Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Anatomy of Melancholy 9

"We read in the Lives of he Fathers, a story of a child that was brought up in the wilderness, from his infancy,   by an old hermit: now come to man's estate, he saw by chance two comely women wandering in the woods: he asked the old man what creatures they were, he told him fairies; after a while, talking [casually], the hermit demanded of him, which was the pleasantest sight that ever he saw in his life? He readily replied, the two fairies he saw in the wilderness. So that, without doubt, there is some secret loadstone (sic) in a beautiful woman, a magnetic power, a natural inbred affection, which moves our concupiscence.." A variation on a common story, but a good enough one to remind oneself of from time to time.

"Christ Himself and the Virgin Mary had most beautiful eyes, as amiable eyes as any persons, saith Barradius, that ever lived, but withal so modest, so chaste, that whosoever looked on them was freed from that passion of burning lust...'tis not the eye, but carriage of it, as they use it, that causeth such effects." From the scribbler's standpoint this is nothing compared to the myriad ways in which women create lust however.

"Tiberius...supped with Sestius Gallus, an old lecher, [on condition that naked girls should wait on them]..." Shocking stuff. I wonder how smooth the old Romans really were with the ladies. The impression of course is that they were light on technique and into demonstrations of brute force. Not like your modern international playboys.

"(Achilles) compressed Deidamia, the king's fair daughter, and had a fine son, called Pyrrhus, by her." Compressed?

This story is a rather long one, and the libertine set loose in the convent is another motif that has been done a thousand times, but I still have to worship studs of this magnitude: "At Berkeley in Gloucestershire, there was in times past a nunnery (saith Gulaterus Mapes, an old historiographer, that lived 400 years since), 'of which there was a noble and a fair lady abbess: Godwin, that subtle Earl of Kent, travelling that way (seeking not her but hers), leaves a nephew of his, a proper young gallant (as if he had been sick), with her, till he came back again, and gives the young man charge so long to counterfeit, till he had deflowered the abbess, and as many besides of the nuns as he could...The young man, willing to undergo such a business, played his part so well, that in short space he got up most of their bellies, and when he had done, told his lord how he had sped; his lord made instantly to the court, tells the king how such a nunnery was become a bawdy-house, procures a visitation, gets them to be turned out, and begs the lands to his own use."

" much pity is to be taken of a woman weeping, as of a goose going barefoot." I agree that men should not let themselves be taken in as frequently as they are.

"...or that hot bath in Aix in Germany, wherein Cupid once dipt his arrows, which ever since hath a peculiar virtue to make them lovers all that wash in it." Is this place still there? If so, it is not vigorously advertised. Maybe it is a secret only accessible to the elect.

The device in our imaginations which recreates for us the dimensions of the objects of our desire is described as "that astrolabe of phantasy". I like this expression.

Philostratus on his mistress, or, as seems more likely by our understanding of this word, would-be mistress: "Oh happy ground on which she treads! and happy were I if she would tread upon me." I used to have friends who would occasionally talk in this manner. I probably felt this, but usually was not clever enough to come up with the right expression. Early in the night, it can be amusing.

Another, unnamed lover who is not giving off an alpha attitude: "he wisheth himself a saddle for her to sit on, a posy for her to smell to, and it would not grieve him to be hanged, if he might be strangled in her garters; he would willingly die to-morrow, so that she might kill him with her own hands." Meanwhile, your John F Kennedy types skip the hysterics and just begin undressing the girls they take a liking to as soon as the occasion offers itself. It is a superior system.

Now Cyrus (presumably the Persian emperor, as the quotation is from Xenephon) was a stud. Or at least the lusty Salmacis thought so: "...blessed is that woman that shall be his wife, nay, thrice happy she that shall enjoy him but a night." The forces that push and gather and raise...

"As he that desired of his enemy, now dying (he--not the enemy), to lay him with his face upward, lest his sweetheart should say he was a coward." Oh God. I am glad Burton is as humane as he is, or I couldn't take it (not that I am in the least humane, but I appreciate examples of it when I can find them).

"Cupid and Death met both in an inn; and being merrily disposed, they did exchange some arrows from either quiver; ever since young men die, and oftentimes old men dote." Clever, succinct, memorable, and illuminating. I believe it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Prague Pictures V

We haven't done a set of these in a while. There really aren't all that many more to get through.

1. View Out the Window of the First Apartment I Stayed At There. The place we were supposed to be staying was not ready when we arrived so we were put up for two weeks in the flat of the Hobby Centrum's activities director while this lady was on vacation in Mongolia or somewhere like that. As I was not yet oriented to the town and could not understand any of the language at this time, and as we never returned to this particular neighborhood after those first two weeks, I do not have a very good sense of where exactly it was. We also had to take the tram there--no subway line ran very close by--which further seems to confirm that it was a little out of the way. As you can see it was fairly attractive for a residential Prague neighborhood--the buildings are fairly low rising and many of them, including the one we stayed in, either predated the Communist period, or were from the early part of it before the miles of panelaky, or high rise housing projects, in a couple of which we eventually ended up living, were built.

It was in this apartment that I underwent my initiation into the Czech diet, especially knedliky (dumplings), pivo (Plzen-style beer), smazeny syr (fried cheese), gulas (goulash), rohliky (rolls) parek v rohliku (hot dogs), and the whole gamut of pork products which I have unfortunately forgotten the names for, Czech grocery shopping, and tram riding, as well as acclimated myself to using Czech toilet paper, which was at that time at least was still the rough equivalent of 60 grit sandpaper (the good news is, you get used to it very quickly). 

Film being a considerable expense at the time, we only have two pictures of our brief but very intensely experienced and memorable time at this location.

2. Approach to Karlstejn Castle From Train Station. This was our first real outing outside of the city, about fifteen miles away. The castle, originally built in 1348 by the great Czech-born Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, was essentially rebuilt on the old foundation in the 19th century and is not in itself that great of a sight, but the setting is beautiful and evocative of fairytales and the medieval world generally (highly sanitized of course), the area at the time was almost completely undeveloped as far as roads and modern commercial interests, and the taverns around the village filled with day pilgrims from Prague even gave it a mild Canterbury Tales feel. Our train tickets reveal that this outing took place October 13, 1996, so it was enough out of high tourist season and there was enough of a chill in the air that it was not especially crowded.

3. Castle Turret Against Backdrop of Bohemian Hills. In my memory because we had so few pictures from that time I imagined that we had comparatively a ton from this day. We have about ten.

4. Clock Tower, Fortress Wall, Other walls, etc. All reconstructed.

Karlstejn is the setting for a highly popular but I think inscrutable to foreigners 1973 musical film called Noc Na Karlstejne (often translated by Czechs with imperfect English as "A Night on the Karlstejn"). This movie seems to be akin to the The Sound of Music or something like that. People's eyes tear up when they watch it. I have never been able to find a version with English subtitles so I am very lost as to what is the cause of this affection. Here is a taste:

5. Inside the Walls. A peaceful scene in modern times; one imagines the beautiful princess taking a stroll across the grounds; in reality of course the spot would have been thronged with peasants, animals, and various forms of slop, all of it foul-smelling--or at least that is the image the current generation of historians and intellectuals seems to want us to have.

6. One Last Picture of the Castle, Because I Don't Have Anything Else to Fill Out the Set.

7-8. A Pond Somewhere in North Bohemia. With Gloves and Postcards.

I'm glad we managed to get these. Memories of the days when she used to like me. How fleeting it always is in the end, whether you are Charles the Fourth, Waldemar Matuska, Bourgeois Surrender, or anybody else. The question of what I was not doing at the time to be, or even at that relatively late age to prepare myself to be a productive and contributing member of society, and what I imagined myself to actually be doing (which I was not in fact doing), are good questions that I think will need to be addressed down the road in this series. But this rather dreamy and hopeful set is not the right atmosphere for undertaking that.

Movies! (1986-92)

The combination of summer and a gauntlet of mostly not very enticing 80s and 90s movies forming the top of my to-see list has made for a slow couple of months in this regard. I will try to dispatch of these quickly.

Afterburn (1992)

This is another TV movie from the 80s and 90s that was absurdly given a five-star rating in one of the otherwise fairly reliable guidebooks. It is about an Air Force pilot who is killed while flying a faulty plane, the ensuing cover-up and insistence of the military authorities that the crash was caused by pilot error, and the determination of his fiery widow to discover and force those authorities to acknowledge the truth and clear her husband's name, in which effort she partly succeeded. Well done for what it is, I suppose, but not my kind of thing. Perhaps it should be more my kind of thing, as the film is all about tough, decisive, purposeful, highly competent people--in addition to elite flyers and the military high command and tenacious, fearless women, there are also big time lawyers whose main concern in taking on clients is that these may not have the stomach for the ruthless tactics the lawyer will need to employ to successfully prosecute their case. However, I found it rather flat, the characters probably too realistically depicted. Nothing sparkled. I did consider that perhaps the story was just too grown-up for me, but it also was not meaningfully artistic enough to hold my interest even if it this had been the case.

Distant Voices/Still Lives (1988)

This is one of the most unique and affecting movies I have ever seen. I can say this with the more confidence because I have not seen very many genuinely unique and affecting movies. I may not be able to adequately explain what I mean by this, nor do I have to, given the endless reams of movie commentary, adequate or otherwise, that already exists, but I am going to try, lest my capacity to use language atrophy entirely.

The basic way I would describe this film is as a sincere, unpretentious, uncondescending, sad poem, highly artistic and stylized, centered around settings and people that would be understood in almost all conventional art-language as dismal, ugly and uninteresting. in which something resembling the fleeting essence of ordinary human existence is dug for and to a remarkable degree depicted. This material could easily have been used in the service of a more 'raw' or angry film, but Terence Davies, the outstanding director, always counterbalances even his darkest scenes with a strong suggestion (or reminder) that this essence of experience, especially the moments of personal agency and camaraderie, is just as real and important and must be acknowledged as much. This is difficult, I would think, to express believably, and appreciate the strength of the effort he has made to do so.

The tone and balance throughout this movie with regard to affection towards the characters, objectivity, honesty, the use of singing as a major point of emphasis and character, all wholly untainted by a hint of pretentiousness, is classically well-managed. .

Below is a few minutes from what I believe is Terence Davies's most recent movie, a documentary/memoir about Liverpool, with heavy emphasis on World War II and the austerity period, the same in which DV/SL is set. This guy is an incredible filmmaker, especially when you consider that he seems to be very sentimental, and that this sentimentality strongly informs his work. He has mastered not only his vision, but what his feelings are about that vision, which he reproduces in his films in a way that makes them seem more substantial than such impressions usually attain. I suppose he is regarded in England as a conservative of sorts because he believes the country has gone to the dogs since his childhood and this sense is certainly an underlying, if not especially subtle, theme of his movies. I admit I am inclined to agree him on this point.

Don Quixote (1988)

This is a filmed performance of the famous Kirov Ballet of Leningrad. As I know nothing about ballet, I had a hard time both following what was going on and being overly thrilled by the art, though the sets looked lovely, and the dancers talented, skilled and artistically serious. I thought a lot about how glorious it must be to possess a brain truly steeped in the secrets and salient truths of European high culture. I have read the book of Don Quixote three or four times, and while there is a highly skilled dancer dressed as Don Quixote (and one as Sancho Panza too) who wanders on and off the stage as various points of the show, and the set for the second act includes a giant windmill, there are also long sequences involving gypsies and a romance between a barber and an innkeeper's daughter (I had to look this up) that seem to have to been based on minor incidents in the book that I don't remember. Apparently most of the plot of the ballet related to the book of Don Quixote is taken from two chapters. It is really about the dancers, of course.

My modest researches into this have also reminded me that of all the realms of snobbery which the arts have provided us, there are no snobs like ballet snobs. You would think that hardcore ballet fans were a pretty small group that is generally left alone to love their diva ballerinas, but they have a lot of disappointment and disdain to get off their chests.

Children of a Lesser God (1986)

I remember how popular this baby was among all the yuppie baby boomers when it first came out, and accordingly made a point of always staying as far away from it as possible. But the fates, which I believe to be real, were obviously for some reason determined that I should see this movie before the vagaries of my system should bring up Tokyo Story, or Vertigo, or The Searchers, or five hundred other deathless masterpieces, because when I devise a system I follow it to the death. Going off the course, except in carefully arranged cases, destroys the continuity and leads nowhere.

I should note that there are several things I enjoyed about this movie. While I was watching I thought it might have been made in Maine, because it looked a lot like it--I didn't recognize the town they filmed in, so I thought it might be the Bar Harbor area or somewhere even farther north. As it turned out it was filmed in bordering New Brunswick, which I have never been to, but which looks to be more Maine than Maine itself. The scenery reminded me of my youth, as did the time, which actually was my youth. The school reminded me of my school. The parts where they are playing football on a field covered with cold puddles and wet brown leaves? that's pretty much my adolescence in a nutshell. So I liked that.

The other part I liked was the restaurant the lead characters went to on their first date. There was a jolt back to the 80s. It was just a regular Italian restaurant, with a bar and a small place for dancing, and I think a pianist. I remember going to places like that vividly, though I haven't seen one for years now. Obviously the combination of chain restaurants and the steady demise of the middle class has killed them. What regular place employs a pianist anymore, even as a second job? Yet lots of places used to have one. So that made me very nostalgic.

But that is all I am conceding. This thing is a compendium of annoying early baby boomer tropes. The author of the original play, Mark Medoff, was born in 1940, so he predates the hard core of this cohort, and I don't know how much the spirit of the original play was altered for the film. But the director, Randa Haines (the first female director nominated for a best picture Oscar, incidentally), was born in 1945, and William Hurt, the leading man, was born in 1950, so I am giving the credit for the film's dominant spirit to them. The other lead, Marlee Matlin, somewhat well known as the deaf actress who won an Oscar, was born in 1965, which makes her a generation-Xer. So I guess she's all right.

The first annoying current running through this movie is William Hurt's smug face, which is the same smug face my father and all his friends had. I can't bring myself to want to punch out my father, but I would like to rain some pain down on William Hurt. These people have all gone through their whole lives thinking they're God's gift to the planet, and for what? The circumstances, the time they were born into, the lives they were able to lead, encouraged this. I will admit it, I really can't stand them. Having to endure this movie served as a good reminder of why.

All right, on a lighter note, we have a classic rendition of the young baby boomer job interview. Job interviews evidently used to be a lot less stressful in the old days, when you didn't have to try to persuade the person grilling you that you were the most qualified person on the planet for the position you were seeking. No, even if you were rather insouciant and blase in your interview you could still often count on being offered the position, with its full health insurance, and its pension, only with the caveat that the organization into which you were being hired had an established culture and ways of doing things, and that hires were expected to conform to the rules. What is this, the 50s? Telling a new employee in a baby boomer movie he's expected to follow procedure is the cinematic equivalent of Chekhov's ax; you know there won't be a rule left standing by the end of the movie. Which sort of segues into the next theme:

This one is such a cherished baby boomer belief that you still see it surface occasionally, though I am pretty sure its effectiveness as an educational resource has been thoroughly disproved. Of course I am talking about the idea that the insertion of rock and roll, especially from the 1960s, into the school curriculum, will foster a veritable explosion of learning. Given that in this movie the school in question is a school for the deaf (though I guess they can feel the vibrations through the floor if you crank the bass loud enough), the circumstance that  even here the rock-based program is the key to turning the moribund school around, should demonstrate just   how thorough (and perverse) the grip that this idea had on the generation of the 60s was. To me--and I mostly like this music too--and I believe most people my age, the thought that this genre of art has any substantial academic value is I think mostly ludicrous, yet it turns up in movie after movie after movie with a boomer mentality.

I should add that the boomers were still in their sexy years when this came out, so the relationship between William Hurt and Marlee Matlin gets physical pretty abruptly and matter of factly--this matter is addressed first, and any questions where things go from there can be addressed later. This is one area where I sort of grudgingly admire the baby boomers. Everybody who has come after them seems to have been hung up on determining who is worthy of sex and the appropriate expression of sexual desires (exceptions made for the obviously superior of course), before allowing that side of human interaction to develop. The boomers seemed to accept that everybody was motivated by this and was always going to act accordingly. I don't know that their approach is necessarily healthy either, but I will grant them that they don't seem to have pussyfooted their lives away in panting and not getting as so many people seem to do now.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Anatomy of Melancholy VIII

" a most delicious object...and we had rather see it than the sun." (Burton)

This is somewhat off topic, but the idea of people, or rather their spirits, in heaven wearing clothes, which is an image that has certainly flitted across my attempts at perception from time to time, is really rather silly.

In the margins of the section on charities I wrote: "My capacity (patience) to follow philosophical arguments/concepts is weak at the moment, but I think it will come back strong at some point." I no longer entertain this delusion.

"...our whole life is a perpetual combat, a conflict, a set battle, a snarling fit."

"In the precedent section mention was made, amongst other pleasant objects, of this comeliness and beauty which proceeds from women, that causeth heroical, or love-melancholy, is more eminent above the rest, and properly called love." Nicely expressed. The following pages contain, among other things, a catalog of famously oversexed women (The Wife of Bath, Aretine's Lucretia, etc), lechery, and various other unseemly behaviors produced by enslavement to lust. They are not speaking to me tonight as much as they apparently did when I read the book the first time.

"Nicholas Sanders relate of Henry VIII (I know not how truly), he saw very few [pretty] maids that he did not desire, and desired fewer whom he did not enjoy..." It is given to few men to experience life so fully as King Henry VIII did.

"...(saith Jovius)...[there is a levy throughout the kingdom of girls of striking beauty for the emperor; and those whom he leaves go to the nobles]; they press and muster up wenches as we do soldiers, and have the choice of the rarest beauties their countries can afford..." The footnote on this section reads "in Muscov" which I assume means Russia. In our day Fidel Castro and King Jong Il are said to have been keeping this ancient tradition of scouring the countryside to fill the emperor's harem alive (the Sultan of Brunei is able to fill his by advertising in American newspapers--probably on the internet these days--and offering good coin).

"...we think, fortune is a stepmother to us, a parent to them." On renowned, rich and happy men, when these are not ourselves.

I remember this from Plutarch: "Agis, King of Lacadaemon, had like to have been deposed, because he married a little wife; they would not have their royal issue degenerate." How little was she? My wife is considered little (hence my sensitivity on the subject), but our children do not appear at present to be appreciably shorter, or less princely for that matter, than anyone else.

Given that this book is a repository of thousands of quotations, mostly from obscure authors, I thought it worth commemorating the first appearance of Shakespeare (identified by Burton only as "an elegant poet of ours") on page 771. It is from "Venus and Adonis". I suppose I might as well include it:

"The bushes in the way
Some catch her neck, some kiss her face,
Some twine about her legs to make her stay,
And all did covet her for to embrace."

"...I know not well whether...of a cold bath that suddenly smoked and was very hot when naked Caelia came into it." I would have liked to have met this Caelia.

"Heliodorus...brings in Thyamis almost besides himself, when he saw Chariclea first, and not daring to look upon her a second time, 'for he thought it unpossible for any man living to see her and contain himself.'"

"...the hairs (i.e., ladies' hair) are Cupid's nets, to catch all comers, a brushy wood, in which Cupid builds his nests..." Quotation from Arandus.

Friday, August 03, 2012


Because it could be another week before I can finish another post. Plus we have Frances both singing and playing a library aide (real librarians have master's degrees). Can it get any better?

This is a good little song. It is simple, but it conveys one sense of not having anybody very well, which is that plausibly eligible young people who are unattached but think they don't want to be are usually funnier and always more interesting than similar-aged people who are taken, because of course there are few things in the world more interesting than a young person with eligibility, but also because a person without romantic entanglements is more absolutely himself. Anyway, I think this song does a good job of capturing that sensibility.

Have you noticed that nobody really sings funny songs about longing or being alone anymore? The Smiths and Morrissey worked extensively in this genre in the 80s but the general public doesn't seem to have appreciated their efforts. It's a more honest and appealing genre than both the I don't need anybody/nobody's good enough for me/I'm getting in the last word and dumping you not vice versa trend or the treacly earnest stuff.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Mini-Post 4: Obnoxious Liberals

These people make me really unhappy. I've been trying to write this post for a week, and I cannot seem to get down what it is that is so hateful to me about them. I have touched on this topic here before, most unsuccessfully. Yes, they are sarcastic, condescending, histrionic, tiresomely selective in their historical memory and inveterately ungenerous in their projection of their enemies' motivations and intellectual capacities--so much after the model of their counterparts of the opposite persuasion that has been so effective and demoralizing over a long period that I suppose eventually such a development must have become inevitable--but that in itself is not my real problem with them. My real problem with them is that their contempt is phony and unearned. They may well believe in what they say to an extent, but they can't believe it deeply enough to warrant the attitudes that they affect, because neither their intellectual nor moral development is developed to a point anywhere near the fullness of a serious person. What joy or noble governance can result from the tone of civic discourse being directed by such squalid people, from whichever side of the political spectrum? Any moral adolescent knows, or should know, that the most strident and loyal wings of any political faction that arises in any country, and especially this one as currently constituted, will inevitably be supporting and covering for, even if tacitly, numerous policies that millions of rational and objective people will view, with legitimate reason, as morally horrific. One would think that the realization of this alone might promote a more sober tone of political discourse among the nominally intelligent than what passes currently, but to be honest, that is not actually how the most severely brilliant people seem to think; they believe ferociously in the conclusions that they arrive at, they insist upon them doggedly, and they are impervious to any attempt at contradiction unless it comes from a mind both uniquely glittering and in some way sympathetic to their own, which is an exceedingly rare occurrence.

Obviously I have real problems with some of the issues that to my mind have done more than their part to inspire this ramping up of what I experience as snark and ugliness, the main one being gay marriage, which, while I am politically indifferent enough to it (i.e., I am not motivated to actively oppose it), I also cannot generate any passion or outrage on its behalf. I don't really understand why I can't embrace it wholeheartedly--yes, because I am a fundamentally horrible person, but God knows there are plenty of terrible people who can pretend to be what they know they ought to be--I suspect I will in time, only just now I am irritated that everybody else was able, after being collectively in the dark for thousands of years of recorded history alone on this issue, to transition to a perfect understanding that gay marriage is a civil right that is essentially the same thing as male/female marriage, and get to feel indignant at other people's not doing so, which latter is my real lifelong dream, so quickly, while I was not. I'm just not there yet. And not only am I sort of old, but I have an especially antiquated mindset, points of reference, and so on, compared to most people my age. So coming around to the point where I really feel deep down that this is all as natural and proper as that August follows July is going to require some mental exertion which I don't however think anyone else can do for me; unless they happen to be of a uniquely glittering and sympathetic mind.

One might be tempted to ask why I just don't become a Republican and go revel in hatred with them. For one thing, I am not socialized to be a Republican. I am not comfortable among them, and it is even immediately obvious to them that I am not one of their number, my whiteness and five children and fondness for bad pop music aside. Also I don't share their enthusiasm for a low wage, vastly unequal society with no strong and competently managed public institutions. Unfortunately I seem to be socialized to be a 1940s Democrat, and there aren't too many of these people left, especially that are my age. Due to my background and temperament and my life experience, however, it is pretty much unthinkable for me to become a Republican. And if I were ever to have any kind of social life and friends again, especially living where I do, these friends would almost certainly be staunchly liberal--ideally I suppose I could meet some intelligent and engaging people who adhered to the old custom of steering away from heated political expostulating in social settings, but certain issues have become so important now that many people need some assurance of what your position on them is, tacitly if not explicitly, before they are willing to engage with you.
One last aside, the food snobbery of this class of people I have been raving against is always good for arousing my bile. People might get the idea that I don't like good food, and prefer eating hot dogs on Wonder Bread to something made with art and passion and reverence for earth and the body and the sensation of being alive and all of that. Nothing could be further from the truth, though unfortunately I rarely have the opportunity at this time especially to have this kind of meal. I do think that the obsessiveness some people have about this food, especially when it is accompanied by snobbery, is frequently not maintained within appropriately tasteful bounds. One of the angry rants which set me off on this post in the first place was some (male) wit's disparagement of the awful 1950s--which all reactionaries presumably want to go back to, but only so they can openly practice racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, etc, etc (while there is a degree of truth in this of course, people's motivations for such nostalgia are usually a little more complex than merely the desire to express their racism; but that is a topic for another post). After checking off this catalogue of offenses associated with the 50s, which decade the commentator himself had evoked for the purpose of reminding us how awful it was, he added at the end, whether as a joke or a partial joke I could not make out, that by the way, the food was terrible.There are legitimate reasons to feel superior to 1950s suburbanites, I suppose, but doing so because of the way they ate makes you a twerp. And that is all I am going to say about the matter at this time because I want to finish this post.

One of these days I am going to have to purge myself here of the effects of my indoctrination in the cult of Penn State football, which, mild though that was, I still found myself instinctively bristling at some of the harsher castigations and demands for punishment coming from 'outsiders', even though I actually have no connection to the school and I guess they deserve the extreme hatred and contempt that is being directed towards them. But that definitely will have to wait for another day.