Tuesday, April 26, 2011

* (D.A.D.):Out-Trumping Trump: The Best of News and the Worst of News

 Paul Keane, You're Fired !

 Out-Foxing the Foxes

Thus ends another year of publication of the Yale Daily News, except for occasional issues during reading week and the summer.

When I reflect on my postings and the nearly three-year history of The AntiYale (9/11/09) whose creation was prompted by my donation of the Macintosh Chalice to Yale Law School , http://www.law.yale.edu/news/8334.htm 
455 posts ago, I see a pattern which others may not see or find a ridiculous assertion: I’m behaving the way I think a chaplain and a dean of students ought to behave at a great university, as a gadfly and an outraged idealist.

After all, I have degrees in both areas. In 1969-1973, in the crucible of student unrest at Kent State University, I took a Master of Education degree in something called Student Personnel Services and Administration in Higher Education, a degree which outfitted me to be a cipher and an opinionless-go-between aka an Assistant Dean of Student Something-Or-Other.

 I rebelled against it and became a student activist for a federal grand jury of the Kent State murders.

 Similarly, at Yale between 1976 -85, I took a Master of Divinity degree (M. Div.’80) which outfitted me to be Something-Or-Other in a Chaplain’s office, another cipher position unless you were William Sloane Coffin with credentials from American 'aristocracy'.  

I rebelled against that and compelled  Yale (and 20 million television viewers)  into facing the heterosexual nature of AIDS  and the reality of New Haven prostitution, drug abuse, and  Yale Police discrimination against townspersons who did not fit the “Ivy-league” model, myself included.  See "The Arrest of Paul Keane at Yale Divinity School Thrown out of Court" at   http://yalegrad80.blogspot.com

The "Single best piece of publicity ever to come out of Kent State" and the worst publicity ever to come out of Yale.

Of course I would have been fired within six months if I behaved as an administrator or chaplain at Yale the way I have behaved in The Anti-Yale and on the Yale Daily News posting board.

But I out-trumped both Kent State and Yale by performing those offices without their title or salaries with the  idiosyncratic job-descriptions peculiar to the times which I  nonchalantly invented to go along with them!

 Indeed, even though I had a  dorm-counselor's  job and later coordinator's job at Kent State, they couldn't fire me because as Jim Bruss, Director of Kent State Public Relations after the shootings at Kent State said, "Paul Keane brought Kent State the best single piece of publicity" it ever had.  And I did so without their having to pay a penny for it.

But I also did so without compromising the injustice of the murders. (see Pop's Snow Squad piece, in video above, which appeared as the Christmas Eve Story on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, 1972, two years after the Kent murders.) The man I beatified, Pop Fisher,  was the ONLY person in town with guts enough to stand up for students after the Kent State murders.

But Kent State, instead of firing me, could (and did)  offer me a one-year non-renewable contract,  in a sinecure at the Center for Peaceful Change paid for out of the President's discretionary fund, if I would only promise to leave Kent State. ($5,800 as I recall in 1973; barely enough to survive.)  I quit after ten months, after creating the May 4th Resource Center (the first archives on the murders) rather than let my contract expire, without a whimper.

At Yale, I brought them the worst single piece of publicity they had ever had (up to that point): See video of 60 Minutes piece  (above) on a New Haven prostitute with AIDS, the first person in America known to have transmitted AIDS heterosexually.

Yale couldn't fire me because I was performing the functions of a chaplain and administrator ( as I quixotically defined those roles) without benefit title, pay, or even moral support.

Nor can they fire me now, their uninvited blogging-mascot, contrarian chaplain, and devil's- advocate dean (d.a.d.): The Anti-Yale.

Ford: A farewell to trolls

The Good of This Place


The Yale Daily  News

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Paul Keane: Otherwise known, of course, as “The Anti-Yale.” He went to Yale Divinity School a long time ago, and possesses the uncanny ability to relate each and every current event to his own life. There was a shooting at Toad’s? He graduated from Kent State in 1972, you know. Someone put up racist graffiti? He went to this conference at Cornell in the ’60s where someone said something racist. Students like wearing sweatpants? He lives in Vermont, actually, and they wear overalls there, which is pretty close. There was a breakthrough on Lyme disease? One of PK’s good friends had a roommate who had that! Did he mention he went to Yale Divinity School? It’s safe to say PK has commented more and earlier than any other troll in YDN history and maintains a titular, much-updated blog (among many others). That said, his commitment is actually pretty impressive (if a bit worrisome), and he receives extra points for commenting under his real name. Then again, if he didn’t, how else could he prove he went to some version of Yale?

Monday, April 25, 2011

* My Digital Funeral Service

If you look closely you can see my kneeling reflection in the tombstone taking the photograph.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

* 41 Blogs-- Samuel Pepys and Thornton Wilder

The Bridge of San Luis Rey

I've been going through dusty file drawers for the last three years and converting  fifty years of paper files to digital files, now  in the form of blogs. ( Click on "My profile" to the right to arrive at the actual blogs which open with a click) What impresses me most in these half-century of  records, is how many little shrines I have created to interesting people

Today I was watching the dedication of the W.W. II Memorial in Washington, which honored former Senator Bob Dole, one of the sponsors of the idea for the memorial.  Vice President Biden said, as did others, "Bob Dole's name will never be forgotten."

Every time I hear these types of glorious predictions I am reminded that  they absolutely contradict my experience of life.  People are forgotten almost immediately after they leave this world. It is almost a form of amnesia necessary to the continuation of history.  If you are dragging the memories of people around with you like the chains of Jacob Marley's ghost, life becomes an ordeal.

I have watched the memories of some of the folks I have paid tribute to in these blogs, evaporate in less than a decade, even folks who had earned half-page obituaries in the New York Times.

I am pleased on this Easter Sunday to resurrect the memories of many worthies on my digital dashboard here.

Like Thornton Wilder, however, I am aware that "death is just another heartbeat."  

All of the hearts now beating are moving quietly and unrelentingly away one beat at a time  from those hearts which have stopped beating.

Hear Samuel Pepys on the death of his brother (March 18, 1664 entry):  

And being come to the grave as above, Dr. Pierson, the Minister of the parish, did read the service for the buriall and so I saw my poor brother laid into the grave; and so all broke up and I and my wife and Madam Turner and her family to my brother's, and by and by fell into a barell of oysters, Cake, and cheese of Mr. Honeywoods, with him in his chamber and below -- being too merry for so late a sad work; but Lord, to see how the world makes nothing of the memory of a man an hour after he is dead.  And endeed, I must blame myself; for though at the sight of him, dead and dying, I had real grief for a while, while he was in my sight, yet presently after and ever since, I have had very little grief endeed for him. 

 (Pepys, p. 91; 18-19 March, 1664)

Another, perhaps more hopeful,  Thornton Wilder quote comes to mind  too, the final line from The Bridge of San Luis Rey : "There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning."

Please note the words; " the only survival".

Saturday, April 23, 2011

* " It depends on what "it" is."

(link to Mr. Fiddler's article)

The "it" in Garrett Fiddler's article (see my post below) raises the question: What kind of Christianity are the posters alluding to at Yale: the self-abusive, self-hating, self-flagellating kind of Chrsitianity that says
"I am worthless; but, because I am loved by Divinity I have value"?

From COMMENTS posted to article:

"Good to remember that he was beaten and mocked and killed so that you didn’t have to be — because you deserved it"
I hope this "it" in the sentence above is a case of an unposited referent.
Otherwise we must ask: Why IN HEAVEN'S NAME would any human being DESERVE to be beaten and mocked and killed?
Because s/he ate an apple, disobeying an autocratic patriarch in a Babylonian garden thousands of years ago?
Such a masochistic self-flagellatory, self-crucifixion, interpretation of Christianity does untold damage to the human psyche and is antithtetical to the spirit of Easter.
Paul D. Keane
M.Div. '80

Say what you will, the fact remains that no "ROFL" would ever be placed on a Koran, a symbol of gay rights, Special olympics or any of the cherished minority references. However, no brouhaha is heard from admin when the Cross of Christ is defaced so insultingly. Chickenhawks. As long as the protest may be violent or prolonged (or both), Yale will rise to the occasion with the appropriate moral outrage and demand that the behavior stop. Has that been heard on the "ROFL" insult?
No brouhaha is made by the Yale Administration or the Divinity School or the Chaplain's Office because they understand the history of the theology behind INRI and recognize that the cross was NOT DEFACED by substituting ROFL for INRI.
You can't deface INRI by UPDATING Pontius Pilate's insult with a MODERN DAY EQUIVALENT. Rolling on the Floor Laughing (ROFL) is precisely what Pontius Pilate was doing when he put "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Judeans" (INRI) on Jesus's cross.
If anything, the "ROFL incident" has brought some needed intellectual discussion to Easter at Yale.
Bravo for that!
Paul Keane
M. Div. '80
Posted by The Anti-Yale on April 23, 2011 at 12:29 p.m

Were it not for the ROFL tab on this cross, the university would be denouncing this stunt as a hate crime against non-Christians.
Some of the faithful have a deep seated NEED to embrace a persecution-ideation in order to feel fully participant in the Crucifixion choreography of this annual three-day event.
That NEED has been inculcated since childhood and cannot be removed with an appeal to facts or logic.
Ideation is not logical.
Paul Keane
M. Div, '80

Friday, April 22, 2011

* Latter-Day-Literalists v. Emersonian Metaphorists at Yale: Easter Debate

ROFL is text message lingo for Roll On the Floor Laughing.  Someone at Yale substituted the inscription  ROFL on a Christian cross for INRI (Jesus Christ King of the Judeans) setting off a debate (click previous phrase in black) and the following article. 

 Fiddler: Good Friday and the ROFL cross


Thursday, April 21, 2011


Well said.
Metaphor suits me better: Santiago bent with the mast to his small boat headed toward the oceans off Havana in The Old Man and the Sea.
The "cross" which all men (and women) bear ---not just Christians --is LIFE itself---for there is no way out of life EXCEPT by DEATH: the VERY CRUCIFXION which every living creature must endure, a crucifixion WHICH WAS choreographed by none other than the Author (or "Father" ) of life itself.
Then what's the "eternal life" in this kind of interpretation of Christianity? It is "life" free from the ANXIETY of the neurotic attempt to prolong itself.
It's total acceptance and faith that every minute is an undeserved gift, a miracle.
And resurrection? It is GRATITUDE----the sudden appreciation of every second (Think "Emily's soliloquy" before she returns to the land of the dead in Our Town)
Think of it---to be able SEE color, SMELL lilacs, FEEL velvet, HEAR music or any combination of the previous. (ask Helen Keller)
What a Metaphor.
What an Easter.

@Anti-Yale: that is a beautiful interpretation of Christianity...but I don't think it need exclude the metaphysical interpretation, either. In other words, I see this as a case of not metaphor, but metonymy - not resemblance, but contiguity. To me, resurrection is not a metaphor for gratitude, but the ultimate manifestation of a death-resisting presence which we sense in the lilacs, velvet, color, and music of which you speak...
In any case, neither the metonymy nor the metaphor receives much attention from finger-waggers or the hatemongers.
I like the notion you propose of 'death-resisting presence".
If Hemingway doesn't work, try the last words of The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder: "There is a land of the living and a land of the dead the and the bridge is love----the only survival, the only meaning."

The cross is a 'symbol'. Symbols are open to interpretation. Since there are hundreds of different Christian sects, the meaning of the symbol differs with different groups.

These posts and the posts for yesterday's article on the ROFL controversy at Yale delineate the dichotomy in America between the Hallmark-Greeting-Card-Country-Club-Christianity-of-Latter-Day-Literalists and the Emersonian Christianity of Metaphor and Transcendent Suffering in all Being.
Worthy of Easter.

"Believers are graciously and clearly articulating what Christianity truly is."
There are dozens of different Christianities from Orthodox to Roman Catholic to Evangelical to Mormon to Unitarian to English Catholic to Quaker to Shaker and on and on.
It is IMPOSSIBLE for the phrase "What Christianity truly is" to have a consensus definition.
It is similar to saying "What love truly is." (which BTW has a pretty famous definition in 1 Cor. 13 ! )
Have an inspiring, DIVERSE, Easter.
Paul Keane
M.Div. '80