Nomological Net

Stray thoughts from here and there. The occasional concern for construct validity. No more logic. Fish.


faults in the clouds of delusion

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

1.20.09: The big O

So the date that we saw emblazoned on wishful t-shirts finally came to pass. For what it was worth, we replaced the Bush with the Big O. Now that can only be an improvement, but I have to say I started and ended the day underwhelmed. I know I supported him strongly during the home stretch of the elections (and how I miss Nate Silver), but the fact remains that the man is a politician. He represents profound societal change, yes, but he is a politician. The way people over the last few days have invested him with all sorts of greater saintlike qualities leaves me completely mystified. What has he done, after all, other than win an election on the back of an outstanding organization, speech-writing, and oratory?

And there he was again, the Chicago sharp, using his inaugural speech to dampen down these manic expectations. Did he succeed in that? I'm not quite sure. I watched the inauguration in a large auditorium filled with undergrads, MBA students, and faculty -- many of whom were wearing Obama t-shirts (U-S-A!). He never did give them the grand crescendo they were craving, although many were determined to clap at every possible pause. Indeed, I even caught a few people yawning, and I have to say the moment I felt the happiest was when I saw people's expressions as he was being sworn in.

I wish him well and hope he can do something about the utter mess the world is in. But I think it's delusional to expect that he will do anything except look out for Number 1. After all, he does want to be re-elected, doesn't he?

In the final analysis I think it's easier to go from being politician to president than it is to go from president to statesman. Yes he can?


And now for a piece of news that combines the weather section with a commentary on the economy. Indeed, the longer I stay in America, the more engaged I find myself in the sociopolitical processes at the local level. Recently I put up my first yard sign ever.

This sign was made and the picture taken on a day when the temperature with wind chills dropped to -28F. It has since reverted to the balmier regions of single-degree weather. Of course, now that the teaching semester is over, "Will that be on the quiz?" has been supplanted as the Most Irritating Question. The new winner is "How much is that in Celsius?"

Friday, January 16, 2009



Under the bean



Lookin' for Lou


Don't walk

Closed for business


Points of interest

The Japanese Room

At the Art Institute

Thursday, January 01, 2009

365 is my number

Back when I was a kid, there was this other kid who was a part of the crowd. He was a few years older than me and so he knew things I didn't and was able to teach me stuff and introduce me to stuff. Like for instance when my mother got me a spanking new Swiss army knife he told me that these things are so sharp you can draw blood without going deep enough to cause any pain. He was right -- I nicked the fleshy part of my thumb in a beautiful little red seam and didn't feel a thing.

He also introduced me to Pink Floyd and allowed me to copy his only Floyd cassette -- "A Collection of Great Dance Songs". And on side B he taped for me King Sunny Ade's Juju Music.

For some reason I've had King Sunny Ade on my mind, the last few days.

I dug up a few audio tracks on youtube and discovered that despite it being well over ten years since I last heard them, they were as fresh and musical to my ears as ever. So I found and ordered the CD on Amazon. It's been sitting at a warehouse in Kentucky since December 28, so I'm listening to Sunny Ade on youtube again. I just heard Ja Funmi (which I now realize, despite the easy fluency of the music, means "Fight for me"). Next I'm going to listen to this gem of a track, the title track, as it were, for this post. The utterly charming refrain goes as follows:

Dani dat's my numba
Tell me
Anything you wan' from me
But den you have to give yo' love to me
365 is my numba ya!

All of which is a long way of saying HAPPY NEW YEAR, all of y'all. Be good and work hard and go see live music and don't let the evildoing get to you.