Friday, November 16, 2007

Spring Classes and More Grad. Apps.

In the Spring I will be teaching:

1) At APU: English 111: Intro to Literature. This will be fun, although the class will be too large to have ideal discussions. I may try more mini-lectures.

2) At BU: Two sections of English 110B: Critical Thinking and Writing II. Writing with literature. Also fun, but with more essays.

I decided to take fewer classes so that I could write more and try and publish things on a regular basis. These sorts of things are important. I am buried right now in grading and more PhD applications. This year, I am doing more homework, so I hope it helps.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Review Posted at BookFox

Per request of my former classmate, the always clever BookFox, currently vacationing in South America, I have posted a review of Miranda July's first collection of short stories, No one belongs here more than you over at his website. Somehow, I also managed to reveal embarrassing details about my childhood in the process. The website for the book is interactive and pretty cool, you should check it out. Here is a picture of Miranda July.

Next week I will try and blog from New Mexico, where I will once again be attending the Glen Workshop.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Physics of Driving II

Unknown Love in Los Angeles

Perhaps we fashion untruths daily,
our memories become remarks at a funeral—
never mentioning the bad particulars
to honor our idealism.

The most beautiful woman that I can remember
I saw slantwise from the window of a speeding car.
In this glimpse, her body stretched into vectors,
curved hips melding into curved freeway,

breath rhythm lengthening into skyline pulse,
laugh crinkles clouding into dancing city lights.
It was over quickly, but for me
these memories are the most spacious.

You see, I never met her.
In a city always moving love is trackless—
without paths leading in or footprint remainders.
Just pray for rest. Pray for more
than the screech marks of smoldered rubber.

If you see me on the freeway, wave.
I will be the man that drives while
rubbing a disposable razor along my chin—
again and again even though
there is no more hair.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Final Teaching Load (Fall '07)

After a few weeks of working on lining up teaching gigs, many phone calls, seven mailed resumes and NINE interviews, here is my fall lineup.

Two classes at BU: 1) ENGL 100 (remedial freshmen writing). 2) ENGL 110B the second required writing class that includes some literature—probably mostly sophomores.

One class at VU: 3) ENGL 120: Persuasive Writing. A freshmen writing course that is followed up by research writing.

One class at APU 4) ENGL 110: Freshmen Writing Seminar. This class is organized around a theme, which I am still playing with. My first choice right now is Modern Myth. Aimee Bender, I can sell some of your books this way!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cold War Kids to Open for The White Stripes and Muse

I follow the career of Cold War Kids with great interest and enthusiasm. I am very pleased to say that they will be playing at Madison Square Garden with Muse (August 6th), and will be supporting The White Stripes on the second half of their North American tour (September/October). Say hi to Jack and Meg boys.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Frank Miller and Quentin Tarantino View the World through a Smashed Windshield

Yesterday I watched Frank Miller's Sin City, and I have to admit that stylistically, it's one of the most impressive films that I've ever seen. The sparse use of color (mostly on attractive women and blood), the silhouettes, the incredible action sequences, and the lack of light all stress the source material of the film—Miller's graphic novels.

This slick quality is brilliant and often fantastic. In an early sequence, Marv (Mickey Rourke) intentionally crashes through the windshield of a car, each of his legs knocking a cop unconscious, before Marv throws them from the car, while driving off after his next victim. In both Sin City and 300, Miller's latest project, violence has become a captivating and exciting art form. Of course, this elevation of stylistic gore was brought to our attention by Quentin Tarantino in films like Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill.

It doesn't seem quite fair to call Miller a Tarantino protégé, since his graphic novels are essentially contemporaries of Pulp Fiction, but certainly the other director of Sin City, (Miller is the first), Robert Rodriguez, uses Tarantino as his starting point. Tarantino and Rodriguez recently teamed on the Grindhouse double feature, which was a bit of a box office bust.

Despite the exhilarating action, I find that I can't watch these films more than once. By the end, I am disgusted with the world, the emptiness of any deed—and more than anything—the complete depravity of human nature. Why live? is the question that keeps popping into my head. In Sin City, everyone, "heroes" and villains, males and females—even children—seem to relish torture, including, but certainly not limited to, dismemberment. In Pulp Fiction the hitman and his target fall into a random pawn shop while fighting, only to find out that the owner is far more sadistic than either of them.

It's not the mere presence of extreme and intense violence that bothers me. It's the lack of any purpose behind the violence. Marv in Sin City tortures and kills dozens of people to revenge the death of Goldie, a prostitute whom he just met the night before. He never stops to ask who Goldie is or why she was killed. In Tarantino films, violence and torture are just the ways in which the world operates. In 300 there is a vague sense of the king of Sparta's honor being offended, but beyond that reference, little is made of Persia's invasion of Greece and the repercussions of paying tribute to Xerxes.

Little or nothing seems needed by Miller to justify inflicting the most extreme kinds of agony. The smallest personal problem is grounds for murder. There is no real right and wrong or good and evil—there is only personal preference. Instead of The Matrix, or any WWII movie, from Miller we get no sense that there is any greater story or rationalization other than the immediate violence itself and the immediate journey of this particular character. While I enjoyed 300, I found it hard to be inspired by the film—in the same way that Braveheart or similar fare is inspiring—because of a lack of a clear sense of meaning and purpose behind the (admittedly) awesome and courageous stand.

Part of this justification of violence appears to stem from a problem with authority and organizations. In Sin City the two super villains are a Cardinal of the Catholic church and a Senator, respectively. In 300, the most disturbing characters are the sexually abusive, disfigured priests, and the power-hungry senator of Sparta who tries to prevent re-enforcements from being sent to the small army's aid. If the world and its institutions are so corrupt, why not just fight the system and the man? Why not?

To be fair, Sin City does admit that once in a while a decent cop will come along, and 300 does show more level-headed senators defeating the traitor (too late to save anyone from the original force). However, what is implicit is not just that absolute power corrupts absolutely, but that corruption seems to be the inevitable result of almost any position of authority. If these are the starting assumptions, it is not surprising to see violence and torture surface as the common currency of interaction.

What, then, is the difference between depravity as presented by Miller and Tarantino, and someone like Flannery O'Connor? Certainly, O'Connor (one of my favorite authors) depicts senseless killing in "A Good Man is Hard to Find," and complete deception and betrayal in "Good Country People." I haven't yet put my finger on it, but I think it has to do with O'Connor's multi-leveled approach. The Misfit has good manners, the traveling Bible salesman presents himself as genuine. This irony of a good veneer peeling away to reveal the true, evil nature underneath seems much more true-to-life and spiritually interesting.

While it may be implied that the Cardinal and Senator (brothers named Rourke) in Sin City present themselves differently in public, there is no evidence provided of this—and indeed—everyone seems to know already that they are completely corrupt, whether or not they are responsible for the specific instances of evil that drive the action in the movie. Moreover, O'Connor seems to be focusing on the inexplicableness of intense evil as events out of the ordinary (and hence, worthy of being the subject of a story), while Miller and Tarantino seem to imply that intense evil occurs as a regular pattern. It's the difference between saying: "there is evil and I can't explain it," and saying "evil is all there is." I guess I would agree that senseless evil does happen all the time, but why would I want to return, over and over again, to that fictional world that they have created?

In any case, I may not run out to see Miller's next project. I would like, however, in light of this criticism, to recommend another crass (but brilliant) film, Idiocracy, written by Mike Judge.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Writing Again...

Since turning in my thesis over a month ago, I haven't written much of anything. (The poem below being the one exception.) I thought maybe I was tired of it, but really I think I was just burned out. I realized today that I have an intense desire to write again. As a writer, I want to capture the perfect story. It's kind of an impossible quest that contains many bumper-to-bumper moments, U-turns and flaming crashes off of cliffs. I'm off to the library to read Looking Backward: From 2000 to 1887, by Edward Bellamy for inspiration. After Uncle Tom's Cabin and Ben-Hur, this was one of the most popular books of the late 19th century in America. It's a socialist Utopian novel, which interests me for several reasons, which in the interests of my story, I won't reveal, other than to say that it takes a very different view of socialism than, say, The Brother's Karamazov.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Physics of Driving 1 (A Poem)

A two-faced habit. I steal
glances at passing drivers on the freeway.
In blurry haste everyone is striking.
With twinges of relativity
everyone on the freeway is someone.

Just last week I saw Einstein,
driving home after a nice dinner at JPL
in rush hour on the 605 freeway—
fingers sifting dunes of electric hair.

Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared.
The world always moves, if however slowly.
Energy equals cars moving within a square.
Energy equals movement coalescing in a square.
The square is a city. The city is Los Angeles.

He has calculated how to weave through traffic
without touching anything.
A half-wide car fits between the lanes
of space and time.

This mask of self-importance
is forever needing a place to go.
Clutching my steering wheel
never changing lanes.

Drive faster.
If you reach the speed of light
everyone will want to know your name.
You just won't recognize yourself anymore.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My New Computer

Is a MacBook with a built in webcam....

Probably, it takes pictures of me when I'm sleeping and posts them on the internet.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Little Debbie, Sallie Mae and Wendy Play the Three Furies

This morning I woke up and ate a Little Debbie's choco-marshmellow dessert snack with my coffee. Since then, I have pretty much decided that it is the most unhealthy food ever. I don't even think it should properly be called food. Little Debbie is the most innocent-looking little girl since the Coppertone girl who perpetually gets her diaper ripped off by a dog. Does anyone remember that ad? What happens when something bites a diaper? No good can come from that. Who in the world thought that up, and why would it ever be considered a good idea?

But back to Little Debbie—she always has a snack for you. She wants you to be fat and die of scurvy (while consuming oatmeal pies).

Then, instead of eating lunch, I spent two hours sitting in an exit-loan workshop at USC, listening to how Sallie Mae owns me for at least ten years. TEN. For many students, it's TWENTY-FIVE. Favorite fun fact: only 7% of students make all of their payments on time over the first three years of a loan. Sallie Mae is worse than Little Debbie, so much so, that I could only find this picture:

Don't let the look take you in. She will garnish your wages and steal your income tax refund in a heartbeat. (Cliché alert.) I'm pretty sure she is the Irish mafia.

For dinner, I only wish I would have eaten at Wendy's. That little red-haired minx is just as devious. I heard they have replaced the buns with deep-fried choco-marshmellow paddies.

Instead, I had Mexican food.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Why MySpace Boosts My Self-Esteem

Yes, I admit it. I have a MySpace account. I'm not really ashamed of it, either. I really love the principle of networking centered around artistic communities like musicians and writers, and sharing your work via the network. It still is taken advantage of—because of the lack of an individual verification system like Facebook has. You can say or be anyone on MySpace, which I suppose is what makes the internet a vicarious and scary place. It's interesting, though, because many people take this to another level, where they are almost mocking the principle of "be anyone." How many profiles have you seen that are "99-year-old female" who makes "$250,000 or over?"

I get a lot of friend requests on MySpace—probably at least two a day. Yes, all of the porn stars and entrepreneurial stock broker and drug company types want to be my friend. I can only conclude from this that I am CEO material encaged in an übersexy body. The best friend request, though, was the following:

I have nothing else to say about that.

Final Project and USC are Done

My final project, though flawed, is complete and approved. So, unless the committee decides to turn it down (very unlikely), I have completed all the requirements of the MPW degree. I'm going to start calling it an MFA, just to avoid confusion. Also, it makes me feel as if I didn't waste money on the degree.

In other news, I will not be attending a PhD program in the Fall. All three turned me down, although the rumor is that I was "close" at USC. They accepted 2 out of 80 applications; so I'm not surprised. I would have loved to stay at 'SC and work with the incredible PhD faculty in the English department, but it looks like I'll have the first year completely off from school since kindergarten.

My responsibilities as a TA are wrapping up and I'm looking forward to the summer and trying to get a story or two published.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Neon Bible

Montreal's finest rock band, The Arcade Fire, has only boosted its reputation as indie hero with the release of their second full-length album. Neon Bible features two songs with partial French lyrics, weightier religious themes, and an expansion of musical sources. "Intervention" pulses with the verve of a pipe organ, while "My Body is a Cage," is backed by a gospel choir. Of course the violin and accordion return. Songs build melodic layers on top of one another until what emerges is much more than the mere parts.

If you dislike analysis of art, you should consider skipping to the last paragraph. If not, then by all means continue.

Perhaps the most significant shift from Funeral is the inclusion of explicitly religious language, imagery and themes. The title track "Neon Bible," seems to struggle with finding the place of Christianity within contemporary culture. The image of the red and black neon bible is something normally found on the Vegas strip rather than in a sanctuary. Does Christianity have to be flashy and exciting to attract attention? Didn't it work for The Passion of the Christ?

In some ways, it all feels antithetical to the image and feel presented by the band. This is not The Killers, Vegas' poster band, one of edgy clothing, makeup trends and power guitar hooks. That's who should have released a record called Neon Bible. Instead, we get the subtle genius of intermingled instruments and the casual fashion sense of a discount vintage shop or a discovered attic. Don't be jealous, Mr. Brightside.

If "Wake Up" established the group as authors of epic anthems, Neon Bible walks the balance beam of personal and universal without losing a sense of urgency or significance. "(Antichrist Television Blues)" tells the personal narrative of a man exploiting his daughter, all the while asking for divine affirmation. "Lord would you send me a sign/'cause I just gotta know if I'm wastin' my time." "Ocean of Noise" is a story of personal reconciliation encompassed by questions of free will versus determinism. "Black Mirror" laments the difficulty in escaping from the perceptions and language of the self. The black mirror "casts my reflection everywhere." Watch out, the black mirror might be you!

Yet throughout, the album manages to escape an introspective focus. "Keep the Car Running" bursts with pace, suggesting a temporance to life on earth, and expressing a sense of dissatisfaction with the way the world is. If anything sounds like a generational anthem, this is it. In this context, the inclusion of "No Cars Go," a revised song from the band's first, self-titled EP, makes perfect sense. I had always taken "No Cars Go," as a reference to Heaven. Like U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name," a literal Heaven may not be the only reference point. Rather, a convergence between earthly and divine—a meditative state—"between the click of the light and the start of the dream." Religious experience, especially in a culture that values bright city lights and shiny packages, is uncommon—but this album takes us there.

This is the best CD I have purchased this year, and I wouldn't be surprised if it survives as one of my all-time favorties.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Books Make You Fat...

CNN recently posted an article on how Pizza Hut may be contributing (deviously) to obesity in children through their reading program called Book It! Kids get a free pan pizza every time they meet a reading goal. As a student, I remember this program. I got a holographic button with star stickers on it. Since I read non-stop, I got lots of pepperoni pizzas. I am secretly hoping this comes to a class-action lawsuit. I'm not asking for much, Book It! (just a personal trainer).

Thursday, March 01, 2007

2006 Story Prize

Mary Gordon
won $20,000 for her career-spanning collection The Stories of Mary Gordon. The story that Gordon read during the award ceremony featured a podiatrist and a wolf mistaken for a dog. Tragic and funny! Actually, this is now going on my list of things to read. The list is pretty long and often interrupted by the psychology of love and attachment. Attached, but not in love. Fitter, happier, more productive. A pig, in a cage, on antibiotics (thanks Radiohead).

This is the largest monetary award given for fiction in the U.S. How nice would it be to win? I like that it is only open to collections of short stories. The New School in New York sponsors this competition, which debuted in 2004. Viva la short story.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Story as Performance Art

This is one of the most interesting pieces I've seen in a while. Author Shelley Jackson has taken volunteers to get one word of the 2,095 in her story "Skin" tattooed on his or her body. The story is sent to each participant upon completion of the tattoo. So far, over 10,000 people have expressed interest. Several hundred have all ready been inked. Jackson only sends the story to participants; no one else can read it. She also refers to participants as "her words" and says that she will "make every effort to attend the funeral of a word."

This appeals to me, but I had to think for a few minutes to figure out why. Every author wants (on some level) this kind of intense reader response when they write. A tattoo is pretty intense. Although, I suppose good literature does change people's lives--or at least people's perspectives on life, which is just as good. At what point does this desire turn into unhealthy arrogance? Does calling participants "words" marginalize them? It seems strange to me. Almost as if, when a word dies, Jackson feels that a part of her story has died too. (Really, should one be worried about a tattoo when a person has died.)

In short, I love the creativity but wonder about the motivation. Also, I love the way these typical fonts look on skin. Some of the tattoos, and a description of the project, are available for viewing here.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Recently Learned...

My reading of the first papers for my TA class yielded the following gems. Really, this makes my grading so much more enjoyable.

King Henry the VIII was the King of Whales. This was by far my favorite. He was pretty portly, but the King of Whales is taking it a bit far.

King Henry reigned "in the time of England." (Obviously a long time ago.)

Ever wondered what Gandhi's first name was? I learned it: Mohammed. Yes, Gandhi experienced a spiritual conversion late in life.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Gathering (a poem)

Stand in Notre Dame Cathedral if you like, or Westminster—
windows cast brilliant Mondrians on the floor,
though I prefer Sacre Coeur, a small, dark place
where light springs from circular portals,
convincing everyone that glowing is the beginning of beauty.

We are mere shards of a colored pane—
not dropped exactly, yet broken.
A dirtied mirror, even when pointed at the sky,
reflects light only poorly. Who can see it? We
do not believe in bad luck, but certainly in evil.
You ask how one becomes many
on its own. A troubling question:
How did the first cell divide?

John recorded the beginning: be one, even as We are.
East and West shout across a frozen lake;
ears strained from such a distance:
"We will tell you where Spirit comes from."
The stained glass window cracks—then fractures,
nail pounded into door, sword into flesh.
Corruption petitions the night for indulgence—
the king is sharpening his axe!
"I will marry whomever I want."
We scream and scream, and, and, and, and:
"We do not like the way you paint or sing."

Glass bits fly out to sea-worthies,
cross into an experimental world, settle into the dust—
we prefer our secluded corners and cracks.
Convenience has created multicolored grains of sand—
coming soon to a beach near you! Sing praise!

I have taken to washing windows on the sides of skyscrapers—
hoping that one day, after removing the stain of grime,
the stain of colored glass will be revealed.
Though they reach toward Heaven, they are not
another of Cana’s wonders. Still—
set aside the best till now—imagine
reflections from a building made all of glowing windows.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Word of the Day: Portmanteau

Portmanteau: 1) a large suitcase with two compartments. (Apparently very archaic and rare.) This is the definition I know, probably from reading 19th century novels. I think a traveller could carry pretty much anything in a portmanteau. I would carry gold in mine, if I had one. And if I had gold.

2) the combination of parts of two or more words into one, which yields a new meaning. e.g. Lunch and Breakfast into brunch, or smoke and fog into smog.

Lewis Carroll's poem, "Jabberwocky," famously uses lots of portmanteaus.

All of this makes me want to own an actual leather portmanteau, but it would have very little practical value. I wonder if I could keep files in it?

Yes, I learned most of this from wikipedia.

I also suggested this for the title of the new USC literary journal. I hope it wins, but maybe it's too French-sounding.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

U2 as Worship Music?

I can't believe it took me four months to hear about this...

There is a book of sermons incoporating U2 lyrics as the main teaching points. I assume many have to do with social justice, which is certainly something the church should discuss more.

But there's more. I'm as big a fan of U2 as anyone, but I'm not sure what I think about this. The Episcopal church has been using U2 songs as part of a special Communion service. Apparently, over 150 churches in seven countries have done the service. It's not that I challenge the religious conviction of U2, but rather wonder about the validity of using songs not expressly written for worship. It raises the question of aesthetic use and interpretation. Is it legitimate to re-interpret U2 songs in a much more sacred context? Can a song about a sugar-daddy ("Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car") be re-directed toward God? Or what about "Beautiful Day?"

During concerts, including two that I attended, Bono has said "let's take it to church," setting a tone of worhip or at least meditation for the show. Several songs, including "40" and "Wake Up Dead Man," are meant to be taken as prayers, although "Wake Up" is almost a prayer without hope. Other songs have a distinctly religious component, but more as an exploration of spirituality rather than a decided, worshipful attitude.

Should worship be an expression of certainty, or can it express doubt? How much does authorial intent matter in worship? More than in general, or just the same? Certainly not less.

I am all for trying to make the church more culturally relevant, and it's hard for me to reject U2, because I think they are the best music group today that profoundly addresses Christian themes. But I still have a hard time with this. Maybe I have some liturgical reservations.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Books for Psych 200: Love and Attachment

Here are the books that are assigned for the class that I am TA-ing:

I could tell that students had been buying these books together from Amazon, because the customer info linked all of them together. I have read the first two already. It's interesting stuff. The first film we showed was A Man for All Seasons, which is the story of Thomas More's execution at the hand of Henry VIII, for More's refusal to acknowledge the validity of Henry's second marriage and his role as head of the Church of England. The film's connection seems to be a portrayal of someone irrationally attached to an idea (religion) at the expense of his life.

I hope I learn something about love and attachment from this class. Apparently, I need all the help I can get.

Evangelicals: American Fascists?

I was listening to NPR (89.3 for those in LA) this week and they were interviewing Chris Hedges, the author of a recent book, that draws comparisons between the situations in pre-Nazi Germany, pre-Mussolini Italy and the current US. The interviewer was listenly, very seriously, to Hedges' animated rhetoric, comparing Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson to a) Nazis and b) Islamic terrorists. If these Evangelicals had their collective dastardly way, Hedges said, homosexuals and Muslims, in addition to anyone else who didn't agree with the most conservative agenda, would be jailed or thrown into concentration camps. It was all conducted very matter-0f-factly.

It struck me as strange that a credible news program would present such seemingly outlandish claims as plausible. Never did the interviewer challenge Hedges or even ask him to clarify his position. She ate it up.

I was so intrigued that I went to Border's and read most of the first chapter. Hedges was raised as the son of Presbyterian minister, and went to Harvard Divinity School. He obviously is familiar with the Bible and Christian doctrine. His main problems seem to be that he views God as a God of mystery, the Bible as a good, but ultimately contradictory book, moral absolutes as deadly, the hope of Heaven depressing in living an earthly Christian life, and conservative Evangelicals who differ from him as simplistic if not the demon spawn of our country. In reading this, I realized that this view of conservative Evangelicals is probably not that far from the mainstream, liberal view.

Some of Hedges' points seemed grounded. To be fair, he estimates only about 20-25% of Evangelicals as potentially fascist. He labels these "dominionists," who see America as "God's country," who take books like Left Behind literally, who believe in conversion of the unsaved at any cost, who believe in strong, masculine leadership, and who look to a utopian Heaven as fulfillment (and apparently don't care anymore about their earthly lives).

I suppose if all of these were added together, a culture of fascism could occur. But Hedges seems to assume several things that just don't seem to be the case. I am hardly one to endorse Robertson or Falwell, but even they don't seem fully capable of the kind of extremes of Nazi Germany. Morever, Hedges seems to form a correlation between belief in moral absolutes and other fascist characteristics (militarism, self-sacrifice, and etc.). This just seems false. Moral absolutes may be passe or cliche in today's Blue Like Jazz Christian culture, but they are no fascism. Moreover, God Himself, although He may be inscrutable and certainly mysterious at times, does deliver edicts that turn out to be moral absolutes. God's character is morally absolute. Viewing homosexuality or abortion as always wrong does not mean that abortion clinics should be bombed or that gays and lesbians should be punished with the death penalty. Apparently, evangelicals could do more to show their compassion to the wider culture.

This problem of underestimating God comes through too in Hedges' portrayal of Evangelical believers. He tells the story of one convert who was sexually abused early in life, before "finding Jesus." For her, life on earth has let her down, and she looks forward to life in Heaven as a chance to be perfected as a person. Hedges presents her as already having given up on her earthly life. To me, this underestimates God's power to really change and redeem people here on earth.

In any case, I look forward to checking this book out from the library and giving it a proper review. I also encourage you to read it, because it seems to reflect a political view of Evangelicals that is held throughout our country.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Employed Again...

So USC decided to give me a TA extension after all. Sort of. Due to the amount of students wanting to add the class, administration added a fifth TA to a GE Psych class called "Love and Attachment". I will be the fifth TA. Does anyone see the irony in this? Anyone?

The professor seems to hold to a sort of reductive evolutionary explanation for human behavior, including love and emotional attachment. This should be an interesting experience, although Scandalous Ethics might have been more fun.

I hope it all goes well, and I won't have to eat Ramen noodles all semester.