We all know that infamous cry from the newsreel footage on the fateful day when the Hindenburg suddenly burst into flames and was, within seconds, reduced to a heap of glowing embers. Lately, in thinking about our fair ship of state in Alameda, I’ve gotten that image and cry stuck in my head, and intuitively I’ve been grasping for analogies. Alameda always has enough public opinion to fill such a gasbag. Even though for years the hydrogen was thought to be the culprit in the disaster, the thin skin covering its frame has become suspect as a key component, it’s coating possibly causing flame to viciously rip across the air ship. That too might be applicable. The actual spark or ignition remains unknown and so is a missing link in the analogy, but thankfully we haven’t reached that step anyway. There were however, immediate sabotage theories, so if Alameda finally does go down in flames the Hindenburg analogy may continue to be useful.
Lauren offered me this guest slot weeks ago and I’ve toyed with lots of ideas, but ultimately I’ve felt so emotionally rung out after two parcel tax campaigns, one general election, investigations, firings, hirings, and human tragedies, that I’m left with this feeble analogy as a means to humor myself.
Not everybody who posts comments on this blog considers it a privilege, which is particularly ironic since some of the biggest detractors of the blog make the most hay and use the platform for leverage they couldn’t provide for themselves, which speaks volumes top their character. I consider it a privilege to have the platform to begin with, and more so to get to guest blog so let me try not to waste it.
One night I was channel surfing while flipping blog ideas in my head, when I ran across an old documentary on Simon and Garfunkel. In discussing how they felt about their art, it’s impact and purpose, Art Garfunkel said he thought that our inner selves are always following an impulse to merge with the rest of humanity. He described his art as an attempt to do that, but said that many human interactions though they often seem to fight against humanity really at their core stem from the same impulse to merge with it. No matter how combative or misdirected that somewhere we all want to be one with something larger than ourselves. Oh…. I thought, the humanity. Then they played Bridge Over Troubled Water.
As a commenter some of my most strident and combative posts have been about education and that is for a number of reasons. On the one hand I squandered many opportunities to be better educated so I have come late to a special appreciation for the process. Second, as mentioned many times, my spouse has dedicated herself to the honorable profession for over a dozen years, and though I know first hand her dedication and that of her colleagues, in many regards they continue to be disrespected for their efforts.
My wife Ann has been so engrossed in grading final term papers the last couple weeks that she was barely aware of Weinergate, or that ding dong Palin’s gaffs about Paul Revere “shootin’ those shots and ringin’ those bells”. And frankly she couldn’t really care less, though she managed to follow some of the more critical news like the Syria uprising. But she also gave the faculty speech at Alameda High senior commencement Friday. Because of my cynicism, I have at times ribbed this woman for being what I consider Pollyannaish, but that’s doubly unfair because she is the better half of this union when it comes to attitude. Anyhow, Ann has never read one word of any blog nor posted a comment as far as I know, but I wanted to take this opportunity to give her a wider audience by posting the commencement speech here.
Mark Irons never shies away from stating his opinion on-line, but would much rather spar with you in person over a cup of coffee.