Bruce Jackson: Thank You For Being You

April 3, 2008

There are some days when you wake up feeling cheated by reality. Your favorite sandwich shop is closed for repairs. Cigarette prices went up. The bullets you thought you heard zinging past your ankles on the Bosnian tarmac turn out to have been shy, bright-eyed refugee children.

Up is down, left is right, and so on.

Then, you come across something so dependable as to reaffirm your belief in the concrete reliability of some things in this world. For me, that something is Bruce Jackson. 

You can always count on Jackson, the UB English professor and occasional social critic, to make a stink. Whether it’s about the casino in downtown Buffalo, the glory days of the UB English department (back when he hung out with Leslie Fiedler and Allen Ginsburg and such) vis-a-vis its current state, or the casino again, you can pretty much bank on Jackson making loud breathing noises and being just a general pain in the ass to whomever gets his dander up. It’s always public, it’s always slightly self-righteous, and it doesn’t stop until he runs out of breath.

Apparently, the Buffalo Sabres are no exception. Jackson was at a playoff game when two players collided and a section of Plexiglass popped out of its supports and fell on him. So now he’s suing the team.

“The Plexiglas there, I thought it was there to protect me, not to injure me,” Jackson told The News today.

I respect the hell out of the man for all he taught me when I was in his class. I believe his heart is in the right place when he issues editorials decrying the evils of our city.

Sometimes, though, you wonder about a person with front row seats at a NHL playoff game, a game with such physical intensity that the walls literally came down, who can’t just say, “hey, win some, lose some,” and walk away.

Then again, I’m not the one with the neck injuries.

But I didn’t have the tickets either.

Just sayin’.

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