Luke Melvin Basil

Eyeballs

I had laser surgery on both eyes yesterday, less than an hour after my fine doctor found tears in each retina. I had my first such surgery less than a year ago, on my right eye. Reason: old age, no other proximate cause. Never had to open my wallet, though.

Fall teaching

I’m all revved up, for two professional communications classes (a requirement for students seeking their BBA’s in business) and one forlornly named “Technical Report Writing” class (primarily for students in the social sciences, but all are welcome). Over my August break, I made a few nifty revisions to the curricula.

Apropos: To those friends whom I tried to impress, earlier this summer, by claiming that the word “nifty” derived from “magnificent” – I apologize. The evidence wasn’t as solid as I had thought!

Workers Vanguard

My favourite Trotskyists are back with a new issue of The Spartacist. I was afraid that the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist), which publishes that periodical as well as the newspaper Workers Vanguard, had ceased operations. No doubt its leadership is getting old; indeed, this issue of The Spartacist has three obituaries of former leading members.

I value these publications for their erudite, brilliantly written propaganda (their word), which has come in handy for me any number of times. I met a couple of their editors back at Stanford University in the mid-nineties, and featured an issue from their Women and Revolution series in my “Writing and the Bill of Rights” classes there.

I hope a younger generation of true Marxist-Leninists takes up the banner. I will miss this voice terribly otherwise.

Neighbours