Monday, December 29, 2003

Back. Had a ball.

Before I go into that, though, I've got unfinished Lord of the Rings business to which I must attend. First, what he said. Second, I have a few words regarding women in the books and movies. This was prompted by a review of Return in the Onion (I think) but it has been in the back of my head for some time. It moved into the front of my head a few weeks ago (months?) because some of my colleagues were using the Fellowship film in their English classes and had some questions about the books. One of the questions was about the (very small) role of female characters.

Put on the spot, I came up with an argument. Tolkein was very very Cathoholic. He was also very close to his mother. These two things are important (as is, no doubt, his status as penis wielder in his time and place and social class). First, mum. That's too easy. Second, Catholicism:

I pick the following as the female characters of note in the Lord of the Rings novels: Arwen, Galadriel, Eowyn, and the healer in Gondor (name?). I will leave aside Rosie Cotton, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, and Shelob for my purposes. Of the ones I picked, only the healer has a flaw of any consequence, and it is basically that she talks too much. Otherwise, she is wise in her way and is (duh) a healer. Arwen, Galadriel, and Eowyn, on the other hand, are pretty much perfect. A and G are elves, to boot, and Eowyn is noble (to boots). There is quite a tradition of Cathoholic female saints, and oft as not they are saints due to their wisdom, perserverance, and all around flawlessness (I'm thinking particuluarly of Mary, mrs. Joseph, on this).

Galadriel is not only an elf, she is one of the oldest elves in Middle Earth. Not only that, she is widely hailed as the wisest and most powerful of the Wise (with possible exceptions for Elrond and Gandalf). Not only THAT, but she is so ethereally purdy that Gimli is ready to hew your ass for speaking ill of her. Not only THAT, but she refuses to take the one ring, even though she is probably the only person who could probably control it a bit. Galadriel, in other words, is just left of perfect.

Arwen is not as clear a character as Galadriel (in the books), but she is clearly important (hence Liv Tyler). Maybe she isn't as old or wise as Galadriel, but she is alleged to be purdy by Eomer (who was prepared to hew Gimli, should need arise, over the debate), and clearly Aragorn saw her as worth a second glance. And note her patience. She waits for Aragorn. She casts aside her father -- her elfness -- for him. She stands by her man, in other words. This is classic female saintliness in action: substitute Aragorn for God and you've got Saint Barbara.

Eowyn first appears as the long-suffering girly girl (doting on Theoden, weeping for Theodred, weeping for Eomer, in need of rescue from Wormtongue, swooning over Aragorn, weeping for Aragorn, etc.), but she soon reveals herself as nothing less than a feminist hero. She even cross dresses! Without Eowyn, you've got no Merry at Pelenor. Without Merry and Eowyn, you've got no wraithkilling, and arguably no victory. After a bit of stony solitude, furthermore, she goes and hooks up with Faramir. She could have found a macho he-man, but she picks, instead, the wisest of the Gondor men (other than Aragorn), and she is every bit his equal as a hero.

In other words, there are few women in Tolkein's LotRs, but they are women of almost unbelievable quality. Flawless, essentially. Rosie Cotton has no visible flaws, either, and Lobelia dies a heroine. Shelob, even, is perfect in her way (a perfect predator: beyond any concept of good or evil).

Look at the men, on the other hand. Bilbo, Merry, and Pippen are frivolous. Sam and Barliman Butterbur are a bit thick. Frodo is a drag. Aragorn has no self esteem. Boromir has too much self esteem. Gimli and Legolas start out as petty racists (many of the other elves do too: I'm looking at you, Haldir!). Elrond is a snob. Celeborn is useless. Treebeard is too patient. Denethor is nuts. Theoden is none too bright. Gandalf almost blows it several times. Faramir has younger brother syndrome, etc. And the bad guys? All boys.

No healer woman: no healing. No Arwen: no king. No Galadriel: no wisdom for Gandalf, et al.

Tolkein's women are pretty much the only sort of women I reckon he could imagine: saintly and REALLY important (if a bit boring).

Whatcha reckon?

Friday, December 19, 2003

Birgit and I are off for vacation to Baja California. That means there will be no blogging likely until at least 29 Dec.

But before I go, let me just say that I saw and enjoyed Return of the King yesterday. I thought some of the editing was a bit choppy, and was a little bothered by some things that weren't there (No Prince of Dol Amroth? No Mouth of Sauron? No Saruman?) but thought that the whole thing worked out for the best. I'm particularly pleased that the last line in the novel is also the last line in the film (since I've come to believe, over the years, that Sam is the most important character).

Anywho, enjoy Festivus! (You people have really disappointed me this year, by the way)

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: har!

Christmas Brought To Iraq By Force

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I did the presidential selection quiz and came up with the following rankings:

1.  My ideal theoretical candidate.   (98%)
2.  Socialist Candidate   (89%)
3.  Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat   (75%)
4.  Kucinich, Rep. Dennis, OH - Democrat   (73%)
5.  Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat   (69%)
6.  Clark, Retired General Wesley K., AR - Democrat   (67%)
7.  Green Party Candidate   (66%)
8.  Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol, IL - Democrat   (63%)
9.  Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat   (61%)
10.  Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat   (59%)
11.  Gephardt, Rep. Dick, MO - Democrat   (57%)
12.  LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. - Democrat   (40%)
13.  Lieberman, Senator Joe, CT - Democrat   (36%)
14.  Libertarian Candidate   (26%)
15.  Bush, President George W. - Republican   (10%) 
16.  Hagelin, Dr. John - Natural Law   (6%)
17.  Phillips, Howard - Constitution   (5%)

I seem to disagree with my ideal theoretical candidate on something. I don't see how that is possible. I was also surprised to see Acting Engsign Clark rated above the Green candidate. Otherwise, pretty much what I figured.

Neat, but I would have thought more questions to be needed.

(Link via Franklin's Findings)

Monday, December 15, 2003

It didn't cross my mind at first (because I am slow witted right now for some reason), but my Spanish teacher brought up the following issues:

-- Isn't it a bit odd for a former dictator like S.H. to give up without a fight?
-- Isn't it a bit odd for a former dictator like S.H. to still be in his own home town at a time like this?
-- Isn't it a bit odd for a former dictator like S.H. to have a gun on him and not use it (either on himself or on anyone else)?
-- Isn't it a bit odd for ANYONE with $750,000 cash to be forced to hide in a hole?
-- Weren't there supposed to be S.H. lookalikes running around Iraq? I remember the number 20 being thrown around. Are we sure we've got the real dude? Can we be sure? Can the Bush administration ever convince me that they aren't making shit up (Dubyah being the boy who cried Wolfowitz) again?

Many questions. Few answers, I figure. If I were a total idiot I would accept that what is being said now is completely true. I, however, am not a TOTAL idiot. En garde, W!

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Here is an interesting take on the rise of Howie Dean (I learned that his middle name is Brush and that he was called "Little Howard" in his youth, which only adds to my snickering about his name) from The Observer. Worth a look.

Here is a very nice deployment of history in opposition to vapid political rhetoric regarding gay marriage [I don't fully understand why ANYBODY would give a shit whether church or state put a seal of approval on their relationship, other than for basic legal rights].

Here is the best thing I've yet to read regarding Jessica Lynch. It is very intelligently written and covers, as near as I can tell, all the bases. It is also nice in that it uses the word "horseshit" in the middle of a very high-browed discourse (always a plus).


Saddam is no longer on the loose, as he has apparently been captured by US troops. This will be a good thing if he is given some sort of trial (although I'm not sure what would be the proper venue. I figure the Hague). Whatever happens now, it should be the model of fairness or else it will very likely not improve matters much.

I wonder if the resistance to the occupation will stop now. The US has been keen to blame it on his loyalists to this point, you know.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Last night I looked closely in the mirror, after having not shaved my face in a week, and noticed that I had quite a few grey hairs in my beard. Sunrise, sunset . . .

Friday, December 12, 2003

So many choices. It is really hard to have a democracy when all sorts of choices get in the way. Things would be soooooo much simpler if, when given a chance to vote, I could just flip a coin once and be done with it. If only some megacorp would step in and help me clear up the clutter so that my tiny mind could focus!

Thursday, December 11, 2003

I've been thinking about metioning this for some time. Now I will.

You may have noticed that the Bushies have, from time to time, offered post WW2 Germany and Japan as examples of how the US can build a democracy in Iraq. Critics have argued that Germany, at least, had experience with democracy before the war, but they usually only mention the Weimar era. I can't speak to Japan (although I'm fairly sure they had a parliament of sorts as well), but . . .

In Bismarck's Germany, beginning in 1870-71, "universal, equal, direct, and secret [male] suffrage was introduced at the outset." (Wolfgang Mommsen, *Imperial Germany* 1995, p 61). This was hardly a model of democracy, mind you, but there were political parties (the Socialists were outlawed for a time) and there was debate and the German Empire was not a dictatorship. In other words, several generations of German citizens (including loads of "non Germans" like Poles and Danes and German Jews) experienced democratic institutions before the rise of Hitler. And even before the founding of the Empire, there were similar institutions in Prussia (before and after it took the Rheinland) and places like Hamburg. Large swathes of what became Germany took the lessons of the French Revolution to heart in the early 19th century, and some parts of it were even toying with forms of democracy back in the 18th century. And, of course, there were Enlightenment thinkers of German origin, as well.

My point is that if you are going to criticize Bush on this point (and I'm all for it), go deeper than just Weimar.

I’ll break from the heavy stuff. Light lifting time. This is, however, not unimportant.

Today’s (first) topic: the candidates’ names.

Clark: Clark is fine for a last name. Sounds very, very “homeland”. But WESLEY? I know he’s a macho warrior type, but somehow “Acting Ensign” springs to mind when I hear that name.

Dean: Again, very homeland for a last name. HOWARD, however, is going to have his ass beat by world leaders. Quick: who would win in a fight? Tony? Vlad? Gerhard? Jaques? Howie?

Edwards: John Edwards. He signed the Mayflower Compact, right?

Gephardt: I know a guy whose first name is Gephardt. He ain’t very macho. And DICK? Um.

Kerry: Again with John. Kerry sounds all Irishy (which, apparently, he’s not), and Irish = cool like monkees dressed as people = comedy.

Kucinich: I like the guy, but he’s got the worst presidential name since LBJ. And unlike big, drawly, offensive, sexist Lyndon, Dennis Kucinich is exactly the sort of guy you might imagine from hearing his name. No es muy macho.

Lieberman: Good ole Joe. Holy Joe. Lieberman even sounds like “loverman”, but I think Haddassa can address that better than me. Of course, his name makes him sound Jewish, and there are more than a few antisemites in the US. Perhaps Joe Loverman would be an option.

Mosley-Braun: Carol is a girl’s name, unless you are Archie Bunker. I am fairly certain that my fellow Amuhrkins ain’t ready for a female president yet. She should change her name to Carl.

Sharpton: Al Sharpton just sounds *sharp*. I like it.

Based on this standard, John Kerry, John Edwards, Joe Loverman, Carl Mosley-Braun (or just Carl Mosley or Carl Braun: ooh! a Mosley/Braun ticket!) and Al Sharpton all have a chance.

Skooooooool’s out. For. Christmess!

Sot we get the candidates’ positions on today’s issue: Israel/Palestine. This is clearly an issue that should be important to all major US politicians, as the US is easily the most important participant in that kerfluffle (other than, of course, the Israelis and Palestinians). The opinions of the candidates on this issue will (or should) bear some similarity to their position on the Bushwars and will be a reflection on their broader positions on the military (coming soon) and general foreign policy (also coming soon).

Before we get to that, however, I must say that I think the position of the candidates on war in general should in some way be consistent. Clark, for instance, was a high ranking army officer until recently, and has put troops in harm’s way (and ordered them to kill) on more than one occasion. His positions should, I believe, reflect his past experience. Kerry, similarly, was a soldier (actually a sailor) in Vietnam, and became a leader of the antiwar veterans’ movement thereafter. We should see some of this in his positions today, I figure. If we don’t, well then, there may be a bit of ocrasy on a hip or two.

(If you would like to see an outline of what the Democratic candidates think about the death penalty, and Bush’s wars, see the posts below.)

Clark: supports Israel’s preemptive policies (including the wall); wants negotiations (from strength, in the case of Israel); says the Palestians are “human beings” and have “gotta be given a chance”; thinks the US role should be to press harder for a negotiated settlement, a la the Dayton Agreement (he was a participant). NOTE: this info is not on his own website. I gather that he doesn’t see it as a major issue.

Dean: wants renewed US pressure for peaceful agreement; idealizes a two-state solution, pointing out (interestingly) that the Palestinian state would be “demilitarized” (but not the Israeli one); P’s must fight terrorism, I’s must help improve quality of life among the P’s and remove “a number of existing settlements.” NOTE: he makes a special point of Bush falling down on the job on this (I see a pattern), and I think it is safe to assume that he thinks Clinton was much better.

Edwards: “is a strong supporter of Israel, and believes that the U.S. has a vital role in promoting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians” (that’s all I could find).

Gephardt: I’ll just quote on him, too: “The United States has a special relationship with Israel and the Jewish people. As president, Dick Gephardt will continue to work tirelessly to foster that relationship and maintain military and economic aid to Israel.
Gephardt will expand federal jurisdiction over hate crimes at home, and he will work to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Gephardt will also re-engage the U.S. in the Middle East peace process which will enhance the long-term security of Israel while combating the intolerable acts of terror that have disrupted diplomacy in the region.” NOTE: moving the embassy to Jerusalem is about as firmly pro Israel as you can get, diplomatically, in this conflict. Gephardt, then, neither hems nor haws on this issue.

Kerry: “Ignoring or downplaying the conflict, as the Bush Administration did for far too long, is a dangerous game.”; basically the same as Dean, but with an endorsement of the Bush “road map” (albeit adding that the US should really pressure the sides to implement it).

Kucinich: Sees the ideal US role as being more balanced between the two sides, essentially arguing that the US has been, heretofore, a bit biased on the side of the Israeli government. Wants more attention to the issue, more balance, and more money for humanitarian/infrastructure aid, less for military aid; wants Israel to withdraw from the settlements and wants a negotiated final status for Jerusalem.

Lieberman: Like Gephardt, Lieberman wants to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Essentially, Lieberman is the most forceful of all the candidates (including Bush) in taking the Israeli side in the conflict, up to and including pressing for more military aid to Israel.

Mosley-Braun: “has publicly called upon the president to affirm as a matter of U.S. policy ‘that Jerusalem must remain the undivided capitol of Israel,’ and has voted in favor of maintaining foreign aid to Israel.” The second bit is essentially meaningless, since I know of no candidate who says there should be no aid to Israel of any sort (although Kucinich and Sharpton are down on the military aid), but the first bit, about Jerusalem, speaks for itself.

Sharpton: Like Kucinich, thinks the US role should be more balanced. Doesn’t seem to have a whole lot to say about it, although he did recently go to the region and met with both FM Perez and Chairman Arafat.

On this issue, KUCINICH is the only one who could get my vote. SHARPTON is a bit vague, and DEAN seems to think things were just peachy when Clinton was at the helm.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Carlton asked, in the comments below, if I intend to vote. I said that I do, as I am a voter.

In 1990 I didn't vote (or at least don't remember voting), but I was 18.

In 1992 I was unable to vote in the primaries because my mom got me a Republican primary ballot. I did, however, vote in the general election (on an Alabama ballot) and had great fun doing it. I voted for every Libertarian, Socialist (possible in Al) and other third party option, then I voted for Dems when there was no third party option. The only Republican I voted for was my friend Jamey's dad, who was running for reelection as a judge.

In 1994 I voted in Oklahoma. I followed the same pattern as in 1992, but no socialists were available.

In 1996 I voted in the Oklahoma primaries. I was visiting my parents and went with my mom to the polling station. Our district was near downtown Tulsa. When we arrived, the vote people said they had been waiting for me. I asked why, and they said it was because I was the only person in the district registered Independent. I got to choose which Libertarian would loose in the state congressional race.

In the 1996 presidential race, I abstained, as I couldn't bring myself to relive the horror of voting for Clinton in 1992 and would have rather taken an ass whipping than vote for Dole. I hadn't yet come around to the idea of voting third party in the pres. race. I also was in Germany, and absentee ballot was not easy to get.

In 1998 I didn't get it together to vote.

In 2000 I didn't vote in the primary (couldn't get a Texas absentee ballot in time) but voted for Nader in the pres. race. I actually went to a Nader rally in DC during that campaign.

In 2002 I voted in the West Virginia primary (I have moved around a lot). As an independent, I only got to vote for a Libertarian county commisioner and up or down on some sort of schools referendum. In the general election I was in Mexico, and had changed my registration back to Alabama.

This cycle I'll be voting absentee as an Alabamian again. I'm not sure yet who will get my coveted vote, although I know who won't.

(If you would like to see an outline of what the Democratic candidates think about the death penalty, look at the previous post.)

I got such a charge out of the Death Penalty platform post, that I’ve decided to immediately follow it up with another one. This one is related, in my mind, as it gets to the basic question of how the candidates view life and death politically.

Today's other issue: Bush's wars (in Iraq, in Afghanistan, on Terror, and otherwise)

I should note that Afghanistan is not a topic that engages most of the candidates very much.

Clark: questions how Bush has done, but supports basic concepts of Bush's wars; mostly wants exit strategies and diplomacy and whatnot.

Dean: opposed the Iraq war from jump street and thinks Bush is doing an awful job with it now; supported the war in Afghanistan (as near as I can tell) but thinks Bush is doing a less than good job with it now; supports the broad concept of a War on Terror but . . .

Edwards: supported Iraq war, questions how bush has done; supported Afghanistan war, questions how Bush has done; supports the War on Terror but wants US to work more closely with allies (would create a separate anti Terror agency).

Gephardt: supported both wars, not much to say about either; supports War on Terror and says it is being fought "right here on the streets of our heartland."

Kerry: supported Iraq war, but wishes he hadn't; supported Afghanistan war and played "a prominent role in crafting legislation authorizing the use of force to remove the Taliban and destroy al Qaeda's terrorist infrastructure"; supports the War on Terror but wants more work with allies.

Kucinich: opposed the Iraq war from jump street; same thing with Afghanistan; thinks terrorism is best dealt with by questioning the causes and dealing with things in a generally more diplomatic and legal manner.

Lieberman: supported Iraq war (doesn't have much to say about it); supported Afghanistan war (ditto); supports War on Terror (ditto).

Mosley-Braun: opposed the Iraq war from jump street; ditto for Afghanistan; see Kucinich.

Sharpton: See M-B and Kucinich.

On the question of the Bush wars, KUCINICH, MOSLEY-BRAUN, SHARPTON and (perhaps) DEAN could get my vote.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Now that Al Gore has thrown his support behind Howard Dean, I feel compelled to try to sort out where I stand on the various Democrats running for the nomination. I’ve decided to sort by issue category. For the purposes of this sorting, I am not considering who seems most likely to be successful. I’m just going by what they say and what they have done, and relying largely on their official websites. I will blog on the issues in no particular order of importance.

It is worth noting, perhaps, that Carol Mosely-Braun’s and Al Sharpton’s official websites seem to be dead.

Today’s issue: the Death Penalty

Clark: supports it, but has expressed concerns with the way in which it is applied and would support a review of all cases.

Dean: supports it for “extreme and heinous” crimes, but has expressed concerns with the way in which it is applied and would support a review of all cases.

Edwards: supports it, I think (although his website doesn’t say anything in particular about it)

Gephardt: supports it, I think (although his website doesn’t say anything in particular about it)

Kerry: supports it, but has expressed concerns with the way in which it is applied and would support a review of all cases.

Kucinich: opposes it as racist, classist, and immoral.

Lieberman: supports it, but has expressed concerns with the way in which it is applied

Mosley-Braun: opposes it as racist, classist, and immoral.

Sharpton: opposes it as racist, classist, and immoral.

On this issue, KUCINICH, MOSLEY-BRAUN, and SHARPTON could get my vote.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

I am 21% American and Proud!

I was just reading Salvador Dali, Fascist and recalled an interesting anecdote.

My friend Guille's grandparents apparently knew Dali. Once, while he was over for dinner with his wife, the two of them got into some sort of argument which ended in Dali beating his wife nearly senseless with his walking stick.

I *think* I'm remembering this story correctly.

A friend of ours just had her 51st birthday and we put together a 4 cd set of a song from each year of her life. I'm fairly proud of the result, despite having been hamstrung by such considerations as "will she like it?"

Whatcha think?

1952 NAT KING COLE Unforgettable 1953 EARTHA KITT Smoke Gets In Your Eyes 1954 HELEN MERRILL You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To 1955 DINAH WASHINGTON I Get a Kick Out of You 1956 FRANK SINATRA You Make Me Feel So Young 1957 PATSY CLINE Walkin’ After Midnight 1958 FATS DOMINO Whole Lotta Lovin’ 1959 DINAH WASHINGTON What a Difference a Day Makes 1960 MEL TORME AND THE MELTONES What Is this Thing Called Love? 1961 BOBBY DARIN You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby 1962 ETTA JAMES At Last
1963 SHIRLEY HORN Love for Sale 1964 SHIRLEY BASSEY Goldfinger
1965 SIMON AND GARFUNKEL The Sounds of Silence 1966 THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS California Dreamin’ 1967 JEFFERSON AIRPLANE White Rabbit 1968 ROLLING STONES Sympathy for the Devil 1969 JIMI HENDRIX Crosstown Traffic 1970 LED ZEPPLIN Whole Lotta Love 1971 JOHN LENNON Imagine 1972 STEVIE WONDER Superstition 1973 THE WHO Love Reign O’er Me 1974 BOB MARLEY No Woman No Cry 1975 FLEETWOOD MAC Landslide 1976 DAVID BOWIE Young Americans 1977 SUSAN SARANDON Touch-a Touch Me bonus TIM CURRY Sweet Transvestite 1978 BEE GEES You Should be Dancin’ 1979 BLONDIE Heart of Glass 1980 PINK FLOYD (Roger Waters) Another Brick in the Wall 1 and 2 1981 QUEEN/DAVID BOWIE Under Pressure 1982 PRINCE 1999 1983 EURYTHMICS Sweet Dreams (are made of this) 1984 POLICE Wrapped Around Your Finger 1985 SADE Smooth Operator 1986 PETER GABRIEL In Your Eyes 1987 SUZANNE VEGA Luka 1988 GIPSY KINGS Baila Me 1989 U2 All I Want is You 1990 SINEAD O’CONNOR Nothing Compares 2 U 1991 REM Losing My Religion 1992 TORI AMOS Crucify 1993 BJORK Human Behavior 1994 BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Streets of Philadelphia 1995 DAVE MATTHEWS BAND Ants Marching 1996 ALANIS MORISSETTE You Learn 1997 JAMARAQUAI Virtual Insanity 1998 THE VERVE Bittersweet Symphony 1999 SHERYL CROW My Favorite Mistake 2000 SANTANA/MANA Corazon Espinado 2001 STING Desert Rose 2002 NIKKA COSTA Push and Pull 2003 COLDPLAY Clocks
BONUS "Birthday" by the Beatles

Friday, December 05, 2003

So now the BBC is reporting that the Israelis 'misread' Iraqi threat.

Other than the (very popular) fallback argument that Saddam Hussein was, ahem, not the nicest of all the former US puppets in the world, which pro-war argument has any shred of credibility left?

-- weapons? Still waiting.
-- bring stability to the region? Still waiting.
-- freedom and goodness for Iraqis? Still waiting (I will accept that some people in Iraq must be better off now than they were before)
-- war on terror? Ask the Russians, Turks, Brits, Saudis, Afghans, and Iraqis how that's going.

I suppose the "objective good" argument could still be used . . . the whole "even if it sucks by every measurable standard, it is still the right thing to do" philosophy that has made international relations so pleasurable for so long.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Chris adds, if I may be so bold as to restate his comment without quoting, that in some careers there can be a huge difference in pay (and, I assume, working conditions) based one whether (or what kind of) degree you have. Knowing how to do something, in other words, is all well and good, but some employers also want an official looking (and very expensive) piece of paper from you as well.

The moral of the story: follow your dreams, but never forget that the rest of the world might be following a slightly different dream.

I know that in my current job, I make more than most of my colleagues because I have an MA. One of my colleagues makes more than me because he has a Ph.D. Another gets the Ph.D. pay because he has a J.D. That's the way of things. No one cares much whether we are all capable of the same level of performance.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Shelley says:

"You get out of college what you put into it: no more, no less."

I would add only that I put lots of money into college and, as yet, haven't gotten any out that I couldn't have otherwise gotten.

I hear "Revolution 1" by the Beatles.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Woo hoo! We're off and rolling with my "save the children" campaign! We've already got additions to the list.

Of course, the additions are *really* corrections, since I took Carlton our of context. Here they are anyway:

"Well, those were principles that *I* need to follow. For students, I would simply suggest the fundamentals:
Make sure your professor knows your name, and associates you with hard work and serious inquiry (whatever the truth may be).
Work out the eating and sleeping on your own.
Major in something you like. Don't expect to do anything related to that, however." (Carlton King, esq.)

Scott's 4 Peoples' Principles left Carlton a little cold. I find myself agreeing with both of them (which is not an entirely new experience).

Now I think (therefore I am [bored]) I'll solicit further advice for students from the great heaving mass that is my readership. I don't expect much, since I only know of 5 people who look at my blog with any regularity (two of whom are Carlton and Scott) and don't have a sitemeter, but it's all about the trying. Just in case posterity googles, I'll give it a catchy title.


(Scott's rules)
* Never turn down free food.
* Home is anywhere that keeps the rain off your head.
* Sleep is optional.
* College will make you obsessive-compulsive.

(Carlton's rules [paraphrased])
* Be careful of what and how much you eat.
* Nesting can be very important.
* "Sleep is vital."

(my first set of rules)
* To thine own self be true. (not mine, but I like it)
* Don't plagiarize.
* Lock the door when you masturbate.
* Learn to cook.
* Don't let anyone other than your conscience determine your career path.
* Listen to all advice and think about it, but don't be so quick to follow it.

If someone has any suggestions, I will add them. If I think of anything pithy, I'll add that as well.

I heard "Julia" by the Beatles, "The Dirty Boogie" by the Brian Setzer Orchestra, "4:33 AM (Running Shoes)" by Roger Waters, and "Desire" by U2.