Saturday, January 31, 2004

Snowed today here in Spring Towne, I fired up the old XR and dragged the kids behind on the sled. Fun was had by all, except Tor, who wasn't very impressed with the snow in his face. Can't hardly blame him.

We had a nice day around the house, not too much to report. Things are fine.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Bless the ACLU for their doggedness, if not their effort to get Utah media involved early on about MATRIX. Perhaps they did try, but I haven't seen anything before today. Here is the official request to the Utah Department of Public Safety by the ACLU for records regarding MATRIX in Utah, dated 18 November 2003. Check out the other links to Matrix issues.
Um, what the hell? The DesNews ran a story back on the fourth of January that went for the most part under the radar, then Olene Walker found out about MATRIX in a news conference.

That story broke yesterday, but since I was out driving all over kingdom come for the secondary mock-trial program meetings, I was left in the dark. The Trib ran this story today, and I find it interesting that frigging Leavitt was unavailable to his former constituency for comment on this issue.

I shall hold my tongue and refrain from any other commentary on Mr. Leavitt, but this is a stinky little trail.
Hooray! It appears the President's (and national republicans?) effort to hogtie public ed is running out of rope in Utah!
There are those who would contend that the problem with schools today is a lack of formality. While that is something that warrants some discussion, I sit here, wearing shorts, running shoes, an untucked shirt and a sweater, with my kids all working studiously.

My students are the ones other teachers and administrators kick out of their classes permanently. Nevertheless, they are all working, asking courteously for new assignments and tests, all on a Friday afternoon.

When I mention that I am an 'alternative high school teacher,' people often reply with audible sighs, expressions of condolance, and the occasional thanks for my work with these kids. But what we have is not very different from other teaching situations...

Humans are humans. We all want to feel a sense of belonging, some semblance of boundaries and normalcy, and love. That's about it.

While there is much to discuss about content and standards in knowlege taught, it's really as simple as this when distilled to the essence. One's students will respond in kind.

Dans les coeurs de l'hiver, j'ai finalement appris qu'il y avait dans moi un été invincible.

(In the depths of winter, I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.)

-Albert Camus

Thursday, January 29, 2004

There's an asswipe up there.

-Ed

From Reuben and Ed

a movie by Trent Harris
The Engrish project. You can even make your own Engrish.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

As the Human species has broadened its numeric footprint over the past two centuries, has there been a corresponding expansion of understanding of the individual and his or her impact upon the future of the species? Has there been a coefficient increase in compassion for each individual and their potential for joy, misery, inclusion or alienation?

There seems to be a large amount of energy spent on the whole of humanity as a colossus of epic proportions, able to destroy and create on a scale never before possible. Much time and money is spent on impact study, population projection, resource base diminsiment, mass marketing strategy, and environmental degredation because of population and practices, and while most of these efforts are very good, do we really understand the impact that each second can have on the human heart and soul? Have we stopped to consider the impact of our pell-mell rush into global decision-making on the person?

Perhaps it is a question that only poets can consider, poking at the human condition until it bleeds syllables. TS Eliot wrote in the morning of the twentieth century, in 1917,



Do I dare

Disturb the universe?

In a minute there is time

For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.



That brief stanza distills a tragedy of perception that many people are afflicted with. The individual person, when cast against the great universe, is so small as to disappear from perception. Our modern, macro involved capitol-oriented civilization furthers this perspective in the interest of expanding the economy and economic opportunity for a greater number of people. Though a rosy perspective of capitolism, it still focuses on greater number and expansion of vision past the individual. The individual doesn't matter in our system, unless that individual drives an engine of production and expansion for the benefit of the economic universe integrated thereto.

The person still suffers. Whether that person lives outside of benefits of the economic behemoth in a tenement of La Paz, Bolivia or in the belly of the beast known as New York City, the individual can get lost to the hope of fulfillment. Changes in humanity's perspective on success have made it difficult for most humans to achieve it. The collective march toward financial illusions have left uncountable individuals in psychological ruin.

What can be done to turn the collective vision from material to spiritual and mental well-being? Perhaps the task still lays with the poet, with the mystic and the wanderer. They know how to tear apart the veil, the shroud, the wall surrounding the heart, and that's where the good of the individual lies.

It seems like my level of internal conflict has risen to a point that I can't really hear my muse. When I snatch a minute for writing or reflection, there are layers of conflict that I don't have the skill or perhaps the mental stamina to permeate in order to listen to the quiet that I know is still there somewhere.

Perhaps my level of creativity is so connected to my energy level (currently at a January level) that I can't wade through all the layers. My muse might be screaming and I can't hear through all the moisty clutter-blah what she might be suggesting.

It shouldn't be but a few days, I'll be writning in the meantime.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

One can only do what one can do. There is a reason that cliches become such, and that is usually because of a meaning or some desire it speaks to on a deeper level.

Words are made up of symbols, and in themselves become symbols. In some lanuages the words themselves are representative of that which they mean on a visual level, giving another level of symbology to humans, but that is rarely the case with English.

To many people, words become more than syllables and utterance giving body to our thoughts. Words become laughter, weeping, anger, and whatever emotions need vent. In that sense, words are an extension of ourselves, spirit made flesh to mingle with the thoughts of others.

At this time, there are people feeling who do not know how to make sense of those emotions, who might not know how to share them in order to understand what they mean in relation to fellow beings. Thoughts and emotions in that state can twist minds and wills, bending to become destructive or of wrong intent.

The exchange of those emotions and thoughts is a true adventure, because when they come back, they may have new life we never before imagined. Each of us are capable of ideas we have not yet conceived, afterall.

Monday, January 26, 2004

AaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGgggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! !!!!

Taxes. Even though I use Turbtax, I feel like I'm a gonna blow a fuse. I guess it's just part of the taxes thing. My whole being is wired to blow into a jillion pieces.

That will be my entry this evening. Thank you very much. More tomorrow.
Writing is a struggle today, I really don't have anything on my mind but Monday survival and trying to settle students into the week's routine. Neither effort is paying off.

Yesterday was spent mostly on finding (or not finding, as the case may be) my keys, and most of my frustration with winter life was focused on that. There is only so much reorganizing and cleaning that can be done before the whole thing looks futile. So I just tried to help Diedre and play with the kids, every so often getting up to pace around looking for keys. And not finding them.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

There are a couple of images posted over at the adjunct's place, sorry about the poor lighting, but the director changes the conditions daily according to whim and weather.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

We just returned from another canyon journey, today we went down to a small canyon just west of Richfield in central Utah and a larger one east of a place outside of Richfield called Sigurd. The one in Richfield I call Little Canyon and the other I named Red Canyon, although I think there is a canyon a bit further north with that name on the map. Oh well, I can name things what I want. You gonna stop me?

Anyway, it was nice. Even though the light was nowhere near as nice as last weekend, the redrock and flora were a little bit different in both canyons, and one had a very nice little stream to keep us amazed and amused.

I'll post some photos tomorrow. Suffice to say, today was worthwhile.
Sheesh! After that screed, I'll include a poem. Although it isn't about puppydogs and lovely meadows, I hope it will ameliorate the previous entry a bit!

Have a good Saturday. We humans will make it through this world alright, I reckon.



like an unused organ

(a spleen?) removed years ago

while I slept,

every so often I reach back to mop the sweat

and feel the scar still tender,

every so often,

I scratch and pull my hand back

red with blood,

and when it bleeds, I seldom remember why

or when or how

that part was removed

and, really, was it removed?

perhaps it was worth it.

so many ghosts follow me,

chill breezes on dark summer nights-

like out of place insects

in the middle of winter.

how do I share the new and now with these mists from my past?

how can they join to marry

my lost and disjointed

members?

calling my forgotten parts back

to a place far away and inaccessible

(only ethereally recalled

like the colors in an autumn sunset

in the deep of January's still night)

the paint is brushed on and on

layer after layer, shade after color

and hue-

strained descriptions of that which is covered

remain to remember the gazes of those

of those and that which has passed.

It's official, holy writ declares without qualification that "Churches are dedicated for the worship of God and as havens from the cares and concerns of the world." I know fairly well that many vehemently disagree with me on this point, although I very much agree with the spirit of this edict, I do not agree with this situation on the doctrine of "bad guys will always have their guns, good guys always feel the need to comply with laws."

An outright declaration of position, especially a position abridging a freedom, brings without fail challenge of that abridgment, whether in a court of law or defiance through civil disobedience (or otherwise). What else will this position and registration with the BCI bring about? Perhaps some uninformed and ignorant people will feel a wave of warmth and false security, but such positions are an invitation defy law, whether by a few law abiding citizens concerned by such explicit and public positioning or by the criminally insane and unstable.

Before this declaration, many concealed carriers took the council of church leaders and refrained from carrying in LDS churches. Others simply let their faith guide them, carrying on occasion, and leaving at home when ambivalent on this very personal subject.

The leaders of the LDS church may well have revelation beyond what they have made public, the Creator might have told them that firearms are inappropriate inside LDS houses or worship and that God will protect and keep those places free of danger, abuse and other assorted cares of the world. In such case I would feel better, but there is no such indication in their official declaration. There is, although infrequent, a sad record of the "cares of the world" entering those very special places.

Perhaps people who carry concealed posses a certain amount of paranoia and a desire to protect themselves, loved ones and community from evil intent, but that in my estimation is a freedom I do not want abridged in this society fraught with uncertainty.

I don't know. Chalk one more up for those who would take shelter in warm baths of false-security.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Where I live, there are a precious few natural bodies of water and most of the few artificial bodies we have are created by damming, diverting, pumping or any combination of those three.

I love water and am strongly attracted by the sound and sight of moisture. Perhaps as a result of living in an arid climate, I make my own artificial water habitats out of mason jars and aquariums, putting duckweed, spider plants and other water flora and fauna inside. I put them on my desk and in random spaces in the rooms I frequent.

We all know intellectually that water is precious, it drives our body's processes and all of the earth's life-systems. It can cool when hot and it warms when cold. It has a taste all its own and when it is pure, it makes everything it is put into better. Coffee, teas, and other beverages would be quite dry without it.

It makes things beautiful, scenery with water is always better, try to imagine your favorite lake or ocean vista without water. The two-quart mason jar on my desk has small brook pebbles of many hues, but without water, the colors fade.

Water conforms to its container, no matter what the form. If the container (natural or otherwise) is uneven , water will flow in whatever direction and rate is necessary to maintain equilibrium.

That is water's unconscious precious nature, that it can teach at a different level, even subliminally.

Therein lies the nature of the Tao. The water-way, the equilibrium of life.

I aspire to that, I hope to be able to emulate that nature at some point.

Until then, I reckon I'll resemble water in winter, sometimes frozen and in brief stasis, broken and drifting at others. Eventually comes a thaw, and for a time, that dynamic equilibrium is restored.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Another Provo-Orem chore was completed quite late yestereve, Jesse and I got in at about ten thirty from his optometrist appointment.

We stopped in at a dear couple's house, they fixed us bacon and eggs for dinner, and afterwards we sat and talked about their children and the world in general. The couple are about my parents' age, and I can imagine one of my friends stopping in at my parents house for some food and conversation, talking about my family and I, but I can't imagine it really happening (besides, they live in Arizona and I came of age for the most part in Bountiful, Utah.) I don't know if that's a good thing or not.

The air was fetid down in that valley yesterday. Here in Sanpete, it's unpleasant, but in Utah valley, it was like the late seventies in LA without the pleasant temperatures. What to do? Yeah, I know...

The good news; Jesse's eyesight has gotten better (the doc says he can get a driver's license now) and I got a new 110 lb anvil at a greatly discounted price! Yahoo! I don't have to bounce around my wee ten pounder any more.

See, I really am quite easy to please.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Alert: Dear old Sol has begun peeking through the murk here in Ephraim. Perhaps my mood will allow something besides political and personal commentary!
Why the interest in Colombian affairs? I went down there during the late eighties on a church mission, primarilly to the Carribean coast. I loved the people and the country, though the circumstances under which I laboured in the country turned my time there less than elysian.

I have many dear friends there, though I have long since lost contact with most. I left the country quite suddenly, during a time of danger perceived by the leaders of my missionary service. I was not able to gather all of my things and contacts, and I haven't been able to retie many of the loose ends.

I follow things in Colombia with interest, not only because of my personal affection for the country, but because America has many interests and ties with the governement of Colombia. The politics of the country are hugely complicated, with narcotraficantes, powerful legitimate and illigetimate business interests, far-left geurilla factions, rightist militias and common people stuck in the very dangerous, shifting ground inbetween.

Like many South American countries, Colombia enjoys a large base of natural resources and climates favorable to many activities and tastes. I have faith that someday the people of Colombia will enjoy prosperity without terror and foreign intervention that they are capable of and very much deserve., but there will have to be huge changes and different circumstances before that happens.

If you understand spanish, here is one of the big papers in Bogota, the capitol of Colombia. If you don't speak the Lengua Favorecida, here is babelfish so you can see how funny things sound when translated directly by a translatorbot.

There is quite often news about Colombia in our media, and most of it isn't very flattering. Today, in the NYTimes, there's an article about an increasing trend of the carteles and paramilitares muscling their way into land ownership. Pretty troubling in that this sort of thing just continues to divide society in Colombia and put off further into the future any kind of reunification of a civil society based on the rule of law.

These factions know that even in in our modern society, money without 'real estate' is not truly a stable base for long-term power.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Drie has been reading an introduction to a collection of books we have that was published back in 1952. It is a western canon up to that time, and has a few added resources like a syntopicon and the introduction, The Great Conversation, The Substance of a Liberal Education by the Editor of the set, Robert M. Hutchins. The Encyclopaedia Britannica, coincidentally the publisher of the library has this to say about Mr. Hutchins:



A controversial administrator, he attempted to reorganize the departments for undergraduate and graduate study at Chicago. His Chicago Plan for undergraduates encouraged liberal education at earlier ages and measured achievement by comprehensive examination, rather than by classroom time served. He introduced study of the Great Books. At the same time, Hutchins argued about the purposes of higher education, deploring undue emphasis on nonacademic pursuits (Chicago abandoned intercollegiate football in 1939) and criticizing the tendency toward specialization and vocationalism. The university abandoned most of his reforms, however, after his departure and returned to the educational practices of other major American universities.

Hutchins was active in forming the Committee to Frame a World Constitution (1945), led the Commission on Freedom of the Press (1946), and vigorously defended academic freedom, opposing faculty loyalty oaths in the 1950s. After serving as associate director of the Ford Foundation (from 1951), he became president of the Fund for the Republic (1954) and in 1959 founded the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (Santa Barbara, Calif.) as the fund's main activity. The Center was an attempt to approach Hutchins' ideal of "a community of scholars" discussing a wide range of issues--individual freedom, international order, ecological imperatives, the rights of minorities and of women, and the nature of the good life, among others.




Intriguing, no? He apparently began his term as president of the University of Chicago at the age of thirty.

Anyway, the set he edited included and was instrumental in publishing during the paranoid fifties included a generous volume of Marx and Engels, number fifty in the library. It was missing from the collection we bought at an antique store down in Elsinore, Utah. I reckon the individual who originally bought the books didn't have the same inclusive mindset that Mr. Hutchins demostrated in that era. Another curious thing is that the previous volume, number forty nine by Darwin, remains in our set. Perhaps the owner wasn't as affected by the twenties' furor over evolution as he was over the flap over communism, much more present to his time .

Many of Mr. Hutchins' concerns for society and education seem to parallel mine. Though some of his methods and politics may not sit well in my mind, this may bear further study. He has probably done some good thinking for me.

Now, on the subject of actual problem solving...

Ha haha.



After a trip like the one taken on Saturday, it's difficult to return to the regular thought process of blogging. I have to sit and process the day's events, feelings, weather and other stimuli and winnow through all that in order to find something that sparks my fancy.

Perhaps this is an indicator of my default mindset, but after such an experience as Saturday, I tend to compare my current feelings and environment to those felt in the field, on the trip and while reflecting on the experience. Because I have a rough time at times getting through the winter with my indoor job and windowless classroom, such a comparison makes me feel worse about my current lot, and I don't want to write about something as depressing as that.

That thought process should provide some insight into what you are delving into with this blog. Sheesh.

I fancy myself a deeply reflective person, I like to understand what is working behind the scenes in my mind and feelings. This blog is both a catylist and a outcome for that process, and I hope it spurs some of the same feelings and process in others.

I hope it brings about much happiness, as well.

Monday, January 19, 2004

We wandered back and forth across the wash as we progressed up the canyon. With every step, we saw something to take a photo of, to stare at, to cause some loud exclamation.

The experience was like an aesthetic and mystic re-baptism. The air I breathed was new, the colors were new, the sounds of the water being made just for me.

What if Eden was a place each of us had to discover anew, a place that we needed to return to deliberately once it was recognized? This Eden would be a sort of reminder of our hopeful self, the person who would achieve all virtues and make it to happiness when all is done in this life. This individual place would mesh with our individual dreams, embody our peronal mythology and religious faith and ennoble our senses and minds.

This place is that to me. It is there right now, it has been there for quite a few years in fact. Quite a bit longer than I have been toiling at this particular life.

Life is easier if one is part of things that are larger than the self, more enduring than one person's life on earth. Sometimes those things are human institutions, human endeavors, or great ideals that endure with the person's greatest hopes or contributions intact far after he is gone.

Sometimes the earth itself offers something like this. A place to become part of one's life, in a deeper way than one ever expected.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

We left for Capitol reef at eight thirty on Saturday morning. Happy to be on the road and trundling along, we stopped for a fishing license just in case we decided to toss hooks.

We wouldn't need the licenses, nor would we need our tackle.

Driving through the inversion, we watched the handy-dandy outside thermometer on Ryan's Explorer, and throughout much of the trip, it hovered around twenty degrees. The vista outside the glass box was bleak, haze and mist limiting visibility to a few miles at best.

As we ascended the last rise before Grass Valley and the Koosharem area, the fog began to break. Our relief was expressed through silent grins and reticent acknowlegments of good fortune, "Yeah, this is beautiful, sure is good to see the sun, but we probably won't be able to see very far even in the desert with this cursed inversion." We steeled ourselves for the worst, but as the temperature climbed above freezing in the six thousand foot plus elevation of Grass Valley, our hearts began to feel light in the possibility of desert warmth and sunshine.

Loa, Lyman and Bicknell in the Rabbit Valley at a little bit higher elevation than the Grass were cooler, but the sunshine was brighter and the haze less noticeable. We talked about the fishing spots close by. "If ya lived here, you could be to Deep Creek in less than twenty minutes," and "Could you imagine fishing the Boulder or Thousand Lakes weekly, or even daily?" Angling was still on our minds, it was always part of our happy banter and a rite of our journeys.

We passed through winter-quiet Torrey and began to descend into Capitol Reef. The thermometer rose with each minute. Thirty four, thirty six, thirty eight. As we sped through Fruita, also deserted by the gadfly pleasureseekers of the warmer seasons, we passed the forty degree mark. "It's gonna be perfect hiking weather for us!" Our joy was beginning to really show. Little did we know.

On the east side of the park, I pointed out to Ryan the local landmarks. Notom Ranch, the Henry Mountains, Bloody Hands Gap, Notom Bench. I started feeling apprehensive as we approached the end of the bench. The paved road was not ending as it had since being extended eight years earlier. It plunged down the bench and through Burro Wash. It kept on going. It was surreal to see the pavement where old washboard surrounded by mud and soil used to be. It went on quite a ways, mercifully ending before the road descended into Cottonwood Wash.

We went a bit further on the old dirt road just to feel the old friend's ways before turning around and back up to the bench. We stopped at the overlook to breath a few and so I could point out a few more significant places. There was Blue Flats to the north east, Thompson and Stephens Mesas to the southwest, Mt. Ellen, with Penellen Pass and Mt. Pennell further on. We could see far. The inversion and hazes of the lower valleys didn't affect this place, a high desert valley where only a few hardy souls dwell permanently. We were glad, as the land and air were rewarding us generously already.

We got into the truck and with some effort, partially due to the odd new road as well for the five years passed since the last time I was here, we found the turnoff. Down the rocky, rickety path we went until we could go no more without dumping the rig into the wash.

Ryan was getting excited. He leapt out of the truck, got his pack and was ready for the day's true journey. I knew he was really jazzed because he hadn't even mentioned fishing in over an hour, and his fishing pole was untouched in the car. He was thrilled by what he saw, and the anticipation was almost too much to contain as we trotted down the path into the wash below.

We hadn't gone more than twenty five yards when we started really noticing what we had come over one hundred and forty miles to see.

Soulquenching beauty.



TO BE CONTINUED...

mo'ment

n.

1. A brief, indefinite interval of time.

2. A specific point in time, especially the present time: He is not here at the moment.

3. A particular period of importance, influence, or significance in a series of events or developments: a great moment in history; waiting for her big moment.

4. Outstanding significance or value; importance: a discovery of great moment.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Superlative beauty in and around the waterpocket fold area of southern Utah. Much more on an ecstatic frenzy for beauty tomorrow...

Friday, January 16, 2004

Fridays here at the school are a bit laid-back. Usually we do an activity such as a field trip or bowling, we at least play some volleyball in the morning. The afternoon is an opportunity to raise the students from Friday apathy to something that resembles academic function.

Lucky for me, this afternoon, I went to a meeting of representatives from different agencies serving at-risk youth here in our small county. It was encouraging. The plan is to expand our after-school program into a full-blown day reporting and monitoring program. That will require much legislative wrangling and some hopeful grant writing, but it looks like there is some real support and excellent resources available to aid in implementation.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

A washing machine, when installed on an uneven floor originally built in the 1920's as a back patio, tends to seek the lowest point on said floor; even when a complex set of shims and boards are set up to keep it from doing so.

Mine just proved that point, for the second time in about a week.

Sooo, I just spent the last two and a half hours swabbing, resetting, rehosing, and general re-jerryrigging the whole goldarned thing. Of, course, there was a great deal of plumber's language and I suspect, near-aneurysm in my aching head out of sheer frustration with the situation.

I reckon it could all be solved by a new washing machine, a new floor, and or a new house. Or even a washingboard and galvanized basin. Now THAT would be simplifying things.

Anger management is always such a challenge for me in the merry month of January. Thank goodness for full-spectrum lightbulbs.

Ryan and I went up Canal Canyon last night at around seven thirty. The moon didn't come out at all during the walk and the stars in Orion seemed to have multiplied by a magnitude of three. Breathtaking.

It's only when the moon is absent and there's snow on the ground that I realize how much light the stars give. We were able to find walk the entire way without a light, only using the headlight to search for lion tracks and to look at the crystals in the snow.

The light given by the stars is gentle, only allowing for shades of gray and black. In that absence of artificial light, one sees the shimmering colors in the stars themselves, accentuated by the planet's unwavering hues of pink, yellow and blue.

We ended up up by the old sweatlodge site in an aspen grove surrounded by pine and maple. It's a place I've been going to for close to ten years when in need of some air and space, I used to go there almost every day while building the cabin.

A creek meanders down the hill there, beneath its frozen crust, percolating and bubbling in small resonant places between itself and the ice. Last night it got louder as the night grew older, whether that was because of some physical reason or our own senses heightening, we didn't know. Either way, it was fun to think about and provided something for the mind to focus on besides the smallness that comes on often after gazing at the stars and thinking about where one really is.

The way back down was too quick, and when we got to the truck, the headlights seemed rude as they lit our way back home.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

What is voluntary simplicity?

I have heard it defined as the outgrowth of a desire to be a: less harried by the breakneck pace of the modern capitalist society; b: less of a burden on the producing poor of the world; c: less of a burden on the finite resources of the earth, or d: a combination of the above.

But what is the root of this free-will asceticism? Not that I'm a sociologist or anthropologist, but I've a few ideas.

Our society, being of the philosophically western, developed persuasion, has in recent years become increasingly crowded, economically divisive, debt-burdened, competition based and exclusionary. While there are many reasons for these adverse effects (and each of these have cycled up and down in our society since it began), the main reason for their sharp increase in the last few years has been the increase in population and comoditization of land into 'real estate.'

In the years between the fifteenth and the mid-twentieth centuries, a huge resource was exploited by humanity. Almost the entire landmass of North and South America was divided up between common people and corporate entities alike. The desires for individualist's elbow room and capitalist expansion of resource and market was satisfied in a manner and at a pace unseen before in history.

In the midst of this expansion (whether or not it was moral in the eyes of the original inhabitants and stewards) people were able to escape the confines of cities and social and religious persecution by the wide availability of land to be homesteaded or leased. They could be what they wanted to be, and with work and perseverance, they could make a go of being masters of their own domain, which by extension in human terms, is really the person himself.

If a person has a difficult time integrating into society nowadays, he has very little choice but to conform to the social and economic norm to be able to prosper and express his personality. Those who do not are written off as insane or deviant, ending up in prison or institutions, or at least marginalized to some extent.

Rules and laws have become more all-inclusive and in some instances increasingly restrictive, even in free societies such as that in the 'developed world.' Litigation is rampant, and in some ways, out of control. There is precious little 'space' for those who want other than that which the majority what and have, and the increased capitalization of our society will continue to bring divergent thinking to the surface of our society. Some will be like the voluntary simplicity 'movement' while others will exhibit more destructive behaviour until a more libertarian and capitally-flexible society can be brought about.

That's in essence what voluntary simplicity is, a retaking of agency over one's life and surroundings from society's expectations. Through simplicity is achieved freedom from a sort of social repression.

In Death Valley, an artist builds against the insistance of that eternal footman. I hear this story now and again, in magazines and newspapers, there are people like this here and there. In fact, my mom in law is kind of like this amazing woman, now that I think of it...

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

I just got done with the monthly cleaning of the stovepipe on our coal and wood burning stove. I take the stove pipe apart and vacuum the soot out of the pipe and the chimney to increase the airflow through the danged apparatus. It's a dirty job, and inevitably some soot flake wafts onto the carpet or a couch, then I vacuum it up gingerly and, of course, I smudge it into the couch or carpet. Sheesh.

Ah, but the fire will glow warmly tonight!
Listening to The World on KUER this afternoon while on an errand, I heard a story about golf in South Africa. One interview with a young man struck me. He spoke of golf as a "gentleman's" game, filled with honor and sportsmanship. He also talked about stepping onto the course as "entering another universe" from that of his normal environment in a poverty stricken tenement.

The image of this young black African stepping from an underprivileged everyday to the lush greens of suburban privilege remains in my mind's eye. Interesting story.
I have managed to ftp this blog to its new home! What a chore. If tutorials didn't presuppose a host of common terms and procedure between technicians and English teachers, it would probably be easier. Next step: move the whole darn thing to Movable Type. If anyone happens upon this wee scribble who might be able to help, get in contact, neh?

Monday, January 12, 2004

Ryan David has returned from his long weekend sans-bloggage. He has some photos and laughs to share about a too-long put off outing.
Today was an interesting day at the old school. We had a couple of former students do a mini-assembly on decision making and the importance of going to school.

Both students described their lives of petty crime and brushes with the law. They described people they knew and loved and differing levels of estrangement from the same. They also described how many of their friends and wanted to help them, who didn't want to continue enabling them to further hurt themselves with drugs and alcohol. There were also those who couldn't help them with employment because of their lack of a high school diploma.

One of these young men told of holding his mom up at knifepoint for twenty dollars have money to buy a fix. He described nights spent homeless, penniless and without food. He related times of desperation and plots of assault for a few fries when he hadn't eaten for days.

The audience was speechless. These young men in front of them were their old friends, upperclassmen whom they respected and looked up to.

Both told about their recently born sons, children they hadn't seen for months because of difficulties with the mothers. One's former girlfriend was scared to death of her child's father. He stood here, penitent, ashamed, and struggling to share his experiences with our students, so they wouldn't follow him where he was.

Lonely and very alone.

They both went on to express admiration and gratitude to their friends for helping them come back. They also had words of thanks for their former teachers, people who tried to keep them from where they had been, from having to learn the hard way. They basically told the audience that the teachers weren't only teachers.

We were all at least close to tears.

I hope they got through to a few people, enough to keep at least one of our students from going as far as they did into despair.

These two former students of ours are at different stages of recovery, in different places on their road back to sanity and hope. Both are as strong and capable of healing as they were capable of actions of self-destruction, abusing themselves and those around them for selfish and blind reasons.

I pray for them, and too many others like them.

I drove to work without incident, no deer on the road at all. Quite a relief, I have been driving the last few days afraid that one was going to jump out and finish the job the last one only partially completed.

The weekend was full of work. It sure was nice to be at the house, the kids are sure fun to be around until it's time to clean up.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Things are so subjective from person to person. According to perception and attitude, the smallest can fill or the largest can breed want. The job of each heart and brain is to place the self at a point where it is comfortable in relationship to its surroundings.

Those surroundings can be true, they can also be an illusion. From whence come these illusions? Those same perceptions that protect the self from assail from the possibilities of day to day perception.

Suddenly, the world can shudder like a tin building from the blow of a single word, or remain utterly nonplussed at the death of a half million in another country. One might visit a new mansion for breakfast and see downcast eyes and wanton looks for the unfulfilled promises of a broker or politician On the same day, the destination could be a flooded tenement made of cardboard and plastic at sundown and dance in the street for the return of a brother and friend from war in the mountains. The mind is a universe of mythic size and means, purpose is the rhythm that can move the heart to smile toward song.

Not much to report, aside from beautiful weather and a few muddy walkways.

Living in the country can be great and for those who have made a choice to live rurally or have lived there all of their lives, but it presents its own set of challenges.

among them are limited choice of readily available consumer items. There is always the internet these days, but one is not assailed by signs, windows and shops everywhere. Nor can one really easily indulge in the suburban and urban rites of "shopping," unless one counts the occasional WalMart or Associated Food Store.

These can be great when one has chosen to not immerse one's self in the consumer economy to the extent that many in our times and society have, but at times it puts one at a marked disadvantage socially when competing with others in the marketplace, whether speaking of jobs or commerce.

Sometimes, this disadvantage is nothing more than psychological. When one takes TV or movies as the cue for social currency, one can feel pretty low when living in a disintegrating century-old home with a coal stove and fifteen year old autos. The inferiority complex I'm speaking of is very subjective and results from a loss of perspective. The ideals behind conscious frugality or even, poverty are pretty difficult to maintain in our society. Much works against such a position, through the media, social pressure, and even engineered obsolescence.

But I am committed. In many ways, we are locked in. Six children on a single educator's income is an exercise in frugality.

When there is expectation to continue education and training and supplies and curriculum needs that are unfunded by the workplace. It adds to the financial pressure. Not at all insurmountable with a little bit of creative thinking, but still, going somewhat against the flow of the majority.

Feh. Things work out. Money isn't everything, but it sure does open doors more easily. Without it, ya just gotta think harder.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

I spent the day up at a neighbor's house who is faced with a lawsuit if he doesn't clean up his mathoms of useful junk from off his property. A bunch of people from our little town got together to get the biggest stuff out before the Local Affluent and Retired Old Women and Men With Too Much Time On Their Hands decided to make good their threat.

My neighbor's a good man, with more than his share of challenges from the world around him. He is one of the smartest men I know, with skills and knowledge spanning diesel mechanics to accounting, but his interests and intensity get in his way some times. Especially with those who think that this world is one of a competition between know-it-alls and property values.

Boy, he has some heavy stuff. My back is toast.

faced with thinning hair

and constant reminders of time's

rhythmic metate,

night day night day night day

the body of a loved one thrown

from birth into a furnace

the oven of the consuming fever-

death, the constant white-hot fever

life, the alienation of those whose

feelings are torn from the potency

of self to be forgotten.

Christ the tiger

schooled by mystics and a new father

dragged asunder by a frightened class,

though power would be theirs for only

a few more years)

the intervening years have only served as

place-mats for their progeny.

throats made raw by the oven and consuming fever

no manna from heaven. no rain from on high

slakened thirst found only in the

hallowed grave

hunger for peace in the sleep

from wrung minds

eons of similar slogans and tearing nails

driving green generation s into

self-pronounced frenzy

groveling prayers and cathartic supplication

from whence do these come and

to where will we go?

Friday, January 9, 2004

Now, from a different perspective, I turn your attention to the French filmmaker, Jean Renoir, "Our present-day religion is the bank and our language is publicity. The key word is output, by which we produce more. When the world market is saturated we start another war to get new customers. The aim of warfare is no longer conquest but construction. When the building is destroyed, the wheels turn again. We build skyscrapers in the ruins of pagodas and this fills the belly of the working man, who would otherwise revolt."

I found this quote in one of the books over there on the sidebar, Dancing on the Stones. I know that at times I exhibit a marked tendency toward talking out of both sides of my mouth, but one of my deepest frustrations with society is that I don't believe that we can ever know the whole story. Causation and rational are deeply cloaked in individual humans, so when speaking of a global and multifaceted society, I don't think one is gonna have much more luck in discerning the truth behind controversial events and decisions.

Besides that, our times are truly complicated in rational and the voices calling for satisfaction in any given issue. It would truly be hard to do anything authoritative in our world without some sort of disinformation. That's just what I perceive reality, not approbation or surrender to such.

A measured, reasoned, and non-reactionary approach might benefit this world. But then, maybe there would be more politically ineffectual, locally oriented, idealistic, family-focused people like me. Who would run the political and corporate machines then?

Yesterday, Michael Totten wrote about the current global conflict in clear terms, using salient examples. Check it out and see if it doesn't bring your ideas on our current war into an at least slightly different focus.

Thursday, January 8, 2004

A real master of complaint response turns coat and gets just what he wants!
A great word brought to my attention by Ryan Syme, elementary educator extraordinaire: Koviashuvik—an Inuit (Eskimo) word meaning "living in the present moment with quiet joy and happiness."

Translation is a rough trade, so who knows what exactly what it means. The point is that a culture has an actual word for that sentiment that takes in our language an entire sentence.

And what an important sentiment it is, no matter what language.
It's a foggy day here, the sun showing through at times like a small child listening from behind a grey velvet curtain. January is a month of extreme weather here, as cold as it gets, as dark as it gets, as bright as it gets with the moon and snow at night or with sun and snow during the day. Sometimes a claustrophobia can descend when one realizes that this is how it is and it's not really getting better for months.

January can also sparkle so brightly and bite so crisply that it makes one realize that one is truly still alive.

I reckon that extremes are what life is all about. The middle can be like so much gauze over the eyes or fog over the sun, everything just goes grey.

Viva January!

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

I ambled along, noticing how pretty everything was after all the snow and three days of sub-freezing temps. The county road between Spring City and Pigeon Hollow was still snowpacked, even though the overnight temperatures the night before had been in the twenties instead of below zero, as it had been during the previous two nights.

I checked my brakes for traction, and though it was better than it had been last night on the way home, I decided to slow down a bit more. Further along, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a deer bounding full-tilt toward the highway. "Oh, great," was my first thought. This was followed by quick calculations and decisions on braking, swerving and accelerating on a very slick road surrounded by small borrow pits, stout fenceposts and junipers on either side. With not much I could safely do, my next intelligible thought was something like "shit." Though I cannot be exactly sure, my next few thoughts were along those same lines. (I am not terribly proud of that, but I reckon I've relearned at least one thing about initial reactions through this experience.)

The next few moments went by quickly, and suffice to say that any adjustments to speed and course I made, the deer seemed bound and determined to counter. I hit him dead center, ending things on his side with dispatch.

I continued my course off the road, attempting to make it back to the road before my momentum faded completely or I hit another, more immobile obstacle. The language arts that followed as I jumped out of the truck to survey damage was very similar to the thoughts afore mentioned, though with an amazing level of volume and a bit more creativity. Again, shame on me, more because it was reflexive than a conscious masterpiece of colorful linguistics. There was a quite a bit of adrenaline to deal with right then. Besides, on that lonely country road, there was only the dead deer and me.

And my truck. 'Twas running, so I popped the hood to check for damage. Gracias a Dios, the plumbing was untouched, though the front metal and right fender took damage that will take work and some money to undo.

After collecting a few of my wits, I went to the deer conspicuously unmoving at the end of a long patch of earth skidded free of the snow that had previously covered it. He was a young buck, antlers beginning to bud their third point. That's where his progression toward maturity will end for this life. Though I wasn't completely recovered from the anger at the circumstance and small inconveniences ahead, I was at last beginning to feel for this young deer. I don't know why he was so determined to cross the road at that time, he had to be close to his top speed when metal met flesh, but his was the fate that was final. My old Toyota will run for at least one more trip down the road, and might be fixed in a week or so, but that buck had met the light at the end.

Tingling from adrenaline, sad from the tragedy of the moment, but somehow awakened by the crossroads met by both the buck and me, I placed my hand on his head. Mumbling my apologies and saying a small prayer for his spirit and my still present and integral soul, I walked away through the chaotically tracked snow to my still running truck turning my four-wheel drive hubs to get back onto the road.

Getting in, I drove slowly up the borrow and away to my normal day's work.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

NASA just released a color photo from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. Looks like a big Red Desert wash to me. Amazing times these, neh?
I guess it was something i ate. I'm fine and back at the nosey grindstone.

Utah trivia for the day: Statehood day is today! On 04 Jan in 1896, two years before our house was built, Deseret gave up finally and forever any hopes of nationhood, becoming Utah, the 45th state.

Salient quote on my mind for some time now: "Our perception that we have "no time" is one of the diistinctive marks of Western culture." -Margaret Visser, Author

Monday, January 5, 2004

The kids are in bed, all laughing, singing and talking. Drie and I are sitting here taking stock of the day. I sure am grateful for all we have here. I hope we do a decent job of this little project we have undertaken. Life has quite a bit of guesswork involved in it.

On a different note, I don't know how many areas of the country have such a great resource, but the University of Utah Marriott Library has undertaken the project of putting their archive of Utah dailies and weeklies into a searchable digital image base. I got wind of it early last summer, looking into some of my wife's family's history in Fillmore, Utah. It's much more comprehensive now, though I'm sure much is to be done. Amazing site, invaluable to the history professional or just people looking up family history. Fun to just browse, too, especially if one has any experience or relatives in this area of the world.
First day back. School is the same as it ever was. I'm experiencing waves of nausea that I only hope are caused by something I ate, not the flu. Life's little rollercoasters.

Kinda like teaching at an alternative high school. Sometimes up and others down, often quite suddenly fluctuating.
What is Perspective? My perception is that perspective is analogous to point-of-view or “pars momentum,” the direction of movement. The person who has a certain drive or deep desire will unconsciously see the world in such a way as to justify or support previous judgment or decision.

Herein lies a mystery. How does an individual set a course in such a way as to be self-correcting and independent of self-imposed inaccuracies because of pars momentum?

One might argue that the perfect strategy would be to rely on an outside source of ideology e.g. religion, philosophy, nationality, business outcome, etc. For some, this might be an adequate compass by which one might guide one’s life. Each decision could be guided by such an end goal or external ideology, correcting the human tendency (to such a degree that it can be negated) to rationalize pars momentum.

Unfortunately, each of these ideologies has its own individual on collective pars momentum built in. They are human interpretations of ideals, “God’s” laws, community consciousness or individual ambition. If one chooses one of these external compasses, one should choose well, and consider combining two or more to involve mutual exclusions and one’s own reason temper inherent pars momenti within ideologies.

Among some, there is an argument that God or a creator has put in to motion an external locus for correction and understanding of our individual pars momenti. If in fact this exists, one could make the argument that this creator-locus would be a good source of information and correction for our own limited perspectives. One could argue that such an agent of a higher consciousness would be perfect in aiding a person trying to negotiate a difficult path to true betterment.

The question at this poit is whether or not this supernatural power exists.

The common name for this power is the holy spirit. It is said that this “spirit” can enter into a person’s conscious mind and suggest or confirm that which is “true” or right in a given situation or dissuade from incorrect decisions, paths or perspectives.

The beauty of this concept is that this supernatural aid uses feelings and some say at times words to persuade and suggest, leaving the subject freedom to choose the path or perspective he or she is going to continue on.

In my experience, I have tried to follow my conscience as “guided” by what I perceive as promptings of what I have a hope are the “holy spirit.” Some instances have turned out well, others much the opposite. Not exactly a scientific survey or an ideal set ofr a proof of guidance by such a supernatural guide.

At the same time, the possibility exists that my perception is at fault and that this isn’t a anecdote toward disproving the existence of the creator’s guide. Enter our greatest friend, our true enemy, Catch-22. If, then, therefore, but…

With Catch-22, every religious or spiritual tenet that comes up, one can never come to a logical or conclusive end. Certainly not one that would be reliable for those who desire a cut-and-dried relationship with deity, or proof of such a God.

Thus, we arrive where we started. Pars momentum is at best difficult, if not impossible to govern sensibly without constant study and discipline. That will be explored later. One of these days.

Boy, that was a ramble.

Sunday, January 4, 2004

Snow photos! Click on the link for wintery, eleven degree farenheit joy!
Sunday morning, sunny day. Sparkling snow all over; covering the cars, fields and, here in our small town, on the roads- until it melts of its own accord. That's a great thing, as far as I'm concerned, because the snow covers everything. Man-made, natural, you name it, things stay white for a while. All iced in bright, incubating, amnesiac snow. The rest from the stark borders of roads, grass and fields is refreshing.

Saturday, January 3, 2004

Just finished a famcam with my brother and sisterinlaw. The kids sure enjoyed seeing them in Phoenix, live and in color, from our little 1890's house in a rural town of around seven hundred inhabitants. Amazing times, goldarnit.

Coincidently, we wish them a happy chick-movie experience for the rest of the evening.
Jess and I just went out to get more coal for the night, and btw, it's snowing again. Blessed water from the sky. It'll turn soon to mud and muck, but August feels better already.
The snow's finally starting to taper off again. Maybe just a little bit more...

I went out to play with the kids, they had been outside for at least two hours straight. Three against one are not very good odds, but I'm still quite a bit larger than any of them.

We had a great time until I blew out my poor old Sorrels. The uppers have come off completely on the right, so I reckon it's time to investigate some new ones after eighteen years. Not a bad run, neh?

As of 3:00pm, it's snowing after an hour's hiatus at around noon. This is nice.

With no training in html, I keep trying to tweak this blogger template to be a bit more content-rich and well, attractive. I hope it doesn't start disintegrating like my previous attempt at a webpage. If it does, I think momentum is with me and I'll be able to fix it pretty quick.

The kids are running amok here in the newborn-house, with mom abed and dad spending too much time at the keyboard. It it fun to listen to them play their games downstairs, squeals of delight about the "hot lava" that someone's about to step in or the "panda bear cowboy" who is here to save the day. I'd probably just ruin their fun completely and have them clean up the mess and do laundry if I went downstairs now. It's a balancing act, this parenting thing.

Let it snow! (repeated three times)
It's snowing right now. Salt Lake City and Ogden to the north got huge amounts from a big Christmas storm, but we only got around three inches. Last night and this morning alone, we've gotten at least four. I do like it when it snows, if it's gotta be winter and cold, we might as well have snow!

I also enjoy watching national weather advisories for our area. They change from hour to hour, including whatever is going on weather-wise to make the prediction seem more feasable. The day before yesterday, I checked and it said "winter weather and locally heavy snow increasing tonight and decreasing until noon ." It'didn't snow at all. Around noon the advisory called for snow in the afternoon and decreasing after midnight.

It actually started snowing at about 4:00pm. The advisory had changed when I checked it at around 8:00 pm to evening heavy snow decreasing after six am. Here's the official word right now,



...Snow Advisory Through Today...

The Snow Advisory continues in effect for the Sanpete and Sevier valleys and southwest and west central Utah through today. Snow will increase and become more widespread this morning and continue through the day today. Snow accumulations of 2-6 inches are expected with heaviest snow amounts expected along I-15 from Cedar City to Scipio.

Those traveling through the area today should be prepared for winter driving conditions



Hah. Like i said, it's snowing right now, and it'll snow until it stops. And I'm glad of that.

Friday, January 2, 2004

This just in from KSL News... Psychic Grant Gudmundson has seen the future of Utah, and it is... a large financial company! (And an end to the drought.) Phew. I'm relieved.
Aliens and global warming? A very interesting speech by the author, film maker, doctor and thinker Michael Crichton outlining what he sees as a serious crisis for science. Extrememly thought provoking, please take the time to check it out... (Via Instapundit)
Here's a tonguetwister: Loveable cake of soap. Not so much twisting as quite a workout for the mouth. This is the last real day of my Christmas Vacation, afterall. I need to work out the last bits of nonsense and drivel.

Not along the same lines at all, if you've never read Orion, you ought to check it out. It's often a very insightful publication.
WalMart. Necessary evil by virtue of its economic footprint? Not fast breaking news, but here's a short interview with the CEO of SpraWlMart. Another of the side issues that plagues my mind at times like an angry yellowjacket.
Eh. My dear brother says "major announcement." Warning to visitors with no previous experience or expectations: lower those levels still more!

I always think about what I write for at least days afterward. Sometimes I have second thoughts, sometimes just second syntaxes. Do I ever wonder where THAT came from? Yes, quite often, and for wildly divergent reasons.

I speak sometimes in sweeping generalities for the sake of getting things off my chest. I am aware of these generalities most of the time, but for the sake of paring expression down to something less than fifty pages with footnotes and references, I sweep with one of those mondo high school gym dustmops at times.

I tend also toward verbosity, a dear friend once nicknamed me "maximum verbosity" for my sometimes unwieldy and youthful poetry, but I try to economize a bit nowadays. Nevertheless, expression fascinates me.

All else is well here in Central Utah for the Burninghams, the kids are well and the Momma Extraordinaire is recovering smashingly from the recent birth of our sixth.

If you enjoy heartfelt opinion and insight into unstable psychology, please come back often to see if my cup hath again run over! You could even check out the three years of interspersed rantings in the archives to see if there is any baseline at all. At any rate, welcome.

Thursday, January 1, 2004

Blogger is experiencing some difficulty right now, so I’ll throw a few down in WordPerfect. Darned Blogger.

I’ve been thinking much about the causations and factors behind relationships, both successful and un. There is so much one has to do in order to keep a relationship in working order, while at the same time it can be so easy to strike a new one up.

People have very little training in inter-personal communication and in giving and interpreting communication signals. While we are very similar in appetites and desires at a basal level, each one of us is unique in our ways of communicating those ideas to others. There are even similar personality types that many of us fit or at least communicate with more easily, but outside of those similar types, we often find ourselves at an impasse when communicating.

That’s when conflict can occur and build to points where a relationship is impossible or even undesirable to continue.

There are usually at least a few of these wrecked relationships floating like withered leaves in our experiential rivers. They usually are the kind that at some time in the past, we have spent a tremendous amount of time and effort on, but at some point the two paths diverged. Sometimes there is a cordial parting and in other instances, there are long and wrenching periods of struggle on the part of one or both to reconcile and continue.

Often those relationships are the ones that leave us feeling like there is more lost than won in these attempts, but only through these instances can we learn our own grasp of communication with others as well as with our own selves.

That is when growth comes and can show the way to future and more pleasantly fruitful interchanges.

We seem to have come to a unique place in our society, one where we have joined our brutal and primal roots with the ultimate expressions of our current culture and left little room for that which enables us to transcend to become better.

Our civil roots were planted deeply in power and the exercise thereof to further our own procreative exploits. Through the years, we created infrastructure to enable ourselves time to more thoughtfully pursue these ends if not transcend them as base modus operendi. Our families and extended families fulfilled the needs of the individual while enabling that same individual some time and physical wherewithal to expand the existential self. As tribes came together, they served the same purpose to both the individual and the extended family and tribe in a correspondingly expanded manner. And with time and experience, villages, towns, cities and city-states, and finally nations were came into being, often (but not always) enabling the individual more energy for self-discovery, education and relationships.

Not everyone afforded these luxuries took advantage of the opportunities for transcendence. Many chose to use this time and energy to expand their primal urge’s sway and power. Despots, raiders, brutes and general bad-guys pepper history like so much coal soot on newly fallen snow, but that is original to mankind’s nature. That is why we must work to develop other talents, and often it is difficult, even in the latest incarnation of society.

It seems though, our current culture is a hydra, swimming in its own offal and eating its own tail. We have invented a culture where those who have no real regard or investment in family, community or even culture have huge power and sway in creating public opinion and environment. We no longer need to keep up with the Joneses, the TV and movies have supplanted them as the paragons of material and social appearance and affluence, even creating the illusion that they have more ability to please and interact with us than our Jonesian neighbor.

Our culture is one that has gone from a neglect and oppression of sex to a overindulgence and obsession with it. It surrounds us in forums that were previously untouched by its direct influence. It is the main focus of forums only recently invented or revised, such as popular media.

Sex and power have become the main foci and raisons d’etre once again in our culture. From one side, brutal and primal, to the other, every bit as brutal and primal, but seemingly oppressed in its ability to tell the truth about its motivations.

That’s irony.