12/2/09

Thoughts on Re-Watching the 1960’s Series, The Prisoner

Thoughts on Re-Watching the 1960’s Series, The Prisoner
2/25/08

The Village, where Number 6 is imprisoned, never achieves full concreteness throughout the series. We never find out who the Warders are, what they want to know, why they want to know it. Very few Prisoners are revealed to us in any particularity. This is all left vague. This is Number 6's predicament, too, so we remain on par with him and are meant to share this point of view.

Number 6 tries to escape the Village and its island throughout the series. He fails until the end, when he unravels the Village from the inside. Number 1, it turns out, has the visage of Number 6 and has been, perhaps, Number 6 all along.

Why has Number 6 been trapped if he is Number 1? The answer is likely that Number 1 is a placeholder and not a person; a placeholder for the idea of progress which, alas, has come to be equated with surveillance and control.

Like Number 6, we come to understand that one cannot escape the Village physically. This is not because of the technology of the village, which is ubiquitous and seemingly omnipotent; rather, physical escape is impossible because freedom, and its tools (such as surveillance) are internal attitudes.

Questions about the individual's attitude toward their own freedom (and their complicity in their internalization of others' control) are part of the show's dialogue from the very first episodes. But it only becomes catalytic of change once Number 6 fully realizes that the crucial dimension of control is internal. Only then can he effectively attack the Village's own logic and drive it into absurdity and dissolution.

11/21/09

Best Birthday Greeting Ev-ah!

Señor Presidente:

I wish you a day of as bland and painless an
aspect as is possible under the circumstances,
given your graying eminence, the burden of
presidential power, the awful dignity of tenure,
and the many ailments you have no doubt begun to
suffer from in various shameful parts of your
body and mind. May it be such a day that the 364
days of hardcore annoyance and adversity to
follow will almost seem worth it, thanks to the
peak experience of your Cake Moment. Let the
party horns honk, and the young-uns thwack you
unrestrainedly during their sugar high!

11/16/09

Dallas

Just back from Dallas. That city makes no sense to me. Good thing it's got billionaire's running it, or it might just drift into democracy.

10/17/09

YSSTRHM: A WORK OF FANTASY

My advisor and friend Doug Browning has published 4 of six fantasy
books on which he's been working.

I wanted to share this in case you're interested:

http://ysstrhm.com/

PDF downloads at the site.

Dave

From that site:

YSSTRHM: A WORK OF FANTASY

As of April 2007 I have completed four of the six books that go to
make up a continuous narrative of the fantasy series I've entitled
Ysstrhm.

Given that these are works of high fantasy, the world which they
presuppose is not ours. It allows a modicum of magic, distinctive
customs and classifications, and flora and fauna that resemble ours
only in respect to the presence of humans, cats, pups, and bees.
There are, for example, no horses or other animals that may be ridden
into battle. But there are battles and a good deal of suspense,
mystery, quests, losses, and here and there fairly explicit sex.
There is a historical background that is assumed, as well as details
of terrain with a number of maps.

I have no interest in publishing any of these books, at least not in
the foreseeable future, and I have no interest in making money on
them. I have decided to make them available for my friends and any
other interested person on this website.

10/5/09

Poem for a Teacher, Grading

In honor of the season...

Poem for a Teacher, Grading

In this one, no thesis
In that one, no cites
The long one's a snore
The short one's not right.

Abandoning spelling
Escaping from pith
No staples, no numbers
No logic, just myth.

I glimpsed punctuation
I whiffed structured thought
'Twas only accomplished
By a paper web-bought.

An angel now singing
Comes to soothe my despair
Divinely she counsels
"Throw the lot down the stairs"

The ones at the bottom
Are full of B.S.
We'll give them an "F"
Their souls, we'll God-bless.

The ones near the middle
Are middling, we see!
They'll get  "C+/B-"
And if pass-fail, a "P"

The ones near the top
Well, clearly they're best
A  "B+/A"
"Kudos" and the rest.

Rebuking this angel
I invoked teacher's duty
To fairly assess
The young, dull, and moody.

I cited my training
My respect for the calling
My conscience as scholar
Both which I'd be galling.

The angel reached down
In her hand was a sandglass
She showed me my life
Blowing faster than winds pass.

In a flash did I follow
Her meaning so plain
I dared not look back
On a life spent in vain.

Grading aches lifted
Acute pains depart
I now dispatch low grades
With gossamer heart.

My afternoon grading
Is cut down by nine
I put on the radio
And sip on some wine.

So listen to angels
Or devils--or trolls
And don't waste your life's sand
Correcting dead scrolls.

David Hildebrand
Denver, CO
11/9/03

9/27/09

Alphabetic Personal Ads

Alphabetic Personal Ads
Set #1

Affluent
businessman
covets
delectable
elegant
feisty
gal
however
idiosyncratically
jejune.

Knight
lives
mournfully,
never
occluding
plaintive
quarry's
rhapsodic
salacious
tuna.

Ugly
valkyries
won't
xerox
your
zeppelin.

Set #2

Anxious
bachelor
craves
delphic
epiphenomenal
female;
glassyeyed
hipsters
inevitably
jettisoned.

Kneejerk
liberal
misses
nanny's
obsequious
pleasantries;
quixotically
requesting
solicitous
thrall.

Under
valued
wastrel
exhorts
you
zoologically.

Set #3

Acrimonious
Battle-axe
Craves
Disfigured
Erudite
For
Gambling,
Hot-rodding,
Invective,
Jargon.

Knickers
Low?
My
Naughty
Oeuvre
Prescribes
Quivering
Rakish
Sequoia
Time

Unctuous
Vegetarian
Wants
X-rated
Yokel
Zestiness

9/26/09

Colon Cleansers? Probably Unnecessary, possibly dangerous

Trendy colon cleaners may do more harm than good
From : http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/utsw/cda/dept37389/files/515795.html
Think special diets, pills, powders or enemas are needed to rid the body and colon of toxins? UT Southwestern Medical Center experts say think again.

"The lining of the gut regenerates about every seven days, so you probably don't need colon cleansers," says Dr. Anne Larson, associate professor of internal medicine at
UT Southwestern.

Not only are colon cleansers unnecessary, they could imbalance the body's fluids and lead to dehydration, salt depletion and low blood pressure. Long-term dangers include anemia, malnutrition, heart failure and damaging the colon wall. Using unclean enema equipment could lead to infection.

So what is one to do if worried about a buildup of toxins because of constipation?

"Stick with what's proven to be safe," Dr. Larson says. "Drink plenty of water and eat food high in fiber such as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains."

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/digestive to learn more about UT Southwestern's clinical services for digestive diseases.