And you have forgotten that the sun does shine on the nothing new.
Life that goes on in face of oppression was also true of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, is true of Arabs in Gaza, Tibetans occupied by China, as it was for Russians and Jews in the Soviet Union, African Americans in the Jim Crow South, the Jews seeking refuge in an isolated fledging prematurely born State of Israel surrounded by 50 million Arabs that swore to drive her into the sea, promised to lose 10 million Arabs to wipe out the Jews . . . even peoples occupied by the Nazis managed to live lives, to shout into the void, to listen for the echo.
for James Baldwin
I cannot fathom the depth of character, of mind, or of soul that is necessary for compassion. I have mastered the art of appearing to be compassionate, when in turn of fact, I am anything but understanding in a degree that qualifies as compassionate. A society bred on the idea that package is as important, or now more important, than product, cannot understand the distinctions between passion and emotion, or how depth of feeling is opposed to the appearance of having felt . . . I am stretching for excuses. I will always find something in my experiences to blame for my choices, a part of our past to use as a rationale for what I do, have done, will become. A native son infers lineage. I do hate as much as others hate, resent others as often as others resent someone else.
I was raised Catholic…
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I said: He said, “In the next revolution, we will have to shoot all the teachers.”
I then said, as I had the space to do so, without hesitation caused by anticipating another speaking in the same space of time within which I went on to add: Why does it seem outrageous to say or to think, let alone believe it possible, that a revolutionary spirit could sweep away any impediment to murdering en-masse any group of a society, even those we reflexively like to imagine have dedicated themselves to the betterment of society, but just might be seen as those most directly responsible for perpetuating the great ills that society suffers. And weren’t teachers one of the groups in Germany who en masse voted for the Nazis Party in their local elections ensuring that Adolf Hitler would become Chancellor then de facto dictator? Teachers, butlers and women.
I said, He said, “School teachers? They are the most contemptible perpetuators of the status quo wherever they work, whether it is Franco’s Spain, Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler’s Germany, Pinochet’s Chile . . . everywhere, anywhere. Kill them all if you ever want to change a society–no, wait. It would not be necessary to kill them all if you find them contemptible changeling creatures who can shift alliances as easily as most bureaucrats do, have, will. From Weimar to the Nazis, the bureaucrats did not miss a beat. School teachers have as much to do with manipulating thought as the administrators of propaganda who worked for Goebbels. All of a culture’s received ideas for good or for ill can be traced to the lessons learned in school. It’s not that these received ideas do not have other mediums of transmission; it is just that all the enduring ones, the ones most responsible for supporting and reinforcing the Status Quo can be found in State sponsored pedagogies.”
What else I said I will not record here. Whatever else I could have said, or perhaps should have said–and what is it that I should have said if you are one of the staunch supporters of the Status Quo and all of our most beloved conventionalities? I cannot say succinctly here, nor do I wish to take the time to say it in any form I could muster extemporaneously.
In a consumerist society, what is the pedagogic/educational equivalent of consumerism?
In a society where little is made to last so we need to, thus expect to, buy again soon, a significant percentage of students failing is built into our pedagogy. CUNY for years kept its pass rate for its writing test, whether the WAT or the ACT exam, at about 1 out of 3. And that was okay. If a teacher of Freshman Composition was at a level significantly higher than that, as I had been for more than ten years, somewhere around 70 per cent; then the teacher was excommunicate and anathema.
Herein please find the blog for The Falling Leaf Review, published on ISSU. You may find selections of poetry, of fiction, of essays, of commentary and of other literary excursions, if I may borrow from a lit mag I was involved in now nearly twenty years ago. Blog entries are what they are, and sometimes, as here exhibited, they are only notations, or should that be notices. Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground is sometimes more . . . accurately, my Russian friends insist, translated: Notices, which I am assuming is related to the Spanish noticias, which is what you find on Spanish News Broadcast title frames.
So then, Fyodor must have been saying News from Underground. Burial bulletins, as I had once assumed. Nevertheless, what then should I say to you about The Falling Leaf Review, the monthly literary journal I publish on ISSU? Come see. Visit. Read. Download. It is currently free. I will eventually Paypal it.
Yes, we has shifted to I, but then, as far as any Review I have ever published, I am we; I am all. The Falling Leaf Review, c’est moi.
[Merci, Monsieur Flaubert]
A conversation between two women, friends, buying coffee with their babies in baby carriages blocking paths they are oblivious to having blocked in the cafe.
Do you ever imagine that you have the acumen to understand another person?
Why do you call it acumen? I don’t get that.
Why fix on the word?
Because it does not help me to understand–
You can’t get what I am saying? No. You can– You don’t want to.
Another moment in a woman’s life conveyed by someone who will remain anonymous, as will in fact the woman who speaks here within quotation marks. Is it one of the women above? What if?
“To get. To give. What are the differences between them? Think. Look again. Don’t play hopscotch. Do you understand what I’m driving at here? You should. To get; to give. What is it that happens when you get something, and what happens when you give something? I know it seems trite to say. Giving and getting. We do ask, Are you a giving person? I ask, Are you a getting one? What are their relationships to greed? Now, to forget or to forgive. What then are the differences? You should see them. I then ask, What then should you do?” She asks us, tells us, suggests to us, alludes for us.