Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Nanny State in Action

Our Big Government Nanny State Congress has increased governmental handouts to the idiotic abstinence – only program.

It’s comforting to know that our taxes are being poured down the drain on such a completely ridiculous, counterproductive program.

I’m Not a Tutor

It really annoys me when people take me for a language tutor. I always make a point of introducing myself as a professor of literature, yet somehow this always leads to people trying to make appointments for language tutoring with me.

Sometimes, this takes really weird forms. A Russian lady I met last week told me in a very aggressive way, “OK, I need to think about it. But you’ve got to give me some time. I might hire you to teach me some Spanish, but I can’t say for sure right now!”

Then I ran across her again, and she announced defensively, “I’m still thinking about it!”

I feel like a door-to-door insurance peddler even though I have zero interest or need to offer tutoring services.

“There’s a Reason Gay Marriage Is Winning, While Abortion Rights Are Losing”

Ukraine is not the only subject on which The Nation is shockingly tone-death. The recent article that struggles to explain why abortion rights can’t be as successful as gay rights misses the crucial reason by a wide margin: abortion access is only problematic for women who are economically deprived. This is a class issue nowadays.

The social class that has the leisure, the expertise, and the energy to drive social change is the same class that doesn’t find it hard to access medical care and obtain abortions. Hence the general indifference to the subject.

Crimes and Misdemeanors the Russian Way

A group of young women in Russia were placed in jail for 10-15 days for filming this video:

In the meantime, here is one of many palaces owned by Russia’s president Putin:

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Drone Parenting

Technology might change but dysfunction never does:

From the comfort of his home, the Tennessee father watched his daughter trundle along safely. Katie didn’t know the drone was following her and was “pretty surprised” when she found out about it—we would be too if a drone was lurking about and eyeing us from above. (Whispers of the drone being comparable to Lord Sauron’s all-seeing eye and 1984‘s Big Brother have been detected around the office.)

Early told a reporter that he just wanted his daughter to know that “daddy’s always watching.” Yikes… Move over “helicopter parenting,” “drone parenting” is coming through.

Online Bullies

I received an email asking me to explain why I ban some people and not others who, according to the email’s author, deserve banning a lot more.

Many people play the following game with the Internet:

They use the anonymity of the online space to allow themselves a greater freedom than they have off-line.

The self-imposed mask of politeness and inoffensiveness slips,and they finally show some of the qualities of their personality that they’ve been repressing for ages.

The moment they do that, though, they experience extreme anxiety.

This anxiety is the reminder of the times when they were little and were punished for showing anger, individuality, etc.

To combat anxiety, they lash out against a symbolic parent.

The symbolic parent can be a celebrity or somebody they see as more competent, powerful and adult than themselves.

By lashing out at a symbolic parent, they temporarily assuage their anxiety.

But soon the anxiety comes back, promising immediate punishment for the freedom one has experienced online. 

And the whole sorry thing begins again.

I’m so aware of how this process works that I experience nothing but boredom when I encounter it. This is why I ban people immediately when I see that they have appointed me to the role of their symbolic Mommy. I also never visit websites where people act out their rebellion against me as their symbolic parent.

There have been dozens of Reddit threads, blog discussions, tumblrs, and even entire websites dedicated to me as the symbolic Mommy. I have not visited any of them, even though they keep springing up in the link section of my stats. 

To people who never stay away from such discussions of themselves, I have the following to say: all that these beaten-down, pathetic former children want is for you to assuage their anxiety by entering into debates with them. This is a completely pointless game that leads nowhere. These problems can only be resolved by going to their roots. And such people don’t have the courage to do that. The terror of the real parent is too strong.

Russia: A Drawn Out Collapse

Workers at a national space centre being built in Russia have gone on hunger strike after they failed to receive months of unpaid wages despite a promise from President Vladimir Putin.

Gosh, if only this were the most disturbing story about Russia’s space centers.

Last week, a rocket was launched from one of them. It exploded almost immediately after launch. This wouldn’t be that big of a deal, if it weren’t for one little thing: nobody knows who launched the rocket and why. Nobody is taking responsibility.

Another bizarre story is that of workers of a large factory that keep sending sad pleas to Putin, asking him to pay them their salaries that have been in arrears for months. The only problem is that the factory does not belong to the state. It was privatized back in the 1990s.

I’m all for workers’ rights but when the workers haven’t managed to notice that the factory has not been owned by the state for 20 years, it’s hard to commiserate with their plight.

A Dream

All night long, I watched a dream about going back to Kharkiv. I haven’t been back to Ukraine since emigrating 17 years ago, and the Kharkiv I saw in this dream was not even remotely like the real one.

I now wonder what it was that I was seeing in the dream and whether time had come for me to visit Ukraine.

A New Offensive

The reason why I mention Putin in every single post these days is that the stupid little shit is preparing another offensive in Ukraine, and I’m freaking out.

A Truly Jewish Snub

Putin is desperate to find people who will agree to come to Russia to celebrate the victory in WWII with him.

So he invited a representative from Israel.

“I’d love to come,” the Israeli said, “but it just so happens that the day falls on Shabbat. And as a practicing Jew, I can’t travel on Shabbat. Besides, I’m already scheduled to travel to Germany on that day.”

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