Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Trips Down Amnesia Lane and Cleaning the Garage

"I wear a three-piece suit when I teach as camouflage in the capitalist kingdom. I learned a long time ago that the only way to destroy America's socioeconomic barriers is to convince the spoiled, mostly white, elite in this country that I am a friend to their elitism. By playing the role of "System" friendly negro, I am able to seduce and impregnate their daughters, squander their trust funds on social programs without hope of financial return, and to better the world at Daddy's expense.

"Brother, that makes me one of the most dangerous men in America. And I'm a better man than most because of it."

- Fmr. ZenFo Pro professor/
Black Panther Party veteran, 1997

(Found in a battered undergraduate notebook while cleaning the garage)

Dr. G. was a very quotable guy - best prof I had as an undergrad.

I used to love swinging by his office, to discuss the pros and cons of socialism, to solcit advice on my burning need to kick the Man's teeth in at every opportunity, and, well, to learn how to win my own personal battles inside the Culture Wars.

Dr. G was was a smooth operator. Not one campaign poster in his office. He never discussed his political views in the classroom or the fact that he was on the front lines in Oakland during the 1960s. Most students, if memory serves me correctly, thought he was a diehard Republican, if they thought he had any political leanings at all.

This conversation happened after class, and even then, he rarely offered an unsolicited opinion regarding his personal philosophy.

I have no clue what I asked him, but, well, people tend to remember answers long after they've forgotten their original question.

Lecture Hall Leftists and Classroom Conservatives who think that it's appropriate to discuss such things as personal ideology in the classroom should take note - students don't give a flying monkey fuck about your personal opinions on politics unless you are first a good teacher (not merely a professor but a teacher) who can convey the importance of questioning everything.

There's a lot to be said for wearing a three-piece suit and sporting a Frederick Douglass 'fro.

I must've scribbled a thousand verbatim phrases onto napkins, book margins, drawing pads, etc., during the few years I studied under him.

I pitched most of them in the trash this weekend.

What good are wonderful sayings if they haven't torn into the psyche like maggots on roadkill?

* * * *

Cleaning Tunes Provided by Greg Graffin:

Cold as the Clay, [Anti-, 2006]

I realized, while I was cleaning out my garage this weekend, that I need to redevelop my own camouflage inside the Capitalist Kingdom.

I threw a lot of stuff away, actually - photos and letters of long-gone lovers went into the garbage, box of women's clothing went to Goodwill, and I'm shipping off loads of other stuff to various charities.

The recycling guys must hate me, as I've shredded more "vital" documents over the last five days than a White House aide on crystal meth.

Or maybe a certain boner-pill popping, yo-yo dieting demagogue, perhaps?


I sure miss fucking with the Man.

And I'm getting that itch again.

Look for a post on this sometime around, oh, the first week of August.


Now that's a one cryptic-ass post, huh?


Anonymous said...

If you've read my blog you know I am posting now at a group blog called taking place. The guy who started it is a black PhD candidate at Cornell and he also has a blog called slant truth. I've read him here or there at Alas a blog etc and then read his site and started reading the posters at Taking Place, a good percentage of them are black. It is amazing what I learn just by reading them. I realize that maybe in some form or another my always thinking i was such an enlightened individual was wrong. Anyhoo this post just brought up that point. I think you'd fit right in there Jason.

i still like the james deanish picture best cowboy.

cooper said...


Smurf said...

Cryptic... um... yes! ;) We are all entitled to a little of it once in a while though.

Casey Kochmer said...


fuck with the man every day,

besides as your prof said, to do it right: They should be paying you for the priviledge of getting screwed over. :) Nice.

Anyways what really caught my attention is the statement when teaching: not to teach your personal beliefs. This is awesome. So many people preach rather than teach. Preaching is hollow yet it seems to be replacing our educational system now a days...

Are you seeing more of this yourself?