Tuesday, October 04, 2011

ok dear reader, i've failed you a little, you may wonder if i've dropped off the face of the earth. no, i've joined occupy wall street except that i occupy faner and i occupy pulliam and i occupy carbondale's west side. not that any of these places are hotbeds of financial injustice and inequality. we're about to go on strike, but nevertheless, life is pretty good here.

went on a campout with four boys and a number of quakers who occupied a woods campsite, millions of stars, leaves beginning to bust out in blazing color, for a saturday evening and sunday morning. these things are like a religious holiday to me, well water, breaking firewood, sitting by a fire, coming home with campsmoke on the clothes, but an enormous amount of work, airing out tents, cooking and washing by hand, rolling up sleeping bags etc. came home behind on my homework & exhausted. the boys had a great time though. a friends' boys came and tore up the place, grabbing guitars and trying to knock over the tent, etc. but all in the spirit of fresh-air good-time fun; they were totally inspired. they were doing occupy giant city campground...

showed a movie of wall street to my class of international students. they are from "arab spring" countries where the main sticking point is a brutal dictator that kills people and does what he wants regardless of how they feel. well, actually, most are from saudi which has a gentle and in-touch king who might allow women to drive but nevertheless watches nervously as regimes topple in nearby countries...they are surprised that, even in the u.s., with its freedom of speech, there could be such unrest. the ticker at the bottom of the newscast shows all financial indices...dow jones, ftse, hang seng, nasdaq, plummeting. people are in the street marching and getting arrested, accusing the nypd of various crimes and injustices. i feel, suddenly, nonpolitical. i have argued that wall street is stealing money out of the system, for years. yet i never imagined they'd be called on it.

it's changing times, turbulent times, and my attention to the news has revealed a huge ozone hole over the arctic, worst ever, which will cause the whole thing to melt and head down our way. this, maybe, i could strike over, or at least get out of my chair. that, and the fact that they might close the pool, where i swim, presumably for budgetary reasons. the men's room is down to one shower and that one leaks badly; they've cancelled the morning swim which leaves double the swimmers, roughly. time to protest. the administration tells chairs and deans to prepare for a strike...how? by making "class is cancelled" signs? or hiring scabs? from where? for how long? not that it's my business. i try to keep my head down. in fact, i'm happy to have a job, even for a little while.

i started africaweb, which is an online resource, which takes about ten or fifteen minutes a day and alas that would ordinarily be blogging time. but it's fun, it's like traveling, specifically to various african countries, at least with my attention, and, i'm feeling rather worldly though i'm also aware that i'm ignoring vast swaths of the place, whole countries that surely have news just as much as, say libya and its transfer of power. shell buys out the nigerian military; pirates get busy off the coast of benin. it's an interesting place, but my little site may have to adapt and survive; or, i may have to, being left out of a job, or without insurance. life is fleeting, temporary, like that leaf dangling off of its branch, half green, half brown, deciding whether how or when to drift. and when it does, it falls o so gently, and maybe catches a tiny fall breeze.

the tents get a little stale, wrapped up as they are, unused, for most of a stifling summer. they air out fast though in the clear blue crisp fall air. many of those stars, i haven't seen for years, or at least since the last campout, which may even have been in a slightly different season, so, the sky might have been a bit different. nevertheless they are all up there, witnesses. they're there, even if i remain here in town, where i can't see as many of them.

we got a second car, as it was getting inconvenient to have me on a bicycle all the time, with so many kids to schlep around and the weather getting crappy. i was doing well on the bike, enjoying my few minutes out in the clear fall air, but huffing and puffing a lot at the upgrades especially on dixon street where it's the last leg of a very long steady uphill. my tire would get only slightly flatter in the course of a week so that by friday i'd be huffing even more...but, hey, occupy dixon street...occupy the student center...oh well, maybe i should just occupy my bed. i've been burning the candle at both ends, so to speak.


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