Saturday XXIX • 27 October 2007

Thursday was the cursed full moon. Orange from the horrible ash of the horrible fires, but so beautiful for it. Like the summer moons back in Montana, when the dust from harvest hangs in the air for weeks.

That day in the sculpture garden, pent up and tense, I passed a professor for whom I worked in the fall of 2003. I corrected exams in Ancient Greek History in order to make my IRA contribution that year. We had catty workload issues at the beginning, him first year on the job and me a union steward with standards to set. Then I saw him lecture on the Peloponnesian War and oh my god. Co-opted owl, right there. In the years since, he’s gone gray (adorable, but shows we’ve both been here a while). He called out in the garden:

“You’re still here? Ha! Did they give you tenure yet?” (Very funny.)

No man. I just… added a second course of study.

Anyway. It’s Saturday. The truth is I’ve had two out of three disastrous weekends in October. Rolling around to a Sunday night walk and finding myself enervated and distant, feeling uselessness in what the previous 48 hours have been. Hmmm: I’ve structured the next two days so tightly that there’s no room for reflection, irritated or otherwise.

Am I trying to hide from something, or just taking the insight from practice that my mind sometimes likes to be bound, needs to be reigned in, and operates better with some structure?

Couplea links before I head out again.

● You know that they’re mutilating the women in Juarez, right? And in Guate. Horrible, sick terror. According to Amnesty, “almost 400 women and girls have been murdered in Mexico…. In Guatemala, 2200 women have been killed since 2001. Exceptional cruelty and sexual violence characterize many of the killings.” For the Day of the Dead (a more intense holiday than Halloween, where we use children to chase away death instead of celebrating it) lots of people are sending home-made crosses to the countries’ consulates, asking yet again for attention to epidemics both countries have basically ignored. Cool project.

● Anthopologists, who take themselves so seriously it hurts, love to issue referenda on this and that cultural issue. They’re guilt-racked, you see, given the disgusting colonialist legacy on which their analytical framework rests. This is why many of them have retreated into lame textual criticism. Anyway, this beyond-ironic thing is happening, and I can’t say I oppose it (for as much as I despise everything GWB has ever done, like the rest of you). Anthrpologists are going out with US troops in Afghanistan to “culturally sensitize” them as they go busting down doors. Of course they’re being pilloried by their colleagues. Here’s the balanced view of the situation I’ve been wanting. 

● It looks like my people are in decline. Awwww. Large NYTM article on the Evangelical Movement. Now there’s a death I can celebrate, but it will have to wait until I actually read this article.

● Looking for a film recommendation for Tuesday night. Last year we went for a walk in the richer parts of Brentwood, where the denizens have had “their” gardeners deck out the houses in the latest and most ostentatious Halloween dress-up, and had “their” nannies do the same with the children. A great show, appropriately decadent. Then watched Terror By Night (1946) with Basil Rathbone as Sherlock. I don’t know what to watch this year. Any gore goes straight into my dreams and terrorizes me, so I’m more looking for artful suspense than horror. Also, for all my comfort with the dark side, there is still latent fear of Christian-style evil (namely, Satan) that just does not need to be primed until my sense of humor has full reign over my subconscious. Any suggestions?