Sunday, January 29, 2006

I love me my stereotypes

One of the things I decided early on was that I wouldn't try to tell you how to think, with this blog. I'll tell you how I think, and why I think that way--but, often enough, I'm not entirely certain about anything. I think the world is a complex and surreal place, with intricate interconnected dynamics of influence and cause-and-effect.

Certainty, that is to say, is either for those much smarter than me; or for those who have given up completely.

I happily encountered a kind philosophy professor, my freshman year in college, who took the time to essentially deprogram me from the fundamentalist religious upbringing I brought with me into his Technology, Society, and Values seminar. Frankly, I'm not even sure I'd have turned out quite sane, without Charlie's patient Socratic questioning about "truths" I was so certain of. *No comments from the peanut gallery about my relative sanity, either.

What part of your upbringing and education do you look at and think, "That. That helped define who I've become. That person (or insert other noun of your own experience) shaped how I think"?

That said, you should read Michael Bérubé's Academic Freedom essay (via Making Light.)
What animates the radical right, in other words, is not so much a specific liberal belief about stem-cell research here or gay civil unions there; on an abstract level, it’s not about any specific liberal issues at all. Rather, it’s about the very existence of areas of political and intellectual independence that do not answer directly and favorably to the state. So, for example (and this is my final example, chosen especially for you librarians out there), when in April 2005 Alabama state representative Gerald Allen proposed a bill that would have prevented Alabama’s public libraries from buying books by gay authors or involving gay characters, he wasn’t actually acting as a conservative. Real “conservatives” don’t do that. He was behaving like a member of the radical right. Indeed, his original intent was to strip libraries of all such works, from Shakespeare to Alice Walker; and as he put it, “I don’t look at it as censorship. I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children.” Thankfully, relatively few public officials see it as their job to protect the children of America from the heritage of Western culture.

But some do, and that’s why academic freedom is so important. It may not be written into the Bill of Rights—you know, the real one, the one in the Constitution. It is far younger than the rights enumerated there, and more fragile. But together with freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the freedom of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, academic freedom is an aspect of procedural liberalism that is one of the cornerstones of a free society. If you believe in the ideals of the open society and the intellectual legacies of the Enlightenment, you should believe in academic freedom—and you should believe that it is a freedom is worth defending.

Now--I admittedly associate anecdotes like the one above with southern and midwestern states, almost exclusively. Or I did, until the PA Intelligent Design case came up, and was so hard-fought.

Is there no sin in it? offers an interesting take on that snobbery and reverse-snobbery--which I'm as guilty of as the next guy or gal:
Those who would appeal to the uneducated hold that there is a coterie of liberal wealthy academics, atheists all, who spend most of a day out-laughing one another over dark witticisms in French while they rave over food that smells like old socks. The uneducated propose that, in private, these people must actually find bodily fluids funny.

Those who would appeal to the educated claim that there is a tragic sector of the population who are functionally illiterate, watch hours and hours of television, love killing things, and find nothing more wonderful under the sun than a well-timed fart. The educated assume that, in private, these people are deeply, solemnly at one with God.
I think those observations are true and important, because those stereotypes polarize the opposite sides of the debate about what should and shouldn't be taught; and about how things should or shouldn't be taught. Deep down, she's got me pegged. On some level, I believe that if parents wants their kids to hear about Creation--or Intelligent Design, because frankly, I believe it's the same thing--those parents must be mouth-breathing Nascar fans with GEDs, and living in a 1974 double-wide, thinking frozen tater-tots are a vegetable.

That is, of course, quite wrong. So how on earth did I develop that conviction? Is this a media thing? How did these careful constructs get built? How did I manage to be so susceptible to them? This isn't a product of how I was raised. We were hardly rich and intellectual liberals--my generation was the first on either side of the family to complete college. So where do these come from, these polarized constructs in my mind?

While we're at it, how do you perceive the state of academic freedom? Are we in danger? Or for the more conservative readers, here--you know who you are *grin*--do you have personal experiences with academic bias? Not stories you've heard, mind you; but things that happened to you or yours.

What is the single most important thing to teach our children?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Clap, if you believe!

Here's an interesting news item:
VILLAGERS who protested that a new housing estate would “harm the fairies” living in their midst have forced a property company to scrap its building plans and start again.

Marcus Salter, head of Genesis Properties, estimates that the small colony of fairies believed to live beneath a rock in St Fillans, Perthshire, has cost him £15,000. His first notice of the residential sensibilities of the netherworld came as his diggers moved on to a site on the outskirts of the village, which crowns the easterly shore of Loch Earn.

He said: “A neighbour came over shouting, ‘Don’t move that rock. You’ll kill the fairies’.” The rock protruded from the centre of a gently shelving field, edged by the steep slopes of Dundurn mountain, where in the sixth century the Celtic missionary St Fillan set up camp and attempted to convert the Picts from the pagan darkness of superstition.

Heh. Darned pagan darkness, bogging down good capitalist endeavors like that! I must say--I like that fairies are apparently anti-development. It sort of puts ELF in a whole new light, eh?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Shall we?

Let us speak of first love.

You know the one I mean. Whoever it was--his or her name sprang immediately into the front of your mind. No matter how long ago, how far away; no matter how very different you were, then.

For the most part, I think the notion of romantic love doesn't do us many favors. I'd like very much to say I don't even believe in it--that it's really a mixture of pheromones, chemistry, and youthful naivete. I'd like to say that . . . but I don't entirely believe it.

The really strange thing is that no matter how you go on--how well or how permanently you love, later in life--you never forget. Somehow, the memory doesn't detract from other loves, other places, either; rather, the memory only adds to who you've become.

For me, it was Nina. I think I was all of about 20 years old.

She lived in the room next to mine, my last year in the dorms. She played the strangest music, very loud, at the most ungodly hours.

She had thirteen piercings in her left ear, seven in her right. She wore a lot of black, smoked Virginia Slims, and drove this horrible and enormous green car that she had named; for the life of me, I can't remember what she called it, though. She piloted the thing very fast, and in highly alarming fashion--stomping the accelerator and laughing like a lunatic at the smaller cars and pedestrians scrambling to get out of her path. I mostly clutched the dashboard and the armrest, and tried to seem both relaxed and worldly-wise.

She got me drunk one afternoon, kidnapped me from my advanced symbolic logic class and took me to the mall where she had the top of my left ear pierced.

It was excruciating. I very nearly passed out in the chair right there in the earring kiosk, in fact.

But I still wear a discreet stud through the hole, even now, when I am closer to 40 than to twenty.

To my enduring regret, I never told her how I felt.

Your turn. Tell me about your first love.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Go, Google!

Let me preface this post by saying I'm not particularly an advocate of pornography. I am an advocate of free speech, however. Consenting adults, and all that--sure. It doesn't bother me except in mostly abstract terms about what it means to objectify and sexualize human beings into. . .errr. . .actually, that's another post altogether.

I am staunchly of the belief that child pornography is evil and indefensible. I suspect most of us are of the same mind.

However, does anyone honestly believe that the government really wants millions of records from Google, from two specific months, for the sake of a court-battle over a law struck down in 2004, as unconsitutional? I don't buy it.

Thomas Claburn, InformationWeek, as posted on CRN:
The government initially asked for two sets of data. First, a file containing all "URLs that are available to be located through a query on your company's search engine as of July 31, 2005." Following discussions with Google, this request was narrowed to "a multi-stage random sample of one million URLs."

Second, the government asked for all "queries that have been entered on your company's search engine between June 1, 2005 and July 31, 2005, inclusive."

The DoJ said in the filing: "The production of those materials would be of significant assistance to the Government's preparation of its defense of the constitutionality of this important statute."

In a statement opposing the DoJ demands, Google associate general counsel Nicole Wong said, "Google is not a party to this lawsuit and their demand for information overreaches. We had lengthy discussions with them to try to resolve this, but were not able to and we intend to resist their motion vigorously."

John Battelle, an online publishing entrepreneur and author of "The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture," expects that the federal government will make more such requests of search engines.

More on the matter, here:

The case worries privacy advocates, given the vast amount of information Google and other search engines know about their users.

"This is exactly the kind of case that privacy advocates have long feared," said Ray Everett-Church, a South Bay privacy consultant. "The idea that these massive databases are being thrown open to anyone with a court document is the worst-case scenario. If they lose this fight, consumers will think twice about letting Google deep into their lives."

Everett-Church, who has consulted with Internet companies facing subpoenas, said Google could argue that releasing the information causes undue harm to its users' privacy.

"The government can't even claim that it's for national security," Everett-Church said. "They're just using it to get the search engines to do their research for them in a way that compromises the civil liberties of other people."

It might behoove us to remember the government--ANY government--exists to serve the needs of the people, and not vice versa. In the wake of the recent NSA wiretapping scandal, this seems indicative of an especially troubling trend.

But then . . . this administration has never seemed all that concerned about the Constitution, anyway.

Tough question

From a NYTimes item about the new Bin Laden tape, this morning:
Vice President Dick Cheney, asked by Fox News about the tape, said it now seemed likely that Mr. bin Laden, whom some had believed dead, was alive. But, the vice president said, Mr. bin Laden has clearly had trouble getting his message out and added, "We don't negotiate with terrorists."

"I think you have to destroy them," he said. "It's the only way to deal with them."

Mr. bin Laden offered the American people a vague truce, saying "both sides can enjoy security and stability under this truce so we can build Iraq and Afghanistan." Later in the statement he quotes from a book which calls for an end to what he termed "American interference in the nations of the world."

What do you guys think? What's the right thing to do? How do you interpret this new information?

A sad commentary on American post-secondary education

I offer, for your jeers, sneers, and general disapproval. These enterprising souls are trying to recruit papers-for-hire from at least one writer's board.

From their website:

There are a number of important steps you need to take in order to ensure that you don’t get caught when you buy a paper.
1. Never admit anything!
2. Only use a custom written paper, pre-written papers are easy for teachers to track down.
3. If you have gotten "D"s all semester, let your writer know. If you get an A+ on the final after a pattern like this, a red flag will be raised in the teacher’s mind. If the teacher does ask why this paper is so much better, just say that you felt badly about how you slacked off in the early part of the course, and really went the extra mile to make up for it with this paper.
4. If you are accused, offer to show the teacher a rough draft of your work. (Don’t expect to get away with it if you buy a paper from a site that doesn’t give you rough drafts.)
5. Only buy papers from companies that check their writers for plagiarism. Many supposedly custom paper companies will sell the same paper over and over, or copy it outright from somewhere else.
6. Make sure that you understand all the words in your paper. If you get a rough draft filled with words you don’t know, tell the writer.
7. Make sure you can briefly state the main argument of the paper and the conclusion.
8. Finally, hold your ground, if you follow all of these steps, there is absolutely no way anyone will be able to prove anything.
Lovely. Just lovely. They even offer a sample essay.

I especially like the way they check their writers for plagiarism. Cuz, ya know, that's just the kind of world we live in. People cheat, if they think they can get away with it, right?

When did students stop thinking of their education as an actual means of improving themselves, but rather an asset or a commodity, to be purchased?

And what the hell kind of unethical asswipes are writing these papers, in the first place?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Thursday's Child*

In honor of Dawno, I'd like to talk a wee bit about Star Trek. My mother was a hard-core fan of the original show, and my baby sis and I watched the syndicated episodes after school every day (at least until my mother gave away the TV set, because my baby sis was refusing to learn to read--but that's another story, entirely.)

My most fervent wish was for a working communicator. I suspect I wasn't alone--in fact, I think we can safely blame our fetish for flip-phones on the fact that we grew up on Star Trek reruns. As for me, I love my Razr with no apologies. It's black and sleek, and has bluetooth that usually works.

I found out too late about THIS; though, Dawno probably has one.

For a mere $25,000, an honest-to-god piece of Captain Kirk has changed hands, too. (The proceeds went to charity--kudos to Bill Shatner.)

The coolest thing about Star Trek is the idealistic vision of an future society, constantly encountering quandaries while balancing its egalitarian principles with the realities of both small-scale villainy and large-scale tyranny--all without losing sight of those admirable goals of freedom and equality.

Every time we humans get something right, it gives me that same little surge of hope and optimism. So I was surprised and pleased to see the Vatican newsletter come out with a statement that ID is not science.

Oh, oh! And then there's the safe return of NASA's Stardust!

So we have quite a way to go, before achieving any egalitarian utopian vision. We do try, though. As long as we still try, there's hope, eh?

Happy Thursday, everyone.

* Monday's child is fair of face.
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
Wednesday's child is full of woe.
Thursday's child has far to go. . .

Not sure what this little ditty says about Yesterday's Son, though.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Mixed Feelings

Before I forget, if you've a taste for the slightly skewed, and aren't following Emily Veinglory's Gay Zombie Penguins, you probably should.

I'm a bad lesbian. I have no real desire to see Brokeback Mountain, although I probably will go anyway because Annie Proulx wrote the short story.

I will admit that the apparently deep-seated appeal of slash fic is somehow lost on me. I strongly suspect the good looks of the two young actors in the movie, coupled with the novelty and promise of hot guy-on-guy chemistry, is boosting this movie's popularity far beyond what it might otherwise exhibit. Normally, I'd expect a movie like this to come out low-budget, with complete unknown actors, play a long weekend in the local art-house, then disappear forever.

I'm stunned and impressed that the story--it's a good story, by the way, published in The New Yorker, in 1997--managed to draw such big names.

I worry, however, on a couple of points. I worry that a queer lovestory going so mainstream will serve to create a tempest in a teapot with the idiot far-right, and distract from the fact that we can't marry our long-term partners, file a joint tax-return, or do any number of other little things that straight, married people take completely for granted. I worry that the backlash will serve to distract from the fact that in many states it is completely legal to deny housing or employment on the basis of sexuality. "Look, you got Brokeback Mountain, for chrissakes--you're getting your perversion flaunted right in our faces, so quit yer whinin'!"

I dunno. I could just be paranoid, too.

Then, there's the completely selfish aspect--I don't really want to let the idiot far-right in on queerness. I don't really want them to see the pain and the heart-breaking self-identification battles. I don't really want to share with them that rare, private moment of "oh, my god...this is why I've never quite fit in." It feels too personal. Too private. If I thought it would make a difference for one single second, then perhaps I'd feel differently. These people aren't even going to go see the movie, though--much less experience some sort of epiphany. They'll just use it as so much more ammunition about the "homosexual agenda"--which is not about rubbing anyone's face in anything, by the way; but rather, it's about being able to have a job and an apartment; and about not being beaten nearly to death, tied with your own shoelaces and left to die hanging from a fence . . . all just because you're queer.

I will say, after cruising a handful of message boards to see what was being said about the movie, I'm glad for the sake of the young and enthusiastic newly-gay*, out there. They seem to feel affirmed and, frankly, a bit giddy. As if this movie really is a triumph towards the greater goal of cultural acceptance.

In the long run, I'm afraid, it'll do no such thing.

*Newly-gay being the under thirty-five crowd. After a couple of decades, it gets harder to sustain that level of enthusiasm about your sexuality--probably regardless of gender-preference.

Not that it isn't still fun...

More Rain

26 consecutive days of rain.

There's inches of standing water covering everyone's lawns.
Mine, too.

The sun has gone. This is reality. It has always rained. It is raining now. It will rain every day, forever.

I can't even smoke, anymore. I tried to smoke a cig, and it tasted terrible--sort of like if you burned dirt, mixed with roofing tar and old newspapers.

This sucks.

My laptop is still broken, too. The repair guys are lying to me...I can sense it. "Oh! We were just about to CALL you!"

My ass they were. They weren't going to call me. They didn't even know which laptop was mine. Although, next time, maybe I'll just pay the bill on the one they try to give me, and take my chances...

Did I mention it's our 26th consecutive rainy day?

I feel my mental processes decaying. I don't remember what the sun looks like.

I've been staring at the wall beyond the desktop monitor for a long time. I think the pattern is moving. Now and again, I look away, and look back quick--trying to catch it happening.

I can see the difference. Sometimes I can detect the motion, from the corner of my eye.

Then I look directly at it, and it stops, immediately.

What was the question, again?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

AGH! I missed a tag!

I always feel so guilty when that happens...
Sorry 'bout that, Tish!

The meme goes like this:

1. go to your archive
2. find the 23rd post
3. find the 5th sentence
4. post the text of the sentence in a blog entry along with these instruction
5. tag 5 other people

Unfortunately, there aren't five sentences in my 23rd post.

The entirety of that post reads: "No matter HOW bloody smart you think you are, it really DOES help to plot the damn thing first."

Now I'm tagging Jill, Ray, Unique (what the hell happened to your blog?!) Kira and Jason.

A Rant

Recently, an internet acquaintance said something I keep thinking about. Over at AW, HConn said: "I love how the term "PC" became a derogatory term for not insulting people. My father, a construction worker, taught me to be PC, but since the term hadn't been invented then, he called it "having manners," and it was usually accompanied by a dummy slap."

I've thought about that for a couple of days, now. Like you, I'm growing accustomed to the conservative backlash over political correctness. I wince every time I hear "PC" used to denigrate an idea or argument.

Even worse, the accusation that something is PC justifies people who immediately stop listening--do not pass go, do not collect your two hundred bucks. "Oh, that's just so much PC bullshit" is sort of the ultimate ad hominem--attacking not just one speaker, but an entire class of speakers and ideas.

Right over the fucking top is the way the other guys--you know, the ones who hate all things PC with a passion--keep making up bogus stories about imagined out-of-control PC tyranny. The so-called War on Christmas, or how Oakland Schools are going to teach Ebonics instead of English? Total scare-tactic crap, fabricated from bits and pieces lifted out of context and given a wild spin to the right, sent out into the news and onto the web to wreak whatever havoc possible, before finally blowing out.

Philip Atkinson, a UK writer, says of Political Correctness:

"The declared rational of this tyranny is to prevent people being offended; to compel everyone to avoid using words or behaviour that may upset homosexuals, women, non-whites, the crippled, the mentally impaired, the fat or the ugly.

This reveals not only its absurdity but its inspiration. The
set of values that are detested are those held by the previous generation (those who fought the Second World War), which is why the terms niggers, coons, dagos, wogs, poofs, spastics and sheilas, have become heresy, for, in an act of infantile rebellion, their subject have become revered by the new generation. Political Correctness is merely the resentment of spoilt children directed against their parent's values."

Oh. Nice.

People who don't want to be called "nigger" or "coon" are really just spoiled and rebellious children. People who don't want to be called "faggot" or "dyke," ditto. Because the right to call people these names is a dearly-held value of the previous generation, we should all just grow up and accept our lot as inferior beings--subject to whatever derogatory language the more culturally powerful care to place on us.

Because, make no mistake, the act of such marginalizing and name-calling is a clear indication of where the power rests. Don't believe me? Think of three nasty words for people of color. Can you think of three equally familiar terms for white folks? I can't. How about the same experiment for queer and straight?

Don't for a moment think Mr. Atkinson is alone in this specific criticism of all things PC, either.

From a speech given by Bill Lind:

...For the first time in our history, Americans have to be fearful of what they say, of what they write, and of what they think. They have to be afraid of using the wrong word, a word denounced as offensive or insensitive, or racist, sexist, or homophobic.

We have seen other countries, particularly in this century, where this has been the case. And we have always regarded them with a mixture of pity, and to be truthful, some amusement, because it has struck us as so strange that people would allow a situation to develop where they would be afraid of what words they used. But we now have this situation in this country. We have it primarily on college campuses, but it is spreading throughout the whole society. Were does it
come from? What is it?

We call it "Political Correctness." The name originated as something of a joke, literally in a comic strip, and we tend still to think of it as only half-serious. In fact, it’s deadly serious. It is the great disease of our century, the disease that has left tens of millions of people dead in Europe, in Russia, in China, indeed around the world. It is the disease of ideology. PC is not funny. PC is deadly serious.

If we look at it analytically, if we look at it historically, we quickly find out exactly what it is. Political Correctness is cultural Marxism. It is Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. It is an effort that goes back not to the 1960s and the hippies and the peace movement, but back to World War I. If we compare the basic tenets of Political Correctness with classical Marxism the parallels are very obvious.

First of all, both are totalitarian ideologies. The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness is revealed nowhere more clearly than on college campuses, many of which at this point are small ivy covered North Koreas, where the student or faculty member who dares to cross any of the lines set up by the gender feminist or the homosexual-rights activists, or the local black or Hispanic group, or any of the other sainted "victims" groups that PC revolves around, quickly find themselves in judicial trouble. Within the small legal system of the college, they face formal charges – some star-chamber proceeding – and punishment. That is a little look into the future that Political Correctness intends for the nation as a whole.
(Trans: God forbid anyone marginalized should stand up for themselves and demand to be respected. In fact, should they dare to do so, we'll just lump 'em all together and marginalize them even further--plus, any weak-willed, lilly-livered, straight, white, liberals who want to side with 'em can go right on that same boat; we'll sink 'em all together, that way.)

The whole speech rambles on in that vein. Making wild assertions and spectacular and improbably leaps of, uh, "logic."

Interesting that in both of the above anti-PC rants, the group conspicuous by its absence from the list of the marginalized is straight, white, conservative men. With some consideration, I can think one apt pejorative for two specific individuals belonging to that particular class.



Tuesday, January 10, 2006


My beloved laptop is still in the shop, which cuts quite egregiously into my blogging and recreational writing time. Which is just another way of saying I know I've been scarce, and thank you for your patience.

Meanwhile, we're having our 24th consecutive day with measurable precipitation. That's rather a lot, at one stretch. Even for Seattle.

What's up out there? What are you guys doing with your Januaries?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

A favorite Christmas Story, a bit late

One of my favorite bits of history is the Christmas truce in 1914, when German and English soldiers climbed out of their trenches and met in no-man's land. The soldiers exchanged cigarettes, candy, and goodwill.

There's been at least one song written about it:
Christmas in The Trenches
Words & Music by John McCutcheonc. 1984 John McCutcheon / Appalsong
"This song is based on a true story from the front lines of World War I France that I've heard many times. According to a recent source, Ian Calhoun, a Scot, was the commanding officer of the British forces involved in the story. He was subsequently court-martialed for 'consorting with the enemy' and sentenced to death. Only George V spared him from that fate." -- John McCutcheon

My name is Francis Toliver, I come from Liverpool.
Two years ago the war was waiting for me after school.
To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany to here
I fought for King and country I love dear.

'Twas Christmas in the trenches, where the frost so bitter hung
The frozen fields of France were still, no Christmas song was sung.
Our families back in England were toasting us that day
Their brave and glorious lads so far away.

I was lying with my messmate on the cold an rocky ground
When across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound.
Says I, "Now listen up, me boys!" each soldier strained to hear
As one young German voice sang out so clear.

"He's singing bloody well, you know!" my partner says to
Soon, one by one, each German voice joined in harmony.
The cannons rested silent, the gas clouds rolled no more
As Christmas brought us respite from the war.

As soon as they were finished and a reverent pause was
"God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" struck up some lads from
The next they sang was "Stille Nacht," "'Tis 'Silent Night,'" says I
And in two tongues one song filled up that sky.

"There's someone coming towards us!" the front line sentry
cried. All sights were fixed on one lone figure trudging from their side.
His truce flag, like a Christmas star, shone on that plain so bright
As he, bravely, strode unarmed into the night.

Soon one by one on either side walked into NO Man's Land
With neither gun nor bayonet we met there hand to hand.
We shared some secret brandy and wished each other well
And in a flare lit soccer game we gave 'em hell.

We traded chocolates, cigarettes, and photographs from
These sons and fathers far away from families of their own.
Sanders played his squeezebox and they had a violin
This curious and unlikely band of men.

Soon daylight stole upon us and France was France once
With sad farewells we each prepared to settle back to war
But the question haunted every heart that lived that wondrous night
"Whose family have I fixed within my sights?"

'Twas Christmas in the trenches where the frost, so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were warmed as songs of
peace were sung.
For the walls they'd kept between us to exact the work of
Had been crumbled and were gone forevermore.

My name is Francis Toliver, in Liverpool I dwell,
Each Christmas come since World War I, I've learned its lessons well,
That the ones who call the shots won't be among the
dead and lame
And on each end of the rifle we're the same.

May this new year bring true peace to all of God's children everywhere--regardless of the name by which they call him.