Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Lurking Fear.

12:39 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
It is funny, I have started in this blog post on three separate days and each time I have allowed myself to be distracted, though I must qualify that the distractions were very pleasant. Anyway, I have started into the works of H.P. Lovecraft and I am very much enjoying them. He has a talent for using the English language in the fullness of its richly adorned accuracy. He also has a dismal worldview and a knack for creating believably obsessive or evil characters.

In fiction, there are few topics more fascinating than human distortion, primarily of the mind. Lovecraft uses the sometimes doubtful state of the protagonists sanity to lend a degree of ambiguity to the events. Are the nightmares surrounding him actually there? Or are they just his nightmares? On top of that, the protagonist telling the story is almost never entirely sound. Herbert West: Re-animator is a good example of how doubt can be thrown on the veracity of the whole story by a single paragraph at the end.

Now that I have read is work I find it hard to believe that I had not heard of him before my present advanced age of 19. Once I started reading I decided to look him up and read about his influence. He is the father of modern horror and suspense; to say nothing of his effect on science fiction and fantasy. Now that I have read some of his work I am also finding allusions to him in other books and, that most prolific medium for literary allusion, video games.

Anyway, time for me to get back to Plato...and then I get to write yet another paper about me.

PS: Oh. I almost forgot to mention the books surrounding Lovecraft's work in the library. Bodice rippers written by some hilarious pen-names. Couldn't get much more stereotypical.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Meanwhile, at the Friendly Fox...

2:46 PM Posted by Patrick , No comments
Just finished a German Exam. Proctor was Herr. Roberts and I really miss that man. The class is split 50/50 on those who prefer Roberts or Schulz. I am for Roberts, his technique was better for me. Oh well, Frau Schulz is, at the very least, decent and fairly amusing...I also miss Herr Roberts merciful grading. ;-p

I'm trying to get into a paper on either Aristotle of Plato. I have made brief inroads into both possibilities and find the same problem in both cases. When I am talking about Plato I want to use material from my dear friend, Aristotle, and also vice versa. Aristotle would be easier, but Plato would earn me much greater kudos. I will have to consider it tonight as I walk the winding ways of highway 17.

More frustrating than my beautifully pertinent and meaningful POLSY paper, is my newest com assignment. A self analysis paper. Do all of these gen ed classes require one of these? Am I going to have to do a self analysis paper when I take a math class? "The Number One and I: a Dramatic and Tawdry Love Story of Epic Proportions." I still have not had to speak in class, but here I am, doing yet another naval-gazer. The main difference with this one is that I need to demonstrate knowledge of at least six of the massive 19 syllable compound words from the textbook.

But enough of my flocci-nauci-nihili-pilification of Com-114. (Yeah, I've always wanted to use that one.)

Also, since I have been plotting out my Demonstrative Speech on the wearing of hats...There are three young gentlemen--hooligans, if you will...or even if you won't--who always wear their hats all through class. This generates issue: How to point out that one should remove one's hat indoors, especially in class, without offending said creatures? More imperative because I sit next to, chat, and get along rather well with one of said gentlemen. We'll see...also, will have to look into/talk with Shewoof about what points of womens hat wearing I should touch on. I read something earlier about using angle to compliment and accentuate fem/masc side of face...will have to find more about this.

Patrick Casey--C of A by the G of G--signing out.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

An Excuse for Non-Blogging Self.

8:22 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
There is a major downside to the easy convenience of doing almost all schoolwork on the computer. This downside hit me fast, largely owing to computer use in the dark after being out in the bright sun.

The downside is bloodshot eyes, and it is for that reason that I am keeping this brief. I have papers to write and need to save my eyes, but I hate letting the blog go dormant.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Otto.

5:26 PM Posted by Patrick , 4 comments
Propaganda is, by necessity, a lie. A distortion of the truth to shape beliefs and change actions. This CPI piece is an example.

A nameless menace rises out of a desolate waste of poison and dust. The rising spike of his Pickelhaube is the mark which names the menace. His hands are stained with blood. A terrified woman shields her babe with her own body. A grim picture.

How about the truth of this picture, as seen through my eyes.

His name is Otto. He is, or was, a farmboy, from a little village forty miles outside cologne, where his family has lived since before they kept written records.

Otto is seventeen. He joined to protect his homeland against foreign powers who have Germany hemmed in on both sides.

He has been fighting for a year. He used to cry himself to sleep every night, but it has been months since he was last able to cry. His best friend died in his arms, but the tears wouldn't come.

And now it is his time. The battle has passed on, but it does so without Otto. He has reached the end. Lying in the stench and the filth, he is scared; he doesn't want to die alone in the dark.

He hears a voice. A final hope stirs in his breast. Maybe, just maybe, he can spend his last minutes with another human being. Desperately, he struggles to pull himself toward the voice. As he pulls himself over the lip of a trench, his own blood streaming down over his hands, he sees her.

A young woman looks down to see him climbing from the trench. She abandons her search for her missing family and runs, praying that she escapes.

Otto, as darkness and silence swallow his last glimmer of hope, for the first time in months, cries himself to sleep. He slowly cries himself to his final sleep. Alone. In the dark.



Would Americans have fought Germans if that were the story they were told? Propaganda teaches us to do things we would never normally do. It teaches us that Otto is a monster, and that the Czar is our friend. It sent Americans to war when the majority was opposed, and then it told the majority to toe the line...gradually they began to support it.

Propaganda is an assault on reason. Reason, our best most noble attribute.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Clouds Part Over Land and Gather on Brain.

7:13 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
Why is it that I always do better with my verbal answers in German than I do with the written ones. I write it down, but if I stop to speak it aloud, only then do I realize that it sounds funny. This is hurting in the little tests that we have every now and then. The second I am alone I start writing English in German; that is to say, English thought pattern. The answer is easy enough, I just need to think like a German...lovely.

Thinking of German. I have been trying to find an exact figure on the number of people who spoke German prior to WWI. I have found unreliable estimates as high as the mid-40% range, but I am trying to find something a little more concrete. What bugs me is that I know I have seen reliable numbers in past readings, I just can't remember where they were.

*Making observations on Hunnic genetics and the power of filial piety to stay the angry tongue*

Tomorrow I just have to worry about my first history exam, but I really feel very good about it. I was able to recognize the meaning of even my most cryptic notes. So i don't expect any major trouble. I also love multiple choice, as Shewoof pointed out, it has this ability to turn the exam into sporcle.

On top of that, I just finished The Politics. Minor feeling of accomplishment this time around, primarily because I was able to make definite sense of it this time. I think Augustine comes next. I just hope I find my missing copy of the federalist papers before I need them.

I also couldn't help but notice that coffee drinks, be they from Starbucks or Higher Grounds, are about 10% more expensive than they were this December. Might not seem like much, but it really adds up.

Really looking forward to history paper. Propaganda makes an interesting subject, even more so for WWI propaganda.

So glad today when the clouds finally parted and I was able to indulge in about 15 minutes of sunshine before class. Fifteen minutes and I felt like a different person.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bleary-Eyed Meandering: Because The Old Flesh and Blood Keep Telling Me I Need to Post.

10:36 PM Posted by Patrick , 3 comments
When you wake up in the dark--again--it does not do much for the readiness of the already thoroughly mortified flesh. Odd though the thought may be, sometimes that coffee just isn't enough. At times like these, when I feel sorry for myself, I remind myself that I could be a math major. And the daisies do burst forth.

Thankfully, today was a short day at school, largely because my com prof and her first born are still afflicted with influenza.

I am afraid that I am terribly disappointed with com class. We are about a full month in and there still has not been any speaking, in fact, there is no speaking being done until the 20th. This class has revolved around lectures and memorizing idiotically long names for common sense concepts. It just seems a ridiculous waste of my time, money, and talents...which, as a very wise and snarky man once pointed out, translates to money, money, and money(time is money, talents are used to procure money, und so weiter).

Congratulations us, we have sat through a month of instruction, made some painfully obvious connections and observations, and utilized our ability to memorize compound buzz-words. Hooray. Which of those people sitting in their are in any way more effective at communication? It is the child of a near-sighted and gullible bureaucracy, desperate for the next new fix for poor college performance. Why do we take com? Textbook says it is because it will allow us to better succeed in school and life. Challenge: it is because it is a science created by schmoozers, and egotistical administrators are real suckers for schmoozers. They took a simple skill that you should just pick up on your way through life--highschool?--created a new technical language for it, and convinced the powers that be that it, with freshman English, was one of the two courses which everyone must take.

*Blegh*

*Yawns*

*Drinks tea*

I was considering writing on the nature of American democracy, why capitalism is necessary, and where we are developing an ever worsening deficiency that renders our democracy unstable...but I am tired, and every time I started writing my brain just fuzzed. Democracy will have to wait for tomorrow. As it is, I am having difficulty enough typing, let alone typing anything intelligent.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dead: Very Nearly an Accurate Descriptor of a 16 Year Old White Male Who May or May Not Live with Me.

My patience waxes and wanes. The person trying my patience, and the needling actions they are using in their desperate attempt to join the church triumphant at my hand, can have the most marked and profound impact on the resilience of said patience. Sadly, every once and awhile, I am reduced to a pitiable state, in which my only concentration is regaining my composure.

(Hypothetical Example)

I am sitting in a comfortable chair. I am reading Aristotle, just like any other good little boy with intellectual pretensions. I am starting to hit my stride in reading and I am totally relaxed.

Now imagine(ya know, hypothetical like) that a Hun, sitting not three feet away, tearing into who knows what, started making the most disgusting noises as he masticated; a full sound and picture show. Imagine that my concentration was broken and that my stomach was now turning over.

Naturally, my first thought was to reach across and strangle the barbarian. I think it was probably good that I, hypothetically, managed to quash that urge...but it wasn't easy. Even if I reminded myself that the Hun had been working very hard tonight, there was still a part of me that wanted to send him to The Father, or, perhaps even better, to cotillion. Hypothetically.

This is one such place where I might need my faculties to keep composure. The example really isn't bad enough. It never let's the reader know that the hun should know better, and also, the writer knows the hun knows better.

(Here Endeth Example)


The heinous peccadillo of chewing with the mouth open is perhaps the one table faux pas that merits capital punishment, which on rare occasion I come a bit close to doling out. I am afraid that it also moves me to thoughts of contempt with great ease.

The Hun was lucky, hypothetically, that he was halfway up the stairs before delivering one of his tonally perfected belches, which would have necessitated an immediate and artistic end to our acquaintance. Hypothetically.

The moral is probably something about being polite and chewing with your mouth shut...that, or just something about keeping an eye on the tired brother with a book of philosophy and a flying fuse.