05 February 2006


A cartoon of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban is causing a big stir and I'm ready to weigh in. I'm curious why a blasphemous drawing created and circulated thousand of miles away from you by a person who doesn't believe in what you believe has any bearing on anything. Disrespectful, yes, but come on people.

I started to think about representations and what is a representation because, of course, no one has any idea what Muhammad looked like. It's basically a drawing of an Arab-looking man with the word "Muhammad" written under it. If I draw a line and write under it, Muhammad, have I committed blasphemy? What if I draw a lot of lines, lines that represent the Arabic word for Muhammad? Then it's not blasphemy? Isn't a word a kind of image?

I love pushing people to draw lines about what they believe because lines can be really ridiculous. This is okay, but this isn't. I mean, of course, we all do it we all have to do it, but when you start talking about things like words and pictures, it's so damn hard to pin anything down. You start thinking and before you know it, you're trying to plug eleven holes in the dike with ten fingers.

Don't worry, though. The President assures me that he is committed to destroying tyranny with capitalism and bombs. Yeah, shut up George Clooney: of course, you can't bomb an idea out of someone's head... but you can buy it out.

Yoko and I went to a Japanese B-League basketball game last night with the family of a boy I teach English to. My little scholar Testuya was playing in the halftime kiddie game and did pretty well. I mean no one scored any points, but they had a good time I think. The Japanese B-league, as you might imagine, is full of washed up players from the States who don't have the attitude of washed up players from the States. Hilarity ensued. Yoko actually said, This is like comedy.

The best part of the night came during a moment of relative quiet in the arena when the black coach from one team was shouting at the little Japanese referee: "You can't see that shit!" to which I laughed out loud at. Everyone in the row around me turned around to stare at me and I ended up giving a short English lecture to my hosts about the appropriate use of the word "shit" and "crap."

Diet Trackers may be happy to hear I am down to 179 pounds, 16 pounds slimmer than the beginning of this trek.

I rented my classrooms for April. April 5th I start my career in the independent teaching sciences. The best part is that the classroom is only 5 minutes car ride from my house. No more one hour commutes for an hour of class. Watch me dance, watch me sing.