Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Merry Christmas, O Happy Consumers! My lovely wife got me a digital camera. And I gave my lovely wife an iPOD. We're playing with our toys right now. Oh yeah, the little pumpkin at the bottom is Kutter-- Melissa's cousin's baby.

Monday, December 23, 2002

In memory of Joe Strummer - The Clash,
born as John Graham Mellor on August 21, 1952 in Ankara, Turkey. Died yesterday, December 22nd.

"I've been beat up. I've been thrown out, but I'm not down. I'm not down.
I've been shown up, but I've grown up and I'm not down. I'm not down."

Friday, December 20, 2002

An interesting Texas court case

So you can NOW get in trouble for selling an adult comic book to an adult?
Court records: #1, #2, #3

News reports: CBLDF To Appeal Castillo Decision To The U.S. Supreme Court,
Second Castillo Appeal Denied [full story]

I don't cuss a whole lot. Even when I'm upset, the words just don't come out. I have no ethical objections to most cuss words. A word is a word is a word. I only have a moral objection to language used to hurt people, degrade others, and purposely offend. Obviously cuss words can be effectively used towards that purpose, but cuss words are not the enemy. I can hurt, degrade, and offend without dropped any particularly word; it's the set of words. The overall organization of my thoughts that can hurt people. We don't need to be afraid of a particular word.

That being said. I probably don't cuss, because a long time ago someone I highly respect told me, "foul language betrays a weak mind." Bottom line? Stupid people cuss more than intelligent people. Is this true? Probably not. All the same, it stuck with me.

I notice with my students, some of them use cuss words as if it were candy. Some of them use it as faux defiance: "I can say whatever I want. So there." Some of them just don't have any other words to express that they are upset or sad or confused.

Moralist Christians, in particular, struggle to find biblical justification to "outlaw" bad words. There are scriptural teachings on being mindful of offensive language, but no axiom on the use of individual "cuss words"-- only language as a whole. Maybe the only scriptural justification we could find may be "honor your mom and dad." Your parents gave you their words, intially. As a baby, you developed your lexicon from them. Language is heritage. If your parents are offended by your language, maybe you have a familial responsbility to not pass your newly developed lexicon onto your offspring. You maintain the integrity of your family. Of course, if your parents cuss like an off-air news anchor (it's true, they are worse than sailors) then this may not apply. But for my family, my parents really don't cuss. My language, in all its uses, reveals something of how I was raised. A well-disciplined tongue speaks well of them.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Quote of the day

From Grant Morrison's New X-Men-
"I can learn you to count, sir. You forgot No-Girl in your roll call. Just 'cuz she's totally conceptual don't mean it's right to ignore her..."
This morning I went to Half-Price Bookstore and sold some of my books. These books were among my favorites, but ones I do not use, nor have use for, anymore. Usually, when I drop off books, I only give them my crappy falling-apart books. It was odd to give them a huge portion of my personal library. This was all part of a strategic and selective de-cluttering process. (I kept my Douglas Coupland and Marshall McLuhan books, of course.) My favorite professor Dr. Grimshaw taught that the key to happiness was to remove the clutter in your life. "Sell away-Give away-Throw away" were his three tenants. Grimshaw understood the curse of a wealthy nation and the disease of mass consumerism.

I wonder if instead of buying gifts for Christmas-- what if we gave our clutter away?

Monday, December 16, 2002

I just found out I was quoted in Webber's The Younger Evangelicals. I don't know what I said, but I hope it was good.

Friday, December 13, 2002

Thank you, adbusters. Leave it to those fun-lovin' Canadians to create such a brilliant website. I think mass consumption, in all forms, will be the tragic flaw of my generation. I'd like to believe I am above it-- but I'm still learning how to shape a culture around me where moderation is valued.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

When I was younger, someone in a truck drove by and threw an orange at me. It hit me right between the eyes and knocked me over. A strange day, indeed.
I was evaluated by an administrator on Monday in my English class. For the past three years, I received a rated of "clearly outstanding." Honestly? I don't feeling "clearly outstanding" about anything! Instead, I've faced the curse of being merely "above average" in most things. However, "above average" seems like a nice way of saying "average" or "not bad." The grading scale of one's humanity has shifted, because the truly "bad" people has been discarded as defective anomalies. They don't count. Bad people are crazy or medically unstable-- but the "above averages" are without excuse.
Economics: decision theory -- consumption of goods in a world of limited resources

Friday, December 06, 2002

"Greetings, my friends. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember, my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future." - Plan 9 from Outer Space

I'm writing a new play that will consist entirely of quotes from other movies. It will be a copyright nightmare!

Oh happy day! Douglas Coupland has a BRAND NEW BOOK to be published JULY 2003!!!!!!!!!!

I've gotten to the point in this blog, where I'm asking: "Have I posted this before?"
All my heroes have been story-tellers:
Douglas Coupland, Cameron Crowe, J.D. Salinger, Jesus Christ, Wes Anderson, Daniel Clowes, Stan Sakai, Richard Linklater, Akira Kurosawa, Brian Michael Bendis
Motto by Langston Hughes

I play it cool
And dig all jive.
That's the reason
I stay alive.

My motto,
As I live and learn,
Dig and Be Dug
In Return

SPACE BOY! On the front lawn.
Suburbia is not my home.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

It's interesting to think of how many of us would not be alive right now if it weren't for modern medical science. When I was born, my head was too large to fit through the birth canal. (Imagine that?) If not for recent advances in surgery, I would have died in my mother's womb. I probably would have taken my mother with me.

I feel like a ghost.
"A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Monday, December 02, 2002

Charlie Mingus. Good. As far as jazz goes, I could listen to only his work and I would still be content. His album Ah Um is one of my favorite albums. And now, I am sharing this masterpiece with you.

In my Career Connections class, I had the students write mission statements. Here's my favorite:
"I'm going to be better at life."

Sunday, December 01, 2002

My favorite "suburban hell" movies:
Edward Scissorhands, Virgin Suicides, Ghost World, and American Beauty
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