More on Watering

I know I harped on this already but it just bugs me so much to see sprinklers going on for hours, watering the paved sidewalk and a tiny little island of grass.
This grass border could be watered manually in two minutes. Why, why are people wasting so much fresh water to inundate this minuscule grassy space and create puddles on the road?

I suffer when I see this kind of waste. And a couple of times, I saw the sprinkles sprinkling while it was raining.
If people can recommend some psychological mechanisms that one could use in order to stop being bothered by this, feel free to share.

Fans

I don’t give a shit what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all.

This is a header from the blog of my favorite Russian-speaking blogger. She is a real celebrity in Russia and has crowds of fans whose lives are dedicated to collecting information about her and spouting garbage in hopes their idol would notice them. She never does, of course. On her humongously popular blog, she only allows friends to leave comments because if the access to it became open, thousands of losers would try to dump their emotional dirt on her.

I’m not nearly as famous (and, of course, never will be) as this talented woman but I have a few obsessed fans of my own. One trolled my blog for over a year but seems to have gone away now.

Another wrote a biography of me that was 16,000+ words long on the basis of information gleaned from my blog posts and sent it to me. It is needless to say that I didn’t read it. The same fan then kept sending emails to me telling me to listen to the voice of God and mend my sinful ways. Now this person’s emails – if they do keep coming – go directly to the Spam box.

Then, there was a fan who started a blog of their own dedicated solely to bashing my blog. I don’t think it was successful because I visited it once and saw that the fan in question couldn’t write a simple sentence. The blog consisted of long quotes from my posts accompanied by “Didn’t I tell you she was stupid?”

There was also a pair of cyber-bullies who disappeared after I threatened them with legal action.

Then, a few weeks ago there was a group of MRAs on Reddit who started an anti-Clarissa campaign and kept trying to get me to visit their thread and participate, which I obviously didn’t do.

Now, somebody’s trying to leave links on my blog about some discussion that has been going on about me somewhere. Another – or the same, who knows? – fan has just sent me an email informing me that “we have been discussing you on Twitter for 2 nights in a row” and leaving a link to that discussion.

And I also saw this morning that a blogger I respect a lot posted an article berating somebody of whose existence I’m completely unaware for saying nasty things about me.

So I wanted to make it known to everybody that I’m really uninterested in what anybody is saying about me anywhere. Life is too short to waste it on this kind of fandom. If people have nothing better to do for two nights in a row than discuss me on Twitter, I’m deeply  sorry for how life has treated them. If this 2-night-long discussion is just an invention of somebody who is trying to attract attention to their lonely Twitter account, I also don’t care.

All I can say is that I don’t want any links, tweets and messages trying to involve me in some weird discussions about my general evilness. If anybody tries to leave such links in the comment section of this post (or any post), I will delete them outright. I realize that negative fandom is a price one pays for having a voice and an audience but I’m unprepared to spend any time on people who are so devoid of a life that creating strange intrigues about somebody they don’t even know seems like a normal pursuit to them.

In the two years and five months that I’ve been blogging, I have managed to attract a group of absolutely brilliant, intellectual, amazing readers and fellow bloggers to my blog. I learn something new from them every day. They have helped me in a variety of ways that I will remember and be grateful for forever.

A few trolls here and there are a small price to pay for all these great things.

Alarm Tests and Autistics

I don’t know who is the enemy of humanity who decided that alarm tests have to be conducted during normal business hours, but I don’t like that person at all.

I’m on the review committee for one of our university’s departments. This morning our committee was being taken on a tour of the department when the alarm testing began. There were three kinds of alarms that were tested one after another and each lasted for several minutes.

For non-autistics, alarm tests are a simple annoyance. For autistics, though, they are much more than that. Such loud, unexpected and piercing sounds completely disorient me to the point when I have no idea where I am and how I got there. They bring on panic attacks, hyperventilation, and intense anxiety. And I was on a committee, which means that I couldn’t just fall apart and stop participating because of the alarm.

I seriously have no idea why the alarms can’t be tested before or after working hours.

Why Didn’t Anybody Tell Me. . .

. . . that Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie (whom I adored in Wooster & Jeeves) starred in another show together called A Bit of Fry and Laurie? And that all of the episodes of that show are available for streaming on Netflix?

Here I was, wasting my life on not watching this show, until Rimi, in her kindness, revealed the show’s existence to me.

N. is a huge fan of Laurie, so he will also be super thrilled to find out the show exists.

Thank you, Rimi!

I love British comic shows such as Yes, Minister!, Keeping Up Appearances (which I call “the show about my family”), and Are You Being Served? (it has one of the earliest portrayals of homosexuality in a sitcom.) So if anybody knows any other similar ones, feel free to recommend.

As to Monty Python, I honestly don’t get it at all, so please don’t recommend that one. Well-meaning friends once subjected me to a 5-hour-long marathon of it because, according to them, a civilized person absolutely had to like Monty Python. These were the same friends who later made me sit through The Sound of Music and then a long discussion of the movie scene by scene. That, of course, was the kind of atrocity I couldn’t forgive, so we aren’t friends any more.

Everything to Everyone

What is it with this tired and silly objection to feminism as something that makes women be “everything to everyone”? I keep encountering this truly meaningless statement repeated like a mantra on a variety of blogs, including ones that claim to be feminist.

See a few examples:

– Today’s modern woman is expected to be everything to everyone – loving mother, sexy spouse, affectionate companion, capable career woman, faithful daughter, supportive friend, all while looking amazing doing it.

The struggle to be everything to everyone and do it all in six-inch stilettos makes it easy to see how feminism can be viewed as having failed the modern religious woman.

The media icon of the “superwoman” who “had it all” and was everything to everyone: devoted wife, sensuous lover, caring mom, competent professional, fit recreational athlete, while looking and feeling great.

I could post dozens more of links to these statements that all sound completely identical and make absolutely no sense. If you are “everything to everybody”, that would make it kind of hard to be “a devoted wife.” The media probably do not promote adultery in this very patriarchal society, so the “superwoman” in question is probably a devoted wife and a sensuous lover to the same person.

The creators of these weird lists strive so hard to make it seem like liberated feminist women do, indeed, have way too many roles they need to undertake that they simply put a bunch of synonyms together, hoping the readers would be duped into feeling sorry for women who have to be “affectionate companions” and “supportive friends” at the same time. As if it weren’t the same thing.

Since this still doesn’t seem like a long enough list, outlandish verbal contortions like “faithful daughter” appear. What does it even mean? Does a faithful daughter have to struggle to avoid cheating on her parents with other parents? Yes, a harsh struggle, indeed.

As for being a fit athlete in order to be accepted by contemporary society as a liberated woman, this isn’t even funny. If there is a place on earth where athleticism is neither expected nor encouraged in adults, it’s the US. Pretending that non-athletic adult women are somehow stigmatized by the media is just silly.

And what about the six-inch stilettos that the feminist revolution supposedly pushed all of us into? I can only think of a couple of jobs where you can pursue your profession wearing them. For the majority of jobs, however, this kind of footwear is not only not required. It simply isn’t allowed.

So what are we left with when we look closely at these claims that feminism expects women to be “everything to everybody”? Nothing but what we expect from men on a daily basis without seeing it as a huge burden: having both a personal and a professional life. Existing both in the private and the public arena without falling apart is something that, in the warped worldview of these quasi-feminists, can easily be accomplished by a man but is too much for the feeble powers of a fragile little lady.

And now my husband will drive me to work where I’m not going to be “everything to everyone” but simply a professor to some and a colleague to others. And believe me, it isn’t that great of a burden at all. It’s actually lots of fun. And nobody forces me into stiletto heels at the entrance.

Who Has the Power to Refuse?

Margaret Soltan at University Diaries has published a great post about tenure and the power (or lack thereof) of tenured faculty. Make sure you read the post (and subscribe to the blog because it rocks) but, in the meanwhile, I wanted to call your attention to the story of Dr. Alexander McPherson who resisted the attempts of  the University of California Irvine to take the mandatory sexual harassment training:

“I have consistently refused to take such training on the grounds that the adoption of the requirement was a naked political act by the state that offended my sensibilities, violated my rights as a tenured professor, impugned my character and cast a shadow of suspicion on my reputation and career,” McPherson said.

“I consider my refusal an act of civil disobedience. I even offered to go to jail if the university persisted in persecuting me for my refusal. We Scots are very stubborn in matters of this sort.”

It’s so good to hear that such things still take place. Normally, at every campus I have visited or heard of, the most beaten down, brown-nosing, terrified folks who are ready to kiss ass of every minor administrator are not the tenure-track faculty, the adjuncts, the instructors, the grad students, or the secretarial staff. It’s the tenured profs. It’s as if the moment you got tenure, you somehow immediately learned to tremble in the presence of any minuscule administrative pseudo-authority. I have no idea why that is but I have gotten used to the fact that any resistance even to the greatest act of stupidity on campus will not come from tenured people.

Kudos to Dr. McPherson who resisted the silly and humiliating “training” the university wanted to inflict on him. And shame on all those tenured colleagues of his who did not join his protest.

Every year, I am forced to take the so-called “ethics training” that teaches me in the most condescending way you can imagine not to accept bribes, not to divert university funding to my relatives, and not to steal office supplies. So I know where McPherson’s outrage is coming from.