Yeezus is crazy.
I just saw Man of Steel, and, as the young, sprawling cultural theorist that I am, I left less impressed with the action than fascinated by all the Christian imagery. It was absolutely bizarre to me, how the film fashioned Superman as a Jesus-like figure. This became apparent in a scene where Clark walks into a church and confesses his identity to a priest. When speaking, the camera is framed so as to show the mosaic jesus on the wall behind him. It all made sense then — Kal-el surrenders himself on behalf of the human race, but he is free of sin; before his “resurrection,” i.e. his breakdown on General Zod’s spacecraft, he “turns the other cheek” and refrains from hurting those who hurt him. A quick Google search produced plenty of articles on the topic… I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed this.
A lack of motivation or passion, that’s what it is. As I sit here in the Olin library, third floor on a comfortable lime seat, adjacent the swaying tree that kocks at my window, I resent my dissatisfaction. It seems unappreciative to complain during my stipend-supplied sojourn in St. Louis, yet germane to mention that this is not what I had intended.
I wanted to interview people; to feel the discharge from another’s earnest divulgence, or the ooze of his hesitant whisper; to provide subsequent interpretations. I wanted an empathetic experience. But instead, I sit in my cushioned chair reading impersonal literature and feeling detached from my ob-ject-of-stu-dy.
Wind ruffles the leaves of the tree outside and exposes their beauty to this clandestine voyeur. I only hope to redirect my attention to my project and refrain from academic negligence and unremitting self-indulgence. I am grateful for this opportunity to participate in academic research. I cannot squander it.
I just finished Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, a work of children’s literature on nature, morality, and most predominantly, life and death. This is not my first time reading Tuck (I first read it for class in the 3rd grade), but what still fascinates me about Babbitt is her delicacy in presenting the topic of death to such a young audience. In her novel, she analogizes life to a ferris wheel, to a river—she conveys the beauty and necessity of death to a child, a point that is difficult enough to explain to an adult. And she writes with a lucidity that has perennially impressed many scenes into my mind—the sprinkling of the spring water on the toad, the Tucks’ silent disregard of breakfast etiquette… the observance of Winnie’s epitaph. Over ten years have passed since my first venture into Treegap wood, yet the scenes therein are no less poignant.
People tend to dislike hearing their actions described and explained in socio/psychological terms, perhaps in part because they perceive that these terms diminish their sense of autonomy and agency…
I am enjoying my stay at Washington University in St. Louis. After a week of orientation and housekeeping, I finally began my first day of intensive research. It went smoothly and was only made better by the day’s climate and WashU’s stellar scenery—trees and vast greens abound; this place cannot get anymore green! Yet despite these pleasures, I still find my experience detracted by an at-times irritating roommate. He is a naive and condescending guy who constantly accentuates the exclusionist quality of science. He will talk about engineers, and say they are not scientists; he professes to lack respect for psychology and even some of biology. And as he criticizes other disciplines, he imbues his “science” with an air of exceptionalism, deluded by a belief in absolute objectivity.
It has been a while since I’ve seen someone religiously subscribed to the scientific method, or exhibiting such an immature understanding of the humanities, philosophy, and cultural studies. Often, he will ask how my day of reading went, assuming with a tone of condescension that books comprise the entirety of the humanities—and that humanities is a homogenous college under which all non-sciences seem to fall. Idiots like this need a wakeup call, they need to be dragged down from their pedestals and educated on the necessity of humanitarian and non-“scientific” thinking. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that a program dominated by the physical sciences would turn out a monomaniac with blinders on all but science. Aw well—I suspect confrontations between us will transpire before summer’s end.
Daft Punk really did something special with this track, Touch (feat. Paul Williams)
There’s something profoundly childish in the House Republicans 37th attempt to repeal Obamacare.
A Lesson in Vengeance
In the dour ages
Of drafty cells and draftier castles,
Of dragons breathing without the frame of fables,
Saint and king unfisted obstruction’s knuckles
By no miracle or majestic means,
But by such abuses
As smack of spite and the overscrupulous
Twisting of thumbscrews: one soul tied in sinews,
One white horse drowned, and all the unconquered pinnacles
Of God’s city and Babylon’s
Must wait, while here Suso’s
Hand hones his tack and needles,
Scouraging to sores his own red sluices
For the relish of heaven, relentless, dousing with prickles
Of horsehair and lice his horny loins;
While there irate Cyrus
Squanders a summer and the brawn of his heroes
To rebuke the horse-swallowing River Gyndes:
He split it into three hundred and sixty trickles
A girl could wade without wetting her shins.
Still, latter-day sages,
Smiling at this behavior, subjugating their enemies
Neatly, nicely, by disbelief or bridges,
Never grip, as the grandsires did, that devil who chuckles
From grain of the marrow and the river-bed grains.
— Sylvia Plath
It’s been said so many times, and by so many people, but group projects suck ass. It irritates me when another member seems to be putting forth minimal effort and not pulling their weight. Just recently, a group member sat around in class staring at her computer “thinking” while the rest of us were vigorously typing away. People like her, who just work on the contours of the project and never delve in, piss me off. I suppose that’s the difficulty of group projects, getting everyone to follow a similar trajectory and match your effort. Jesus, I just want this semester to be over.
Gorillaz - Latin Simone (Que Pasa Contigo)
“The new men of Empire are the ones who believe in fresh starts, new chapters, new pages; I struggle on with the old story, hoping that before it is finished it will reveal to me why it was that I thought it worth the trouble.”
— J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
Still love these guys. Wish I could see them live again. The beat over the kalimba at 1:40 sounds so crisp.
Shabazz Palaces - An Echo From the Hosts… Live on KEXP
Why doesn’t anyone talk about the 1953 Iranian coup that was instigated by the U.S. to depose the country’s first and to-date only democratically elected government?