Dystopia, USA

Courtesy of metafilter

Some kid has been arrested for, of all things, writing a story where his school got blowed up. ( for those us who remember celebrity blow up from SCTV "It blowed up good. It blowed up real good.") Actually the story is about an armed invasion of his school, which was apparently inspired by his Adobe Pagemaker tutorial which included instructions on hurricane evacuation.

Well the kid, it seems, needs help ( no not psychological help you nit, I meant web support). There is a website and also a bulletin board. Now I can understand that you have nothing to say about nonsensical rantings about greek mythology, but this, for me, is a very serious issue.

I'm a hard core believer in the first amendment. HARD CORE. I'm one of those people who believed that the KKK had the right to have their little parade. ( And I was right-the KKK parade had about 30 people, whereas the protest to the KKK ranked I believe in the hundreds at least-) This is not to say that I support the KKK in any way shape or form, BUT AS LONG AS THEY ARE JUST TALKING I have no problem. If their speech becomes a clear and present danger like the nuremberg files that's another story. Scroll down and you notice that they ask supporters to find information on Photos or videotapes of the abortionist, their car, their house, friends, and anything else of interest (as many and as recent as possible);

2) Current and past personal data including date and place of birth, home and business addresses and phone numbers, Social Security numbers, automobile plate numbers, names and birthdates of spouse(s), children and friends;

Now is me or does this sound very much like the behavior of Kaiser Soze?

"He ( Soze) lets the last Hungarian go, and he goes running. He ( Soze) waits until his wife and kids are in the ground and he goes after the rest of the mob. He kills their kids, he kills their wives, he kills their parents and their parents' friends.He burns down the houses they live in and the stores they work in, he kills people that owe them money."

( for the whole script to the usual suspects, go here )

Basically, I'm not for any of these groups, KKK included, but they have the right to PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY just as we have the right to peaceful assemble and tell them to shut the hell up ( and we often do). They start targeting my kids ( yes my invisible non existent children) with a scope rifle and you can bet that I am all for pulling their site down.

But here is a kid who wrote a freakin' story. And certainly violence has long been a staple of writing, and revenge fantasies as well. I'm a big believer in using creative means to purge hostile impulses ( that's basically the whole reason bunniblog exists), but how can that happen when people are so afraid of what is written? They obviously aren't aquianted with Freudian theories of repressing impulses. If a person has an impulse, it needs to be expressed in some form. The impulse need not be expressed directly. An example? Let's say I want to have sex with a guy in my office. I don't but let's just say. And let's say he has a girlfriend or we're friends or I just don't want to ruin my office rep. But the impulse is there. Now if I totally repress it, and don't tell anyone and try not think about it, in the Freudian theory, the more I repress it the stronger the impulse would get until I have no choice, but to throw him down on the floor of my office and rip his clothes off with my teeth. But let's say, I had some alternative form of expression. Let's say I wrote a story about a girl who has an affair with a guy at work. Or maybe I blog about my impulse/fantasy. Although not expressed directly, theoretically the impulse has found expression. Everyone is happy, I haven't compromised my work situation, but my urge has found some form of expression and maybe I've entertained the masses to boot.

So when a kid writes about an armed take over of his school, maybe he is venting hostility-or maybe, and I'm shocked no one has thought of this-maybe the story is an expression of his fear/anxiety of such a prospect occuring in his school. It could be a fear of another Columbine or a fear of another sept 11th on a smaller scale. Or maybe the story is about something totally unrelated. Maybe it is a metaphoric expression of his feelings about his adolescence or a symbolic representation of his homelife or MAYBE IT'S FIFTY THOUSAND OTHER THINGS. CRIKEY WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH OKLAHOMA THAT THEY HAVE THIS TIME AND RESOURCE TO PUNISH A KID ABOUT ONE LOUSY STORY.

On the other hand, if this goes through it might be helpful to me in my line of work. My threats of failing grades make no impression, maybe this will work:

"Listen, I want all of your work in Times New Roman. Not Courier. Not Helectiva. Not Dingbats. JUST TIMES NEW ROMAN. And if I get any other font, you'll be doing 7 to fucking 10 in Attica."

I joke, I joke.

Fiction has often come under attack for "inciting violence." American Psycho was apparently found by the bed of a convicted bomber. This spawned a great deal of controversy and push that the book should be banned despite the fact that the book contains no bombs nor did the bomber re-enact any scenes from the novel. On the movie front, John Grisham, in an act of what I can only call grand hypocrisy, wrote an essay "Unnatural Born Killers" which alleged that Oliver Stone's movie caused not only one pair of drugged addled emotionally disturbed teenagers to shoot two innocent people, but "several copy cat killers". This despite evidence in the essay that strongly suggests Grisham NEVER EVEN SAW THE FILM. Stephen King, who writes about ghoulies and ghosties as well as aliens, tiny goblins that live in the walls, giant spiders, has come under fire as well. ( Apperently a young man killed a woman because after reading "Salem's Lot" he became convinced he needed blood to survive.) Generally the incitement of violence label is way some groups try to greenlight censorship. ( This trend is very clear with music as well.)

For a more detailed and interesting history of the first amendment and the many myriad ways it has come under fire Charles Rembar has written a great book called the End of Obscenity . One of the most interesting developments of the first amendment was how sexual acts were originally allowed to stand in fiction. Initially the Supremem Court ruled that sexual acts could be represented in fiction AS LONG AS THEY WERE SO HORRIFIC THAT NO ONE WOULD WANT TO ACT THEM OUT. And this was their idea of healthy. This is how Ulysses by James Joyce was allowed to be published. It's a fascinating book and I highly recommend it. It brings home that although we stand on freedom of speech as an inviolable right, that right was often threatened. Not only were books banned in the earlier part of this century, but if a bookseller sold such a book HE WAS LOOKING AT JAIL TIME. Not only were the author and the publisher in trouble with the law, but the person who sold the book could be arrested. And yes, in New York, Henry Miller himself was tried for Tropic of Cancer.

Aren't you glad I have nothing better to do on a friday night?

Ten reasons why I am not sorry I don't have a date tonight

"...surely, surely it was possible, she said to herself in some sort of panic, to make something of one's life and be a woman. Surely." Still Life by A.S. Byatt

Ok I look fabulous. I just got my hair dyed. My make up is perfect. Despite the fact that EVERYTHING ELSE IN MY LIFE, aside from my cat, is an utter mess, I do at least look good on a friday night. Not that I have anyone to impress with it. So I decided to dedicate tonight's blogging to the ten worst dating moments ( so far) of my life. Rationalization anyone?

10.Miss Popularity at Dick's Bar

When I was a sophmore I met a guy I was sure was gay. I mean, no leeway, no maybe he's gay maybe he's european. He was, as my friend Jin likes to say "All the way gay." But he told me he was bi but leaned towards straight. He also produced a long line of girlfriends. Anyway he asked me out, and since I was going through what would end up being a four year dry spell ( also known as college) I said yes. We went out on a date. He was great: fun, conversational, exciting. He also didn't try to jump down my blouse. He dropped me off at my door- a kiss on the lips and he's gone. Second date less exciting. I saw now he wasn't talking to me so much as performing for me. Still he was better than sitting at home, and he was a perfect gentleman. He got a cab to take us home-he lived closer so the cab dropped him first, but he gave me money for the whole ride. ( Hey most of the college guys I dated were cheap.) Again-just a kiss. The next time he called he told me he was ref-ing a pool game at a bar around the corner from me-Dick's bar to be specific. He told me to come on down.

Well, Dick's bar is a gay dive. Oh yeah. It's right up there with the Manhole in terms of gay bars. So I walk in, and because I was an acting major, you put me in a whole room of fags, well, I don't need to click my heels together because sister I'm home. Sure enough I was very popular. I had all these gay men buying me beers ( they thought I was cute in the same way I think little dogs are cute). They all fussed over me. This one depressed queen at the bar liked me a great deal and told me I had "an old soul" ( How very 1969 of him).

Anyway it became very clear that my "boyfriend" knew everyone there and was a regular. To top it all off he came over and apologized to me for being "Miss Popularity." Yep, he referred to himself as Miss Popularity.

Needless to say I wasn't too upset or surprised by this grand revelation. What was shocking was that Miss Popularity called me a week later to ask why I hadn't returned his calls. "uh, you're gay" He was very upset.
"How could say that to me?" "Maybe because you took me to a gay bar where you were clearly well known. Somehow I think you were trying to tell me something there." Well he was very indignant so I told him that perhaps I was too conventional for him and ended it there.

9. The Vanishing Act
This is a condensed entry. This is for everytime I had a fabulous time on a date, and the guy seemed to have a fabulous time, and he goes on and on about how much he can't wait to see me again and then never calls. People, I can take it. If it was just an ok experience or whatever just frickin' tell me.

The best example of this was Vampire Hunter D who chose to vanish after about two months of dating because he thought it "would be easier for me." It sent me into a suicidal depression for two months. I had to go on anti depressant medication for the first time. Nearly tore myself apart trying to figure out what I had done wrong, when he had simply gone back to his crazy former girlfriend. Well, it would have been a lot easier on me if I had known that. Ahem.

8. "I'm crazy in love with you."

Ah yes, Speed Freak confessed his love to me on OUR SECOND DATE. I responded with "You don't know me." And he said "That's why it's crazy."

Crazy was right. By the end of our second month together he revealed himself to be an out of work for a year computer programmer who was addicted to Speed and wasn't even proficent in bed. I will give him the props he deserves however-he was a good cook, and he took good care of me physically, but he also didn't understand depression. That, however, is a California thing. ( California doesn't have depression like New York has depression. Really. There should be a special classification in the DSM four for New York Depression.)

7. "What is your bra size?"

You'd be surprised how many men ask me this question on first dates or even BEFORE first dates. I get a lot of variations on it like are your breasts real? Or my personal favorite "Oh I could tell your breasts were real." Yeah, right. Guys, most of you can't figure out that my hair is dyed, I think the real breasts are a bit beyond you. If they are well done by a fabulous surgeon the only way you can tell is if the girl lies down.

And I know men are endlessly fascinated by boobs. As Kevin Pollock said in his one hour HBO special, boobs on a stick could go by and men would stare at them. Steve Martin is fond of saying that is he had breasts he would stay home and play with them all day. Well, with all due respect Steve they just aren't that entertaining. It's not like there are so many craft projects I can use them for ( book shelves? cd holders?). And I know men like'em and I'm fairly attached to 'em, but I'd rather not talk about them with some guy I barely know. And I know Jin would be in favor of me responding to a guy in kind with "I'll tell you, if you tell me your jock size." But the sad truth is that men have no problem generally talking about this part of their anatomy and they would probably take my response as a good sign.

6. "I'm kind of seeing this girl casually, but if she saw us together she would kill us both"

This is more than just one entry but I'm condensing it. This is to all the guys who have girlfriends but try and cover it in all those not too subtle ways. Another great moment from earlier this year "I'm in the process of breaking up with my girlfriend." What is it? Performance art?

5. Is that a robe you're wearing or are you just happy to see me?

Yes, I've already blogged about this travesty date,so I'm not going to write it all again, but since we live in the same neighborhood I actually see him from time to time. He waves at me and get a shiver down my spine and RUN.

4."Has anyone ever asked you to dress up like a little girl before?"

Yep, I was actually asked this question on a first date. And the sad part is the answer is YES. I went out with a guy for a few dates who seemed like a normal person until he asked me not only to dress up like a 13 year old girl, but then asked if it would be ok for him to pretend to rape me. I was so shocked I started laughing. His response was classic:
"Yeah, I was just joking. I would never want to do that........but really, could I?"

The answer was no. I didn't return his phone calls for a year. He still calls. In fact, he called about a month ago to tell me he was in neightborhood and asked me if he could stop by. I told him no. Thankfully he has no idea where I live.

3.Disney locking himself in my bathroom before my trip. -Don't make me go through that one again.

2."I just looked at your profile again and I realized it said 4' 10". I'm not sure if that is too short for me. Is that shallow of me?"

Uh, yes. I actually got an email of interest through snatch.com. I emailed back and then I got this emailed response. I would like to say this has happened to me a couple of times. A guy emails me, I emailed back AND THEN he really reads the profile. I actually get quite a few guys who ask me in their second email "I just realized it says on your profile 4' 10"-is that you're real height?" No I thought it would be a cute gimicky thing. Why the hell would I lie about being that short? I mean what is the possible goal that I could accomplish with that?

But basically I think what this pattern illustrates is that many men email me with the expectation of no response, when I respond they then go "Wait there has to be something wrong with her." They then scour the profile and really see the height for the first time.

Still it sucks to be rejected because of something as arbitrary as height and then to ASK ME TO JUSTIFY IT FOR HIM. ( which I didn't-I wrote a fairly reserved but unequivocal response to his query)

1. "The Holocaust wasn't in this century was it?"
Yes, the winner for the overall stupidest thing anyone has ever said to me in this life, and trust me that IS an achievement. I didn't date this winner. I was a freshmen in college and I was in a show. This other girl my age in the show had this hot guy come see the show. Of course, the hot guy brought with him a friend. The friend was thirty years old ( I was 18) with the poodle/Cheap Trick hairstyle that was so popular in the eighties. It was, unfortunately, 1994. He also HAD TATTOOED EYELINER. You know, I'm not THAT conservative but I don't think I can handle a boyfriend with tattooed make up. It's a line, and I'm drawing it.

Anyway, after the show I was finagled into coming out with them to my first New York bar. It was a bar called the Pit Stop ( It is now the Looking Glass bar on 2nd and thirteenth) and it was just as classy as it sounds. It was mainly a biker bar. I saw my first serious biker chick bar fight there. I didn't drink anything. Anyway, we didn't stay long and they dropped me off at my dorm. My girlfriend gave this guy my number. He called me and asked me what I was doing. I had just seen Schindler's List. His response?
"Wow. Yeah. The Holocaust. That's heavy." ( Who the hell are you? Niel from the Young Ones?) "The Holocaust. That wasn't in this century was it?"

I can see getting the decade wrong, maybe, BUT THE CENTURY? He then quickly amended his statement to tell me he wasn't very good in school. Really? You don't say, because you seem like you would have been a stellar student.

Brainless though he might have been, clueless he wasn't and he never called back nor did we ever go out.

Jungian Psychology 101

"De womb iz de womb and de womb iz de womb" Doc Fallia-my high school psych teacher trying to explain the Campbellian concept that "the tomb is the womb and the womb is the tomb"-by the way this very concept was also introduced by Montaigne in his previously cited essay "to study philosophy is to learn how to die" and other light children's classics. ( Incidentally I had to teach this essay this summer, which may account for its sudden inclusion)

I had to shut down my computer to search for the sobig worm, which it doesn't have, and while I did I read some of my Bulfinch's Mythology . Anyway it brought up some thoughts I have had recently on a mythological/jungian bent.

A New Holiday

Mnemosyne was a Titan and sister to Zeus. From her the other muses were born. And here is the kicker: Zeus made love to Mnemsyne ( brother sister pairings among the G-ds were not uncommon, after all Hera and Zeus were also brother and sister) for what was supposed to be one night-but it ended up being the length of 8 nights! Now that just kicks Hannukah's ass. I mean that whole eight days of light business compared to 8 nights of divine sex. There is a holiday worth celebrating-sign me up. And I love what people would have to tell there kids:

"And because of that every week, mommies and daddies, and young teenagers, and camera men across the world all go to the 'Romance Survival Hideaway' off route nine with a private heart shaped jacuzzis in every room."

And before you get on your high horse there about holidays, most of our popular holidays come from the pagans including Easter, St Valentine's Day, and Christmas.

So I say yeah the chocolate eggs are nice, but show me to the weeklong lovin'.

The illusory nature of love

I don't know what I was reading, but I was reading some essay by an author that chose to analyze a particular tale of a man who marries a fairy who makes him promise never to look in this one particular room of her house. He abides by the rule, and they conceive children. The children are hideous (extra eyes, giants etc), and curiosity overwhelms the man and he peaks. He sees his wife, who is actually part serpent, bathing. In a rage she turns into a demon and flees the house.

Now the person who wrote the story gave it a particularly gender biased interpretation and failed to acknowledge that this story has existed for quite sometime, dating all the way back to the Greeks actually, and has been applied to both genders.

The first version has to do with Cupid ( also known as Eros) and Psyche. Cupid falls in love with Psyche and abducts her. She lives happily in a house, all her needs attended to, and even loves her husband. The only rule is that she can never SEE her husband. He comes to her in the dark and leaves the same way. Happy as she is with this arrangement she pines for her family and so eventually Cupid brings Psyche's sister for a visit. The sister, being the jealous type, suggests that the secrecy might be because her husband is a monster of some kind (being happy in front of your unmarried girlfriends is never a good idea-even the greeks knew it). Psyche fearing she might be pairing with something out of the miniseries "V", keeps a lamp under her bed, and that night as Cupid lays beside her she holds aloft the lamp beholding the face of her lover.

Although Psyche falls deeply in love beholding his face, Cupid springs up and flees from Psyche back to his mother Aphrodite ( where he was allowed to stay in her basement as long as he paid rent) . Psyche must then perform several tasks including procuring a jar of beauty cream from the Queen of the Dead, Persephone. After these tasks, she is finally reunited with Cupid.

Later variants on this myth have been used with both sexes. Grimm's fairytales is full with different versions, including one where a young maiden who is happily married to a lord is given keys to the castle-and even though she is given a key to the last room, she is commanded not to open it-she does so only to discover that she is married to Bluebeard-famed child killer and friend to Joan of Arc. ( you can also see this variant as linked to the forbidden fruit in genesis-bluebeard gives his wife the key because he wants to her TO CHOOSE to obey his commands)

In fact, Jane Eyre's discovery of Rochester's first wife could be considered part of this tradition. Generally, although the discovery initially leads to strife and misery, eventually through effort, bliss is again achieved. ( Although whether the bliss is achieved with the same person ie in the cupid and psyche version or with a different person ie the bluebeard variation depends on the story)

The story can be seen a couple of ways-one is that it is a metaphor for romantic love-first you fall in love with this person, but you don't really fall in love with them-you fall in love with this front or illusion of them-then you confront of their true nature-with this confrontation you see the true nature of the beloved-not perfect, certainly flawed-some more flawed than others-after this revelation there are two possible outcomes-if the true nature of the beloved is truly hideous and evil like in the Bluebeard case-the lover will suffer a great deal before finding love again -this bears itself out in real life-those who have been victimizied by lovers who pretend to be loving and caring but in reality are cheating and devious maybe so deeply scarred that only through the deep efforts of others can they finally find one worthy of their love-

the second outcome is that the beloved is worthy, but the shock of having been spied in their true nature and in addition in having the trust they set violated necessitates that both members of the couple work on reconciliation-however the love that results from a union such as this will be stronger and based more on a true appreciation and understanding as well as the more mature acceptance of flaws instead of living in the illusory dream of perfection

Freud would say that depression is the interruption of reality into fantasy-so the horror and disgust of the revelation of the truth fits with that idea-

there are also myths that go the other way around

There is one in which a girl promises to marry a giant serpent in order to free her kindgom of its oppression. Many young women have married it before, but none have lived past the first night. The young woman goes into the marital bed, and the sepent ( obvious phallic reference anyone) demands she wash him.

She scrubs the serpent. She scrubs him so well that he sloughs off seven skins. She scrubs until her hands bleed. Finally, after the last skin she beholds a beautiful young man. The serpent was a prince put under a spell. The other girls were too afraid to scrub him, but this girl is rewarded because of her obedience.

Here the story is that although the serpent is awful to behold, inside he is quite beautiful ( beauty is only skin deep-or appearances may be deceiving) here again what is stressed is that for the relationship to work there must be both effort and willingness

and this has been a greek mythology moment.

Today's inspirational quote courtesy of me

The longer I teach, the more hate humanity.

The more I date, the more I love my cat.

The more I see of happy couples, the more I doubt that whole darwinian picking the best mate for the survival of the species theory.

The longer I live, the more I want to die.

on that last thought Montaigne argued that the aging of the body is part of G-d's master plan and an indication of G-d's brilliant forsight-Montaigne claimed the aging process was supposed to seperate ourselves from our bodies, and make our physical forms so miserable that when it comes time for us to shrug them off we will count it a blessing

More information than I needed to know

Ok if I don't get a response to this, you people are officially dead. I log onto to mate.com thinking the male attention will make me feel better and this is what is waiting for me:

i'm a very giving person. i have this theory about the male to female orgasm ratio: women should have theirs first and more often, um, genitally speaking. is my freudian slip showing?

Yep, that's the whole profile text. Ok first off, not to nit pick, but what you write intentionally ISN'T a freudian slip. I mean that's like me posting a profile saying "I'm a very receptive woman. I have this theory about men: I should call you Mr. Ed because you will be hung like a horse. Oh, was that a slip of the tongue?" I mean please. It's being overtly sexual and then trying to have a kind of "whoops did I say that out loud" tongue in cheek quality which just isn't workin'. I do however applaud the brevity.

And what's with the sudden gynecological specificity at the end "genitally speaking"? Have I been having orgasms the wrong way this whole time?

The other reason it disturbs me? The rest of the profile information, as well as the ad itself, makes this person sound surprisingly like Casey, which just makes me want throw up anything I've eaten for the last ten years.

Excuse me, I have to scour my body with a brillo pad.

Very Depressed

Yep, very.

So depressed that I can't clean the apartment. It's a wreck. And the worst of this depression is that I want to talk to people about it-like Jin, but it's like there is a plate of glass between me and him. When it comes time for me to actually say something I find I can't. Like those autistics who want to be hugged but find they can't bear it when it happens.

So depressed I couldn't sleep so I decided to blog, which depresses me too because of the total lack of shout out, all this effort which amounts to nothing more than shouting in the wind or writing my name in the sand before high tide.

I've had one piece in my mind I shall write it here-what does it matter anyway:

Piece of Sky ( this was a piece that I guess started when I was in college- it was just a little piece of writing that would come into my mind every now and again-recently a second half was added-who knows if they really go to together or not)

About a week before I left for college, my true love, or my true love until I met you, left me. I was a mess. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. I went to college. I would sit in my window at night and think about all he and I had shared together, all that was lost. If I pressed my head against the glass I could see this two foot square of sky. No stars, it was too bright, but I could see sky. When I looked up, I would think that at we still shared that. We might not have anything else. He might never speak to me again, which he hasn't. He might never think of me, which he probably doesn't, but we still share the same sky. And to gave me comfort to know that. To know that we still had something in common, even if that was the same thing that I have in common with billions of people. At least he was out there.

And then there was you. And when I thought about all we had shared, but that you were still in the same time zone, the same state, the same city, hell the same part of town as me, when I thought of all the things we still had in common...I felt like...to puke blood. I wanted to burn down every restaurant we had dinner together, I wanted to stab every person we had met together, I wanted to ban every movie we ever talked about seeing. I wanted nuke your home fucking town, even though you haven't lived there for five years. In short, I wanted to wipe every molecule, every memory, every vague reference to you off the face of the earth. And you want me to do you a favor? Let me share this with you, I already am doing you a favor. I am tolerating the abstract concept of your existence. So unless you would like to kill the free kittens they have next door, I suggest you leave, because you've gotten from me everything that you're going to get in this lifetime.

Harvey Pekar-Nooooooooooooooooooo!

For those of you who don't know who he is, shame on you, but you will. He has a new movie coming out and he also has a blog. ( I don't have time to get the links for everything people, that's why god made google or as my students like to call it goggle.)

In a recent post Pekar said " Less and less these days am I inclined to waste time being rude and argumentative with people I think are ill-informed or not especially bright."

Now part of the reason I object this is because it is advise from his PUBLICIST. It seems his publicist, Laura Kim has taught Pekar the finer points of Machiavellian politics: "under her guidance I’ve come to see that my cavalier attitude hasn’t always been the right one for me to display...In most instances it doesn’t help me in the long run; indeed rubbing people the wrong way can often result in harming myself. " So he isn't toning down because of a new found respect for other people, but rather for his own sake.

Now I'm all for self indulgence and self protection and hell why not a little self effacement while were at it. I'm all for ego in its myriad forms, but what I object to is that Pekar has become successful precisely because of his refusal to indulge the moronic-to some of us, he is a modern superhero of honesty. And now that he's made it, he is basically abandoning the very qualities that brought him and success to begin with-always a dangerous idea.

But beyond that there is the fact that he is advertising this on his blog, which I know his publicist can't be pleased with-generally you don't advertise being a sell-out: "I’ve come to see that my cavalier attitude hasn’t always been the right one for me to display, especially now when my sources of income are so uncertain." Although I applaud him for his honesty, certainly there have been many stars and writers who have maintained sucessful careers without selling out or compromising their personal behavior so as to make them more accessible to the brain sucking public. It is to some degree like going before HUAC, giving up names just makes it harder for the next guy to stand up and say "You have no right to assault me with your stupidity." Artist and writers should be able to be themselves and set boundaries and at the very least stand up and say "NO MOM NO MORE PEAS"

uh sorry I was channeling "Peggy Sue Got Married" ( More of 80s movie list flash back attacks)

What I mean was that writers, particularly ones who have a reputation for prickly honesty should be able to remain prickly honest. And they should be able to stand up and say "YES I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO GIVE INTO IDIOTS."

( Bunni stands) I absolutely refuse to give into idiots.....unless there's really good money in it..... or at least some health insurance... or maybe a few good backrubs...or uh a martini

Quote of the Day

It doesn't match my mood but here it is people:

"This party is about to become a historical fact."

Some Kind of Wonderful ( Oh Lea Thompson, where are you now?)


Just to purge my rage a bit more, I thought I would go over the full cast of characters in my office, just to keep things straight:

The Mistake-fellow professor

Casey-fellow professor

The Young'un-former professor ( word on the street is that his contract HAS NOT been renewed)

Sexist Pig-former professor ( see above)

School Marm-fellow professor

Malvolio -Summer Head of Department ( that name is courtesy of casey who said to me "There must be an analagous character in Shakespeare." Malvolia is the closest I can find, although elevating him to a shakespearean archetype seems over the top- I think he would make a better Olivier Larding from Theater of Blood

Jin-computer lab staff

Olivier Martinez-computer lab staff

The Assless Wonder-former computer lab staff

Vichy-nominal head of the department during the year ( which would make casey and myself technically members of the Maquis)

Ozymandias-theoretically the guy who actually oversees everything, but never is involved with us directly as such

Now of course my office has more people than this, but these are really the only people you need to know to continue to follow the saga of my job. And honestly after weeks like the LAST SIX I think I should quit.

I know why the lemmings die

OK I should be grading like a maniac as my department head has only given me a one day extension for grades, even though I was without power for a day and half - technically lost two since I was suffering from dehydration and heat stroke-in addition teachers with half my course load didn't finish grades by monday-so you know, where is the love? where is concern and consideration for those of us with a full load? and why is it I am supposed to be forgiving to a student who missed three weeks of school, her final paper, and her final exam for an alleged, undocumented nervous breakdown ( or even yet I was supposed to be forgiving to a student because the head of my department who had only spoken to her once suspected SUSPECTED physical abuse) but I can't get a TWO DAY EXTENSION ON GRADES?

And furthermore, I told my students that grades would be ready on monday PRE BLACK OUT. I had to turn SEVEN students away yesterday because it didn't dawn in their little noggins that with the blackout I wouldn't be ready with grades. Did they really think I was grading by candle light? That I was channeling Thoreau in Walden in order to grade their papers?

And when did kids get so aggressive with teachers? I often had to wait two or three weeks for grades when I was in college. And there was no harassing or huffing. Let me tell you these students don't know the kind of effort I put in.

And finally, FINALLY, I had this student TWICE. She failed the first year I had her, so I had her AGAIN, which really wasn't so bad. Anyway now that she has passed the course the second time, I have to put in a change of grade form. Now get this. Originally she got an F so now I have to change the course to a C. I called in the change of grade and the secretary said "What's your reason?" and I said "She completed missing work" which is true. And the secretary told me "I don't think that reason will get approved." So I asked her what she meant and she explained to me that it would only go through is it was an error in calculation. So I said to her "Let me get this straight. It looks BETTER to the dean if I somehow calculated an F instead of a C than if I tell the truth which is that the student made up missing work." She says yes. So I told her to transfer me to the head of the department ( the one who had the original idea to teacher her a second time and change the grade). She tells me that in order for the grade to go through it has to be something THAT CAN BE BLAMED ON ME. "Oh don't worry, it doesn't go on your personal record." Well, it better damn not considering I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG. She was the one who failed to turn in work, attend class, or even complete the final paper. I tried to contact her both directly and through her advisor and now I have to take the fall?

So finally the head of my department compromises "How about "correcting error in reported grade"? That way it isn't necessarily your fault. It could be input error." The department head also assured me that if there were any problem SHE would deal with it, which considering that this is all her idea, makes sense.

So now I have to finish grading there papers-remember that last count? 200. Well last night I was at 40.

Now I'm at 23.

Before you get excited, I'm reading final papers, which are far longer. I have between 184-138 pages of student writing to finish grading before about three pm. Not so bad when you consider on Thursday I was looking at over 800 pages of student writing.

The thing is here that I basically only have one week off before I have to go back to teaching. I have fix up the old syllabus. But really the students have this unreal expectation about returning papers. Often times I NEVER got papers back, or if I did, they didn't have comments on them. Those of you who have seen my comments understand WHY it takes time to get papers back. ( Jin can vouch for me here.) But really, what the students don't understand here is that to give me MORE TIME is to their advantage because it means I can give their work more careful consideration. When I'm rushing to make a grade deadline like this, basically I can't really consider the papers for that long. The papers then get a kind of cursory grade, and then later I take time to write more detailed comments about what is up with the paper. But of course the more of a rush I'm in the larger margin for error. You would think NYU would realize that just giving me one day would help me a great deal.

All of this is just really a prolonged plea for JUST KILL ME.

Much Ado about Nothing

And my students think there is no reason to proofread-another profile courtesy of mate-

People, people. Now may I Have your attention please. I wish everyone good look in their searchs. I am someone who loves to pamper the one I am with. I like ot go to theme parks and NYC or Boston for a day of fun and frolick. Drop me a note.

Yeah, cause I need all the look I can get.

Brevity is the soul of wit

And today's highlighted mate.com profile:

I am looking for cute honest responsible girl who will be my best friend.I will take her to the heaven.

Am I the only who thought of David Sedaris writing about his french class discussing Easter?-the Rabbit of Jesus, he brings the chocolate.

Missing from my list

I admit there were some big missing items from my list:

the Freaky Friday scenario: Big, Like Father, Like Son, Vice Versa.

Water-based horror movies: Jaws, Deep-Star Six, Leviathan.

Big budget fantasy films: Legend, Labyrinth, Willow, Baron Munchausen

Sophmoric sex obsessed teen movies: Porky's and Police Academy

Tom Hanks early comedies: The Man with One Red Shoe, Splash, and Bachelor Party

Morgue Monday to the Power of Five

Yes, today's meeting was FIVE HOURS LONG. It was very depressing. I got back student comments. No matter what I am always disappointed by their comments. Most of my students found me for the most poart excellent and satisfactory, a very few had problems. But it always depresses me. After I get student comments, I always think I need to find a new job.

Oh lord, the Mistake just walked in.

To some degree the Mistake functions to make me feel like no matter what, I'm doing a better job than someone. But the truth is, on days like this I wonder if that is true. Maybe she is some sort of idiot savant. I know in the future, I won't teach this many classes during the summer.

Don't make me kill you

A-You shouldn't arrive late to the meeting you yourself called.

B-If you are late, you CAN NOT complain about the lateness of others.

Vegas Odds

Tomorrow I have a staff meeting starting at 10 am and going until 5 pm. Yep you read that right. You thought the one hour morgue monday was bad, wait until you get the tv mini series version.

So here are the betting pools:

How long will it take the Mistake to make me want to kill her or myself?

What exactly will she say that will make me feel this way?

The Ten Eighties-est Movies

Courtesy of Metafilter

Posted above is a link to specific thread on Mefi about the "Rad-est" 80s movies. ( If you look you may actually see my contribution to the conversation) but I thought I would post my own top ten here. The goal is not to post GOOD movies, that would be too easy, but rather the silly movies, which captured that particular age. ( I'm not going to include the Inter Movie Database links to each of these movies because I have other things to do today, rest assured, if you go to the IMDB they have the titles there.)

10. Cocoon-Aquatic aliens come to earth to save their "comrades" at the bottom of the sea. ( Why now? I mean, did they finally have a couple of openings on their intergalatic fooseball team?) In the process, some senior citizens become revitalized when they stumble upon the pool where these alien pods are being stored. This prompts what I can only call the most nauseating moment in film history, Hume Cronyn and Wilfred Brimley discussing their hard ons. So basically the big to do was they were swimming in a pool of viagra.

Oh and did I forget to mention the Steve Gutenberg saves the day?

So, so 80's.

The only thing worse than the original Cocoon? Why Cocoon II: The Return.

( On a more disgusting side note, why is Steve Gutenberg always having "unconventional" sex with beings from other planes/planets? There are the totally unnecessary sex scenes in these two movies with the aliens and then there is that awful "skelpin'" scene between him and Daryl Hannah in High Spirits. I guess the answer is what human woman would put out for him?)

9. Night of the Comet-What if a comet came round these parts and turned everyone into piles of little red dust? And the few remaining survivors were zombies? And beyond that the very very few immune to both ( one because she spent the night in a steel reinforced movie theater) happen to be too valley girl-esque teenage girls. Well that's the premise of this little cinema gem. Oh yes and there are BAD scientists wearing generic overalls, daring truck escapes, and let's not forget the harrowing Russian Roulette in a department store scene.

8. Night of the Creeps-Not to be confused with Night of the Comet, what if slug like aliens that re-animate corpses come to earth in the fifties and then frozen, but then escape in the eighties thanks to wacky frat boy hijinx?

Well, you get nothing but fun. Our hero a dorky red headed guy who looks like he cut his hair with a floo-bie ( don't ask) and his marked for death disabled comedic side kick manage to survive the bad special effects and absolutely required hot naked chicks in the shower scenes to make a classically bad 80's horror film. Oh and threw in a crazy serial killer revived from the dead just for good measure.

I especially liked the line "Girls, the good news is your dates are here, the bad news is their dead."

7. They Live- Ah yes, because what list would be complete without at least one film with a wrestler as a star? It is a little known fact that Rowdy Roddy Piper the "hero" of this film didn't just make this little corker, but also did a lesser known film called "Hell Comes to Frog Town." Yes, people look into it, because it's hard to resist a film where the main character is named Sam Hell and it ends with him making the sacrifice of sleeping with an entire car full of women in order to ensure the survival of the human race. Oh, I gave the ending away. Well, it's still worth seeing if nothing more to see the dance of the seven veils as performed by the genetically mutated frog king.
I'm not kidding. Really, the frog can move. ( I think he was also in the original Breakin' as well.)

For those particular interest, Hell comes to Frog Town inspired not one, but TWO sequels including my personal favorite, Hell Comes to Frogtown III: Toad Warrior.

But I digress, we're talking about They Live. A film about how evil alien/robot thingys have taken over the world and Rowdy Roddy Piper has a pair of special sunglasses that let him see both the aliens and the encoded messages they have been placing on billboards. Because only in the eighties could sun glasses save the day. Thank you Corey Hart for all the good times.

6 Best Defense- A little known Eddie Murphy film, pairing one of those totally unlikely comedy duos ( Dudley Moore and Eddie Murphy) with one of those screwy only in the eighties time concepts. You are watching Eddie Murphy in a tank in the future at the same time you are watching Dudley Moore in the present trying to solve the problem with the "dip-gyro" ( Oh I really miss the tech talk of the 80s) in the very same tank. Of course wacky war hijinx ensue with Murphy as he is trapped in a dysfunctional tank but comes to no harm as American no how ( somehow manifested in a non american) triumphs and saves the day.

If you tried to make a film like that today you would be shot, but the "defense comedy" was fairly popular in the eighties. It included another lesser known film "Deal of the Century" starring Chevy Chase, Sigourney Weaver, and the late Gregory Hines.

5. My Science Project-I choose this particular film to represent the 80's teen-sci-fi-comedy hybrid. The most famous of this type of film was Wierd Science, but that film is TOO GOOD to appear here. My Science Project involves a kind of scruffy teenager who manages to sneak onto an army base and get a time machine. He is simply looking for some sort of object to pass off as a science project. I mean how many times has that happened to you? I don't want to tell you what happened with my history day project, but needless to say I didn't have to call in the national guard. And I think we all agree that the army makes it a habit to let this kind of "don't let anyone get their hands on it" machinery lying around for enterprising kids to snatch.

Once he gets to work the mechanism to work, different time periods start manifesting themselves physically in the school ( think of a more serious version of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure-only instead of them going through time, the time comes to them). The kid and his friend ( played by Fisher Stevens) some chick who will inevitably become his girlfriend and some random, but utterly required nerd who is somehow trapped with them must fight through the school and shut down the electricity in order to stop the ever increasing time warp. On the way they encounter pre historic creatures and of course a little trip into Vietnam War. ( Because what time travel movie is complete without Vietnam?)

4 Tron-Oh yeah baby an action adventure that takes places INSIDE a computer with everything in that annoying blue out o vision. Back when anything with computers was cool. Not quite in the same vein as "War Games", starring Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy, a drama in which a computer learns that nuclear war is bad by playing tic-tac-toe with itself. No, really. Tron was really more of a spy action adventure movie. It was just the concept and execution ranked right up there with Manimal ( an interesting side note: Manimal's alter identity was a professor at NYU-now there's a cool professor-he can teach Kafka by day, and turn into a snow tiger by night AND THE CHICKS DIG IT! ). I remember very little of it except that it kind of bore a resemblance to that A-HA video "Take on Me."

3. The Last Starfighter- Another hybrid it was a teenage Star Wars meets Top Gun type of a film. A young man who wants to get out of his nowhere podunk town manages to score the highest on a video game ( back when you had to go to an arcade to play them). It turns out the game is actually a way for a group of resistance fighters to find eligible new recruits. ( Does this sound to you like Reagen's claim that ninetendo and other video games actually helped train kids to be fighter pilots? Yep, a plot so believable only an Alzheimer's patient would have bought it.) For his high score, our teenage hero is taken into space where he must save the day, which he does. Of course, there are the requisite funny looking, Star Trek rip-off paper plate stapled to the forehead aliens. So the universe is saved, our young man gets out of his little town, and uh well people around the world celebrate yet another amazingly optimistic eighties film.

3 Repo Man-Emilio Estevez reposesses items in a bleak future. Um, I'd like to give you more of a plot, but then I would like the film to have HAD more of a plot. I didn't see this movie until last year when Speed Freak showed it to me. And let me tell you, that movie kills brain cells. Lots of 'em.

2 Creator- Peter O'Toole plays a charming, but grief addled professor who wants to clone his dead wife. Using eggs from self proclaimed nymphomaniac Ally Sheedy and aided by protege Vincent Spano, O'Toole might actually succeed. Along the way he teaches Spano about love. Spano falls for 80's heartthrob Virginia Madsen. In the end, Spano and Sheedy teach O'Toole to stay in the here and now. O'Toole finally let's go of his wife's memory and pours her cloned cells onto the beach. At the time, the movie was considered hopelessly optimistic in terms of its ideas about cloning being an achievable goal somewhere in the near future, but now considering how many people would clone dead loved ones if they could, the film looks optimistic in another way-that the professor could be convinced to move on with his life.

1 Midnight Madness-One of the scavenger hunt/race across country ( Cannonball Run anyone?) movies for which the 80s are famous. ( Rat Race, a recent film, as an attempt to recapture such films. It flopped proving that those type of movies are better left to the decade of power bows and Don Johnson scruff.) In this film, five teams competed in a scavenger hunt for money. The five teams broken down to :nerds, idiots, sorority girls, good guys, and cheaters. Starring Michael J Fox ( who also did the now forgotten "Teen Wolf" as well as the still remembered Back to the Future movies) the film was basically nothing more than an excuse to string together random jokes and bits-none of them worth remembering.

Well, thanks for this little juant down memory lane. Here at the end it seems to be I was a little heavy on the horror movie angle. I think at some later date ( maybe for Blogathon 2004) I need to compose some seperate lists. So in the future I think I need to compose: The Best Bad Horror Movies of the 80's (including Critters 2: The Main Course) The Best Bad Comedies of the 80's ( including License to Drive, Mannequin, and Howard the Duck) and the Best Comedies of the 80's (uhhhhh, nothing is coming to mind) and finally I think the best kid/teenage movies of the 80's ( including Cloak and Dagger, Goonies, and Heathers). Sound good?

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