Somewhere i missed the memo that my friend Josh from Oxford is a big fan of the Whedon. Talking to him the day after the CoRo concert:
J Rob Umass: did you heckle his villain self? :-)
J Rob Umass: and may i offer a r.i.p. to the show. tuesday's will not be the same television wise. maybe now i'll have to read or something. bah
J Rob Umass (8:40:01 PM): his [Val Cunningham’s] handwriting makes mine look like elegant calligraphy
J Rob Umass (8:41:10 PM): i managed to decipher it, but only with the help of the rosetta stone
Lots of alums were in town that weekend for something and lots of them invited their College Club kids to free ice cream Saturday night. This was quite nice of them, though hearing that starting last year the Smith book award no longer includes a $1000 stipend at the bookstore if you are accepted and enter as a first-year while standing in line to have ice cream which i would then proceed to drown in toppings is, well, an experience of some cognitive dissonance. They really should have staggered the groups, because my compatriot and i arrived ten minutes into it and it was absolutely packed. You were supposed to (make a name tag and) gather with your people, most of whom had by then created makeshift signs, enter the ice cream room all together, and then continue socializing. I saw many of my first years as well as other students i knew, and if we hadn’t been on a hunt for the West of Boston crew, i probably would have introduced M to some of them.
“I see you’ve brought home a pet.” “I’m more of an appliance, really.”
The first day i went back to work at the Museum everyone was so happy to see me it was real cute. (Everyone also thought i was a senior, which is always fun.) Alicia made me a “Welcome Back Lizzie” sign. (Lizzie Gish worked there last year as well and so now Alicia calls me Lizzie as well, but the next Monday she asked if i preferred Elizabeth and i said yes, and she’s been calling me Elizabeth now, which makes me happy, because that’s generally what i insist on -- though nicknames which aren’t derivatives of “Elizabeth” are usually fine.)
NYT Magazine “ethicist” Randy Cohen gave a talk at Smith. Everything is complicated. Therefore i have difficulties with newspaper pieces because so much gets left out. Randy Cohen’s lecture brought home for me that i dislike lectures for the same reason.
The first half he was very funny. (Talking about the “what if everyone did it” principle his example was: so i park in a handicapped space and run up the stairs to steal some office supplies.) I am so tired of potshots at Bush et al. Also, why can we insult the Right but not the Left?
He told us one about a woman who hired real estate agent and went to shake his hand and he refused as he’s an Orthodox Jew whose religion prohibits bodily contact between members of the opposite sex who are not related. The woman wrote in to Cohen asking if she should break the deal. He said yes, calling the man’s actions “sexist crap.” Okay, i can see why the woman would be offended, and while i think actions of that sort have no bearing on his ability to be a good real estate agent, i certainly understand not wanting to be associated with someone whose beliefs offend you that much. However, the dismissal really grated on me.
He said that usually he consults experts so he can hide behind them, and that he should have done that in that case. Okay, even though it sounds so bad, i definitely understand.
He talked about abortion and said that lobbyists are pushing for anti-abortion bills but that really the vast majority of Americans support the legalization of abortion. He said that 90% support the legalization, that the only people who oppose abortion are “3 Catholics in Alabama.” I take issue with the validity of the statistics, but it was that last comment that made me really feel violent.
He used to write for David Letterman and said he really liked Dave’s philosophy that you can mock people for what they do but not who they are (volitional versus non-volitional).
Cohen on same-sex marriage: Why would anyone want to get married? I’m divorced; I think everyone should have the opportunity to experience being divorced.
I rolled my eyes and bit my tongue and remembered the last time someone bashed marriage.
There was free food (cookies, fruit, crackers, etc.) afterward and i wasn’t complaining but, um, budget cuts anyone?
I love First Churches. The first baptism at which i was present there was of two adopted kids of a lesbian couple. I don’t think i had been present for another baptism until the one on Sunday, September 14, which happened to be the baptism of the daughter of another lesbian couple.
“Once in a Garden Newly Planted” (Peter Sykes - choir director at First Church Cambridge, which the couple attended for some time)
Once in a garden newly planted, infinite Love reached down to Earth;
Stooped in the dust and shaped a person: “Love looks like this,” Love said to Earth.
“Lord,” smiled the Wind, “I know You better – stronger than the typhoon, frost or tide;
You are not like this helpless creature!” “Love’s strength is weakness,” Love replied.
Out of the mountain Fire spoke fiercely: “What does Dust know of truth so bright?”
Love said, “For truth this dist is burning: It will behold a glorious light.”
“All of the riches of creation,” Thundered the Sea, “Come from Above.
What can this beggar hope to offer?” “Some will pour out their all,” said Love.
Love bent and breathed where we lay sleeping, Into our hearts most tenderly.
Planted in earth’s sweet, fragrant garden Seeds of Love’s bright eternity.
I really like the idea of God as Love.
I don’t like the rhythm of “Make Me A Channel of Your Peace” as well as i do Sarah McLachlan’s “Prayer of St. Francis.” I also have some issues with details of “Make Me A Channel of Your Peace,” because it makes it specifically about one god [“where there is hatred, let me bring your love; where there is injury, your healing pow’r, and where there’s doubt, true faith in you”] while St. Francis’s prayer is more about goodness generally, which i prefer.
Unison Prayer after the baptismal water is brought forth:
We thank you, God, for the gift of creation called forth by your saving Word. Before the world had shape and form, your Spirit moved over the waters. Out of the waters of the deep, you formed the firmament and brought forth the earth to sustain all life. In the time of Moses, your people Israel passed through the waters from slavery to freedom and crossed the flowing Jordan to enter the promised land. Jesus was baptized by John in the water of the Jordan, became living water to a woman at the Samaritan well, washed the feet of the disciples, and sent them forth to baptize all nations by water and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The whole thing felt much more communal than baptisms at “home” do.
They did the thing they did for the other baptism i was present for, with everyone who comes in ladling water into the jug which will be emptied into the baptismal font, and i love that.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
-1 Corinthians 13:1-3
September 17, Judge Noonan of the Ninth Circuit gave a talk called "The Progeny of Marbury vs. Madison" billed as "address[ing] the reversal in constitutional jurisprudence generated by the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions limiting the scope of congressional power in deference to the power of the states."
This case was decided 200 years ago and Noonan had 3 main questions about it:
1) Was Marshall right that the Supreme Court can decide the constitutionality of law?
2) Should he have decided it on narrower grounds?
3) Have the consequences been, on balance, good for the country?
He mentioned that there's nothing in the actual wording of the Constitution giving the Supreme Court the power to decide whether legislation is constitutional or not, that it was just implied in the structures of the powers and systems and so on, but Judge Marshall in Marbury vs. Madison made a judgement on incredibly broad grounds that in fact the Supreme Court could do that.
This was new and interesting, as was his argument that Dred Scott was a fictitious case.
He talked about how Marshall's ruling could have been challenged, but it didn't really do much, so those opposed to it didn't really have any ground on which to challenge it. He said it was used 26 times in the 19th century but in the 20th century it has been used 150 times (i think the 150 figure he kept repeating was for the 20th century -- it was his figure for approximately how many times it has been invoked against federal statutes anyway; it has been used to overturn 1150 state statutes). He argued that the vast majority of those cases could have been decided using the powers already invested in the court by Article 3 of the constitution. In fact, the only exception to that was the flag-burning case, which led to an interesting discussion about whether the knowledge that the Supreme Court can rule legislation unconstitutional makes some legislation more likely to pass (you can pass legislation to please your constituents, then say "oh, look, overruled, not my fault") or less likely to pass (knowing something is likely to get overruled you don't pass it to begin with).
One problem i had with the lecture was his talk about how this power was invoked throughout the 20th (as well as the 19th) century to overturn good progressive legislation like civil rights and workers rights and anti-discrimination. This kind of talk (evil government, evil conservative judges, whatever) always makes me suspicious. I thought about the conservative ideals of small government. I thought about how a lot of "good liberal" legislation is not that simple and there are complex factors and maybe it's ultimately a good law but there are lots of reasons for it to not be a law. I thought about the ideal of states' rights. This leads to my other big problem with his talk.
Okay, Acamedia said the talk would include discussion of how the Marbury decision "limit[ed]the scope of congressional power in deference to the power of the states." Throughout the talk i wasn't sure just what his position on states rights was. He talked about decisions decreeing that you can't sue the state (as in an individual state, like Vermont) for something and how that was a bad thing and a lot of the talk around civil rights etc. legislation seemed to be of that mentality that the federal government should be able to dictate morality (though of course liberals would never phrase it that way), that even if states want to do bad things, the federal government should be able to step in and say "No, you're being mean to people, stop." (His problem was that the Supreme Court deemed lots of no-meanie federal laws unconstitutional.) But then at the end of his talk he talked about various documents claim that states have "sovereignty" and "dignity" but that the Court having the powers it does and using them as it does, they don't actually have sovereignty and dignity. I was very confused by the whole states rights issue, particularly since Acamedia (and who knows how closely the Acamedia submitter and Noonan himself collaborated on that blurb) implied it was a major topic of his lecture while his talk seemed to be more "The Supreme Court has been given too much power and used it with lots of bad results."
Jumping off of that final point, people asked about how unconstitutional laws should be kept in check, and he didn't ever really give a good answer and seemed to basically just trust Congress to keep themselves in check, which is particularly foolish given that one of his major themes was how the Supreme Court has not kept themselves in check.
His book is called Narrowing the Nation's Power: The Supreme Court Sides With the States, from which i would guess that he is saying that the Supreme Court has too much power and that the problem with this is that it always sides with the states.
The next night Noonan gave a talk in the chapel called “On The Development of Moral Doctrine.” The idea of any non-religious event happening in the sanctuary of a chapel always rubs me the wrong way.
This talk was even harder to follow than his previous night’s one, though he did say some interesting things.
He talked a lot about the development of moral doctrine (duh), much of which i couldn’t follow.
Morals: revealed or experiential?
I forget which side he came down on. He mentioned that the problem with experiential morals is who decides whose experience is good, etc. Of course (and he didn’t talk about this) the same problem exists with revealed morality, because who gets believed when they say “God spoke to me.”
He talked about the possibility of “unknown sin,” of something “becoming” a sin.
His example was slavery. He said the word which now gets translated “servant” really referred to “slave.” He said that Jesus never spoke to slaves. (I thought it was important to consider the prejudices of the people recording these things.) He said that the commandments re: the Sabbath and coveting both assumed slavery.
Passages from my NIV:
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all you work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
He said that some guy Bosseway (sp?) actually said that criticism of slavery was a sin against the Holy Spirit who inspired the Biblical slavery passages. He pointed out that protesting abuse is different from protesting institutions. (Saying you should treat your slaves decently is different from saying you should free your slaves.) Some Newman guy differentiated between the intrinsically evil (which one must not tolerate for even one hour) and the “accidentally evil” which we meet according to expedience.
He mentioned that Paul in Philippians says that love is a factor in knowledge.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jess Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
This made the third lecture-y event in a couple weeks that i had been to and seen Pat Skarda. “Elizabeth Sweeny, you get an A,” she said. “Did I give you an A? I should have, anyway.”
Liz Carr saw me there and praised me to Pat Skarda, saying that i did more work in her class than anyone else and i wasn’t even taking it for credit. (I did in fact audit her class, but the rest of her assertion = giant lie, and i have no idea how she could have perceived it that way, but i was flattered nonetheless.)
Gee, i said to Pat, i won’t have to worry about recommendations come grad school, huh? Teachers whose classes i only audited think i’m wonderful.
“They’ll think you’re ding-y,” Pat responded, referring to the grad school committees seeing that i took classes for no credit.
“It’s called ‘auditing.’ There’s an official term for it an everything.”
Have i mentioned that i love First Churches?
On Sunday, September 21, we will celebrate our commitment to being an Open and Affirming Church as one in a monthly series of programs entitled: The First Churches: Past, Present, and Future. Reverend James Olson, the Associate Dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University, will be our guest preacher. At 11:15am there will be a light lunch and a speaker forum including Kelly Gallagher, James Olson, Carol Murphy, Brenda Moulton and Peter Ives. The Chicopee congregation will be joining us.
Their Statement of Welcome, which is printed on the back of the bulletin every week, was the opening unison reading that Sunday.
We, the members of The First Baptist Church of Northampton and The First Church of Christ in Northampton, together known as “The First Churches,” invite into our fellowship and membership all persons who love God and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, without regard to such differences as race, ethnicity, age, gender, ability, sexual orientation, economic status, marital status, level of education, or any other differences that may be misunderstood as a barrier to Christian fellowship. We further welcome all who seek God, and we express our sincerest hope that in fellowship with the community of faith that they may find the answers for which they search.
I refuse to sing along to words in hymns i don’t agree with, but i sang along to almost everything (including, in my head, some of the stuff the choir does alone) that Sunday.
(Introit) “Lead Me, Lord”
Lead me, Lord, lead me in Thy righteousness.
Make they way plain before my face.
For it is Thou, Lord, Thou, Lord, only,
That makest me dwell in safety.
[They do this introit every week, and it make me happy.]
“There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit”
There’s a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place,
And I know that it’s the Spirit of the Lord.
There are sweet expressions on each face,
And I know they feel the presence of the Lord.
Sweet Holy Spirit, Sweet Heavenly Dove,
Stay right here with us, Filling us with Your Love;
And for those blessings, We lift our hearts in praise.
Without a doubt we’ll know that we have been revived
When we shall leave this place.
(Anthem) “Autumn Carol”
Sing to the Lord of harvest, sing songs of love and praise.
With joyful hearts and voices your alleluias raise.
In God the rolling seasons in steadfast order move.
Sing to the Lord of harvest a joyous song of love.
The clouds break forth with raining, the valleys laugh and sing.
God fills them with abundance and nature’s gifts increase.
The year is crowned with goodness, with plenty and with peace.
Bring to this sacred altar the gifts God’s goodness gave,
The golden sheaves of harvest, the souls Christ died to save.
Your hearts lay down in off’ring as at his feet you fall.
With holy lives adore him who gave his life for all.
“Gracious Spirit, Dwell With Me” - particularly the first two verses:
Gracious Spirit, dwell with me!Offertory: “Sing to the Lord a New Song”
I myself would gracious be;
And with words that help and heal
Would Thy life in mine reveal;
And with actions bold and meek
Would for Christ my Savior speak.
Truthful Spirit, dwell with me!
I myself would truthful be;
And with wisdom kind and clear
Let Thy life in mine appear;
And with actions brotherly
Speak my Lord’s sincerity.
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm have won the vistory.
The lord has made his vict’ry known.
He has remembered his steadfast.
He has remembered his faithfulness,
All the ends of the earth have seen his victory.
Tessa Peterson did the children’s message, focusing on the incident in Mark 9:33-36 when the disciples arguing about who is greatest. Jesus welcomes one of the children and tells them to do the same, and she talked about how at that time children weren’t considered important or worth including in discussion or anything and how Jesus was telling them to welcome the people no one else would, and given the Sunday, the subtext was palpable, and i totally started crying.
“We Limit Not the Truth of God”
We limit not the truth of God to our poor reach of mind —
By notions of our day and sect — crude partial and confined
No, let a new and better hope within our hearts be stirred
For God hath yet more light and truth to break forth from the Word.
Who dares to bind to one’s own sense the oracles of heaven
For all the nations, tongues, and climes and all the ages given>
That universe, how much unknown! that ocean unexplored
For God hath yet more light and truth to break forth from the Word.
Eternal God, Incarnate Word, Spirit of flame and dove,
enlarge expand all living souls to comprehend your love;
and help us all to seek your will with wiser powers conferred
O God, grant yet more light and truth to break forth from the Word.
Jim Olson, Associate Dean of Marsh Chapel at BU and former member of First Churches, have the sermon, entitled “The Measure of Righteousness.” I wanted to ask him afterward about the John Silber controversy, about how that has affected him being an openly gay man there, how it has affected his decision to stay at BU (and also i haven’t heard anything about it since it happened a year ago), but i ended up talking to Brenda Moulton, Director of the Association for Welcoming and Affirming Baptists at length.
At the end of the service, when you’re supposed to pass the peace, Peter said “Those who have freely received, now freely give” which he had already said earlier prior to the taking of the offering and we laughed, but i thought it worked nicely.
I liked the song “O For A World” (to the tune of “Oh For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”) except that the lyrics i can find online don’t seem to quite match what i remember singing.
During the talk following the service, either Jim or Brenda talked about the story of Philip and the eunuch in Acts . Leviticus says that eunuchs are not okay, but Philip overrode that. (Of course, there was already Isaiah 56:3-5.) Philip baptized an Ethiopian eunuch. Definitely a powerful story.
September 23 Gerald Stern gave a poetry reading. He’s been billed as the modern Walt Whitman and suchlike, but i was not taken with him. If you wanna be vulgar, that’s fine, but your poems still need to show some talent.
Sometimes he was funny. Sometimes he was offensive. Sometimes he was talented.
a dove “enjoying his prettiness” in American Sonnets
He wrote a poem (which actually wasn’t all bad) about a stringbean because no one had ever written a poem about
“egg I had to break with a hammer, omelette orange and huge, I was so hungry”
A poem about a man who had been like a guru to him ends with the line “To my shame, I don’t even remember his name.” After he read the poem to his wife, she said, “I remember his name,” to which he replied, “I’m not interested. You’re gonna ruin the fuckin’ poem.”
“I myself a bottom feeder” -from “Royal Carp”
A former student accosted him during a traffic jam, saying he had read Thoreau and was trying to live like him. “I love you, read something else,” Stern called out to him.
“It sounded like someone weeping. It always sounded like that.” -from one of his poems, the “it” being living
Rec Council showed The Matrix: Reloaded, so i finally got to see that.
Carrie-Anne Moss is hot.
As is Laurence Fishburne.
Keanu Reeves is not hot but is a very good Mr. Anderson/Neo.
Vinyl bodysuits are hott. As are flowing black coats.
Spoiler white-texted (highlight to read): Trinity dying = real sad.
“Do you see her die? ... We can only se as far as the choices we understand.”
Great visual effects that didn’t just recycle the first one.
Gina Torres! Yes, she was only there for a minute, but it was definitely her.
Morpheus’ speech was so bad. And wow those plug holes are unattractive.
I remember people saying the second movie would make more sense after the third one, so the TBC was not unexpected, but everything pretty much made sense to me. Would i need to watch it again and take copious notes to fully understand all that meta-speak? Of course. (And i’m very interested in the parallels to Judeo-Christian Messiah stories as well as to other religious traditions / philosophies. I’ll probably wait until some time after the third movie has come out to seek those out, though) But i didn’t find myself going “huh, wha-?” ever (just “Okay, i’m just going with the flow here and assuming it all makes sense”).
Marnie posted on the Jolt the day before Mountain Day saying “If tomorrow is Mountain Day, I will shave my head,” and lo, as she says, “I come from a rare breed of honest Texans.”
We watched Wet Hot American Summer at tea one Friday, and i was surprised at how much i enjoyed it. SO funny. The Big Gay has never been so cute. “A douche bag is a hygienic product. I take that as a compliment.” Godspell! At a Jewish camp! The arts&crafts children who were obviously all the children of psychotherapists.
This made me laugh.
One night Maria and JoJo were doing “Who in the house would you have sex with [assuming of course that everyone is single and gay] ?” I was amused that Marnie was on everyone’s list. I think it was that same night that Marnie said she was amused that “All the first years think I’m a big dyke, and everyone else thinks I’m straight.” I was struck by the fact that she referred to both identities as things other people thought she inhabited but didn’t actually claim either one. Some nights later she pointed out to Ria (i forget exactly how it came up) that she has never actually said whether she’s straight or just what. Talking like that would incline me to think bisexual if i had no other context, but i’m all over playing devil’s advocate and stuff, so if i were straight i could definitely see myself being purposely vague like that (though admittedly it’s hard to separate that from my actual bisexuality, plus i’m probably lying because i know i’m all over declaring my various identities, so i don’t think i’d be able to maintain the ambiguity -- it occurred to me today that this means Marnie can never date anyone, otherwise she’ll be giving us at least half an answer). Ria said “But you’ve been [i forget the verb here, crushing on or something] boys.. gay boys... and some of them wear makeup. Yeah, that really doesn’t say anything.” As i pointed out to Ria, unless you’re interested in dating someone, it really doesn’t matter who they’re interested in (though of course i absolutely empathize with the “But I want to know.”) and i am far too busy to date anyone. I hear some people tonight went through the house roster and have a preliminary number of 15/83 residents = gay or bisexual. This amuses me and now i wanna see the list. At first i thought that seemed low, but then again, it is 20%. My guess for the other-than-straight-ness of the campus at large is about a third.
Marnie’s ambiguity thing reminded me that one of the things i love about Smith is the possibility for fluidity and ambiguity and play. Straight girls can flirt with each other jokingly or just be very physically affectionate and it’s okay though there are lots of contexts in which that would be looked down upon.
"because I'm meek....well, not meek, but, but" "gentle?" "yes, sure" "well, is your gentleness contrived?" "no, no, not at all"..."you're a heterosexual white male who likes to cuddle with other men, that's radical" "is it?" "yes, radical cuddling" "radical cuddling, i have my own movement."
I was talking with Maria and mentioned that i must have a TMI [too much information] threshold somewhere, but it’s way far. (I do have a fairly low gross-out threshold, though.) Certain friends and lots of pornfic have helped make me incredibly dirty-minded, and this combined with a more general desire to know everything about everyone means that i rarely have a reaction of “Wow, that was way more information than i wanted about you.”
Some housemates were talking one time and it was pretty tame as sex conversations go, but it was very gay, and one of the other housemates kept saying stuff like “Well I like boys” and i’d been present at a previous conversation about discrimination and harassment and high school and such and she’d talked about how a lot of her friends were gay so people were like “Why are you hanging out with them?” because gay was very much a thing not to be at her high school, but she was just like “They’re really great people, their sexual orientation doesn’t matter,” but in this conversation i kept thinking of that bit from Hood and it wasn’t until later that it occurred to me that maybe it was the explicitness of the conversation that was bothering her, because i’m so used to being around people who are so very open about sex and everything else.
‘And we’ve been actually living together for the last four years.’
Kate nodded soberly. ‘That must have been great.’
‘It had its moments.’
‘I mean, to be sure enough to move in together,’ she stumbled on. ‘I’ve never met a guy yet I’d want to share my apartment with.’
My mouth twitched slightly. Cara and I had a running joke about straight women: any time you came out to one she’d managed to register heterosexuality by mentioning boyfriends within the first five minutes.
-Emma Donoghue, Hood
Rec Council showed Finding Nemo, so i finally got to see that. [White-texted for spoilers. Highlight to read.]
The intro sketch w/ snowman was sad.
This movie was hyped to me as something that makes you just die of the cuteness, and i definitely didn’t feel that way. The lines that i saw on antheia-people icons.. wouldn’t have stuck with me if it were not for having seen those icons
Obnoxious overprotective idiot dad, pissed me off. Thankfully it didn’t ruin those sections of the movie for me. The beginning reminded me of The Land Before Time/Bambi. One of my early thoughts was “Oh, a single dad, that doesn’t get done often, yay,” but then it turned into yet another example of how dads suck at parenting, which always pisses me off. I did absolutely love that moment where Marlin is talking to Dory and he says “You think you can but you can’t, Nemo.”
This movie is so sad. I was so not warned about that, and when i told Marnie she was surprised that i thought it was so sad. I cried a bunch of times, the first time somewhere in the middle but mostly near the end of the movie. The one part i really remember was when Dory is asking Marlin not to leave, saying she remembers things better when she’s around him and she says that looking at him is like home and she doesn’t want to forget that and i just lost it.
The turtles were cool, but i’m so not a fan of stoners.
“Wicked” and Boston accent! I actually didn’t even realize that until the crabs were almost done talking; people were clapping and i was like, “Huh?”
Egregious factual errors bother me. “All drains lead to the ocean.” They could so have written around that. And the thought that (despite the post-movie counter-campaign) kids would flush their fish to free them... both squicks and saddens me. And what was up with having a solid shot of “Sydney Water Treatment” and then cutting to the open ocean? Water gets treated with chemicals. Part of the point is that organic matter (like shit) gets neutralized before being released into the open; fish would so not survive.
Darla? My first thought was Elmira.
The end scene was funny and i was totally thinking “Yeah! No more dentistry business for him.”
I was listening to the Christine Lavin song "Katy Says Today Is The Best Day Of My Whole Entire Life" one day because i had Winamp on random, and i always remember the punchline but i always forget the second half and it’s so poignant.
There is a new virus. The code name is WORK. If you receive WORK from your colleagues, your boss, via e-mail, or from anyone else-do not touch WORK under any circumstances.. This virus wipes out your private life completely. If you should happen to come in contact with this virus, take two friends and go straight to the nearest bar. Order drinks and after three rounds, you will find that WORK has been completely deleted from your brain. Forward this virus warning immediately to at least five friends. Should you realize you do not have five friends, this means you are already infected by this virus and WORK already controls your whole life. If this is the case, go to the bar and stay until you make at least five friends. Then retry.Is it an all-nighter if you stay up all night and then collapse asleep in the morning? Because a friend of mine did and usually i say that if you go to sleep it’s not an all-nighter, because you got some sleep, but really, you still stayed up all night. I guess i feel like, given when the sun comes up, you can be up until after sunrise, then take what is essentially a nap before going to class, handing in your assignment, whatever.</blockquote>
i don’t care
if they eat me alive
i’ve got better things to do
-from ani difranco’s “swan dive,” as written on my dry-erase board
Looking for some quick summary information on the end of the Gulf War in 1991 i found the Gulf War drinking game for this the second Gulf War (though one almost couldn’t tell). The best one is
the media shows iraqi children in a hospital because of international sanctionsI also particularly liked
x2 if its because of american military action
finish your drink if saddam actually put them there, but claimed it was the united states
somebody implies a blood for oil trade may be in progress
x2 if that person owns a S.U.V.
Saddam is compared to Hitler
x2 if bush is compared to Hitler
a saddam body double is seen
stop drinking if you see two saddams
someone refers to "coalition of the willing"
x2 if is because a member is actually providing combat troops
you are at any time shocked and awed
x2 if it has nothing to do with a bombing campaign
Talking to Joan while working on that column:
VelmasLizard: Yeah, it's hard. I have to have a specific theme, not be abstract or vague, or bitchy or preachy. *groans*
Gonzo523: You can do it. I've seen you do it in your journal.
VelmasLizard: *rolls eyes* I'm learning more about Clinton's Bosnia plan today than i ever did when it actually happened. Why do i do this to myself? Cate offered a list of (painfully boring) topics and one of them was Clinton being in the news again and she included a NYTimes story link and it was about this Bosnia memorial or something and my brain started making all these comparisons between Clinton-Bosnia and Bush-Iraq, what they did, how the public reacted, etc., and yeah, i'm a big dork.
Gonzo523: That actually sounds interesting.
Gonzo523: I'd read that.
VelmasLizard: Really? That actually means a lot because as i'm writing i'm developing this fear that everyone's gonna think it's this horribly academic whatever.
Gonzo523: Nah. I've seen all sorts of articles in the Sophian. One about how people shouldn't force other people to smell bad food. I think it could use something academic.
Conversation the next night:
Joan: But your nails, yes. I'm sure they are lovely. I don't think I've ever painted mine. I've been a nail-biter since...forever.
I'm convinced that if I stopped biting my nails, I'd become a stutterer or get some sort of twitch. Nail-biting is both nervous release and boredness reliever for me. I don't smoke or drink or have orgies, so I cling to my one vice like a barnacle.
me: Well it's certainly a fairly harmless vice as vices go.
Joan: I guess so. Oh. I'm also greedy, envious, lustful, prideful, angry, lazy, and a glutton. But, really. Who counts those?
And the night after that:
Gonzo523: I'd round up my Kids in the Hall posse to crush your Buffy posse, except your group seems to far outnumber mine. HOWEVER, I'm also a rabid "Twin Peaks" fan, and I heard on the Jolt that they want to start up a "Twin Peaks" club. So I'm gaining numbers. Watch your back.
VelmasLizard: We don't a Smith-sanctioned club to validate our love. Secretly you know you're not as good as us.
Gonzo523: Insecurity is part of our charm. We don't need popular opinion to inform us of our tastes. In fact, I'm sure if threatened, many people who CLAIM to be Buffy fans are actually closeted Kids in the Hall freaks yearning for acceptance.
10 9 8 seven six 5 4 three 2 oneI was thinking about how i tend to identify with the conservative camp because Iraq is the big issue and i supported the war, but then i was thinking that really most of my opinions are fairly liberal. I think the problem here is that lots of conservatives i read share many of the same “liberal” opinions. The problem of perception here is, i think, that of the extremes of both ends coming to represent the parties/camps.
you're done for.
you're done for good.
so tell me
did you do?
did you do all you could?
-ani difranco, "tamburitza lingua"
It’s kinda funny; sometimes i do so much devils’s advocacy and so on that close friends have to actually ask me straight up where i stand on something (though i think this is rare).
Talking to caring, thoughtful, liberal friends i feel like a cold-hearted end-justifies-the-means bitch re: the war, etc. Reading people like James Lileks and Glenn Reynolds i feel like “Yes! I’m right! I’m justified!”
I think i really am an end-justifies-the-means girl, or at least cost-benefit analysis / greatest good.
An adaptation of Jay Nordlinger’s introduction to a National Review book, "We Will Prevail": President George W. Bush on War, Terrorism, and Freedom, is online here. It’s called "A Voice for Our Time: Those who think that Bush can’t talk should think again," and Nordlinger makes a good case for the title and thus for the book.
Rachel Ehrenfeld has a brief article which is pretty much just a plug for a book she cowrote called Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed — and How to Stop It. Let me rephrase. It is an intriguing article which feels like a taste of something larger and then lo, one reads that she just came out with a book. So this is not a criticism of her or her article, just a statement.
I want to read Nordlinger’s book, and while Ehrenfeld’s isn’t really my thing, it sounds like a good book if that is your thing.
People who are still learning make the best teachers...
They have not become set in their ways--they do
not think that what they believe is the only true way.
-from The Alchemist's Door by Lisa Goldstein
This past Wednesday there was an open forum with the dining committee.
I was so frustrated that, particularly given that the forum occurred after we had all received letters with a website with information and an e-mail address to send questions and concerns to, that so many people. Seriously, after Dean Walters did her intro bit, almost every student contribution was a statement about how important in-house dining was and how consolidation would be bad. At least there wasn’t the uber-tension of the all-campus meeting of Spring 2002.
And oh good grief, can we not nitpick? People used this time to complain about things like the infamous North African Stew.
I wanted to ask what exactly were the plans that they are considering, but i didn’t because i figured it must be on the website and i would look dumb for not already knowing that (though later i did look and couldn’t find it, so i should e-mail them).
Tee hee, Kathy, the RADS lady, referred to tea as our “happy hour.”
Are we incapable of making friends outside of our houses? People talked about the importance of in-house dining for house community and my reactions were both that house community is overrated and that surely my house can’t be the only house on campus.
I was so glad when someone finally pointed out that we have been talking as if everyone eats in their own house, but there are plenty of people who travel to other houses to dine and still have tea and Senior Banquet and friends and all that. (I think she was the one speaker who didn’t get applauded, which made me sad.)
I also realized just how self-sufficient, stubborn Yankee grit i am. I certainly appreciate how accommodating the kitchen staff is, but if i don’t like the food that’s being served, i just go without or get a bagel or buy somewhere else. I don’t ask the staff to make me something else. Also, i understand that many people are legitimately very attached to their staff, but listening to the repeated concerns about staff getting laid off [and i was so pleased when one of the committee members pointed out that if we’re trading consolidation for longer hours, we won’t lose much staff because it will be fewer kitchens but more shifts] the cynic in me kept thinking, “Ah, you have latched onto a concern that will be respected, whereas other reasons will get you branded a whiny spoiled brat.”
Is the dining system the only good thing about Smith? Listening to students talk for an hour i began to think so. Personally, i would trade longer hours and more varied options for keeping the many kitchen system as is, but if we need to make cuts i would certainly rather have them made in dining before, say, academics.
One night i was wearing my “Start a revolution... stop hating your body.” and Rosa read it and then said, “Yeah, that’s what I need to do -- go to the gym” (which she had been saying earlier). I always find it interesting how people variantly interpret my shirt.
It looks like there might be 5 people besides myself doing Bodywise this year, which makes me happy.
Do you eat a pretty healthy diet? Every other day, a dessert or treat, plenty of veg and fruit?
Are you walking a lot each day? Excersising in some way three or four times a week?
Then you're already at your ideal body size. You might need a while to adjust to it, if you've just switched from no-exercise and junk food, but within six months, that's who you really are. That's the perfect healthy body size for you. Doesn't matter what the scale or the tape or even your wardrobe of different sizes says. If you're living healthily, then you've got a healthy size.
My eldest will always be short and curvy and very strong. She looks great in long skirts and blouses, in princess-cut dresses.
My second-eldest will grow up tall and thin. She looks great in jeans and shorts, in drop-waisted dresses.
They're healthy beautiful kids who are exactly the right size for themselves.
And my size? Somewhere around a 10 to a 12, curvy as hell with a serious love for long pants and hourglass dresses. Put me in a shift and I look like hell. Put me in something knit, and I've got Monroe's stats now. Exercising and eating healthily for four months now, and this is my size. I could get a lot thinner, but it wouldn't be my real size, and my real size is good. Not good enough or better or okay. Just plain good.
Coming into Seelye 106 at 11am for Logic class one day, the following was on the board:
Jim: You were lucidity last week. Can I be lucidity this week?
Jay: Can I be “dark lucidity”?
Later they divided the class into three for something or other:
one side was “Passion with Jake”
middle: dark inertia with Jay
my side: lucidity with Jim
Olwen makes me want to read LOTR again (see italicized bit here).
I used to call it synchronicity... but my new idea is that we all tell stories. The idea that sometimes topics converge -- the same topics keep coming up, or everything seems to relate to a certain idea. We call it synchronicity. But really, we want things to make sense, to connect, to follow in a linear fashion. Our brains have amazing capabilities to make sense out of nonsense.
"Does a journal become dangerous if you find yourself reviewing your life for narrative structure, resolution, or consistent character development?"
It has felt like the end of the semester already since about week 2 of school. I have been staying up late (but after a week or two my body just stopped nearly passing out from insufficient sleep during the day after my b) eating way too much junk food and spending way too much time doing work which is not directly for school. I am almost never on AIM, though i still check LJ and GroupWise obsessively.
One learns something new everyday. Neil Gaiman writes:
the statement [in the Village Voice article] that "Gaiman expects that it will be the first graphic novel since Art Spiegelman's 1992 Pulitzer-winning Maus to reach the Times bestseller list" is balderdash: what I expect is that it will sell in numbers which would put it on the Times list, if the Times were tracking it, and if 30% of the sales weren't through the direct market and thus invisible. I'd love to be able to put a graphic novel on the Times list (if you don't count The Wolves in the Walls, which is now in its fifth week on the list), but I'm certainly not holding my breath.Follow-up:
(The New York Times "tracks" the books it expects to see on the list. It sends out queries to reporting stores, asking how many they sold of the books in question. If you're not on the list to be tracked, you won't be on the final list.)
Just curious, when you say the NY Times "tracks" books so if they aren't tracked they won't be listed. Does that mean that there can be books that are huge sellers, best-sellers, that are not on the list? Could, would, the paper purposely not track something? It seems rather scetchy and unethical. Kind of like the electoral college...
Here's a four-year-old article from Salon.com that explains it fairly accurately: http://www.salon.com/books/feature/1999/10/14/nytimes/ It's a really interesting article.
There are other bestseller lists. The weird thing is simply how important the Times list is perceived as being.
No, I don't believe they'd intentionally not track something. But it's easy for books to fly under the radar.
The Northern Californian Booksellers Association bestseller list is always similar to the Times list in braod strokes but just, well, sharper.
selenak listened to the audio commentary to “Smashed,” written by Drew Z. Greenberg, himself gay. My favorite piece from her highlights:
In his pitch, he had suggested that in the Bronze in the scene where the two guys turn on Willow and Amy, Willow would snap her fingers and force the boys to make out with each other, make them unable to stop kissing. Joss said no and suggested the dancing boy thing instead, because he didn't want to imply
a) that you can change sexuality with a finger snap and
b) that boy-on-boy kissing is ever a punishment.
"At that point, I realized two things. One, I was in the hands of a master, and two, Joss Whedon being straight is the biggest waste of all time. He'd make such a fabulous gay man."
the_royal_anna has interesting thoughts on the Buffy episode (“Seeing Red”) in which, among other things, Spike tries to rape Buffy:
What I love best about this scene, though, is this:
"Ask me again why I could never love you."
Oh, if only he had. Because I think in this scene, that one, last obstacle is removed. It’s about Buffy recognising that she can trust herself. And I think, for all she says in this scene, it is mistrust of herself, not of Spike, that until that moment has stood in the way of her allowing herself ever to love him.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled LiveJournaling.