Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11

...has always been a significant date in our family, because it is my oldest brother Joe's birthday! Joe is an Associate Professor of International and Intercultural Studies at Pitzer College in/near Claremont, CA; in addition to being well-versed in critical cultural discourse, he is thoughtful, kind, generous, humble, and fully committed to being a person of honor and integrity.  He is an *amazing* dad to his son/my nephew Benjamin, a loving and gently concerned big brother to me, and a devoted partner to my "sister-in-love" Yvonne...

Because of my brother Joe's influence in my life, I (among other things):

  • traveled to Japan before I learned to drive;
  • spent countless hours court side at basketball games;
  • developed a latent talent for locating missing contact lenses in suboptimal conditions (basketball court mid-game, muddy football field, city bus, etc.); 
  • observed the "loneliness of the long-distance runner" up close;
  • had an ally in the family when things were hard to understand - or just hard; 
  • learned about "poiple boids*;" 
  • saw progressive political philosophy translated into real ways of being in the world;
  • discovered Gayatri Spivak
and finally, 
  • I learned that a formidable intelligence does not require a formidable ego - indeed, that humility about one's own intellectual capacity and limitations are key to healthy exercise of that intellect in the do as Spivak suggests, that is, to operate with "an acceptance of radical vulnerability..."

Thanks, Joe!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
(or, as you say...)

* poiple boids: Thoity poiple boids were sitting on the coib, a'choimpin' and a'goimpin' and a'eatin' doity woims, when along came Boit and a squoit named Goit who woik in a shoit factory in Joisey. When Boit and the squoit named Goit saw da thoity poiple boids a'choimpin' and a'goimpin' and a'eatin' doity woims, boy, were they pertoibed!