Ten Statements

Refute, support, disregard, disparage?

1. Blasting a boom box from your bicycle or your golf cart on a quiet bike trail or the peaceful back nine makes you a selfish, contemptible jerk, wholly deserving of scorn, from everyone.

2. Modern American academia’s obsession with and approach to “group work” is absurd, as no “real world” manager will ever randomly pick six people from different departments in the company, not assign leadership within the group, task the members of the group with secretly evaluating the performance of the other members for management, and then expect them to deliver meaningful work product.

3. Living to be 96 years old in order to see Halley’s Comet again is a totally worthwhile aspiration.

4. If you only know the band Modern English for “I Melt With You,” then you are missing some really special stuff: their albums After the Snow and Ricochet Days are exceptional, beginning to end.

5. Just because you fight a giant doesn’t mean you get to win.

6. Abacab was the last great Genesis album release, because it was the last one that sounded played, not programmed.

7. The ideal of “citizen governance” is admirable, but in reality, there are certain skills that are required to fulfill the responsibilities of elective office, and if you lack them, it’s very hard to vote for you, no matter how earnest you are, or how much you love your grandchildren, or how much you like to volunteer at church socials, or how many trivia nights you won while a member of the local young professionals group.

8. Since Breaking Bad ended, Adventure Time is the best show on television, although the one-hour Metalocalypse special this weekend may well match it.

9. If the extraordinary Krautrock band Can were still active in 2013, they might come up with something as awesomely mekkanic as Che Guevara T-Shirt’s “Cop Show.”

10. Revive the dying vine, restore the ruling line . . . then contemplate the whims of fate, until the next decline.

11 thoughts on “Ten Statements

  1. Missed that you had resumed posting but procrastinating today by reading fb. Welcome back.

    About #2, a subject dear to my heart: Sure a meaningful product is a desired outcome, but not necessarily the only one expected. Personally, I always detested groupwork when I was a student (& frankly didn’t have a high opinion of many of my peers in general) but as an instructor, I use it for 15-30% of the grade in all my classes. One, because educational research pushes it, and also because there are so many weak, struggling or slacking students that there is no way to handle the process of teaching and remain sane without dumping some of the responsibility on the stronger and average class members. We’re all part of the community of learners. The hope is that a leader will emerge, and many times that happens. It didn’t in two groups in one of my classes this fall, but out of 21 groups (four classes total) that’s a win. Plus dealing with and reflecting on dysfunction are also part of social reality.


  2. I had a very humorous and down-to-earth talk with Robbie Grey at the height of the Melt With You madness after ME played the world-famous Chance nightclub in Poughkeepsie. And, while there were numerous young ladies dressed up like the femme fatale in the video, a blonde girl in a cut-off T shirt and jeans was the one who got on the bus with the band. About a half hour after the band left, I was hanging out with the bar staff when a guy came in quite frantically looking for his girlfriend. Upon being asked what she looked like, he said “Blonde, kinda short, wearing a gray cut-off T-shirt…” “Nope, haven’t seen her,” we replied, not having the heart to tell him. One of my all-time favorite moments in rock and roll.


    • I met Robbie too, though much later, at Valentine’s in Albany . . . he chided me for my critical stance while reviewing the show: arms crossed, looking like I was disapproving of what he and his band-mates were delivering. I apologized, since I actually liked the gig, for the fact that I looked like I did not . . .


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