Sunday, October 29, 2006

New Jack(s) [in the] City

Bought our three pumpkins this morning and just finished converting them fully to the Jacks they were meant to be. Check out the cam shot (to the left). Listened to SomaFM's Doom channel while carving and digging our knives into the orange rind--great spooky music for the high holy days ahead, including Bauhaus, Skinny Puppy, Joy Division, and lots of German soundz.

Watched "Shortbus" this afternoon. It was probably better than 75% of the films I've seen in my life. I also thought it was better than 75% of the porn I've seen in my life--the difference: I actually liked the people and their characters. And the sex wasn't gratuitous, or worse--stupid and uninteresting--like in "9 Songs." [Check out my review of "9 Songs" entitled "Pretensions Toward Porn."] After seeing two very dark and depressive films lately ("Science of Sleep" and "Half Nelson"--both brilliant but maddeningly bleak), I was happy to watch one with at least a glimmer of redemption and forgiveness ... if only for oneself.

Tomorrow is Hell Night. Then Halloween (and the birthday of my uncle/namesake). All Saints' Day (and Grzegorz's birthday--sigh). All Souls' Day/El dia de los muertos. S. already has this year's altar built. I'll point the cam on it later this week.

Stay spooky.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Half a Year in Review

Stephen turned me on to a fun and wonderful web site TagCrowd which creates tag clouds as a way of visualizing (visually analyzing) a text. I input all the posts from January to June 2005 from Crash Course and this is what it came up with from the top 100 words:





Friday, October 20, 2006

Coginess--it's a word; look it up!

Tonight is my last Friday evening to teach this term. I've been teaching the express semester for the past year, wherein I cover everything between the Big Bang and postmodernism over the course of three weekends: four-hour Fridays, eight-hour Saturdays, and five-hour Sundays. I've been very happy with the quality of students: they, for the most part, are up to the challenge of completing an entire college course within this condensed timeframe. If I think about it too much, however, I recognize my own coginess within the conveyor belt of higher education.

I abhor the accreditation board-required pre- and post-exams. First off, they make no sense, especially on the questions that I don't cover at all. I can't cover everything between the Big Bang and postmodernism! That would take millions of years, and human beings are finite. That's one thing I'm most certain of these days. What are they interested in measuring anyway: the students' memory? my teaching ability? Regardless, it's yet another hoop I must jump through in order to retain my professional credentials. And my own coginess within the conveyor belt of higher education.

I recognize that my job is literally to pump out credentialled drones who can successfully complete standardized exams and not ask too-difficult a question when it comes to reality or anything between the Big Bang and postmodernism. Especially "god." My one student--who stayed up till 2:00am one evening Googling everything I taught earlier that evening just so he could sound intelligent arguing against everything I taught the next night--will be perfect for the new economics. I elect him to be master of us all. And may his NASCAR-watching bastard brood rule in succession from the throne of drone. Just goes to show you that if you can find it on the Internet, then it must be TRUE ... like all the conspiracy theories about how scholars rewrote history to disprove huge chunks of the Bible. "I yawn in your general direction, not only because I'm tired of teaching your hillbilly ass something worth knowing, but because your 'scholarship' via Google puts me to sleep." I disengage from my own coginess within the conveyor belt of higher education. It looks like I have a new contender for my job.

Class dismissed.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sententiae

  • Īnfīnītus est numerus stultōrum. (Ecclesiastes) Infinite is the number of fools.
  • Paucī virī sapientiae student. (Cicero) Few men are eager for wisdom.
  • Pecūnia avārum irrītat, nōn satiat. (Publilius Syrus) Money excites, not satisfies, avarice.
  • Sēcrētē amīcōs admonē; laudā palam. (Publilius Syrus) Admonish your friends in secret; praise them openly.
  • Rapite, amīcī, occāsiōnem dē hōrā. (Horace) Seize, friends, the opportunity of the hour.
Just some random translations from (simplified) Latin. Funny how I spent so much time last fall teaching myself Latin! May Prof. West (as in the Bicked Bitch of the...) rot in her Christian hell.

Of course, you know it's going to be a difficult day when the dean of the college is announcing that your professor passed away the evening before as you rush into your morning class out of breath and fifteen minutes late. Rest in peace, Professor Hambly. The loss of the Alexandria library was nothing compared to our losing you.

Just a question: why does Nicole Kidman get the Chanel gig while poor Mexican actress Salma Hayek has to settle being spokeswoman for Avon?

Last six songs bought on iTunes:
  • "Bloodsport" - Sneaker Pimps
  • "I Burn for You" - The Police
  • "Non Me Lo Puedo Explicar" - Tiziano Ferro
  • "Wo willst du hin?" - Xavier Naidoo
  • "Losing My Religion" - Ryan Star
  • "Within You" - ThouShaltNot

Friday, October 13, 2006

Silence Itself

Malina. Born into a noble Nahuatl clan. Crying for her dead father. Sold into slavery to a Mayan tribe. Her own death faked by the mother who sold her away. A new people, a new language. Baptised Doña Marina by the Spanish: new conquerors, new loves. A new master tongue. The Nahuatl added the noble -tzin suffix: Malintzin. The lazy Spanish tongue tripped over the native language and renamed her Malinche. Her lover Cortés, too, shared her name. Both slave and master, both native and alien were called by the same name. Mother of the first mestizo, mother of all of Mexico. Her half-breed children murdered. She was passed on to other men. Cortés declared, "After God we owe this conquest of New Spain to Doña Marina." She spoke out of both sides of her mouth, interpreting between Cortés and Moctezuma. Malina - abandoned child, survivor, warrior for the new globalization, linguist, messenger, bringer of tidings, mother. Malinche - la conquistadora.

This Columbus Day, embrace and celebrate your own malinchismo.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

State Terror & the Cost of Freedom

Yet again Putin's Russia proves to be detrimental to human life and prescient, insightful understanding of power. Rest in peace, Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered in her Moscow apartment Saturday.



English PEN Society bio
Time Magazine's Heroes of 2003
Article & Interview (Danish Support Committee for Chechnya)
Novaya Gazeta

Of course, we still don't know who ordered the murder of Galina Starovoitova.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Rejection is one thing...

... but rejection from a fool is cruel.

You sorry fuck-face piece-of-shit asshole. I never betrayed you, even when you married that fucked-up skank you met in the mental ward. Sure I was surprised. You were too young. I never trusted her. And after she tried to stick her tongue in my ear while we were watching Blue Velvet on your floor while you were at work at the fire station I knew there was nothing left between you. Or us. Remember how you told me we were not to be friends any more? A cold letter about how life was like the air pressure announcement on an airplane: you have to put your own mask on before helping someone else. I wasn't asking for help. I was offering it, shit-for-brains. Because you needed it. Much more than me. So, I'm assuming Kristi finally left you. Or perhaps you wised up to your pre-Kristi standard and left her crazy, psycho-bitch ass. Either way, I was just sending a friendly hi. I never once looked for you online. How's that for what friendship I once thought we shared, you stupid prick? But when you appeared in the search results for my alma mater, I thought, "Why the hell not?" "Just a friendly note to see who you became after so many years." Yeah? Well, fuck you, you goddamned shit bastard fuck prick! I won't be holding my breath as you adjust the straps on your own oxygen mask. And if the plane's going down, I'm glad you're sitting next to me. No, really: I wish you well ... in your hillbilly hell. Every time I drive through Terrell, I think to myself: at least I don't live in this shit-hole town. But I'm glad to know you do.

And that, my friend, is closure.