Grad school, year one: A professor puts up a “Hate-Free Zone” sign in the room. Okay, I’m all for meditation, and the concept of universal energy flow, but you know when someone, like, sends positive thoughts to AIDS-stricken regions of Africa, and believes this to be global humanitarianism on par with, say Doctors Without Borders? That’s all I can think about as I stare at the sign. Does the professor believe that racists will enter the room, see an object of their bigotry, then see the sign and figure, “Well, better change my ways”? Should we parachute in folks from the UN to post those around violence-plagued areas, and periodically bark at people, “Read the sign!”? Plus, the signs obviously don’t work, because I’m in the room, and I hate that goddamn sign.
After completing a master’s degree in English, he worked as a stand-up comedian. Byronic Man now teaches at the high school and college level.