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  • Friday, May 01, 2009

    by Sean Ripple

    yours is the heartbreaking story
    I read about while eating lunch

    mine is the absurdly oversold cable news tragedy
    that has been fashioned into a punchline
    for a cable clip comedy show

    Thursday, March 26, 2009

    by Sean Ripple

    On that bed
    may we not buckle

    On the day we’re unmade
    may we not stumble

    If you’re so inclined,
    feel free to fear,
    but please save the suffer


    Our life isn’t lived
    to please one eager to punish

    What sort of vengeance do you think lives unseen?

    But if a punisher is waiting
    if a punisher is waiting

    Let him pass over me

    Thursday, January 22, 2009

    Talking 'Bout No Generation
    by Sean Ripple

    “How can we not?”

    This was the response a fellow student made in regard to my dismissal of the cultural practice of assigning characteristics to people of a particular generation and categorizing these people based on those characteristics– itself a response to another student reading some of the characteristics of our generation aloud to the class. The air of the fellow student’s comment was not combative, it’s was more like she was trying to appeal to my sense of duty.

    This exchange occurred in early December, and it’s still gnawing at me a bit. Ambivalence being a prime motivator for a good deal of my writing (I’ve started to concede to her point while simultaneously holding on to the one I offered in class), I decided that this would be a good topic to write about for my first post of the New Year.

    Can a commonality be established between people born within a few years of each other who, as a result of their proximity in time and geography, experience similar historical events? Yes and no seems to be the answer.

    Certainly an event on the macroscopic scale that history deals in can cause individuals to act in ways they might not act, were the event never to come to pass. In this way, one can view historical context as a sculptor of generational trend, where commonality begins to emerge. However, because individual response is dynamic, the manner in which a person reacts to an event played out on the historical stage is varied. It is here that it seems that an aggregate begins to stratify and subdivide as much as it unifies and exhibits trends that we can use for categorization.

    Additionally, the degree to which a generational commonality manifests depends upon the nature of the objective stimulus visited upon the people who share a proximate relationship in time. By means of a simple example I will attempt to make the point more concrete. Consider two young children who are close in age and have grown up fully immersed in computer technology (to the degree in which we commonly experience it at this point in history). Though these children can be said to share a similar base of computer using experience and will certainly exhibit some degree of commonality such as knowledge of the name and functions of computer peripherals, how to work within a particular computing environment and how to use an internet browser, one can not say that the way in which they use the computer is the same. One child may begin to use the computer to learn about principals of computing from the perspective of an engineer, seeking to understand how to build such a device from the ground up, while the other may simply use it as a gaming device. To generalize and categorize these children simply as computer users glosses over the depth of individual experience and is a disservice to the fact that the children, though they share similar computer skills, have essential differences in the way in which they use their skills.

    That being said, it’s hard to escape the thought that shared experience within historically proximate time does contribute to a certain degree of generational trend. Again, the thought here is that the type of event influences the degree of commonality exhibited. An example that comes to mind is The Great Depression. The conclusion that a global economic crisis doesn’t contribute to a common outlook and generational trend is contrarian at best and foolish most definitely.

    So where does that leave us? Nowhere and everywhere…

    Friday, November 07, 2008

    I’ve Been the Death of Chivalry
    by Sean Ripple
    www.flickr.com/photoaiting. s/flatlife

    It’s early on a Tuesday morning. I’m waiting at my new since July bus stop with my bike so that I can get to work. A number of route riding regulars, who have been riding the route long enough to act like chitter chatting middle schoolers on a school bus show up. One of the last to arrive before the bus hits our stop is one such regular – a woman in her late 50’s, who like myself, has a bike in tow.

    The bus hits our stop. There’s another bike on the two bike capacity bike rack that’s attached to the front of the bus. The in her late 50’s cancer-surviving bus-riding bicyclist regular begins to adjust her belongings in such a way that I’m lead to believe she’s going to try to take the vacant bike slot, though she was the last to arrive to the stop. After a few twitches of time pass I gain the courage to say, “How are we going to do this… I was here first… you ok with me taking the slot?” She says, “sure that’s fine.”

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    Bus Math
    By Sean Ripple

    I overheard a woman using the word yeah excessively while talking to a man on the bus this morning. At 45th and Lamar I decided to tally the amount of times she said the word yeah until either the man she was talking to got off the bus, she got off the bus, or I got off the bus. At Guadalupe and 21st, the man the woman was talking to got off the bus. At that point she said the word yeah 257 times – keep in mind she said the word a considerable amount more than this prior to my tallying… the fact that she used the word excessively was why I began tallying her use in the first place.

    When the woman got off the bus, she said yeah once more to the driver, bringing her total for the ride to 258.

    I wonder how many times she uses the word in a day…

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    Where My People At?
    by Sean Ripple

    Over the past 2 days, as a gesture of goodwill and solidarity, I’ve waved at/nodded my head to 6 fellow bicyclists I’ve seen on the road while riding my bike home from work/riding my bike to work from home/riding my bike to class from work/riding my bike to work from class… not 1 of the 6 cyclists has reciprocated the gesture.

    Thursday, July 31, 2008

    Quote by Someone Who Has the Authority to Say So
    By Sean Ripple

    I mean no disrespect, for I truly admire the scientific enterprise for all that it is, but science’s greatest folly is that by means of the controlled experiment, it seeks to understand an existence which is inconceivably dynamic.