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May
4th
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Closing up this shop

Well, I got sick of Tumblr’s problems and lack of comments and e’ything, so now we’re back at the original home of the ‘Napse. Our RSS feed is back at:

http://www.fbesp.org/blog/atom.xml

Sorry for the confusion.


May
1st
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Something Real Quick

I gotta get to school, but I wanted to hip you all to yesterday’s Democracy Now!, which featured a very interesting discussion about Rev. Wright. I had a TYFST (“Thank you for saying that”) moment after reading this comment from Melissa Harris-Lacewell:

[Obama] has built a national, multiracial, intergenerational coalition of men and women, working class and wealthy people. That is what has happened, whereas the other two candidates, John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton, have mostly built largely, vastly predominantly white coalitions. And yet, they’re not having to answer questions on race.

I’m getting really sick of hearing everything Obama-related put in terms of race, and everything for everyone else (especially every discussion of every other election) in race-neutral terms. It’s as though “white voters” was never a significant portion of the electorate before.

I’m just waiting for the day when white people are no longer in the majority in this country. Then maybe we’ll have some actual discussion about how we can all come together.

Okay, I gotta go to school. 


Apr
29th
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Two Important Things About Rev. Wright’s GDA Speech I Didn’t Learn Until I Went And Listened To It

I keep hearing the noise about Jeremiah Wright – who’s been speaking out against imperialism and racism and feeding hungry people at the Trinity United Chuch in Chicago since 1972 but only recently gotten any attention as a result of knowing Barack Obama and saying “God Damn America” – but I’ve had trouble getting more than “I like English” soundbytes.*

*Ask somebody.

So I listened to the speech. It’s definitely worth listening to, not because he insists that a government entity created HIV , which I disagree with; not because he rails against US misbehavior from 1492 to the present, which I do agree with; but because he – like many African-American preachers – has a commanding vocal presence, and he’s enjoyable to hear. The context of the speech is very important, even though I don’t agree with the sentiment of “God damn America”.

Two things I insist on pointing out, however:

  1. Immediately after the third or fourth repetition of “God damn America”, he adds: “…so long as she tries to act like she is God and she is supreme.” (around 34:48)
  2. Later in the speech, he makes a joke at his own expense: “Forgive him for the ‘damn’, but it’s in the Bible – blessings and curses.”

You’d think that in hours and hours of pundicratic commentary, these two points would have been made. But I didn’t hear them anywhere.

TimeWaster™

 Wright speaks to the the NAACP. I haven’t watched it yet, but it’s next on my list.

Today I’m listening to: David Cross


Apr
22nd
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Indecision is so.. how should I put it?

I’m glad everyone is so happy about me losing my close friend the XBox. Now I can blather on here about nothing. Only.. I don’t know if I want to keep using this for blathering. At first I really liked the quick and easy way of adding pictures. But the commenting jerry-rig I came up with is pretty unsatisfying. (Am I supposed to just let the comments build up forever? Or delete them after a certain amount of time?) But then Blogger seems to have screwed up my archives lately, and I don’t really feel like spending the time sorting all of that out.

Ah, me. The frustrations of blogging technology. How put-upon I am. Playing an original XBox like a caveman. Also, I can’t put TimeWasters™ in here, because the HTML code editor doesn’t like embedded video for some reason – and I’d SO much rather put the YouTube dealie right here in the thing.

Tell me what to do. 


Apr
20th
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Bill Gates is Satan

Well, you’ll be happy to know that I’ve no choice but to start blogging more regularly for the next two weeks or so. For you see, my XBox 360 has died. Yes, I have been victimized by the red ring of death. Although apparently I can still try unplugging everything and then trying it again, I don’t have much hope that this will work.

So I come to my point: Bill Gates is Satan. He has promised – and delivered – pleasure and good times. But, just like a crack dealer suddenly cutting off an addict, he has provided a product which is unstable and unreliable. Hundreds, if not thousands, of gamers around the world have experienced the same crash as me, and yet Microsoft offers nothing aside from free repair. (Don’t get me wrong – that’s a good first step. But they should have caught whatever is causing this before they shipped.)

Jack in Fight Club explains the entire modus operandi of modern corporate theory: “A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don’t do one.” Your frustration and rage are less significant to us than posting $12.6 billion in profits. Obviously, my whining is nothing compared to the people who really get screwed by corporate greed. But c’mon – I’m hurting here. Have some sympathy.

I suppose in the long-term, this is a good thing. I spend way too much time playing that stupid thing, so maybe this is Altin looking down and helping me break the stranglehold Satan Gates has on my free time.

Or maybe JB will let me go over and play on his machine. 


Mar
14th
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From KateBeaton.com, which features many funny comics. Now if only she would give us a site feed.

From KateBeaton.com, which features many funny comics. Now if only she would give us a site feed.


Mar
12th
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Another Great Teacher from a Movie Not About Classroom Teaching

Part Two in a Series of Five: Yoda (The Empire Strikes Back)

This one’s obvious, but it’s worth noting: For all of the Dooku-butt-whipping he dishes out in the prequels, Yoda is more than anything a teacher. He was Lao-Tzu and Sun-Tzu together in one. Winning wars without violence, like Hopha said in Slam.

Luke is a nice archetypal student, like Daniel-San – too impatient to sit down and think about what he already knows. Yoda’s all about the dance between student and the knowledge. His greatest achievement, we might say, comes when he dies and literally gets out of Luke’s way. But not before showing him the door. (This is as good a place as any to mention Morpheus, since he’s not in this series of five. He gets Honorable Mention.)

Yoda teaches us about looking within. Walking the path. The force which has a name is not the true force. Get rid of your attachments. Sounds like Lao-Tzu to me. Hail Yoda.


Mar
5th
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A Great Teacher from a Movie Not About Classroom Teaching

Part One in a Series of Five: Mister Miyagi (The Karate Kid)

Mister Miyagi is a superb teacher because he trains his student in what he needs to know, without him knowing it. (Spoiler alert!) Daniel-San thinks he’s just waxing the car and painting the fence. He’s all like “This has nothing to do with karate! When am I ever going to need to know how to do this crap?” But then when it’s karate-fighting time, he’s totally ready to whip his enemies.

The simplicity of Mister Miyagi’s pedagogy is also evident in his commandment to Daniel-San: “I teach. You learn.” No state benchmarks, no standardized curriculum, no wiggle room for whining, no extra help on quizzes, no quizzes for that matter. I teach, you learn. That’s it. Would that it could be so simple in my classroom.

Mister Miyagi also catches flies with chopsticks. That would be so cool if I could do that.

Today I’m listening to: Public Enemy


Mar
2nd
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From Wikipedia: 1893 ad from a Chicago newspaper for “Kirk’s Soap”. The ad plays on the opening that year of the Yerkes Observatory’s 1-meter (40-inch) refracting telescope (the largest of its type in the world), and the idea that Mars was populated with intelligent life.

From Wikipedia: 1893 ad from a Chicago newspaper for “Kirk’s Soap”. The ad plays on the opening that year of the Yerkes Observatory’s 1-meter (40-inch) refracting telescope (the largest of its type in the world), and the idea that Mars was populated with intelligent life.


Mar
1st
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Movin’ On Up

I’m the 37th Google result for “esp”. Nifty!