Second Presidential Debate

I fell asleep and snoozed through the first half of the debate. Some political correspondent I am. So please feel free to tell me how you felt about the first half-hour that I missed.

I woke up to Romney saying that he knows “how to balance budgets.” I will scream if I hear this idea that any budget is balanced in the same way once again. Does anybody still not understand that governing a country is not the same as balancing any other budget?

Obama was given a wonderful opportunity to talk about women’s issues and he squandered it by telling the same boring story about his mother and grandmother that he already told in the first debate. In those same words! I think he is trying to lose the election. And then he said “this is not women’s issue, this is a family issue and middle-class issue.” OK, folks, as a woman I find this hugely insulting. A woman has interests of her own that are separate from the interests of any family. And there are women who don’t belong to the middle-class. This was such a great chance to get the female vote and Obama did a phenomenally bad job.

Obama seems to believe that women are only worth existing if they bring up great men like him. Does he have a single female adviser preparing him to this debate?

The whole thing is hopeless. The supposedly pro-women candidate opens his mouth and tells us how great his Mommy and Grandma were and how women’s rights should only be defended as long as this benefits “the family.”

Romney shared d a bunch of baloney on the subject, too. “Stronger economy will benefit women all on its own.” This was not an answer to the question. Extremely strong economies have existed without benefiting women in the least. Does he own a history textbook?

Obama decided he needed to hammer down his idiotic point even more and said that contraception is important because “that is money from the family budget.” The possibility that there are crowds of women with their own budgets does not even begin to occur to him. There are women who make their own money and don’t ask any men to pay for their contraception, Mr. President. You better wake up and recognize that.

Obama used the expression “women and families” consistently. In his mind, women do not exist at all unless they serve some family need. He can’t even think in terms of just women, it seems.

Oh just shut the fuck up about “these are not women’s issues, these are family issues.” A few more slogans like this one and I will switch sides.

Obama didn’t manage to make the case that Romney is not different from Bush. This could have been another brilliant way to hit Romney but it was squandered, too. I don’t care, though, because I’m still reeling from “women and families” and “women’s issues do not exist.” Super valuable when said by a man. I told you, people, I’m a feminist first and everything else second. I hear “there are no women, there are just families”, and I care about nothing else.

Obama helps make Romney’s point that Romney is different from Bush. Is he insane? This is exactly what Romney wants.

Obama says, “This is not the kind of leadership that you need.” Very condescending. The entire campaign, all of the debates and the election itself is about people deciding for themselves what they need.

Romney says that unemployment hasn’t been reduced since 2008. Everybody knows that this is completely wrong.

And now Obama has said that Latino immigrants are gang-bangers. That is how it sounded to me. I wonder how he would feel if he said “black” and somebody immediately responded with “the ones who are gang-bangers or the good ones?” I think he has now alienated the Latin vote. Women gone, Latinos gone, who’s sticking around?

Of course, Romney is so disagreeable that the election seems to offer a very sad choice no matter whom you prefer.

There was a very weird “mine is bigger than yours” macho crap competition about where these two very rich men invested their huge pensions. In the meanwhile, women belong to the families and have no budgets of their own. Yes, I will be on this like a broken record for months. This is my blog, so deal with it.

Romney said that Obama started his presidency with an “apology tour.” That’s a great thing. Is he now trying to promote Obama? (Yes, I know he is pandering to his base. I’m just being facetious.)

Obama continues to present his sexist persona. “Hillary Clinton works for me!” in a tone that would have incensed me if my Chair or Dean discussed me in this manner.

Obama shares another boring story about “a guy and his Mom.” In his stories, women always appear as companions, caretakers and furniture surrounding the all important men. Men are protagonists. Women are supporting staff. He knows how crucial women’s vote is for this election, yet he didn’t even try to get some advice from women on how to speak about and to women without sounding like an overentitled male douche?

Romney decides to catch up with Obama in terms of sexism and suggests that people who have children without getting married are creating future criminals and drug lords. According to this bizarre logic, my niece Klubnikis, who already speaks 4 languages in complete phrases at age 2,5, who is surrounded by a crowd of adoring relatives and who is developed better than the absolute majority of kids her age according to every criterion, is doomed to go about waving an automatic rifle because her parents chose to live together without getting married officially. What an idiot.

Am I insane or did the moderator interrupt Obama with “Yeah, right”, said sarcastically under her breath?

The moderator is obviously extremely pro-Romney. Is it a normal practice to choose moderators who have such heavy political biases?

I don’t know who won the debate in your eyes but Obama lost it in my book with the way he handled the questions about women. I don’t care if this is how he really sees women or if he is pandering to the patriarchally minded folks in this country. I just know that if we had elected Hillary 4 years ago, we wouldn’t be hearing this crap today.

We need a female president, folks. These guys, with their Mommies, Grandmas and bored housewives cheering them on, have no idea how most women live in this country.

I wish I just continued sleeping through this debate because I have been extremely disappointed in Obama.

María Rosa Menocal, RIP

My favorite professor at Yale died.

After a three-year fight with melanoma, humanities professor María Rosa Menocal passed away Monday afternoon.

A Sterling professor of the humanities since 2005, Menocal served as director of the Whitney Humanities Center from 2001 to 2012. She told the Yale Bulletin in 2005 that the WHC is “the University’s center for conversations across the arts and humanities,” and spearheaded a period of expansion at the Center, where she appointed 285 fellows from several different academic fields and added new programs such as “Films at the Whitney.”

María Rosa was a brilliant lecturer, a kind wonderful person, and a passionate scholar.

This is too sad for words.

Whatever You Most Fear. . .

. . . is what you will keep encountering.

I’m very bad at waiting to find out what will happen. For me, any news is better than no news. And for some mysterious reason, I always find myself in situations where I have to wait, wait, wait to find out what to expect.

To give just one example, everybody knows what their teaching assignment will be for next semester except me. I won’t go into detail because it’s too boring but there has been a bureaucratic glitch and now neither I nor the Chair of my department know what my teaching schedule will be like. (This entire brouhaha happened because our administrators think that all professors are interchangeable and can pick each other’s courses at the drop of a hat.)

So I’m sitting and waiting. And it’s always like this. First I waited for my immigration papers, then for more immigration papers, then for article acceptances, then for the MLA job list, and so on, and so forth.

I feel like my entire life is about waiting for something to happen.

Does Anything Suck More Than the New York Times?

I have installed an NYTimes app on my phone and decided to read the paper for the first time in over a year. One of the articles offered to me as front-page news was titled “The BlackBerry as Black Sheep.” Since I recently ditched my own BlackBerry (and am not sure if that was a smart decision), I was interested in the article. However, it immediately proved to be one of those pieces where a lazy journalist doesn’t want to do any actual journalism and sells, in lieu of news, hyped-up and spurious opinions of imaginary friends who appear to be total hysterics:

Out in the world, the insults continue. Victoria Gossage, a 28-year-old hedge fund marketer, said she recently attended a work retreat at Piping Rock Club, an upscale country club in Locust Valley, N.Y., and asked the concierge for a phone charger. “First he said, ‘Sure.’ Then he saw my phone and — in this disgusted tone — said, ‘Oh no, no, not for that.’ ”

“You get used to that kind of rejection,” she said. . .

BlackBerry outcasts say that, increasingly, they suffer from shame and public humiliation as they watch their counterparts mingle on social networking apps that are not available to them. . . More indignity comes in having to outsource tasks like getting directions, booking travel, making restaurant reservations and looking up sports scores to their exasperated iPhone and Android-carting partners, friends and colleagues.

Insults, disgust, rejection, shame, humiliation, indignity – the article’s author sounds like she is about to have convulsions. The tone of the article is wildly inappropriate given the subject matter. And the research behind the piece is non-existent. BlackBerry devices have many issues but they are phenomenal at getting directions, booking travel, and making restaurant reservations. I wouldn’t know about sports scores since I’m not a sports fan but I remember having 3 ESPN apps pre-installed in my BlackBerry when I got it 2 years ago.

This is why I hate the NYTimes. The paper’s reporters sell their laziness, condescension and lack of interest in their own profession as journalism.