Friday, August 14, 2009

Dark Roast, Michael Vick and Abelard's Ethica

Three gulps in, the dark brew has kicked in and by now we all know that Michael Vick has received a two-year deal to play for the Philadelphia Eagles. Shock? Disgust? Elation? Reservation?

These are but some of the feelings I am sure many are feeling, but I ask you to consider what follows:

--What better team to play for than the "City of Brotherly Love"?

--Humans have rights too, no.

--We save the whales, the ecosystems, the planet and yet spite, spit and spat against our human neighbor.

Michael Vick, through our legislative branches, has since served his sentence. Some think, it was not long enough. Does the man deserve a break, a chance?

Forget WWJD (for now), and consider What Will Vick Do? He might want to turn to Abelard here:

Sed profecto sicut Deo uel angelis peccata nostra sine aliqua pena doloris displicent, eo uidelicet quod illa non approbant quae mala considerant, ita et tunc nobis illa displicebunt in quibus deliquimus.

[But surely, just as without any of the pain of sorrow our sins displease God or the angels through the fact that they do not approve what they consider to be evil, in the same way also what we have done wrong will then displease us].

For Vick to truly sense and face some semblance of remorse, he will have to be displeased with the self, that part that tolerated such cruel and aberrant behavior in the first place. After all, is this not what is considered a sin, a transgression.

We ALL do our own version of it, and so we deflate the ego and subjugate the id into confession. We also need a little sabiduria, [wisdom] to know non ignoramus astutias Sathanae [we are not ignorant of Satan's devices].

Animals (in general), like its human counterpart seek co-existence and not subjugation, cruelty and even death. What Vick did was inexcusable; what Vick will do in the progressive present is now under a microscope. I wonder if we will embrace him once more? We have done less before, and more.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A evening to mimic

At 10:41 p.m. I sit at my desk in my new study/library. Some jazz piece is on the radio blue noting my bluest eye, but I ain't that type of reduction.

I just ate a piece of Cuban bread with some Camembert cheese (Ile de France). My drink? A Guiness in a frosted 41st International Congress on Medieval Studies (Goliardic Society) glass.

My reading material for this evening? Matthew "Monk" Lewis's magnum opus: The Monk. It should be a seasoned and disconnected re-reading of Radcliffe's The Italian.

The house is at a very cool 75 degrees; the only light source is my academic desk lamp (think With Honors here, minus the green canopy).

Before I turn in, perhaps some Carla Bruni and some more Camembert. The night is truly a beautiful mare; like Piers Anthony's Night Mare (a good read, and one of his better Xanth novel puzzle pieces, no).

Like I said, a night to mimic.

Sport Predictions & Wine Selections

Ah yes, we are almost at an end with the summer season. If I may, and moreover if you are a red wine lover like myself, might I suggest a Sangria or two.

These are from scratch:

First, for a strong brew take a bottle (750 mL, or thereabouts), a cup of Bacardi Limon (or, pomegranate), two cups of Ginger Ale (Vernor's works great too) and garnish with a cup of ice, one apple sliced and one orange sliced.

Second, this one is a bit on the sweet side but worth the risk in bulk. Take a bottle of red wine (750 mL, or thereabouts), a cup of sugar (yes man, a full cup of sugar), a cup of lime "carbonate" (this phrasing avoids disgruntled supporters of either "pop" or "soda"), garnish with similar fruit options as above (or heck, add some strawberries but do not leave this overnight).

Now, my predictions going in to ALL sports:

Tennis: US Open will be won by either Roger Federer or well, Roger Federer (and no, I am not a fan) I was hoping Rafa would be back to speed, but I am not so sure about those chronic knees of his. On the women's end, I pick one of the Williams sisters (your guess is as good as mine here).


I actually would like the Steelers to win it all over again. I have mad respect for Coach MT. Patriots can take a back seat, and Bills have no chance whatsoever. Detroit is overpriced, and underachieved as usual. Same old same old here. Manning needs help again, but yeah--which one AM I talkin' bout?!

Lakers vs. Who cares, and no--Shaq will have absolutely NO impact in the East other than for the first 1/3 of the season. Sad, but that's a lot of body mass to move and pound on that hard surface day in day out. Not gonna happen Cleveland fans, and yes--I think LBJ takes off after the 2010 season. Where? Hmmm...I hear New York is feenin'.

I actually think Tiger will go majorless until the Master's 2010. Still, he's the best in the biz right now. Why can't Garcia and Harrington catch him though? Sheesh!

Well, that's all folks, and if you're ever in Florida and need a place to crash--look me up. I'll put more than another shrimp on the barbie for ya' (insert Australian accent here). Salmon steaks with pesto paste, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped baby spinach and a white wine sangria with strawberry and lemon peel accents in a pitcher like Country-time mom use to make (you know what I'm talking about man). Ahhhhh...these days are good days, no!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Count Your Blessings...Shout them one by one.

Like Ralph Wiley before me, I too find myself shouting my Black experience. Of course, this is only a contextual blackness as I am also Hispanic and French.

Much has transpired, and I am blessed. I am a new homeowner (and the house is amazing!!!). And so, I shout!

I am in love with the most beautiful, the most intelligent and the most caring woman in the world; incidentally, I asked her to marry me (via her father's permission of course), and she agreed. And so, I shout!

I am teaching as an Adjunct Professor at two wonderful institutions (Eckerd College and University of South Florida--St. Petersburg) while I study for my preliminary examinations for my doctorate in English: Medieval Studies Literature. I will be teaching Literature & the Occult (using my OWN monograph: The Position of Magic In Selected Medieval Spanish Texts alongside Lewis's The Monk, Radcliffe's The Italian and Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita), Composition, Professional Writing, Technical Writing as well as Western Heritage (Part I and Part II). And so, I shout!

I have been given access to the Dali Museum, and its resources under the auspice of one Peter Tush (Curatorial Educator). This, what Morrison calls "access," will be for my second book involving Dali, Medieval Iconography, the female form in gender space(s) and of course brujeria ["witchcraft," and/or "magic"]. And so, I shout!

Oh, and I am applying for a Fulbright to Spain to study, examine and write my findings in a dissertation re: Medieval travel narratives, the monstrous other, the Afroeuropean embedded in the margins of otherwise Anglo-centers and [un]just, religious violence. The host institution has already signed off on their letter under the Vice-Chair and Director del Departamento de Filologia Moderna at Universidad de Leon Doctora Marta-Sofia Lopez. Even Purdue University's Justin S. Morrill Dean John J. Contreni wrote a letter of recommendation on my behalf! And so, I shout!

I am truly a blessed man, and one that can thank God for His blessings. My response? I shout, I shout, I shout! 'nuff respect and give tanks no man! I echo the tenuous and yet sagacious words of George Herbert who once penned:

When first thou didst entice to thee my heart,
I thought the service brave:

So many joys I writ down for my part,
Besides what I might have

Out of my stock of naturall delights,
Augmented with thy gracious benefits.

And I, a faithless servant still shout louder and louder and louder:

Tantum Deus Sentio Mihi
Tantum Deus Sentio Mihi
Tantum Deus Sentio Mihi