when you’re cool, you study in the stacks

this edition of wasted keystrokes comes from the butler stacks, where i’ve been camped out (in) since 5pm today. it’s only been about 4 hours and i’ve actually gone back and forth to get food, coffee, fresh air, etc… i feel like it’s not so isolated in here at all, and i’ve seen several people walk by me looking for books in the PR or PQ sections, which is on the 10th floor and is where you can get english and film related books… there is a super long table here that i’ve been able to use for myself… i’ve written 2/10 pages for my history paper, nowhere near the pace of the progress chart i made for myself three hours ago… and i’ve also had one very weird dream while using my left arm as a pillow.

the dream.
i’m wearing a suit. don’t recall the colors. i ring the door bell of an apartment – a nice one. the door opens up. it’s paul tagliabue, the commissioner of the nfl. he’s only a few inches taller than me, prompting me to wonder – is he really 6-5 as they say he is? we shake hands and he says he’s pleased to meet me, but i am already feeling nervous because he makes $8.5 million a year and i want to be a lowly intern at his headquarter office. i don’t know why, but i ask him about his salary and he says something like – “nah, i actually make about $200,000 to $300,000 a year” which prompts me to make a football-wise remark, “oh, so i guess they just overload payment in your signing bonus, like the players do.” hehe, but he doesn’t really laugh. then he seems busy and tells me – “it was nice meeting you. we’ll do lunch sometime.” and i think to myself, “yeah right – i didn’t even get the internship yet.” and he waves goodbye, a way of telling me to get out of his place (it’s a spacious nyc apartment studio – lots of light coming in). i wake up.

it was too surreal of a dream that i had to rush to starbucks and hook myself up with a triple-shot cappuccino just for sanity’s sake. yeah. i’m feeling good. except i have 8 more pages to write. it sucks that the stacks close at 11pm. i had a thought walking outside – if i had a girlfriend that i really really liked, would we ever come to the stacks to study (each other*)? i recalled the near-love scene in atonement when robbie and cecilia get it on in the tallis family library before being walked-in on by briony… that was a hot scene and because i know the scent of books so well, it was easy for me to relate, at least smell-wise… yep.

i guess i should write this in my pulpit section, but i don’t really want to get into a full-blown monologue about it. i just wanted to make a statement on racism, and how it’s often more than some cowardly remarks about how a certain group or groups of people are inferior to another (and sometimes, people ought to realize when such remarks are satirical and when they are malicious). i think when it comes to racism, the element of power plays a key role as one group claims that it is entitled to something while denying another group because of their inferior race. wanna see racism? claude bowers, historian of the early 20th century, in quoting his Southern hero Benjamin Hill in Tragic Era (an old Dunning school Reconstruction era survey book) talks about the absurdity of “universal negro suffrage”: ‘Ignorance is more easily duped than intelligence, and … knaves have always been advocates of conferring power on fools; and so fools have generally thought knaves as their best friends.’ … and of such a remark, bowers writes “Hill reached the height of the controversial discussions of the ten-year period… there was art in the eloquence, erudition in the references, truth in the assertions, power in the logic.” in order to understand my poorly extracted lines, one must realize that Hill is equating blacks with fools and Radical Republicans with knaves. and Bowers gets on his knees and worships Hill. for someone who called Frederick Douglass “insolent” for urging President Andrew Johnson to support the 15th Amendment, bowers makes me really wonder – did he hate blacks or was his scholarly work merely reflecting the dominant attitudes of that time? maybe a bit of both… or a lot of both.

alrighty, back to carpetbaggin’… if my TA remains on strike, professor foner might actually read my paper himself! then again, that probably means a crappy grade. it’s like choosing between an inflated grade and a divine one…


* the above remark raised a self-awareness flag that came as a double-warning: i am being a cornball and a hornball – as in, thinking corny and horny thoughts at the same time? chornball? can some really be corny about being horny? ok, im not really horny, just lonely. come study with me.

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