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A Guy's Moleskine Notebook

Thoughts and reflections on works of fiction and literature. Pondering of life through pictures and words. Babbling about gay rights. Travelogues and anecdotes.

  • [1] Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain
  • [2] Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha
  • [3] Yu Hua: To Live
  • [4] Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty
  • [5] Colm Toibin: The Master
  • [6] Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
  • [7] William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • [8] Charles Higham: The Civilization of Angkor
  • [9] Graham Greene: A Burnt-Out Case
  • [10] Dai Sijie: Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch
  • [11] Alan Hollinghurst: The Swimming-Pool Library
  • [12] Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
  • [13] Colm Toibin: The Blackwater Lightship
  • [14] Alan Hollinghurst: The Folding Star
  • [15] Ross King: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
  • [16] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov
  • [17] Jonathan Franzen: The Corrections
  • [18] Colm Toibin: The Story of the Night
  • [19] John Banville: Shroud
  • [20] Leo Tolstoy: Resurrection
  • [21] Peter Hessler: River Town, Two Years on the Yangtze
  • [22] Ian McEwan: The Atonement
  • [24] Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera
  • [25] Ignacio Padilla: Shadow without a Name
  • [26] Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
  • [27] Richard Russo: Straight Man
  • [28] Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground
  • [29] Alan Hollinghurst: The Spell
  • [30] Hermann Broch: The Death of Virgil
  • [31] James Baldwin: Giovanni's Room
  • [32] Ken Kesey: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • [33] Xingjian Gao: One Man's Bible
  • [34] C. Jay Cox: Latter Days
  • [35] Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • [36] William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
  • [37] Daniel A. Helminiak: What The Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
  • [38] James Baldwin: Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
  • [39] Kenji Yoshino: Covering - The Hidden Assault of Civil Rights
  • [40] Italo Calvino: If, On a Winter's Night A Traveler
  • [41] Arthur Phillips: The Egyptologist
  • [42] George Orwell: 1984
  • [43] Michael Warner: The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and Ethics of Queer Life
  • [44] Andrew Sullivan: Virtually Normal
  • [45] Henry James: The Wings of the Dove
  • [46] Jose Saramago: Blindness
  • [47] Umberto Eco: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
  • [48] Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code
  • [49] Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
  • [50] Ken Follett: The Pillars of Earth
  • [51] Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace
  • [52] Michael Thomas Ford: Alec Baldwin Doesn't Like Me
  • [53] Jonathan Franzen: How To Be Alone
  • [54] Jonathan Lethem: The Fortress of Solitude
  • [55] Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
  • [56] Zadie Smith: White Teeth
  • [57] Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Double
  • [58] Jose Saramago: The Double
  • [59] Andrew Holleran: Dancer from the Dance
  • [60] Heinrich von Kleist: The Marquise of O & Other Stories
  • [61] Andrew Holleran: In September, the Light Changes
  • [62] Tom Perrotta: Little Children
  • December 15, 2006

     

    Lowell Contrived To Keep Quiet Antigay Hate Crime

    Has it not been the unswerving aspiration of the Lowell, the school paper, what seemed to be a passing tale of poor behavior might have escaped our attention since the school administration had seemed to go out of its way to cover up a bizarre antigay hate crime that took place at the city's premier high school in September.

    SF Guardian, upon the release of the story in the Lowell, dug out the inner workings of what might have caused this ugly incident. An early-bird faculty member routinely unlocked the door of the World Language Department office on the morning of 9/21 and was greeted by the most unusual sight: There was paint all over John Raya's computer. Thick streams of pink paint dripped from the monitor onto the keyboard and were splattered on the wall behind the desk and the chair in front of it.

    And that was not the end of it. Slightly drenched on the keyboard was a note that addressed to Raya:

    "Big mouth fag!!!!! You start too much trouble in this department!!!! Mind your fucking business and go back to New York!!!!! Or Cuba or wherever the fuck you come from!!!!!"

    The principal and administration knew better to contrive keeping the ugly incident under the wraps, because a prank was out of the question. Even though it took place in one of those heavily trafficked rooms, the scene is an office to which only faculty have keys and access. And when the Japanese teacher arrived for work early that morning, the door was locked and showed no sign of forced entry. That's led Raya and the administration at Lowell to a truly disturbing and indisputable conclusion: The hate crime was committed by a disgruntled, angry member of the faculty.

    But I'm all the more disturbed by and disappointed at the fact that the school, one that is ranked 26 out of 1200 top public schools in the country, one for which some 3000 elite 8th-graders vie for admission every year, one that is known for its academic rigor and excellence, seeking to safeguard its prestige, would pretend the hat crime didn't happen. To say nothing of it is just as bad as being in complicity because the administration’s shady reaction conveyed tolerance of hate crime.

    Now this is scary. I'm talking about not only tolerance of the crime, but the administration's subtle (manipulative) effort to remove freedom of speech not just from gay people, but also their friends and supporters. Students were never formally told what happened. Faculty were discouraged from discussing it. This is like, to me, red China, some kind of a Communist regime that monitors what is said and what should be said. The story, although escaped the throttling hands of the administration, not only raised some deep-seated questions about how the school is managed, but also pinged the alarm about what seemed to be a tolerating attitude was just a deception. Lowell's tolerating attitude lies in a hypocrisy--a combination of private tolerance and public disapproval.

    How can you teach the kids to respect social diversity when all you care at the outburst of a hate crime like this is to keep it at bay? Silence is not always golden especially when you're to take a strong stand to safeguard one's civil right. It seems to me the incident had been downplayed from the beginning, for the principal, who insisted on students being involved, asked the faculty not to say anything to the students. The discomfort with which the student paper felt toward this unusual poise bespeaks the flawed handling of the incident. The school has allowed a staff member who has resorted to the sort of racist, homophobic act that's rarely seen in San Francisco workplaces these days at large. It also shows how the principal, who seems to be autocratic in her ways of dealing with the staff, is imbecile in resolving conflicts among the staff.

    6 Comments:

    Anonymous Paul said...

    Hate and intolerance rip your guts out ! Sad very sad indeed !

    12/16/2006 5:58 AM  
    Blogger Matt said...

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    12/16/2006 7:21 AM  
    Anonymous Chris said...

    It's hard to imagine shit like this happens in the city.

    Did you go to Lowell?

    12/16/2006 4:38 PM  
    Blogger matty said...

    Like Chris wrote -- it sort of blows your mind to realize that this happens HERE! So sucks. And, yes, is so very sad.

    However, I received a beautiful Holiday card today from you! Thanks! We've got it up on the tree! So pretty!

    12/17/2006 4:01 PM  
    Anonymous Peter said...

    It's amazing that the school district has yet to address this usse???!

    Happy holidays Matty Matt!

    12/17/2006 6:12 PM  
    Blogger Greg said...

    They probably damaged the school's reputation more by covering up than if they had handled it out in the open in the first place.

    12/18/2006 10:32 AM  

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