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Every Time I Think of You, I Smell Something

In a recent article, Every Time I Talk to You, I Hear Sirens, we discussed how sounds define your environment. Today, using the same places described in the previous article, I hope we can investigate if smell is even more strongly related to place and memory than sound.

Is smell more valuable than hearing?

Washington, D.C. – Eastern Market:
We lived near the Eastern Market Metro station. There was a large, indoor, sort of farmer’s market nearby – that gave the train station its name — we passed through every day. The food was always fresh. The smell of raisin scones embedded in your clothes was a warm and welcome scent that perfumed you throughout the work day and reminded you that, no matter what happened, your scones always loved you.

New York City — Columbia University:
When we were living in Morningside Heights near Columbia, The City had a garbage strike. When an urban core has to deal with a garbage strike in the dead of summer things quickly begin to rot on the sidewalk. And in the streets. And in your mouth. And there is no harbor from the stench of six foot mounds of black garbage bags that line every sidewalk and street corner. Even if you breathe through your mouth you still smell the putrid sting of vomit that bleeds into every crevice and populates every pore.

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I’m Wearing Invisible Pants!

Journal Square is a major transportation hub in Jersey City for bus connections and PATH train transfers. Much in the same way New York city’s “Times Square” was named after The New York Times newspaper, “Journal Square” is named after The Jersey Journal newspaper.

The Journal Square area is ripe with cultural monuments and ethnic identifications. India Square is one of my favorite places to visit and eat and drink! I also do my banking in the massive Journal Square complex.

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Attempting Death

Did you ever try to end your life?

Do you know someone who tried to commit suicide?

What stopped you from finding death?

What saved your friend from meeting success?

I’ll go first… Several years ago after purchasing a handgun I was overwhelmed with melancholia.

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Examining Moral Homilies

In the graduate school class I teach, I open the semester examining moral homilies — stories that are used to manipulate behavior in childhood for the greater good of society — and, I ask my students, why are most of those homilies rooted in religion and culture instead of the law or the economy and what were the moral homilies that formed you growing up?

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Native American Gangs

In the February 1, 2005 edition of Law Enforcement Technology, writer Liz Martinez investigates Gangs in Indian Country and offers the following insight:

Native Americans have some of the highest poverty and addiction rates in the United States and a rapidly increasing population, along with some of the highest rates of infant mortality and lowest educational levels. Because the reservations are in remote areas, the opportunities for jobs and industry are virtually non-existent.

Coupled with the fact that many young people have lost touch with or never known their native languages, customs or religious traditions and are exposed to the relentless commercialism of mainstream America–yet are without the wherewithal to achieve most of the commercial ideals–and the white-hot anger erupting among American Indian youth and manifesting itself in an explosion of gang involvement should surprise no one.

Gangs create bonds of belonging for those who feel outcast, lost and disconnected.
Helping to find ways to retie the disconnected to the positive moral core of society must become a paramount human mission reaching from suburban corral to urban core to rustic reservation.

Claes Oldenburg’s Torn Notebook

Another example of “Pretentious City Pretend Art” is Claes Oldenburg’s Torn Notebook currently found marring the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Claes Oldenburg created some magnificent and provocative pieces of art over his career but Torn Notebook is not one of them. I have felt that way from the moment the monstrosity was first described in the local Lincoln newspaper many years ago.

Here’s why: The good people of Nebraska have an identity crises.

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Machismo in the Bomb

by Hugh Faulkner

Pakistan squandered an opportunity to place world ridicule squarely on its most-hated neighbor India. Instead, the nation suffered a case of small man’s syndrome.

The Hatred
Ever since gaining independence from Britain, India and Pakistan have been bitter enemies and have both pursued a course of distrust and aggression. As a result, the citizens of these two nations have suffered the consequences. The efforts of Mohandas Ghandi to fight British oppression with passive resistance precipitated the removal of British influence. Unfortunately, this also led to a period of shame for Ghandi.

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