Monthly Archives: October 2008


I went to dinner at the house of some new people I met by chance, and it was very charming. Another world. The sun stays luminous and gold.

Hallowe’en is my favorite holiday. I am going to spend it in the country. Almost everyone else there will be an oilfield worker, because this is Louisiana. My cat is decorated for Hallowe’en already. Through Tuesday his name remains Little Barack.


They do not have enough paraphernalia. I realize that we can also get paraphernalia on line, but I am very old fashioned. I like to get my paraphernalia in person at the campaign headquarters.

There are not that many Obama signs here. If it is true as the Obama headquarters personnel say that they have received great amounts of paraphernalia and it has all been taken, I want to know where this paraphernalia is.


I think these ladies and gentlemen are very, very conservative, despite calling themselves “liberal,” “progressive,” and sometimes “radical.” It occurs to me that much though they may lecture about how important it is to realize that there are officially conservative women, they may not actually know any in fact.

I know many, starting with my neighbors and continuing on to my students. If you go to my Facebook page, you will see that many of my Friends list their political views as “very conservative.” They belong to groups like CAPITALISM IS GOOD, NOBAMA, 1,000,000 STRONG AGAINST HILLARY CLINTON, and more. I talk to these people daily. I write them letters of recommendation to good schools, and they get in. We crack jokes in the halls. They help me out during hurricanes. And I am going to spend Hallowe’en with mostly oilfield people, not all of whom will be Black. Many of the white ones will be Republicans. So all of you who say gosh, did I realize conservatives were human beings, not cartoon characters, get back.

My ceramics class is composed entirely of conservative Christian women and they are very nice. We do not discuss politics in our class. We do not take the Lord’s name in vain. Only I do not mention attending Bible study. We are supportive of each other and we like each other very much. Most of the students are older than I am. The majority were raised to be far stronger than I was, and have led far more feminist oriented lives. They did things like break into engineering as women in Mississippi. I’ll bet I have more respect for them than do some of you, who exhort me to expand my horizons and be tolerant of Sarah Palin.

So, once again, get back, you faux liberal hijos de sus rechingados padres. I am still not willing to be “tolerant” of Sarah Palin as Vice President or President. John Clees (a man – how evil of me to quote one!) explains why.


The only person I have seen be actually kind to Palin, as opposed to mean like me, or fake kind like a great many, is WoC PhD. I will quote her in full.

…Palin supporters within the McCain camp are saying the Governor has “gone rogue.” Both she and her supporters are rumored to believe that McCain’s people have mishandled her image, costing her credibility and support nationally and in Alaska. They are also said to believe that McCain intends to blame her should they lose the bid for the white House next month. As a result, Palin is making a concerted effort to interact with the press at rallies and on local radio stations off script and despite visible attempts by “Palin handlers” to keep her away. She has also made it a point to speak out on conservative issues the McCain camp has remained silent on and is said to be planning to continue to criticize McCain campaign decisions with which she disagrees, perhaps even more so now because some body will be blamed if this ticket tanks.

It seems to me that the descension in their ranks has everything to do with McCain’s “forgotten” sexism:

[These] have all been sexist moves. Worse they have cheapened Palin’s political presence and career, sending her touted approval rating into the ground.

Does that make her any less incompetent to handle foreign affairs and most domestc affairs, or guilty of unethical leadership, bullying, and decisions that run counter to civil, victim’s, and women’s rights? … [No.]

However, none of her incompetence excuses McCain’s sexism.


“Now, my daddy has a lot of friends now because he took care of all of his men back then. One of the costs of doing business in Jackson in those days was bail. If you had Black men working for you, and you wanted the job done, you would have to go down, often, and bail them out of jail because that was how it was then. I am sure you remember. Black men were always going to jail, so much more often than now.”

So much more often than now. That is true enough but if you look at the post just before this one you will see what the police are still up to in places like Texas and California.


I went to dinner at the house of some new people I met by chance, and it was very charming. Another world. The sun stays luminous and gold.

Hallowe’en is my favorite holiday. I am going to spend it in the country. Almost everyone else there will be an oilfield worker, because this is Louisiana. My cat is decorated for Hallowe’en already. Through Tuesday his name remains Little Barack.



Filed under News, Songs

Brandon McClelland

See also this, on Julian Alexander – killed by police on the steps of his house in Anaheim, California. He was 20, his widow is 19, and his baby is due December 14. Is there a scholarship fund for this baby yet? Do you see why I keep saying racism and lynchings are not over yet?


1 Comment

Filed under News

Memphis Minnie

That is Kissing in the Dark. There are no other pictures, so throughout the song you get to contemplate this picture. When I first saw it, I realized that this is one of the faces I expect to see looking back at me in the mirror when I look in it, and that is how mirrors so surprise and disorient me. I may have an identity problem, you laugh, but it is not really the features I am talking about, it is that lively look.

Now, to contrast to the profane lyrics of Kissing in the Dark, we will listen to the sacred ones of Let Me Ride, recorded for Decca on 15 January 1935.

Memphis Minnie was originally from Louisiana.



Filed under Songs

Trouble in Mind

Lucky Millinder and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, 1941, with early electric guitar (good) and the big band sound (bad). But this song is a classic and Sister Rosetta Tharpe is a goddess.


Leave a comment

Filed under Songs

Fare Thee Well

This is the last day to vote early in Louisiana, so those of you who wish to vote early, should. And then there is only one week left of Bush-consciousness, one hopes, because next Tuesday evening we expect to bid it farewell.


Every October we sing Dink’s Song. Here it is with its first recorded text, the story of that text, and a nice version in MP3 by Roger McGuinn. Dink’s Song is about the loss of love. I feel organically whole in October and that is why I have the strength to think of such things. I leave or begin.


One October long ago the lucidity of the moon showed me that I was dead. I had a dream in which I walked into my study to find that I had thrown my three year old self against the wall. Stuck there were blood and bones, and it was over, already done, no going back.

I did not go back into the study for several years. I searched for the right song of mourning but I did not yet know Dink’s Song.


Much later I escaped from something and spent a beautiful October weekend in New Orleans. I drove home on beautiful country roads listening to Sunday afternoon programming on WWOZ, W-Wizard of Oz. That was when I discovered Dink’s Song, which I could have used earlier but could use now. Fare Thee Well.


Now it is October again and I am back from New Orleans again, deeply engrossed in a project which will spring me to another sphere. I have a time limit, which is exciting. Playing in my head once again is Dink’s Song.

It is a song of nostalgia. I am going to cut something out at the root and move. There are only a few more Octobers left to spend here. Fare Thee Well.


1 Comment

Filed under Banes, News, Resources, Songs

Russian Spies, Singing

This is very funny. I recommend watching the video and letting the words unfurl before you, but for good measure, they are posted below.

I am voting for Obama despite the FISA vote, the bailout, and every other characteristic he has to indicate that he is a centrist like both Clintons, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon Johnson, and John F. Kennedy. He is not particularly “liberal” and he is certainly not a leftist. And yes, I have voted for third parties before. And I am not a liberal, I am on the left, and there is a difference.

I really do think all the Hillary Clinton voters who now refuse to vote for Obama are racists and/or naïve. And they are strangely uninterested in Hillary Clinton’s own views on this matter. Rather then come out directly for McCain, they talk about how we must be kind about Palin.

I am tired of hearing that because Palin is a woman she deserves my support, or deserves for me to be ultra-kind about her views. I am tired of being condescended to by people who say, but you know, some women will be conservative! Yes, like Margaret Thatcher, and it does not mean I have to vote for them or that I cannot dismiss their views as easily as I would if they were pronounced by a man.

I find it very strange that we are supposed to make special allowances for Palin because she is a woman. When I see Palin be nice to ANYONE, or SUPPORT ANY WOMEN, I may change my mind but so far I have never seen her be nice in any way, or do anything for any women. I am fascinated to see so many women call their support for the white supremacist patriarchy “feminist.”

I sat out my first presidential election, in 1976, because I was so disgusted that the Democrats had chosen that conservative Jimmy Carter. I have voted for third parties on other occasions. However I find it very interesting that so many people have discovered third parties precisely when the Democrats put up a Black candidate.

Hello Sarah Palin we wrote this song for you because we see you from Russia! Plz respond to our emails!! We like to hear from you!!

words 2 song
soon as i wayk up in the morning
i go to my window
i made this teliscop myself out of duck tape and the thing that holds the rapping paper

so i can see if ur there
i fix it on ur howse in Alaska
my next door neybor here in moscow

what r u doing rite now lets see
r u and todd ok?
u say u can see me and my country from ur state well im looking at u evry day!!!

misses palin!
i want to fly into ur Airspase!
misses palin!
i want to reer my little Head!
misses palin!
why wont You reply to my Emails?!!
I made a teliscop for YOU and i luv u so

we share a small merry-time border but the borders of r harts is thick
u dont like news-papers well neether of us can say or reed english

we are madw for eachuther!!!
so fly ur playn my way
i live at 45454 RUSSIA AVE

repeet misses palin chorus

I say dog gone it you betcha you betcha dog gone it you betcha dog gone it say it aint so joe you betcha dog on it etc

i luv u

Via Hattie. And on my bold remarks above, please see also Nezua for a kinder, gentler, and much better documented approach.



Filed under Songs

Howard Zinn

Please see this interview (on video and in transcript) of Howard Zinn discussing the bailout. He confirms my point of view and he is an expert.

Certain grownups keep telling me this is just a market downturn of which we should think nothing. Like that compound fracture in your leg, which is just a scratch, get some sleep and you will have forgotten about it by tomorrow.

Others say that this is the worst crisis since the thirties and that is why we should give more money to the institutions which caused it. Zinn points out that the solution discovered in the thirties was to distribute money elsewhere.



Filed under Movement, News

The Contact Zone. Close Encounters

1. Bonus product review, very fresh: contact lenses. I have contact lenses. I am new to glasses and did not know I would ever be a candidate for contact lenses. However, after several twists and turns I walked out of the store wearing contact lenses that cost less than good glasses and realized I could see everything. I could also walk any old way. I had not realized how much I was correcting my movements for what I could not see, or would not see because I was concentrating on seeing something else.

These lenses add to the general clarity. You put them on, and then you put on eyeliner. They make things like eyeliner exceedingly easy to see. You can wear them for seven straight days, including to sleep. Learning to put on contact lenses, I was just like my students, claiming it was impossible to do and that I would never succeed. But I did.



Man: This whiteman is very defensive, he seems to have been deeply wounded.
PZ (Soul of Discretion): Yes, he has had a difficult time of it, it is nice you want to be friends with him.

PZ (aside, with no audience): Yes, whitemen feel most wounded when their ideological blinders are so thick that they cannot imagine what they might have done wrong – and must therefore call everyone else irrational. Then they can be sorry for themselves and other people can feel sorry for them and they do not have to think about modifying any of their behavior.



I might be an author. There is a class on theory, and it is blogging. Some of the students – more, perhaps, than I have linked here – have written about Professor Zero posts in relation to Barthes, Foucault, and the idea of authorship. It is quite illuminating.

I considered changing the post to include commentary on these theorists but then realized the smarter thing to do was to write a new and different post at some point, or academic article on the author function. I also need to think about the “author function” in relation to my struggles with academic writing.

Part of my struggle with academic writing is that I feel I am procrastinating, while doing it, about getting on with life. Time spent on academic writing is time I could be spending studying for the LSAT, working a second job to make more money, or racking up the units part time toward a degree that would get me a good job in a city. So I am impatient with academic writing because while I enjoy it, I perceive it as tying me more tightly to places I do not want to be and lives I do not want to lead.

Note 1: I have designed my current book to be an antidote to that, and I need to keep this in mind.

Note 2: The feeling that academic writing is serious, and that I need to reserve my serious time and energy for things I actually feel serious about, is only an indication that I need to compartmentalize academic writing more. As in fact I used to do, before Reeducation!

I may also suffer due to Foucault’s “author function,” i.e. the requirement that I be “an author” in his sense. I must consider this. I do realize that one is written as much as one writes, one does not own one’s texts, and that one’s texts are not a summary of oneself. But I was also taught that writing was ventriloquism and the writer, if they were me, had to be the dummy. My role as ventriloquist’s dummy was to channel a twist on official doctrine which would be new but not mine. If it were new not mine (it should be the ventriloquist’s), it would be acceptable. Then I would get a check, which would enable me to live.

This never seemed worth it, since there are many ways to get checks. It is not that I want to write naively, in some sort of Rousseauesque paradise. It is that I don’t like to ghost write for an external authority and then carry the added burden of having to call that writing mine and having to answer for it as such.


4. Every time I go to buy groceries, which is less and less often, I am amazed at how much things have gone up in price since last time. I do not remember ever seeing food prices go up so quickly in the United States. I note I have started thinking about food as a luxury item. I did not learn to do this at home, where it was considered a normal necessity. But now I count out pieces of fruit, save half a tomato for later, and freeze three quarters of a package of sausage. I make potato salad to serve as vegetable at the same meal where the main dish is beans. I just thought twice about using a whole onion and decided against it.

My fig tree has figs, but Hurricane Ike took out one of my lime trees, and an orange tree seems to have a disease. I have many scallions and herbs growing. The bananas and mushrooms are over. I must grow lettuce and vegetables.


I am trying to rent my house for next semester, when I will be on sabbatical. Here is part of my conversation with one of the people who answered my ad. It is typical. I’ll bet it is a McCain voter.

Prospective Renter: You mean you are going out of state?
PZ: Out of the country.
PR: Wow! Where?
PZ: Brazil.
PR: That’s a really long way to go just for a sabbatical.
PZ: It’s just an overnight flight.
PR: Are you from there?
PZ: No, I am from here.
PR: And you want to go there?
PZ: Yes.
PR: Well, I guess it is all right, if that is really what you want to do. I am not sure I want to rent from someone like that, though. Good luck in your search.



Filed under Banes, Da Whiteman, News

Lima: un vals y un recuerdo

It is getting cold in Louisiana, like Lima in winter. There, of course, it is spring, and summer will soon be coming in. And it is the weekend, so we will sing from the memories we wish we had of Lima in the 1940s, with “a waltz and a memory.”

Strangely, the Lima I first knew, of the late 70s and early 80s, seems closer to the Lima of the 40s than does present day Lima. I suppose it is not surprising, since it was almost thirty years ago I first spent time there.



Filed under Arts, Songs

A Very Important Point

[E]mpire building always has gone hand in hand with impoverishing the population of the imperial center as well as its periphery.

This is why I want to study economics, history, sociology, and political theory. It is also why I think people should study in general, and why I believe in rigor. Thinking on my own, my early patriotic education gets in the way and I forget that empires have always done this – from the beginning, as policy, and not only in their later and more desperate stages.

ETA: See also the Changeseeker on W.E.B. DuBois and current events.


Leave a comment

Filed under News, Resources