Sad News from the Stones

18 April 2007

I’ve been a pretty serious fan of the Stones (not a risky position, I realize) for a very long time, but lately they’re just letting me down.

First, Keef denies snorting his dad.

Then, the Stones have to narc up horses to keep a gig.

And this is just pathetic.


17 April 2007

So I’m scanning radio stations in the car today, and I come across that stupid “Spud’s” show.  He makes a fine Ignatius, but I don’t think I’d like him as much, so I shouldn’t have been surprised by his approach to the Virginia Tech murders.  He was interviewing some therapist or something, and he starts getting into the shooter’s S. Korean background.  They discussed how this wasn’t consistent with Asian stereotypes of aggression (although they didn’t even acknowledge their use of stereotypes; they simply talked in general terms about how Asians are serious students and nonviolent as a people).

Then Spud starts saying that he hopes the South Korean government will issue an apology or at least a statement of condolence.

WTF?  Folks, this is white privilege as its ugliest.  Spud, we’d like you to apologize for Katrina victims who looted food or have stolen copper.  You need to let us know what you plan to do about these murders.  Hell, how do you live with yourself after what you did in Oklahoma City?

In social psyc, we have a concept called illusory correlation, where people make connections between two rare events.  Here, a Korean student is a murderer, and now we start to say that there’s some sort of link.  Jeez, maybe he was left-handed too!

Salon has documented more atrocities here.

I guess it depends on what your definition of “Life” is…

13 April 2007

Here’s some nameless, faceless war protester nobly pointing out the tragedy of sending soldiers to their deaths and killing Iraqi citizens in the name of an optional war waged for personal and political reasons:

In our day there is a temptation to manipulate life in ways that do not respect the humanity of the person.  When that happens, the most vulnerable among us can be valued for their utility to others instead of their own inherent worth.


No wait, that’s Bush speaking in opposition to stem cell research.   He continues:

We must continue to work for a culture of life where the strong protect the weak and where we recognize in every human life the image of our creator

The Healthy Forests, Clear Skies, No Nation Building, No Child Left Behind, Compassionate Conservative, Uniter Not Divider, Culture of Life-War President strikes again.  Mission Accomplished.

Jersey Dispatch

9 April 2007

Must be nice.

Also, quick observation…  I’ve never lived in the Northeast, but I had a prof in grad school who was from Connecticut.  He would always lecture in question format:  “So the frontal lobe deals with planning, right?”

In NJ, I’ve seen a similar communication pattern.  A waiter says, “Enjoy your meal, alright?  If you need anything else, you let me know, ok?”

Is this a NE thing, or my imagination?

Regardless, thanks to A&G for wonderful hosting; had a very nice time.  Alright?

I’m From Jersey, Are You From Jersey?

6 April 2007

Right now I’m in the Mudd Manuscript library at Princeton.  My brother in law works here, and we’re visiting him and his wife for the weekend.  This is a very cool library; we got the tour last time and saw the archives of the ACLU, George McGovern, and a bunch of other good things.

They also have James Baker’s stuff.

I’m writing from the library because the candy-assed coffee shop we went to doesn’t have wireless.  What self-respecting coffee shop doesn’t have wireless these days?  Anyway, it’s a nice place to be, and I had to get out of the house because my allergies were going bananas.  They have a couple of very cool cats, but they do a number on my nose.

Thought I’d share the transcript from a phone call E got from her mom, whom we sometimes entrust with the pets.  Although she’s not always johnny-on-the-spot (almost killed Denali one time in a way that I’ll only disclose in person; sometimes puts the lid on the litterbox backwards so that the entrance is flush against the wall; etc), but like my friend who lets his mom babysit his kids even though she always tries to get them to become fundamentalist Christians, the convenience is usually too much to pass up.

It’s the benefit of living across the damn street from one’s mother in law.

Anyway, here’s the call:

This is mom, um, I’m looking for um Denali’s cat food, I mean WhoopyCat’s cat-, McGuire’s cat food.  Wondered if she had any more I need to give her if she doesn’t have any.  Anyway, give me a call when you can.  I love you.

For context, Denali’s a dog, WhoopyCat’s dead, and McGuire’s a male cat.  Alas.  To quote my mom-in-law, precise memories aren’t exactly “up my forte.”

BTW, it’s nice sometimes to get away, but it was snowing when we landed in Newark.  Jeez.


3 April 2007

Normally, when I say, “I’m busy,” it means, “Well, between teaching my classes, meeting with students and committees, surfing the web, doing crossword puzzles, getting a beer with my friends, keeping up on Jon Stewart, and sleeping an adequate amount, my days are somewhat full.”  But the last couple weeks have been a different breed.

I’ve been busy like other people seem to be when they say they’re busy.  But for me, it’s been nuts.  I’ve been trying to figure out processes for grants and the like, trying to meet deadlines, get grading done, and deal with some major “life issues” involving my family.  It’s been those weird realizations I get only rarely where I realize at some point that I literally can’t get all the work done on time.  There’s always more I could do (such is the nature of my job), but lately it’s been just enough to keep the fires relatively undeveloped.

I’ve always thought that one of my assets in work is that I’m conscientious.  I procrastinate.  I’m really inefficient.  I have ADD (seriously).  But my saving grace is that I care about getting the work done.  That means that, even if my job isn’t exactly on the line, I’ll stay up or get early or whatever, to get it done.  Wish I was more like E and got it done early, but I don’t.  Maybe someday.

So, not much to say, but I’m relieved to have a couple hours to watch the finals of the NCAA (FL is on a mission, but I sure hate Billy Donovan).  A little light at the end of the tunnel as we head to NJ to see E’s brother and his wife.  It’ll be nice, but I could use a little true down time too.