Saint Judas by James Wright When I went out to kill myself, I caught A pack of hoodlums beating up a man. Running to spare his suffering, I forgot My name, my number, how my day began. How soldiers milled around the garden stone And sang amusing songs; how all that day Their javelins measured crowds; how I alone Bargained the proper coins, and slipped away.
I love the comic strip ‘Calvin and Hobbes’. Sometimes I worry for our future because children are growing up in the world today without the company of Calvin and his stuffed tiger. I love Calvin’s musings on the virtues of math atheism (‘as a math atheist, I should be excused from this [homework]’), and Hobbes’ bemused look as he patiently listens to Calvin’s diatribes on the human condition. I completely identified with Calvin’s fiery outbursts as he fought to find his way in a world over which he had little control (‘You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don’t help’).
I watched the movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’ last night. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, it is a chilling and accurate account of heroism in the face of the genocide that ravaged the country in 1994, resulting in an inconceivable number of deaths. For me, the most impressive aspect of this movie was that the movie effectively conveyed the horror, the despair, and the terror of the massacre of hundreds of thousands of people, but didn’t focus on grisly scenes of Rwandans being tortured and hacked to death by the side of the roads (putting aside the question of whether we should have had to watch people being hacked to death by the side of the roads, since this is what actually happened, while the world looked the other way). On a much smaller scale, Mormons share a violent past replete with massacres and martyrs. A Primary lesson I taught a few weeks ago made this violence more…
As my 15-year high school reunion looms dangerously close on the horizon, I’ve been thinking a lot about the classic 80’s movie of teenage sturm und drang: ‘The Breakfast Club’. For those of you who may have missed one of the 157 airings of the TBS ‘Dinner and a Movie’ versions of ‘The Breakfast Club’ (‘Twister’ is this weekend!), the story is about five teenagers all from very different backgrounds, forced to spend the day together in the school library one Saturday as punishment for various indiscretions or acts of violence perpetrated upon unsuspecting freshmen.
For most of the years I lived with my parents, my mother and I didn’t make much headway in establishing a healthy relationship with each other. But, now that I’ve moved out of the house, and as far away from Utah as I possibly could while remaining in the same country, I have gradually come to the realization that I was a pretty much an ungrateful wretch from the age of ten on. My behavior contributed to a lot of bad feelings and family drama that sometimes made life miserable for all of us. I love you, Mom. Sorry I was so hard to get along with. I’m looking forward to being friends again.