Clarissa's Blog

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


One category of people I don’t get are those who work with a personal trainer. Why would one actually pay to have somebody stare at one while one sweats, grunts, and adopts ridiculous poses?

The Lion Drama

It sounds like in Zimbabwe nobody cares about the stupid lion or tiger or whatever it was. People might even have actual problems in Africa that make the lion hysteria look a tad silly.

Teenage Truckers

Drivers as young as 18 years old could be allowed to drive 80,000-pound trucks between states if Congress goes along with a proposal backed by the U.S. trucking industry that safety advocates say would be a disaster.

Yes, that’s totally what we need. Teenagers driving enormous trucks. Well, it seems like in this country it doesn’t bother anybody to have epileptics and depressives on the road, so why not.


It’s unbelievable that in 2015 there are still hotels that charge extra for Wi-Fi. I’d never go to such a hotel because in the hospitality business nothing is ever accidental. A facility that charges for Wi-Fi will be outdated in other way and will treat customers like complete tools.

The Slow March of Truth

Finally, people are starting to wake up. Here is an article that repeats almost verbatim everything I’ve been telling you for years: whatever Putin does is not reactive, he’s not responding to any actions of the West,  his actions are motivated by internal needs.

I have no doubt that eventually the truth will sink into the lazy brains of even the staunchest defenders of the idiotic “If Putin sneezes, it must mean that Americans provoked him into it.” It’s a pity this is taking so long but lessons of obsessive, diseased patriotism take a long time to unlearn.

Remember where you heard all of this first.

Patriotic Food

A bill is being brought before the Russian parliament that will force restaurants to make at least 50% of the food they serve traditional Russian cuisine in order to promote patriotism. Freedom Fries have finally been defeated as the favorite food of crazed patriots.

This is especially hilarious since traditional Russian cuisine was destroyed back in 1917. Based on the way pre-revolutionary authors made it sound, it was great. But nobody knows it any longer or has access to the ingredients. The Russians might just as well mandate the use of the cuisine that was popular in the Roman Empire. But when did little things like practicality ever stop passionate patriots?

Update on Flight MH17

So the UN passed a resolution to create an international tribunal that would investigate the tragic crash of flight MH17. Russia vetoed the resolution and expressed condolences to the families of the victims.

“Fuck you, families of victims. By the way, so sorry for your loss.”

Russians will squeeze every single drop of collective enjoyment out of this tragedy. The crash of flight MH17 is now a favorite subject of stand up comedians in Russia. Everybody is having so much fun with the situation.

You have no reason to care, and that’s perfectly fine, but I speak Russian as my first language, my husband is from Russia. It horrifies me to see the depths of bestiality and nastiness the people of Russia have reached.


And as a P.S. to the previous post, one reason to respect Hillary is that she hasn’t been selling any easy, attractive, simplistic recipes. At least for now she’s taking the hard road of abstaining from facile, cheery populism. And she’s losing ground as a result. I’ve got to admire this costly refusal to engage in cheap sloganeering to soothe the voters’ anxieties.

An Easier World

I think Obama just said that the biggest threat that we have on the planet today is climate change, and a lot of people are saying, did he really say that? We have people chopping off heads and he’s talking about climate change. I call it weather. I call it weather. You know, the weather changes.

This is coming from Donald Trump, of course. And it’s a profoundly dumb statement. But can’t you see why it’s seductive? A complex, confusing, scary reality is reduced to the simplicity of the eminently comprehensible slogan “The weather changes!” People like Trump because he makes the world sound less confusing.

And come to think of it, isn’t this why Bernie Sanders is so attractive? The complex, scary reality is reduced to the extraordinarily simple trope of evil Wall Street banksters who don’t let good people have good things. Trying to understand the workings of the economy will defeat most of us, but reduce the economy to the cowboy movie struggle between good and evil and people will support you out of sheer gratitude for making their world more comprehensible.


Back at the Oxford conference, an academic from Finland listened to 3 American scholars discuss their universities and exclaimed, “This is unbelievable! If I tell people back home that Americans also have problems with funding, nobody will believe me. Aren’t American universities supposed to be rolling in money?”

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