Musings On Education, Duff Style

You didn’t really think I’d managed to dismiss my favorite topic, did you?

So, Duff blogged on VR’s show in Dubai for Seattle Weekly.

Give him a read; it’s interesting stuff, especially if you tend toward the idealistic, which, of course, I do. He dances around the notion that music is an “international language,” which I generally disagree with, but I think he modifies sufficiently–the desire to be engaged by music–whatever that music might be–is the international language. I can go along with that.

And, bless him, he nails the description of addiction-fueled paranoia, even after 14 years clean:

Before leaving the U.S., I feared they could have found some 15-year-old bundle of drugs lost in a dark recess of a coat pocket of mine (truth be told, because of this type of paranoia, I discarded all my old luggage and most of my old[but killer] rock clothing).

Seriously. When you spend enough time blacked out, you really can’t lay any claim to knowing what the hell you did and where the hell you put something. Wonder, though, if he kept the pimp jacket. Worst part of the first read of his blog? Realizing that I was thinking late 80’s for 15 years ago…no, it was 1993. Criminey.

But, as a fellow idealist, I have to say my favorite moment is this one:

C’mon people now, smile on your brother—oh yeah, fuck that, it’s a new millennium (read Thomas Friedman’s Longitudes and Attitudes to really bum yourself out on this particular subject).

I have always tried to let my faith in humankind guide me when it comes time for decisions and options in life. Sure, I’ve been screwed a few times because of it, but more often than not this guidance system has strengthened my belief that mostly everyone is born with a ton of good in them, and that it’s not until much later that things like greed and power dilute members of our species into an almost unrecognizable mask of darkness and rage. I am not going to say “no” to playing Dubai or anywhere else because of political or religious beliefs, etc. I believe I can actually do more good by seeing what’s indeed happening than by just sitting back here in the good old U.S.A., safe, protected, and spoon-fed hogwash on the nightly news. Fuck that! I’m going…

First, holy cow…he writes just like he talks, save for the pauses, book references and all. And it works!

Second, yes, we do need to reduce our collective paranoia about our fellow humans. And travel, so says the somewhat Candide-obsessed professor, is the best sort of education. Learning inside four walls is all well and good, but learning in the world and being of the world is often so much more valuable. Travel. Talk. Ask questions without looking for the answer, as if there is only one. Watch the hogwash, if only to know what your co-workers might be spewing, but watch it with a critical eye. What story is being told behind the words the newscaster is choosing?

Leave the safety of the confines of your own brain, for heaven’s sake. We don’t have to be safe 100% of the time; in fact, elaborate security and heedless protectionism are apt to breed neurotics, and we certainly have done so if my wonderful, if nervous, students are any indication.

I just realized something; Duff reminds me of Candide (or vice versa) in some ways. There’s an analysis for you. *snort* I am so going to write about that.

Yeah, so, I agree with him…Fuck that. I’m going. Where? Anywhere–just to see, ask, taste, touch, and be something, someone, somewhere other. In so doing, I can learn about people and places that I know nothing of right now, and I can experience the wonderful (if a bit naive) feeling of interconnectivity of all of humankind.

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One response to “Musings On Education, Duff Style

  1. Yeah…that Duff blog was really great! Enjoyed the read. He’s cool, and smart…wow…

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