Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear

Or, Irony in Defense of Liberty Is No Vice

Uh, really? You sure about that? You'd think the committed ironists of Roxie's World would be on board with the above proposition, which was impressively affirmed on the National Mall yesterday at the joint rally staged by Comedy Central fake news geniuses Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

For darn near five years, after all, this blog has offered up a steady diet of parody, irony, and satire as ways of criticizing and coping with the social and political madnesses of our civilization [sic]. We believe with all our hearts that hypocrites in high places deserve the calling to account Stewart delivers night after night on his show. We believe that comedy is a supremely effective means of truth-telling and that humor is essential to the health of the body politic in a democracy. (For more on this subject, see this illuminating 2008 conversation between Moose and the patron saint of irony in Roxie's World, Mark Twain.) We are also hip enough to get that media critique and signs mocking the tradition of carrying signs ("Americans for . . . oh look! A puppy!") are politically potent gestures. And we are not worried that the 200,000+ citizens gathered on the Mall the Saturday before election day should have been out knocking on doors or calling up registered voters to urge them to get their sorry a$$es to the polls come Tuesday. Such calls are mostly automated these days, and nobody answers their doors to anyone who shows up on the doorstep with a Bible or a clipboard in hand anyway.

So, why did the moms walk away from the Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear with a feeling roughly similar to the message on this sign?

It's hard to say, really. The moms don't usually do indifference. It could be their reactions to the rally were impaired by the struggle required to get there. They didn't reach the Mall until nearly 2 PM, in part because Moose insisted that her personal restoration of sanity required her to attend her Saturday morning yoga class before heading downtown and in part because Washington's Metro system was overwhelmed by the crowds trying to get to the rally. (The crowds were sizable, yes, but the real problem was that Metro didn't have enough trains running and stuck to a schedule of weekend maintenance that meant north- and south-bound trains were sharing a single track in some of the busiest parts of the system.) Once they got there, the audio was so bad it was hard to know what you were hearing (Hey, um, is that Tony Bennett? Wow, yeah, OK, Tony Bennett!), and the crowd was packed in so tight it was hard to see anything but the jacket of the person in front of you.

As veteran march and rally attenders, the moms were prepared for that special sardines-in-a-can feeling you get at big public events in relatively small spaces, but in this case they couldn't shake the feeling that the crowd was all there was to the event. From where they stood, it felt like the political equivalent of Seinfeld, a show famously described as being "about nothing." The signs participants carried were, as coverage has noted, all over the map and frequently off the wall. The most consistent political message the moms noted was support for legalizing marijuana. We are down with that idea, kids, but its prominence at the Rally for Sanity left the impression that the politics of the event, such as they were, were a hollow libertarianism that strikes us as inadequate to the urgencies of the present. It's impressive that Stewart and Colbert were able to draw such an enormous crowd to the nation's most sacred political/civic space, but to us it was sad that participants were asked to do so little once they got there. "Don't litter," Stewart repeatedly implored the crowd. Cute, Jon. Would it have killed you to tuck in a mild suggestion that folks get their sorry a$$es to the polls come Tuesday? Apparently, it would have. In remarks after the rally, Stewart rejected the idea that he should have done that, saying, "I think people should do what moves them. It's not my place to make that choice for them." Indeed, his closing words to the attendees suggest that, even in Stewart's mind, the crowd really was the point: "If you want to know why I’m here and [what] I want from you, I can only assure you this: you have already given it to me. Your presence was what I wanted" (emphasis added).

Media prof Jeff Jarvis seems to have had a better experience on the ground than the moms did, and his commentary (H/T Dog-Eared Book) offers a more optimistic takeaway than we can offer here. Jarvis is right to call out coverage of the event that dismisses it as mere entertainment. It wasn't that, but as a political action it was pretty underwhelming, even if we appreciate it as a mass act of media criticism, which we do. We saw lots of signs lambasting Fox News and other purveyors of disinformation and a few, like the one below, criticizing new media tools we habitually use:

We paid tribute recently to candlelight vigils, video campaigns, and other political gestures that may not change the world but perform the vital function of creating opportunities for people to demonstrate their determination to be kind rather than unkind. Perhaps the Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear was for those who organized it and many who attended it an event of that sort. For us, it felt unsatisfying to stand on that ground, where countless citizens, ourselves included, have stood over the years for great causes and high stakes, and to feel purposeless. Called to nothing, we groused that our cell phones couldn't find a signal that would have enabled us to call others. When the rally was over, we wandered off to the National Museum of American Art and killed time in the Norman Rockwell exhibit, chuckling mildly over the contrast between the goofy ironies of the spectacle we had witnessed on the street and the utter lack of irony in the paintings on the wall. En route, Moose snapped a last shot of the thinning crowd ambling past the National Archives. It seemed fitting to her that the people in the picture are out of focus. Alas.

Peace out, fellow citizens, and a Happy Halloween to you. And please do get your sorry a$$es to the polls come Tuesday. This morning, over coffee, Goose slammed down the Times and muttered with disgust, "Idiot voters and hapless Democrats." The remark captured the state of the nation on the precipice of this election more clearly than the thousands of words of prognostication Moose read in the WaPo over on her side of the breakfast table. Idiot voters and hapless Democrats: That's where we are, but is it where we have to be, darlings? You tell us. Please.

(Photo Credits: Moose, 10/30/10.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Days Like This

Rather than apologizing for yet another prolonged blog silence, we'll post a picture of a cute little lion cub at the National Zoo being tossed into the chilly water of a moat to see if it can swim before it is too big and dangerous for a human trainer to be in the water with it. You may regard this photo, which was above the fold on the front page of the dead-tree edition of today's WaPo, as an apt metaphor for -- take your pick -- the state of the moms at midterm, the state of the Dems at midterm, or the state of your own frantic self paddling around in a chilly moat of student papers and meetings and assorted impossible expectations. The cub has no name yet. Feel free to call him by yours.

(Photo Credit: Karen Bleier, Agence France Presse, via.)

Welcome to the world, little fella. Sink or swim. Suck it up, dude, but try not to suck in a mouthful of dead leaves in the process. That would be unpleasant.

Meanwhile, in lieu of a post, which would require brain power that isn't currently available, here are a couple of updates and delectable treats from the Intertoobs and other places:

  • The write-in campaign to make Moose governor of Maryland, launched here last week by one of our very prettiest readers, has taken off like a shot! Sister blogger Clio Bluestocking, who actually resides in the state, promised her vote via the Twitters, while Tenured Radical generously promoted the campaign over at her place. Meanwhile, on Facebook, we've been flattered to note the spontaneous emergence of an Out-of-State Straight Guys for Moose caucus, headed up by a much loved pal and new blogger, the author of Benglish, who has vowed to ride naked through the streets of Philadelphia if Moose prevails. Latest polls show that Gov. Martin "You, Sir, Are No Jack Kennedy" O'Malley has widened his already impressive lead over former Gov. Bob "Big Hair" Ehrlich. O'Malley is now 14 points ahead among likely voters, as even the state's registered Republicans -- yes, both of them -- seem to have lost confidence that their guy can prevail. That means, of course, that state employees angry that the fauxgressive O'Malley decided to balance the budget on their backs, through salary freezes and furloughs, rather than through more broadly distributed fiscal sacrifices can feel free to vote their consciences -- by writing in Moose! -- without worrying that they'll run the risk of putting Ehrlich back in the governor's mansion. Need help writing in Moose's actual name? See the photo on this post.
  • Speaking of anger, frustration, and revenge, don't miss the amazing cluster of posts on rising dissatisfaction with stagnant academic salaries and non-stagnant workloads being produced this week by some of our bestest blog pals. Tenured Radical got the ball rolling on Monday; Historiann picked it up on Tuesday, prompting a followup from TR on the importance of organizing in order to combat the neoliberal policies that are destroying higher ed; Dr. Crazy gets in on the action today with a post that ends with a passionate call for leadership and vision on funding and the value of higher education. It's a great conversation to which we have little to contribute at the moment, beyond saying that we think this gal has some awesome thoughts on precisely the issues Dr. Crazy raises. Just sayin'.
  • Finally, as a follow-up to our optimistic assertion a couple of weeks ago that blogs come and go but blogging will abide for a good long while yet, we are pleased to announce the birth of a brand new blog by devoted reader and most excellent RL pal, June Starr, who is on leave this year and has launched an ambitious project to read and post her way through all 243 books shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize since its inception in 1969. Her blog, which Moose helped name because she is good at that sort of thing, is called Reading the Bookers. Give it a click, you bookworms, and show a new blogger some love. Have fun, June Starr, and please remember that when your blog is made into a major motion picture Meryl Streep should be cast in the role of the lifelong buddy whose insane adventures in online self-publication helped launch you into the blogosphere. Just sayin'.
That's all we got for now, kids. Except, of course, for the musical mood-matcher tucked in below, which will explain our post title to those who haven't yet figured it out. Mama was right, my little swimming lion cubs. There will be days like this, but soon enough you will find your way to the safety of dry land, and before too long you will be big enough to bite the hand of the jerk who tossed you into the water. Keep paddling, and keep eating. Tomorrow is another day. Peace out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

O'Malley v. MOOSE?

Or, Revenge of the Furloughed

On Sunday, WaPo endorsed Maryland Gov. Martin "You, Sir, Are No Jack Kennedy" O'Malley in his rematch with former Gov. Bob "Big Hair" Ehrlich. The editorial praises O'Malley for taking "tough, decisive steps" to close the budget deficits the state faced (thanks in part to Ehrlich) even before the recession seriously depleted revenues. It mildly chastises O'Malley for failing to take action on $33 billion in unfunded pension obligations but sharply criticizes Ehrlich for refusing to say how he would recover a measly $600 million in revenue that would be lost if his (nutty) idea to roll back a 2007 increase in the state's sales tax were to pass.

Let's see, though, what does the endorsement have to say about higher education? And about O'Malley's three years of furloughs (="temporary" pay cuts) for the state's 70,000 employees? I'm sorry, but I didn't hear you. What did the Washington Post endorsement have to say about tuition freezes and budget cuts and three straight years of asking state workers to do more and earn less?

am crickets 01 hpx sound bite

(Please click on that sound file. My typist is banging her head against her laptop in political frustration and won't be able to resume typing for the next little while, so you might as well do something to amuse yourself.)

So, things are looking good for "You, Sir." He snagged the endorsement that eluded him four years ago (when WaPo thought the mayor of Baltimore "had failed to make a persuasive case for toppling a generally proficient incumbent [Ehrlich]"). As we noted here a couple of weeks ago, O'Malley has also opened up an impressive lead over his opponent. Shoot, he'll even have the Big Dawg rallying for him Thursday in Baltimore! Polish up the saxophone, Bill! Here's one Dem who stands a chance of surviving the Screw Hope and Give Me Back My Change tsunami of 2010!

Despite all the happy news, it would appear that O'Malley's March to a second term isn't entirely thrilling the state workers whose pockets he has been picking for the past three years. (Not, I hasten to clarify, that we long for an Ehrlich Restoration, but, well, you know: three. years. of furloughs.) The evidence? Look what showed up in the in-box yesterday -- a photo of the absentee ballot of one of this blog's most faithful readers, a hard-working young QTU prof with a family to support and no patience left for fauxgressive Democrats who don't have the guts or the brains to explain that civilization costs money, fer dog's sake, and things will go better if we ALL pitch in our fair share rather than forcing a few to shoulder the burden for the rest of us!

Yes, fellow citizens, our beloved Candy Man has submitted a write-in vote for MOOSE as governor of Maryland! With less than two weeks to go until election day, it's a little late to be launching a campaign, but Moose is so flattered by the idea that she is thinking seriously about giving it a go. I mean, think about it. She is no crazier or less qualified than a lot of the nut jobs that have managed to get on the ballot in this loony election season. She would fix the budget by taxing the rich, booze, and marijuana, which she would decriminalize on her first day in office (H/T Joycelyn Elders!), just as soon as she ordered the state to stop issuing marriage licenses and find other ways to distribute benefits and protections that all citizens should enjoy regardless of their relationship status. She hasn't picked a running mate yet, but he will be pretty and smart and able to eat crabs without making a mess of himself. Goose will make an exceptional First Lady. Her pet project will, of course, be assuring access to high-quality, affordable education. We will call her initiative, um, Excellence With Boatloads of Money. She will travel the state giving her "The Humanities Are Not a Luxury" lecture to watermen and schoolchildren and waitresses who really do say, "Welcome to Bawlmer, hon." Today, at Chesapeake House, the First (I Ain't No) Lady of Maryland explains money, metaphor, and better thinking through poetry! Stop in for a Cinnabon with a side order of truth!

It's pretty to think so, isn't it, darlings? Politics got you down? Worried that the world is succumbing to furloughisme and other forms of short-sighted, destructive cowardice? Sick to death of the major parties but still too ticked off about the 2000 election to vote Green? Write in Moose for governor of Maryland.  Tough times require a tough broad with a sharp tongue and a big heart. Moose: Braver than Martin O'Malley, tall enough to leap over Barbara Mikulski in a single bound, every bit as liberal and very nearly as funny as Al Franken on her best days. Moose: She'll balance the budget and make sure there are no misplaced apostrophes on highway signs. Moose: Because Annapolis isn't quite queer enough.

Vote Moose. It won't be the stupidest thing you've ever done. Peace out, citizens.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"The Humanities Are Not a Luxury"

Or, Goose Makes Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

September 30 was a day of apocalyptically bad weather in the Washington area. To say it was raining cats and dogs is to understate the case considerably. To say it was raining elephants and blue whales, with interludes of giraffes and hippopotamuses, comes closer, but even that doesn't quite capture the deep dreariness and tropical weirdness of the day.

In Roxie's World and on the campus of Queer the Turtle U, however, September 30 was a day of celebration and inspiration, as our very own Goose delivered her much anticipated lecture, "The Humanities Are Not a Luxury: A Manifesto for the 21st Century." The lecture was part of the prize package that went along with Goose winning a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award this year at QTU, which is a pretty big deal on account of just a handful are made each year. We grew to like the poster advertising the series of DS-T lectures, once we got used to an image that at first looked like Emily Dickinson was smoking crack through a saxophone. (One of Goose's fellow awardees is a sax player from the School of Music.)

Goose's 45-minute lecture, delivered to an overflow crowd of more than 200 weather-braving souls, was a stirring affirmation of the value of the humanities and a shrewd critique of the rhetoric of crisis that so often characterizes discussions of the field. The talk was by turns folksy and fiery, as Goose compellingly wove together insights gleaned from her career as a scholar of poetry and a builder of institutions with recent reflections on the state of the humanities by good guys like our blog boyfriend Chris Newfield. Lest you think we are something less than objective when it comes to our Goose, here's how the event has been described by a neutral observer from the QTU English department:
Throughout her lecture, Professor Smith was gracious and seemed jazzed to be addressing such an enthusiastic crowd.  She was warm, funny, and above all, impossibly smart.  Smith made profound historical connections between the humanities and their perceptions over time, musing upon the generative and integral nature of the humanities in academia.  Smith iterated the vital nature of humanities studies for our university, our collective histories, and our society.
"Impossibly smart": Well, yes, but you know she still has to ask Moose for help every time she wants to heat something up in the microwave. "Two and a half minutes on 7," Moose says patiently, knowing that all those deep thoughts in her partner's brain occasionally crowd out the mundane facts of daily life.

Follow that link, darlings, and you will be able to watch the tape of the whole fabulous shindig, including the hilarious and heartwarming introduction in which Goose sings and Moose interrupts the proceedings to correct a botched joke. Late in the lecture, Goose works in a clever reference to this humble blog by invoking the phrase excellence without money (™RW Enterprises, LLC) to describe the unrealistic expectations the public has for institutions of higher ed these days. We held off blogging about the occasion until the tape was available, but now it is, so there you are. Go watch it. You can't spend all day grading papers, and if you are grading on this impossibly beautiful autumn afternoon then you are probably in need of a little professional inspiration. Pop some corn, crack open a beer, and press play, my pretties. Rev. Goose is down front and has some testifyin' to do.

Congratulations, Goose, and thanks for bringing sunshine to us every single day. Sing it with us, kids. You know you want to:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

RIP Bitch PhD

News: Another blog has bitten the dust (zOMG -- only 1,242,411 left!), and this time the casualty is a pioneer of the feminist blogosphere, a bastion of fire-breathing, finger-flipping, feminazi truth-telling since 2004. Yes, my virtual but beloved friends, I speak to you of the brilliantly named and consistently illuminating Bitch Ph.D.

Reaction: The feminazis of Roxie's World are sorry but not entirely surprised to hear the news. We thought the blog was showing signs of exhaustion. Truthfully, we became less devoted readers once it went from being a solo project to a group effort a few years back. That shift already seemed to suggest burnout or boredom on the part of the alpha Bitch (understandable, given the effort it takes to maintain a solo blog, particularly one that hits it as big as hers did). Nonetheless, we learned a ton from the ornery women of Bitch Ph.D. about what this blogging business was all about, and we are grateful to them for lessons on writing with edge, intelligence, humor, and indignation. We raise not a middle finger but a paw to you, grrls, and thank you for the years of hard, good work.

Postmortem Q&A:
  • Does the closing down of one influential, well-established blog mean the blogosphere is dying, a casualty of the mindless ease of connecting to social networks through Facebook and Twitter
  • Does the closing down of one academic-ish blog mean that interest among scholars in using our skills and expertise to communicate to a broader audience is waning? 
  • Does the closing down of one fiercely feminist blog mean that heteropatriarchy has won, again and forever?

For readers in a hurry, the answers to those questions are no, nope, and hell, no! In that order.

Our blog pal Annie Em has had a bit of a blog death watch going on lately. 'Twas she who called our attention to the demise of Bitch Ph.D., and she gave us a heads up today that Michael Bérubé and a couple of other academic bloggers have or are about to give up the (virtual?) ghost. (FYI: Bérubé says he's putting his last post up on Friday. You will want to click in -- Dude knows how to stage an ending.) Annie Em has noted signs of flagging energies throughout the academic blogosphere. We've noted that, too, but figured it was just us projecting, on account of my typist has this insanely busy post-leave life that requires her to get dressed and leave the house every single day, which seriously cuts into the time available for surfing the Interwebs and coming up with snarky yet inspiring stuff to say.

Here's the thing, kids: Blogs come and go, but blogging will abide forever until such time as technology and the collective ADD of the human animal decide it's time to look for other ways to express ourselves. If, eventually, the form and the phenomenon run their course, something else will emerge to provide a platform for uncensored, unedited, un-gatekeepered communication between John/Jane Q and the broadband-equipped Public resourceful or benighted enough to find us. That genie is out of the bottle, my friends, and there's no stuffing it back in. Don't let one half-baked piece by Malcolm Gladwell make you think the party is over. Here is the best reply we've seen to Gladwell's straw-man attack on the political value of blogs, Twitter, and other tools of social networking. It's from Destructural (via), and it nicely maps out the different roles played by different tools in different situations:
The question for activists is always how to use available tools effectively. So blogs are for sharing longer ideas, Facebook is for spreading basic information and links, and Twitter is for sending small amounts of information publicly on the go. We even use phones sometimes. The internet can’t hammer a nail, but that’s what hammers are for. But there are some tools that don’t stand the test of time as well. Gladwell writes, “… what use would a digital communication tool be in a town where ninety-eight per cent of the black community could be reached every Sunday morning at church?” Of course, this is a completely useless question. What good would Twitter have been for dinosaurs? THEY COULDN’T EVEN PRESS BUTTONS! By putting the historical comparison on his opponents (who would “no doubt” make it), Gladwell attempts to dodge responsibility for an absurd line of argumentation. He writes that [Martin Luther King, Jr.] needed discipline and strategy because of certain exigencies of the particular movement (the need to maintain a moral high ground for the white viewing public), but never explains why those tactical decisions should carry over. In fact, Alain Badiou has argued that while patience was the cardinal virtue required in the past, right now we need nothing so much as courage. Fetishizing the 60′s is a bad idea because we don’t live there any more. Material conditions change; so should our strategies, so should our tactics, so should our methods of communication. (Emphasis added.)
It's like we said: Blogs come and go, but the longings to speak truth to power, to share great stories, or to pass along urgent brief bits of information or vacation photos abide forever. The great question of our time is not whether the Interwebs are making us dumber or more distracted. It is, What is the best tool for any particular communicative/strategic goal? That is a good problem to have, darlings, a very good problem indeed, because we are not dinosaurs and can push many buttons, even simultaneously if we have to.

A blog is dead. Long live blogging. And Facebook. And Twitter. And sit-ins. And vigils. And marches. And academic conferences that feel like consciousness-raising sessions. We need them all, and thank dog we have them all at our disposal. Peace out.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

(Not a) Moon Over Manhattan

(Photo Credit: Moose, 10/8/10)

Sorry for the radio silence, kids. My typist had a busy teaching week and then took off for the Big Apple Thursday evening to attend a ginormous (gynormous?) lesbo shindig at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies. No time for details right now, as day two of this academic/community extravaganza is about to get underway. It's an amazing multi-generational gathering of scholars, poets, community members, and cultural workers who invented, resisted, inherited, and survived lesbian culture and community of the 1970s. Suffice it to say, there were hugs, tears, knowing laughs, harrowing herstories, and pearls of wisdom passed along in session after packed session that concluded late last night with a group poetry reading that featured, among others, Cheryl Clarke, Jan Clausen, Joan Larkin, and Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins, daughter of the late Audre Lorde, who beautifully read some of her mother's and her own poetry.

More soon! We've got a date with a bunch of hot cranky women who gave us the dream of a better world and the guts and the tools to try to build it. Peace out, sister/wimmin/warrior/pals.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

In Sorrow and Solidarity

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. -- Henry James (1902)

(The George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River. Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi leaped off the bridge to his death on Sept. 22, after his roommate showed video of him being intimate with another man on the Internet. Photo Credit: Richard Perry, New York Times)

A candlelight vigil will not change the world. A video will not bring down the socio-cultural machinery that encourages violence toward individuals and groups seen as threateningly non-conforming in relation to sex and gender norms. A "Safe Space" sticker on a resident assistant's door won't stop a drunk kid with a baseball bat determined to find a fag to bash in a dorm hallway on a Saturday night -- or a sober kid with a camera, a gay roommate, and the ability to stream live video.

We know that none of these gestures is sufficient to end the violence aimed at sex and gender queers of all ages. Nor do they offer much to the targets of such violence beyond the perhaps hollow comfort of knowing that not everyone wishes them dead. And the dead, of course, are beyond even that hollow comfort.

Nonetheless, we see more in these gestures than salvific wishes and sentimental longings for some easy, individualized way to achieve a feeling of having done something in response to verbal and physical assaults on LGBT persons. Insufficient as they may be, such gestures are nonetheless important, because they demonstrate our determination to be kind rather than unkind. That determination is not nothing, and it is not merely sentimental. Henry James was no fool. He knew that kindness made life bearable and its absence made life unbearable. He knew that if we forget kindness we have forgotten how to be in relationship with others, for kindness is above all being considerate of others. Kindness comes from having the capacity to imagine how one's words or deeds will affect another -- precisely the capacity Tyler Clementi's tormentors seem to have lacked.

Technology hasn't made humans less kind than they were in some non-existent machine-free past. It has only amplified the sound and accelerated the speed at which our unkindnesses circulate. We shouldn't disparage any act of kindness or any effort to foster greater kindness in the world. Instead, we should commit ourselves to creating a world in which kindness travels as quickly and gets as much attention as its opposite. Yes, it's corny and naive to promise that "It gets better," but it's better to be naive than silent  or cynical when kids are killing themselves. (Here's an even better response, though, from another video in the "It Gets Better" campaign, from a young dyke of color who critiques the false assurance of the campaign's slogan while insisting that the victims of bullying will get stronger, more able to love themselves and more equipped to deal with what the world dishes out. Go watch it. H/T)

If we could, we would stand in the rain this evening, on the campus of our alma mater, with students, faculty, and friends, to honor the memory of Tyler Clementi and to protest the brutal unkindness that appears to have led him to take his life. You deserved better, Tyler, as did all the other young queers bullied to death in recent weeks. We stand for all of you, against hatred, fear, and thoughtless violence that calls itself pranksterism. We can't guarantee it will get better, but we promise we will work like hell to try to make it so. Peace out.

Update (early Monday a.m.): Here are some local links on the Sunday night vigil at Rutgers: 1) The report in the Star-Ledger, which says there were close to 1000 people in attendance, and 2) a photo and commentary from our friend Kate, a member of the Rutgers faculty. Send more links if you have them, and we will update as necessary.