filling arenas with the force of his face
Last night at the Oscar ballot I tied for second, as I was dumb enough to think a movie other than Gladiator would win the big one. The consolation prizes, handed out to three of us, were these extremely campy sci-fi videos; mine was "The Cage," the original never-aired pilot for Star Trek where someone other than William Shatner was the captain. Then my horribly awkward social moment: I had to trade with Chelsey because I already owned that video of "The Cage." Okay, so I think it's sitting in a box somewhere in Arizona, but it was still mortifying.
As long as I have no shame, there's a picture from the tournament yesterday. We're at the bottom of the page; they spelled my name wrong, which is probably a blessing since search engines won't be able to find it. Note the number of spectators. Actually, it sort of looks like we're all taking a polygraph test.
Time talks about phobias and anxiety disorders, and the use of behavior modification therapy and SSRIs to treat them. I had a fear of Subway for a few months. I was standing in line to get a sandwich on 17 October, and I know it was 17 October because I was reading a newspaper article on Beethoven's lead poisoning. I became aware that the the light over my newspaper was pulsing at a quick and regular rate; this was alarming enough to cause a ringing in my ears, which is sort of my personal sign of near danger. I looked up and realized that the effect was caused by the blades of the ceiling fan, spinning under the fluorescent light; but this realization didn't help at all because it meant that the entire restaurant was pulsing now, in an unnatural and wholly unnerving way, and the Subway Sandwich Artists working behind the counter began to seem like automatons, soulless and not wholly friendly, and I began to ascribe hostile intentions to the people sitting in the yellow booths eating their sandwiches, and the cumulative effect was that Subway was not a safe place and I had to get out. I ran out to the Iowa City pedestrian mall and wandered around it for a while and began to think that something was wrong with my visual cortex because I couldn't get a good fix on moving objects, plus I was woozy from low blood sugar since I hadn't eaten my sandwich, and the whole business was no good and I didn't go back to Subway for months.
The point being this is silly, because Lord knows there's enough in the world that we actually should fear.
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word.
O my people, what have I done unto thee.
--T.S. Eliot, Ash Wednesday