» 2010.Nov.22 » The Bug's school had an assembly last week. Many parents stuck around for the early-morning ceremony (outdoors). Beginning with the highest grades, one student from each class was called up by the principal — in front of the whole school — and given an award .. for demonstrating some virtuous characteristic the school espouses.
When the principal got down to the kindergarten classes, she called the Bug's name.
He went up there and chose a gift from a variety of prizes set out on a table. I couldn't help but feel proud.
In 6 weeks, the Bug will be six years.
Rad regulars may recall the Kids' First co-parenting classes I attended (court-ordered) .. where this instructor with a PhD in Child Development told me (when I asked) that the first *6* years are the most crucial, developmentally. After that » "Ya still gotta do maintenance," he said, "but the bread is done baking."
Knew then & there I had to focus .. to do a good job, nurturing him, 'til at least his 6th birthday. Made it a priority. So I've been eye'ing this date (6 weeks away) for some years now .. 5.11 » 5.12 » 6.0.
[ Great classes, btw. 8 weeks of Saturday mornings at Chapman. May be the best $300 I ever spent. At least the first time. ]
And don't think I haven't taken some serious shots along the way. Tho it's funny .. cuz these challenges are what forced me to steel my determination. (I'm sure they were intended to have the opposite effect.)
Hate to admit it, but I don't think I woulda been as good a dad without this nuclear adversity. I mean, as attentive. As interested. As dedicated.
I didn't take a single week for granted. No, sir. Cuz I was always having to fight .. to stay in his life. And I could no longer afford a lawyer after the first year or two (.. uh, cuz they are very expen$ive & I spend a lot of time in court.) All of which is stressful.
Plus, the courts use TIME-WITH-DAD as one of their main critera for determining cases where the mom petitions to move-away. So maximizing our time together took on a whole new meaning (legal). I score BIG numbers in crucial 'time-with-dad' category.
The move-away becomes increasingly traumatizing as they grow. So it's like playing beat-the-clock.
» 2010.Nov.15 » I've turned my focus back to programming with PHP. With very technical material, I seem to learn best after taking a break & putting it aside for several weeks. Maybe I need the time to digest.
But still find my thoughts drifting back to Nietzsche occasionally .. specially during that first sip of coffee in the morning. Also in the steamy shower.
In May of 1924, two wealthy kids, both "exceptionally intelligent," ages 18 & 19, named Nathan Leopold & Richard Loeb, from the University of Chicago, planned & executed (tried to, anyway) "the perfect murder."
Their motive? Get this:
Leopold, 19 at time of the murder, and Loeb, 18, believed themselves to be Nietzschean supermen who could commit a "perfect crime" (in this case kidnapping and murder).
Before the murder, Leopold had written to Loeb: "A superman ... is, on account of certain superior qualities inherent in him, exempted from the ordinary laws which govern men. He is not liable for anything he may do."
"Is any blame attached because somebody took Nietzsche's philosophy seriously and fashioned his life upon it?… It is hardly fair to hang a 19-year-old boy for the philosophy that was taught him at the university."
What's *really* weird .. is that these kids were both Jewish. And they killed another Jewish kid (.. bludgeoned in the backseat with a chisel). They saw themselves as Jewish Nietzschean Supermen (.. übermensch).
Ooh, I just realized this was 1924 .. some 15 years *before* WW II, and 18 before Jews started being exterminated at Auschwitz. (.. by Nazis who championed Nietzsche's ideas). Interesting, no? Doubt many Jews subscribed to his philosophy afterwards.
This entry continues & concludes in Ye Olde Rad Blog v4 .. see here » Leopold & Loeb Adopt Nietzsche's Philosophy of the Superman
» 2010.Nov.02 » In her book titled » The Untouched Key, little Alice Miller quotes a guy (named Richard Blunck, on page 88) who devoted himself to Nietzsche's life & work for 40 years. This is possibly the best thing I've read on what it's like to actually read Nietzsche & grapple with his ideas .. something you might call » the Nietzsche experience. (Incoming!)
Blunck's comments confirm & validate my earlier impressions .. to a remarkable degree.
In an intro to a two-thousand-page biography on Nietzsche by Curt-Paul Janz, Blunck writes (my emphasis):
"Those who come across a book of Nietzsche's for the first time, immediately sense that more is required to understand it than mere intellect, that more is involved here than following someone's logic from premise to conclusion.
They will feel they have wandered into an immense force field that is emitting shock waves of a far deeper nature than can be registered by the intellect alone. They will be struck less by the opinions and insights expressed than by the person behind those opinions & insights.
Readers will often react defensively, as if they have something to defend. If readers pursue these ideas that confront, and sometimes even assault..."
That's right .. this is the guy selected to write the intro to a two-thousand-page biography (published 1987). The mother of all biographies. Now, here's what I wrote in a previous entry (dated Oct 11, 2010, before I found Alice's book):
* "Reading Nietzsche feels like someone walking thru your mind wearing a bandolier of grenades, lobbing them, one after another, at everything we (in the Christian Western world) hold sacred."
* "Need to armor-up before entering Nietzsche's garden .. cuz you know it's coming at you. Protective gear. Bulletproof vest. Kevlar, the lightweight one. Lock-n-load. Incoming!"
* "Reading Nietzsche feels like a self-induced spiritual crisis. Yes, it's good to challenge ourselves. (I hope.) Yo Friedrich, bring it, Dawg. Bring your Nazi-inspiring philosophy."
* "Nietzsche challenges me like that. Tho in a different way. He goes deep .. to the very foundations of our Western belief systems. An area normally off-limits."