September 26th, 2004

From"Decoded" The arrival

The Birds and the Battle of Britain

So, this semester Karl (the 14 year old, JROTC, etc.) gets a teacher who has a Ph.D. and teaches Latin which is fine, but he's 14, a 9th grader and the guy is teaching some version of English. Now, never mind that he sends home instructions that would be tough on a college-level creative writing class, but he makes the mistake of getting Sheila really pissed off when Karl compares "The Birds" to the Battle of Brittain, viewed from a village. Turns out, the story was written in, uhm, '52, by a survivor of said battle, and, while its not the kind of strict deconstructivism I am so fond of, the case has been made over and over for Karl's premise.
Enter the dragon. Do not annoy an MBA candidate who does political causes for amusement. Sheila gets the Prof on the phone (two hours), sends him all kinds of references in support of the thesis. Prof, of course, does what public school teachers almost all do today, C.Y.A. party-line, so she goes to the Asst. Principal who, of course, does his C.Y.A. She starts wanting to know what the stats on grades in this guy's class are, and Asst. Prin. gets really defensive, sez he don' know tha rule. You can imagine the reaction. Three hous worth.
Now, I know where this goes, it goes to the Governor. She does that. But, the school, maybe tipped off by the survivors of the neighboring middle school staff, start offering this and that and the issue back-burners. State of education in the most right wing county in America.

So, tonight after midnight she practically forces the kids to stay up to watch a Blockbuster dusty VHS version of Battle of Britain-the movie. I thought sex the night after Yom Kippur was some kind of mystic necessity, but the movie drones on, with her saying see! They look like birds! Meaning the planes. Randall tries to go to sleep, Karl starts making Bevis comments, and I just sit there drinking carrot juice. VHS. Hmm. Suddenly, the sound starts to flutter and the tape refuses to do anything but shut ye old vhs machine down. I test ye olde machine with ye old homebrew tape (not that one James-you have the only copy I know of) and it works fine, Tape I grab at random is "Dark City" see previous entry on synchronicity. So we try it on the kids much newer vhs, and it sticks in the machine, and has to be pryed out. All hope of sex goes into the AM universe.

Musing of the day: "ad hominem" has become a form of dismissive ad hominem attack. I am often mistaken for a post-modernist, which I'm not, but I am, second only to a Scientific Illuminist, a Deconstructionist, and there is a lot of motivational and psych process in Deconstructionism, and therefore we are subject to being dismissed in certain instances as 'merely making ad hominem attacks'. Which, in this context, is an ad hominem attack of sorts.

Got a ride to the Mass courtesy of Brother Nance, a hapless Minerval candidate, so I suppose I should go night-night now.

Still waiting for an expected cash "windfall" to pay airfare to an important meeting in the NW. If it doesn't come soon, I'll have to cancel, which would bum me out.

The height of Allen the man of High Principle (plus interest): What am I to do when a Grand Lodge officer cites statistical "proof" of something but he crunched the numbers wrong, and I've seen then crunched by four disinterested crunchers with a consistently different conclusion, but said officer offered to copy the European version of "Eyes Wide Shut" for me, and I don't want to annoy him? I reside and abide in the Fourth Power of the Sphincter, which one should keep shut in public.

Book report, its ready to start showiung around, except for one chart and a retyped appendix.

O, my contact inside Russia that has access to high-end photo analysis stuff did an analysis of Karl's chance photo of a UFO taken right outside my door, and its incredibly positive.

And, on a less positive note, my old buddy John Pike of Global Security has a site that's part of my daily ritual. He computes a bit faster than official stats on Iraq war casualties, because he reports (without giving names) stats that have yet to complete official notification procedures. This month already there have been about 80 U.S. military dead, and his figure for the war stands at 1050 killed, well over 7000 maimed. Interested parties should go to
John is an old friend, one of my best inside-the-beltway contacts, and is light years ahead on intel. He pops up on all the cable networks.
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