The Honorable Judge Cyberspace Presiding
I'm still very sick, but not too sick to test songs, including your generous suggestions, for le grand roadtrip. Interestingly it seems that Bad Moon Rising (which was one of the very first songs I decided on because it was on a mixtape my best friend in high school gave to me) is one of the Universals of Roadtrips as it appears on most of the roadtrip mixes at Scrine. (For scriners: how in the name of the lord jehovah do you upload all the songs on your list? I thought you were supposed to do it one at a time. Obviously the cold is still clogging my brain.)

But while I languish, I thought some of you might be interested in two legal cases. The first is not explicitly about the blogosphere, but rather a mother who has been charged with a myspace hoax that resulted in the suicide by a 13 year old girl. Not surprising the cyberworld is all a flutter about this case. Metafilter has a thread on it, the New Yorker also has a detailed article about the case, and the smoking gun has the actual indictment.

In unrelated news, a twice divorced single father attorney and blogger was dumped by his girlfriend while he was suffering from severe complications after being treated for a rare blood disorder. In his quest for justice in the wake of this painful seperation, he blogged about it(along with offering a 1,000 reward for a mezuzah she alledgely stole.) Not pleased with the justice a good cyber rant can bring, he is now suing her.

Now this case is a bit closer to my heart. After all, the whole the reason I started up Bunniblog was to warn other women about the Idiot Formerly Known as my Fiance. The desire for justice, particularly a justice that one can witness, is a natural impulse after being hurt. Despite knowing that the world is not a meritocracy, most of us long to see some sort of evidence that there is some justice especially if it involves those who have wronged us personally. And before we get into how petty writing about these wrongs can be, I would remind my gentle readers that works like Dante's Inferno, as well as many a blues song, were inspired by this very same impulse.

Yet what raises Dante's Inferno, and other revenge inspired works, to the level of art is that Dante doesn't become solely focused on the details of his/her circumstances (like Claire Bloom's autobiography about her life with Philip Roth), but rather finds the universal beneath those impulses and drives.

But artistic achievement aside, while I believe acts, like leaving someone while he/she is struggling with a particularly difficult illness/recovery, should have consequences, I don't think he or she should be sued. I agree with what Philip Roth wrote in The Dying Animal, "People think that falling in love they make themselves whole?...I think otherwise. I think you're whole before you begin. And love fractures you. You're whole and then you're cracked open."Basically romantic love is painful. When you get involved with someone, you know you are taking a risk. And while I joke that some of us, particularly me, should walk around with a surgeon general's warning, the truth is it doesn't take much to know that people, even those who love us, are capable of amazing cruelty. This is what makes love so terrifying. That you must stand at the edge of a cliff and take one step forward and hope beyond hope that you won't end up mangled and bloody with a mouth full of sand at the end. And if you do, well, you can always pursue a fabulous career as an Emo artist, but I don't think you should hie yourself to a lawyer.

Unfortunately this is about as much clarity on these two topics as I can muster. Tomorrow, onto to Frehel.

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Freeze Frame!

Well the boys at the NYCHFF finally updated their website , and lo and behold who is there front and center? (Right next to Kit Ryan who won Best Feature with Botched, which I highly recommend you add to your netflix queue.) Oh yeah, there's a whole lotta spooky in that picture. Amazingly that was taken the very last night of the festival when all of us were on the verge of nervous collapse, but none of us wanted to go home. We look, despite 5 fright filled nights of wacky hinjinx, pretty good.

Of course, this picture more accurately captures the feeling of the night and the spirit which pervades the NYCHFF. It's this energy that keeps me coming back to the festival.


Anatomy of a Road Trip
Marcella:You know, when you started getting invited to your ten year high school reunion, time is catching up.
Are you talking about a sense of my own mortality or a fear of death?
Marcella: Well, I never really thought about it quite like that.
Martin:Did you go to yours?
Marcella:Yes, I did. It was just as if everyone had swelled.
-Grosse Point Blank

On Monday I sent in my fee for my 15th high school reunion. (Yes, it's a private school people. We pay for EVERYTHING.) I had the invite on my desk for a month thinking about it. And then one night I was thinking about my first kiss, which was on school grounds. Before you get all misty eyed, I should tell you it was one of the single most disgusting experiences of my life. In fact, it was revolting enough that I didn't kiss another boy for 3 years. But while I remember vague details about the incident itself. (It was a dance in the spring. They bused in boys from another school, which made no sense because we were a co-ed school. My father picked me up at the end of the night.) I couldn't remember how the buildings looked from the exact point where I would have been. I still have a pretty clear idea of what LC looked like, but this part of my memory had faded.

And that was when I made the decision. It must be done.

Sure I need to lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks. And yes it is most likely a recipe for depression or at the very least a minor nervous breakdown, but when have I ever let that stop me?

So I will be going to The Island on June 14th. While I'm at it, I'm going to tool around CT for a bit. Just a three day trip or so to see what's going on there. While I was thrilled to leave CT, I always consider it home.

So any suggestions for roadtrip music?

(And yes I'll get you guys out of Frehel before I go. In fact I'll put up another post tonight or tomorrow.)

Sleep Deprived Musings on a World Gone Wrong
Well friends, in the last 2 days I've evaluated and commented on over 360 pages of student writing and written two exams, which is the academic equivalent of running the Boston marathon. Needless to say I woke up today feeling sore and disgusted by the state of my apartment, but without the energy to do anything.

But I realized I left you all hanging. It's not that I haven't wanted to write, but I simply haven't had the time. In fact, I've had lost of non-France posts in mind so the next week will a veritable blog-splotion of activity. But I wanted to discuss a few revelations I had in my haze of grading and sleep deprivation.

1. Moral superiority should burn more calories per hour than a stairmaster.

2. If you own a dog in NYC, you have to be friendly. If you want to be anti-social, buy a fish or move to the country where you and your dog can frolic without encountering other people. In the city, part of owning a dog is about socializing, but NYC seems to be the city of very friendly dogs and owners who would kill with a look if they could.

An example of this behavior was a guy who used to frequent the Lion's Den, my favorite coffee spot, back when it was across the street from me. This guy was perhaps the least social person I've ever seen. The crowd at the Lion's Den was very friendly and engaging. We would smile and greet other coffee hounds; we often involve others in our conversation, and we forged many new friendships this way. But this guy, despite coming for years, would go out of his way not to even look at anyone. Unfortunately, he had this very affectionate pomeranian. I remember one day this dog practically hanging itself as it strained against its leash to reach me while the guy got his coffee. After he got his coffee, he quickly tugged the dog out the door without even looking at it. No wonder the dog was dying for affection.

3. Open marriages are wrong. OK I know this one is a bit risky as I've had friends in open marriages, but you know what I don't even have a date on the weekends. Here's the deal my little monchichis, you find someone who wants to spend the rest of his/her life with you BE HONORED. It's just unfair that you get to be married AND have affairs, and I get to eat popcorn with a cat. And sure I've been approached by some polyamorous guys, but why would I want to get involved? Are you leaving your wife? No? Well then what's in it for me? Guaranteed drama? Um, no, I'm gonna take a pass on that. Perhaps there are other single people who are OK with it (as I was up until yesterday) but at this point, nope, no longer. It just seems incredibly selfish and self centered to me.

Unlike blogging which I think we all agree is a charitable endeavor.

4. A grade is not a judgment on your value as a human being, it is simply an evaluation of how well you learned a set of facts or skills or how well you fulfilled the requirements of a particular assignment.

One of the unforeseen consequences of shifting the focus of education to self esteem is that grades are taken as personal judgments rather than simply a measure how well you have integrated the material into your skill set. Just because you get a C in my class doesn't mean I think you are a bad person, it just means that you fulfilled the minimum requirements of the assignment. I can think you are an absolutely dream of a human being and still give you a C on a paper.

5. Reality TV seems like a constant race to the end of Western Culture. I'm looking at YOU VH1.

I suppose these aren't grand failures in the world, but yesterday they seemed too much to bear. So I did what every right thinking person does, I slept for 15 hours. And now for a bath. I'm sure the world will seem better after that. It just has to.

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