Saturday, July 23, 2005
I got this e-mail recently:

UW Madison


The following item(s) are overdue. Please return or renew the item(s) immediately.

Title: James Dean died here : the locations of America's pop culture landmarks / Chris Epting.
Title: Me talk pretty one day [sound recording] / David Sedaris.
Title: Time out San Francisco guide.
Title: Eats, shoots and leaves [sound recording] : cutting a dash -- the radio series that inspired the hit book / Lynne Truss.

They're in my apartment, 2200 miles away. We'll see if I can renew them over and over until I make it back to Wisconsin. Otherwise, I'll ship them. Media mail is actually pretty cheap.
Speaking of books, as well as the media table: I just finished Brave New World. Short.
I like the adjective. Rather than eye-opening, chilling, or haunting, you say "short."

Do you have anything else to share with the class?

It was actually fourth time reading it. First time in junior year of high school, then senior year again for class, then freshman year of college (for class again), and then again last weekend.
I dunno. Maybe to others it was haunting, chilling, or eye-opening. Maybe if Huxley's dystopia wasn't so familiar, I'd be more uncomfortable with it. Furthermore, Huxley shies away from exploring the idea of the popular feelies being redemptive. Some vague platitudes are all he allows. "People would be unhappy with Othello at the feelies. Only unhappy people like Othello. Because everyone is happy, Othello cannot exist at the feelies." This is the very definition of begging the question. So when I say "short," I mean, "intellectually undercomlete."
All of children sit down in the circle. One of them is chosen as Pesek. Everybody (except Pesek) close eyes and Pesek walks around the circle of children and sings: "Pesek walks around us, don't look at him, who will have a look at him, he will be bang to by Pesek."
Meanwhile Pesek bangs someone. He must run after Pesek and catch him. Provided he doesn't catch Pesek earlier than Pesek sits down on his place, he becomes a new Pesek.
Garrison Keillor told me this this morning on The Writer's Almanac that today is Aldous Huxley's birthday.
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