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Last night, Henry Rollins kicked off his "Provoked" tour here in Flagstaff, Arizona. The spoken-word show was great. Rollins was funny, and had a lot of really interesting stories to tell. And though it was quite obvious that he was "preaching to the choir," I found it really refreshing to be in a large room full of people who share my values. I highly suggest you catch the show, if it comes to your city.
Check here for tour dates:
I love magazines. I always have. The size and weight of them, the glossy pages, the perfume adds that stink them up, the articles, I love it all. I buy an issue GQ whenever I fly. I'm not sure why. It's just one of those weird personal rituals that doesn't have any meaning or purpose. When I'm feeling cocky, I pick up a copy of Cosmo to knock my self-esteem down a couple of notches. I subscribe to Harper's and The Advocate. In high school, I used to pretend to be searching magazines for pictures to use in collages, but I was really just reading the articles. Occasionally, an articles was half cut out, the unfortunate victim of some other art student's scissors.
Erin Davies' Fag Bug campaign is growing fast. She is now being sponsored by Volkswagen of America, GLEE.com, Girl Punch, GAYWHEELS.com, and Stop the F Word, among others. This fall/spring Davies is planning a cross-country high school and college tour to raise awareness about hate crimes. I've heard her speak, and it's a pleasure. She's got some really interesting stuff to say, and a visit from her and her Fag Bug would be beneficial to any campus.
If you'd like to bring the Fag Bug to your school, contact Erin at http://www.fagbug.com/. You can also buy stickers and t-shirts or donate to the campaign on the website.
When I was a kid, I loved anything that glowed in the dark. Last night, my friend and I saw some "Neon Glo" bracelets at a store. We thought it would be fun to wear them out last night. So, we bought them (they were really cheap), cracked them, shook them and put them on. It was like being nine-years-old again. When I got home last night, I left the bracelets on my desk and they illuminated my bedroom like a nightlight as a fell asleep. But this morning, I was about to throw them away when a wave of guilt hit me. These things will never biodegrade, and when the plastic does eventually begin to break down, the neon, or whatever is inside, will seep into the ground.
So, I got this graduate assistantship, and I've spent the past two weeks in orientation getting a crash course on how to teach freshman English. Two weeks is definitely not enough time to learn how to teach. I've taught three classes this week, and I have found a new respect for my own professors. I've always admired teachers, but I didn't realize how hard they work, or how hard it is to stop thinking about class. As a student, the second I step out of the classroom, much of the day's lesson is forgotten. But as an instructor, I'm finding it impossible to stop thinking about how today's class went and what I will do tomorrow.
There was a headline in "The Onion" not too long ago that read, "College student does nothing for Tibet over summer," and it got me thinking about what I have done this summer. I don't make New Years resolutions; I make summer resolutions. Summer is always the time of year that I plan to turn over a new leaf, take up a new hobby, entirely change myself/my life/the world, etc. Of course, I rarely do much of anything that I resolve to do over the summer.
I went to see "Superbad" expecting it to be a rather mindless, obscene comedy geared toward teenage boys, and it was, but it was also really interesting on a couple of other levels. Most of us are familiar with the "hetero-lifemate" concept from Kevin Smith's films. "Superbad" is another movie that depicts a homo-social relationship in a more enlightened manner. Feminism also plays an important role in the movie. I don't want to give anything away, but the ancient idea of getting girls drunk and fooling around with them is given a modern, I'd say, feminist, twist in "Superbad."
In some places people are trying to get rid of plastic bags in Ireland there is a 22-cent tax on them, in Bangladesh they have been banned since 2002. Across the United States, cities are trying to encourage consumers to use canvas bags. This afternoon, I was reading an article about the Bay Area's ban on plastic bags. It reminded me of that scene in "American Beauty" when the kid videotapes the plastic bag blowing around in the wind and calls it the most beautiful thing he has ever seen. Wikipedia notes that Alan Ball, who wrote "American Beauty," came up with the idea for the film when he saw a plastic bag floating around in New York City.
The image certainly fits in with the film's existential themes. It is emblematic of our wasteful, single-use society. How can we change our world so that preservation and sustainability become symbols of who we are as a nation?
Here in Arizona, students returning to school this fall will notice a change in their classrooms. Last year the Arizona senate passed a bill that requires all schools in Arizona--public schools, community colleges, universities and even private and parochial schools that receive scholarship aid--to mount 2-by-3 foot, USA-made flag on the walls of each classroom. The bill was originally suggested by Tyler Mott, an alumnus of the University of Arizona. Mott heard about something similar being done in Florida and thought this would be a good way to promote patriotism in Arizona schools. He was quoted in one article as saying, "The flag is a great tool for teaching students about our freedoms." I, however, think it is a disgusting, irresponsible waste of money. When I first heard about this proposal last year, I didn't think there was anyway the bill would pass. Sadly, it passed by a rather large margin: 20-1. The fear of looking "unpatriotic" seems to be the primary motivator for legislators these days.
While channel surfing tonight, I stumbled upon The Bill Engvall Show on TBS. I have never seen the show before and won't pretend to know how it is, or what politics or value systems it encourages. However, it did manage to offend me in the three minutes that I had it on.
In the clip I saw, the parents, played by Bill Engvall and Nancy Travis, meet with their 15-year-old son's English teacher. When they claim that no teenage boy is interested in reading Jane Austen, the male English teacher says, something to the effect of, "When I was a boy, I had a great affinity for all of Jane Austen's works." To which Bill Engvall's character responds, "Well, that's just gay." Then, after a prod from his wife, he says, "I'm sorry. I meant to just think that."