Monday, May 22, 2006
Two Important Messages:
(1) Please note that this course was inadvertently left out of the Schedule of Classes but will be offered this Fall. It is an excellent course.
Comp. Lit. 13.1 Code # 3657 TR12 T. Th. 12:15 - 1:30 p.m. Prof. Perluck
A special version of the short story and novella course in which the emphasis will be on the close reading and discussion, exclusively, of selected short novels (what James called "the beautiful and blest nouvelle") by 19th and 20th century European, British, and American writers. A reading list will be chosen from works such as Dostoyevski's "Notes from Underground," Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilych," Melville's "Benito Cereno," Chekhov's "Ward Number 6," Mann's "Death in Venice," James's "The Turn of the Screw" (and/or "The Beast in the Jungle"), Joyce's "The Dead," Kafka's "The Metamorphosis," Lawrence's "The Fox," and Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." At least two short interpretative papers ("readings" of key passages in the texts, chosen by the students) are required, more than two encouraged, the best two considered for grading purposes. N.B. Course credit will be arranged by the Registrar for students who have taken Comp Lit 13.1 in its usual form in previous semesters.
(2) For the second summer session, two wonderful seminars remain unfilled. Remember that seminars fulfill not only the seminar requirement but the requirement for the field noted below or for any elective:
David McKay's English 79.2 (Seminar in the Renaissance): "Sex, Gender, and Early Modern Theater" (meets field 2 requirement)
Alison Solomon's English 79.4 (Seminar in Nineteenth Century British Literature): "Romanticism in Nineteenth Century Drama (meets field 4 requirement).
Enjoy your summer break!
"Abstract Realities" image captured from:
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Is the semester over already?
We've had such a wonderful time bringing you the latest in Brooklyn College English Majors' news, activities, creative projects and events, but alas, it is time for us to say good-bye (at least for the semester).
This is a particularly bittersweet moment for us as The Boylan Blog will be losing several of its staff members--members who are eager to begin the next phase of their lives:
The multitalented Keith Zackowitz, Blog contributing writer, co-editor, contributing writer, contributing artist and chief designer of The English Majors' Zine, and Riverrun point man, will be attending Brooklyn College as an MA student of English in the fall.
The impeccable Christine Choi, Blog contributing writer, The Boylan Brief co-editor, co-editor and contributing writer of The English Majors' Zine, president of The Poetry Club and vice-president of Riverrun, will be a PHD student of English at The Graduate Center and will be teaching at Brooklyn College.
The remarkable Elina Bloch, Blog contributing writer, creator of This Week in OurStory, secretary of Riverrun, co-editor of The Boylan Brief, co-editor and contributing writer of The English Majors' Zine, will be a PHD student of Comparative Literature at Yale University.
And last, but not least, Robert Jones, Jr., the undaunted Blog chief editor and contributing writer, president of Riverrun, vice-president of The Poetry Club, and co-editor and contributing writer of The English Majors' Zine, will be an MFA student of fiction at Brooklyn College.
We wish them the best of luck with their new ventures, but we know they won't need it!
We'd also like to take a moment to thank Dr. Roni Natov, a visionary whose unwavering intelligence, patience, love and support made The Boylan Blog, The English Majors' Zine, The Poetry Club and the return of Riverrun possible. Thank you, Dr. Natov!
And thank you to all of the supporters of The Boylan Blog! You've not only made the Blog an overwhelming success, but you've also made our experience working with it an absolute joy!
We'll be popping in from time to time during the summer to give you updates on English Majors' news and events. So please continue to check back with us all summer long. Have a fabulous vacation! See you in the fall!
-The Boylan Blog Staff
by Joakim Uhrwing
Monday, May 15, 2006
The Women's Center invites you to a party/reading to celebrate the end of the semester!
Tuesday, May 16th, 2006
227 New Ingersoll
Featuring readings by Roni Natov, Geri DeLuca and Nava Renek.
Food! Refreshments! Karaoke!
We hope to see you there!
Photo of Dr. Roni Natov captured from:
For the full story and more photos, visit: http://wwww.plancensored.blogspot.com/
by Yevgeniya Drobitskaya
With spring assuming its reign this month of May, with trees and flowers blossoming under resplendent sun and inspiring writers like yours truly, one's thoughts ramble away from pressing obligations of the ending college semester, and turn to appreciation of the natural surroundings. The glory of Nature in its dazzling state of rebirth and awakening brings about
meditations on its fragility and our responsibility, as the most potent inhabitants of this world, to protect and preserve its beauty.
Wangari Maathai is one of the many powerful, driven women in history whose ambition and love of humanity inspire them to make our world a better place for present and future generations. Born in 1940 in Nyeri, Kenya, to the family of farmers in the highlands of Mount Kenya, she became the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctoral degree from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas. Many universities and doctoral degrees later, Professor Maathai joined the National Council of Women of Kenya in 1976-87 and was its chairman from 1981-87.
Introducing her tree-planting concept to ordinary citizens in 1976, she went on to develop it into the Green Belt Movement, a broad-based, grassroots organization whose main focus is helping women's groups plant trees to conserve the environment and improve quality of life. Through the Green Belt Movement, she now has helped women plant more than 30 million trees on their farms, on schools, and on church compounds.
In 1986, the Movement established a Pan African Green Belt Network, which has taught more than 40 people from other African countries the Green Belt Movement's approach to environmental conservation and community building. Some of these people have established similar tree-planting initiatives in their own countries. Others have gone on to use Green Belt Movement methods to improve their environmental conservation efforts.
Wangari Maathai is internationally recognized for her persistent struggle for democracy, human rights, and environmental conservation. She has addressed the United Nations on several occasions, and spoke on behalf of women at special sessions of the General Assembly for the five-year review of the 1992 Earth Summit.
In December 2002, Professor Maathai was elected to Kenya's Parliament and was subsequently appointed by Kenya's president as Assistant Minister for the Environment.
In 2005, she was elected Presiding Officer of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Council will advise the African Union on issues related to African civil society. Eleven African heads of state whose countries are on the Congo Basin also appointed her a Goodwill Ambassador for the Congo Basin Forest Ecosystem, an advocacy role for the conservation and protection of this vital Ecosystem.
She has served on boards of several organizations, including the U.N. Commission for Global Governance and the Commission on the Future, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board on Disarmament, the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), World Learning (USA), Green Cross International, Environment Liaison Centre International, the WorldWIDE Network of Women in Environmental Work, and the National Council of Women of Kenya.
The Green Belt Movement, along with its founder, has received numerous awards, most notably the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, and their compelling stories are featured in several publications. The most recent distinguished honor, Legion d'Honneur, was awarded to Professor Maathai in 2006 by the French President Jacques Chirac.
It is rather comforting to know that brilliant people like Wangari Maathai strive to preserve our fragile ecosystem so that we and posterity could enjoy blooming months of May for centuries to come.
Photo of Wangaari Maathai captured from:
This week's poem is presented by Christine Choi. It is a John Ashbery piece entitled "The Picture of Little J.A. in a Prospect of Flowers." Enjoy!
THE PICTURE OF LITTLE J. A.
IN A PROSPECT OF FLOWERS
He was spoilt from childhood
by the future, which he mastered
rather early and apparently
without great difficulty.
Darkness falls like a wet sponge
And Dick gives Genevieve a swift punch
In the pajamas. “Aroint thee, witch.”
Her tongue from previous ecstasy
Releases thoughts like little hats.
“He clap’d me first during the eclipse.
Afterwards I noted his manner
Much altered. But he sending
At that time certain handsome jewels
I durst not seem to take offence.”
In a far recess of summer
Monks are playing soccer.
So far is goodness a mere memory
Or naming of recent scenes of badness
That even these lives, children,
You may pass through to be blessed,
So fair does each invent his virtue.
And coming from a white world, music
Will sparkle at the lips of many who are
Beloved. Then these, as dirty handmaidens
To some transparent witch, will dream
Of a white hero’s subtle wooing,
And time shall force a gift on each.
That beggar to whom you gave no cent
Striped the night with his strange descant.
Yet I cannot escape the picture
Of my small self in that bank of flowers:
My head among the blazing phlox
Seemed a pale and gigantic fungus.
I had a hard stare, accepting
Everything, taking nothing,
As though the rolled-up future might stink
As loud as stood the sick moment
The shutter clicked. Though I was wrong,
Still, as the loveliest feelings
Must soon find words, and these, yes
Displace them, so I am not wrong
In calling this cosmic version of myself
The true one. For as change is horror,
Virtue is really stubbornness
And only in the light of lost words
Can we imagine our rewards.
1855 Eduard earl of Keyserling, German writer, is born
1856 L. Frank Baum, American author, is born
1865 Albert Verwey, Dutch poet/literature historian, is born
1886 Emily Dickinson, U.S. poet, dies at 55
1891 Mikhail Bulgakov, Russian playwright/novelist, author of The Master and Margarita, is born
1911 Max Frisch, Swiss architect/writer, is born
1924 Jaime Garcia Terre, poet/essayist, is born
1669 Reyer Anslo, Dutch writer/poet, dies at about 42
1703 Charles Perrault, French author/fairy tale writer, dies
1763 Samuel Johnson meets his future biographer James Boswell in
1788 Friedrich Ruckert, German poet, is born
1835 Felicia Dorothea Hemans, English poet/hymn writer, dies
1862 Lev A Ms, Russian nobleman/poet, dies at 40
1918 Juan Rulfo, Mexican writer, is born
1928 Edmund William Grosse, poet/author, dies
1935 Carol Shields, Canadian author, is born
1944 George Ade,
1955 James Agee,
1984 Irwin Shaw,
1803 Robert Smith Surtees, English novelist/editor, is born
1846 Edmund Bishop, English secretary of Thomas Carlyle, is born
1873 Dorothy Miller Richardson, novelist, is born
1873 Henri Barbusse, French novelist, is born
1889 Alfonso Reyes, Mexican poet/historian/diplomat, is born
1931 Johan [Eliza J] de Master, art critic/writer, dies
1967 Nigel Martin Balchin, novelist, dies
1973 Alexander J Kropholler, Dutch architect/writer, dies at 91
1048 Omar Khayyam, Persian (Iranian) scholar/poet/mathematician, is born
1785 John Wilson, Scottish writer, is born
1898 Juan J Domenchina, Spanish poet/interpreter, is born
1909 George Meredith, English poet/writer, dies at 81
1930 Barbara Goldsmith, author, is born
1993 Pamela M Cunnington, English architect/writer, dies at 67
1864 Nathaniel Hawthorne, U.S., writer, author of the Scarlet Letter, dies at 59
1876 Saint-Georges de Bouchelier, French author, is born
1883 Henricus WJM Keuls, Dutch lawyer/poet, is born
1892 Konstatin G Paustovski, Russian author, is born
1895 Jose J Marti y Perez, Spanish/Cuban poet, dies
1931 Eric Davidson, comedy scriptwriter, is born
1934 Sherlock Holmes crossword puzzle published in "Sat Review of Lit." Males who solve the puzzle become members of Baker Street Irregulars
1941 Nora Ephron, novelist/screenwriter/director, is born in
1965 Maria Dabrowska, Polish writer, dies
1822 Emile Erckmann, French writer, is born
1841 Joseph Blanco White, Spanish theological writer, dies
1847 Mary Lamb, English writer, dies
1851 Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, nun/daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne, is born
1864 John Clare, English poet, dies at 70
1876 Khristo Botev, Bulgarian poet, dies
1882 Sigrid Undset, Norwegian novelist, winner of the Nobel Prize (1928), is born
1905 Gerrit Achterberg, Dutch poet, is born
1911 Annie M G Schmidt, writer, is born
1935 Ivans, [Jacob van Schevichaven], lawyer/detective writer, dies at 68
1956 Max Beerbohm, English caricaturist/writer, dies
1647 Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, Dutch poet/playwright, dies at about 65
1688 Alexander Pope, English poet, author of the “Rape of the Lock,” is born
1790 Thomas Warton, English poet, dies
1855 Emile A G Verhaeren, Belgian poet/writer, is born
1892 John Peale Bishop,
1901 Suzanne Lilar, French/Belgian writer, is born
1922 Pulitzer prize awarded to Eugene O'Neill
1949 Klaus Mann, German writer, dies at 42
1995 Patrick Bowles, writer/translator, dies at 68
Emily Dickinson image captured from:
Unconditional war can no longer lead to unconditional victory. It can no longer serve to settle disputes. It can no longer be of concern to great powers alone. For a nuclear disaster, spread by winds and waters and fear, could well engulf the great and the small, the rich and the poor, the committed and the uncommitted alike. Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.
-John F. Kennedy
Japan’s Economic Suicides
The number of suicides in Japan has been increasing steadily for the past eight years. In the January-November period last year there were 28,240 cases of suicide, a Health Ministry official announced Wednesday. Suicides rose in 1998 as a result of the economic crisis and the number of those who take their lives has exceeded 30,000 every year since.
Masahiro Yamada, a professor at Tokyo Gakugei University, said that this high rate should be attributed to the widening income gap in Japan following the increasing risk of dropping out of the middle class and the demise of the traditional safety net that guaranteed lifetime employment. He also observed that “the bulk of the increase is . . . suicides by men who are middle-aged or older and have either been laid off or whose businesses have failed.”
Although the Japanese government attempts to implement programs to bring down the cases of suicides, these programs do not seem to propose effective solutions to the problem, concentrating mainly on limiting access to Internet sites that promote suicide, stopping payment of life insurance claims for suicidal deaths, and building more fences on train platforms to prevent people from jumping in front of trains—the most common method of suicide in Japan.
More Babies, Please!
Russian President Vladimir Putin cited vast population declines as “the most acute problem of contemporary Russia” in his annual state of the union address Wednesday and urged parliament to implement new financial incentives for families to have more children.
Russia’s population has been dropping by about 700,000 a year, according to Putin. The phenomenon began in the wake of the 1991 Soviet collapse, which left much of the population in economic turmoil and hurt the state health care system. Between 1993 and 2006, there was a drop in birth rates and life expectancy. Increased poverty, alcoholism, soaring crime and emigration also took their toll, making the average life expectancy in Russia just 66 years—16 years lower than Japan and 14 years lower than the European Union average.
With the high world oil prices, however, Russia’s economy has since been largely boosted. Now Putin is encouraging legislators to budget for more generous birth bonuses, childcare support subsidies and education benefits for mothers to counter present concerns about housing, health care and education that are prompting families to have only one child.
Putin’s comments on reversing the population decline received more applause than any of his prior state of the nation addresses.
Women's Rights Activists Battle the Church Over Abortion in Colombia
Late Wednesday, the Colombian high court legalized abortion in limited circumstances, overturning the complete ban on abortion. The decision, according to women's rights groups, is expected to challenge some of the most stringent anti-abortion laws in Latin America. The ruling dictates that the abortion procedure is permitted only for special circumstances: if the mother's life is in danger, if the fetus is expected to die, or in cases of rape or incest. Monica Roa, a Bogotá lawyer filed the suit on the grounds that by banning abortion, Colombia was violating international human rights treatises that ensure women's rights to life and health. Explaining its decision, the court said that the life of the fetus could not be put before the life of the mother, calling the complete ban “disproportionate” and “irrational.” However, opponents in this heavily Roman Catholic region saw the new law as akin to murder, and told RCN radio that the ruling was "an attack on human life."
This ruling has set other countries in motion, such as Argentina and Uruguay, who have begun to debate loosening abortion laws. Buenos Aires' Mabel Bianco, president of the Foundation for Studies and Research on Women, said "I think this decision will prompt countries in Latin America that have stringent legislation to reflect that abortion is not ideological, but a health care issue."The following are some abortion statistics, as reported by the United Nations:
- 4 million abortions, most of them illegal, take place in Latin America annually
- Up to 5,000 women are believed to die each year from complications that arise from the procedure
- At least 300,000 illegal abortions are believed to take place in Colombia each year
New Bear Species (Quickly Killed by American)
The hybrid offspring of a female polar bear and a male grizzly bear was discovered for the first time in the wild in Canada's Northwest Territories. The bear, which was white with brown patches, was shot and killed by an American big game hunter on Banks Island. Though grizzly-polar bear combinations have existed in zoos in the past, this is the first to be found in the wild.
Experts theorize that the paths of the grizzly and polar bears may have crossed because grizzlies have been seen encroaching on polar bear territory in search of food. The small territorial overlap, compounded by extremely slight overlaps in mating season, make the find extremely rare. "There are behavioral differences between the species, including timing of mating seasons, that make the hybrids highly unusual," said David Field of the Zoological Society of London.
Canadian wildlife officials are now trying to name the animal, despite the fact that it is a mere carcass. Suggestions have included "pizzly," "grolar bear" and "nanulak"—a blending of the Inuit names for polar (nanuk) and grizzly (aklak) bears.
-Brooklyn College’s motto is “Nil sine magno labore” or “Nothing without great effort.”
-Cow farts are one major cause of global warming.
-Diet Soda kills brain cells because they use so many chemicals to make it “diet.”
-Most toilets flush in E flat.
John F. Kennedy phots captured from:
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Esther Hwang is as focused as a laser beam.
During our weekly meeting, she was asked to write a "little something" about an incident in which the Parks Department shut down an art exhibit by Brooklyn College students, including Zine featured artist John Avelluto, due to its content. Instead, Esther went inward; she mined the caverns of her soul and discovered a gem that shimmered as brightly--that radiated as intently--as the aforemention beam of light. We are proud to present the illumination of that rare and precious stone here on The Boylan Blog. With no further adieu, we present Esther Hwang's "Fellow Artists!"
by Esther Hwang
Art communicates. It asks, no, demands us to receive and if we refuse to we are not letting art be art. A writer once said that poetry reinvents language, and I dare to generalize that art reinvents reality, and I don't try to deceive us that art beautifies reality, bearing all of life's cumbersome burdens. In fact, art sometimes even highlights the invisible burdens tucked away in the quiet periphery of our sight. Often, if not for art, they would remain invisible, never beckoning us to stray from the retreat into our coffins of comfort zones. Art is not always palatable. Sometimes, it shocks, it hurts, it annoys, and it offends, but that's okay. After all, truth is not always presented in matching colors. In fact, it seldom is.
Julius Spiegel, Commissioner of the Parks Department, felt that your artwork was not "appropriate for families" because the exhibition featured a penis sculpture, a caged rat and a "sexually charged video." The city wants to further censor any art "that includes material that is religious, political or sexual in nature." Do families not have religious beliefs? Do families not live under a government? Do families not exist because of the penis?
If people live life as social, spiritual, psychological, and sexual creatures, then the art they produce will reflect and recreate these elements. I wonder what we would have lost if censorship prevailed in history, if Macchiavelli didn't write his brilliant political machinations; if Shakespeare didn't explore the human desire of power; if Picasso never painted his unique depiction of prostitutes; if Donatello didn't create the erotic, kinky, and homosexually charged sculpture of David of the Bible (what do you know, it's religious, political, and sexual); if Michaelangelo never sculpted the Pieta, in which the virgin Mary's face looks as though she is having an orgasm; if Bach never composed his tribute to God in his beautiful Mass in b minor; if Allen Ginsberg, a distinguised professor of English at Brooklyn College, never wrote "Howl."
If censorship is the direction in which we're heading, we might as well strip the walls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and hang empty frames of silence; we might as well rape the halls of Lincoln Center and echo cacophonous symphonies of nothingness. To me, this is as absurd as your artwork being censored. We from the English Major's Counseling Office encourage you to let your art speak even more loudly, to look at Donatello's David and preach on. We realize that art does not mask but reveals. We realize that as human beings, we wake up in the morning and try to identify the phallic symbol in our dreams; we have sex after a candlelit dinner; we have brothers fighting in Iraq; we have fathers who died on 9/11; we have mothers who are worried; we pray.
I close with an invitation to Julius Spiegel, a family man no doubt, to take a good look in the mirror before the next time he hops in the shower and see what greets him hanging (or not hanging) between his legs. Surprise!
"The Virgin Mary"
by Chris Ofili
Join us for:
Iraq Veterans Against the War:
A Panel with Jose Vasquez and Other CUNY Iraq Veterans
Tuesday, May 9, 1:30-3:30 pm
401 Whitehead Hall
Jose Vasquez, a student at the CUNY Grad Center, served fourteen years in the Army and Army Reserve. In January 2005 he applied for conscientious objector status requesting immediate discharge from the military; his case is still pending. Jose is an active member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and President of the New York City chapter.
Sponsored by USL and the Brooklyn College Anti-War Coalition, this event promises to be moving and provocative.
by Denis Kriuchkoff
Sunday, May 07, 2006
by Elina Bloch
Yegvgeny Yevtushenko is an internationally acclaimed Russian poet, novelist, and screenwriter. His poetry includes attacks on the Nazi regime, on the Russian bureaucracy and censorship, and on the atrocities of war. In his works, Yevtushenko continually calls for more freedom and openness in the arts. Until the fall of the Soviet Union, despite of his immense popularity, numerous of his poems were censored. Later, Yevtushenko’s poetry was put to music and his screenplay Kindergarden, based on his childhood experiences, was made into a film. He currently lives in the U.S. and teaches literature in the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma.
am coming late
to my own self.
I made an appointment
with my thoughts--
I made an appointment
but they made me
go to a banquet.
I made an appointment
but a grass-widow
dragged me into bed.
than barbed wire
are birthday parties,
mine and others',
and roasted suckling pigs
like a sprig of parsley
between their teeth!
Led away for good
to a life absolutely not my own,
everything that I eat,
everything that I drink,
I made an appointment
but they invite me
to feast on my own spareribs.
I am garlanded
from all sides
not by strings of bagels,
but by the holes of bagels,
and I look like
Life gets broken
into hundreds of lifelets,
and execute me.
to get through to myself
I had to smash my body
and my fragments,
by the roaring crowd.
I am trying
to glue myself together,
but my arms
are still severed.
with my left leg,
but both the left
and the right
have run off,
in different directions.
I don't know--
where is my body?
Did it really fly off,
without a murmured
How do I break through
to a faraway namesake,
waiting for me
in the cold somewhere?
under which clock
I am waiting
For those who don't know
who they are,
does not exist.
No one is
under the clock.
On the clock
there is nothing.
I am late for my appointment
There is no one.
Nothing but cigarette butts.
Only one flicker--
1985 Translated by Albert C. Todd
"Patience" by Diane A. Archer
This week, Boylan Blogger Yevgeniya Drobitskaya receives some interesting comments for At this Moment....
“There is definitely a pressing thought in my mind. I am outraged at the money-grubbing, cold-hearted Hollywood filmmakers, who actually dared to make money off the whole nation’s grief. I’m talking about ‘United 93’ that’s about to be released in theatre around the country. I mean, how cruel is that? People are still mourning the tragedy, and it’s like pouring salt onto a bleeding wound.”
Brooklyn College student
“Finally, the verdict is in for Zacarias Moussaoui [one of the individuals charged in connection with September 11 attacks]. Life sentence? Really? I’d rather see him die.”
"You really want to hear from me again? Don't say I didn't warn you.
"I've been thinking about the value of my education and my educators (George Cunningham, Roni Natov, Madelon Rand and Ramsey Scott) and the tools I've received from them--in particular, the ability to question, to not settle for someone else's explanation of reality. Reality could actually be an amalgamation of many realities. My truth could be as valid as any other because truth—as much as human hands and minds can gather—is subjective. If there is an objective truth, I think it's incredibly elusive, perhaps invisible to the human eye. It might be that it escapes us while we maintain these human forms. What might that mean? It might mean that if there is no consciousness after this life, we may never know absolute truth. But that doesn't seem to deter us searching for it, or from claiming to know it already.
"And I'm highly suspicious of those who claim to know the objective truth; who claim to know the desires of the Divine or even claim to know for certain that there is a Divine. I'm perplexed by the idea of freely honoring and respecting something that cannot be seen, heard, touched or known, but failing to give up a seat to the elderly or pregnant woman on the bus or train. What's so divine about that?
"I'm also wary of those who wish to hinder the debate/discourse/dialogue—people who, for whatever reasons, don't wish to debate the merits or flaws of the opposing opinion, but want, instead, to silence it by whatever means at their disposal. It's one thing to say, "I don't agree with you and I'm choosing to move away from you because of it" and something else completely to say, "You can't have that opinion. It's my way or no way, and my way is the Divine Way. I'll force you to see that—even if I have to impinge on your right to be." I've encountered a truckload of people who embrace the latter. Are they motivated by fear? Do they fear that their beliefs, their points of view can't withstand the scrutiny of argument and inspection? Does the Divine have needs? And if so, are any of those a need for sheep, marionettes and parrots? Here I go with my passive/aggressive proselytizing again, but I did warn you. Am I the very person that I criticize? Possibly. Feel free to dismantle my soapbox.
Robert Jones, Jr.
"Currents in the Desire Body" by Mark Faigenbaum
At present, our country needs women's idealism and determination, perhaps more in politics than anywhere else.
Fertilizer as Farm Aid in North Korea
Seoul has asked South Korea for an additional 300,000 tons of fertilizer in preparation for the planting season. In the past, North Korea has shunned help from international food agencies despite its chronic food shortages. Last year, North Korea denied help from theUN World Food Program, a move said to be an attempt to curb foreign presence the government saw as intrusive.
North Korea receives food aid from South Korea and China, including fertilizer and staples such as rice. With 23 million mouths to feed, the impoverished communist nation of North Korea does not produce enough food on its own. South Korea has already sent 150,000 tons of fertilizer this year in addition to last year's 450,000 tons. South Korean officials have denied claims that the aid was connected to the six-country talks on ending nuclear weapon programs in North Korea, and instead cited the aid as part of bilateral humanitarian assistance.
Earthquake in South Pacific Region
Occurring 20 miles beneath the sea floor, a "great" earthquake of 8.0 magnitude struck the South Pacific Tonga nation last Thursday. A warning of a tsunami was issued by the U.S. National Weather Service for the islands of Fiji and New Zealand on Wednesday, but, luckily, there were no signs of a tsunami impact. Hawaiian authorities have also received a tsunami advisory, but, officials said, that the earthquake of this magnitude was "not sufficient to generate a tsunami damaging to the Pacific coasts of the US and Canada, and Alaska." Historical records serve as evidence that only minor sea-level changes might occur in those regions.
Tonga, "a 170-island archipelago about halfway between Australia and Tahiti," had experienced an extremely powerful earthquake on December 26, 2004. At least 216,000 people were reported dead or missing in more than ten nations, as 9.0 magnitude temblor "ripped apart the Indian Ocean floor off Indonesia's Sumatra Island, displacing millions of water and spawning giant waves that sped off in all directions."
The country of Fiji, composed of 300 islands, is subject to constant earthquakes, which, fortunately, rarely result in any damage or casualties.
Anti-Immigration Party Gaining Public Support in Britain
The British National Party is gaining support in London and across Europe, particularly among its white, working class populations, for its anti-immigration policies. Approximately one-fourth of British voters say they are considering voting for the BNP in the upcoming elections and appeal to other Londoners who have grown disillusioned by tough economic times and by a recent government scandal in which over 1,000 immigrants convicted of violent crimes were released from jail rather than deported to their native countries.
Previously, the BNP was considered by many a racist fringe group opposed to racial integration whose declared goal was to “restore the overwhelmingly white makeup of Britain before 1948.” In a field of 4,000 candidates for office, the BNP claims an unprecedented 357 candidates, who have concentrated their efforts primarily in areas hit hardest by unemployment and in areas where an influx of immigrants has settled. It is this sort of grassroots support that the BNP relies on: according to a recent poll, only 4 to 5 percent of the country supports the party, while in urban areas the percent is 30 or more.
As one British citizen admitted, while she would be “absolutely horrified” if the virulently anti-immigration BNP prevailed in local elections, she still intends on voting for her local BNP candidate because she feels something needs to be done about the problem of unchecked immigration. “We’re against people coming in and taking our jobs, taking our school places, getting priority in housing. Everyone is fed up, and we want to make our feelings known.”
On Friday, after two years of negotiations, the Sudan Liberation Movement and Army (SLMA) signed an agreement with the Sudanese government aimed at ending the violence in Darfur, violence that has killed about 200,000 Darfuris and left two-million homeless. Final concessions called for the disarming of the government and for improved power and wealth sharing with the Darfur region.
Although the peace deal will not end the conflict, it may bring more protection for the millions of refugees, as the deal could speed the arrival of United Nations peacekeepers to the region. At the same time, the refusal of two rebel fractions to join the agreement demonstrates that the conflicts between the rival ethnic groups have not been resolved. "Signing an incomplete deal guarantees that there will be no peace in Darfur and that suits the government," John Prendergast, senior adviser to the International Crisis Group said, and added: "I am sure the government will look to exploit divisions in the rebels to fuel fighting in Darfur. They are not interested in peace, only in deflecting international criticism and pressure."
- A Goldfish's attention span is three seconds
- Emus and Kangaroos cannot walk backward
- A hummingbird weighs less then a penny
- The only food that does not spoil is honey
Shirley Chisholm photo by Arlie Scott
1592 Francis Quarles, English poet, is born
1668 Alain R Lesage, French author, is born
1846 Oscar Hammerstein, German opera/playwright, is born
1858 John Meade Falkner, novelist, is born
1967 Elmer Rice, U.S. playwright/director/novelist, dies at 74
1981 Daniel Gillès, Belgian writer, dies at 64
1265 Dante Alighieri, Italian poet, author of Divina Commedia, is born
1738 John Pindar [Peter], physician/poet, is born
1791 Francis Hopkinson, U.S. writer/musician/lawyer, dies at 53
1860 Sir James Matthew Barrie, Scottish novelist, is born
1887 Jules Van de Leene, Belgian writer, is born
1924 Bulat S Okudzjava, Russian author, is born
1934 Alan Bennett, English playwright/actor, is born
1569 Juan the Avila, Spanish minister/writer, dies
1696 Jean de La Bruyère, French author, dies at 50
1760 Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle, soldier/author/composer, is born
1764 Picander [Christian Henrici], German writer, dies
1843 Benito Pérez Galdós, Spanish novelist, is born
1887 Jacobus C Bloem, Dutch poet, is born
1902 Kaarlo Sarkia, Finnish poet, is born
1916 Camilo José Cela, Spanish author, is born
1920 William D Howells, U.S. author, dies at 83
1924 Pulitzer Prize awarded to Robert Frost
1938 Alfonsina Storni, Argentinean poet, dies at 45
1938 Arnold Sauwen, Flemish poet, dies at 81
1790 [Johannes] Carsten Hauch, Danish writer, is born
1796 Johann P Uz, German poet, dies
1828 Gabriel Dante Rossetti, English Pre-Raphaelite poet/painter, brother of Christina Rossetti, is born
1852 John Richardson, Canadian writer, dies
1876 Henri A Esquiros, French poet, dies at 63
1925 Amy Lowell, U.S. writer, dies at 51
1840 Alphonse Daudet, French writer, is born
1907 Daphne du Maurier, English writer, is born
1916 Sholem Aleichem, Yiddish writer, author of the Fiddler on the Roof, dies
1923 Pulitzer prize awarded to Willa Carter
1982 Irmgard Keun, West German writer, dies at 72
1726 John B Wellekens, poet/painter, dies
1912 August Strindberg, Swedish writer, dies at 63
1925 Henry Rider Haggard, English writer, dies
1947 Karin Struck, German writer, is born
1956 Gillian Bradshaw, U.S. author, is born
Robert Frost portrait by John Mitchell
Monday, May 01, 2006
the multitalented keith zackowitz presents ee cummings' "pity this busy monster, manunkind". enjoy!
pity this busy monster, manunkind
pity this busy monster, manunkind,
not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)
plays with the bigness of his littleness
--- electrons deify one razor
bladeinto a mountain
range; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
A world of made
is not a world of born --- pity poor flesh
and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical
ultraomnipotence. We doctors know
a hopeless case if --- listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go
"Mystery of the Universe"