Once again, the university’s front porch speaks.

And it would be the University of Miami, a comprehensively filthy athletics program. (Put University and Miami in my search engine if you dare.) Of course the dude in question is just your average majorly fucked up nineteen year old male (the article I link to doesn’t even specify the UM drug test he failed), but the entire media apparatus of the United States of America is currently trained on the University of Miami because… Well, they don’t call football the front porch of the university for nothing.

Meanwhile, feast your eyes on the latest I love it but I can’t watch it anymore football fan confession. (Here’s another. UD thanks Dirk for sending the link to it.)

Despite the pull football exerted on [Steven] Almond, a lifelong Oakland Raiders fan, he decided that he couldn’t watch it anymore because of its seamier side: its violence, misogyny and the corrupting influence of big money.

“It’s complicated,” Almond said. “But for me, the darkness was enough to realize that I didn’t want to be a sponsor anymore.”

Darkness? Them front porch lights are shining brighter and brighter.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge…

… instablogging. Strange bridge. Its long long span over the bay and the boats is daunting at this early point in the drive. The girders and struts curve impossibly in front of you. The overcast sky darkens the container ships in the distance. There’s a line of them, like a funeral convoy.

Traffic is slow. UD and her sister listen to Eva Cassidy sing a Paul Simon song. The opposite shore is flat long and dark, like the container ships. No white-sailed pleasure boats out there on a Tuesday afternoon.

And here are the yellow-jacketed construction guys whose work is the reason we’re moving so slowly. We’re at the very highest point of the bridge. The sun begins to emerge.

Okay, we’re going like gangbusters now. Descending into Queen Anne’s County.

****************

Starting point for today’s walk: Cambridge, Maryland. A bayside hamlet we’ve never visited. We’re not expecting to be impressed. Small bay towns tend to be a bit thready.

But the drive… Once past the bridge, you settle into a trance as flat corn and soy fields sidle by. Tobacco? Probably still some of that being planted.

*****************

In the event, we are pretty impressed with Cambridge. Sunny day, charming marina, lighthouse, seabirds, sailboats. We walked around the piers and docks, gazed at the bridge over the Choptank River.

And now we’re having lunch overlooking the water at the Hyatt.

Robin Williams dies.

Suicide. Reportedly. A shocker.

He had been “severely depressed.”

Much to think about here.

At the very end of his book on suicide, A. Alvarez (himself a failed suicide) writes that suicide is “a terrible but utterly natural reaction to the strained, narrow, unnatural necessities we sometimes create for ourselves.”

And then too one thinks of the Stevie Smith poem:

Not Waving But Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

****************

David Foster Wallace writes about depression in Infinite Jest:

[I]t was as if a large billowing shape came billowing out of some corner in my mind. I can be no more precise than to say large, dark, shape, and billowing, what came flapping out of some backwater of my psyche I had not the slightest inkling was there. … It was total psychic horror: death, decay, dissolution, cold empty black malevolent lonely voided space. … I simply could not live with how it felt. … I understood the term hell as of that summer day and that night in the sophomore dormitory. I understood what people meant by hell.

******************************

It is a level of psychic pain wholly incompatible with human life as we know it. It is a sense of radical and thoroughgoing evil not just as a feature but as the essence of conscious existence. It is a sense of poisoning that pervades the self at the self’s most elementary levels. It is a nausea of the cells and soul. It is an unnumb intuition in which the world is fully rich and animate and un-map-like and also thoroughly painful and malignant and antagonistic to the self, which depressed self It billows on and coagulates around and wraps in Its black folds and absorbs into Itself, so that an almost mystical unity is achieved with a world every constituent of which means painful harm to the self. … It is also lonely on a level that cannot be conveyed….

“Dean of Students Arrested on Charges of Grand Theft”

Where else but at never-a-dull-moment FAMU (put that acronym in my search engine for many earlier posts about FAMU’s homicidal marching band, its other high-level thieves, etc.) would the dean be in jail for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from students?

This post’s title headlined some articles about this event that were published earlier today. He’s now the former dean.

“After people were done with household chores like reindeer slaughter, fishing, and gathering berries in autumn…”

Other blogs recommend YouTubes; here, for what it’s worth, is UD‘s idea of an entertaining YouTube.

“The exchange’s public relations staff has helped [Scott H.] Irwin shop his pro-speculation essays to newspaper op-ed pages, according to emails reviewed by The Times.”

Here’s a link to the New York Times story.

*******************

And here’s a link (UD thanks Stephen) to where one of the people written about in the NYT piece seems to threaten to sue.

Read the comments on certain articles and you’ll discern, in some of them…

… the deep structure, if you will, of a situation. Example: Jockschool Louisiana State University is jacking up game ticket and parking prices because the program loses millions every year, and will lose more with every year, into the foreseeable future.

A few comments on the article:

Jesus H. Christ, ALLEVA. [Alleva is the athletic director.] You pay 4.6 million a year to ONE guy [- Les Miles, football coach -] and your ENTIRE DEPARTMENT is in the whole half of his salary? So whats your grand idea? Make the thousands of fans pay more instead of cutting elsewhere? … Ask [Les Miles] to take a pay cut to keep LSU football alive without going into the fans’ pockets. Asking 1 man to sacrifce or 100,000 men? You wanna bet on what the answer will be? Pathetic.

—————-

[I]t’s bad enough you make loyal fans pay a kick back for the RIGHT to buy a ticket …. now you charge for parking that has been free for years … I could take my family to eat at Ruth’s Chris [Steakhouse] for less then what a coke and hot dog cost … Les Miles makes more then probably the rest of his coaches combined and the man can’t tell time … he recruits thugs and benches kids because he has his favorites… costing us national championships …

—————–

the real issue is where is all the tv money, merchandising money, ticket money, bowl game money, etc etc ???? would love to see a breakdown of expenditures to see where the WASTE really is going.

A cartoon Allen Frances included in …

Saving Normal, his book

cartooncheatsonme

about the benighted DSM-V.

Recent discussion here.

[Click on the image for a bigger picture.]

Ooh, let’s be quick on this one…

… and just post a link before we even really read the thing!

Okay right so we fund research - we here being the federal government, being our taxes – and these three NYU medical researchers give the results to China in exchange for money.

Details here.

‘… you wouldnt see women going and killing one another and slaughtering when do you ever see women rolling around drunk like they do or gambling every penny they have and losing it…’

Life imitates art – Molly Bloom and gambling emerge in the real world, on the front page of the New York Times.

This Molly totally approves of gambling.

Her soliloquy – a tell-all, just like Leopold Bloom’s Molly’s – will appear in 2014.

It’s not clear if Bloom herself will appear in order to promote it. She might be in jail.

The University of Cincinnati’s Disbarred Trustee

I think they really need to update this webpage. It says Stanley Chesley is a member of the Kentucky bar, but he’s not. He’s been disbarred.

The Kentucky Supreme Court upheld the disbarment of famed class action lawyer Stanley Chesley, a partner at Waite Schneider Bayless & Chesley Co. in Cincinnati, for “unreasonable” fees received in the settlement of a class action. Under Ohio Rules of Professional Responsibility, the disbarment may provide grounds for disbarment in Ohio as well.

Eh, unreasonable is a relative thing. You think it’s unreasonable for Stanley to have collected 20.5 million dollars for doing nothing in a class action suit. Others may differ.

Let’s see what he did for his cut of the settlement.

[Chesley] show[ed] up at the mediation and [went] through the motions of announcing the agreement.

Nice work if you can get it; and he doesn’t have to pay back anything, so fine. However, his greed appears to have embarrassed the bar enough for them to dump him.

Ohio’s next.

UD, an English professor, is a big believer in re-reading what you wrote and editing as the need arises. Go to it, Cincinnati.

“[W]hy was Thahabi due to attend Reading University’s Muslim Society on Thursday?”

… asks UD‘s blogpal Ophelia Benson about a cleric who encourages the murder of gay people and positively insists that by eight years of age girls must be hidden behind the burqa.

Well, it’s an old story, British universities sponsoring the ideas of men who think like this – seems every time UD turns around a school is tussling with on-campus prayers that call for the death of apostates, etc., etc.

Now, in both of these cases there has ultimately been a sensible response: Mr Kill the Filthy Dogs has been cancelled; and the other university has asked that the content of prayers be submitted in advance. But the thing just keeps happening – British universities sponsor events that segregate women and prohibit them from asking questions, sponsor speakers who want to murder adulterous people… I mean adulterous women… I mean women accused of adultery…

Anyway. Maybe these most recent responses suggest that the British are getting some backbone.

Flagellating Fascism

Gentle Hitler meek and mild appears, a statue kneeling in prayer, as you peer through a hole in a wall at the site of the Warsaw ghetto. It’s an art installation.

Art journals dredge up the dead language people dredge up on occasions such as this. The artist’s work “reveal[s] contradictions at the core of today’s society.”

Praying little boy Hitler (We can look forward to praying little boy Pol Pot in the killing fields, praying little boy Stalin in the gulag, and praying little boy Assad in Aleppo.) is a quintessential work of kitsch – so much so that UD intends to feature it in her aesthetics course this semester. It conforms to Milan Kundera’s definition of the form: “the absolute denial of shit.” It’s the functional equivalent of “the Hitler with a song in his heart” in The Producers. Like Franz Liebkind, it wants to remind you that Hitler was essentially an innocent – a flawed human being like every one of us. He knows what he did was wrong, and if he were alive today and in touch with his inner child he’d be on his knees in the middle of the Warsaw ghetto praying for forgiveness.

Praying little boy Hitler conveys the important truth that we’re all potential Hitlers. Paul Berman, reviewing the work of Andre Glucksmann, writes:

The eleventh commandment that Glucksmann wants to append to the biblical ten is this: to know thyself as capable of being a monster – even if that means saying (and here the imp of excess wraps its fingers around Glucksmann’s neck [...]), “Hitler, c’est moi.”

Plague town

As more victims from the slaughter of 20 children and six adults were laid to rest, long funeral processions clogged the streets of Newtown …

Associated Press

*******************************

They walked out together into the fine fall day, scuffling bright ragged leaves under their feet, turning their faces up to a generous sky really blue and spotless. At the first corner they waited for a funeral to pass, the mourners seated straight and firm as if proud in their sorrow. [...] “It seems to be a plague,” said Miranda, “something out of the Middle Ages. Did you ever see so many funerals, ever?”

Katherine Anne Porter, “Pale Horse, Pale Rider”

“It is a college campus for crying out loud. The young students are going to have a good time. They pay to go to school there and get excited when football games are held. The university has plenty of money to have it cleaned up.”

The voice of the people. Philosophy of education, American-style. If the University of Georgia students and alumni like to shit all over the campus during football games, “it’s a college campus for crying out loud.” That’s what college campuses are for.

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