coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The horror of racism

This morning I read 37 Paddington's blog post entitled "I can't breathe" wherein she describes George Floyd's pointless death.

The horror!  

This murder diminishes us as a country. If justice is not served, then there is no justice. Don't look away. George Floyd was our brother. Racism is the great evil that divides our country. If all we do is "care," then we are allowing this evil continue. 

What do we do?  I'm trying to figure that out. Feel free to share ideas, but we white folks need to do this for ourselves, because if goodness is an achievable goal, then this is the right thing to do. 

I googled "How can I combat racism" and it said there were 29 million results.  

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The anger of Cúchulainn

Now THIS is angry:

When Cuchulain went into battle, he would go into a frenzy. His cry alone would kill a hundred warriors from fright. His physical appearance—namely, that of a handsome man—changed completely. Cuchulain's hair stood on end, one of his eyes bulged out while the other disappeared in his head, his legs and feet turned to face backward, his muscles swelled, and a column of blood spurted up from his head. His body became so hot that it could melt snow.

The Táin. Cúchulainn in warp-spasm is a 1969 work by Louis le Brocquy. It is not currently on display in IMMA. It is part of the IMMA Permanent Collection.

Friday, May 15, 2020

An unpleasant encounter

Sunday was Mother's Day. We rode our bikes to a park to see how many alligators we could count. We rarely see mature alligators in this spot, but there are usually some baby alligators sunning themselves at the foot of water plants at the end of the lake. 

At one point I walked around a young father and his little boy. I realized with horror the father was teaching his young son to throw rocks at the baby alligators. 

I said "Please don't throw rocks at the alligators." Honest to God, I said it calmly. He told me to mind my own business. I replied "This IS my business, you are hurting animals." He instructed me to keep walking. By then my husband was at my side, trying to explain to the man that this was not lawful, and there is a fine for this action. The man again told us both to keep walking and mind our own business. 

I'm sorry, but when I become angry, I lose my mind. I am emotionally unable to walk away from a fight. I've always been this way. I can't help it. Grown ass morons brutalizing children or animals is a huge trigger for me. I'm not bragging, folks. Sometimes my reactions scare me.

So this unpleasant encounter escalated into a war of words, screaming even, as we walked away. I feel guilty about the little boy.

Right and wrong.  So easy to say, so hard to figure out.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Academic Freedom?

Academics don't write for the masses. They don't even write for students. They write for each other. Academic writing is densely dry for the rest of us, kind of sucking the joy out of learning. 

I asked a Classics professor why he didn't share his knowledge and write books accessible for everyone. He replied that if he did, his colleagues would no longer take him seriously. 

I understand the pressure to conform. Hired as assistant professors they have virtually no independent voice, because after 6 years they must submit themselves to a grueling and soul destroying review of their work. If they pass, they become Associate Professors, with full tenure. If they don't pass, they are fired. Then the successful ones have the choice to come up for another peer review in their career if they want to become full professors. 

Don't kid yourself.  If any of these tortured souls tried to do something radical before achieving full professor, their peers would become jealous and or judgmental and the younger academic would not be promoted. Silence is a game they must play for many years. But once these scholars have achieved "tenure" they cannot be fired. They have a job for life.  When they become full professors, there are no further peer reviews. 

Surely some could continue their serious academic writings and still find time to write a popular summary for those of us who don't want to inhale the moldering dust of academic tomes. Well, that was mean of me, wasn't it? Sorry. But books that go unread often make me sneeze.

And knowledge not shared is what my mother would have called a sin and a shame.

I live in a country where intellectuals are considered elitists, distrusted and reviled. In turn, intellectuals look down on the uneducated rabble. Gee, how did that happen?  More to the point, how can we change that?

I am so tired of living among people so poorly educated that their only pastime is to drink themselves into oblivion while watching bad TV.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

I'm going to have to think more about this

Is there something wrong with me? I'm enjoying this time of social distancing and staying at home with my husband. I am virtually anxiety free and feel like this is the most important vacation I've ever been on.  What if the world was slower, quieter, and simpler?

This feeling of contentment is new for me.  I'm not sure if it is good or bad. I wonder if it will last once the quarantine ends? I'm going to have to think about this before I write more. 

And P.S., I'm sure I'd feel differently if I was alone.