What is Obama Doing?

I have no idea what Obama is doing any longer.

He can organize endless lavish lunches and go out of his way to make billionaire teenagers feel important but they will never support his party. All this is achieving is alienating the Democratic base.

I mean, read the linked article and tell me if you feel happy and eager to vote for the Dems in November as a result. Or do you think, instead, “Vomit, vomit, vomit. These politicians are all the same and all have their tongues stuck deep into the billionaires’ anuses”?

Underprivileged

I had no idea I was such a victim but then I took the privilege test and discovered:

underp

Let’s start a competition, folks! Let’s see who is the least privileged of all of us. In the meanwhile, excuse me for a moment, I need to go feel sorry for myself.

Canadian Bubble?

This small, ugly and horribly located house in Vancouver sold for $643,000, which is $43,000 MORE than the asking price. This is considered the cheapest house in Vancouver and people were in a bidding war to buy it.

vanc

 

And this is their backyard:

vanc2

The wooden planks are the extent of the backyard. Outside the deck, there is a public alley filled with trash cans.

On my recent visit to Montreal, I noticed that there was too much money in the city for the situation to be healthy. The word “bubble” was coming to mind every two minutes. Now I’m seeing that it isn’t just Quebec. Other Canadian provinces have lost all sense of what money is worth.

Tomorrow we are having the inspectors visit The Hedgehogs. As you probably realize, The Hedgehogs’ price is nowhere near what was paid for this ugly little tool shed in Vancouver. The Hedgehogs are cheap even for our area, and they have real nature, not a fake wooden-plank backyard. Prepare, people, if the inspections tell us all is good, I will persecute you with photos.

Millenials Are Everywhere

I just observed in a musical competition on Russian TV a popular singer in his twenties react with a tantrum and a bout of weeping to the kindest, gentlest, most respectful criticism of his performance by the judges.

“But I tried so hard!” he bawled and ran off the stage.

“Was it something I said?” fussed a 60-year-old judge. “Why is he so upset? I need to go apologize.”

My students are like that, too. Not all but quite a few. And if diplomacy today isn’t working, imagine it being placed in the hands of ultra-sensitive, perennially aggrieved and generationally wounded Millenials.

A Stunning Breakthrough

I just discovered that somebody called Piketty wrote a huge volume that is being universally lauded as the biggest recent achievement in political economy and which proves that
“there is no inherent drive in markets toward income equality.”

This tells me I totally need to patent my breakthrough discovery that now is April.

Universal

Every obituary dedicated to him mentions that Garcia Marquez is a universal writer. I have no idea what this is supposed to mean when said about a writer who made his career out of exoticizing Colombia and selling the “oh, Lordy, these Colombians surely are freaky and weird” idea to the world.

Garcia Marquez is read around the world precisely because nobody can identify with his characters. He is a great master of the fantasy genre, maybe the best the world has ever known. Unless we count the need to escape to an imaginary world populated not with people but with leprechauns as universal, I have no idea how his work can fit that description.

Women and Confidence

I was seduced by an article on the cover of The Atlantic titled “The Confidence Gap. Evidence shows that women are less self-assured than men—and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence. Here’s why, and what to do about it.” I bought the magazine and repented sooner than I hoped to.

Whenever one says that North American women suffer from severe issues with their confidence, somebody immediately objects that there are structural inequalities and we should talk about them instead. As if these problems were not intimately linked and discussing one would suck all the energy away from the other.

The article in The Atlantic, however, doesn’t even begin to address the issue intelligently. First, it offers a bunch of inane evolutionary psych platitudes that go on for pages and that I skipped because my brain refuses to process this much stupidity. Then, the article informs us that the reason why women don’t hold a many responsible positions and positions of power as men doesn’t only reside in naturally flawed female brains:

For some clues about the role that nurture plays in the confidence gap, let’s look to a few formative places: the elementary-school classroom, the playground, and the sports field.

Note the pointed absence of what is the formative place par excellence: the family. There is no discussion at all of family scenarios and upbringing, as if children were delivered by storks straight into the classroom. After the article informs the readers that girls who don’t play sports in school have no chance of becoming confident women, it trots out the tired old piece of idiocy that has been used to sabotage women for ages:

If a woman walks into her boss’s office with unsolicited opinions, speaks up first at meetings, or gives business advice above her pay grade, she risks being disliked or even—let’s be blunt—being labeled a bitch. The more a woman succeeds, the worse the vitriol seems to get. It’s not just her competence that’s called into question; it’s her very character.

As a woman who not only sucked beyond belief in gym class and who is the mouthiest, most obnoxiously opinionated and narcissistic colleague anybody can imagine, I can’t hear this load of sad, tired, caked on BS any longer.

What would be fascinating to discuss in this respect is why confidence comes so easily to the generation of American women who are now in their 50s and 60s but proves so elusive to those in their 40s and younger. There must be a reason for this enormous generational difference, and nobody is analyzing it.

So I’m thinking let’s discuss it here. How are you doing in terms of confidence? Have you noticed the generational difference I’m talking about?

One rule for the discussion: no passive voice is allowed. Even though I just used it.

Troglodytes and Petty Bourgeois

I’m very glad I bought this Socialist magazine, people, because it’s very funny. It says, for instance, that the GOP is “beholden to the petty bourgeois Tea Party and troglodyte sections of big capital.” Say what you will, but it’s hilarious that some people still managed to retain this verbiage as late as 2014.

Socialists Don’t Understand Wages

Strangely, the Socialist magazine I bought is proving way too conservative for me. To give an example, a review of a book on the globalized economy states that the global economic crisis of the 1970s happened, to a large degree, because the wages were too high.

I’m reading a lot about the economy of the 1970s for my new research project, and I can tell you that it’s a load of stinky, stale baloney. The wages were not “too high.” What happened is that, to counteract the diminishing growth in the productivity of capital in the 1970s, wages were declared an expense and nothing but an expense. Wages started to be seen as part of those pesky production costs everybody wants to minimize.

And if your question is, “But what else can wages be if not an expense?” this just goes to show how profoundly this way of thinking has been interiorized. s