31 May 2010

Killshot

Ben Frost - Killshot




----------------

We have seen the city; it is the gibbous
Mirrored eye of an insect. All things happen
On its balcony and are resumed within,
But the action is the cold, syrupy flow
Of a pageant. One feels too confined,
Sifting the April sunlight for clues,
In the mere stillness of the ease of its
Parameter. The hand holds no chalk
And each part of the whole falls off
And cannot know it knew, except
Here and there, in cold pockets
Of remembrance, whispers out of time.



-----------------


Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
There is a time for the evening under starlight,
A time for the evening under lamplight
(The evening with the photograph album).
Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter.
Old men ought to be explorers
Here or there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.

30 May 2010

The Widening Gulf



So, yeah, that's approximately my state of mind at the moment.

From the USA Today:

BP hopes to saw through a pipe leading out from the well and cap it with a funnel-like device using the same remotely guided undersea robots that have failed in other tries to stop the gusher. Even that effort won't end the disaster — BP officials have only pledged it will capture a majority of the oil. None of the remaining options would stop the flow entirely or capture all the crude before it reaches the Gulf's waters.

Engineers will use remotely guided undersea robots to try to lower a cap onto the leak after cutting off part of a busted pipe leading out from the well. The funnel-like device is similar to a huge containment box that failed before when it became clogged with icelike slush. Dudley said officials learned a lot from that failure and will pump warm water through the pipes to prevent the ice problems.

The spill is the worst in U.S. history — exceeding even the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster off the Alaska coast — and has dumped between 18 million gallons and 40 million gallons into the Gulf, according to government estimates. The leak began after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded on Apri 20, killing 11 people.

"This scares everybody, the fact that we can't make this well stop flowing, the fact that we haven't succeeded so far," BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said Saturday.

He said cutting off the damaged riser isn't expected to cause the flow rate of leaking oil to increase significantly.

However, Browner said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation that cutting the pipe could send more oil flowing into the Gulf — up to 20% more than is currently spewing. That's because engineers will cut off a kink in the pipe that currently seems to be holding back some of the gusher, Browner said.

BP PLC CEO Tony Hayward on Sunday disputed claims by scientists that large undersea plumes have been set adrift by the Gulf oil spill and said the cleanup fight has narrowed to surface slicks rolling into Louisiana's coastal marshes.

Hayward said BP's sampling showed "no evidence" that oil was suspended in large masses beneath the surface. He didn't elaborate on how the testing was done.

"The oil is on the surface," Hayward said. "Oil has a specific gravity that's about half that of water. It wants to get to the surface because of the difference in specific gravity."

Scientists from several universities have reported plumes of what appears to be oil suspended in clouds stretching for miles and reaching hundreds of feet beneath the Gulf's surface.


FACT: BP is lying to us while they destroy our coastlines and our livelihoods. Their oil is killing animals and plants on a scale that is something approaching unprecedented.

FACT: We know this. I'm on the other side of the country, now, and I know this.

FACT: We're doing nothing, expecting outsiders to take care of the problems they've caused. When has that ever worked? Why should we expect a foreign corporation and a government elected over our objections to save us?

A question, one that has been posed many times before:

What does it mean for America's (by which I mean the Federal government, aka the northeastern United States) conception of itself as a 'government by the people' that the country is so utterly fragmented by region? Or that a candidate needs, quite literally, no votes from the South to be elected? That the popular vote is completely inconsequential to the outcome of a presidential race?

Note that I'm by no means saying that the Obama administration is deliberately neglecting the crisis in the gulf. Every indication that's come my way so far indicates that there's no proof they're anything worse than horribly inadequate for the task at hand. What I am saying is this:

There is no reason to, without significant evidence to the contrary, believe in the good intentions of a government that does not require our participation, or our existence, to remain in power.

So... yeah. Long and rambling (verging on incoherent) rant, fueled by my anger at the government, and, in some ways, at governments in general. I'm tired of dealing with unresponsive systems - and every system I come across these days seems to be unresponsive.


Shoutouts:
DAJ - Seriously, dude, give me a call.
RTF - Hope I didn't freak you out too much Wednesday. There are some things I care a lot about, and touching on them can provoke a strong reaction.
SCH & HEH - Looking forward to seeing y'all. Have a great Memorial Day!


And all y'all have a good one, too. Peace.

28 May 2010

All dressed up

So the new season of So You Think You Can Dance has started back up. Hurrah!

Or, slightly less enthusiastically: sweet. I'll have to check it out.

Seriously, though: the judges annoy the heck out of me, and the freak show aspect is a waste of time, but every once in a while something awesome comes along. Case in point:




Yeah. So that's Teddy Tedholm, who auditioned last year, made it to Vegas, got cut before the Top 20. The piece he did for his audition last year:




Heckuva dancer.

Anyways.

Y'all been following the student strike down in Puerto Rico? Or, to put that another way: y'all heard about the student strike down in Puerto Rico? Somehow it's gotten very little coverage in the mainstream press, but it's huge and it's been going on for over a month now.

From a blogpost by Daniel Hernandez of the LA Times:

The University of Puerto Rico remains paralyzed by a student strike that has lasted more than five weeks, engrossing the entire island. Students shut down the campus on April 21 over austerity measures that university officials sought in order close a massive budget shortfall. The strike at the university, which serves 62,000 students, reflects wider economic troubles in Puerto Rico. The U.S. commonwealth is in the midst of a deep recession.

Students are reportedly barricaded behind campus gates under heavy police watch at 10 of the university's 11 campuses. Supporters have been hurling food and water over campus fences to reach the students, resulting in violent confrontations with police. In one widely reported incident, police beat and arrested a man who was attempting to deliver food to his son, a striking student.

Media reports say support for the strike is widespread on the island, but university officials disagree, saying it is being led by a small minority. Last year, discontent with the economic policies of Republican Gov. Luis Fortuño -- who sought to lay off thousands of government workers -- led to an island-wide national protest.

"Not since Puerto Rico rallied to chase the United States Navy out of Vieques a decade ago have so many different social sectors rallied around a single cause," reports the Miami Herald.


And, from Caribbean Business, a Puerto Rican news site:

The crux of the student strike revolves around tuition waivers, but the stoppage has been colored by claims that the Fortuño administration aims to privatize parts of the UPR system. There are also complaints that the administration is using state funds to build capital works that will pass to private enterprise and possible tuition hikes down the road. They also want a guarantee that the system will not suffer budget cuts due to its formula-based funding pegged to Treasury Department General Fund revenue.

At the heart of the students’ demands is the reversal of a plan to further limit tuition waivers for students with high grade-point averages. Such students currently do not have to pay tuition, but can still qualify for and take federal Pell Grants. The UPR administration is now saying that qualifying students will have to pick between the two, but will not be able to benefit from both.

The majority of UPR students qualify for Pell Grants, which more than cover tuition and leave recipients with discretionary spending money in most cases. According to government statistics, 40,000 UPR students receive Pell Grants. Of that money, 32% covers tuition while the remaining 68% goes to “other student expenses.”

The administration has said that a student vote to ratify the strike could lead them to shutter the system and scrap the semester.


Interesting stuff.

All y'all have a great day. Back to work!

27 May 2010

On Manliness

So I figured, in more or less the mode of Matthew Arnold, I'd just throw a collection of Movie Clips That Are Manly out there - touchstones of awesomeness, if you will - and let them stand on their own, with a relative minimum of explanation.

Manly Touchstone #1: Jet Li, 'Fearless'

It's always fun watching a small fellow completely kick the cr@p out of gentlemen (and I use the term loosely) much larger than himself. Watching him do it without losing that little superior smile only intensifies the badassery.




Manly Touchstone #2: Denzel Washington, 'Remember the Titans'

"We will be perfect in every aspect of the game. You drop a pass, you run a mile. You miss a blocking assignment, you run a mile. You fumble the football, and I will break my foot off in your John Brown hind parts. And then you will run a mile. Perfection. Let's go to work."




Manly Touchstone #3: Mel Gibson, 'We Were Soldiers'

Say what you like about Mel Gibson outside of films. Heck, say what you like about his acting in them. But you can't tell me that he doesn't have some awesome moments of significant manliness. The "we're about to go to war, we're a family now, and I'm looking out for all y'all" is conveyed brilliantly in this speech.




Hmm... I need to get back to work now. Perhaps this could become a multi-part series? We shall, I suppose, see...

26 May 2010

Glasgow 5 March 1971

With a ragged diamond
of shattered plate-glass
a young man and his girl
are falling backwards into a shop-window.
The young man's face
is bristling with fragments of glass
and the girl's leg has caught
on the broken window
and spurts arterial blood
over her wet-look white coat.
Their arms are starfished out
braced for impact,
their faces show surprise, shock,
and the beginning of pain.
The two youths who have pushed them
are about to complete the operation
reaching into the window
to loot what they can smartly.
Their faces show no expression.
It is a sharp clear night
in Sauchiehall Street.
In the background two drivers
keep their eyes on the road.


- Edwin Morgan

More Chuck

Ah, Brandon Routh. You're something special, you are. Even if large portions of your plotline make no sense whatsoever (the CIA is really going to believe that you've been double agenting... or triple agenting... or something?), you've got something that just makes the folks watching keep on watching.



So the Chuck finale was kind of awesome. This last couple of episodes has been the first time that I've felt like Bartowski was anything approaching a 'real spy', and it's been cool to see (remember, if you would, my thoughts a little while ago when we started to see the beginnings of Chuck's transformation).

...and here's some Bon Jovi.



All y'all have a good day.

24 May 2010

RIP Dr. Forte

From the Daytona Beach News-Journal:

The accolades for Monique Forte stacked up during her career as a professor in the business school at Stetson University.

Forte was named winner of the university's 2010 McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching just two weeks ago and was to have assumed an endowed chair this fall.

So news of the 43-year-old professor's unexpected death Saturday morning sent shock waves rippling through the Stetson community.

""We're all in shock,'' said Dean Stuart Michelson on Saturday afternoon. ""She's one of those that is everybody's friend.''

""Everybody loves her, both personality-wise and she's always there to help you,'' he said.

The Columbus, Ga. native taught management courses at the DeLand campus and at the Stetson University Center at Celebration. She served as chair of the Department of Management in the business school from 2000 to 2005.

"You couldn't help but get captured and captivated by Monique's energy, intelligence, optimism and spirit," Stetson President Dr. Wendy B. Libby said in a statement. "She was always ready to take on a new task or challenge with gusto. Our university community has lost a scholar and teacher, leader and friend."

"In addition to being an inspired teacher and mentor to students, and a well-loved and respected colleague, Dr. Forte was very involved in service to the Business School and the university," said Dr. Elizabeth "Beth" Paul, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

"She served on the university's Presidential Search Committee in 2008 and 2009 and chaired the Campus Life Work Group this past academic year. She assisted with the School of Business Administration's accreditation maintenance, coordinating the school's Assurance of Learning program and preparing the accreditation maintenance reports for AACSB International - the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

She earned her BBA and her MBA from the University of Georgia, and her Ph.D. in Strategic Management from Florida State University

Her research interests included applications of psychological type, organizational politics, experiential learning, strategic change and family enterprise. Working with Stetson colleagues Bob Boozer and Nick Maddox, she contributed to academic conferences and published articles in the Journal of Psychological Type, the Journal of Management Education, and the Strategic Management Journal.

She is survived by her husband, Chad Bleuel, and her mother, Ramona Forte, both of DeLand.



I don't really have anything to add. You will be much missed.

Frank Turner - Long Live the Queen

20 May 2010

Evelyn Evelyn

(warning: some clips contain profanity)

So some of us made it down to the Evelyn Evelyn show last night. Heck of a performance by them folks.

Opening act/MC: Sxip Shirey. Ridiculously good. He's the guy on the left in this video.

Sxip Shirey (with Adam Matta) - Moon in Her Belly



Evelyn Evelyn as performer(s?) were/was awesome. Their opening song (titled, oddly enough, 'Evelyn Evelyn') is one of the most beautiful little pieces I've heard in a while, and their cover of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' is just jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

Evelyn Evelyn - Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover)



So after Evelyn Evelyn played, Jason Webley and Amanda Palmer each did a brief solo set (both of which were completely awesome, and a bit more rabble-rousing than the twins' performance).

I'd like to note that Webley is a ridiculous(ly good) performer... and that he also looks, now that he's cut his hair and shaved off his beard, more than a little bit like James Franco.

Jason Webley - Dance While the Sky Crashes Down



Jason Webley (with Amanda Palmer) - Icarus



One of the highlights, for me, was AFP's performance of 'Ampersand' off of her solo album. Yeah - this track.

Amanda Palmer - Ampersand



One of the performances from last night (and I'm chuffed to find this clip!)

Amanda Palmer - Little Black Sandals (Sia cover)



Of course, given that Webley was there, the night closed out with his famous 'Drinking Song'... good times, and always a crowd pleaser.

Jason Webley - Drinking Song



And... this song wasn't performed last night, but I was just really excited to find the clip.

Dresden Dolls & Sxip Shirey - Fight for your Right (Beastie Boys cover)


Yeah. All y'all have a great morning, eh?

19 May 2010

NPH on Glee!



Yeah. New Glee. And Oh My Dear Sweet Merciful Lord, these characters are great big bags of crazy. Great big insanely talented bags of crazy, but great big bags of crazy nonetheless.



Anyways... time for me to get out to school. All y'all have an awesome day!

And here's an Evelyn Evelyn clip to get you going.

18 May 2010

Shema

...yeah - not much in the way of new news (other than that I and NMB and TP and ZW and a bunch of others are going out to see Evelyn Evelyn tomorrow! Yay!), so I figured I'd throw a little piece I wrote this afternoon onto the blog, more or less for no other reason than just to have it typed up.

Here we go round here we who in stillness tremble who in silence whisper here we go round falling down falling down the clay the clay o breath of life male and female he made them here we go round here we kill and do not kill here we sacrifice our will in his peace shema yisrael adonai eloheinu adonai echad shema yisrael adonai eloheinu sinks his voice sinks at the bottom of a well and you have closed your ears to his warnings shema yisrael adonai eloheinu wanders the riverbed plucking locusts from the sand speaks to the pharoah with a snake writhing in the sand creeps from the shadows on a treeless day digs a hole in the dry sand and gives it drink here we go round in silence tremble in tenderness tremble shema yisrael with a handful of clay but there is no water shema yisrael with a handful of dust writhing upon a staff lift your eyes shema yisrael a swarm of locusts descends from the hills


Yup. So that's the sort of thing that goes through my mind while I'm sitting in class. Fun, isn't it. Want to know the really fun bit? I've got an entire notebook full of those that I've written just this quarter! Hurrah.

For a slightly more conventional poem, here's a short piece I wrote (also in class) last week.

incoherence skitters
eight-legged, huge
in the curve
of a glass,
melts with the last
latticework of head.
I slide through
air and jukebox,
push molecules
into turgid order
as I wobble after
each sentiment
I'd meant to offer.


All better now? Brain a wee bit more in alignment? ...don't worry folks, I'm more than capable of writing entirely conventional little pieces, even if I am doing a lot of experimenting with stuff that kind of explodes all over the screen. All y'all have a great night.

17 May 2010

Basketball, BP, and Brinksmanship

I figure I'll organize this post by topic importance from least to most.

1. NBA Eastern Conference Finals


2. UAW Negotiations Update
...yeah. There's still nothing.

3. Florida Coastline: Now With More Oil!
According to the BBC, the slick from the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico is now about 40-50 miles from the current that would suck it up and take it to the Florida coast. Scientists are now also thinking that there's a lot more oil spilling than BP has admitted.

Scientists said on Sunday they had found vast underwater plumes of oil, one 10 miles (16km) long and a mile wide, lending weight to the fears of those who believe the actual spill could be many times greater than the estimate of 5,000 barrels daily.

Researchers from the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology said they had detected the slicks lurking just beneath the surface of the sea and at depths of 4,000ft (1,200m).

Samantha Joye, a marine science professor at the University of Georgia, said: "It could take years, possibly decades, for the system to recover from an infusion of this quantity of oil and gas.

"We've never seen anything like this before. It's impossible to fathom the impact."

Chemical dispersants BP has been dumping underwater may be preventing the oil from rising to the top of the ocean, the scientists said.

The find suggests the scale of the potential environmental disaster is much worse than previously feared since the rig blew up, killing 11 workers.

Some scientists cast doubt on BP's estimate of the oil flow rate, saying the widely repeated figure of 5,000 barrels per day dramatically understates the real amount.


Awesome.

4. Thai Strife
From the BBC, on the conflict going on in Bangkok right now:

The demonstrators, who want Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to step down, have been occupying large areas of the city since mid-March.

Sporadic outbreaks of unrest have accompanied their protest, including an attempted crackdown by security forces in April that left 25 people dead.

Violence again broke out last Thursday, and soldiers are now openly using live ammunition; sniper fire has been reported.

The authorities say they are targeting "terrorists" who have infiltrated the protesters' ranks, but TV footage has shown unarmed protesters being shot in the streets.

While the majority of the red-shirts are conducting their protest peacefully, some have been building barricades of tyres and setting them alight. Witnesses say others are armed with guns.

Late on Monday, the two sides held what is believed to be their first direct talks since the latest unrest broke out.

The government's chief negotiator Korbsak Sabhavasu said red-shirt leader Nattawut Saikuwa had called him and asked for a ceasefire.

But Mr Korbsak told the Associated Press news agency that nothing had been agreed.


All y'all have a great day. And stuff.

16 May 2010

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

I'd forgotten just how good this film was. Forest Whitaker is a truly amazing actor.

Three quotes (from Hagakure, which Ghost Dog is continually reading) -

It is a good viewpoint to see the world as a dream. When you have something like a nightmare, you will wake up and tell yourself that it was only a dream. It is said that the world we live in is not a bit different from this.

Among the maxims on Lord Naoshige's wall, there was this one: "Matters of great concern should be treated lightly." Master Ittei commented, "Matters of small concern should be treated seriously."

There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the moment. A man's whole life is a succession of moment after moment. If one fully understands the present moment, there is nothing left to do, and nothing else to pursue.


All y'all have a good night. I'm going to get some sleep.

no pirate no rap

Lazy Sunday afternoon, techno music and steel drum bands battling it out for ultimate supremacy outside of my window... here's a couple of videos for y'all to check out.

Bender's Anti-Piracy Warning



Next video comes to y'all courtesy of MJH (thanks for the link!). It made me smile in amusement.

Translation of a Freestyle Rap Battle


In other thoughts...

(1) The Supernatural season finale was INTENSE as HECK.
(2) It would really be wonderful if the UAW website was updated a little bit more often.
(3) Congratulations to Amir Khan on his successful US debut.
(4) Good luck Magic!
(5) Exit Through the Gift Shop was completely awesome.





All y'all have a great day, now, y'hear?

13 May 2010

Three posts

in one day? Really?

Yes. Because this essay isn't writing itself, and I'm getting bored with Joan Scott.

My Brightest Diamond is one of my absolute favorite artists. Three songs (just like three posts! Resonance!) to show you why:

My Brightest Diamond - Be My Husband



My Brightest Diamond - We Were Sparkling



My Brightest Diamond - Dragonfly


I once saw a dragonfly
Caught in a spider's web
As I looked at her once more
I thought that she was dead

So I left her alone & I went on my way
& I was dreaming of Paris & Pierre Boulez
But she called to me with a beat of her wing
She called to me & said free me

She said come & fly away with me tonight

I've been up there before
Riding the wind & laughing & open
(til one day that great big black came
pushing me down into sticky traps)
But now I am afraid of flying
I am afraid of finding the black again

Hacked IRL

maybe my favorite website of those that I've found in the last month.

Two samples:



completely irrelevant post

Just spending this morning working on an essay. Figured I'd throw a vid at y'all.

... with the note that this is why people don't trust police.

12 May 2010

This is the new ish

Bargaining Update May 12, 2010

During the past week we’ve had a few informational exchanges with the University over the GAIP health insurance plan and one formal bargaining session on Tuesday, May 11th with the University’s bargaining team and a mediator from the state’s Public Employment Relations Commission. These sessions have not provided the basis for us to settle the contract with the University, nor do we believe that it’s in the best interests of our members to continue negotiating much longer. We have extended the contract until May 21, 2010 in order to allow for some further discussion with the University, but also so that we can contact members about our current bargaining proposals as well as possible next steps.

The University’s positions on health insurance and compensation continue to hold up settlement. Despite the fact that UW has previously acknowledged overpaying our GAIP premiums, they’re still unwilling to make those moneys available to finance our compensation proposal. We’ve gained a little new information about the GAIP as the University is slowly responding to our information requests.

We also have proposed alternative compensation packages, such as fee waivers in lieu of a standard wage increase. One key difference between ASEs and other University employees is that student campus-wide fees are required of us as a condition of employment. While other expenses (parking, health care) have been increasing for all employees, they are not requisite for employment. Thus a wage “freeze” for ASEs actually results in a de facto pay cut because of rising costs of fees. The University has so far refused to accept any of our compensation proposals.

There have been some positive developments in the past week. We’ve had conversations with multiple deans, department chairs, and faculty members who have expressed support for quickly resolving the contract with compensation enhancements for ASEs. Additionally, the UW chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) passed a resolution in support of our bargaining efforts at their May 5th executive board meeting (click here to see the text).

In the next few days you’ll be contacted by a representative and asked to share your opinions about our bargaining proposals as well as discuss possible next steps to win a strong contract. If you can help contact other members, please email us at uaw4121@uaw4121.org.

Thanks as always for your continued support during these difficult negotiations.

11 May 2010

Isn't it funny

how the same song, by the same person, in two different contexts, can sound completely different.

Scout Niblett - Nevada


Scout Niblett - Nevada


All y'all have a great night. I'm off to bed.

Read this, watch this.

Hey, y'all.

An article worth reading, link here, seriously made me angry.

Excerpt:

"The phenomenon of corrective rape is based on the mistaken belief that through the violent act of rape, you can alter someone's orientation, you can alter their identity," says Jody Kollapen, the former chairman of the South African Human Rights Commission, a governmental organization. "The rationale would be that a woman who chooses to be lesbian has surely not had a relationship with a man, and therefore, if she has a relationship with a man, even if it's a violent, forced one, that will surely convince her that the lifestyle she chose is inappropriate."

Sometimes, as in the case of Eudy Simelane, the perpetrators of corrective rape are interested less in changing their victims than in eradicating them and sending a message to other South African lesbians, who, recent studies show, live in a heightened state of fear -- with good reason.

In the country with the most reported rapes per capita in the world, where it is estimated that nearly half of all women will be raped, so-called corrective rape represents only a fraction of the sexual assaults committed. The exact numbers are impossible to determine -- in part because South Africa has no hate-crime laws that would require authorities to classify corrective rapes separately from other rapes -- but, according to the Human Rights Commission, it is a growing phenomenon. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming; for instance, the Triangle Project, a gay and lesbian advocacy organization, says it is dealing with 10 new cases of corrective rape every week in Cape Town alone.


Video:

10 May 2010

Son of man

y'know, I was going to start this post off with a song from CCM artist Shane & Shane, but it just didn't feel right somehow. Serious-type personal mushiness to work at, figured, eh, why not do it here, it's nothing that'll hurt anybody, and it might just help me push through it.

For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.


And it's kind of funny how different parts of the psalms speak to you at different times, and some never connect with you at all. I'm getting, quite frankly, tired of waiting for an answer, tired of wishing that I had one, tired of trying to trust, tired of wrestling with my thoughts all the time. Tired of wanting. Tired of getting drawn back towards the same old mistakes over and over again.

Eh. I'm also getting (just as frankly) frustrated with struggling against the same issues and same questions over and over again. I mean, I'm a smart dude, I should be able to move on, right? I mean, I've been through what I might define as four distinct phases -

(1) the "heard all these sermons before, not getting any emotional or intellectual benefits out of it, but will keep going because I'm young and haven't yet conceived of alternatives",

(2) the "approaching adolescence and don't want to keep going someplace I get so bored I fall asleep and dislike almost everybody else",

(3) the "desperately wanting this to make sense so that I can have some answers about my relations to the material conditions of my existence, but not getting any kind of answers no matter how hard I pray and fast",

(4) the "nothing's spoken to me, and at this point I don't think anything is going to, so I might as well get off my knees and have some food, but whenever I try to move forward I get a sick feeling in my gut."

I'm in the middle of 4 right now, and generally have been for the last couple of years, occasionally (when I'm coming down and/or patching myself up, mostly) wavering back towards 3 for a couple of days.

Eh. Just feeling angsty, perhaps a function of being a 20-something intellectual in the postmodern world. I should just go break something, bruise something, make something bleed, blow off some steam. Maybe go dance to loud techno until way too late in the evening, get smashed until I can't think straight much less stand up. Or I could get back to work on this ridiculously, frustratingly easy essay. I mean, that's more or less what I did during undergrad, isn't it? - just load up more and more on my plate, don't give myself time to think about anything other than the next task?

Time to sign off, I suppose. Here's some music. Something cheery, to brighten the mood a wee bit.

Tim McGraw - Southern Voice


Shoutouts

DAJ: if you read this, give me a call. Hope you're all right, dude.

AMM: congrats, kiddo! fun moments are fun.

09 May 2010

you cannot say, or guess

Led Zeppelin - Kashmir


Y'know... sometimes really good music can get really, really drugged out.

In other news... six days now with no word from the UAW negotiating team. Three days until the bargaining period's up. Any time I hear anything new, I'll update y'all here.

In still other news,



Finally - Happy Mother's Day to SKH and all the rest of y'all out there.



(thanks for putting up with all the shenanigans we got into when we were kids)
(and all the shenanigans we still get into)

Have a great day!

07 May 2010

for you know only

Pedro the Lion - Secret of the Easy Yoke


I could hear the church bells ringing
They pealed aloud your praise
The members' faces were smiling
With their hands outstretched to shake
It's true they did not move me
My heart was hard and tired
Their perfect fire annoyed me
I could not find you anywhere

Could someone please tell me the story
Of sinners ransomed from the fall
I still have never seen you, and somedays
I don't love you at all

The devoted were wearing bracelets
To remind them of why they came
Some concrete motivation
When the abstract could not do the same
But if all that's left is duty
I'm falling on my sword
At least then I would not serve
An unseen, distant Lord

Could someone please tell me the story
Of sinners ransomed from the fall
I still have never seen you, and some days
I don't love you at all

If this is only a test
I hope that I'm passing
Because I'm losing steam
And I still want to trust you

Peace, be still
Peace, be still
Peace, be still
Peace, be still


A Vigil

in the moth-eaten spaces
between cedars and sea
in the choker of gray sand
bleached by honey and ash

in the temple's shadow
between the fall and rise
the last of the old masters
her skin like burnt parchment

her voice like vulture's wings
lamb's blood across her doorway
eyeless, broken, quivering,
hung in a jar, whispers

would that I could rest
that you would let me rest


but in the midst of the clamor
the specter of a man
a prophet fallen backwards
a weary student listening

a heap of broken images

Jen Titus - O Death




Eric Clapton - Groaning the Blues




Robert Johnson - Crossroad Blues


05 May 2010

where the sun beats

Dude. Ross Tucker is kind of amazing.

I say this in the context of his latest SI column, which contains, in the context of a discussion about the Dolphins' questioning of Dez Bryant before the draft, this series of anecdotes:

My very first day in the NFL at the Redskins post-draft mini-camp in 2001, I was going against LaVar Arrington in a one-on-one drill and my hand happened to slide up his chest and land on his throat. It was a competitive drill, so I squeezed his throat as hard as I possibly could, trying to crush his Adam's Apple until he let up on the play. I'm pretty sure something similar wouldn't go over too well at the new employee orientation day at Wal-Mart.

And my guess is some type of suspension would be in order at a Wall Street banking firm like Merrill Lynch if one worker blatantly spit into the face of another, like Gerard Warren did to me in 2004, when he was a member of the Cleveland Browns. Yet I never said a word after the game to any person of authority. I simply took advantage of a tv timeout to tell Warren and the other Browns defensive linemen who had been giving me a hard time, that if they didn't stop I was going to break one of their legs. They stopped.


There's more in the article, but those two kind of stuck out. For obvious reasons, I suppose.

...and here's a song for y'all. Almost good enough to excuse that thing growing on the vocalist's lip. And, yeah, it's always a pleasure to see a cello getting used in a non-classical context.

Choir of Young Believers - Hollow Talk


All y'all have a great night. Off to read more Barthes.

04 May 2010

I would prefer not to

Bargaining Update May 3, 2010

Regarding today's (May 3rd) action or other possible upcoming actions on campus: We share the broader goals of various activist groups on campus who are fighting for a truly public university, funded by revenue generated through progressive tax reforms rather than tuition increases. As we stated in our last bargaining update we are not calling for a strike at this time, and we've agreed to temporarily extend our contract through May 12th.

As an update, we have now received sanction from the Martin Luther King County Labor Council and the UAW International Executive Board.


I'm not sure exactly what sanction entails, here, but I can't help but see it as a good thing.

Anyways... one of my classes today finally got past Goethe. It took us five and a half weeks to get through one novel. Grr. Next week, I present on Bartleby the Scrivener, which should be fun. I'll have to dial down the theory, though, since it's a CompLite class rather than an English class.

This evening, I'm watching House, reading Adorno, and eating homemade cheese bread. It's kind of dense, but oh so very tasty.

All y'all have a great night.

02 May 2010

Yo.

Sorry it's been a couple of days since I've posted. Busy times and stuff.

So the UAW extended the negotiating period until May 12 because the University bargaining team was unable to move on the biggest issues on the table. We'll see what happens with that, but... a strike is looking more and more likely. I'll keep all y'all updated. The latest post from the UAW website:

Bargaining Update April 30, 2010

After two days of further negotiations, we agreed today to extend our current contract through May 12th to increase the likelihood of reaching a fair settlement with the University.

There are a number of complicated issues still to be resolved. We recently received information from the University regarding the structure of the health insurance plan as well as premium overpayments. While we have begun analyzing this information and it does clarify some of the features of our insurance plan, further questions remain about the University’s wasteful spending. Our intent is to continue to pursue and resolve the improprieties of the plan, although this will take time. Perhaps if we had received this information sooner, we would be further along in this process.

In addition the University is still refusing to address our compensation proposal in negotiations. Despite our continued willingness to explore different ways of structuring compensation enhancements, as well as point out to the University how they can fund our contract in a cost-neutral manner, we have not reached agreement on this critical piece.

On the positive side the University has agreed to remove the proposed cuts to TA positions in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Odegaard Writing Center. This is a significant victory, which was made possible through months of mobilization by members. The University also confirmed that its takeaway proposals (eliminating layoff protection, variable pay, and health insurance premium shares) are no longer on the table.

However, at this time we don’t believe that a settlement is in the best interests of our members. Until we’re satisfied that the money available to be spent on ASEs is not being used for some other purpose, we’re not willing to conclude negotiations. Because we still believe that a fair contract is possible, we are not calling for a strike at this time. However we have sought strike sanction from the King County Labor Council pursuant to the request of our members at Wednesday’s membership meeting.


Yeah. So I'm going to get back to my schoolwork.

And here's a video. Slightly graphic, and I am in no way condoning violence (would I do that?), but it's good music and ridiculously well made.

Justice - Stress


All y'all have a good day.