Clarissa's Blog

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

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Russia Glorifies Wehrmacht

Russia is getting ready to celebrate the victory over Nazism 70 years ago. Or not.

In a booklet printed in the annexed Crimea, the following picture was used to glorify the troops that took part in the fighting:


I don’t think you need to be a huge World War II buff to figure out that this guy is not a Soviet soldier. He actually belongs to the troops of Erich von Manstein, the Wehrmacht Field Marshal who invaded the Soviet Crimea.

Here is the booklet with the offending image:

crimea craziness

Yes, it’s probably just a mistake. But it is one more among the “Goebbels was such a talented guy” and “when the Nazis occupied Leningrad” kind of mistakes that keep plaguing Russia’s official discourse on WWII. Given that Russia is currently fighting a costly war in Ukraine because Russians supposedly feel that Ukrainians disrespected the memory of the war over Nazism, you’d expect a more careful approach to the issue.

Monday Link Encyclopedia

People have the weirdest erotic fantasies: “I’d love to see Bradley Cooper and Vladimir Putin duke it out, shirtless, in a ring, in no-holds-barred boxing and wrestling. Now that would be a way to settle our diplomatic differences with Russia!” And then everybody is shocked that 50 Shades is so popular.

Amazing 3D drawings in the sand. The text is in Russian, but who cares. Just look at the drawings.

The result was a flourishing matriarchy, in which a woman’s authority and stature grew with age and in which—thanks to the proximity of employment for the menfolk and the geographically compressed layout of working-class districts—the households of Mum and of her married daughters’ families were, and in fact had to be, nearly always at most a few blocks away and often on the same street.” This bit of brainless idiocy reminded me of why I quit reading Zinn’s otherwise very good People’s History. Neither Zinn nor this male author have the slightest inkling of what an absolute, soul-crushing horror this for of family life is to women. The facile fools actually insist that it’s somehow good for women to exist in this horrifying way.

A really brilliant post on the reasons why Soviet psychiatry was used to persecute dissidents.

If the United States arms Ukraine, Chechnya will send arms to Mexico, the speaker of Chechnya’s parliament announced earlier this week.” Of course, they would anyways, so the point is moot.

A Catholic priest has reportedly told a primary school mass in Melbourne that Jill Meagher would not have been murdered if she had not been out so late at night.”

It’s tiresome how stupid people are: “Meyers argues that something like 30% of the instructional period every day is lost to “interruptions,” or other non-instructional tasks like distributing materials, switching tasks, or taking attendance. Tapping into technology connected to the Internet of Things, he argues, has the potential to eliminate these inefficiencies.” Interruptions are crucial for the absorption of information. Even sleep is better and more restful when it is interrupted. Have these idiots ever been inside a classroom?

[In Russian.] Why the Russian-speaking immigrants so often detest the countries to which they emigrated.

Scott Walker’s tiresome stupidity. I actually had to check the name twice before finishing the previous, very short sentence. All of these fuckers – Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush – are so extraordinarily stupid that it’s hard to keep touch which of the idiots is guilty of the greatest idiocy of the day.

Here is another one of those illiterate presidential candidates making an ass of himself on the subject of Israel.

And here is a great post for those who want to keep track of all these clowns.

What I find really incredible is that after MOOCs failed by every single measure and even their creators publicly called them lousy, there are still weirdos who believe that “MOOCs will save the world” because there is supposedly some huge issue in higher ed caused by evil scholars who do research. Why don’t they take their delusional fixation on “research” to a psychiatrist already?

Of course, there is no addiction to sex.

How I love seeing posts like these.

[In Spanish] Being a <30-year-old Spaniard is a recipe for permanent joblessness.

Yes, it is possible for cops to behave professionally.

The qualifications of AA counselors – or, rather, a terrifying lack thereof.

A fascinating true story of an immigrant who really hated Canada.

History buffs unhappy with resumption of construction on possible downtown Montreal Indian burial site.”

The good things that came out of the Recession: “At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a premier source of young recruits, only 9.9 percent of undergraduates went into finance in 2013, compared with the 31 percent that took jobs on Wall Street in 2006, before the financial crisis.” Yes, it’s just one good thing. The rest is bad.

Authentic Coupledom

“Where gender does inform working practices at home is the performance of tasks which many women associated with their male partners: gardening and home maintenance. Where men fail to undertake these tasks, women may question their experience of heterosexual coupledom, finding it somehow inauthentic” (54).

Masculinities in Transition. Eds. Victoria Robinson and Jenny Hockey. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

People should get a life as soon as possible before this delusional thinking gets the better of them.

I’m three days into the exploration of masculinities, and already I’m losing faith in humanity.

The War Nerd: A Brief History Of The Yemen Clusterf*ck


I’m reblogging this piece by my favorite Gary Brecher to remind myself to read it later tonight.

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

Ansar_Allah_fightersDILI, EAST TIMOR — I ought to be familiar with the Houthi, the Shia militia that’s now conquering most of what’s worth taking in Yemen. After all, the Houthis started in Saada Province, just a few miles due south of Najran, Saudi Arabia, where I was living a few years ago.

But the truth is Yemen was totally closed off to everyone in Najran, and no one except a few networks of smugglers and spies who, from what I heard, had a very high attrition rate, dared to cross that border. None of us expat goofs even knew the name of the Yemeni Province across from us. Yemen was that country from whose bournes no traveler returns, unless he’s hoping to get rich from an SUV full of weed—and what with the, you know, beheadings for drug dealing and all, we were pretty much a straight-edge crew in our time…

View original 3,645 more words

Soccer Scandal in Montenegro

Yesterday, Russians forced the soccer match in Montenegro to be stopped mid-game because they used the match to engage in massive anti-Ukrainian and anti-US propaganda. This is not the first time they are breaking the FIFA rules and use the game to burn flags and do all that kind of crazy shit.

There is still time to move the 2018 World Cup away from Russia. Imagine what pandemonium will each game become if the World Cup is allowed to be conducted among the completely insane and hugely aggressive Russians.

Gender Differences

“Sex differences, on almost every psychological trait measured, are either non-existent or fairly small. Certainly they are much smaller than the differences in social situations. . . Their modest size would hardly register them as important phenomena if we were not already culturally cued to exaggerate them” (21).

“A great deal of research has now been done on the issue. The usual finding, on intellect, temperament and other personal traits, is that there are no measurable differences at all” (47).

Connell, R.W. Masculinities. Cambridge: Polity P, 1995.

Everybody with even a minimally functioning brain knows this. But the numbers of people who possess such a brain are not impressive.

Weird Me

I’m a weird person, my friends. A weird, weird person. Last year, I was criticized pretty severely by the reviewers of one of my articles for sucking something fierce at the writing of abstracts. 

“This scholar seems to labor under the erroneous belief that abstracts should consist of sentences copy-pasted from the article,” one of the reviewers pointed out.

That was exactly how I wrote my abstracts because nobody had told me that this was not a good idea. I had no choice but to agree with the reviewers and decided to learn to write abstracts.

I thought that the way to do that would be to write a couple of proposals for collections of articles on different topics. “Nobody would accept the proposals, of course,” I mused, “but at least I will get to practice.”

So I sat down and wrote these proposals. To avoid the temptation of copy-pasting, I chose collections that addressed the topics I never worked on before. This was good practice for me and everything would be peachy, save for one little detail. Both proposals were accepted. 

I mean, that’s great and I’m honored. Both collections are being edited by people who are well-known in my field and whom I always wanted to impress. The problem, however, is that I now need to do the following things before August 1:

1. Write two articles for these two completely different collections on topics I never worked with before. This means that I now need to familiarize myself with theoretical contributions to the fields of a) masculinity and b) space in literature.

2. Write a talk for my Oxford conference (that’s the third completely different topic).

3. Keep writing my book on the fourth completely different topic.

As they say, be careful of what you wish for because you might get it. I wanted an intense research year and I will have it in spades. I have had to create a very detailed plan that lists the number of words I have to produce every single day between today and August 1. This will be intense.


Yesterday, we had a meeting at the department because there have been tensions and people feel like they need to express their concerns.

“I feel like nobody listens to me and my opinions are not valued!” one colleague exclaimed.

“Yes,” another colleague agreed. “I have opinions, too, but nobody is listening!”

“Well, we are here now,” I said. “The floor is yours. Do express your opinions.”

“I have opinions,” the colleague responded passionately. “And I want to express them!”

“Yes,” another colleague said. “It’s important to express our opinions. Let’s set up a meeting where we will all express our opinions!”

“That’s a brilliant idea,” I lied. “But since we’re all here anyway, would anybody like to share there opinions?”

“Yes!” a colleague exclaimed. “It’s very important to express our opinions!”

Two hours more of this, and we could finally go home.

“This was such a useful meeting!” a colleague shared in the parking lot. “It’s great to have one’s opinions heard.”

Modern Family

Has anybody seen this horrible little sitcom titled Modern Family? Bleh, what a nasty show. I’m yet to figure out what’s supposed to be so modern about this cast of dinosaurs.

Yes, there is a gay couple, stereotyped to the extreme, but that’s it in terms of modernity. The Latin American prostitute, her sleazy Latino ex-husband who looks like a pimp, their obese child, the plastic parents of 3 who look like people who spend their lives at the surgeon’s and not at the playgrounds, the patriarchal mother whose 40-year-old daughter puts up with vicious bullying for no reason that anybody in 2015 can understand.

Sitcoms are not supposed to make sense, I know. But this one is just too out there.

All Greek

Check this out, folks. This is a really fun article on what other people say when English-speakers say “It’s all Greek to me.”

Is there anybody here whose version is not represented?

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