[lit-ideas] Re: On Reading and Learning

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 00:12:14 -0600

What country are you becoming a citizen of? I'd choose the The Duchy of Grand Fenwick, think . Although Freedonia warms my heart, autocratic though it be and Marxian. There was a time, I'm guessing, when citizenship was much more relevant to one's survival than it is today. Non-citizens were almost non-human in many places throughout history. I have no sources to back that up, but it sounds right. And that's all that matters. Confidence is what's needed in this world. Confidence is 90% of everything -- especially citizenship. Citizenship bestows the right to rail against one's country. Almost demands it. You must have confidence stand alone, to tell 300 million people right to their face that they are stupid. Get them to doubt and you've won. I hope you pass your citizenship test because citizenship is fun. It allows you to bitch, bitch, bitch about taxes without worrying about the INS knocking on your door. But you might still want to keep an eye out for the IRS.

I tried in the past to become a citizen of San Francisco and of Seattle -- they're like different countries compared to the South. But it didn't take. Too much expendable income there. No one was so down and out that they had to sit and listen to my Scheherazadian stories. I need people trapped in grinding poverty if I'm to find friends. I've thought at times wouldn't it have been dandy to have been born on the Left Coast, but then I wouldn't be me, would I? And I like myself much too much to wish that on me.

Mike Geary

----- Original Message ----- From: "David Ritchie" <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2009 7:57 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: On Reading and Learning

My latest acquisition is Clarence M. Weed, "Butterflies Worth Knowing." They don't write or title 'em like that any more.

Meanwhile, I'm hard at work trying to learn that the House of Representatives has 435 voting members, that John Roberts is Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, that Benjamin Franklin started free libraries, that the Oneida were a native american tribe who made flatware, that the Missouri is longer than the Mississippi, that the Northern Mariana Islands are a territory (the Southern, Western and Eastern ones are presumably territory-free), and that John Jay and Publius and A. Hamilton and J Madison were in a band called the Federalist Papers. Apparently I'm too old to have to prove that I can write and read English sentences--those fifty and above can skip that one if they've lived here long enough. So no, "Good morning, I dreamed of mackeral." Which is a shame; I was looking forward to trying to use "a whole bunch of" the listed verbs: can, come, do/ does, elects, have/has, is/are/was/be, lives/lived, meet name, pay, vote, want.

Maybe, "You be name what, mon?  Pay good?  Can come in if I elect?"

I wonder how they'd respond to Trini?

Yup, citizenship interview a week from tomorrow.

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon
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