Photography Places

Sound of surf

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

The weather is cloudy and cooler and the dewpoint has dropped so I can finally get out for a walk.

St. Louis is a lovely city situated amidst giant rivers and verdant hills containing numerous trails and paths and caverns and wonderous places to explore. As I become acclimated, I’ll be able to spend more and more time on something I love: walking. And if the environment is as kind as the inhabitants, I know that I’ll grow to love this place.

But I miss my beach. I miss the surf, the smell, the ocean breeze in my face. And I miss my pelicans. I desperately miss my pelicans.

GG Bridge from Crissy Beach


Independence Day

We drove down a street lined with tall trees, expansive green lawns, and gardens full of roses and tiger lilies. Along the way, neighbors were hanging red, white, and blue bunting and putting small flags near sidewalks and under trees.

The weather was cooler because of a storm earlier in the day so the windows of the car were down and we could hear people talking, laughing, against a background evensong of bird and cicada. We breathed in the sharp, green, fresh smell of earth after a rain.

The early evening was too fine to head home so we wondered neighborhood after neighborhood, all peaceful, beautiful – bordered with homes displaying some form of red, white, and blue.

People were out and about, walking and playing, and as we slowly passed most looked up and smiled at us – on this night at least, the distrust and wariness of strangers was momentarily forgotten, lost in the spirit of the holiday.

In these surroundings, I was forcefully reminded that the heart of this country is not based in tall buildings or found in the actions of the powerful and rich; it exists in the simple neighborhoods, among the quiet people.

“I love this town”, I said.

My roommate concurred.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a home here?”

He turned to me and smiled. “Sure. And you could chat with your neighbors about your views on the Pledge of Allegience as you’re putting out the flags.”

Well, yes. There is that.

Happy 4th of July everyone.

People Places Political

More on Anti-Semitism in Northern California

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

According to an email I received from the editor, later this afternoon, the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California will have another article related to the Peace Rally at SFSU. You can look for it at the publication’s web site.

In the meantime, the publication did just post an article about an English class being taught at UC Berkeley (SF Gate also published an article on this class). The class, “Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance”, generated a lot of controversy because the teacher, a pro-Palestinian graduate student stated in the course description:

“…This class takes as its starting point the right of Palestinians to fight for their own self-determination. Conservative thinkers are encouraged to seek other sections.”

When I first read this description, I was appalled. That a University known for free thinking would have a class with this disclaimer attached.

Should the class be pulled? If it focuses on the use of writing and rhetoric as it relates to the Middle East, then I don’t believe it should be pulled. A writing class of this nature would not only be interesting, it would be thought provoking as well as useful. However, this applies only if the class looks at the impact of writing and rhetoric from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Unfortunately, as the class is titled and according to the political affiliation of the teacher, it promises to be pro-Palestinian biased, and that’s inappropriate considering the venue.

These issues are never black & white, or uncomplicated, are they?