God Damn It.

The Great Savage Beast has stepped off this landscape. Hunter S. Thompson could feel the warning signs in his bones, the sudden drop in pressure that foretells a gathering Shit Storm, and he was not prepared to watch the dying of the light again after all his insane efforts to warn and educate and ready us. He railed against the Dumbness of America in a time when no one else seemed to get away with it, and he was always painfully right, at least in some way.

I will not miss the writing so much as the idea of the man, which is what I think we all fell in love with. The thought that a stone-crazy shotgun-wielding peacock-owning Flower Child could still be alive in this age of Terror and Riteous Fighting in the name of Jesus was strangely healing. No matter how we despaired when debating our Republican office colleagues, or how out of touch we felt when the President told us that he could balance the budget by making 2+2=5, we knew that somewhere far away, even from the top of a mountain in Colorado, another man would back us up with a ferocity and honesty few could match. He was a sharp reflection of just how crazy one has to be in order to stay sane.

Did he really mean to emulate Hemmingway, a fellow in the realm of tortured intellects? Who knows. If the movies are right and you really do get to float up above your body before your spirit leaves the earth, I'm pretty sure I know what he'd have said.

Holy Fuck, look at that goddamn mess.

And now the Great Scorer will have to write against his name. For an unmatched honesty and purity of spirit, no matter how twisted it's manifestation, he deserves at least a council, a chance to speak for himself and his time. He will do well, and will laugh at his enemies in Hell through a tall glass of tea & Wild Turkey.


Darkness worshed over...

the Dude, darker than a black steer's tuckus on a moonless praerie night." Hey, I spat that right off the top of my head. Pretty good, no? Of course, that's a fairly accurate description of my mood. I used to write for fun, and because I believed that I was more than halfway decent at it. The sheer joy of the excersize was at one point worth it, but now I find myself applying this gift to meeting deadlines once again, and it's just as unappealing as it was when journalism was my profession of choice. I still hate being ordered to write things I have no desire or interest in.

Dealing with medical bills and taxes and my total lack of monetary income is another factor, of course. Nothing could be better calculated to make you feel like a victim than having expenses that are absolutely necessary outweigh your ability to earn the dollars to cover them. It is not, according to some recent research by Time, entirely our fault. I suppose that one major factor in my current ennui is that professional adults have finally admitted in plain language that our generation will be the first in the history of human advancement to experience a lower standard of living than our parents.

Goddam retards! The Sonic Wall Content Filtering Service has prevented me from accessing the online manual for a program I recently downloaded, apparently with the blessing of the same said service. Who designs this shit?

Anyroad, I've also got so many freakin' passwords and email accounts and whatnot that even forgetting one of them creates major headaches. I'm told the new Beck Hell Yes EP is fully worth downloading, but my iTunes store ID? What's your password, fucker? HA! NO MUSIC FOR YOU! Oh, and here's a few hundred spam emails. Enjoy! On the plus side, I found a Bittorrent client that gives you a neato 3D live picture of the swarm network you're sharing with. Bits of data that leave my powerbook appear as tiny red cars on a red beam of delicious freed information. It's priceless, especially when you have the bandwidth for some fast freaking connections.


Last week I finally accepted...

the truth that I'm not really paying to attend any of my classes. So long as I get a passing grade my attendance, and by extension anything I might otherwise have learned, means nothing. No employer with a sliver of working grey matter will ever care whether you earned an A+ or a B or a C- in your psyche class sophomore year (which for me actually was a rare A). They will care if you have a degree that's appropriate to the position you want, and they will want to hear stories about how life has prepared you for this and what an excellent employee you've been to others.

I'm paying Pitt for a diploma, and perhaps some neat experiences, but precious, precious few of my classes are actually worth attending regularly, and it's an equally rare prize when I end up learning something worthwhile in a lecture. Hey, for fun let's make a list of Good Classes I've Had:
Biology for Non-Majors: Taught by a hilarious Scotsman, this class is thoughtfully structured in a way that assumes that you don't already know everything about biology. The reading follows right along with the lectures, and is available as a cheap Xerox from the bookstore. Sadly, the site of my sole falling-asleep-and-drooling incident.
The American Way of War: Professor Goldstien ("Goldy") is priceless. Hilarious and serious, well-read and experienced, he'll tell you about life in post-WWII Air Force and actually fucking know what he's talking about. Well structured class means that you rarely leave without being enlightened in some way.
Introduction to Art: Fucking hard, basically a memorisation course, but it literally gave me an entirely new appreciation for the "art world." Plus the Prof (Gretchen Bender) was way, way cute. Sounds a tad immature, but dammit, it's true.
Explanations of Humans and Society: This sounds like one of those throw-aways, and in a way it was. The lectures were generally interesting but damned difficult to stay awake through. The recitations shined, though, and apparently, magically, somehow I convinced everyone that I knew the subject matter. Well enough to "A"ce a few papers, anyroad. And, Freud fucking rules!

So, four for fifteen so far. Actually, five, 'cause this Creative Non-Fiction is becoming enjoyable. Other profs have tried, many have not, but if only one in every three of yr. classes is anything but a bore and a hassle, something isn't jiving. My poor attitude towards academia in general, coupled with traditionally non-existent study habits, might have something to do with this opinion. And of course there are kids in any class who do well and even seem to enjoy it, but thanks to my Inner Rebel I have never ever been one of those. The classes I am interestsed in I have already studied for and quite likely know as much as the teacher does, and the ones I don't care about I cannot bear to expend effort upon. I just want my degree, please, and there's no need for it to be painful for either of us.