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Arbitrary but Frantic Friday

Wow, the past two weeks completely got away from me.  And no wonder!  Classes began this Monday, and I am doing 23 things at once—not just directing Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities, which involves holding meetings, making plans, holding more meetings, thinking up stuff, getting in touch with people who might know where to put stuff, scheduling things, looking around for places in which to schedule things, calling people, redesigning the website, writing letters, sending out notices, configuring two new laptops with a new email program, writing the copy for the film festival, planning peoples’ itineraries, devising a new alphabet, inventing a wheel, and holding some meetings, but also writing my syllabus for my first-year seminar on disability studies and putting it on the interwebs and making sure all the hyperlinks to essays on electronic reserve actually work and then scrambling to find a new classroom when it turns out that the one to which I was assigned has no (a) computer (b) wireless capacity or (d) air conditioning.  Oh yes, and looking around for places to show the three films I’ve assigned.

Also, I’ve had a whole bunch of incredibly minute personal things to attend to.  I did manage to get the bicycle fixed up and get myself a new helmet and mirror and bottleholder, but then forgot to get the kind of water bottle that you can use while wearing a hockey helmet and full face-guard—you know, the kind with a long built-in strawlike thing.  I did remember (just today) to bring my spacey dreamy ambient music to my new office (there’s a personal stereo mounted on the wall!), and I remembered to get all my asthma meds refilled, which I can do now that I’ve finally seen a doctor for the first time in five years, but the sneakers I ordered still haven’t come in, and I have to get stuff dry-cleaned before Geoff Harpham shows up next week to deliver our Inaugural Fall Lecture, so that I can look nice when I crash into his car.* Also, the lawn could stand another mowing.  Funny, I don’t even care.

Need I add that Jamie doesn’t start school until next Tuesday?  He came to my class yesterday, and he came to my pickup hockey games Monday night and last night, and he’s been setting up shop in the Institute conference room with his laptop and his movies and his Harry Potter games every day this week.  He’s a good good kid.  And he likes the strawberry-kiwi juice we keep on hand here.

So, dear readers, I apologize for being away for so long.  I haven’t really been paying attention to the news, either—apparently Alan Simpson flipped out when Shango Shabazz X walked by the Catfood Mosque?  And Ken Mehlman is boycotting Target?** Did I miss something? 

Oh, well, at least some things are clear—the Washington Post editorial page is kinda sleazy and corrupt, but on the other hand, Oaktown Girl and Michael O’Hare have some great things to say about economic justice.  Go read those things.

I don’t know when I’ll be back—I have to hold some meetings and read a lot of stuff.  But for your enduring listening pleasure, here’s this week’s Dueling Covers of Sixties Classics:

(H/t to Jamie, who found this in an obscure corner of the webs.)

(From my parents’ record collection, just like the Baez from last week.  Yes, I grew up in that kind of house.)

_________

* Comment 11 in that thread still makes me laugh so hard.  Comment 51 is pretty great, too.

** Mr. Gregg Steinhafel Target CEO sir, if you’re reading this far, thank you for spending all that money to help save my marriage from Teh Gays!  Janet and I are one in our strong and very heterosexual decision to take the four or five thousand dollars we drop in your stores every year and spend them elsewhere.  We thus totally refudiate your First Amendment rights, though we have to add that we’re glad that nasty Moveon.org “Bush is Hitler” crew can’t show their ads on the teevee, because that would be bad for democracy.

Posted by on 08/27 at 01:18 PM
  1. Also, I’ve had a whole bunch of incredibly minute personal things to attend to.

    Does anyone have the time to darn socks <b>these</i> days?  Oh, our throw away culture.

    Posted by  on  08/27  at  03:53 PM
  2. Yes, these kids today are just careless.  Sometimes they don’t even close their tags properly!  That’s why they’re still living at home when they’re 25, like the New York Times tells me.  I blame Guitar Hero.

    Posted by  on  08/27  at  03:58 PM
  3. the Mehlman delivers.....

    Posted by  on  08/27  at  03:58 PM
  4. Car accident insurance claim always brings it.

    And, I’d hazard, he is aware of all internet traditions too.

    Posted by Martin  on  08/27  at  04:49 PM
  5. Mr Havens’ cover captures more of the quiet desperation of Ms Rigby’s passing than did the Fab Four. The original recording harmonies and chamber-like backup push against the lyric. Havens backed by solely by Havens on guitar would be interesting too.

    Captcha: death. Are we becoming an online poetry blog?

    Posted by  on  08/27  at  08:37 PM
  6. Yeah, Oaktown Girl, Mistress of Justice, WAAGNFNP

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  08/27  at  08:57 PM
  7. Living in my shame-filled, html-tagging ute, on this Day in the Life (Rolling Stones #1 Beatles song of all time?), I always pondered what the jar looked like in this Revolver quote:  wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door?

    Of course i am staggered by the realization that every original Beatles’ song is now over 40 years old.

    Posted by  on  08/27  at  09:45 PM
  8. please, pretty please link to your disability studies seminar syllabus

    Posted by  on  08/27  at  11:43 PM
  9. According to comment 51 in that old post, someone is working on my ordination!  But I don’t wanna be a Prieeeeeest! (<- Read with Seinfeldian whine.)

    That some seriously dadaist spam, btw.

    Captcha word:  post.  Alright already! (Or perhaps: always already!)

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  08/28  at  09:09 AM
  10. Did I miss something? 

    Hausergate?

    I’ll probably situation the ordination on Virago when I return from Lake Tahoe

    What is that blasted frequency, Kenneth?

    Posted by  on  08/28  at  11:39 AM
  11. Mr Havens’ cover captures more of the quiet desperation of Ms Rigby’s passing than did the Fab Four.

    I agree that it’s more urgent than the original, and I would point (being a drummer and all) to those emphatic half-note triplets on the snare in the final verse.  They really take the song to the Next Level of Urgency.  But then, when the violins go all staccato and shit in the original, that’s pretty cool too.  The string quartet gives the song a kind of stately somber quality, on which the animation in Yellow Submarine picks up nicely.

    Of course i am staggered by the realization that every original Beatles’ song is now over 40 years old.

    It is indeed staggering.  You know what else is over 40 years old?  Hitler!  No, wait.  Julian Lennon.  I meant to say Julian Lennon.

    Car accident insurance claim always brings it.

    And, I’d hazard, he is aware of all internet traditions too.

    Oh, great, Martin.  Just great. “Accident” and “hazard” in the same comment.  Now I’m going to get all kinds of insurance spam.

    Dr. V., I don’t believe Ratzinger I will allow your ordination situation anyway.  And James, send me an email and I’ll send you a syllabus....

    Posted by Michael  on  08/28  at  12:29 PM
  12. Okay, so you grew up in that sort of house, but they named you “Michael,” not “moon beam” or “dylan,” or “Tim—the Enchanter.” Glad to hear that you and Harpham are taking the demoliton derby on the road.  No mortification this time.  Kudos to Jamie for finding the cool clip! Kudos to you for getting out on the ice for another season.  Gordie would be proud.  He’d also think that playing into your seventies is an option.

    Posted by  on  08/28  at  12:33 PM
  13. I meant to say Julian Lennon.
    But not that other one, by the other one. 

    And why use a quartet when you can double down with an octet? Instead, McCartney used a string octet of studio musicians, composed of four violins, two cellos, and two violas, all performing a score composed by producer George Martin All that string theory stuff staccatoing and all that.

    Posted by  on  08/28  at  02:30 PM
  14. Wow, so that quartet goes to eight.  Who knew?

    Okay, so you grew up in that sort of house, but they named you “Michael,” not “moon beam” or “dylan,” or “Tim—the Enchanter.”

    No, no, it wasn’t that kind of that kind of house, it was the kind where you learn the lyrics to “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night” before you learn the lyrics to “Teddy Bears Picnic.”

    Posted by  on  08/28  at  03:04 PM
  15. You mean to tell me that for some children “Joe Hill” is not their first lullaby? How would they learn the integrity of work, the courage it takes to organize against corporate oppression, and the difference between Dr. King and Glenn Beck?

    Posted by  on  08/28  at  03:37 PM
  16. I did remember (just today) to bring my spacey dreamy ambient music to my new office

    I dare say Chihei Hatakeyama will be glad to hear it.

    Posted by Dave Maier  on  08/28  at  07:58 PM
  17. IMHO without George Martin, the Beatles would have been a footnote. But I’ve always been more of a Stones kind of guy.

    Posted by  on  08/28  at  10:19 PM
  18. “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night” before you learn the lyrics to “Teddy Bears Picnic.”

    Yes, that sort of difference between those effete liberal NYC elites versus CA stoned-out hippy caregivers, when they cared.  But Baby Gramps doing “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” is the perfect conjoining coast-to-coast.

    Posted by  on  08/28  at  10:48 PM
  19. @6 - Thanks, Bill!
    I always thought it’d be cool to be the inspiration for poetry. Well, if not poetry, at least I was the inspiration for some writing about the “poetry of justice”.

    And for folks who’ve got the lingering bad taste of the “Beckpocalypse” still in their mouth from today’s atrocity, here’s a reminder of what real March on Washington was about.

    Posted by  on  08/29  at  12:18 AM
  20. wearing the paste? Well, that explains a lot.

    Posted by  on  08/29  at  11:23 AM
  21. There’s a tinge of contempt in the original that’s absent from the Havens.  Havens wasn’t an irony kind of guy.  He was empathy, 100 percent.

    Posted by  on  08/29  at  12:26 PM
  22. Havens still is, isn’t he?  I saw him just a few years ago, and he still had plenty of gas left in the tank. 

    By the by, Prof. Berube - when you speak of scheduling stuff and finding venues for stuff, don’t you mean your admin assist is doing a lot of that?  I know public universities don’t provide much in the way of support staff, having worked for one, but surely someone is doing some of the grunt work for you.  Credit where due, etc.

    At least in theory.

    Posted by Rugosa  on  08/29  at  08:57 PM
  23. I dreamed I saw Geoff Harp last night,
    Lecturing me and you.
    Says I, “But Geoff, I crunched your car!”
    Geoff said, “That’s why I flew.”

    All that string theory stuff staccatoing and all that.

    Hey, now!  As a former physicist-er, I resent this usage.  McCartney’s octet actually existed.

    How would they learn the integrity of work, the courage it takes to organize against corporate oppression, and the difference between Dr. King and Glenn Beck?

    Well, for the latter, an old-school Sesame Street “One of these things is not like the other” segment would do it.

    here’s a reminder of what real March on Washington was about.

    We already know the message of the original march, Ms. Girl.  Hostility to federal government interference, pride in overseas military entanglements, and distrust of uppity Negroes.

    Posted by  on  08/30  at  09:04 AM
  24. The original march also destroyed America’s honor, which is why it had to be restored this weekend.

    Rugosa—Sue Reighard is indeed a terrific administrative assistant; she knows all the ground rules around here (and is getting me up to speed on them) and makes great suggestions.  She’s also the institutional memory of the place, since the associate director and I are both noobs.  So yes, she’s doing a great deal of the work of running the Institute.  But when I say I am scheduling stuff and finding venues for stuff, I do mean that I am doing these things.  And I will be doing some of that today at 11, probably with Jamie in tow, trying to figure out whether we can do something about this.

    Posted by Michael  on  08/30  at  09:54 AM
  25. Classes started August 23?? Either They’re out to get you, or They’re making you pay a terrible price for a week off at Thanksgiving.

    Posted by  on  08/30  at  02:54 PM
  26. we can do something about this.

    For example hiring NOLA musicians to play at the Emmy’s last night would have been a great idea.  Or hiring more of them to work in obscure places such as tv shows and movies.  One of the very best of the Studio 60 on Sunset Strip’s 22 episodes was one dedicated to NOLA and the musical arts (the Christmas Show).  We need more of that, and of whatever you are planning to figure out with Jamie today at 11AM.

    2.3 Major props then to Sue Reighard!

    Posted by  on  08/30  at  03:33 PM
  27. Chihei Hatakeyama should be glad to hear it.

    Posted by Gevril  on  09/02  at  10:13 AM
  28. Did I miss something?

    Posted by Ruby  on  09/07  at  10:37 AM
  29. That explains exactly.

    Posted by louie vitton luggage  on  09/10  at  02:00 AM
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    Posted by  on  09/11  at  07:46 AM
  31. thanks Michael! 

    I’ve had this ambient sci-fi noir earwig (brainwig?) in my head for the last couple of years (really).  I’ve been trying to remember it—but couldn’t find the right terms to throw at google.  But now you’ve given it to me—Code 46!  Dead brainwig—yeah! 

    Nowhere near PA, otherwise I’d definitely go.

    Posted by  on  09/12  at  01:52 AM
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  34. We need more of that, every day ok.

    Posted by Sexo  on  06/30  at  04:02 PM

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