Thursday, February 19, 2009

Louis Black Wack Attack

I decided some time ago to quit picking on Louis Black. After all, I'd made my point many times over. But a paragraph from his latest column made me do a triple spit-take, and I wasn't even drinking anything. Here it is, in its entirety:

"As I have walked along the everywhere boardwalk that we all stroll down, living the every day to every day of our lives, my gait has always been uneven, rarely displaying the nonchalant grace, or at least ease, of most others. Almost stumbling, I've never been terribly far from slipping off the solid wood boards into the endless sandstorms raging on all sides. Once the solid boardwalk is left, I find myself tossed around at the mercy of the tiny tornadoes of personal instability and an always-shaky grasp on reality."

Holy shit. That's a Bulwer-Lytton contest winner right there.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The plain truth

A couple of quotes, and a couple of other things:

from an interview with David Lynch:
Interviewer, about Lynch's comic strip, "The Angriest Dog in the World": "... (S)omebody said, 'The comic strip originated from a time in Lynch's life when he was filled with anger'..."
Lynch: "Yeah. 'The Angriest Dog in the World' wasn't really about anger in me, it was more (pause) anger in that dog."

Two girls, from the high school senior classes I'm observing and student teaching this semester:
Girl A, semi-accusatorily: "Why did you quit basketball?"
Girl B: "I didn't like the way Miss __ coached, and she was making me hate basketball. Why did you quit volleyball?"
Girl A: "My booty got too big for the shorts."

Speaking of high school kids, I think I'm going to love teaching them. Several of my college professors, past and present, have delivered elitist tirades about the lowliness and incompetence of high school teachers and how horribly they're doing their jobs, not to mention how unimportant those jobs are compared to the prestigious rarefied air of a tenured professorship. Most of this contempt comes from a combination of privileged upper-class snobbery and an ignorance and/or disinterest in actual good teaching. There are terrible high school teachers in the world, and a lot of them, but most college professors think that lecturing for the entire class period, and never varying their methods or getting to know their students as individual learners, is an effective way to teach. Never mind that a fucking century of research shows that this is the worst way to teach. Even bad high school teachers know this stuff -- they're just lazy and/or embittered. Higher education institutions place more value on research than teaching, and it desperately shows. I'm very glad that a handful of my friends are either professors now, or getting close, because they are curious, non-complacent, and driven people, and college kids deserve good teachers.
I'm just frustrated with the badmouthing high school teachers get from professors because the latter can't engage their students, even though they haven't varied their approach in 25 years. Somehow, it's the 9th-grade teacher's fault you suck as a professor. Some of these jerks can't even conceive that a bunch of 18-year-olds aren't wetting their pants about particle physics or Chaucer or the French Revolution, despite their non-student-centered dry lecturing and regurgitation-based tests.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Blogging from work

You know that noise Sideshow Bob makes when he steps on a rake and it smacks him in the face? I just found out that my whole body, particularly my bowels, makes that noise when subjected to "Birdland" by The Manhattan Transfer. Damn you, Absolute 70s radio!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Lux Interior 1948-2009

A tough year for cult heroes born in 1948. Ron Asheton, John Martyn, Lux Interior. Who's next?