Leopold’s Ghost

I just finished reading “King Leopold’s Ghost” by Adam Hochschild. For those of you who have read Joseph Conrad’s fictional story of the Congo “Heart of Darkness”, it cannot possibly compare to the realities of Leopold’s genius. A genius so undeniable that simply being in the same room with him was unsettling for some of the most brilliant men of the day.

I’ve got a paper to write on this man. I’ll post a copy to my website when it’s finished some time next week.

If you haven’t read this book, I suggest you do so. The facts are startling, chilling and in a strange way… eerily admirable.… [Read More]

Real Rock.

When I think of the phrase “real rock” images of Bad Company, Stevie Ray Vaughn and The Rolling Stones come to mind. I think of the good old days of rock and roll that I can scarcely remember, but have a vivid mental picture of. The days when guys trotted up on outdoor stages to play for the benefit of undulating audiences who loved them above and beyond all sense of passion.

So when one of my local radio stations claims to be “Real Rock ” I expect to hear some honest to god, real rock and roll.

Unforunately, on more than one occassion, I’ve been denied.

The first time I paid attention to what they played after they said the phrase, I caught wind of a sound that was so distinctly Def Leppard that you couldn’t avoid it if the spandex and ripped jeans were a million miles away. It wasn’t even *good* Def Leppard.… [Read More]

Making Gemini

My dentist and his wife have 11 children. Every time I go into their office, I see pictures of a proud, happy and large family. I have also wondered why they chose to adopt so many. I wondered about psychological reasons for doing such a thing, what is it that they were lacking in their lives that made them feel compelled to adopt 11 kids. At times I have been awed by that, and overwhelmed by the sheer nature of the very fact itself. In evaluating that circumstance, which has very little to do with me or the fact that he is my dentist, I have always taken a sort of distant, logical kind of approach to it. I never stopped to think about something that was very vital to it. Maybe there wasn’t some lacking in their mental stability that caused it to happen. Maybe there was never some weird thing about it.… [Read More]

I’m a liberal now.

Forget the fact that my blog has worn the “blogs for bush” button since… um… well at least the last election. I’ve never bothered to take it down. Forget that I voted for Bush not once, but twice, and am a fan of trickle-down economics. Forget that I thought Kerry and Gore were both full of crap, and blogged extensively on why I thought Kerry was in idiot in ’04. Forget that I was brave enough to walk on a college campus in this country with a “Bush Cheney ’04” sticker stuck boldly to the back of my binder for everyone to see.

Forget all of that.

Because I disagreed with a conservative (several of them) in the comments on another blog, I am a “liberal”. My father, a card-carrying democrat, would heartily disagree and is highly disappointed that his daughter is a “right wing conservative nut-job”.

I’m not here to gripe about the guy that labeled me a liberal.… [Read More]

Why don’t we know this?

I’m tempted to start a quarterly column with the above title.

Every quarter that I’m in college, I find out something that I didn’t know before, that was specifically denied to me in terms of information discovery during my tenure in the public school system. My first such discovery was that the first piece of literature ever published on American soil was a book of poems. The second was that Lincoln wasn’t the benevolent man history books in public schools suggest he was (it’s not that he wasn’t a good guy, but he was just as racist as the next wasp male in his era). The third was that the aforementioned book of poetry was written by a woman named Anne Bradstreet.

The fourth is an odd historical fact that is not taught in public schools in world history for whatever reason. King Leopold II of Belgium who is reputed by history to be this humanitarian soul… in all actuality made his riches and built the economy of his country on a web of brutality and horror so atrocious and so astounding that the world stood up and took notice of it and called it what it was at the time.… [Read More]