Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Al Franken

If you don't check Drudge, you might not have heard about Al Franken's latest escapades. Yes, the smirking humorist of the left is making waves. He has a video out for his new book in which a conservative is kicked in the groin, has a stool smashed on him, culminating with a beer bottle being broken over his head. The video is kinda funny, since Franken makes fun of people who leave negative reviews on Amazon.com for books that they haven't read nor will ever read. On the other hand, it's in bad taste, to say the least.

The second blip on the radar are his jokes about the executions of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, both part of the entire CIA leak circus. Check out what he said on Letterman and on the Today show.

I've never read Franken. I don't intend to. But the titles of his books, the smug look on his face, and these actions are enough for me to wish he would just go away. I bet he's funny. Michael Moore's book Downsize This was funny, even though I was quite offended at a truck load of what he said. Not to mention that his rant about Corporate Welfare Moms was boring.

Can we just go back to politics as usual after Bush leaves office? Please?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Monday morning

It's still grey outside. The rains departed and left us with a continual grey haze which isn't thick enough to be fog yet isn't thin enough to be mist. It does add some character to the sky, alleviating the tyranny of blue skies without any clouds. However, as we know from Roman history, usually a tyrant will merely be replaced with another tyrant. If these clouds of mist/fog (I guess you could call it "mog" or "fist", but both of those sound and look really stupid) don't give us a bit of variation soon, then we will have another tyrant over us.

I wish Captoe was showing in a local theater. It looks good. Good enough that I bought In Cold Blood the other day. Unfortunately, now must think I'm either into books about actual grizzly murders (they recommended the book Helter Skelter to me; it's about the Manson killings) or that I am homosexual (or at least metrosexual) since they recommended Breakfast at Tiffany's.

I am neither homosexual, meterosexual, asexual, nor late for theology. But if I type any longer I will be late for theology. St. Thomas: "Deus esse." I couldn't agree more.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Little White Hate?

If you've seen American History X (which was decent, although a bit on the melodramatic side), you might think you have a slight knowledge about white supremacists.

Check this out: "Young Singers Spread Racist Hate: Duo Considered the Olsen Twins of the White Nationalist Movement."

That's kinda disturbing. On the other hand, what is the actual threat of white supremacists? Aren't they a rather small part of the population. Of course, one would say that even if they are small, they still can be dangerous. Still, it reminds me of a brief from The Onion: "Communism no longer considered a threat." In the piece, the reader is informed that communists are now less dangerous than Linkin Park.

How do you spell that phrase anyway: Seig hiel or Sieg heil?
I bet those twins would know.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Dons Ragged

Don Rags, a wonderful three days of restricted freedom--dress code still enforced, 11 PM curfew--and ten to fifteen minutes of out of body experience--having tutors talk about you, behind your back, to your face. This semester's don rags are over. With the exception of a few stragglers who haven't yet had theirs (last ones are on Tuesday), we have finished our mid-terms. Mid-terms. I don't even have any clue what those must be like.

My own don rags went very very well. Extremely little ragging. Instead of having to take slaps in the face with a straight face, I had to take complements without looking smug. A refreshing change of pace from last year. Last year, I had my worst don rags ever; probably one of the worst don rags ever. If you have ever been warned that unless you shape up, you may potentially be asked to leave the college, you should get the picture, because my don rags last year went something like this:

"Mr. Boyer is bright, buuuuuuuut..."

"Mr. Boyer does seem to understand the material, however..."

"One ought to listen to one's classmates when they are speaking. Mr. Boyer, on the other hand doesn't."

"If Mr. Boyer doesn't shape up, I feel I will be forced to talk to the dean about hiring a firing squad. Or an impromptu lynch mob."

"What do you mean hire an impromptu lynch mob"

"Well, even if we do study gravity junior year, it doesn't mean liberally educated students could actually form a proper lynch mob. I mean, what with the random pitchforks and fire brands and mindless oafs yelling 'Can we burn him! Can we burn him!' even though
1) this is an interrogative statement, so a question mark should be used, and 2) this is a lynch mob and not a burn him at the stakemob. I mean, these are dynamics which the average student of Aristotle just can't grasp on the practical level. They would be too busy asking each other, 'What is the specific difference of a lynch mob as opposed to a burn him at the stake mob?' and 'Well, what is the entomology of lynch?' or 'To properly understand the effect of gravity on the lynched once the lynchers have removed any support from under the lynchee (what is the Latin for that anyway?), do we have to postulate that a line is made out of points? Because if we do, then that is clearly absurd, and we wouldn't actually be able to lynch anybody.'"


"Mr. Boyer, do you have any comments?"

So this year was much better.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Last night was the latest installment in the most interesting dorm wars season in some time. We had some uninvited guests. Not a huge number, compared to the night of the Serriad, but at least a whole wing worth of dudes from Peter and/or Paul. I wasn't in the commons when they arrived. In fact, I wasn't aware of their arrival until they made themselves comfortable. Yelling, grunting, banging into doors--allllllllllllwaaaaaaaaaaaays bang bang bang bang as freshman roll around on the floor, locked in sweaty amateur wrestling--usually my door--grunting, freeing themselves only to be grabbed again, repeat process--all while they tried to force their way into the study room.

They wanted Paul Alarcon.

I can see why one would want to capture Paul, since he usually is involved with dorm wars, has a well-known face, sometimes gets on nerves (only joking though, he's only joking), and being assumed to be an easier target than Coughlin, well, it adds up to a reasonable plan. All plans ought be successful in some sense to be worth one's while. The crowd of freshman--was it only freshman? Do only freshman really still care while the juniors (we have maybe four sophomores in the dorm) stand back and laugh? At least mostly freshman tried to get into the study room while mostly Serra freshman pulled them off. A huge mass of sweaty, young faces all yelling, disrespectful quiet hours. Prefects, try to quiet them down. They didn't even make much of an effort. The noise prompted Peter Doran to place a mattress over Dan "Big Angry" Lendman's (how do you spell that name? I for one don't know) door. As this crush of humaninty leaned against the door, Max Summe jumped around like a monkey while making simian noises. I have no clue why this happened.

The basic rule of dorm wars: Superior numbers. Here superior numbers with regard to the study room door held, though the door didn't. Paul, fortunately, had presence of mind. He claimed sanctuary in the oratory. Sanctuary, what a novel concept! Protection by religion! A man can still have safety while praying, even if it is only because his enemies, like Hamlet, wish to strike at a more opportune moment, procuring the victim's damnation, or at least not damaging one's own PR.

Defeat for Peter and/or Paul. No abduction, no victorious extraction, no virtus to laud and celebrate. Then a quick thinker yells "Get the Dorm Tyrant!" And we had to rescue Doran from this mob of fresh men, they certainly smelled it, who were dragging him out toward the gate. Still, mostly freshman pulling and pushing. I did help out. Peter was freed, by crashing through the hedge, breaking it. Our shrubbery! We demand a shrubbery!

The night seemed over. Both Doran and Alarcon had slipped through their fingers. Then, to chase out the guests, Peter brought out the hose. How many people would love to use a hose to chase out guests who have overstayed their welcome? Surely many. Surely most. If one never thought of it, then having the idea suggested, there must be some appeal in it. Unfortunately, this attempt merely devolved into tug of war. Superior numbers only work when the superiority is used. The broken, disinterested freshmen (and some others) didn't all rally round the hose. The night ends with Jack spraying the wretches as they run away. Victory. Victory. Victory.

It does do a number on your homework, though.

Friday, October 07, 2005


If you have any clue as to what moral relativism is, leave a comment.

I have almost certainly decided the topic for my philosophy paper is how Aristotle's statement that there is a true, objective, necessary good, which is determined by the morally just man, based on his argument about man having a proper end to relate to his rational function. Basically, there is a true, universal good for all men flowing from man's nature. Wikipedia is no help at all. They give descriptions of ethics, meta-ethics, value ethics, relativistic Meta-value dollar menu ethics. But not a clear concise declaration of what moral relativism is.

The pope harps on the culture of relativism. What does that mean? Relativism is the plight on society which causes people to ignore what the church teaches and do their own thing. That's the sense I get. If only everyone would listen to the church, then I wouldn't have to complain about relativism! Are you listening to me, all you relativists? says the pope. I'm going to write an encyclical or something and that's show them. I think I might have time this afternoon between my meeting with the Interfaith Understanding Coalition and the Ecumenical Ice Cream Social.

Normally, one is labeled "relativist" for saying that there is no objective standard of morality: I think it's ok to shoot babies.
Or is it something more subtle: I think it's ok to shoot babies. Who are you to tell me what to do? I am my own little God, and therefore I can make up the rules. And I declare that it is the perfection of man to watch Sex and the City reruns in my pajamas. And shooting babies.

The outline is due on the 17th and I still don't have a clue how I will pull this thing off. It seems more like a senior thesis: Aristotle's Function Argument and the Kantian view of the Good in Light of Developments in Airplane Manufacturing during the Summer of 1978.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Santa Paula Airport

Here are some pictures from my trip to the Santa Paula Airport on Sunday. I went with Evan, who apparently, is quite knowledgeable about airplanes (I think he called almost every plane a Cessna), and Joe, who is interested. I just came along for a good time.

Here is a nice one that Evan took.

What a stud. Do you think he looks like Brad Pitt with a long face?

An attempt to use editing software to accentuate the plane taking off. I don't think it works very well.

Joe and Evan.

Brad Pitt? No really, does he or does he not? (We spent at least five minutes discussing this).

And on the interior of the homemade plane....

How do these things get off the ground anyway? Posted by Picasa