the disparate impact test by Andrew Hart
February 17, 2010, 1:55 am
Filed under: history, law

I’m dreading my undergraduate research right now, so how about I post a little summary of part of it.

Griggs v. Duke Power is a landmark 1971 U.S. Supreme Court case.  It is perhaps the foundational case in the interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The case centers on a policy of Duke Power Company for internal promotions.  The company required all employees transferring out of the lowest-paying department to have a high school degree, and to pass two aptitude tests.  Willie Griggs filed suit on behalf of many black employees of Duke Power, asserting that the tests discriminated against African American employees.

The Supreme Court reversed the finding for Duke Power at the District Court of Appeals.  The Court argued that the aptitude test and educational requirements were not job-related, and that they had the effect of halting promotions of a disproportionate number of black workers.

This finding ushered in the “disparate impact” test for Title VII law.  This test prevents employers from using what appear to be neutral measures, such as educational requirements or aptitude tests, that have a disproportional impact on a protected minority under Title VII.  Employees must show that tests have a legitimate work-related function; in the case of Griggs, Duke Power could not show this legitimate function.

The Court signaled in the Griggs decision that it would read Title VII broadly.  It set up a test that allowed broad latitude for plaintiffs to bring suit against companies for more than just overt discrimination.  It also gave teeth to the federal regulatory commission created by Title VII, the EEOC.  Under the disparate impact test, the EEOC could use statistical data from employment practices to bring suit against employers.  Even if individuals were not aware that they were the subject of discrimination, the Griggs decision allowed the EEOC to prosecute employers engaging in discriminatory practices.


Sailing to Byzantium by Andrew Hart
February 11, 2010, 1:29 am
Filed under: literature, poetry

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unaging intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

blog stuff by Andrew Hart
February 1, 2010, 1:09 am
Filed under: blog goings on

Sorry for messing with the layout a lot lately.  I’m semi-settled on the current look, and I hope everyone likes the new colors and fonts.  It should make things a bit easier on the eyes.

I’d appreciate feedback about the background color (it’s light yellow right now) and the striped image right above the “Categories” in the sidebar.  If you consider yourself a great graphic designing mind, I could use some opinions on how that stuff looks.

Finally, I decided to commandeer an old class project to make a less organized BLOG! for myself.  If you really want to hear the less coherent thoughts that I decide to type out, you can visit the link in the sidebar under my name.

ROASTBEEF by Andrew Hart
January 28, 2010, 4:28 am
Filed under: literature, poetry

From Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons, section one (“Food”).


In the inside there is sleeping, in the outside there is reddening, in the morning there is meaning, in the evening there is feeling. In the evening there is feeling. In feeling anything is resting, in feeling anything is mounting, in feeling there is resignation, in feeling there is recognition, in feeling there is recurrence and entirely mistaken there is pinching. All the standards have steamers and all the curtains have bed linen and all the yellow has discrimination and all the circle has circling. This makes sand.

Very well. Certainly the length is thinner and the rest, the round rest has a longer summer. To shine, why not shine, to shine, to station, to enlarge, to hurry the measure all this means nothing if there is singing, if there is singing then there is the resumption.

The change the dirt, not to change dirt means that there is no beefsteak and not to have that is no obstruction, it is so easy to exchange meaning, it is so easy to see the difference. The difference is that a plain resource is not entangled with thickness and it does not mean that thickness shows such cutting, it does mean that a meadow is useful and a cow absurd. It does not mean that there are tears, it does not mean that exudation is cumbersome, it means no more than a memory, a choice and a reëstablishment, it means more than any escape from a surrounding extra. All the time that there is use there is use and any time there is a surface there is a surface, and every time there is an exception there is an exception and every time there is a division there is a dividing. Any time there is a surface there is a surface and every time there is a suggestion there is a suggestion and every time there is silence there is silence and every time that is languid there is that there then and not oftener, not always, not particular, tender and changing and external and central and surrounded and singular and simple and the same and the surface and the circle and the shine and the succor and the white and the same and the better and the red and the same and the centre and the yellow and the tender and the better, and altogether.

Considering the circumstances there is no occasion for a reduction, considering that there is no pealing there is no occasion for an obligation, considering that there is no outrage there is no necessity for any reparation, considering that there is no particle sodden there is no occasion for deliberation. Considering everything and which way the turn is tending, considering everything why is there no restraint, considering everything what makes the place settle and the plate distinguish some specialties. The whole thing is not understood and this is not strange considering that there is no education, this is not strange because having that certainly does show the difference in cutting, it shows that when there is turning there is no distress.

In kind, in a control, in a period, in the alteration of pigeons, in kind cuts and thick and thin spaces, in kind ham and different colors, the length of leaning a strong thing outside not to make a sound but to suggest a crust, the principal taste is when there is a whole chance to be reasonable, this does not mean that there is overtaking, this means nothing precious, this means clearly that the chance to exercise is a social success. So then the sound is not obtrusive. Suppose it is obtrusive suppose it is. What is certainly the desertion is not a reduced description, a description is not a birthday.

Lovely snipe and tender turn, excellent vapor and slender butter, all the splinter and the trunk, all the poisonous darkning drunk, all the joy in weak success, all the joyful tenderness, all the section and the tea, all the stouter symmetry.

Around the size that is small, inside the stern that is the middle, besides the remains that are praying, inside the between that is turning, all the region is measuring and melting is exaggerating.

Rectangular ribbon does not mean that there is no eruption it means that if there is no place to hold there is no place to spread. Kindness is not earnest, it is not assiduous it is not revered.

Room to comb chickens and feathers and ripe purple, room to curve single plates and large sets and second silver, room to send everything away, room to save heat and distemper, room to search a light that is simpler, all room has no shadow.

There is no use there is no use at all in smell, in taste, in teeth, in toast, in anything, there is no use at all and the respect is mutual.

Why should that which is uneven, that which is resumed, that which is tolerable why should all this resemble a smell, a thing is there, it whistles, it is not narrower, why is there no obligation to stay away and yet courage, courage is everywhere and the best remains to stay.

If there could be that which is contained in that which is felt there would be a chair where there are chairs and there would be no more denial about a clatter. A clatter is not a smell. All this is good.

The Saturday evening which is Sunday is every week day. What choice is there when there is a difference. A regulation is not active. Thirstiness is not equal division.

Anyway, to be older and ageder is not a surfeit nor a suction, it is not dated and careful, it is not dirty. Any little thing is clean, rubbing is black. Why should ancient lambs be goats and young colts and never beef, why should they, they should because there is so much difference in age.

A sound, a whole sound is not separation, a whole sound is in an order.

Suppose there is a pigeon, suppose there is.

Looseness, why is there a shadow in a kitchen, there is a shadow in a kitchen because every little thing is bigger.

The time when there are four choices and there are four choices in a difference, the time when there are four choices there is a kind and there is a kind. There is a kind. There is a kind. Supposing there is a bone, there is a bone. Supposing there are bones. There are bones. When there are bones there is no supposing there are bones. There are bones and there is that consuming. The kindly way to feel separating is to have a space between. This shows a likeness.

Hope in gates, hope in spoons, hope in doors, hope in tables, no hope in daintiness and determination. Hope in dates.

Tin is not a can and a stove is hardly. Tin is not necessary and neither is a stretcher. Tin is never narrow and thick.

Color is in coal. Coal is outlasting roasting and a spoonful, a whole spoon that is full is not spilling. Coal any coal is copper.

Claiming nothing, not claiming anything, not a claim in everything, collecting claiming, all this makes a harmony, it even makes a succession.

Sincerely gracious one morning, sincerely graciously trembling, sincere in gracious eloping, all this makes a furnace and a blanket. All this shows quantity.

Like an eye, not so much more, not any searching, no compliments.

Please be the beef, please beef, pleasure is not wailing. Please beef, please be carved clear, please be a case of consideration.

Search a neglect. A sale, any greatness is a stall and there is no memory, there is no clear collection.

A satin sight, what is a trick, no trick is mountainous and the color, all the rush is in the blood.

Bargaining for a little, bargain for a touch, a liberty, an estrangement, a characteristic turkey.

Please spice, please no name, place a whole weight, sink into a standard rising, raise a circle, choose a right around, make the resonance accounted and gather green any collar.

To bury a slender chicken, to raise an old feather, to surround a garland and to bake a pole splinter, to suggest a repose and to settle simply, to surrender one another, to succeed saving simpler, to satisfy a singularity and not to be blinder, to sugar nothing darker and to read redder, to have the color better, to sort out dinner, to remain together, to surprise no sinner, to curve nothing sweeter, to continue thinner, to increase in resting recreation to design string not dimmer.

Cloudiness what is cloudiness, is it a lining, is it a roll, is it melting.

The sooner there is jerking, the sooner freshness is tender, the sooner the round it is not round the sooner it is withdrawn in cutting, the sooner the measure means service, the sooner there is chinking, the sooner there is sadder than salad, the sooner there is none do her, the sooner there is no choice, the sooner there is a gloom freer, the same sooner and more sooner, this is no error in hurry and in pressure and in opposition to consideration.

A recital, what is a recital, it is an organ and use does not strengthen valor, it soothes medicine.

A transfer, a large transfer, a little transfer, some transfer, clouds and tracks do transfer, a transfer is not neglected.

Pride, when is there perfect pretence, there is no more than yesterday and ordinary.

A sentence of a vagueness that is violence is authority and a mission and stumbling and also certainly also a prison. Calmness, calm is beside the plate and in way in. There is no turn in terror. There is no volume in sound.

There is coagulation in cold and there is none in prudence. Something is preserved and the evening is long and the colder spring has sudden shadows in a sun. All the stain is tender and lilacs really lilacs are disturbed. Why is the perfect reëstablishment practiced and prized, why is it composed. The result the pure result is juice and size and baking and exhibition and nonchalance and sacrifice and volume and a section in division and the surrounding recognition and horticulture and no murmur. This is a result. There is no superposition and circumstance, there is hardness and a reason and the rest and remainder. There is no delight and no mathematics.

the search after truth by Andrew Hart
January 24, 2010, 12:00 am
Filed under: essays, philosophy

‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty, — that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’
-Keats, “Ode on  Grecian Urn”

I get that feeling every once and a while, as I’m sure everyone does.  I get it when I think if that faintly falling snow at the end of “The Dead,” the raining flowers in One Hundred Years of Solitude, the last movement of Brahms’s Violin Concerto.  It must be the sublime, because it transcends appreciation and exists in the realm of the wordless.  It is tears in the corners of eyes, hair raised on the back of the neck.

The only thing like it is the feeling of simple possibility that the beginning of a truth suggests.  I conflate the mere insinuation of further truth with that sublime feeling.  When I’m on on the brink of learning something, things I already imbue with the weight of importance I also lend an optimistic completeness.  Yet those things also remain transcendent, unable to be fully possessed.  I’m reminded of a line from Hart Crane’s “Proem: To Brooklyn Bridge:” like a movie that runs all hours, things are “never disclosed,” but are still “hastened to again.”  The promise of coming full circle brings us back to something that can never be complete.

That sublime feeling must be part confusion, because central to it is a contradiction.  We stand in front of a thing to be known, thinking that a proper delineation between thing and not-thing is all that is required to get our hands around it.  But we also anticipate those spiny borders between thing and not-thing, the places where we lose our place, find a new origin, begin again, double back.  Each possibility is equally tantalizing; each possibility echoes the other and creates that feeling.

The point of origin is the place where we comprehend both the boundaries and where we will break them.  It is where incomplete completeness is possible.  It is not truly a beginning, but as Derrida said, an “event,” a “rupture and a redoubling.”  It calls on itself just as it calls us to press forward.

I get that sublime feeling in the search after truth, because each attempt is a brilliant compression of living contradiction, which might be the most beautiful truth and true beauty of all.

tartuffe and the root of hypocrisy by Andrew Hart
January 22, 2010, 3:00 am
Filed under: essays, literature

Richard Wilbur precedes his amusing and finely honed translation of Tartuffe with a startling revelation: Tartuffe is not a religious hypocrite.  Generations of readers have glossed over this simple fact that becomes a provocative avenue for exploration once aired.

For those not familiar with Tartuffe, the plot is darkly comedic.  Orgon, the head of a French family, is taken in by Tartuffe, a swindler who curries favor by pretending to be an overly pious man.  The unsuspecting Orgon sponsors the devious Tartuffe, much to the chagrin of most of his household, who can see Tartuffe’s true colors.  Orgon reneges on his promise to allow his daughter Mariane to marry her love Valere, and instead promises her to Tartuffe.  But Tartuffe actually has designs on Orgon’s voluptuous young wife, Elmire.

Mariane’s maid Dorine sets into motion a plot to unmask Tartuffe as a swindler, but it is foiled when Orgon’s hotheaded son Damis accuses Tartuffe too soon, leading Orgon to disown him and believe Tartuffe instead.  Tartuffe convinces Orgon to will the deed of the estate to him, and uses some incriminating documents as blackmail in an attempt to kick Orgon out of his home.  But just when it appears that Orgon will be arrested for treason, Tartuffe himself is taken to jail, recognized by Louis XIV as a notorious swindler who once went by another name.

Wilbur asks us to concentrate on the last plot point.  Tartuffe is unmasked as a confidence-man, a notorious all-around swindler who used religion in this instance to gain the trust of Orgon.  Hypocrisy is his game, not his nature.  His nature is deceit in all forms, and he stays true to form throughout the play.  So Tartuffe — the character marked in the dramatis personae as “hypocrite” — is consistent.

What do we make of a play featuring an un-hypocritical hypocrite?  It tugs at the very root of hypocrisy itself.  Hypocrisy does not stem from evil deeds in Tartuffe; we can trace its origin to less obvious sources.

In final response to Mariane’s vehement protest against marriage with Tartuffe, Orgon instructs her to “mortify [her] flesh” and go through with the union.  The meaning is clear: Orgon, faced with the unknown of old age and loss of control over his family, prefers that Mariane marry Tartuffe and become old instead of marrying Valere to stay young.  Allying with Tartuffe is not an end, but a means to Orgon’s attempts to undermine his family to maintain his own happiness.

That Orgon’s personal happiness is his only aim further manifests itself in his refusal to believe his son, wife, maid, and daughter when told of Tartuffe’s designs on Elmire.  The views are so stilted that Orgon can hardly believe it when his own mother parrots them after events have conspired to expose Tartuffe’s treachery.  Orgon’s mother is as convinced of Tartuffe’s saintliness as she is hateful and bigoted, so her over-the-top defense of Tartuffe to her son after Tartuffe’s betrayal is clear stands as an especially hilarious reminder to just how self-serving Orgon’s actions were.

This central unmasking of in Tartuffe is its greatest and most subtle stroke.  The play reveals that the desire to do evil does not make the hypocrite.  The root of hypocrisy is fear and insecurity, and the hypocrite of the play is not Tartuffe, but Orgon himself.

Church and the Polarities of Nature by anyanka323
January 21, 2010, 9:00 am
Filed under: art

Frederick Edwin Church, The Icebergs, 1861, Dallas Museum of Art

Frederick Edwin Church, Cotopaxi, 1862, Detroit Institute of Arts