Let’s see. Not a whole lot happened since my last post. I went to the university (haven’t been there a lot lately–being on leave will do that to you) and attended the end-of-the-year-banquet. I usually try to avoid stuff like that, but I won some things and had to be there. It does give you a nice feeling of community, which you usually do not get at this point in the profession (instead of associating your job with other people you exclusively associate it with your computer and lots of books). However, I felt kinda bad when the department honored a retiring professor, praising him in the most grandiose of ways–and I had not idea who he was. Never heard of the guy. Unsuccessfully, I tried to look around the room during the laudatio to see if some old guy was happily smiling. Finally, when he walked up to the podium I got a glimpse of him and realized that I might have seen him in the elevator once or twice. So much for that uplifting feeling of community. Eh, screw it. The department gave me a really crappy office this year, so they should not be surprised that I was never there and consequently ended up not getting to know a famous member of our department, who, without a doubt, was quite shaken when he realized that I did not know him. He did not look at me, but I could feel that he felt that I felt bad for not knowing him. So, this means that for anyone from our department who might be reading this: if you would like to avoid another tragic incident such as this one, you should do anthing you can to give me a better office for the coming year.
Ok, I admittedly exaggerated above–but at least give me a window!
Well, that was pretty much it. Well: there were two fires in the loop two blocks down from where I live. Nothing dramatic, though. Made me consider opening barbecue season this weekend. Bought some sausages. Oh, and Paris is going to jail. Cannot remember when I have last seen every news reporter announce someone going to jail with a self-righteous smirk on their faces. Everybody loves to attack her right now, but when she marries some pseudo-rapper, goes nuts and gets a Yul Brynner-memorial haircut everybody will blame those people that always attacked the poor little girl and made her life hell. Yes–shame on you, future you who is the past me!
Today’s ‘Dick Cheney for the Day’: see yesterday.
Today’s ‘Marcuse for the Day'(written in 1972, but quite nice in the present context as well):
Bertolt Brecht noted that we live at a time where it seems a crime to talk about a tree. Since then, things have become much worse. Today, it seems a crime to talk about change while one’s society is transformed into an institution of violence, terminating in Asia the genocide which began with the liquidation of the American Indians. Is it not the sheer power of this brutality immune against the spoken and written word which indicts it? And is not the word which is directed against the practitioners of this power the same they use to defend their power? There is a level on which even the unintelligent action against them seems justified. For action smashes, though only for a moment, the closed universe of suppression. Escalation is built into the system and accelerates the counterrevolution unless it is stopped in time.
***EDIT: got a new template. I like the black and red thing. Good political solution to the problems posed by free-market capitalism.
God is Change.