I’m not 100% sure WHY I’m blogging this, but I suppose it feels weird to have to go to bed this early, and I wanted to write SOMETHING. These are tiny, random observations that happened a couple days ago.
The day in question is Tuesday. The first setting of the first odd/notable-enough-to-blog-about event was at the Richard Stallman talk in the early evening. Stallman is the founder of the Free Software Foundation (to protect YOUR freedom!) and the GNU OS. He also wrote the GPL (General Public License) to go along with the GNU – a bit of copyleft, or a “fuck you” to the idea of copyright. Basically a copyright license saying that you can’t distribute GNU without also providing the source code for people to modify, copy, and distribute as they please, or else you’re in copyright violation.
Because Stallman is such a legend, the event was packed. I arrived early enough to get a seat, and listened with rapt attention as Stallman basically gave an apt summary to, conveniently, the book we were assigned this week – Lawrence Lessig’s “Free Culture”. About how copyright extension is bad and puts restrictions and barriers to creativity, etc. I won’t go into it – there’s plenty of literature out there about the idea of free software, democracy, free culture, and copyright laws. Halfway through the talk, however, I noticed this guy two seats away from me – rather large, with facial hair, glasses, your stereotypical computer geek (thank you, mass media). Anyway, he had his right index finger up his nose…and was picking it, and picking it, and picking it…. and then, to my morbid fascination, horror, and inappropriate amusement, removed the finger from his nose, and transferred it to his mouth! And then proceeded to do it repeatedly for the next 10 minutes or so. *sigh* I suppose when you gotta clear your nose, you gotta clear your nose, and there’s no better way to get rid of it than ingesting what came from inside you anyway when there’s nothing else to wipe it on…?
Stallman auctioned off a stuffed gnu at the end of his talk for $100. Then I had to run.
Incident the Second happened after a very entertaining discussion at Radio City Music Hall moderated by Anderson Cooper, featuring Ariana Huffington, Mike Huckabee, and DL Hughley (I got free tickets – and went with Elsa – saw Grace and Doug there). The discussion itself was basically evaluating how Obama is doing 70 days into his presidency with various issues (just check the link). Lively, and very funny. Mike Huckabee actually has some very good points. In any case, after the show, as we were all pouring out, Grace, Elsa, Doug, Doug’s friends, and I were standing on the sidewalk deciding where to go when I suddenly lost my balance and almost fell. Turns out, this very large woman with a cane (what’s with this day and large people?!) apparently thought we were taking too much space (space that she apparently needed) and literally bowled us down. I almost got knocked off my feet. Come on, now, I don’t take up THAT much space, do I?! So rude. Welcome to New York. I wanted to follow her and give her the evil eye, but didn’t think it would be worth it.
The third incident left me smiling. Late at night, I was sitting in my apartment reading or watching Angel or whatever, when I hear the doorbell ring. No one rings my doorbell. So, being the naive new New Yorker I am, I remove the bolt from my door and open it to a young man and his father (thank god they weren’t serial ax murderers or psychotic weirdos or anything). They explained their situation – they had forgotten their keys, and were knocking on all the “G” apartments in the building. They needed to get to their apartment (on the 4th floor – I’m on the 2nd) via the fire escape! I invited him (his name is Ryan) in, showed him my new painting, accepted his compliment on my “cute apartment”, and opened the window while he climbed out (his dad took the stairs) onto the very rusty and very dubious fire escape. Such a random incident though.