>Fifty years ago Mingus Columbia released ‘The Fables of Faubus’, Mingus’ condemnation of Governor Faubus’ attempt to stop the integration of Arkansas schools.
In a bit of family history that I’m pretty proud of, my uncle was there as part of the 101st airborne unit sent to protect the African-American students.
>tonight I went running on playing fields near my apartment. It was just before nine but the stadium lighting made everything visible. I came to the darkest corner of the fields where a fence separates them from an undeveloped expanse thick with brush. As a ran, a large animal ambled toward me, rabbit limp in its mouth. The rabbit dangled nerveless, probably just killed body much longer without the tautness and compression of life. At first I couldn’t tell what the predator was, the body thick with smooth muscle over squatty legs. I thought fox, then coyote, then dog, but it didn’t have the pointed ears or muzzle. As I got closer I saw that it was a cat, a bobcat, had those side-whiskers that look like mutton chops and a cat’s lope. It was big for a bobcat. A website said they can way up to thirty pounds and this animal was all of that. The bobcat let me get pretty close, slinking along through the grass, then sliding under a set of bleachers with its dinner. All around on the field other rabbits grazed peacefully, only hopping away when they were in danger of being stepped on.
On that same night, and the next, I kept running by a bloody rabbit skin near the same place on the field. I guess the hunting is good.
>Irvine is the anti-Brooklyn. When I first got here I was describing it to a friend of mine. I talked about the sunny days, the bright colors, the sculpted green landscapes, the happy polite undergrads, and of course the bunnies hopping about everywhere.
Ir sounds like the teletubbies, she said.
What are teletubbies? I said.
[a capsule history for other uniformed souls]
The programme features four colorful characters: Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po, who live in a futuristic dome (the “Tubbytronic Superdome”), set in a landscape of rolling green hills. The environment is dotted with unusually talkative flowers and periscope-like “voice trumpets”. The only natural fauna are rabbits (although birds are often heard, particularly blackcaps and wrens). The climate is always sunny and pleasant save for occasional inclement days, with rain and puddles, and snow at Christmas time. The Teletubbies are played by actors dressed in bulky costumes, although the sets are designed to give no sense of scale. The Teletubbies don’t normally wear real clothes other than the colored suits they wear. They have metallic silver-azure rectangular “screens” adorning their abdomens. These screens are used to segue into short film sequences, which are generally repeated at least once. When the series is shown in different countries around the world, the film inserts can be tailored to suit local audiences, or default to the British ones.
They even had bunnies? I said.
They had bunnies, she said.
Thanks god I was too old to be subjected to that, I said.
Another more sinister way to think of the students here is as Eloi, wandering through a Brutalist landscape built by Morlocks (played by the U.C. Regents). Someday the Morlocks will devour the witless happy Eloi.