This partial liberty renders the ethical sense
a joke. What self-flattery to think
all destiny can lie at a fork in the road.
In the end, nothing is certain
except that those who seek their own
salvation will betray their brethren.
- from "The Quest," by Jennifer Moxley. In Clampdown (Flood 2009)
That book is a weird - I mean interesting - combination of relaxed, representational, confessional narrative and high sentaunce and Big Statements. I happen to agree with most of the Big Statements, but (as with Lisa Robertson, sometimes) I balk at the imprecision of abstract nouns. I expect this is more my problem than theirs.
* * *
Irony: The new Chancellor and the Athletics Commissar at my institution jointly announce the expansion of the football stadium by 3,000 seats on the same week the Chronicle runs a front-page story about the disproportionate growth of athletics spending vis-a-vis academics, in the US. And the same week as the controversy over Budweiser's college-team-color "Fan Cans." The fact that the new Chancellor is an African American woman, and the Athletics Director is an aging bald white guy - and one who earns more money than she does - doesn't help matters.
But it's OK, b/c KU Athletics, Inc. is a separate entity from the University. And it has graciously deigned to bestow $40 million on the University - over ten years (possession = 9/10 of law). Soon we'll be going hat-in-hand to KU Athletics, not the legislature.
* * *
From the Yes-I'm-a-Philistine Dept.: I'm becoming addicted to Tilly and the Wall. A folk-punk/flower-power-pop band with a tap-dancer for a percussionist, six people singing the same melody at once, sounds like a harmonium, kickstand, paintbucket etc. - what's not to like? And they're SO much more sincere than most of the stuff I listen to (or read) - it's good for me. "Poor Man's Ice Cream" is about all that needs to be said about the Alien Other in (or out) America. And "Chandelier Lake" is the creepiest ballad since Tam Lin (not Tan Lin - tho I just got his new book, and it looks pretty outre, too).
Kevin Varrone's BOX SCORE: An Autobiography of Zeroes - [I'll be delivering this talk in Ottawa, Kansas on Friday. In the meantime, I highly recommend Kevin's book; I've read it a dozen times now, and it has rew...
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