Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Light summer breeze

"Never do nothing except on pupose."

C.A. Hunter

"There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want."

B. Watterson via T.Elliott.

"I don't think hope is very much. It's feeling a light summer breeze on the skin one day in July."

S.D.A Ensor

Sunday, July 24, 2016


"Il a l'intelligence d'un cendrier vide."
(Sven Mary avocat belge de Salah Abdesalam)

"He has the intelligence of an empty ash-tray."

Playing with fire 

I loved that role.

I was a fire-raiser invited to act in the Max Frisch play.

I loved playing evil.

I sneered, I spat, I glowered with menace.

I got to smoke long cigars.

I was fourteen.

I was angry.

Resident evil

There is a real carnavale joy in playing evil. 

There is nothing intellectual about it.

It is visceral.
It is viscious.
It is hateful.
It is joyful.

There is real power in the embrace of evil.

Burn, break, destroy.

Senseless, bestial, exhuberant violence.

Kîll the pig. Kill the pig. Kill the pig.

The place of education

I think back to the intelligence of the teacher who cast me in that role, who chose that play. 

How can you possibly understand the anger within you if there is no place to express it safely?

I learnt more thanks to that teacher than any of the others I had.

Thank you Geoffrey Lee.

Thinking of the unthinking.
Thinking of the unthinkable.

I was reading Bonnie Stewart's post

"The spectacle...or Welcome to the handbasket?"

"Spectacle. Power. The fomenting of archaic hatreds, not because one necessarily believes them…but because they’re there"

I was reading Sean Michael Morris' post 

"The place of education."

"It’s impossible to deny we live in frightening times when our country looks at fascism as a viable alternative."

When have times not been frightening?

I am thinking of the complacency of the Biedermann family in the Fire-raisers who allow the arsonists to stay with them.

The Biedermann family's house will burn.

"This dark comedy is set in a town that is being regularly attacked by arsonists. Disguised as door-to-door salesmen (hawkers), they talk their way into people's homes and settle down in the attic, where they set about the destruction of the house. Written in the years following World War II, as a metaphor for Nazism and fascism, the play shows how "normal" citizens can be taken in by evil."

A little less conversation.

I am thinking of the limits of conversation with a football hooligan who wanted to "smash my face in" because I was there.

I was thinking of the limits of conversation with a class of kids I had to teach for whom my success as a teacher was limited to avoiding them smashing each others' faces in, class after class.

The place of education? 

I am thinking of the gap between the depth of discussion witnessed among participants in #digped discussions and that possible with some of the kids I teach. 

The place of education?

I remember reading the anger of an ex-student who after the Nice attack on July 15th suggesting applying medieval torture methods to terrorists on Facebook. I am fairly sure that he wouldn't have shared those words with me face to face in a classroom.

The place of education?

Just under the surface in our societies bubbling up is anger, hatred, violence.

The place of education?

We can not assume that polite conversation between ourselves or with momentarily polite students will be an answer to resolving deeper emotional issues.

We can not assume that people have the intellectual means to engage in constructive discussion.

Perhaps we must find the creative means to enable the expression of anger, hate, violence so that it may be at first recognised and then transformed into something positive for our communities.

What the hell is education for if it doesn't allow us to deal with all our humanity - red in tooth and claw? 

Polite discussion won't suffice.

There are arsonists in the house.

They are determined.

They aren't Guardian readers.

"I'm a firestarter, twisted firestarter,
you're the firestarter, twisted firestarter.
I'm the bitch you hated, filth infatuated."

(Firestarter. The Prodigy)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Love the way you lie.

"It's not what you say, it's how you say it."

I have learnt that so many times.

Out of the box

"To my utter amazement, on experiment with various 'sales pitches' to various 'client streams', I realized that what sold was not the script but the connection of excitement, the acceleration of a heart beat, the comic tone, the sudden absurd eruption in the life of another."

Lesson learnt: entertainment sells (total crap).


People will defend the undefendable if their interests are at risk.  

Courtiers close to power and  privilege  will maintain a charade to farcical lengths.

"A vain Emperor who cares about nothing except wearing and displaying clothes hires two weavers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or "hopelessly stupid". The Emperor's ministers cannot see the clothes themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions and the Emperor does the same. Finally the weavers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretense, not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor suspects the assertion is true, but continues the procession."

"Journalists who have access to highly placed government and corporate sources have to keep them on their side by not reporting anything adverse about them or their organizations. Otherwise they risk losing them as sources of information. In return for this loyalty, their sources occasionally give them good stories, leaks and access to special interviews. Unofficial information, or leaks, give the impression of investigative journalism, but are often strategic manoeuvres on the part of those with position or power (Ricci 1993: 99). ‘It is a bitter irony of source journalism … that the most esteemed journalists are precisely the most servile. For it is by making themselves useful to the powerful that they gain access to the “best” sources’ (N.Chomsky quoted in Lee and Solomon 1990: 18).

Facing facts

Let's face facts, they mostly count for nothing...unless they are officially sanctionned.

What counts is power.

Power: "the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events."

Power is either the art of entertainment or an iron fist.


Entertaining lies have value.

Just make your crap fun!


"Maintaining public attention diverted away from the real social problems, captivated by matters of no real importance. Keep the public busy, busy, busy, no time to think, back to farm and other animals” (quote from text Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars). N.Chomsky

The art of the deal

Educational takeaway

I thought for an instant of #rhizo14 and its first week's theme: "Cheating is learning." 

Perhaps we need to extend this theme in our classrooms to include "Lying is knowing." ?

Perhaps we need to study navigating power structures in classrooms, gangs, mobs, tribes, institutions, corporations, nations cliques?

Perhaps we need to study celebrity, fame, rich rewards?

Perhaps we need to study the seven deadly sins, and dominant  beliefs?

You can not be serious.

No of course I'm not serious!


You couldn't believe that could you?

I know you love it when I lie.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016



No I shall not.


But it shall.


I shall not...


I shall...


I shall...


verb: keep; 3rd person present: keeps; past tense: kept; past participle: kept; gerund or present participle: keeping
  1. 1.
    have or retain possession of.
    "my father would keep the best for himself"
    • retain or reserve for future use.
      "return one copy to me, keeping the other for your files"
      synonyms:retain, hold on to, keep for oneself, retain possession of, keep possession of,retain in one's possession, keep hold of, not part with, hold fast to, hold back;More
    • put or store in a regular place.
      synonyms:storehousestow, keep a place for, put away, placeputdepositstackpile
      "the stand where her umbrella was kept"

  2. 2.
    continue or cause to continue in a specified condition, position, course, etc.
    "I kept quiet while Emily talked on"
    synonyms:remain, continue to be, stay, carry on being, go on being, persist in being, not cease to be
    "I was trying desperately to keep calm"

    • continue doing or do repeatedly.
      "he keeps going on about the murder"
      synonyms:persist in, go on, keep on, carry on, continue, do something constantly, do something incessantly, do something continually, not stop doing something,persevere
      "he keeps going on about the murder"

    • (of a perishable commodity) remain in good condition.
      "hominy will keep almost indefinitely without spoilage"
    • retain one's place in or on (a seat or saddle, the ground, etc.) in spite of difficulty.
      "can you keep your saddle, or shall I carry you on a pillion?"
      be in a specified state of health.
      "he had not been keeping well"
    • cause to be late; delay.
      "I won't keep you, I know you've got a busy evening"
      synonyms:detain, cause to stay, cause to wait, keep waiting, keep back, hold back, restrain;More
    • make (someone) do something for a period of time.
      "I have kept her waiting too long"
    • archaic
      continue to follow (a path or course).
      "the soldiers removed, keeping their course towards Jericho"
  3. 3.
    provide for the sustenance of (someone).
    "he had to keep his large family in the manner he had chosen"
    synonyms:provide for, support, provide food for, provide sustenance for, provide board for,feed, keep alive, maintainsustainsubsidizefinanceMore
  4. 4.
    honour or fulfil (a commitment or undertaking).
    "I'll keep my promise, naturally"
    synonyms:comply with, obeyrespectobserve, conform to, abide by, stick to, act in accordance with, act according to, have regard to, heedfollow, pay attention to,defer to, take notice of; More
  5. 5.
    make written entries in (a diary) on a regular basis.
    "the master kept a weekly journal"
noun: keep; plural noun: keeps
  1. 1.
    food, clothes, and other essentials for living.
    "the Society are paying for your keep"
    synonyms:maintenanceupkeepsupportsustenancesubsistenceboard, board and lodging, foodnourishmentnurtureMore
    • the cost of the essentials for living.
  2. 2.
    charge; control.
    "if from shepherd's keep a lamb strayed far"
  3. 3.
    the strongest or central tower of a castle, acting as a final refuge.
late Old English cēpan ‘seize, take in’, also ‘care for, attend to’, of unknown origin.