuck is this supposed to be?

Say it with me now: Rev-OOOOO-loo-shun. In America, you won't receive the label "revolution" until you've already won.

Read or re-read the whole thing, if you like.

Power pair of puppy pounders

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jocular — or — life well-lived

Dazzling. Momentary. Wonderful.

34 forty-some year-old seconds.

the difference of endurance.