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Clarissa's Blog

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

Sociophobia

My new hobby is to sell things on the local FB page. The way it’s done in this area is very typical and never fails to freak out newcomers to the region. The way it’s set up is so that human contact is avoided as much as possible. You are supposed to leave whatever you are selling on the porch. Buyers will pick it up and leave money under the mat.

If you see people approach and come out to say hi, they get very spooked and react like you’ve committed a huge social faux pas. Sellers prefer to risk never getting any money (because nothing is to prevent buyers from not leaving money under the mat) if it lets them avoid exchanging a few words with human beings. 

Of course, I like finding cash under the mat every once in a while but it’s still creepy how scared people are of human contact. I mean, for me to find it excessive, it’s really got to be something quite notable.

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Excuses

Every day I look for excuses to keep Klara at home with me. And I usually manage to find them. 

Today’s excuse is, “don’t I deserve it after carrying out the heroic feat of grading all the finals yesterday?” I’m very persuasive.

FB Marriage

N was forced to start an FB page, and his new feed informed the world that he married me yesterday. When we finally have the wedding (maybe this summer), people will be utterly confused and will think we have an unstable relationship if we keep getting married all the time.

Our Collective Shadow

One of Trump’s nominees for a federal judge position, couldn’t answer the most basic questions about the US justice system. He wasn’t even familiar with the term “motion in limine”, known to anybody who has watched Law & Order

Before anybody rants against Trump, though, I want to remind them that Trump didn’t start the trend where possession of the “correct” ideology is being preferred to professionalism and competence. He’s just surfing the wave created by others. It’s easy to exorcise the guilt by blaming its cause on the shadow. 

Survival of the Fittest

Forget about the rich and famous folks. I couldn’t care less about their careers. Think more in the direction of the increasing scarcity of good white-collar jobs. The blue-collar workers have already experienced the evisceration of their professions by liquid capital. Now it’s time for white-collar/professional/creative classes to experience this.

Do we need any evidence that real jobs in the white-collar world are becoming scarce? Unpaid internships that you need to pay to get, the collapse of the academic job market that gets worse as the economy gets better, etc. 

Working classes internalize harm. They respond to hurt and pain that liquid capital inflicts on them by, first and foremost, self-harming. It’s easier for them to believe the neoliberal narrative that they fail because something is wrong with them. So they self-punish and self-destruct. 

Creative and professional classes have better defenses against this. They externalize the harm. It’s not “I failed because I’m inferior” but “he failed / needs to fail / because he’s inferior, evil and horrible.” 

Conclusion: prepare for epic battles as professional classes fight for survival on the rapidly shrinking professional arena. 

I went on a forum where job seekers discuss the academic job market in languages. And the mechanism is always the same. The moment somebody is rumored to have gotten a job, there’s a flare-up of the most outlandish accusations against that person. 

Neoliberalism has mechanisms in place that obscure what it really does in order to preserve the consensus that neoliberalism is good and has to remain in existence. This is one of them. 

Familiar

I’m in academia, so I know how easy it is to destroy people based on absolutely nothing whatsoever, and this kind of thing sounds very familiar.

Embarrassment

Maybe it’s because it’s the finals week and I’m tired but I wept with laughter when reading these true stories of extreme embarrassment. I identify with all of them, especially number 35. So Had share. 

Need Music

I need to get over myself and get some music-playing device into the house. Klara loves music, and I’m depriving her of something so important because I have a weird relationship with music. 

I think I’ll get Alexa in the end because the very idea of futzing with music devices and trying to get them to work freaks me out. If I can just say “play music” and not have to think about it beyond that, it will be easier for me.

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Philologist’s Child

Klara is narrating what happened on the trampoline:

“Big boy jumping. He bumped his head. Boy is sad, crying. I also bumped my head. And I bumped my nose.”

22 months as of yesterday.

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