Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Give John a Sleeping Pill, Nurse

I am working on a list of questions for the candidates to ask the three incumbents: Falliero, Olson, and Griffin.

People run for the school board without knowing diddly about the schools. They should have been attending board meetings for a year or so. That's how you get educated.

Be patient. This work takes time.

You won't believe this, but it appears that most of the incumbents don't have emails. So I will have to use snail-mail to send them the data they need to know. I feel as though I am giving students a cheat sheet when they have not bothered to crack a book.

Yet these folks want to run for the school board despite their ignorance of how the schools run and how vital computers are to education. But then again I think April Griffin is the only one who uses a computer on the current board illiterati. I told her to mount a blog when we were still speaking. She did, and it's filled with grammar-punctuation errors. That's the kind of ignorance we need on the board. lee

I heard from John D a while back, posted his dig at me on another blog by mistake and am giving him front page to propitiate the rascal.

I wish I had had John as a patient when I was nursing. I would have given him his buttock injections with a big old blood need. lee

Where have you been, John_D? I thought you had died in a drug raid in Quatamala while trying to correct the grammar of a headhunter drug lord as he locked and loaded; but here you are nagging again. Get out of the grammar racket. You don't know what you are talking about. Try pool. That might work for you. lee

Review this uptown grammar correction above your pay grade of the guy who is the god of academics at Yale. He has so many academic encomiums that he clanks when he walks. I have better material to work my grammar routine on than you. lee

Professor Donald Kagan
c/o Publicity Department
Simon & Schuster, Inc.
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020


Dr. Kagan:

I have just bought your history of the Peloponnesian wars on Amazon; I also got your Thucydides book.

I have read the original Thycydides and want a more accessible style. And I want to know the end of the wars. I wonder why he broke off.

I have just finished your Pedicles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy. I wanted to know more about Pericles' relationship with the concubine Apasia, with whom he lived until he died in the plague.

You gave a good accounting of their relationship. Pericles gets kudos for his fidelity to her. I greatly admire Apasia.

Concubines were the only women in Greece who had any political freedom. I would have had to be a concubine then to be out and about. I would get Alcibiades to sponsor me. I think he would. He was always for any harebreained idea that came his way. His pushing for an adventure on Sicily had hideous results. But Alcibiades is my favorite classical rascal.

Except for concubines, women were virtual slaves of the sexism that overspread the classical world with Sparta's being somewhat of an exception.

Aristotle and Plato were wretched misogynists, the jerks. Aristotle was livid about Spartan women's relative freedom and called them "thigh flashers" because of the freedom of their attire. I hope Alexander's tutor suffered from ejaculatio praecox and was ridiculed in the gymnasium for it.

I read an online biography on you that said you had gone conservative because you did not approve of some Washington policy. Sexism is a conservative affliction, so your conversion may mean you think oppressing women is just swell and want their meager gains in the last two thousand years repealed. History will judge you ill sir.

The first two sentences in the introduction to your Pericles book are these:

"To tell the story of an individual's life and to treat him as a force that not only influenced his own times but centuries to come is not fashionable. Still less is it common to attribute to attribute to him heroic qualities , as this book does."

There is a limit that even highly honored historians enjoy in making grammar-punctuation errors. You could get away with possessive-before-the-gerund mess-ups but not with plebian subject-verb and superfluous-comma errors.

Your introduction's

cited sentence's subject is two infinitive phrases: your verb should be "are." The comma in the second sentence ranks superfluous because it cuts off a restrictive adverbial clause. Commas have become sparse in the last four hundred years. One uses them for structural, not rhetorical, reasons.

I am afraid you are obliged to comply.

Bethink yourself, sir. What would Pedicles say?

I disagree with you about Pericles' equating to the tragic hero. You invoke some flossy classics scholar to buttress your arguement.

Oedipus had more than stubborn self-regard in his psyche. He had the transcendent sense of himself as elevated beyond human bourne that marks the tragic hero. He would never have indulged in the often grubby polis politics that Pericles embraced to stay in power. The bottom line is that Oedipus was an idea; Pericles a mere man.

There has never lived a real tragic hero as Aristotle described one: he is the ideal that inhabits regions of our imagination that transcends human existence.

I shall be firm in defense of literacy. I say you mend those errors before the next printing of the Pericles book, or I shall have to complain to one or more of your award sources if you don't for the lifting of your awards.

I am not a fellow. I am from the South. Southern families name one of their children "Lee" so revered is he, even naming a third daughter as was I "Lee."

When my baby brother was born two years later, my father fell back on "Jackson" for Stonewall.


Lee Drury De Cesare

15316 Gulf Boulevard 802

Madeira Beach, FL 33709


Visiting David in Florence