Taking Requests

August is a very important month for bloggers. It is usually the month when one can raise the blog’s readership dramatically. If a blogger misses this opportunity, the next one might not come for months.

For this reason, I will now be accepting requests for topics for posts. Is there anything you want to know or want me to blog about?

Please leave questions and requests in the comment section.

I will make this post sticky for a while, which means it will keep appearing at the top of the front page. For new posts, scroll down a little.

Thank you for reading, commenting, linking, retweeting, and sticking around!

61 thoughts on “Taking Requests”

  1. About fashion and diets and ideal body type in USSR. Also your opinion on raising of children and teens. I think posts with words “diet” and “teenager” will become popular in searches too.

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  2. – You consider yourself as a feminist, but has been critizing a lot of feminists. What is feminism for you? Do you have any writers that you like on that subject?

    “You are a Jew,” my father told me. “We have survived for thousands of years in alien cultures and have been able to preserve our identity because we have a goal. Our ultimate aim is to be the a thorn in the side of every authority imaginable» Well, that is pretty much what anarchists are doing. How do you relate to anarchy (considering it is a very large movement and can mean different things for differents people and like feminism, there are differents kinds of anarchism).

    How do you feel about Isreal? A lof of Jews are sure not a thorn in the side of it’s authority. I feel zionism is a huge problem. Not only in Isreal, but in the US and around the world.

    Maybe a post on how you view Quebec and or Montreal as an «outsider» that have been on the «inside».

    A reminder that crystal metz is a bad idea. That one is not serious, I just keep thinking about crystal metz a lot. Probably the worst drug ever.

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      1. I want to hear about Israel, zionism and anarchism too! And on feminism too, but less since you’ve written extensively on the subject and I think I understand your approach.

        You’ve written on zionism too, but “zionism is a problem” sayings just make my blood boil, so many people say it and I would *love* to see one more post on the topic.

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        1. Just today I discovered a feminist philosopher whose approach is exactly like mine. But more radical. I love her and will post a review soon.

          As for Zionism, I have as little to say about it as about the Quebecois separatism. 🙂 I personally don’t get it. But if people believe in it and it matters to them, then more power to them. Both ideas can lead to disaster because of poor execution, just like anything else. Or not.

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          1. I mean your thoughts on Israel and RE “zionism is a problem” sayings. Is American patriotism just as big a problem too then?

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            1. I believe that any kind of patriotism is a problem. And I will gladly blog about it.

              I’m suffering from a massive bout of insomnia right now. My body knows I will force it to work on the manuscript tomorrow and is resisting. 🙂

              Just wanted to complain.

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              1. But you yourself said that communism wasn’t possible because it went against human nature, which isn’t like ants’ or termit’s nature, why go against this nature with “patriotism is a problem” sayings, instead of working with realities of RL people? They won’t become 1 big happy family any time soon anyway.

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              2. Yes, but devision to different, more often conflicting than not groups always existed from undeveloped tribes in Africa to monarchy: Us vs Them principle. There has never been a libretarian, anarchist paradise. At least, not for long. A modern state seems the best possibility, the only possible state (pun intended) at this stage of development.

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              3. Forgot to add that anti-semitism flourished without nationalism for centuries. Let’s not present nationalism as the main source of evil or imagine, as some do, “if only it disappeared, the world would become great and anarchistic”. Instead of saying “I am for world in which all peoples view all humanity as brothers”, I am for finding ways to improve the existing world, to understand our not so good natural impulses (like hating those who are different). For example, seeing that in our times the world is nationalistic (better than being loyal to a king or one’s small tribe, imo), think of ways to let all peoples the right of self-determination and peaceful coexistence. Singling out Jews, as is often done, is anti-semitism, pure and simple.

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              4. OK, I understand the kind of post you’d like to see and I’ll try to write it. It will be about whether the existence of Israel has diminished the feelings of insecurity and fear of persecution that every Jew experiences by default. Right?

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              5. I hope you mean ‘Humanity existed without them much longer than it has with them’, since the way you wrote it sounds as though humanity no longer exists with them. Since they exist, humanity must no longer exist at all…frightening.

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              6. Forgot to add that numerous people say “zionism is a problem”, yet aren’t half as outspoken against their own country, if they see any problem at all the moment the word “Jew” disappears from the picture.

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          2. Zionism is application of the idea that every people has a right to self-governmence to Jews too, and it got international support when after centuries of discrimination a disaster happened in WW2. Whatever you think RE anti-semitism in former USSR now, I hope you agree that had all Jews stayed and continue being numerous there, it wouldn’t have been without discrimination. What Jews suffered in Arab countries is worse and small still left there numbers continue to suffer, don’t feel unafraid to live as Jews feel in Israel. Were you suffering from discrimination, it would’ve mattered to you too imo.

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            1. Exactly! If the warlords have the monopoly of violence, they form the State.

              Also, I’m not sure that Somalia was so great before the allegedly “non-government revolution” (sic).

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              1. Warlordry (the de facto system of government in actually-existing “stateless societies”) is a form of archy, indicating the absence of anarchy. Another topic of interest (which is a “literary” topic, BTW) is the “eristic” and “aneristic” delusions.

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          1. Somalia????? Can’t argue with stupid, sorry!

            What is stupid? Somalia is the only place pure libertarianism and anarchy is being practiced today, in the entire world. Period.

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          2. Somalia is the natural end-result of the “taxation is slavery” argument though. If you don’t have taxation, you don’t have a modern nation-state. If you don’t have a modern nation-state, you have thugopia, where the most brutal thuggish people rule over the common folk. That’s how it’s always been. Libertopia exists only in fantasyland, there are no modern Libertarian states because, uhm, perhaps Libertarianism isn’t a feasible means of organizing a modern state? Naw, couldn’t be, that’d be a stupid argument to make, far better to imagine some Libertarian utopia that exists, I’m sure, right alongside the Communist utopias of the red diaper babies ;).

            But feel free to convince me otherwise. All you have to do is point to one (1) functioning modern-day Libertarian state, and I’ll humbly eat my herring raw.

            – Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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  3. The last comment sounds bad. I meant to say that considering how my bain is tired, I am able to space travel and shit like that, like mind reading. That comment is bad as well and I will go to bed……

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  4. *OK, I understand the kind of post you’d like to see and I’ll try to write it. It will be about whether the existence of Israel has diminished the feelings of insecurity and fear of persecution that every Jew experiences by default. Right?*

    Yes and no. I meant more on phenomenon of singling out Jews as problem-makers and how it’s socially acceptable among many liberals, f.e.

    ” I feel zionism is a huge problem. Not only in Isreal, but in the US and around the world.”

    The following is a stream of consciousness, my honest thoughts, not to hurt or not hurt others.

    What does “around the world” even mean, if not anti-semitism in disguise? I would like to hear his explanation. As if Israel is guilty in Muslim terrorism, in 9/11, in horrible situation of Arab countries around us. As if had we disappeared, there would come world peace or peace at the Middle East. Most Israeli Jews don’t have another home, are people crying how zionism is “a huge problem” ready to let all us immigrate to USA? What should we do? Die already? What do they mean by “leave zionism”, except finding Jews to blame for all that’s wrong?

    You say “there is no anti-semitism”, yet “the feelings of insecurity and fear of persecution that every Jew experiences by default” show it’s not so. Honestly, I fully understand those feelings you refer to, and know what? In Israel born in Israel Jews don’t have this mentality, don’t experience them any longer. Unlike me, they weren’t raised with feeling they weren’t seeing as fully belonging in the country they lived in for centuries. German Jews thought they fully belonged, see what became of them. If your people doesn’t have own country, you’re second sort in our world and it has been so for generations for Jews before nationalism. You said a tsar didn’t make Russia Jewish since he thought God was punishing people without land.

    Let’s not pretend Jews are somehow different to have those special feelings, insecurity and fear show one is in a bad position as a people. Like there are alfa, beta and omega (the worst) in a pack of animals with omega being in constant stress. For centuries world-wide Jews have been omega with brief good periods from time to time, which always ended badly, the moment “too many” Jews advanced in society. F.e. I read on a horrible pogrom in a Muslim country in such a situation.

    I don’t want my people have this trait of “the feelings of insecurity and fear by default”. It’s *shameful* in a person and in a people. What your father taught you on being a thorn in a side was too created historically by anti-semitism and feeling one doesn’t belong anywhere.
    I am also sick to hear “I am not against Jews, I am against zionism”. Most times it is pure and simple anti-semitism, and Arabs in Iran f.e. often tell it too. Before Israel there was anti-semitism too, it’s not like before Jews were loved in the Middle East.

    A great book is “Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran” by Roya Hakakian, a Jew. Very interesting and easy writen autobiography. Shows the position of Iranian Jews before the revolution and in general how people lived there before and after.

    Historically, saying that it doesn’t matter whether your people have a country or not can hurt one or one’s children later. Whatever you want, other people are nationalistic, don’t like those who are different and in times of crisis anti-semitism raises its’ head. Probably if there are too many Jews, when “too many” is in % very little to be enough.

    It just hurts.

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    1. “You say “there is no anti-semitism”, yet “the feelings of insecurity and fear of persecution that every Jew experiences by default” show it’s not so”

      -OK, let’s not change what I actually said to the point where it’s unrecognizable. I said there is no anti-semitism to speak of in FSU countries. They are not the whole world, of course.

      “In Israel born in Israel Jews don’t have this mentality, don’t experience them any longer”

      -I think the price they pay for that is too high, though. (Too high for my liking, that is.)

      ” If your people doesn’t have own country, you’re second sort in our world and it has been so for generations for Jews before nationalism”

      -I don’t have “my people” and I don’t have “my country.” We are living in a world that gets rapidly globalized. My niece is half Peruvian/German and half Ukrainian/Jewish born in a French-speaking province of Canada to two immigrants. Who are “her people”? There are many people like her born each day. They can’t each have a country of their own with other half Peruvian/German and half Ukrainian/Jewish folks, can they?

      “Like there are alfa, beta and omega (the worst) in a pack of animals with omega being in constant stress. For centuries world-wide Jews have been omega with brief good periods from time to time”

      -I believe that such classifications are voodoo science. People are not animals.

      “What your father taught you on being a thorn in a side was too created historically by anti-semitism and feeling one doesn’t belong anywhere.. ”

      -But that non-belonging is one of the greatest strengths one might have. Jews, who weren’t tied to land and not stuck with the same kind of people all the time did great for ourselves, nevertheless. I think we did so great BECAUSE of it, not in spite of it. Nomadism is the future of the world and the Jews just chanced onto it before anybody else.

      “Historically, saying that it doesn’t matter whether your people have a country or not can hurt one or one’s children later”

      -I don’t have a country and I find it extremely liberating.

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      1. The question is not what you think, but what others think and now there is a backslash in Europe against all those changes. How fast will the entire world change? Imo, it will take centuries, if ever. At least, in Middle East with all the hate and conflicts, which for most part have nothing to do with Jews and Israel. Israel is used by rulers to take peoples’ minds from their own countries’ huge problems.

        Throughout history Jews paid a huge and horrible price for not having a land, WW2 being only the most recent example. The number of killed in Israeli wars Jews hasn’t been so high, compared with the past, especially after the Independence War.

        In a globalized world in your opinion how will people divide themselves? According to religion? To social class? To countries? People have always had Us vs Them divisions, so

        how will the new world look like?

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    2. I am not blaming all the jews, I am blaming zionists. They made a country not with a nation, but with a religion and a freak biblical idea behind it.

      Isreal is today’s apartheid and some people who lived under apartheid are saying it is worse for the palestinians than it was for them in south africa during that time.

      I am saying around the world because the money comes from outside the country, by others richs zionists. Dudes at the top of the ladder like Murdoch or the Rothschild. They really dominate in the US so Isreal can rape all the palestinians human rights if they want to. The US will use it’s veto all the time in the UN, to please the zionists.

      Sorry to say that, but for me, zionists are nazis. The new target are muslims.

      You can see it in the medias, it’s all across the world.

      Now go look who own thoses papers and thoses tv channels. Where’s the money coming from?

      You should stop hidding behind Hitler and look at your country.

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      1. And in another thread somebody laughed at “Jews control US” idea. Just 1 thing:

        *The US will use it’s veto all the time in the UN, to please the zionists.*

        USA promotes its’ own interests for its’ own benefit alone. Had it not been interested in Israel strategically, Israel would’ve been dropped faster than a hot potato.

        *I am saying around the world because the money comes from outside the country, by others richs zionists.*

        For your knowledge, Israel has a very good economy and has been hurt much less than USA in the last crisis. Not because we get money from Jews abroad, but because of sound economic policies (at least, better than in USA, if one looks at the end results).

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        1. “USA promotes its’ own interests for its’ own benefit alone. Had it not been interested in Israel strategically, Israel would’ve been dropped faster than a hot potato.”

          -Of course. The idea that the US unequivocally supports Israel all the time is ludicrous. The US has done all it could to make sure the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians will not abate for a long time to come.

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          1. I have a great post idea for you, interesting to me too:

            Explaining the USA role and position in the Middle East conflict. I live here and don’t understand:

            *The US has done all it could to make sure the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians will not abate for a long time to come.*

            One certainly neither studies it at school nor hears such in media. I don’t consume much media, but still.

            Also another post on the amount of real influence of zionists in USA and why USA supports Israel at all.

            Also what you think RE Israel = apartheid thing.

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            1. Please, can you write, at least, about the 1st idea here? Those suggestions have been the most interesting to me on this thread I’ve come up with so far. Besides, many in USA are interested in the Middle East and naturally in USA’s role & interests in it.

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              1. Thank you! And especially why you think that USA is interested in the conflict to continue or whether you think those were mistakes from US’s part.

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              2. But think about the popularity! 🙂

                And the noble work of educating masses, of course.

                Now I want more than ever to read 3 posts on those 3 topics. A girl can dream, right?

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      2. “Sorry to say that, but for me, zionists are nazis. The new target are muslims.”

        -OK, let’s abstain from such comparisons because their value is nil. Using the word “Nazi” as a stand-in for “a person I dislike” is not a good idea. Nazis are Nazis, fascists are fascists, anarchists are anarchists, hispanists are hispanists, and zionists are zionists.

        “You should stop hidding behind Hitler and look at your country.”

        -Hitler is dead. If he weren’t, though, I highly doubt that he would allow the Jewish el anywhere in his vicinity. Let alone close enough to hide behind him. Being careful with words is key to success in any discussion.

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        1. Not sure I can have an healthy dissussion with someone who support Isreal and it’s crimes against humanity.

          You know what I meant when I talked about Hitler. They will scream anti semitism everytime you criticize the action of Israel and the zionist. They bring Hitler everytime they want to get ride of an arab leader that they don’t like (usually, not on the side of Israel and not pro USA).

          Zionists are fascists and pretty much nazis. Ok, they did not came up with their own version of the final solution yet, but I don’t think we should just wait and watch. It’s an open air prison, they killed a lot of palestinians and made a lot of them refugees.

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          1. I learned long ago that it is pointless to argue about Israel with the patriots of Israel… But today I have a weird inspiration, so here it goes (apologies to all native Americans for possible lack of cultural sensitivity):

            2050. The great Iroquois thinker Kevin Wolfson develops the ideology of Hochelagism (Montrealers will understand) which involves all the Iroquois assembling on the lands currently known as the Island of Montreal, around the ancient holy places of Mount Royal, and founding their national/religious state. The idea takes hold, and eventually the Iroquois state is founded. All unable to prove their Iroquois origin are at best relegated to second-class citizen status (thoroughly questioned and searched every time they fly in and out of Magua International), or become stateless, or are expelled without the right to return (one cannot really run an Iroquois national state with so many non-Iroquois in it, can one?). Everybody daring to oppose Iroquois hegemony is persecuted, those trying to oppose it with force are labeled terrorists (which they are, but on the other hand “our” terrorists are always celebrated “freedom fighters”, while “their” freedom fighters are always “terrorists” for “us”) and hunted down mercilessly. Their houses are bulldozed, meaning their families are persecuted as well… Or occasionally they get blown up together with their terrorist/freedom fighter father/husband/brother by an Iroquois army helicopter… Regretful mistakes, of course…

            Did Iroquois suffer throughout their history? Yes, they did, in ways which many believe constitute genocide. Do they have any less right for their national state than other nations? Of course they have the same right. Can they make justified historic claims involving the Island of Montreal? Of course they can. Does it make Hochelagism a good idea? Free of easily foreseeable conflicts? Any less painful for those on a receiving end of it? Is it reasonable to expect no opposition to Hochelagism? Is opposing Hochelagism morally equivalent to justifying genocide of Iroquois?

            But of course, The Great Asian Democratic Empire is interested in a thorn in the Anglo-Saxon (less likely – French) ass. So it supports the Iroquois state with several billion yuables a year… As long as the Iroquois agree to be their lightning rod in the Western Hemisphere…

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              1. I would be glad if you deleted those 2 comments with this comment from this thread and my first and third comments on the new thread.

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  5. Well I’m an academic (tenure track faculty in the humanities) . So I love to read about teaching, the classroom, research, balancing teaching and writing etc. etc. But this is my favorite blog.I particularly love how much you post. I can always come back and read a new thing! Keep on doing what you are doing!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Evelina! I’m especially grateful for how you removed my constant feeling of guilt for blogging too much. I have written over 20 good new posts that I haven’t published yet because I feel bad about inundating people with them. It’s good to know that there are readers who don’t mind being bombarded with posts.

      DailyKos fires off an incredible amount of posts, and they are humongously popular. So why should I feel guilty? (This is me trying to soothe my consciousness.) 🙂

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  6. I would appreciate your opinion on pro-feminist and anti-feminists songs. I just stumbled onto this song by the Beatles called “Run for your life” and it’s kind of terrifying.

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  7. Thanks to el’s enlightening discussion of Zionism, this has been the most popular post this week that has made this day a record day for the blog in terms of hits. Thank you, el! Now I will absolutely have to write about Zionism.

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  8. The legal institution of marriage. My studies are in the US, so that’s what interests me most, but any of your knowledge would be interesting to hear. Where I’m coming from on this: the question of why support marriage with government recognition is a difficult one these days, where marriage is defined often solely on the basis of sex or affection. And why does the government give a crap about who’s screwing whom? And if it does, then why shouldn’t it take more interest in extramarital affairs? These things truly interest me…

    Maybe I’m just a geek for this though and it doesn’t interest anybody else, in which case, that’s cool!

    (I was thinking about this in the context of your brief mention of polyamory today).

    Additionally, I like the random bits and pieces that come from real life. How to raise teenagers, haircuts, things you see on the street, I don’t know. It’s your thoughts and way of writing that make the blog worth reading, so whatever’s interesting to you will probably be interesting for some of your readers

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    1. No, I find the subject absolutely fascinating, too. So we are two geeks of the same ilk here. 🙂 I will be happy to blog about it.

      “It’s your thoughts and way of writing that make the blog worth reading, so whatever’s interesting to you will probably be interesting for some of your readers”

      – Thank you, my friend!

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