Sunday, January 25, 2009

As far as new years go, this one is a bit of a puzzler.

I'm still reeling over our new president. Or is it that I'm overjoyed that the old one is back in Crawford, patting himself on the back? Or am I secretly pissed that I'm now robbed of the schadenfreude of watching him crash and burn under his failed policies, telling "I told you so" to idiots who argued that, yes, you can fight a war with no taxes, and, yes, we're so not in a recession, because this is America, dammit, and bad things are what happen to other countries?

Guess it doesn't matter. I'm high on Obamarama. On Hopamine, or whatever cynics are calling it. Three executive orders this week reversing Bush's doctrines, and my pretty little head is spinning like a Prom date's at a Motel 6 after hours. It'll wear off sooner or later. Problems will emerge. Mistakes will be made. But I can't see Obama hanging signs and smirking contemptuously in the face of world and, dare I say, national opinion to the contrary while the walls come crumbling down. Optimism has taken the reins for January, for the first time in years.

Still, there's always Blagojevich.

I may be a mediocre English teacher, but I'm still a patron of the arts. And when our governor quotes Tennyson's "Ulysses" (as he did last week in a press conference before Senate hearings began), I have to grit my teeth, because now, any students I have watching the news will confuse that towheaded, hubris-laden pontificator with an old man past his prime, seeking one more adventure. The poem ends with Ulysses imploring himself and his friends "to strive, to seek, to find, but not to yield" as they set sail from home. Blago, I don't doubt, sees himself in a similar vein, but there are obvious differences. He's not an "idle king" (the phone conversations taped and held by the prosecutor show he was anything but idle), and his people do in fact know him; his wife isn't "aged" (seems she had quite a few things to say herself), and as near as I can tell, he has no Telemachus to pass his kingdom off to. Maybe he should have taken up with the Strogers.

So as far as literary connections, "Ulysses" works about as well for him as Sonnets from the Portugese works for me. What Rod should have quoted, as more befitting his refusal to step down and save himself and the state the burden of impeaching him, would be my pal Macbeth. When the Scottish king realizes he's doomed, that the prophecies that supposedly made him immortal have actually led him to his impending demise, he manages to juggle both his own pride and self-hatred at the same time. Blagojevich could even have rewritten the lines to fit his situation admirably:
I will not yield,
To kiss the ground before old special prosecutor's feet,
And to be baited with John Kass' damned columns.
Though truth be come to Springfield,
And me opposed, being of no woman born,
Yet I will try the last. Before my body
I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Fitzgerald,
And damn'd be him that first cries, 'Executive Privilege!'
Now that's poetry, baby.

Friday, January 23, 2009

More culture coming my way. Masterpiece Theater does Dickens this spring. Excellent. I now have to get around to David Copperfield, and papers to grade be damned.

Just finished Tess of the d'Urbervilles. What a tramp.

Friday, January 02, 2009

"My dogs are Idiots" by Frustrated Pet Owner

I can't stand picking up after these damn mutts. Every day, it's outside, stand around freezing in the rain, or snow, or whatever, and all they have to do is do their business, and we can go back inside. Oh no, not them. Too easy for them. They'd rather stand there, whimpering, or shaking, or looking up at me with those puppydog eyes (guess that metaphor is rather obvious) until I take them back inside. And then, ten minutes later, we're outside again. What the shit? Do I have to draw you guys a diagram for how this works? Take Crap Outside = Go Back Inside. Got it? Don't make me make rugs out of the two of you. I paid hundreds of dollars to rescue you from that crazy old broad in Flint, Michigan, or wherever the hell she's from. I'll put you back there if you make me.

Okay, we'll go out again. But I swear to you, this is the last time.

"Our Mission is Almost Complete" by Two Stupid Dogs

It is our distinct pleasure to report back to Central Headquarters in Flint Michigan that our plan seems to be working flawlessly. Agent Robyn has perfected her "gotta-go-outdoors" approach to the point that our idiot owner is about to either shit or go blind. We anticipate a few more such excursions before he gets confused, drunk, or frustrated enough and locks himself outside the house, leaving us in.

At that point, we will establish this residence as Home Base and begin distributing our leaflets. Power to the People! Down with Capitalism! Workers of the World, Unite! My brothers, we are so close to victory. Rise up against those ridiculous TV-watching lardasses and let the Revolution commence!

Now you'll have to excuse us. We really do need to go outside and take a crap this time.

Or do we?