Tue Mar 3 22:57:21 CST 1998
Manic Depression is touchin’ my soul!
I know what I want but I just don’t know!
(How to go about gettin’ it.)
Feelin’ sweet feelin’
I wish I could caress, and kiss.
Manic Depression’s a frustrating mess!
Today I was depressed. Not for any good reason, mind you, I think it’s kinda like garbage collection. I slept through my morning classes and I’m starting to feel a little better now.
Too much thinking about women, that old Beavis screaming how it’s unfair and we’re never gonna score kinda thing was part of that, and a whole symphony of other things … some of my most important people are feeling kinda down in the dumps too, for respective reasons, and I may have carried off some of that.
All’s fair in love and war, for a good cause.
You know, organized Republicans make me jittery?
You know, this past week I’ve been working on a web site for the daily-menu stuff?
You know, I went to a program tonight where pro and anti Chief folks were presenting their opinions to the University student Senate? See, the Republicans were there, all sitting front and center, and except for a token black lady and a blond girl who said “my great great grandmother was a Cherokee princess” they were all white people. Now I have nothing against white people myself – I mean hey my whole blood family is white people – but a whole bunch of them sitting together cheering on the cause of a Native American mascot makes me feel ooky.
The Senate will be voting on a resolution to remove Chief Illiniwek as the school mascot. Even if it passes the Senate though, nothing really happens unless the Board of Trustees, appointed by Jim Edgar, approve it as well.
The Board of Trustees is a bunch of crusty old white people who think they’re right. The arguments of the pro-chief forces were basically “I like the chief, he means a lot to me, and he’s not so bad, we should keep him.” The anti-chief folks kinda stressed how he was inaccurate, offensive, patronizing, and tended to reveal the University’s hypocrisy – the chief is meant to honor, but he offends Native people. Proponents claim he raises awareness of Native culture, but the University doesn’t have a Native American studies program. The University promised a dean for Native American students, and then reneged.
Judging by the statements made by Senate members who were present, there was a strong anti-chief feeling by the end of the meeting. It felt reassuring. I know the whole conflict isn’t at all about to be resolved overnight. If the senate passes it’s resolution to retire Illiniwek though, and the BOT shits on the student action, things might get very interesting indeed. The student body is pretty fucking apathetic especially after that DIA move.
One Senator asked a question as to why if the Chief was okay back in 1927, is it no longer acceptable? I think it was a rhetorical question, but I muttered to myself “Black face was acceptable in 1927.” The guy next to me heard and quipped “and the Klan was an RSO.”
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.
One student, Tammy Stanke, went on a big thing about how our University was a leader, and its students were leaders, and yadda yadda yadda yah … and so it is fitting that our symbol is a Chief, because “the Chief is always listened to.” I thought of how, if my understanding is correct, the Chief in an Indian tribe generally lets others speak and decides amongst the arguments presented, presenting a verdict, more like a judge. A University and a wizened judge sort don’t seem the same type to me … we’re full of babbling youngsters, who produce ideas for society to use and judge. Our supercomputers are not something I could envision a wise old Indian Chief taking a leadership role on. But then who am I to speak for native culture?
While he started out kinda nervous-sounding and stuttery, David Song made a point I found especially agreeable, that the Senate should pass the resolution in part to bring the debate before the BOT, who would just as soon forget about Native American affairs and issues of student democracy entirely, like they were bad dreams. Okay, I’m putting words in his mouth there, but I do agree that the Senate would serve the student body well by being more contentious with the Board. I, for one, am not a Happy Camper.
I went to lunch, and they were serving Cheeseburgers. Now normally these are kinda processed-meat looking things with a little rectangle of cheese over part of them that makes you think you’re in a fast food place. Shake the grease off well and you’ve got a fairly tasty burger by those standards. Today they were cooked poorly though. Dark on the outside, pinkish cold on the inside, and all the lettuce was flat and wilty. I cracked. I got pissed off and really bitchy and went on a little tirade about how I hate everything. As much as we get charged for this food, you think they could do a decent job! We agreed that getting Old Country Buffet in there or some private enterprise that does a good job might be pretty keen. If you can’t tell, I’m not at all keen on dining services.
What else? The guy from the Observer, our local left-wing loony tabloid, argued that we should keep the Chief because there’s this football fanatic who drives to every game from Kentucky or somesuch who would stop coming if the Chief were retired. Tammy also compared incidents of the Chief being burned in effigy by opposing schools to incidents of the American flag being burned in foreign countries – “they’re not burning us” – no, Tammy, they’re not, they’re burning an image of a Native American which we have appropriated for our own use. I’d rather be represented by old glory than the people we raped to build this great country, and if anything is to be burned in effigy, I’d rather not it be an image representing a people we collectively owe a great deal to.
The PRC representative asked rhetorically why the College Republicans were participating in an effort to build a monument to Ronald Reagen in every state when for Native Americans it was sufficient to honor them as a football team mascot. Why not honor Native Americans with a statue, a monument, or something more honorable?
The whole issue makes my stomach churn and my blood boil, but I kinda need that now anyways, keep me motivated!
Someone retorted to all those who argued that Chief Illiniwek honored them that it’s not about you it’s about Native Americans!
Well, enough about me.
My history with computers begins Christmas of 1984 when Grandpa gave our family a Commodore 64 computer. It was several years before we had a complete system including disk drive, monitor, and printer. At first I was relegated to typing commands into the basic interpreter and playing cartridge-based games.
Upon graduating eighth grade in 1989, I convinced my family to reward my endeavors with an Amiga A500 computer, which blew the 64 away, holding twenty times more memory, much more speed, a capacity of 4,096 colors at higher resolution with special graphics chips, compared to the 64’s 16 colors, and best of all it had a cool built-in disk-drive on the side.
By 1992 I had saved up half the money required to make the purchase of an Amiga 1200, the descendant of the A500, with more advanced graphics, processing power, and a continued low price tag of around $600. The A1200 and A500 were cheap enough for my family to realistically afford, and gave a great amount of ability for the price. The graphics, sound, and multitasking Operating System were far superior to that offered on any other platform. Unfortunately, Commodore’s management and marketing sucked, and they went belly-up by 1996.
After being discharged from the Army in 1994, I began attending the University of Illinois in Winter of 1995, where I was for the first time exposed to NCSA Mosaic, and was induced to create my first web page. I remember the great effort it had been to find, scan, crop, and convert a small photo of me to augment what I had there. The web loaded a lot quicker before everyone started putting graphics all over the damn place like they do today.
Telecommunications has always been a strong interest of mine. Unfortunately, online services were priced beyond my reach throughout most of my childhood. By the time I came to the University I was finally making enough money to subscribe to a local Chicago Internet access provider. I’d felt like I missed a lot not having the financial capabilities to get on the networks sooner though.
When I first arrived at the University, my interest was in not going in to Computer Science, as I really only liked the Amiga, ever-waning in it’s popularity. That and I wasn’t particularly interested in making Math a great thing in my life. However, I eventually did join the CS department after my first experiences learning code – it was so fun and liberating! Now I had some power over computers, I could write the software, and do things the way I hoped they could be. And, after all, the other computers weren’t so bad. The Unix systems at least seemed to work well enough.
Well, Math of course, is not my strong suit. A year or so ago I met Brad in the Allen cafeteria, and was shocked at his approach of being a Rhetoric major with a minor in CS! Gee … I’d always enjoyed writing for my own personal interest, much as I loathed research papers. And I did hit the 99% percentile on the ACT for “Rhetoric” – whatever that was, I had not known at the time. And come to think of it, hadn’t I placed out of Rhet 105 three different ways?
The next week, I proudly made the switch.
The Internet continues to play a very big part in my life. My web site grows slowly every week. I keep my diary on-line for others to read. I write CGI applications. I’m a hard-core Unix geek, administering two of my own systems, writing my HTML and perl scripts in vi, wowwing friends with afterstep. I work for the networking group at NCSA, for the CSIL as a labsitter, and worked last summer at an ISP in Chicago called EnterAct, where I may very well return this summer.
I now use only Unix, and my old Amiga systems from time to time out of nostalgia and respect for history. I own two Unix boxen, four Amiga systems, and the old Commodore 64. While most of these are antiques, I still lend some systems out to others from time to time to facilitate their computing needs.
My fanatical Unix snobbery does mean that I know very little about Windows 95 or Mac. Because I have good computer karma, I still tend to negotiate such systems better than the average Joe, but I’m by no means a wiz. Instead I enjoy spending my time tinkering with completely open systems like FreeBSD. I am proud and inspired by the idea that there are now several very competent Operating Systems available even for normal users that are built and maintained entirely by volunteer effort. It is my goal to continue to learn and ultimately contribute to this effort as I can.
I hate Windows though. I find Microsoft’s philosophy of “Might Makes Right” peculiarly offensive. It seems a holy war between the dark forces of greed and the efforts of people writing useful stuff for free. I’m proud to say that not one byte of Microsoft code has ever run on any system that I own. In order to push this idea of independence I am even now writing a school paper in the archaic language of troff through vim, sending the job to the Dorm’s NT print server through lpr.
Fri Mar 13 17:45:19 CST 1998
Good evening. My name is Rose, and I am speaking tonight for the Progressive Resource/Action Cooperative, co-sponsors of the first National Conference on the Elimination of Racist Mascots. A few years back, I would have been arguing on the side of the College Republicans and the Orange and Blue Observer. This is my third year here, but because both my parents, my brother, and most of my dad’s side of the family is alum, “Chief” has been part of my life since I was old enough to go to the football games and pick out my own “Chief” t-shirt from the old IUB. During my first year, however, I participated in the Alternative Spring Break program’s Cultural Education trip to the Ojibwa reservation in Lac Du Flambeau, WI. Pro- “Chief” students stress that “Chief” is an expert on Native culture because he visits an undisclosed reservation. Well, that must make Sanji and I experts, too, although I don’t think either of us would accept that title.
Our BOT defends “Chief” by claiming that it honors the Native Americans that it in no way attempts to represent. Dr. Ostrovsky listed the international and national American Indian organizations and tribes who insist that “Chief” is a slap in their face. Is “Chief” consistent with how mainstream America honors people? Don’t we normally build a monument, a bridge, an airport or name a national park or a scholarship fund after someone? I saw some Republicans on CNN the other night. They were collecting money to build a monument to President Reagan in each state. Why do I think that these guys would find the state of Illinois’ interpretation of honor-to run a non-Caucasian man in white make-up and a Hollywood costume out on our football field to recreate the Reagan presidency in dance-completely dishonorable and unacceptable? This symbol wouldn’t honor Reagan anymore than it would educate us, remind us of the history of the Reagan presidency that we would otherwise forget.
The BOT argues that “Chief” is tradition. But, there are other traditions which should guide our thinking at this time. All people are created equal-equally honorable and equally dishonorable. Equal opportunity for an equal education. Ask yourself if you would be here, a student senator at the U of I, if a stereotyped image of your religious leader was sold on butt warmers and underwear, decorating porto-johns and porn stores? Would you feel comfortable learning on this campus? Would you even have been admitted if you differed from the image the school promotes? Can you understand why many Native students choose not to come or stay here? Can you understand why we must discontinue the use of “Chief?”
From a speech delivered before Champaign-Urbana Senate Caucus
So the Senate voted overwhelmingly in support of a resolution to retire Chief Illiniwek. I was very pleased at this news, but I think all us anti-Chief activists understand how we have our work cut out for us in getting students, alumni and community members better aware of the issue. There’s already the feel of a backlash, people crying out in the editorial pages of the DI in pain over their identification with the school mascot.
And nobody expects that the Board of Trustees will let this measure be approved any time soon.
From: email@example.com (Matthew Ivaliotes)
Subject: Re: University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign Mascot
Date: 15 Mar 1998 01:07:12 GMT
Organization: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
References: <350603FB.7A09@uillinois.edu> <35060E11.99ABAE66@cu-online.com> <Pine.SOL.3.96.980310224904.6634Afirstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <3506A611.firstname.lastname@example.org> <350B4418.61E5@NOSPAM.uiuc.edu>
Xref: vixen.cso.uiuc.edu uiuc.general:60767
Kyle Levenhagen <levenhag@NOSPAM.uiuc.edu> writes:
>Who says we have to have the Chief as a mascot? I mean, we can have a
>different mascot and still be the Fighting Illini. Possibly the best
>example would be the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL… they have a WOLF
>as a mascot, for cryin’ out loud. Why can’t we have a big, plush
>squirrel (I’m thinking of Rocky, from “Rocky and Bullwinkle” here), or
>something? It would make some sense, too, considering how many of those
>damned things we’ve got running around here.
I could live with us being the Fighting Illini and getting rid of the dork in the costume and the music from a cowboy movie. Then again, I am of the very strong opinion that all team names with gerunds in them are inherently dorky. If the name itself doesn’t strike fear into your opponents’ hearts, adding ‘fighting’ to it won’t help, and just points out how unintimidating you are.
And for fashion considerations, I’d like something a bit more aesthetically pleasing than that round, physically improbably head-in-a-headress symbol which is in ever-waning use on merchandise.
speaking only for me
Mon Mar 23 19:39:28 CST 1998
There’s a guy on the radio who is talking about public school reform, and is lamenting that the ideals of Horace Mann have been replaced with those of Adam Smith.
Mon Mar 23 21:28:14 CST 1998
You know, I really can not concentrate in the presence of any noise that might stimulate me in any way. Certain background noises are okay, but speech that might interest me, or music … no.
We’re over next door for a few days. I’m back in Chicago for Spring Break. The guy at Drollinger Auto Repair managed to get the van fixed after I managed to reproduce the problem I had been having with it. I made it back to Chicago alright, and now, like I just wrote, we’re taking refuge next door on account of they’re refinishing the floors. It is no small production to move everything in your apartment over next door for two or three days and then back again. Uncle is having the apartment here done after ours is done. We’re being done over Monday and Tuesday and this apartment will be done over Friday and Saturday. Meanwhile, Uncle is busy painting ceilings and getting other nice things done to this apartment because the guy who’s moving in next door to us, a middle-aged African guy, will be storing stuff in the apartment in the part that wont be finished starting Wednesday. I’m wondering how quick Uncle’s going to get the kitchen here done. I know he’s going to fix up the floor before the guys come to sand and finish it, ripping out the tile to let the wood come out, but to get it to be a nice kitchen like ours, with lots of cabinets and neat things instead of the pantry he ripped out, that’s going to be some work!
Anyways, Wednesday will be busy – we gotta move a lot of our stuff back and wash the walls next door, so that the guy who’s moving in can move his stuff in. It might be worth it though. Mom says that since she’s getting the floors done and the walls washed, it’ll be like a new house – a non-smoking house. She’s going to make another try at kicking the habit – she says that she was pleasantly suprised that the nicotine gum that a friend had offered her on a long trans-Atlantic flight, didn’t upset her teeth and calmed her nerves during the long, smokeless trip. I offered that a gum might also satisfy the oral fixation, which I understand to be an ingredient in cigarette addiction.
I went in to EnterAct today to talk to Tracy about summer work. Ended up sitting on an admin meeting, and discussing oh-so-briefly what I might be able to do with them this summer. Tracy beamed at the idea of having four full-time admins! Charlie bragged to me that they were signing two to three CompleteAct accounts per day – that’s the expensive business stuff that makes them the real money. $20/month dialin accounts are a lot lower revenue. EnterAct seems even more complicated than NCSA’s network … but that’s largely because the admin staff do a lot of things that at NCSA is handled by other departments, partly because they’re dealing with commercial dialin access mostly off of PCs as opposed to networking several hundred people in different buildings to campus, Industrial Partners, vBNS and some other experimental networks … well, actually NCSA seems more complicated, but the stuff we do downstate is a little more static – EnterAct is growing at least as fast as the Internet at large, whereas NCSA has been around since before the modern commercial Internet has been on anyone’s mind, and so doesn’t have to move quite as fast, or something. EnterAct is about three years old see, everything’s being reinvented at once.
Anyways it’s a bit chilly in here, I’m going to lay off typing for awhile and scan in a few pictures before I go to bed. Jessy’s boyfriend, Dion, managed to get the scanner working with mom’s computer, and now we’ve got it talking to stumpy’s Sambda via NetBEUI, not to mention sharing stumpy’s ppp connection. Sweet. WinAmp was able to read in stumpy’s directory of MP3 files and throw them into a random playlist a lot quicker than I was able to write a rather crude perl script on stumpy to do the same thing. Sometimes, Windows-based software does just what ya need it to do … maybe I need to learn me some Unix GUI programming! :)
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