Wednesday, August 18, 2004
I got the key to my classroom back today, so the start of the school year is on its way. I'm sad -- as always -- that the summer is almost over, but I'm also excited -- as always -- to begin a new year.
I keep having this really weird dream. In my classroom (this is background), I assign seats on the first day with authors' names. I put a card on each seat with the name of an author, then hand out corresponding cards randomly to students as they enter on the first day. So anyway, I keep having a dream wherein it's the first day of school and I don't have the cards ready. The kids come in and sit wherever they want, and my entire first day (and by dream-logic extension, the entire year) is ruined. So I expect I'll get the cards ready tomorrow (so that they'll definitely be prepared for the first day of school on September 1).
I also need to buy some new pants. Pic from BrainPop.
I missed out on the whole MUD phenomenon in college (when everyone kept telling me to try them), but I've been really into one called Achaea for the past couple of days. Ergo, I'm not going to make this super-long. Here's some stuff I've come across lately.
Sharon has approved 1,000 new homes in West Bank settlements. That's a peace process for ya!
Paul Street has written a good piece about the Chavez victory.
No, Chavez is not some sort of ideal-type libertarian socialist or radical democrat. He is hardly turning Venezuela into a left anarchist utopia. Fine, but come down to the real world and to goals that can be achieved now and under difficult circumstances and you’ll see that Chavez has earned real support from the poor and ordinary people of a nation where as much as 80 percent of the population is impoverished. He has noticeably improved the lives of many poor and ordinary folks, encouraged and enabled their participation in the political process, and in fact staked his political future on the support and participation of the previously outcast masses. . . .Word.
While we're being serious, megathanks to Diane for linking us to Michelle Goldberg's Salon piece on the RNC. I encourage you to read the whole thing, but here's a good chunk.
The divide between liberal pragmatists and radical seekers of self-realization is a perennial one, and there's a certain historical irony in the way it's cropping up now. After all, in the 1960s New Left student leaders like Gitlin, convinced they'd entered a new era where old political dynamics were obsolete, were notoriously dismissive of the cautions raised by their progressive elders. Electoral politics seemed to them a joke. "A fierce moralism had brought us into opposition in the first place, and the same moralism didn't brook the politics of lesser evils," [longtime antiwar activist Todd] Gitlin wrote in "The Sixties." He didn't vote in either 1964 or 1968, and by the end of the decade his cohort had broken with erstwhile liberal allies like Irving Howe.As I've said before, there are times and places where rage-fueled protest and even chaotic mayhem serve important functions. But aside from the needs of the protestors themselves (the aforequoted Flores-Williams says "you've got to do what you've got to do for yourself"), I don't see what positive function will be served by property damage or vandalism in NYC.
'Boots' at the Olympics? Wha!?
Gap between rich and poor widening? Liberal propaganda!
Came across this spooky tombstone today. (My brother's name is Mark Andrew.)
Sorry, that's all for today! Must MUD and teach Go.
PixelField is fun, if a little annoying.
Today I'm listening to: Delerium!
MadWomen for Peace (incl. Diane)