So, I’m kicking around the idea of doing my own homework and writing a research paper with my composition kids.
I started out last week thinking that I’d research Shackleton’s Endurance expedition, but then I became aware that yesterday would mark the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. I’m thinking, now, that I want to do some research into his funeral. Ritual fascinates me, and State ritual is particularly interesting. The fact that Kennedy was killed on Friday and buried on Monday is kind of amazing – that something that detailed and orchestrated could be put into place so quickly with no advanced notice is not insignificant – and I’m interested to know about the processes and trappings that went into laying our President to rest.
In the course of my preliminary reading on the subject, I came across this article, and it got me thinking – again – about the ways in which we “publicize” the violence we do to one another.
Jackie made the deliberate decision to stay in the pink suit until she returned home from Dallas that day, despite several people gently suggesting that she change the bloodstained clothes. She is quoted in a number of places as having said something to the effect of she wanted “them to see what they’d done,” (and though I find her pronouns a little confusing, I think “them” is the people and “they” are her husband’s killer/s. I could be wrong about that).
Anyway, that got me thinking about this. I do think that, despite the ever-increasing violence and gore that can be found in our entertainment – movies, t.v., video games and the like – the fact that we sanitize the real violence we do to one another is, I think, a very serious problem. I wonder if we were exposed more often to the end results of some of the horrific things we do to each other if we might think twice about doing it.
Maybe, but I’m not sure.
Today is the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
As I am not yet 45, this event was never a part of my psyche; my defining moments are, I think, the Challenger explosion and, of course, 9/11. Listening to the commemorations on public radio and T.V. today, though, it’s plain that, for a number of people who are of an age to recall this day 50 years ago, it remains an important part of their national identity.
I am contemplating today what it means to me to be an American. I’m thinking about the things that I learned about the Kennedy years – the call for service, the insistence upon responsibility to one’s fellows, the drive for innovation and exploration – and am wondering whether I’m doing enough to contribute to the very real (but scarcely realized) promise of this country. I’m thinking about the ways in which I can minimize the dysfunction in our political and civic life; what else can I do to help educate, empower, and nurture my fellow countrymen? Where can I go to find like-minded, energetic, passionate, dedicated, and ethical people who are willing to do some hard work to make sure that we’re living up to our collective potential? How can I best put my time, energy, and talent to use?
While I think that teaching is a noble calling (and one to which I am fiercely dedicated), I’m starting to question (again) whether that’s where I truly belong. I’m again finding myself professionally frustrated, and as I think about JFK (and RFK, and MLK, and all the others who have exhorted us to be our best selves), I am wondering where I truly belong.
Harry Reid finally went nuclear.
Yes, this may come back around and bite Democrats in the proverbial ass. Right about now, though?
The Republicans have been behaving like obstructionist assholes for far too long, and I’m glad that Senator Reid finally found his spine and, you know, used it.
When I was 12, I spent a week with my uncles in Providence (it was the week that Charles and Diana were married). During that week, my uncles tried, I think, to shock Auntie and me (we were all of 12 and 8 at the time) by parading the most out, loud, and outrageous members of their LGBTQ friend group they could find through the house.
One of those characters was a flamboyant, exuberant transgendered woman who loved me the moment she saw me. The feeling was mutual. She scooped me up and loved me in a way that my lonely, rejected 12-year-old self was dying to be loved. Of all the people who visited that week, SHE came back for a second visit (so she could see me again, she said), and I remember trying to absorb all of the radiance and love she gave me.
Not long after that summer – I don’t remember exactly when, but it was that same year – she was murdered when someone tried to pick her up and discovered she wasn’t what he thought she was. I was – and still kind of am – devastated.
My TTT list is over here today; I’ve been grading papers all day and I’m just wiped out…
I’m neck deep in grading position papers. They’re terrible.
I’m trying to decide how I feel about this.
This one made me think of Sweet Pea.
I’m not sure what got into me, but I spent most of today cleaning (I’m thinking that I planted that particular seed in my Ten Things Tuesday entry about looking forward to a good, pre-holiday cleaning, so I jumped on it early).
All the plants have been trimmed and watered. While I cleaned, vacuumed, and rearranged the great room, Bean was washing the kitchen floor. Half of the dining room got some focused attention (the other half is Punk’s work station; she’s going to clean that tomorrow because she was out babysitting while Bean and I were attacking the house), and the whole of the family room got a good going-over. While Bean and I were busy inside, Mr. Chili had Marc’s leaf blower and was tidying up the yard; it looks nice out there.
There are still some things left to do, but I’m feeling pretty satisfied with the results of today’s effort.
I can’t fucking stand it.
At what point are good people going to get so disgusted and so fed up with this nonsense that we finally say, “enough”?