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Mar. 14th, 2005 @ 12:55 am sinners in the hands of an angry god
Book idea.

Look at him. He looks so ordinary, so intellectual. The kind of calm, gentle man you'd see running Bible study for old ladies on Sunday afternoons. Even through the crappy photo and ambiguously sinister expression, his face is not the face of a murderer.

The question I think everyone wants to know the answer to: What on earth was that sermon about?
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Mar. 14th, 2005 @ 02:30 am captain picard is doing the voice for lloyd in steamboy
*hysterical laughter*

*looks at link again*

*resumes hysterical laughter*
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Mar. 14th, 2005 @ 12:51 pm 3/14
Happy Pi Day, everyone!

Also, heads up from the Office of Career Services: The CIA is taking internships. Most of the positions look disappointingly mundane, but the job description for Core Collector is intriguingly vague.

And hey, they have a promotional trailer thing with Jennifer Garner in it. Garrrrrrrrrrrrrrrner.
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Mar. 14th, 2005 @ 01:21 pm the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls (and tenement halls)
You know those crazy urban prophets who stand at street corners holding signs and shouting gibberish at passersby? Imagine if one of them was actually a brilliant poet, and if there were actual rhyme and reason behind his words, obscured by the desperation of his tone and the power of his images, and you'd be imagining Allen Ginsburg.

"Howl" speaks to me, and not because I know that Samuel and Ezekiel and John the Baptist once stood on street corners shouting insane gibberish about repentance to people who considered themselves good and decent, and not because I too know the horrors of the mental asylum and the sanity of madness. In a maddening rush of syllables it speaks to an America removed from God, the frontier and the wilderness demystified in ideology and technology, a generation of poets and inventors and visionaries snuffed out by drugs and sex and government and an utterly hypocritical set of moral and religious values. It revisits Whitman's message of beauty in the everyday lives of people and replaces his revelatory tone with one of despair--mad people in a madder world, where nothing works the way it should, where robber barons live in penthouses and geniuses shoot up heroin in the streets. ("I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked," it begins.) This poem would have been the crowning achievement of the '60s and '70s had it not been written in 1955. Far ahead of his time, this man was.

The only thing awful about this guy (besides some of the homoerotic/sacriligeous imagery that exists only for shock value) is his legion of hipster dadaist imitators: his poetry is like an expressionist joke; it's only funny once. Second and third and fiftieth times make you look like an idiot. Come on, people, he used lines like "miles of cock and balls" because they were powerful within the context of his subject matter, not because there was anything inherently liberating about using a taboo phrase.

And to think that the poem was brought to a censorship trial for being obscene. The hypocrisy of trying to censor this book would only prove his point--that the sugar-coated ideology of the rich and the innocent hides a world where there is no justice, where the greatest and wisest minds of our time live in squalor while fraud genuises and child sages are rewarded with greed, where the good are slandered as evil and the evil are exalted as good to preserve the illusion of justice. Where politicians give grand speeches about the greatness and mercy and equal opportunity of America and the victory against totalitarianism in the fight for freedom, while stamping down on the poor and the downtrodden these values were conceived to serve.

Be not misled, "Howl" is not a polemic against American beliefs and values. It is a yearning for the old America that the new America pretends to worship, a time when freedom and love and the American spirit were tangible things. A time when one could feel the breath of God in every bench and tree and pew, as Whitman so keenly observed, and right was right and wrong was wrong. It is a dirge for America's lost faith in itself.

Yeah, it's not hard to see why we're studying this poem at Oberlin.
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Mar. 14th, 2005 @ 06:20 pm /pizza
This says so much about the EverQuest community I don't even know where to begin.
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Mar. 14th, 2005 @ 09:11 pm a bizarre glimpse into the past
I shot this video sometime during the first month or so of freshman year and somehow never remembered to post it on livejournal. What's interesting is that I no longer hang out with any of these people--some of them I still talk to on an infrequent basis, but I don't really know any of them anymore. In order of appearance, from left to right: Dave, Paul, Becca, Elly, and Russ. I should hunt them down sometime and see where they've been for the past year or so.

Russ was my roommate, by the way, who mysteriously disappeared that winter term to secretly move in with a bandmate in Talcott. The mirror he refers to is the shiny fake-metal square in my shitty digital camera.

Bonus picture of me giving wax Bush bunny ears. Taken in Madame Toussaud's in Hong Kong, I think.
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