Clarissa's Blog

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

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

What Will Be Served in Paradise?

I love good food, chic restaurants, high cuisine, and long complex recipes.

However, if I end up in heaven (as a result of someone’s oversight), the meal I will be served for breakfast, lunch and dinner will consist of

1) mashed potatoes,

2) sosiski



3) and a kosher pickled cucumber


This one, not the bright green vinegary thing

Yes, this is what I’ll be eating for eternity. Proletarian origins stay with you forever.

What will you be served in heaven?

Carson Explains Holocaust

More extreme assholery from Carson:

On CNN Thursday, Carson was asked about a passage in his book A More Perfect Union suggesting that gun regulation during 1930s Germany meant Jews couldn’t resist the Nazis. The Republican candidate didn’t flinch: “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed. There’s a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.”

It looks like the fellow has experienced an undiagnosed neurological event (e.g. a stroke) and is not in full control of his capacities.

Does he look (let alone sound) entirely healthy to you? Trump, for instance, is simply an asshole. Carson, on the other hand, makes the impression of an unhealthy asshole.

Book Notes: The Chosen by Eduardo Iglesias

When I work on my research articles or books, I always plan what I will write in advance. My best writing, however, happens when I immerse myself in the process and let the text lead me wherever it will. This doesn’t mean the plan isn’t important. It is but it shouldn’t be so strict as to extinguish the ecstasy of an unhindered writing flow.

In Eduardo Iglesias’ novel The Chosen, the heavily pondered and the severely planned killed all that could be surprising and unexpected. Every word seems so purposeful and controlled that reading the novel feels like having sex while following detailed instructions in a sex technique manual.

Few things are more boring than the work of an author who knows exactly what he is going to say before beginning to write and who then goes and says it.

Who Is Svetlana Alexievich?

Hey, people, great news. Svetlana Alexievich, a writer from Belarus, was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Alexievich writes testimonial literature. This is a genre that has been flourishing in countries which have experienced totalitarianism. Argentina, Spain, Uruguay, for instance, have a very robust testimonial genre. (And that’s what I spoke about at my Oxford conference, by the way.)

The Russian-speaking  post-Soviet nations have chosen to pretend that their traumatic past never happened. This was an enormous mistake which is now causing all of the insanity that is taking place in these countries. There is no literature to speak of in these nations outside of boring commercial garbage.

Alexievich is pretty much the only writer who stands out in that entire enormous space. She is hugely respected for her powerful writing, political dissidence, and her capacity to create literature in a veritable desert of literary achievement. Things are so bad, literature-wise, in the region that if one wanted to give an award to a writer from Russia or Ukraine, one simply wouldn’t be able to find one.

After an incomprehensible decision to give the Nobel to an author whom nobody on the planet seems to know or care about, the Nobel committee finally made a good choice. Alexievich does extremely important work in a region that needs it like none other.

The Chinese Rule

While Russians are falling all over themselves looking for a new country to bomb and devastate, the Chinese keep proving that an inventive and industrious nation will always kick the ass of a belicose, lazy one.

Behold this wonder of Chinese industry:


Yes! These are borscht-flavored chips for people who are not fortunate enough to have a Ukrainian person nearby.

Customer Ratings

Large companies keep records of former or prospective customers, assigning to them ratings that reflect how difficult a customer might be.

Many people think it’s creepy but I’ve had a positive experience with this rating system. When a chirpy gentleman called me from Charter to recruit me as a customer and had the gall to INTERRUPT me, I flew into a fit of rage and hissed at him in scary ways. (I never get interrupted and am not about to start).

Since then, I only get phone calls from Charter that feature very quiet, extremely obsequious telemarketers who never interrupt.

Taking Out the Garbage

I still remember the time when one would take out the garbage and then bring the garbage pail back.

Do people in North America remember something like this or were there always disposable trash bags?

Forecasting Hatred

“Tomorrow is shaping up to be a beautiful sunny day,” a weather forecaster on Russian TV announces. “The weather will allow us to engage in many important activities, like, for instance, bomb Syria.”

The weather map behind the newscaster changes to show images of exploding bombs and blown up buildings.

“Lack of precipitation will give our fighter airplanes perfect visibility,” the newscaster continues calmly, outlining the prospects for a successful bombing of a country her compatriots know nothing about and have no reason to dislike.

This is a regular daily forecast in a country of 140 million who have all gone collectively mad. Just two weeks ago, they had no idea they were about to start hating Syria, but today they are passionately invested in this newfound hatred.

British Justice

In the UK, an adult raped an 11 – year-old child. The punishment for the rape was a suspended sentence. The victim’s father insisted that the victim wanted to be raped, and the judge agreed.

Recess Consultants

Some schools are now hiring companies to provide recess consultants. These are people who descend on school playgrounds during recess and organize children’s play to make it more productive, effective, and creativity generating.

If children want to play something that the consultants don’t deem to be the most productive activity at the moment, children are not allowed to pursue the game of their choosing. Playtime needs to be maximized for developmental opportunities, and recess consultants employ strategies that empower the children to be contributing members of community.

Recess consultants employ “positive group management techniques to create safe, inclusive environment” in the playgrounds.

No, seriously.

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