2008-05-26

 

Love Resurrection

As I get ready to hop the pond for the long and needed summer in Portugal, I have been reflecting on how weird and difficult the past year was. I am tired of the endless primary season in the U.S. Seven years of George Bush and three years in academia have turned me into a cynic---something I never was even when living in New York. The inbred Portuguese academia and politics did not help either.



This week I read a wonderfully written article by Charles Pierce in Esquire Magazine, which sums up perfectly how I am feeling about politics in the US. This is one of the best articles of its kind I have read since the heyday of Gore Vidal in Vanity Fair and Esquire itself. One of my biggest pleasures is still subscribing to about 20 magazines... Charles Pierce is brilliant in this piece; like him, I want so much to be convinced by Barack Obama, but I am not ready yet to buy the wholesale "absolution without confession, without penance" of those guilty of the current state of affairs. As he writes: "The catastrophe that is the administration of George W. Bush is not unprecedented. It was merely inevitable. The people of the United States have been accessorial in the murder of their country." If you want to see how, read the article.

I am equally cynical about academia, but the colleagues who make me feel that way---most of them---are not worth the time I am not using for research to write this.

I am equally cynical about Portugal, but I'll write about that in Portuguese once I am there.

There is a Zen in all of this, and as usual, it gets here in musical form. Two weeks ago, I had the accidental pleasure of travelling together with Bobby McFerrin (on an oh so short hop) between Barcelona and Lisbon. The man is such a ray of sunshine on all of us. Music comes out of his every pore. Out of nowehere, he sings about luggage being hauled into the plane or the color of the chair. I had such a great time, and managed to see him live from the second row the next day. Pure Zen. Pure City Zen, as I have to go to Barcelona and Lisbon to catch this guy.


But this experience moved me to make the mix CD below for my wife, and that I now share here. It marks a slow reconnect with myself. I am embarking on a Love Resurrection. I am going to reconnect to all the things that I love. My family, my friends, my own research and low tolerance for bullshit. Today I wore a "War is Over: If you Want It" Lennon/Ono T-Shirt in a cafeteria on the most redneck part of Bloomington, with a smile in my face; most people smiled back. Two weeks ago I reconnected with a good old friend in Barcelona, and it was even better. This month I published four papers on topics I care about and allowed no compromise. This morning I jumped on the trampoline with my kids, in our underwear, in the uptight Midwest---I am still laughing. I can barely wait to be with my mother, brother and nephews this summer. No academic committee is worth your attention if you don't share the vision. No grant is worth not making love to your wife.

The mix CD is about all that. I have moved on to more upbeat stuff since mixing it; I will post a sequel later . A hint: I am discovering the Disco-Bowie of "Young Americans", from a time so very similar to this.

So enjoy the mix CD. username: apollo , password: thediscoking



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