I Believe I Can Fly
Well I haven't yet started believing in God again, but apparently enough of you do on my behalf. I managed to escape this meeting relatively unscathed. Part of it, however, was I had to re-affirm AGAIN that I will not be teaching after May. Do me a favor though-when May rolls around and I beginning getting the emails begging me and my vast experience to continue in my self-destruction remind me how miserable I've been dealing in November with accusations from August. But part of it is, and we all know this, don't mess with the jackalope my friends-you'll get the horns.

In my class discussion today (on gun control), my students brought up gun ownership and women. So we began talking about how women might own guns to balance out theoretical physical "weakness" women possess. My class spun this out into an entire fantasy in which my abductors would return me unscathed as long as I promised not to correct their grammar anymore. At the end of the kidnapping, I would hand the kidnappers a grade and comments, "I like your content, but you need to focus on comma splices and subject verb agreement."

Every once in a while, they make me laugh. And for all my complaining, at the end of the year, it's always hard on me to leave them. Many of them don't even think about me once they are no longer in my class. Lots of them believe I don't really care, but would I be this angry if that were true?

Of course as Stephen King once wrote "Sometimes they come back" and one of my former students, who has fashioned himself as a voluntary personal assistant to myself, has started a blog. It's about sports, of which I arguable know absolutely nothing, but from what I know of him, if you're into baseball, it's well written. Or at least, it better be or I'll clobber him with his copy of Angels and Demons next time I see him. Reading Dan Brown in my office three days a week. Of course, he's sitting right here reading over my shoulder. As he does every thursday. Ok I wouldn't clobber him per se so much as give him a gentle tap upside the head. He does bring me tea three times a week, and I don't want it to be laced with Drano. Further, it seems a shame to go and finally clobber a student who managed to survive a whole year with me. Gotta keep him around just to disprove the rumors.

So tired. Somebody just send me a chocolate frosted martini. I promise next week a review of Chris Garetano's The Horror Business and as well as an analysis of Saw II. In the meantime, stop by Karol's discussion about whether couples can remain friends after a break-up. It reminded me, or perhaps my emotional state reminded me, of this Dorothy Parker poem.

I don't need luck, I need God's undivided attention

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So the meeting I have been dreading, you know the one that is essentially the hour and fifteen minute long version of the headtrap scene from Saw only worse because I don't wake up in the headtrap, but I actually to willing submit myself to donning the headtrap. Well it's tomorrow.

So if I don't write for a while it's because I decided life would be better without a head.

Vampire Engineered Bio-Terrorist Events, Internet Plagues, and Other Social Problems
Friday, I was inadvertantly thrown into a minor depression after seeing the Japanese film Pulse, a horror film about the empty promise of "connecting" that the Internet offers, but seems incapable of fulfilling. The film is existential in nature with characters waxing philosophic about their fears of isolation specifically that even in death we remain trapped within ourselves (in stark contrast to the message of the short film Apartment 206). The film ends with the survivors of this internet "plague" on an ocean liner-another metaphor for our own desperate search for meaning and genuine interaction in the midst of overwhelming emptiness.

Although the film has some interesting ideas, I certainly wasn't scared so much as saddened. As B.C. Furtney would say, "These aren't the kinds of guys you want to have a beer with" unlike say Eli Roth the writer/director of Cabin Fever and the upcoming film Hostel. I am more than well aware of the ironic disconnection communication technology encourages. It became pretty clear to me the first time I saw a couple at dinner both talking into their respective cellphone-bodies not even angled towards each other-that cellphones, IM, and text messaging are not so much about connecting as disengaging from being in the moment. A way of literally not being there-a state of events made literal in Pulse.

As it says in the film As Good as It Gets, "Just a little too much reality for a Friday night."

So I needed a bit of a cure, a bit of old fashioned-hey look people being eaten, wow that is groovy incidental music, I can't believe that bad guy thinks he can get away with those lambchop side burns, day-glo orange velveeta-scary. I had a DVD of the Satanic Rites of Dracula (AKA Dracula is Alive and Well and Living in London) which I had never seen. One of the user comments on IMDB claims that this film might be the "most original Dracula story ever told" despite its alternative title sounding like something a nine year old might write from summer camp in Bucharest. I don't want to spoil the film for you, but the basic premise of the film is that Dracula, revived by an Asian priestess of Satan, has gathered four powerful men to be the "four horsemen" of his man made apocalpyse-an engineered strain of the Bubonic plague designed to quickly and effectively wipe out the majority of the human race. This plot is so ridiculous, I mean original, that even Van Helsing, played by the only man who could keep an earnest English expression while the plot unfolds-Peter Cushing, has to wonder why exactly Dracula would have so much of a deathwish that he would work this hard to destroy his food source.

At the climax of the film when Dracula reveals his plan to spread Bubonic plague, Van Helsing criticizes Dracula's vision-that he would conquer an empty world. AH yes, beat the bad guy with armchair psychology. A favorite ploy. Of course, Van Helsing isn't really seeing the Big Picture-namely that am empty world wouldn't really be such a bad thing. A naturally occuring plague, like the original Bubonic plague, only wipes out about 80% of the human race. Thus 20% would still be around, which considering the small vampire population would be more than enough to feed Dracula and his five bride brood. Further, having a small population would make the surviving humans easier to control and also allow vampires to breed humans for useful traits like docility.

Walking through crowds this Saturday, the brilliance and intelligence of Dracula's vision became clear to me. The streets are way too crowded for Dracula to cut a swath through the crowd with his cape and piercing gaze. He would constantly be run over by mothers with their SUV sized strollers and moronic clusters of people who don't seem to get the concept of walking single file if they must amble on crowded sidewalks. Although people with weak minds are easy control, I'm guessing he would have to detonate the mental equivalent of a nuclear bomb to break through the ipod/cellphone haze in order to even register on the average NYers consciousness nevermind enslave her to the point of putting on a peekaboo teddy and matching peignoir. Not to mention dealing with those brides, day in and day out. I mean maintaining a relationship for five years takes work and effort and compromise-can you imagine how much effort an 150 year long marriage takes.? The nagging and the recriminations and the "you never take me out feeding anymore" and the "do you think this dress makes me look fat?" every freakin' day because you know she can't look in a damned mirror. There are humans who think that sterility is the "price" of humanity, but are you kidding me? With these kids today dragging out college five years and credit card debt and the phone calls in the middle of the night. At least with mortal parenting, the task ends when you die. Can you imagine being Daddy dearest forever? Some pimply twit, who knows nothing of angry villagers with pitchforks and torches or feeding on rats while stowed away in the cargo hold of a ship when your secret lair has been destroyed, complaining about how difficult it is to avoid detection in the cyber era and spends his whole day cruising suicide girl chat rooms. And all he wants is a little peace, a little respect,to walk down the street without kids snickering at his red silk lined robe, girls having the decency to swoon just a bit when they get kissed on the hand instead of chawing on gum and demanding appletinis, not having to dress up the "children of the night" in rain booties and matching slickers when going for a walk just to fit in with the rest of these "my dog is my child" couples, not have to deal with horrible parodies like "Dracula Dead and Loving It", every Halloween some kid with cheesy plastic fangs and cheap cape running around with that painful painful travesty of a Transylvanian accent not realizing they are impersonating a man whose idea of fun was to impale 50 innocent peasants and listen to their slow deaths while having dinner. Maybe, he thinks, just maybe his father was right, he should have gone into pharmaceuticals.

Or he could just wipe out the human race with a quick but deadly virus.

I know what I would choose.

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