Sunday, September 18, 2011

i love that tiny shutter window frozen moment that i’ve always wanted to see without knowing it

The many layers of a picture and the people frozen in the space behind the subjects

Unless the layers are the subjects and perhaps every picture is a painting of the insane

history of the universe that brought those souls to be standing behind those eternal souls

‘there are no ordinary people, only eternal souls becoming gods and monsters’ or somethinglikethat cs lewis said

i think about that a lot as i ignore a jabbering homeless woman that looks at me with distant eyes dehumanizing me as a pocket-book-preppy-asshole-with-spoiling-parents

as i dehumanize her as the result of a long string of short-sighted-self-serving-corroded-willpower-weakness-decisions

and she tells me some weak and tired lie that once probably sounded real about a bus ticket to see her children and i might buy her something at 7/11 although

i probably wont because i’m rushing somewhere far less important than the state of her life

and as with everything I am, so enter the mitigating factors of: my belief that a free society must give people the right to suffer from their decisions, and my spread-too-thin lifestyle of care can destroy me and more importantly them as they see in me a promise i cannot fulfill… blah blah

there are no ordinary people.

Monday, September 5, 2011

freedom is a shaking off in a culture of choice

My skin is thinner and my jaw is set,
My bones have set and my muscles grow long and thin,
And I am a man now with the whimsy of a boy
and a fox and a canyon.

How pleasant that I sink into this body
and the wisdom of time, with wonder and whimsy intact.

I want to take off the garments made by shaky rotten wooden legs
that creak and sway.
shake them off as when you throw your arms back and fling the sleeves back and
thrust your chest to the sky

and walk up stream with some few souls.

and make a promise to my cold creek skin
to never grow tired and bitter
at a world that will not bend.

Not sure who reads this...

but I appreciate it. It's a place to hold my thoughts to find later.
When I don't pour them into something, they mist away.
and your comments (especially those kindreds that find this a place
to connect with me) mean a lot to me.

But if anyone prefers, I'm gonna start doing this on tumblr too...
maybe even switch completely over to tumblr bc I like the aesthetic more
and I found a widget that sucks all your blogspot posts into a tumblr automatically.

just saying. just staying. just swaying.


Back to (the wrong) school

From Seth Godin:

A hundred and fifty years ago, adults were incensed about child labor. Low-wage kids were taking jobs away from hard-working adults.

Sure, there was some moral outrage at seven-year olds losing fingers and being abused at work, but the economic rationale was paramount. Factory owners insisted that losing child workers would be catastrophic to their industries and fought hard to keep the kids at work--they said they couldn't afford to hire adults. It wasn't until 1918 that nationwide compulsory education was in place.

Part of the rationale to sell this major transformation to industrialists was that educated kids would actually become more compliant and productive workers. Our current system of teaching kids to sit in straight rows and obey instructions isn't a coincidence--it was an investment in our economic future. The plan: trade short-term child labor wages for longer-term productivity by giving kids a head start in doing what they're told.

Large-scale education was never about teaching kids or creating scholars. It was invented to churn out adults who worked well within the system.

Of course, it worked. Several generations of productive, fully employed workers followed. But now?

Nobel-prize winning economist Michael Spence makes this really clear: there are tradable jobs (making things that could be made somewhere else, like building cars, designing chairs and answering the phone) and non-tradable jobs (like mowing the lawn or cooking burgers). Is there any question that the first kind of job is worth keeping in our economy?

Alas, Spence reports that from 1990 to 2008, the US economy added only 600,000 tradable jobs.

If you do a job where someone tells you exactly what to do, they will find someone cheaper than you to do it. And yet our schools are churning out kids who are stuck looking for jobs where the boss tells them exactly what to do.

Do you see the disconnect here? Every year, we churn out millions of of worker who are trained to do 1925 labor.

The bargain (take kids out of work so we can teach them to become better factory workers) has set us on a race to the bottom. Some argue we ought to become the cheaper, easier country for sourcing cheap, compliant workers who do what they're told. We will lose that race whether we win it or not. The bottom is not a good place to be, even if you're capable of getting there.

As we get ready for the 93rd year of universal public education, here’s the question every parent and taxpayer needs to wrestle with: Are we going to applaud, push or even permit our schools (including most of the private ones) to continue the safe but ultimately doomed strategy of churning out predictable, testable and mediocre factory-workers?

As long as we embrace (or even accept) standardized testing, fear of science, little attempt at teaching leadership and most of all, the bureaucratic imperative to turn education into a factory itself, we’re in big trouble.

The post-industrial revolution is here. Do you care enough to teach your kids to take advantage of it?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

sister island

I sit beside my sister today, she is fresh home,
and grasp a gift of adulthood.
When you see the woman as you see the stranger,
studied for what she is, her face a unique mystery
of shape and familiar structure. I see my face in hers,
and I see a face that is new to me.

and so I put on the shelf of nostalgia
the bundle of inconveniences,
as children see their siblings, as only in relation to them.

And I see her for what she is, or at least partly.
What a wonderful gift of age and distance.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Promise to wake me up

If you catch me with blood on my hands,
when I am forty,
with a cul-de-sac comforter
and plenty of soft and malleable money in the bank,

If you catch me with blood on my hands,
because my heart has hardened to the softness of empathy,
and my cage is not the earth and the handiwork of G-d
but rather the ends
of my

If you catch me with blood on my hands,
please come to my gilded door,
and throw red paint on it.

but first knock,
so that if I'm home
and if I can pull myself up off the leather couch,
you may paint me as well.