March 2nd, 2003

angry - books

Well, i got a fair amount done anyway.

Why did i decide to read ALL of The Clansman? It is so, exaggerated, all of it -- the style... the, um, “license” (to say the least) taken with historical accuracy.... (I am curious, though, as to whether there is any truth in the history Ben gives of slavery in the South and the North. And i’m now curious as to how the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson actually went. And to what Lincoln really thought about giving freed slaves the vote.) Chills when they first mentioned a “clan” and i realized where it was leading. And cringing at the description of the negro legislature -- people make me wanna vom sometimes. The KKK is frightening. Collapse )

The book wasn’t what i expected, though, and i’ll be interested to see what Birth of A Nation is like (yes, we’re viewing that for class in a few weeks) though really i would have been happy to not partake of either of these, but this is what i get for taking a post-Civil War American literature class. And i do like direct familiarity with cultural referents.

Most anything has at least one great line in it, though.
“Like many other Americans, he is a self-made man— —”
“Glad to hear it,” snapped Stoneman. “It relieves Almighty God of a fearful responsibility.”
(Book II, Chapter IX; p. 161)

The magnificent head of the Chief Justice suggested strange thoughts to the beholder. He had been summoned but the day before to try Jefferson Davis for the treason of declaring the Southern States out of the Union. To-day he sat down to try the President of the United States for declaring them to be in the Union! He had protested with warmth that he could not conduct both these trials at once.
(Book II, Chapter XI; p.169)

“As a lawyer in Pennsylvania I have defended fifty murderers on trial for their lives. Forty-nine of them were guilty. All these I succeeded in acquitting. One of them was innocent. This one they hung. Can a man keep his face straight in such a world? Could Negro blood degrade such stock? Might not an ape improve it?”
(Book II, Chapter XII; p.183)

“Ben, you’re the handsomest thing I’ve ever seen!” she said, softly.
“Thanks. I thought you had a mirror. I’ll send you one,” he answered, slipping his arm around her and gliding away to the strains of a waltz.
(Book III, Chapter VII; p.256)

Speaking of things we dislike, Collapse )

Thanks to the Jolt, i now have a visual guide if i ever need to tie a tie. :) Gotta love Drag Ball at a women’s college.
anime night

Of course, now it is raining.

I went to church. I thought about vowing to attend church every Sunday for the duration of Lent, but then i remembered that two of those Sundays include Spring Break, and really i make it to church almost every Sunday anyway.

I am really interested in this, though:
LENTEN STUDY GROUP: This year’s Lenten Study Group with Edwards Church will meet on Monday evenings, March 10 - April 14, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m., at Edwards. We will read a new book by Rita Nakishima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker, Proverbs of Ashes. These women reflect and critique the theology of atonement, suggesting that through emphasizing sacrifice on the cross we sanction violence, exacerbate its effects, bless silence about the abuse of human beings and hinder the process of recovery., We will read, reflect and discuss this book together. All are welcome to join. See Kelly or Peter to borrow or purchase one of the books.
I have decided that when Angel is a repeat i am indeed going to Radical Catholic Feminists.

In my brilliance i realized that the NYTimes Magazine probably had an article on keeping the Sabbath because Lent is coming up. There were some really nice lines in it (emphases mine).
The story told by the Sabbath is that of creation: we rest because God rested on the seventh day. What leads from God to humankind is the notion of imitatio Dei: the imitation of God. In other words, we rest in order to honor the divine in us, to remind ourselves that there is more to us than just what we do during the week.

Talk of God may disturb the secular, so they might prefer to frame the Sabbath in the more neutral context of aesthetics. The Sabbath provides two things essential to anyone who wishes to lift himself out of the banality of mercantile culture: time to contemplate and distance from everyday demands. The Sabbath is to the week what the line break is to poetic language. It is the silence that forces you to return to what came before to find its meaning.


Whenever I dream of living in a society with a greater respect for its Sabbatarian past -- a fantasy I entertain only with anxiety, since Sabbatarians have a long history of going too far -- I think of something two rabbis said. Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague, best known for his tales of the golem, pointed out that the story of Creation was written in such a way that each day, each new creation, is seen as a step toward a completion that occurred on the Sabbath. What was Creation's climactic culmination? The act of stopping. Why should God have considered it so important to stop? Rabbi Elijah of Vilna put it this way: God stopped to show us that what we create becomes meaningful to us only once we stop creating it and start to think about why we did so. The implication is clear. We could let the world wind us up and set us to marching, like mechanical dolls that go and go until they fall over, because they don't have a mechanism that allows them to pause. But that would make us less than human. We have to remember to stop because we have to stop to remember.
Today’s New Moon in watery Pisces fills you with a quiet sense of wonder and beauty.

Life isn't a matter of milestones, but moments.
-Rose Kennedy
you think you know...

"So, you ever think about NOT celebrating a birthday? Just to try it, I mean."

I think Buffy's not getting a birthday this year. The next new episode isn't until March 25, right? and the latest her birthday has ever been is near the end of February sweeps. [Back to the Beginning (tm): She didn't have a birthday celebration first season, right?]

But anyway, i was putting down the March birthdays on my calendar so i would remember to send appropriate messages, and it struck me that i'll be turning 20 this summer. My innards actually lurched at the thought. It's just so weird. I mean, i'll officially no longer be a teenager. I'll be a year away from being able to purchase alcohol. I feel like grown-up-ness comes with 20. This is weird.

PLUS, it occurred to me (yes, this had occurred to me before) that i will be in ENGLAND for my birthday. Weirdness abounds.

(But don't let the Subject line fool you; i do enjoy birthday celebrations and will welcome cards, gifts, etc. I must figure out if i want to have a gathering of any sort, though.)
  • Current Music
    Ani's "the waiting song" in my head
angry - books

I'm beginning to think no more homework is getting done tonight.

In someone’s AIM profile:

Stop the apathy....March 5th, Books Not Bombs Student Strike...walk out of class and give your voice to the resistance!

Yes, because all of us oppose the war, just some of us are apathetic. Grr.

I love the Jolt sometimes. This thread actually has a lot of intelligent and thoughtful posts on various issues related to the walkout. Renews my faith and hope in the students with whom i attend this fine institution. (Okay, so the Joltness has reasserted itself. A thread has now developed arguing over the existence of God and the intelligence of people who believe in such. Le sigh.)

An anoymous poster points out:
the thing i thought was ridiculous about the walkout was a poster- "BOOKS- not WAR!" and then it advocated walking out of class.. anyone else see a discrepancy here? forget about your books and walk out to protest war... um, yeah..
[Edited to add that there is now a new thread responding to that, in which Plump_Apple_Core(.) [yes, there are two users with almost identical names] continues to be intelligent and thoughtful -- and there are more quality posts in the thread, but i’m not gonna bother linking to all of them especially because hello, ongoing thread. Again with the renewed hope and faith in the body of my institution.]

Slim_S says:
I will make a poster "I am Pro-War, but I hate class"

So I will walk out!

Plump_Apple_Core responds:
BWahahahaHAahHAA. Goodness. You're a funny being Slim_S.

There are purple posters about the events this week, also everyone should have a voicemail about the anti-war Coalition's activities (someone from the coalition sent out a voicemail to the HPA, who forwarded the msg to the houses).

The only trouble is I'm not sure what exactly is the mission/objective of the walk out (or what it will end up look like). Is it:

1. Walk out if you are anti-war (against all war, against any form of aggressioN)
2. Walk out if you are anti-the-war-on-Iraq-2003 (b/c it is racist, imperialist, classist, and whatever slogan was up in the snow last week... i.e.: "Books not Bombs" "Make love not war", etc.)
3. Walk out if you are anti-the-way-bush-is-going-about-a-war-on-Iraq
4. Walk out if you believe this war will have an impact on the lives of World Citizens regardless if you are pro-or-anti war
4.5 Walk out if you believe Bush should seek alternative means of addressing Iraq
5. Walk out if you believe this war will have an impact on US citizens..."etceterain"
6. Walk out ifyou believe this war has an impact on Smith and the student body...."etceterain" 7. Walk out b/c of peer pressure to leave class b/c if you fail to do so it will look like you are aggressively pro-war or apathetic (regardless of your position)
8. Walk out b/c classes DAMNIT the news is important.

I'm a bit torn. I have a class that day with an exam the next time the class meets--- so, if a clear, concise, unambiguous statement-of-purpose is stated, I would be quite pleased and a bit more sympathetic to bodly wearing red and stomping out of class (that is if I agree with the objective). hmmm.

I would be fascinate dto know what the teach-ins will be comprised of. Will they be a politically diverse teach-in? (i.e. Melissa Parham to the right and Lauren Wolfe to the left, for example), or will it simply be: "The US is an imperialist hegemon."

Eh, we'll see.