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Aug. 10th, 2008

russian, Norton Simon, abstract

Watching the Olympics

Not having ever really tried to have an athletic youth, I wonder whether or not I have missed out on something important. Watching the majesty of Olympic competition, I have twinges of envy. What if I have tried to develop an athletic ability? Did my fears of being stereotyped deny me something that could have enriched my life? Despite the (best) intentions of most major religions, each person lives as an embodied creature. While a select few transcend their bodies for a spiritual or intellectual plan, the best most of us can hope for is that we can find harmony between the spiritual, the intellectual, and the physical. Therefore, the Olympics inspires me to bring my body up to the level of level of my intellectual and spiritual.

Aug. 4th, 2008

russian, Norton Simon, abstract

Return to blogging

Between my blogspot, youtube, and here, I have many outlets and very little to show for it. I have not even logged into this account of a while. The shock came when LJ showed that the last time that I had posted an entry was 93 weeks ago, just three weeks shy of two years. I need to keep my skills sharp and I have some many diverse trains of thought that I have the capacity to keep all this outlets humming. Anyway, I will be back in the sandle soon (ironic since I am watching a History Detectives search about a Bill Picket sandle).

Oct. 9th, 2006

russian, Norton Simon, abstract

Race and the Diaspora: Why Pan-Africanism is Dead (or Cou

As a side note, just before I began to type this entry, Gorée was victim of the too frequent Senegalese power cut, but that horror is for another day. Today I will sing the curses of Senegalese vendors and how their blatant use of race tactics will prevent the unity that pan-Africanist like Senghor hoped will arrive. First, I find it highly offensive when someone plays the race card in commercial transactions. Our “blackness” comes at the ancestors – who are supposedly sacred in the West African cosmogony – who worked to maintain the traditions that are now used to feed African families on the dime of tourists. While I do not have anything against people using local knowledge to make money (that is the beginning of most products), I find it disgusting to think that Senegalese people think the best way to sell to the children of the Diaspora is the trade on the history that Gorée, at least partially, represents. I am also upset with myself for allowing such a seller to seduce me with this white bashing, black guilt-tripping lines (with the ubiquitous “I am not racist”). This racialism will only bred tension between the African-American community and, at least, West Africans. Small sellers are often may peoples first impression of a country. When people use race to force relationships, they will repel many African-Americans who would like real connections across the history and horror of the Atlantic slave trade.

Despite being barely being able to eat, I will stay on the island for its beauty and its history are mine just as much as the seller who does not realize how she destroys the ties that bind us.

Sep. 13th, 2006

russian, Norton Simon, abstract

Gnarls Barkley

 I have always been in love with Cee-lo Green’s voice (I am more than a little jealous). Like Macy Gray, it has a unique quality that seems to be on the edge of destroying the beauty of his voice. His collaboration with DJ Danger Mouse has helped save me from going over the edge of crazy. This homestay experience is a lot (my favorite phrase to describe my experience). I am in a social liminal space since I’m a part of the Fall family since I eat with them, sleep in the house, etc., but the language barrier and my general foreignness places me on the outside. In some ways I am adorable social leper: I am too outside to be really a part of the culture, but my otherness makes be more interesting. Another thing about being in house family is observing the social dynamic among the family members. We learned during the culture orientation that children, especially girls, rarely talk back to their parents, yet I have been witness to numerous fights between my host sister or brother and my host mother. Culture, with the advent of international communication, changes to move toward a new balance of individual and community. In some ways, Awa Fall and clan are the Senegalese version of my family, which is more tension than comforting. The generational tension is clear between Awa and her children, and I understand the difficulty for I live everyday. I know I’m crazy, but I have never felt this crazy before. Hopefully, Gnarls Barkley will save me from myself.
russian, Norton Simon, abstract

Dear Teacher

I was reading the Bard MAT magazine Field Notes. In Fall 2005 edition, there was an article about the first graduating class. One of the history teachers wanted to show the importance of education and the humanities especially, to the process of becoming human. It illustrate this important function she read the following message:

Dear Teacher:
I am a survivor of a concentration camp.
My eyes saw what no man should witness.
Gas chambers built by learned engineers.
Children poisoned by educated physicians.
Infants killed by trained nurses.
Women and babies shot and burned by high school and college graduates.

So I am suspicious of education.


My request is: Help your students become human. Your efforts
must never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths, educated Eichmanns.
Reading, writing, arithmetic are important only if they serve to
make our children more human.

I am drawn to Asian philosophy for I fear the evils of the self. I have never really felt like a self, although - as a friend made clear, I do have self tendancies like every other person. In my favorite life moments, I feel continuous with humanity, nature, and universe. Jarod HM as ego seems to disappear, and I begin to taste the universal oneness - that the Buddha relates to Nirvanna. I feel sometimes that I am on the edge of boddashiva (I don't think that is spelled right). I want to begin to carry others to this experience, but I'm not completely transformed. I am still searching for Rumi - my hero in the world of mystical transformation. I want to feel the joy and sorrow of Dante's pilgrim in The Divine Comedy when he is in the presence of the Divine. I want to transcend, but where is the door?

Aug. 29th, 2006

russian, Norton Simon, abstract

Well ....

I guess I was more stressed out about my host family than I should have been, but it is hard to not be worried when you pride yourself on your uniqueness. Well, I don't know what eles to say.

Aug. 24th, 2006

russian, Norton Simon, abstract

Does that make crazy?

Possibly ...

The words of the Gnarls Barkley (Cee-Lo Green and DJ Danger Mouse) has been going through my mind for days. I can't help but think that I was somewhat crazy for deciding to come to Senegal. I am in a cultural limbo: feeling that the culture is very familiar and very different at the same time. I meet Awa Fall and her family tomorrow and learn whether or not I can hack this home stay thing.

Aug. 18th, 2006

russian, Norton Simon, abstract

Voice Post

VoicePost
5511K 27:16
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Aug. 14th, 2006

russian, Norton Simon, abstract

Alabama Earth

VoicePost
1410K 7:05
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Aug. 10th, 2006

russian, Norton Simon, abstract

Man under Change

VoicePost
372K 1:57
(no transcription available)

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