10.26.01 5:54 p.m. -E. B. White
"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world, and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."
10.26.01 5:54 p.m. -E. B. White
-E. B. White
This Entry Features: Dark skinned national socialists, stupid Pagans
I attempted to speak to Nazi Girl today. She, I think, is a regional phenomenon. She walks around campus in a black coat, with a flag featuring two red and two blue squares and oversized sunglasses (even on this cloudy day) that make her look like a cross between a wasp and a police officer. This alone does not warrant the Nazi name. She walks at a brisk marching pace constantly, with one fist to the small of her back and one on her stomach. She will walk exactly straight, looking at no one, until she reaches an obstacle such as a wall or other human. Then she will do a sharp turn and walk straight in that direction until she reaches a new obstacle. The fact that she ever makes it anywhere is amazing.
I approached her and politely inquired, "Tell me why." I felt this was a valid way to get her to speak, though I have never actually seen here acknowledge another person. And I still haven't. She saw me as an obstacle and quickly changed direction. So I said at her, "Or do not tell me why." However, I have decided that, next to befriending the Geestapo, I will figure out why Nazi Girl is as she is. Perhaps she has a very good reason. Or perhaps she is just annoying, pretentious and sociopathic. We shall see.
She is a mission now. No rest will she get until my desire for knowledge is satisfied.
PSU: People Subverting Unity
Last night Emily and I attended another meeting of PSU. This one was to draft a formal constitution. I know I am making it sound like a real club for a moment, and I do not wish to deceive you. They were only doing this because a boy came to a prior meeting and lambasted the group for not having a constitution, quite rightly. As such, they were not doing this because they should as a club, but just because they wanted to look more official to this one guy who has not returned. You will note that I paint many (not all) members of PSU as infantile. Let's just say, I am not an abstract painter.
I sent them edited rules for the Mid-Hudson Pagan Network and the unfortunately now defunct PURE, both of which have successful rules that went though a revising process over the course of several years. To my great surprise, these had actually been printed out. To my minimal surprise, they were pretty nearly completely ignored. The president took incredible issue with the impeachment clause in PURE's constitution which stated that a president who has fallen in the esteem of the club could be impeached by a simple 2/3 majority. Gee, wonder why that one bothered this self-appointed despot? We may never know. Evidently, she was asked not to return to the club last semester for reasons no one went into. Hmmmmm...
The club kept saying what a bad idea impeachment was, how it would be so hurtful. I was shocked no one started spouting that it was against the Wiccan Rede ("An' it harm none, do what thou wilt."), one of the lamest arguments I have to put up with on a regular basis. Maybe someone did say this, but I was too busy concentrating my energy on telepathically communicating with M how much this irritated me. No such luck, so I switched to writing to her in a notebook she could see.
I pointed out that the club had indeed had severe troubled with a president (Namahs) not two years ago and having an impeachment clause would be a boon. One of the members shot me down without really explaining why I was wrong; she just said we weren't talking about Namahs. Erm.
Emily was acting the foil to the group, as she had immense knowledge about the club's goings-on but kept asking question because she knew their answers would be revealing. For example, she asked, "Well, just why don't we have Student Association funding?" The president said that we were a religious organization, blah, blah, blah, ignorant-cakes. Swiss Miss provided that they had tried for SA funding but were turned down. I pointed out the M that the reason we were turned down was that the girl who went before the court to explain the group was not qualified, wore a heavy metal t-shirt, leather pants, and a skull bandana, and was likely dripping with pentacles. So I cannot blame the SA for denying funds given that presentation. Were I to explain it, I think it would be just a little bit more likely. Don't worry; I don't usually look as I do on the main page. It should also be noted that the president glared at Emily and said, "I notice a lot of people speaking out of turn." So clearly there is no need for someone whose nominal power was already going to her head to ever have to work under the knowledge that she could be impeached.
I was glad to have Emily there, though she felt it was one of the biggest wastes of time she has ever had the misfortune to endure. One of the members (We'll call him Reagan) came in briefly to discuss various proposals the group could put its name on for support. Emily and I perked up, as this sounded both responsible and interesting.
One of the proposals concerned Robert Kennedy Jr. and his conservationist plan. PSU was ready to completely veto it because someone said, and I quote, "I hate the Kennedys. They suck." Wow, Caesar be damned, here is a powerful orator!! He sucks! I guess I can just abandon actually reading the paper like most of the group did. If some random arse who can't even spell "Kennedy" says he sucks, what more is there to know? Err. A decided minority of the group pushed the rest into realizing putting out name on this meant we were against corporate polluters. Still, they insisted Kennedy sucked. Finally they condescendingly voted yes on the bill.
Next came a bill that stated we were against the state of New York having investments in cigarette companies as that made them biased. The biggest argument against Emily and my explanation that this was very similar to the anti-soft money proposal we voted to put our names on as it made the government entirely biased in making laws regulating cigarettes was that "government is corrupt anyway." Do I need to explain how that is not at all an argument? In addition, cigarette manufacturing clear cuts increasing more pristine land. Of course, they as Pagans, a religion that reveres the land as sacred, shouldn't care about that. Still they voted with their nic-fits and blackened lungs, saying PSU was against divesting our investments of cigarette stock.
While I am blighting the president's crops anyway, it should be noted that she stated that she doesn't actually own any books on Paganism and has never really read one. So good that she is the one running the group. Emily also stated, while they were policy making, that she feels one has to have been a member of the group for a semester before becoming one of the people who run the group, a direct jab at an annoying freshmen who appointed himself. Incisive girl, that M. I like her.
Next week, I was volunteered to give the group a guided meditation. Emily commented audibly how good I am at them, and as no one else felt able to (one member of the executive board didn't even know what a meditation was. Am I making myself quite clear on why I have issues?), and they told me I was doing one. I am considering using Pagan jargon in the meditation or having the group confront a visualization of how other members of the group see them/their own ignorance. I have yet to decide if this is the best way to teach them.
Soon in Xenology: More on PSU. Sarah and I finally touch one another. I get a job.
last watched: Some giant uterus on the TV.
reading: Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, Tom Robbins
listening: Eliot Smith, Either/Or
listening: To be a part of an educated college Pagan group.
interesting thought: The crosses we bear are often mass manufactured with interchangeable parts.
moment of zen: waves of leaves and grass
someday I must: chase the wind. Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings. He likes when you comment.