And the Helicopters Keep Whirring. . .

College Misery published this hilarious and scary letter:

This parent is worried. The Student has one of those Unfortunate schedules and one of those Intractable (but hot, according to RMP) fascists, I mean teachers who is making that Thanksgiving getaway darned near impossible. The only way for the Student to get out of Uni town is Greyhound… the Student will arrive at the Crossroads of America (NY Port Authority) at Midnight, because hot teacher INSISTS ALL Students attend afternoon class or be penalized grade wise. The Student is worried…. The Parent ? The Parent is mighty pissed.

So, can you good folks send me to a place where I can vent ? Where what I have to say may actually make a difference? Because I know that the Student is going to be miserable for the short time the Student is home. And so, really, the Parent wonders if having a day of Thanks is really appropriate, when the Student will still be recovering from the trip home and will be resentful in that surly vacant way that students are these days… The Parent is even beginning to wonder about the wisdom of letting the Student attend an Out of State Instituion. Maybe the Parent should have said… “No Way..” Our State or No State… One would think State Schools would be Overjoyed to have Out of State Students and that they would care if these $$$$$ machines are happy…

Maybe the Professors would like to ponder this. Do you ever think about the folks who essentially pay your salaries? Do you have any feelings for your “employers” and their offspring (besides contempt ?) I mean, do you like being a College Professor ? (I admit it, I read just some of the blog…) Can you honestly tell me that we are getting our money’s worth, or do you teach to support your_______________ habit ?

Just curious…

Here’s hoping you get that well deserved rest you need over the Thanksgiving break…

The Not Happy Parent…

I’m too tired to respond to this unhinged rant from a person who believes that teachers who follow the terms of their contracts and teach when the university requires them to teach are fascists. There are really great responses to this weirdo on the College Misery site. All I can say is that it would be a lot easier for me to get the students to understand why a baseball game or nice weather don’t mean it’s OK to miss a class if the noise from helicopter blades were a little less deafening.

Dear Mommies and Daddies! If you think that the best way to instill the values of responsibility and maturity in your adult children is to tell them that a teacher who expects them to work on a work day is a fascist, I can only wish you the best of luck with trying to get your off-spring to move out of your house by the time your precious baby turns 45.

Sex as a Search for God

Anon left the link to an absolutely hilarious article on 50 Shades of Grey. Here is how it begins:

 I think the real force behind this “Fifty Shades” phenomenon is that our society is clamoring for closeness. However, in the absence of genuine sexual intimacy (best defined as “in-to-me-see”), we settle for sexual intensity: erotica, pornography, an office romance, an extramarital affair or whatever strokes the ego and provides the sexual high we crave.

Sexually miserable prudes always see sex as a consolation prize for losers who can’t get the real prize, which is intimacy. Sadly, instead of visiting a sexopathologist, people who suffer from this problem choose to make the outpourings of their unhealthiness embarrassingly public. The really funny thing is that such folks have absolutely no idea what intimacy actually is. For them, it’s getting somebody to service the exaggerated emotional needs they generate as a result of their sexual dissatisfaction in return for rare and miserable sex acts.

The article’s author proceeds to demonstrate what growing up in an extremely prudish environment does to one:

I suggest that sexual intensity (such as that experienced between the lead characters of the “Fifty Shades” trilogy) is simply not the same as intimacy. If it were, then prostitutes and porn stars would be the most emotionally and relationally fulfilled people on the planet. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

The elephant in the room that this sexually ignorant author is missing is an orgasm. Prostitutes and porn stars offer their bodies to let others achieve sexual pleasure. What prevents them from being the most sexually fulfilled people on the planet is the incapacity to privilege their own sexual fulfillment in sex.

As for emotional and relational fulfillment, anybody who seeks it through sex is a profoundly unhealthy, miserable individual who needs to get urgent psychological help. Just like it’s unhealthy to eat to fulfill your emotional needs, it is unhealthy to have sex to achieve non-sexual purposes. There is absolutely no difference between the author of this piece who uses sex to pursue emotional and relational goals and a prostitute who uses it to reach financial goals. Both people are selling their sexual health in return for something that their disastrous upbringing has convinced them matters more than their sexual realization. Shannon Ethridge, the author of this embarrassing article, likes to see herself as superior to prostitutes. She is vastly inferior in terms of self-awareness to any sex worker, however, since she is not even aware of being a sex-peddler.

Well, what can you expect form a person who is so sexually repressed that she has to explain the sexual needs of humans as a search for God:

Regardless of gender, age, race, political views, economic status, etc., all humans have two things in common: We are both spiritual and sexual beings. And behind every sexual longing, I believe there’s an even deeper spiritual longing.

One would hope that we would all be, first and foremost, thinking beings who don’t write such ridiculous things but, apparently, this is not to be.

Shannon Ethridge vaguely perceives that something is deeply wrong with her vision of sexuality which is why she creates throughout the article lists of people whose sex lives just have to be inferior to hers:

 But when we divorce physical pleasure from emotional connection, such as when we selfishly strive for orgasm through pornography, masturbation or illicit sexual encounters rather than cultivating sexual ecstasy with our marriage partner, sexual ecstasy is only “half-baked.” Love and relational intimacy are the “yeast” that allows our sexual ecstasy to rise to its highest level.

Of course, the only half-baked product I found in this piece is the author’s unconvincing justification of her weird approach to sex. After articles like this one, even 50 Shades of Grey becomes a huge breakthrough in terms of people’s sexual development.

Children Are People

I want to publish an exchange with reader Elizabeth as a separate post:

Elizabeth: Of all the children I know, exactly none of them would pass a grade in elementary school without their parents on their backs!

Clarissa: And now imagine living in a home where somebody, let’s say your husband, is constantly on your back about something he believes you need to do.

“Elizabeth, you need to be making more money. Why are you sitting there watching the TV? I said, you should be working extra. Hang up the phone now and go do some work. I will check to see how much you have done later.”

Or:

“Elizabeth, how many times did I tell you that you need to lose weight? Put down that sandwich now! Go do some exercise. Have you worked out today? How come I didn’t see it? Show me how you worked out. No, you need to work out some more.”

Imagine a year of this, day in and day out. How soon will your psyche – the psyche of a grown person – crack? Now imagine what this does to a child. Of course, you can always leave a husband who does this to you. A child has no place to go.

The saddest part of this is that these same parents get extremely incensed when I say that the reason why their kid is bullied at school is because s/he is so used to being bullied at home.

When Colonial and Soviet Mentalities Mesh: FEMEN in Paris

When people live under a colonial domination for centuries, they develop what is knows as “colonial mentality.”  Here is what it entails:

  • —Success, power, intelligence, culture are associated with foreigners. Everything domestic is seen as inferior
  • —Everything foreign (goods, products, education, culture, etc.) is more highly valued by default
  • —Racist and xenophobic attitudes become interiorized
  • The suffering of foreigners is experienced by the natives as more poignant and tragic than their own

Ukraine was a colony of Russia from 1665 to 1991. Since it achieved its de jure independence from the colonizer, Ukraine has been a de facto colony of Russia in terms of its economy and culture*. The colonizers engaged in a propaganda campaign that stretched across centuries and that aimed to convince Ukrainians that being Ukrainian made them inferior, low-cultured, stupid, and dirty by default.

This campaign continues today. It isn’t specifically organized by anybody, of course. It has simply become something that people do. Whenever a Ukrainian character appears on a Russian TV show or in a Russian movie, s/he is presented as a greedy, messy, coarse idiot. This is nothing new: colonizers have the habit of associating the colonized with dirt, disorder, inferior intelligence, and unbridled, almost animal-like sexuality. I hope I don’t need to explain  the reasons behind each of these tropes. Tragically, Ukrainians have absorbed this vision of themselves and it will now take forever to get rid of it.

In Ukraine, we have the grave misfortune of suffering not only of the colonial mentality but also of the Soviet mentality. The Soviet mentality is a worldview developed by the Soviet people in response to the social experiment that was conducted on them. This world-view is extremely cynical and posits that the acquisition of money and material goods is the only goal a human being should pursue. This goal is worth every sacrifice because the only thing that should cause you shame is not having money.

The Ukrainian pseudo-feminist group FEMEN is the perfect example of what happens when colonial and Soviet mentalities come together.

Continue reading “When Colonial and Soviet Mentalities Mesh: FEMEN in Paris”

Let’s all help this brave woman escape from the clutches of religious fanaticism!

The Words on What...

I urge all of my readers to go here and cast a vote for the essay there. It will allow the author to get a scholarship so she can go to college. She is an escapee from the Quiverfull/Christian Patriarchy movement and education will be a huge help for her. It will take only a few seconds you don’t have to provide any information to help.

So go vote.

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Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

There is starting to be some evidence, though based on very small numbers of patient records, that if people with HIV in the UK reach the age of 60, their life expectancy may actually be starting to exceed the average, possibly because of superior medical monitoring and treatment for people with HIV compared to other older people.”

On happy engagement vs false positives: “Believing in yourself is fine. Earnest exhortations to have a positive attitude, however, are not very useful, because a positive attitude cannot be willed into existence. If crippling negative thoughts are dominating your inner monologue, you cannot just replace them with a different, more positive sort of self talk.”

Oh, the annoying earnestness of the health nuts!

Sometimes one or another guy in one of my classes hangs around after class and doesn’t say anything but sort of looks sideways at me and I sort of smile at him, encouraging him to ask a question or make a comment or something. But he doesn’t say anything, and I gather my notebooks and walk out; and he follows me for a little, at some distance, and then, rather sadly, goes his way.” This happens to me, too! Students sometimes are unwilling to break the magic of the classroom as soon as the class ends.

Where is the harm in plagiarism?

Why housing co-ops keep failing: “Sadly, in too many cases — and I could cite other disasters but do not wish to get sued — the co-op experiment has all-too-often proven that most people are too busy with their lives to act as effective part-time administrators of something as complicated as running a big apartment building and the results have, as a result, been far from ideal.”

Boards of trustees are like sausages. But not in the good sense.

Masturbation strategies for women. When I was younger, I would get together with female friends, we would watch movies with female masturbation scenes filmed by clueless men, and laugh our heads off. This is why I believe this post might be very helpful for many people.

Trying to scare people with the terrifying word “Liberal.” Ooh, I’m shaking in my purple furry slippers.

Either men have the benefit of the doubt that children just might be safe around them as they answer that call (or benefit of the doubt that children just might be safe around men that make  comments in passing) or we continue on this path of damning any man that happens to be in the presence of a child.

Is there anything more ridiculous than ethics courses in business school?

Plagiarism fallacies. I have no idea why so many people defend plagiarism. Avoiding plagiarism is extremely easy: you simply have to avoid any intellectual sloppiness and you will never become a plagiarist.

Oral contraceptives (OCs) should be sold over the counter (OTC) in drugstores without a doctor’s prescription, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College). Easier access to OCs should help lower the nation’s high unintended pregnancy rate, a rate that has not changed over the past 20 years and costs taxpayers an estimated $11.1 billion annually.” Finally!

Disgusting advertisement from Best Friends Animal Society. What is it with the pro-animal organizations that they invariably turn to promoting sexism?