Monday, December 31, 2012

Andy Looks Back on 2012

It's been a fascinating, exhausting, strange, and amazing year. Some highlights:

Yodeling in Yosemite (JAN)

Occupying Oakland (FEB)

Cruising the country (MAR)

Trekking to Tucumcari (APR)

Wandering in Weimar (MAY)

Sauntering in Salzburg (JUNE)

Broiling in Beijing (JULY)

Dancing in the DPRK (AUG)

Meandering in Miami (SEP)

Meddling with Medea (OCT)

Checking out Cars Land (NOV)

Pontificating about predictions (DEC)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter

Click the image to check out our holiday newsletter, or simply download it here!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Image of the City

Yesterday I reread Kevin Lynch's The Image of the City. The book, published in 1960, is dated by a number of anachronistic terms, the masculine-gendered pronoun usage, and its obvious focus on white, middle class folks (and, of course, the anxious feeling that one is grooving on Sean Connery's version of James Bond when everyone else is buzzing about the Daniel Craig model). Add the obligation to plod through numbingly detailed analyses of three U.S. cities (Boston, Jersey City, NJ, and L.A.), peering through thick layers of history to imagine then-contemporary images urban life, and you've got much potential for frustration.

Even so, this is a remarkable book, one whose precepts, elementary as they may appear to today's readers, offers useful insights well beyond the realm of urban planning. Indeed, I found myself connecting The Image of the City to a number of ongoing personal and professional projects: improving the flow and "legibility" of my classroom Prezis, exploring "navigation" as an analogy for writing/teaching/learning, and considering a range of broader community-building opportunities. Here are some of my favorite quotations.

The Image as Communication Artifact/Process - Notes on social change and pedagogy 

Definition of the image: "the generalized mental picture of the exterior physical world that is held by an individual" (p. 4).

Among its several benefits (listed on page 4), a good image "can furnish the raw material for the symbols and collective memories of group communication" (p. 4).

Social change: "A frequent problem is the sensitive reshaping of an already existing environment: discovering and preserving its strong images, solving its perceptual difficulties, and, above all, drawing out the structure and identity latent in the confusion… It will probably be more difficult to gain an understanding of the problem and to develop the necessary design skill than it will be to obtain the necessary powers, once the objective is clear" (p. 115, 117).

Pedagogy: "The final objective of such a plan is not the physical shape itself but the quality of an image in the mind. Thus it will be equally useful to improve this image by training the observer, by teaching [him or her] to look at [the] city, to observe its manifold forms and how they mesh with on another… Such education might be used, not only to develop the city image, but to reorient after some disturbing change" (p. 117, emphasis in original).

"In the development of the image, education in seeing will be quite as important as the reshaping of what is seen" (p. 120).

The role of agency and perspective in image production and analysis [more links to pedagogy here]

"The observer ... should play an active role in perceiving the world and have a creative part in developing [the] image. [He or she] should have the power to change that image to fit changing needs. An environment which is ordered in precise and final detail may inhibit new patterns of activity… What we seek is not a final but an open-ended order, capable of continuous further development" (p. 6).

On the frustration of fruitless journeys [unnamed subject reflecting on Los Angeles]: "It's as if you were going somewhere for a long time, and when you got there you discovered there was nothing there, after all" (p. 41).

"The image of a given physical reality may occasionally shift its type with different circumstances of viewing. Thus an expressway may be a path for the driver, [an] edge for the pedestrian" (p. 48, emphasis added).

"The image itself [is] not a precise, miniaturized model of reality, reduced in scale and consistently abstracted. As purposive simplification, it [is] made by reducing, eliminating, or even adding elements to reality, by fusion and distortion, by relating and structuring its parts. It [is] sufficient, perhaps better, for its purpose if rearranged, distorted, 'illogical.' It [resembles] that famous cartoon of the New Yorker's view of the United States" (p. 87).

"If the environment is visibly organized and sharply identified, then the citizen can inform it with [his/her] own meanings and connections. Then it will become a true place, remarkable and unmistakable" (p. 92, emphasis in original).

"The city is not built for one person, but for great numbers of people, of widely varying backgrounds, temperaments, occupations, and class… The designer must therefore create a city which is as richly provided with paths, edges, landmarks, nodes, and districts as possible, a city which makes use of not just one or two form qualities, but of all of them. If so, different observers will all find perceptual material which is congenial to their own particular way of looking at the world" (pp. 110-111).

"It is important to maintain some great common forms: strong nodes, key paths, or widespread regional homogeneities. But within this larger framework, there should be a certain plasticity, a richness of possible structures and clues, so that the individual observer can construct [his/her] own image: communicable, safe, and sufficient, but also supple and integrated with [his/her] own needs" (p. 111).

Potentially important link to Walter Benjamin/Susan Buck-Morss/Carlos Gallego [and Michael Calvin McGee?]: "We need an environment which is not simply well organized, but poetic and symbolic as well… By appearing as a remarkable and well-knit place, the city could provide a ground for the clustering and organization of these [personal] meanings and associations. Such a sense of place in itself enhances every human activity that occurs there, and encourages the deposit of a memory trace" (p. 119, emphasis in original, bolding added).

The method of image analysis

Five types of elements: paths, edges, districts, nodes, and landmarks. (p. 46).

• A note about edges: "An edge may be more than simply a dominant barrier if some visual or motion penetration is allowed through it - if it is, as it were, structured to some depth with the regions on either side. It then becomes a seam rather than a barrier, a line of exchange along which two areas are sown together" (p. 100).

• A note about nodes: "Nodes are points, the strategic spots in a city in which an observer can enter, and which are the intensive foci to and from which he is traveling" (p 47). Example: "The subway stations, strung along their invisible path systems, are strategic junction nodes" (p. 74).

• A note about landmarks: "A landmark is not necessarily a large object; it may be a doorknob as well as a dome" (p. 101).

• A note about the potential for regionalization: "A spatial region would be distinguished from a spatial node (a square) because it could not be scanned quickly. . It could only be experienced, as a patterned play of spatial changes, by a rather protracted journey through it. Perhaps the processional courts of Peking, or the canal spaces of Amsterdam, have this quality. Presumably they evoke an image of great power" (p. 105).

Two types of image construction: hierarchical and continuous organization

Hierarchical: "This organization [has] the quality of a static map. Connection [is] made by moving up to the necessary bridging generality, and back down the desired particular" (p. 89)

Continuous organization: "The image [is] put together in a more dynamic way, parts being interconnected by a sequence over time… and pictured as if seen by a motion picture camera" (p. 89).

Beyond hierarchical and continuous organization: "Intuitively, one could imagine that there might be a way of creating a whole pattern, a pattern that would only gradually be sensed and developed by sequential experiences, reversed and interrupted as they might be. Although felt as a whole, it would not need to be a highly unified pattern with a single center or an isolating boundary. The principal quality might be sequential continuity in which each part flows from the next -- a sense of interconnectedness at any level or in any direction. There would be particular zones that for any one individual might be more intensely felt or organized, but the region would be continuous, mentally traversible in any order. This possibility is a highly speculative one: no satisfactory concrete examples come to mind" (p. 115).

Good places [whether in cities, in teaching, or in other environments]

The value of the panoramic view: "There [is] an emotional delight arising from a broad view… Would it be possible, in our cities, to make this panoramic experience a more common one, for the thousands who pass every day? A broad view will sometimes expose chaos, or express characterless loneliness, but a well-managed panorama seems to be a staple of urban enjoyment" (p. 44)

A good street often "acts ambiguously either as linear node, edge, or path for various people at various times" (p. 65).

"Where the journey contains such a distinct series of distinct events, a reach and passing of one sub-goal after another, the trip itself takes on meaning and becomes an experience in its own right" (p. 97).

Effective nodes: "If a break in transportation or a decision point on a path can be made to coincide with the node, the node will receive even more attention" (p. 102)

Summary clues for urban design: singularity, form simplicity, continuity, dominance, clarity of joint, directional differentiation, visual scope, motion awareness, time series, names and meanings" (pp. 105-108).

A note about time series: "Here what would be imaged would be the developing pattern of elements, rather than the elements themselves - just as we remember melodies, not notes" (p. 107).

"If an environment has a strong visible framework and highly characteristic parts, then exploration of new sectors is both easier and more inviting" (p. 110).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Shameless Media Plug: San Jose Mercury News

Recently I was interviewed by the Merc's Patrick May for a story about the prediction industry. Here's a notable quote: "The bottom line, Wood said, is that we're all out there grasping at straws, which soothsayers are all too ready to hand us. "As we lose confidence in so many institutions collapsing around us,'' he said, "predictions reconstitute the belief that some person has a clue. It's a useful and therapeutic fiction, but it's also pleasurable, as long as we don't take it all too seriously."

Read the entire article: Predictable start to season of predictions

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cars Land 2

For no particular reason, a few more photos from DCA's Cars Land. Oh, and if you haven't yet seen the video, here's a link!

[Photographs by Andrew F. Wood]

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Why the bullet holes?

Siesta Apartments & Kitchenettes (Kingman, Arizona)
Why? No reason...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cars Land

Jenny and I finally visited Cars Land, a remarkable addition to Disney California Adventure. Quick verdict? Cars Land presents an intricately detailed reproduction of Radiator Springs, and a perfect illustration of how Route 66 is becoming "Route 66." This is not to critique the achievements of those amazing Disney imagineers. Touring a life-sized Cozy Cone Motel, gazing upon Ornament Valley's perpetual late-afternoon glow, and savoring the thrill of glorious animated neon at night, you get a charming Route 66 fantasy squeezed into 12 kid-friendly acres. [Check out my video, and click 720 for highest quality!]

Cars Land is predictably crowded, but that's part of the fun. And folks seemed to enjoy the sense of place in this part of the park (something DCA hasn't quite pulled off with their 1920s Hollywood reboot). Sure, beneath the colorful facade resides the same Disney experience: wander-wait-ride-eat-shop. If only Cars Land included more spaces built to inspire interaction among park guests, perhaps a wandering storyteller or two, or at least a couple educational displays about the real Mother Road. Maybe Disney will add a little more Route 66 to their version of "Route 66." But there's no point in complaining. Cars Land, simulacrum that it is, still offers up one heck of a ride.

Planning a visit? Here are a few tips:

1. If you want a chance of snagging one of those Radiator Springs Racers fastpasses, line up early outside the DCA entrance, before the park opens. On both days we visited, they were gone by about 9 a.m.

2. Got your Radiator Springs Racers fastpass? Great. Prepare for frustration anyway. The ride seems to break down a lot.

3. Missed a fastpass? Try the single-rider line, which allows the park to fill every last seat with folks willing to separate from their groups. When Jenny and I used that line (twice!), we managed to sit together anyway.

4. One last Radiator Springs Racers tip: Ride it at night. The neon glow adds to your personal show.

5. Grab a meal at Flo's V8 Cafe. The food is tasty and reasonably priced (considering that you're on a Disney property).

6. Take a look at the Blue Sky Cellar near the Cars Land entrance. They've got a small but interesting set of "making-of" displays.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sensory Overload

Miguel Jiron reminds us that sometimes the best way to help someone who feels overwhelmed by the crush of life is to do almost nothing.

Sensory Overload (Interacting with Autism Project) from Miguel Jiron on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Party's Over (Thank God)

The 2012 election was an endless dinner party whose guests showed up drunk, puked on the pets, and set the rug on fire. Now it's morning in America, and the house is trashed. There's a big screen TV on the lawn, there's a copy of Atlas Shrugged in the toilet, and there's pudding in the blender [Who the hell put pudding in the blender?]. I'm trying to coax the cats back into the living room. I'm saying, "It's over, kitties. Those awful people are gone." The felines know better though; the guests are still here. Some are sleeping, snoring, drooling. Yet a few are pre-gaming for the next big bash, God love 'em. They are, after all, us.

We voted (some of us, at least) on November 6th, but we also expressed our every thought on this grand debate, extolling our opinions all over Facebook, Twitter, and, for all I know, Instagram. We posted and we tweeted and we exclaimed, loudly, that these two candidates somehow reflect the Manichean cosmos of America, blithely ignoring our quiet doubts that the candidates never really debated, not in a meaningful way. Somehow we know that this election cycle was a war between pundits and handlers and flaks who battle only for their own aggrandizement. Party politics as reality television. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo in '16.

Yes, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney offered distinct agendas. And I preferred one to the other. I still do. Yet I know - and you know it too - that the parties who sustain them represent nothing more than a singular culture industry, a machine that produces little more than sound and fury, bread and circuses. At times it felt like we were watching a Coke-vs.-Pepsi Taste Test and actually caring about which sugar water quenches our thirst. It's a game of dissemination, not dialogue, and we're rotting with every corn syrup swig.

A few folks eschewed the vitriolic attacks and bumper sticker discourse that marked this sad, silly season. Jenny, to great credit, attempted a sane and responsible conversation over the past few months, even as some of her Facebook friends became increasingly unhinged. She explored the issues, read broadly, and struggled to make the right call. She tried to vote for both faith and facts. All too frequently, though, many of us abandoned our better angels. I certainly did.

More than once I said to some pals how much I hated Mitt Romney. Hated him. Not just for his policies (whatever they were that particular week) but for his pandering, his cynicism, and that sanctimonious half-smile that invariably preceded a lie. I hated him for the day, years ago, when he supposedly led a pack of prep school bullies to beat up a kid and cut his hair. I hated him for that dismissal of 47 percent of Americans as too lazy and too weak to be born a millionaire. And I hated his cowardly genuflection to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump. I admit it, I sometimes enjoyed how much I hated Mitt Romney, the clarity of it all.

And now the party's over and we're stuck with the mess. Mitt Romney will probably find a way to make a few more millions. But he'll still hang around too, if only because those Americans who voted for him aren't going anywhere. His partisans are no less sure of their votes now than before election night, and I can't blame them. We could take a walk of shame, but we'd wind up together, right (and left) where we started. It's our house, after all. Honestly I'm not sure how to start cleaning up the mess we've made. The cats are still freaked out, a stench is beginning to rise, and that gunk in the blender? I'm not sure it's pudding. At least I can take some solace in a few wise words I heard on Tuesday night:
"This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation… The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work… This election is over, but our principles endure."
Those are good words, decent words. They remind us of our obligation to be a little kinder to each other, a bit more tolerant of our different beliefs, and a lot more humble. We Americans are a contentious bunch. Always have been, always had to be. We've faced imperial constraint, civil war, economic collapse, and totalitarian advance - and somehow we've stuck together. Better yet, somehow we've managed to expand the sphere of public life, slowly, to include more and more of us. We've been better than this past four years, and we can be better again.

"This election is over, but our principles endure."

Well spoken, Governor Romney.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween 2012: Pirate Dungeon II

This year Jenny and I set out to recreate our first Wood Family Halloween Porch, the 2004 Pirate Dungeon. As usual we spent most of our prep time focusing on the set pieces - a treasure chest, some gory "grog," a skeleton captain against whom we'd just mutinied, a baby sailer (who happens to be a zombie), a "porthole" that featured a roiling ocean scene, and even some rigging! Check out the video...

...and stick around for the outtake!

As usual, we found little time to think up characters or backstory. Fortunately Jenny printed up a "Pirate-speak" cheat sheet a few minutes before we started the show. From about 6 to 8:30 we shared our swashbuckling Halloween Porch with hundreds of kids. Folks seemed to enjoy the performance, and I'm already thinking about returning to this theme next year. Now... where can I find a cannon?

Previous Years

• 2011: Just Buried II [Video]

• 2010: Alien Autopsy II [Pix and Story] [Video]

• 2009: Zombie Apocalypse [Pix and Story] [Video]

• 2008: Dr. Freightmarestein's Haunted Laboratory of Horrors [Pix] [Video]

• 2007: Psycho Circus [Pix] [Video]

• 2006: Alien Autopsy I [Pix]

• 2005: Just Buried I [Pix]

• 2004: Pirate Dungeon I [Pix]

Monday, October 29, 2012

Beijing Signs

That's it (for now): My last collection of Beijing photos! Today's post features signs I found this summer in China. I'm not interested in their error-prone translation from Mandarin to English as much as their earnest efforts to infuse even the most banal environments with relentless community spirt.

"May we remind you: Please [use] self-restraint and be a good tourist
to meld a well-mannered imagination."

"The police points out: Harmonious safety check, together build safety."

"The police point out: For your and everybody's [safety],
please accept safety check!"

"Patriotism Innovation Inclusiveness Virtue"
[Then-ubiquitous Beijing slogan - critiqued in this IHT opinion piece]

I have no idea what this says.
Any translation help is much appreciated.

Again, any translation help is much appreciated.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Beijing Linked Hybrid

After a recent COMM 149 discussion about enclavic rhetoric, I realized that I haven't posted my Beijing pix of the Linked Hybrid. Time to rectify that error! [Also, learn more about the day I visited this site.]

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Do Not Erase": Songzhuang G-Dot Art Space

I'm coming to the end of my seemingly endless series of China pix. This set is from a street art exhibit I saw in Beijing a few months back. I was the only person at the gallery, which was both weird and kind of nice. Want to learn more? Check out notes from the day.

Near the site

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Not my obediance

Lecturing on Socrates today. Figured this clip from Gandhi would offer some useful context.

Bonus! To illustrate Socrates' statement, “This is the first that I have ever come before a law court; thus your manner of speech here is quite strange to me” (17d-18a), I may include a snippet from Phil Hartman's Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer!

Bonus 2! Thanks to Detroit Dog for posting a nice comment about this entry. Somehow I accidentally deleted it. But I do appreciate the kind words!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Yo, Socrates!

Time for another pseudo-script, this time for an upcoming lecture on Plato's Apology. Our scene begins after Socrates has rebuked his "first accusers." Now he faces Meletus and other Athenian citizens who condemn Socrates for various impieties and - even worse - accuse our hero of corrupting the city's youth. Plato may have called this piece a dialogue, but be prepared: The Apology is mostly a broadside by Socrates against those who would condemn him. 

Socrates: OK, you say I teach the youth not to believe in the gods – at least not the gods recognized by Athens.

Meletus: Worse. You don’t believe in any gods.

Socrates: Man, for someone who claims to “care” so much, you certainly don’t care to get your facts straight. You’re prosecuting the wrong guy. It’s either that phantom “Socrates” you read about in that play by Aristophanes, or it's that atheist Anaxagoras. I mean, sure, I dabbled in cosmology back in my youth. Come on, we all did! It was the early Fifth Century, for gods’ sakes. We were all hanging out with the Oracle of Delphi, getting high on fumes. But that doesn’t make me Anaxagoras! Here’s a hint, Care-Bear: We spell and pronounce our names differently. Get it? I may be many things, but I’m sure as hell no atheist.

Meletus: Like I said, you’re a complete atheist.

Socrates: And you’re nothing but a little pipsqueak. Look, you know I believe in divine things. So how can you say I don’t believe in those things that make them divine? You know, the gods? See? See? You must be joking, Meletus. You’re making a mockery out of this trial, trying to confuse folks with these petty charges. Admit it, dude; admit that you’ve brought me here for one reason and one reason only: You’re a tool of those fools who can’t handle my righteous Truth Bombs. Just admit it. I mean, if I’m gonna die for something, let me at least die for something worthwhile. Hey, remember Achilles? Yeah, that guy was brave. He didn’t fear death, even when he knew that fighting Hector would seal his fate. No, he didn’t fear death; he feared dishonor. And you know what? I’m kind of like that guy. Sure, I’m old now. But back in the day, I kept my courage in battle when other soldiers were soiling their armor. I wasn’t scared then, and I’m not scared now. Not of you. No, what scares me is the idea of running away from my duty. To quote that esteemed philosopher Eminem, “God sent me to piss the world off.” And I’m just getting warmed up. Really. So go ahead, release me. Let me go. Know what’ll happen? I’ll tell you what’ll happen. You may release me, but I won’t release you. I’ll come at you until every last Athenian knows that they do not know. I’ll do it because, again quoting Brother Eminem, “I'm sick of you little girl and boy groups. All you do is annoy me. So I have been sent here to destroy you.” And that’s exactly what I’ll do. But with love, the love of a momma cat whose barbed tongue cleans off the muck from her kitties’ coats, the love of a philosopher who will strip away every last piece of ignorance from each and every one of you. Oh, you think you can hurt me? You can’t do a thing to me. Not a thing. "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine." Yeah, I'm quoting Star Wars. Deal with it. In fact, if you kill me, you’re just hurting yourselves. Think about it. I’m that alarm clock you want to smash in the morning, the very same clock that wakes you up. Remember The Matrix? Yeah, Dark City was better, but whatever. Wake up suckers! Know what I'm sayin'? Ring-ring-ring. Clue-Phone. It’s for you! That’s what I’m saying. And I’m gonna keep on saying it. And I’ll do it for free too. I’ll do it freely, even if it costs me. Check with my wife, my three kids. Am I around for them? Hell no. I’m always out there, helping you idiots. So now you ask, “But oh, oh, why won’t you become a politician, Socrates, why won’t you serve us that way?” Yeah, right. That’s what you need, another politician. There’s a little voice in my head – call it God, call it divinity; call it an undigested bit of beef, whatever – there’s that little voice that keeps reminding me that political life is a sucker’s bet: Have you ever noticed what happens to politicians who stand up against this mob you call a democracy? Huh? How does that work out? Screw that. I’ll keep my number private. I mean, sure, once I held an office. And when our government decided to use that office to punish folks unfairly, I told the government to bite me. “Bite me,” I said. I wasn’t scared. You think I’m scared of you? Oh, and one more thing. Let me remind you: Anything I ever said, I said for free. Free. That means, I wasn’t acting as a professional – like one of those loony Sophists. I was acting as a person, just asking questions. That’s it. That’s what I do: I ask questions, yo. I seek the truth. And look around you. See all those men here who’ve answered my questions? Are they corrupted? Are they injured? Yeah, maybe. If you consider truth to be an injury. And that’s why we’re here, isn’t it? We’re here because you don’t want the truth. You can’t handle the truth. No truth-handlers, you. So bring it on. Judge me according to the law, if you’ve got the guts.

[The Jury finds Socrates guilty]

Socrates: Wimps. But really, I’m not surprised. Well, I am a little surprised. I’m surprised it was this close. So now Meletus would have you sentence me to death. And me, I’m supposed to offer some sort of alternative sentence. So, OK, let’s see, what would be an ideal punishment for me? Hmmm, when you think about it, there’s only one proper penalty: free meals at the town hall. Yeah, punish me with free food. After all, I’m always trying to get you to stop thinking from your stomachs, to think from your souls. So fill me with Happy Meals, the least nourishing thing you’ve got. A stuffed belly: that’s a fit punishment for a good philosopher. Oh, but perhaps you think I’m kidding, like silly Meletus here who helped concoct this joke of a trial. So what else should I propose? Throw me in jail? Throw me out of town? No way. I won’t go. What kind of life would that be? Me, unable to do what I’m here to do, unable to help people examine their lives. So, should I pay a fine? Yeah, that’s rich. I have no money, people! Got it? No money. Well, I guess I could pay a small fine, one as small as my means – and as worthless as this trial. I’ve got rich pals who’re rolling in dough. A few tokens are useless to them, like this whole thing has been useless to me. So that’s my proposal, I guess: Take some money, for the good it will do you.

[The jury deliberates and selects Socrates’ punishment]

Socrates: Death, huh? Yeah, I figured. But, seriously, what do you think you’ll accomplish? My death needs no help from the likes of you. I'm like, 70 years old, remember? What’s worse, I’m not the one getting punished here. You are. You think I’m the last gadfly to bother you? Forget it. There’ll be others. And they’ll be younger than you. Kids may be my downfall, but they’ll dance on your graves too. So now I’m off to die. No worries here. But before I go, a brief word to those jurors who voted for acquittal… Remember that inner voice that has guided me all these years? Well that voice guided me to this moment; it led me here to die. And that voice has never steered me wrong. So I can tell you with some confidence that my death is not evil, no matter how unjust it may seem. In fact, death is likely to a good thing. Just imagine: Me, Socrates, wandering among truly great men and women in the afterlife, pestering them with my questions. “So, Mr-Epic-Hero, you think you’re so good? You sure? How do you know?” Yeah, that’ll be cool. And they’ll appreciate it, those who died like me. They'll be like, "Thanks, Socrates!" And I'll be all, "No problem, dudes." See? They’ll understand my value. As to those folks who condemned me, I wouldn’t blame them if they actually believed in the crap that tried to sling. Ah, but there’s no point in being bitter. I’m ready for my reward. Just do me this one favor: Take care of my kids. Don’t worry about their wealth or their stature of course. I never did. What I mean is, if you see ‘em acting a fool, if you seem ‘em putting on airs, promise me you’ll give ‘em a swift kick. They may complain. You know how kids can be. But that’s OK. If someone’s being an ass, ya gotta kick ‘em in the rear. In the end, it’s the kindest thing you can do.

More Pseudo Scripts

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Parthenon Pix

I'm getting really excited about next week's lecture on Plato's Apology and Crito - so much that I've been digging through pix from our 2011 Acropolis visit. Maybe I'll add a couple to the presentation!

Bonus! Here's the reproduction "Parthenon" standing proud in Nashville.