Tag Archives: University of Mary Washington

Newsday printed my letter to the editor about the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

I’m honored today to discover that Newsday published my letter to the editor about the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks.  (It is an edited version of the letter that I submitted.)  If you are a digital subscriber to Newsday, you can also read it online here.

Newsday is not only the newspaper that I grew up with — it is also the third largest paper in all of New York State and one of the largest in America.  It has a weekday circulation of 437,000, and reaches nearly half of Long Island’s households.  The 80-year-old publication has been the winner of 19 Pulitzer Prizes, with nominations for 20 more.  I am especially grateful to its editorial staff for selecting my letter for such an esteemed newspaper.

 

Newsday letter B

My buddy photoshopped me as Wolverine; now I’m seeking an audition with the MCU.

[UPDATE: You people DO realize this is s a joke, right? I am not actually seeking the role of Wolverine.]

Wish me luck.  Below is the full text of my e-mail to Kevin Feige:

*****

SUBJ: Eric Robert Nolan *IS* Wolverine!!!

Mr. Kevin Feige
President, Marvel Studios

Dear Mr. Feige:

I am writing to you today about an immeasurable benefit that I can bring to the Marvel Cinematic Universe — a definitive silver screen interpretation of Marvel’s iconic character, Wolverine. Behold, please, the photoshopped image of me attached to this e-mail, which shows that I am uniquely suited for the role. (To fully appreciate my uncanny likeness, Mr. Feige, I must ask you here to vocalize the classic sound effect “Snickety-snick” when viewing the photo.) Although my body at age 49 might look slightly different than conventional representations of the character, I feel certain that modern CGI could remedy this.

I studied extensively with the Mary Washington College Drama Department between 1991 and 1994. I studied comic books at the same time — outside of an academic program but with an unbridled enthusiasm I never showed any of my formal studies. I also periodically defeated my formidable classmate John Matthias in debates about whether Wolverine could beat Silver Surfer — and even wrestled him about it in the lobby of New Hall before the 1994 Fall Formal. (I surprised him with the classic tactic with which you are doubtlessly familiar, Wolverine’s roaring, berserker leap.)

There are other benefits as well, should you choose to employ me for this role — I am highly skilled with puns, free-verse poetry, and deconstructing arguments made by Donald Trump supporters. I feel certain that all three of these skills would promote an enlightened and entertained workplace. I will contact your office next week to determine whether an audition can be arranged.

Kindest regards,

Eric Robert Nolan
Roanoke, Virginia

ericrnolan@gmail.com
https://ericrobertnolan.com/

P.S. — You did an outstanding job with “What If …?,” by the way!  It’s truly amazing stuff!

wolvey

“I am a Trump supporter. Hear me roar.”

“The Credo of Cognitive Dissonance,” by Eric Robert Nolan


Any news that I dislike is fake.

Anyone with knowledge that I myself do not possess is a liar.

Anyone criticizing my preferred candidate is a traitor.

Any election results that I dislike mean that the election was rigged.

Any civil servant with whom I disagree is a member of a criminal conspiracy against me.

Any member of a minority group who exercises the same rights that I currently have is demanding special treatment.

Any news source that reports things in a manner that I dislike is part of THE MEDIA — a vast and monolithic conspiracy insidiously designed to brainwash me. Never mind that I cannot begin to suggest how such a sprawling conspiracy — involving countless ordinary people throughout America — might be organized, led, financed or coordinated.

Any news source that reports things in a manner that I DO like is not part of the dread monolith of THE MEDIA. My preferred news sources should be referred to by their individual names, like Fox News, O.A.N., Newsmax or MyPillow.com.

If one of these news sources begins to report things that I do not like, then it has “sold out” or been “taken over” by liberals, because any deviation from my preferred narrative is false. Then I will retreat to my carefully curated short list of blogs and Youtube channels, which will even better safeguard me from indoctrination.

Anyone who disagrees with me is an anarchist (or a socialist or a Marxist). My inability to define those terms in any detail makes them no less valid an accusation.

Anyone who exceeds my own accomplishments in arts, academia or communications is an elitist. I am more average than they are — and am therefore paradoxically superior. Never mind that this is far closer to the spirit of actual Marxism than the drive for individual achievement is — the Marxists are those OTHER guys. You can tell by the way they dress. You can tell by the way they talk.

My common sense is more trustworthy than any conclusion drawn from evidence — because I know how the REAL world works. I know this because I am a REAL American. It doesn’t matter that I cannot describe the First Amendment, or describe the concept of inalienable rights, or explain what separation of powers is, or even name the three branches of the American government.

My ignorance stems from humility — not intellectual laziness. My rejection of science shows I am wise. A wink and a smile will infuse any assertion of mine with the veracity of folk wisdom.

I distrust all the so-called “experts.” Things I do not like or understand are, by necessity, lies. A man’s knowledge and his honesty are inversely proportional. (This is an axiom that’s remarkably convenient for good people like me, who tend to possess less knowledge than others.) And my anthropomorphic god surely loves the humble and simple and honest folk more than the false and the arrogant.

My opinions and actions are intrinsically more American than those of others. You can tell this from the way that I pepper my language with phrases like “We the people,” “patriots,” “liberty” or “1776.” If I co-opt the language of the American Revolution, then no action of mine can be anti-American. This includes violently overthrowing America’s democratically elected government under instructions from an aspiring dictator. Terrorism is acceptable, just so long as I am play-acting a colonial American while perpetrating it.

I should be congratulated, instead of despised — lauded instead of detested. My shouts and threats and will enliven the heart, where bland and passionless reason cannot. The flag on my t-shirt is an unassailable license — to assail the very same Republic for which it is meant as an emblem.

I am a Trump supporter. Hear me roar. 




800px-Storming_capital_IMG_3519_(cropped)

Photo credit: Tyler Merbler, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s a Christmas Twitter Political Limerick Miracle.

So, dudes, this really cool thing happened during the first wee hours of Christmas 2019.  I couldn’t sleep (yet again) so I was Twittering in bed — I wound up responding to the #Dimerick hashtag, where people were poking fun of Donald Trump with limericks.  I wrote four.

George Conway retweeted two of them. (As you’re doubtlessly aware, he’s the husband of White House spokesperson Kellyanne Conway — which is funny, because he’s an outspoken and highly visible critic of Trump.  He’s also a very smart guy — if you’re not following him on Twitter, then you should remedy that right now. )

The two tweets just took off.  I got 8,000 “likes” on the first one that you see below, and 5.8 thousand “likes” on the second one.  (Both got more than a thousand retweets.)  All sorts of people were retweeting them at Trump, Mitch McConnell, and the rest of the Senate GOP leadership.  (If the secret police come for me, I love you all, by the way.)

I know it’s a silly thing to be proud of.  But these limericks are … my most popular poems to date.  I might have finally found my real niche.

Just for kicks, I’m sharing the other two that I wrote below as well.

 

Limerick 1

 

Limerick 2

 

Limerick 3

 

Limerick 4

Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA, June 2017 (2)

Pictured are Monroe Hall, Virginia Hall, Campus Walk, Lee Hall, and Trinkle Hall.

*****

The Mary Washington College Campus looked as beautiful as ever last week — it was only marred by the occasional sign bearing an embarrassing misprint.  (They perplexingly refer to the misnomer “University of Mary Washington.”)

At first I hesitated to visit the campus during my stop in Fredericksburg, Virginia on my way to Washington, D.C.  I asked my Alumbud if two men in their 40’s would look suspicious there, given the increased security on today’s college campuses.  He told me to relax — people would assume we were two fathers scouting the school for their respective offspring.  That made me feel really, really old.

 

Monroe Hall and The Fountain.  When I went to school at MWC, that fountain was occasionally doused with either detergent or dye as a prank.

20170606_191016

20170606_191038

 

Virginia Hall.  In the early 1990’s, this was a dorm exclusively for freshmen girls; I don’t know if that’s still the case today.

20170606_191031

 

You can’t see it here, but beyond that hedge and beside Monroe is Campus Drive, curving down past the amphitheater to Sunken Road.  The long hill is still entirely wooded, and is still arguably the prettiest part of campus.

20170606_191114

 

Campus Walk and Lee Hall.

20170606_191156

This is cute.  I’m guessing it was a product of the recent remodeling?  But which way to Winterfell?  Metropolis?  Which way is Caprica City?  I have tickets for a Buccaneers game next week.

20170606_191215

20170606_191228

Here is where the College Bookstore used to be (beside the Campus Police Station in the lower part of Lee); I’m told now that it’s in a vastly larger space upstairs.

And The Underground has returned!  It closed after my freshman year in 1990-91.  I met a lot of good friends there, and I heard my first live blues at The Underground, too, performed by Saffire, The Uppity Blues Women.  (I only just now learned that Saffire’s Ann Rabson sadly passed away in 2013.)

[Update: an alumna just told me that she can remember when The Underground was called “The Pub.”]

20170606_191310

 

Campus Walk and Trinkle Hall.  My Alumbud reminded of what seemed like a big issue back in the day — the students’ desire to have a 24-hour study hall.  They successfully petitioned the college administration for it, and at some point toward the end of my college career, Trinkle began staying open all night.  If that sounds incredibly nerdy, it was.  But it was also a pretty big quality-of-life issue for the dorms.  A lot of people needed a place to go to cram before finals, in order to keep the peace with a sleeping roommate.

The “computer pods” were also located here, downstairs, in a basementish-type space that was air-conditioned to the point where it felt freezing.  You always had to bring a jacket or sweater to do your work there.

20170606_191334

Looking south on Campus Walk, you can just barely make out the Bell Tower, a product of the campus remodeling.  You used to be able to see Bushnell Hall, my freshman-year dormitory.

20170606_191342

20170606_191405

The bust of Dr. James L. Farmer, Jr. that the school erected opposite Trinkle Hall in 2001.  He was one of the nation’s foremost leaders in the Civil Rights movement, founding the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and organizing the “Freedom Rides” to desegregate interstate bus travel.  Dr. Farmer was my Civil Rights professor in 1992, and he was universally admired by his students.

Some weird old guy wandered into the photo here — sorry about that.

20170606_191436

 

Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine features “hens staring upward”

I’m honored today to see my poetry featured for the first time in “Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine.”  The poem is a recent piece, entitled “hens staring upward,” and begins on Page 25 of Issue 8 (October 2015).

You can download Issue 8 in in pdf format for free!  Just click here:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/samantha-rose/peeking-cat-poetry-magazine-issue-8/ebook/product-22412337.html

Or, you can purchase the magazine in paperback format for just $3.50 right here:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/samantha-rose/peeking-cat-poetry-magazine-issue-8/paperback/product-22412329.html

Peeking Cat is an outstanding magazine in the United Kingdom, publishing poetry and flash fiction from writers throughout the world.  I’m grateful to Editor Samantha Rose for allowing me to share my voice with its readers.

“hens staring upward” first appeared this Fall in Dead Snakes.

product_thumbnail

The Mary Washington College Bullet is now archived and online!!!

In fact … ALL of the college publications are — including The Aubade and The Battlefield.  The keyword-searchable collection goes all the way back to 1912!

Wow.

Here’s the link:

http://archive.umw.edu/cgi-bin/search/eagleexplorer.pl?afterdate=1990;screensize=1366×643;source=all

And check out the article I wrote for The Bullet about Junior Ring Week in March 1994.  Featured are the pranktastic hi-jinks of Nickolai Butkevich, Travis Clements, Mark Knezevich, Rhett Carlson, Lowell Whitney, Tom Mitchell, and more.

https://archive.org/stream/Bullet-Fredericksburg_VA_vol-67_1994-03-31

Bullet-Fredericksburg_VA_vol-67_1994-03-31_0001

Hearing held for suspect in murder of Mary Washington College student Grace Mann

“Hearing reveals new details in Grace Mann murder case,” Keith Epps, Free Lance Star, 6/16/15.

This article describes the crime scene in detail, as well as allegations about the events leading up to the homicide.  Please note that the story is disturbing before reading it.

http://www.fredericksburg.com/news/crime_courts/hearing-reveals-new-details-in-grace-mann-murder-case/article_0941bdd2-145c-11e5-b53a-7f7f08b6e1e1.html

Some sad news today from Mary Washington College.

A 20-year-old female student was the victim of a homicide yesterday at an off campus residence; a male student has been charged with abduction and first degree murder:

http://www.fredericksburg.com/news/local/fredericksburg/male-suspect-arrested-after-female-umw-student-s-death-victim/article_1586ba3a-e53f-11e4-b3aa-ffa2c4d59765.html