Friday, July 11, 2008

I'm Not Just With Stupid, I AM Stupid

Don't you hate it when your catch yourself on the short end of the stupid stick? I did that earlier today, when one of my professors pointed out that I'd failed to turn in a draft of an assignment because I'd posted it in a discussion thread in our class web site, rather than in the assignment thread. I've taken the Humble Route with the situation, hoping that the prof will take pity on my stupidity. But there's this damn recurring thought throughout our coursework for this master's program, that being that we're responsible adults who are supposed to be bright enough to know where to put our homework.

So, I remain stupid.

Redeemed, however, when I found a copy of "I Am Not Spock" at Deseret Industries. Alibris sells this book for $10, Powells wants $25 for its copy. I got this for fifty cents. It's an entertaining read thusfar, and quite existential. Leonard Nimoy doesn't deny that he enjoyed the Spock role, nor is he distancing himself from the character. He just writes a lot about how difficult he finds it to separate himself from the character, because it's the character, not himself, that people are most interested in meeting. That's got to be a frustrating thing for an actor to struggle with. Of course, it's something we all struggle with from time to time. Back when I was writing for the paper, people wanted to meet the reporter, not who I really was. We don't necessarily have personas as distinct as Nimoy/Spock, but we have our private and public faces, and, occasionally, people want to meet the public face in private, or the private face in public. Myself, I'm quite shy in person, but not really all that shy at all at writing to an anonymous audience on the web, in a newspaper, or in classes.

Speaking of weird, take a look at this: It's the bookmark that came with "I Am Not Spock." I've long collected weird objects that come in the used books I buy. I've found a wide variety of bookmarks, postcards (including old ones from Disneyland and a postcard featuring the likeness of Lyndon Baines Johnson). But the most interesting finds are always the personal notes that get tossed in. One Farley Mowat book I've got has a letter in it from a stewardess from an Icelandic airline in it, complete with business card. She'd found the book left on a flight, and mailed it back to the owner, who happens to be the former owner of one of our local television stations. On the letter he contemplated sending the stewardess a card. I wonder if he ever did. And Geoff Thomas of Idaho Falls -- whom I think is the same as the superintendent of the Madison School District -- I have your copy of "Fail Safe," by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. (Incidentally, it's the book on which the contemporary rival to Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" is based. I'm so full of useless information. It's one of my defining characteristics, according to my mother-in-law, who laughs at it in a good-natured way and buys me books filled with trivia.)

Speaking of not-so-trivial things, I'm also reading "Fighting Auschwitz" by Jozef Garlinski. It's pretty disturbing in a way that gets me to thinking about our contemporary society. America right now has its own concentration camp of sorts at Guantanamo Bay. I wish they'd shut the place down. It's not nearly as bad as Auschwitz, or at least I think it's not, but it's still a place where nasty things happen. As Samuel the Lamanite says in Chapter 13 of Helaman, we are to the point where our land is cursed because we're not listening to God's messengers: "O that wa had remembered the Lord our God in the day that he gave us our riches, and then they would not have become slippery that we should lose the; for behold, our riches are gone from us (verse 33)."

This is kind of a hodge-podge entry. Please excuse.

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