Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Last thoughts

by Brendan Fitzgibbons, DI columnist

I just finished my last college assignment. Fittingly, it was a critique. What is college but a lesson in critiquing? The very first textbook I bought here was for Rhetoric I; the title, "Re-reading America," sounds all right to me.

College has taught me many things, but the first and most important lesson is always to read between the lines. There are so many shades of gray, an ugly color - but a necessary one.

If ignorance is bliss, than sign me up for agony. Not because I'm a genius, far from it. Picture infinity, boundless, free for eternity; now picture a quarantined zit on the complexion of a 13-year-old pubeless young dude. I'm the zit, and infinity is the all the knowledge in the world.

So, in a roundabout way, what I'm saying is that pubes are bad. No, what I really mean is that I want to accept the responsibility behind knowledge, even if it means acquiring the pain that comes with it.

I'm reading Barack Obama's book right now, Dreams From My Father. It's a heartbreaker. The memoir is about the senator's experience as a mulatto-skinned lost youth, struggling to come to terms with his race and his past. It's fantastic so far but really painful at the same time.

I thought I at least had a faint notion of the struggles minorities go through because of their arbitrary differences in skin color, but after reading this book, I realize that I don't know shit. And I'll never know what it's like to be a minority, but at least this book is giving me a hint of their sufferings.

There are times when some things are left best unsaid and unknown. I have faith in a God that I know exists, but, at the same time, I can't show you the keys to his apartment. Faith requires a certain suspension of doctorial fact, but that's the challenge of faith, a challenge that is, well... a challenge.

So "give me your tired, your sick, your poor huddled masses yearning to be free." In the realm of knowledge acquisition, beggars can't be choosers, and sometimes requiring information hurts.

Thanks, college, for teaching me the most important lesson of them all, that there are so many more lessons to be learned.

On a significant side note, it's old news by now, but if you haven't seen Stephen Colbert take Bush to the house at the White House Correspondents Dinner, stop everything you're doing, and watch it now!

In the last six years of this dishonest and destructive administration, I have never seen such sweet justice, even if it came in the form of a satirical comedian and only last for 15 minutes.

You're a brave man Mr. Colbert. America desperately needs you.

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