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February 16th, 2004

the only earth?

some presidents are more equal than others

Happy 272nd birthday George Washington!* U.S. Code and traditionalism aside, I'm happy to call it Presidents' Day if it makes it even a little harder for the people at the Legacy Project to get a national holiday for Ronald Reagan alone.

The thing about today being a national holiday is that it was kind of difficult to get into the monstrosity that is the Health Sciences Building for a 10 am meeting. But now the library is end of the world empty.

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* According to the Office of Personnel Management: This holiday is designated as "Washington's Birthday" in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees. Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is our policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law. [opm]
i am not a stuffed tiger.

old time religion

On Saturday I was suddenly motivated to read the inserted section in Sacrament [known previously as You Shall Know Our Velocity!]. I bought it two residences ago and never got around to reading the new part.

Aside from the weirdness of thinking about what it means to read a refutation of a fiction written from the perspective of a fictional character described in the original fiction, I liked it and am still thinking about what it means to the main story. Nevertheless, I thought that this excerpt, which described the reason for the re-titling, was nice:
The Bible, in some part, is a handbook for those who might forget our obligations to each other. And those obligations are obvious, and constant, even though they become more obvious, more pronounced and more urgent and immediate at a time such as this. What we are doing is much like the sacrament I will be handing you shortly. For what is the sacrament? It is not in itself nourishment; it is, rather, an outward symbol of inward grace. It is the external, social demonstration of how we feel within. It is not practical and without it we would feel the same way; it is a reminder only, and a relatively unnecessary one at that. But that does not mean it is dispensable, nor does it mean it is unbeautiful. [Sacrament]


I can't tell whether the text in the paperback edition includes the new edits; so I've linked to the hardcover which is for sale at the McSweeney's site.

Another set of interesting concepts discussed in the insertion: Conceptual Living and/or Performance Literature. It seems like this is in the air. Yesterday Chris was trying to convince me that a book and or reality show about brunch was a good idea, today I sort of auditioned for a movie trailer about addictions and hidden cameras, and tonight Rachel pitched a documentary (mockumentary?) about people who attend pub quizzes. O.K., so these concepts aren't exactly related, but I felt like mentioning them and this paragraph seemed like a good place to do it.