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Clarissa's Blog

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

Favorite Song

Turns out Klara has a favorite song that she learned in daycare, “If you are happy and you know it.” It makes me very happy to know that she has a life outside of me, favorite songs, little friends, favorite games that I didn’t introduce her to. 

I need to go clap my hands and stomp my feet.

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Proud 

I’m so proud of my sister. They called an ambulance for her little boy last week and were told that it would take 3 hours for it to arrive. They don’t live in a secluded area but in the midst of a large city (Montreal; hello “free” medical care.)

She didn’t take this common indignity lying down but got in touch with the papers, and now there’s an article about that in the city’s most popular newspaper. If people speak up more, this will put pressure on the dumb bureaucrats who gobble up the money and provide no services. 

The boy is fine but no thanks to the ambulance service. 

Clowns

First, the Russians fought in Afghanistan, and the US armed the Taliban. Now, the US fights in Afghanistan, and Russians are arming the Taliban.

The three sides of the crazy triangle is equally dumb but the Afghanis are the worst because it’s their land that’s being destroyed while the Russians and the Americans play out their passionate love affair.

Kadyrov Vows to Slaughter All Gays 

Putin’s bestie, the President of Chechnya, has vowed to eliminate the gay population before the beginning of Ramadan on May 26.

I don’t understand why this is possible and why there is such a little outcry. For now, Putin’s own squiggly, squirmy press secretary is denying that anything is going on. Nothing but a huge international stink will make him notice and put a leash on his Chechen lap dog. 

Garbled

I never knew who the White House Press Secretary used to be in any of the previous presidencies. But now I’m very familiar with Sean Spicer’s pinched little face and whiny voice. The reason is that this is such a garbled and mumbly presidency that it needs constant reinterpretation. 

Remember, though, that a country’s leader is a glimpse into the collective unconscious of its inhabitants. Judging by this presidency, the general mood in the country is, “I have no idea what’s going on, and that makes me angry.”

It’s All in the Head

Objectively, I’m busier now than at any time in the semester. But I feel free and in vacation mode. 

Which tells me I could always feel this way. It’s a weird thought. 

Summer

I feel like summer holidays have already begun, and real work can start.

There is still one more week of classes, then the final exams, grading, and submitting the grades. But for me, grading equals watching tons of TV, and I love TV, so it isn’t onerous. 

Summer, I love you. In spite of the nasty weather.

What Do You Know About Macron?

Is anybody following French politics? What’s this Macron fellow about? What are his main ideas?

Symptom

Democrats lost over a thousand state legislative sears over the last 6 years. 

So yeah, Hillary is a symptom, not a cause. 

A Sense of Purpose

In 2011-12, Russian economy was doing great, the middle class was growing, people were improving their economic well-being. But Putin’s approval ratings were lower than ever. People were protesting in the streets, ridiculing Putin online, and it was fashionable among the cultural elites to despise Putin. 

Then, the oil prices started to drop, and the economy entered into a deep recession. In response, Putin invaded Ukraine and attached the narrative of “We are defending our fellow Russian-speakers and sticking it to Americans” to the invasion. The economy collapsed, the middle-class is in the toilet, everybody became poorer. But Putin’s approval ratings are sky-high, and the very people who used to mock him are now sincere and active Putinoids.

Moral of the story: people value a sense of purpose and of being part of something grand a lot more than they value their economic well-being. 

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