April 2006

I’m reading Job for my final tomorrow…

And i’m wondering. At the end, he gets a new house, a new family, twice the wealth, and gains back all that he lost.

Did that guy ever go to sleep ever again? Or did he spend the rest of his days wondering when the other shoe was going to drop and his life went back to hell?

And seriously…what’s up with giving him “replacement” children?

I’ll write something real for Blogging Against Disablism tomorrow.



i was going to write a whole long entry. and then i decided i should sleep instead. i’ll write tomorrow or something.

in the meantime, ganked from Shake’s Sis.

Dubya has come out as saying that he thinks the national anthem should be sung in English, and that people coming to this country should learn our language.

What about campaign materials? Party websites?

Ain’t too proud to beg…you shameless jerk.


i don’t usually blog my personal life here…or at least i don’t plan on it.

but i’m going to make an exception. i just got sent the funniest video on earth, a going away memory tape for a friend. and a bunch of my gang from undergrad all talk about him for a half and hour. and it’s just the greatest “you had to be there” humor of all time…in jokes, and gossipy references, and a whole lot of affection shown in a very twisted way.

and it’s made me think about the sacrifices and the trade offs i’m making every day. coming here to Yale Div is getting me a good education, and i’ve met lots of great new friends…

but i’ve had to leave things, and parts of my life behind.

so i’m counting the days until i can be back for the summer.


Things are hella busy here…but there are some good stories to report when I get the time.

In the mean time…i wanted to give a shout out to the new thing on the block. Kevin at SlantTruth has opened a board for the lefty/radical blogger types to have safe space.

I’ve got great hopes for that place, and intend to spending time connecting with my fellow travellers there.

But a quick word of explanation, that might go well with my last entry. Closed community, like anonymity, does not begin as an end unto itself. It’s a mirroring of the already present conditions of injustice. It takes a form of the exclusion or dehumanization of the oppression, but subverts their signification.

We don’t close our ranks and whisper because we like to be alone. We do it because we’re already excluded, and need time, energy and affirmation just to keep going. I don’t give up my name because I’m ashamed of what i say. I do it because the way the system works, i have to choose between having a face and having a voice.

I gladly look to a day when I don’t need to mark off spaces for their safety. But until then…


Since I now have my first official Yale readership…I thought it wise to discuss just why I write under psuedonym.

After all, I’m not usually a fan of closets, of any kind. And one of my real beefs with academia is the way that students are encouraged to either can their criticism, or vent it out in anonymous class evaluations after its way too late. It’s indirect and nameless criticism that takes the place of open dialogue, honest communication, and when called for, real confrontation.

So. Why am I a Sly Civilian?

I intend to keep this place for some time, perhaps even after I’ve started teaching. I’d like to have writing here that I can draw on, but not have show up just by googling my name. I’d just lock it away, but I’d much rather have a chance to participate in the larger conversation. If you know me in real life, at least more than in passing, or if you’re really resourceful…i should think that one could figure me out. But i’d rather have at least one layer of insulation from the random google of a prof, or in the future…student?

The second is that it does not necessarily follow that what is said here is just left as anonymous ranting. Writing here often gives me the chance to crystallize my thinking, and go into conversations with a better idea of what i want to be said. Just looking at what i’ve blogged so far…i’ve made public statements about most of it all.

I’ll have to keep thinking about such things, but for now, i remain…

Faithfully yours,

Sly Civilian

Yale Divinity School is the latest institution to install a peace pole in the model of the one at Hiroshima, Japan.

Planting a round, metal pole deep in to the ground, pointing the tip right up to the sky, this monument is designed to remind us of the power that we have to spread the seeds of peace in the fertile ground of this place. In the middle of the concave quad, the pole will stand firmly to remind us of the commitment to peace that is literally right in the middle of school.

Okay…I can’t keep that up anymore. But seriously…we carried around a blued copper phallus around today, placing the Cock of Peace right on the altar, dedicated it as the vessel of our hopes for the future, that will bring lasting harmony. We sang to it, held it up, gathered around to touch its fountain of power, and worshipped at it’s base. And now, it’s going to get cemented in to the ground in the middle of campus, which just so happens to be shaped like a long U.




So I’m sitting in bed this morning, wishing that it wasn’t a mug of water on my night stand but something (anything?) stronger so I could actually wake up and face the day.

But this seems like a good time to be against hetero-normativity.

This is private time, behind my doors, a place in my life where few people ever interfere. That is, at least they don’t in a direct and obvious manner. The problem is that a great deal of people have decided they have a stake in who I wake up next to, who smells my morning breath (I’ve got that not so fresh feeling) and what happens in these hours.

Part of the problem is that I honestly don’t know how I want to share this time, what I want to create in the private spaces of my life. Just figuring out what I want to do for lawful employment is tough enough most days. I can say academic with a fair degree of confidence, but I’m still not sure biblical studies is the best choice in the world, and then I get to wondering about the boundaries of disciplines and my head explodes with dorkery.

Will I be with a man? A woman? Someone who doesn’t strictly identify by dualized gender? No idea. None. I like monogamy, at least as a baseline principle, so I’ve got that going. I’m looking for roughly a single person. I tend to be most attracted to people fairly close to my age, give or take a few years (more going up, fewer going down)…so I can safely restrict my musings in that way. But beyond that? It’s vast tracts of cluelessness.

And right now, that’s what makes me queer. What Gilda Radner called delicious ambiguity…

I got asked once, by a well meaning but perhaps confused and certainly drunk friend, how did I in fact know my orientation if I hadn’t had extensive sexual experience to “prove” it. My politics don’t depend on who I sleep with. I don’t become any more compatible to the system if I’m with a woman, or more loyal to the queer community if I’m with a man.

Queer is in my head and heart. It’s in the flutter of my heart when I get a hug from a cute boy. It’s in my musing about that girl who broke my heart. It’s about the pictures I can only see dimly of what my family is going to be.

And it’s in how I have decided that I’m quite alright with that.

That this ambiguity is…delicious.


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