It never ceases.
Stroll on over there and give her some love, if you're so inclined (and you should be).
Rather predictably, I blame the patriarchy.
A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.
Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.
Russian cab driver: So, you study here at the university?
Cab driver: What is it you study?
Me: (Knowing that this sort of conversation generally does not go well, trying desperately to deflect him with generalities.) I'm working toward a degree in English.
Cab driver: Tell me, you are American?
Me: (A bit suspicious, because I suspect the answer to that question is pretty clear) Well, yes.
Cab driver: So why you are studying English? You know it already, right?
Me: (Exasperated and trying to camouflage it by sounding overly chipper.) Yes, but I'm studying the literature, rather than the language.
(Long pause, during which the driver's smirk is clearly perceptible in the rear-view mirror.)
Cab driver: (Triumphantly, confidently--he's reached his punch line now.) Tell me, where you are going to work with this degree?
Me: (Really, really glad we're pulling up to the curb where he'll let me out, and really, really pissed off that I don't have smaller bills so I can avoid tipping him.) I'm going to be a professor. I will work at a university. I'm not sure which one yet; I have to see who's hiring when I've finished my degree.
Cab driver: Hmpfh. (Long pause.) Well, good luck with that.
Me: (Exiting the cab, having given him my $20) Yeah, good luck to you, too . . . (under breath as car door slams and I walk away) . . . Asshole.
Yes, I really am a big ol' pinko:
You are a Social Liberal
"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Bush said at a joint White House news conference with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
"And to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility. I want to know what went right and what went wrong," said Bush.
Before I begin noting in how this apology is carefully couched so as to allow plenty of "wiggle room," I would simply like to note that it's perfectly obvious to anyone with half a brain cell* that the difference between this statement and last week's shamelessly clueless "What didn't go right?" comment to Nancy Pelosi can be found in the new polls.
Now, for the "wiggle room." Let us do a bit of what we call in the classroom "close reading."
|Your movie star name: Cheese Whiz James|
|Your fashion designer name: Ancrene Edinburgh|
|Your socialite name is Princess Dublin|
|Your fly girl / guy name is A Wis|
|Your detective name is Cat Reynolds|
|Your barfly name is Chex Mix Whiskey|
|Your soap opera name is Tracy Beverly|
|Your rock star name is Sweet Tarts Shinkansen|
|Your star wars name is Ancmou Wisjon|
|Your punk rock band name is The Scattered Whiffle Bat|
|In a Past Life...|
Where You Lived: Australia.
How You Died: Dysentery.
I never have been able to figure out why so many people want to believe in a God who seems to be little more than a stupid, but clearly dangerous, psychopath. But, I guess it all comes back to that old adage "People make God in their own image." It tells us nothing about God and everything we need to know about the people who create him - people who believe thousands of poor black people should be drowned because of homosexuality and abortion.
White and black Americans view the federal response in starkly different ways, with more blacks viewing race as a factor, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday.
The poll found that six in 10 blacks interviewed said the federal government was slow in rescuing those stranded in New Orleans because many of the people were black. But only about one in eight white respondents shared that view.
I reckon DuBois's "color line" still hasn't left us.
2) Cat Scratch Fever: Mouse went nuts this morning, running around the apartment like mad, sometimes in circles, and attacking my foot from beneath the bed so that he left me with a a huge pair of scratches that bled for some time. Made me wonder whether something was up (impending natural disaster? strange substances in the water?), but maybe it's just my own jumpiness from the past couple of weeks wearing off on him.
3) They won't watch a movie?: My students royally pissed me off today when in-class group meetings revealed that some of them hadn't even watched the films they were supposed to be presenting on tomorrow morning, much less come up with an analysis of them. I felt forced to grant an extension--lest we all have to watch supremely crappy and demoralizing presentations for two hours--and rearranged the entire week's schedule to do so. But I let them sweat it out for the entire class thinking I'd be holding them to the deadline and then gave them a stern talking-to, along the lines of "since I'm granting this extension and going to some inconvenience, these presentations had better be good." I mean, Lord-a-mercy, I know they're tired and have a lot to do; I'm completely exhausted and overwhelmed myself. But that's just damn ridiculous, particularly since this really is a pretty fun and lightweight assignment. I really am pretty deeply disappointed in them, and I'm worried about how well they're going to finish out the term.
4) Song and Dance: I began working on a presentation for Big Cheese Donor-Types at the library today: some folks are coming at the end of the week to see what the program I'm working for is up to, and my project's been picked as one of the ones to "show and tell" in an attempt to convince them to part with some cash. I'm having a great time at it: I do love the ballads, and I'm looking forward to talking about them. I don't mind being a salesperson when I believe in the product, after all.
5) Glasses Regained: On Friday evening, my friend on the night sanitation crew--who thought he was doing me a favor by retrieving them from the grad lounge and hanging on to them for me--returned my glasses. In actuality, all he did was keep me from being reunited with them for an extra 12 hours, but it's the thought that counts, I guess.
6) Samurai and Yakuza: I went to a weekend double-feature with Geek Boy of two movies produced in Japan in 1964: Ansatsu (Assassination)--which appeared to be a kind of allegory, through the central character, of a Japanese love-hate relationship with the old Imperial order that died with the forced "opening" of the country under Commodore Perry--and Ôkami to buta to ningen (Wolves, Pigs, and People)--which is about a small-time gangster who recruits his younger brother into a plot to rob drugs and money from a yakuza gang that includes his older brother. This one included some really wacky and rather incongruous scenes (especially because the rest of the movie was pretty intensely gritty) in which Japanese slum teenagers re-enacted some bizarre version of Beach Blanket Bingo combined with the nutty beatnik parties of The Swinger--only set against the bleak backdrop of an industrial canal and featuring scenes in which they chase down junkyard dogs to boil for dinner.
Both films were very challenging: they were definitely made by Japanese people for Japanese people, and it was sometimes difficult to get all the cultural nuances, but I liked them both very much. Ansatsu, in particular, had some really gorgeous scenes.
Geek Boy was less impressed than I was, though, and I have to admit there were some pacing issues. I also have to admit that I seem almost polymorphously perverse when it comes to movies: I'll watch just about anything, and I always seem to find something about whatever I'm watching interesting, even if I know it's awful. Maybe especially if I know it's awful. Case in point:
7) Knight Riders: A movie screened at Morgan and Bellwether's place that actually chased away four spectators. Now this was most definitely a crappy, crappy movie. And yet, I was sorta charmed by the goofy sincerity of it. George Romero, taking a break from zombie flicks in 1981, makes a movie about a biker-gang-cum-SCA-troupe-cum-hippie-commune who're trying to revive the dream of Camelot. It stars Ed Harris, who manages to:
(a) get naked a lot;
(b) end up with a silent, Native-American sidekick in the closing scenes; and
(c) yell his way through loads of bad dialogue, including "I'm not tryina' be a hero! I'm just tryina' fight the dragon!"
But, then, I guess that's part of my m.o. Joe Bob Briggs' separated-at-birth nerd sister, I'm just a B-movie / broadside ballad / Easy Cheese / doggerel romance-lovin' chick.
"Ain't nothin' passe 'bout the declasse:" that's my motto.
|Your Superhero Profile|
1) "It took a day or two after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast to understand that it could affect our feelings about what happened at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon and in rural Pennsylvania. After all, the people who died on Sept. 11 were murdered by other human beings. Katrina's malevolence was only a metaphor, no matter how damaging its winds. But by the time the hurricane died down and the floodwaters stopped rising, it became clear that this hurricane would force us to revise 9/11, which, until now, had defined the limits of tragedy in America." (New York Times editorial)
2) "The government's response to Katrina—like the failure to anticipate that terrorists would fly into buildings on 9/11—was a failure of magination." (Newsweek, in a long article titled “How Bush Blew It.”)
3) Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.: [After Katrina, as on 9/11] "we once again find ourselves asking, 'How could this have happened?' The answer is painful, but it must be acknowledged: we simply were unprepared."
4) Howard Fineman: "History doesn’t repeat itself, but there are political echoes of 9/11 sounding loudly all over the Gulf Coast, and, for the most part, the comparisons between catastrophes in two iconic cities — New York and New Orleans — aren’t likely to help boost public regard for the presidency of George W. Bush."
5) Dave Pollard: What do 9/11 and Katrina have in common, and what is that doing to our heads?
--They were both preventable, but the cost and challenge of prevention were (and are) massive, almost overwhelming
--Unlike the tsunami, both 9/11 and Katrina represented or brought out the worst in humanity, and raised serious questions about human nature (negligence to prevent a predictable disaster, incompetence in dealing with it, and exploitation of the misery afterwards)
. . . .
Lakoff has explained how hard it is for us to understand and process anything that doesn't fit with our 'frames', and how desperately we tend to cling to our personal worldviews. Events like these, I would suggest, come dangerously close to shattering our frames and destroying our worldviews, and to some extent make us, at least temporarily, slightly insane. To the progressive, giving up on the view that most people are good, caring, honest, and fair is sickening. To the conservative, giving up on the possibility that if you live a diligent, moral life you have a chance of being safe and secure, is equally sickening. These worldviews are our levees, and when they break, the result is profound and destructive."
Vice President Dick Cheney echoed Secretary Rice's remarks. Speaking to CRN from a fortified pro shop at the Cheyenne Mountain Country Club, he said "Their opposition to anything we do is so ineffective and weak-willed, that for two years I've had to tell myself to go fuck myself. If you ask me, that's not the America I know."There's more where that came from here.
If you dropped a bomb on this place, it couldn't be any worse than this," said Ron Silva, a district fire chief in St. Bernard Parish. "It's Day 8, guys. Everything was diverted first to New Orleans, we understand that. But do you realize we got 18 to 20 feet of water from the storm, and we've still got 7 to 8 feet of water?"
. . . .
As relief efforts sputtered in the days after the storm, Verlyn Davis Jr., an out-of-work electrician, took charge. He transformed his parents' bar and seafood restaurant, Lehrmann's, into a shelter where he dispatches people to clear roads, hook up generators and help in the disaster relief process.
About 20 people have been staying there these days. On a boarded-up window out front is a blue spray-painted sign: "ABOUT TIME BUSH!"
"The governor and the president let thousands of people die and they let them die on their roofs and they let them die in the water," said Davis, 45. "We got left. They didn't care."
Help has begun to pour in -- the sound of the military helicopters overhead interrupts the silence. Search teams in boats pound on rooftops. They shout, "Anybody home?" But they know the answer.
I don't think it's pessimistic to say that we'll keep hearing stories like this for days--and maybe even weeks--to come; it's realistic.
And, as usual these days, the reality is just about unbearable.
Helms: "The president . . . will end up building a billion-dollar dam in Arkansas . . . His plan will be to fight the water there so we don't have to fight it here."
Stewart: "So no one's going to be held accountable for any of this."
Helms: "Uh, no. In fact, if history is any indication, they'll be hard-pressed finding enough medals to pin on these guys. My sources tell me the head of FEMA may actually be dipped in bronze and turned into an award which will then be given to other officials."
And the alphabetical listings of Bush Administration Crises is high-larious.
As a follow-up, Lauren at Feministe has set up a Bush Talking Points Mad Libs post. Awesome.