Blogging Locations

I just had a brilliant idea. At least it seems brilliant after a very long day. I will publish short posts tomorrow from all of the locations where I find myself when I check my blog. I think that will be fun.

Right now, for instance, I’m lying in the bathtub with my Kindle, drinking grape juice and making a list of all emails I had to write today but forgot. Oh shit, I just remembered I need to check the date of my first final exam.

Those Pesky Linguists

A student who kept missing all those Friday classes is answering the question “What is linguicide?”

It’s a murder of linguists. Franco hated all linguists and wanted to kill them off because they were part of the terrorist organization ETA. They also support the welfare state and Franco doesn’t like that.

In the section where students didn’t miss lectures, most people got an A for this mini-quiz, though.

Translation: More Gems From Suzanne Venker

More gems from the same source as the previous post:

To say gender relations have changed dramatically is an understatement. Ever since the sexual revolution, there has been a profound overhaul in the way men and women interact. Men haven’t changed much – they had no revolution that demanded it – but women have changed dramatically.

In a nutshell, women are angry. They’re also defensive, though often unknowingly. That’s because they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy. Armed with this new attitude, women pushed men off their pedestal (women had their own pedestal, but feminists convinced them otherwise) and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs.

Translation: “As all patriarchally-minded women, I despise men. This happens because I’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy I need to entrap into marriage and make serve my needs perennially. I refuse to acknowledge that traditional gender roles hurt men as much as they do women and that men are as joyful as women are to gain more freedom in expressing their different masculinities in different ways.

Men have changed dramatically, and this makes me very angry and also defensive, though often unknowingly. It is not as easy to attach myself to a man and get him to treat me like an infantilized irresponsible little creature. Men don’t want to stand on a pedestal because it’s lonely and cold up there. They want to be treated like human beings and that bugs me beyond belief. I see all those successful, happy women who don’t make a living off possessing vaginas and that annoys me more than words can say.

In a nutshell, I despise men and hate women, especially when they live their lives as pleases them and not in a way that allows me to preserve the insane mythology I have been raised to believe.”

Translations: A New Series

In this new and exciting series, I will explain what the congenitally stupid are actually saying with their idiotic rants. To inaugurate the series, here is the following gem:

“It’s all so unfortunate – for women, not men. Feminism serves men very well: they can have sex at hello and even live with their girlfriends with no responsibilities whatsoever.

It’s the women who lose. Not only are they saddled with the consequences of sex, by dismissing male nature they’re forever seeking a balanced life. The fact is, women need men’s linear career goals – they need men to pick up the slack at the office – in order to live the balanced life they seek. So if men today are slackers, and if they’re retreating from marriage en masse, women should look in the mirror and ask themselves what role they’ve played to bring about this transformation.”– Suzanne Venker

What Venker really wants to say is:

“Boys don’t like me. I’m too stupid to engage in any self-analysis, which is why I choose to blame the bugbear of feminism for my phenomenally crappy personal life.  Men run away from me in hordes and refuse to do my work for me and pay my bills. I’m also a slacker of scary proportions, suffer from severe sex issues, and have no idea how to manage my professional life.

This is why I project my laziness, frigidity and general uselessness onto other people and blame feminists for how unhappy I am with my existence. It is so much easier to face one’s own failures when you pretend that they are part of some spurious social phenomenon. At least, this way I feel less lonely and – who knows? – maybe some other equally frustrated folks will join me. In the meanwhile, I will exhort others to look in the mirror and take responsibility for my problems because I’m too weak and useless to see that my misery is nobody’s fault but my own.”

Realism, Modernism, Post-modernism, Part I

Reader el asks:

I wondered whether you would like to write about the differences between Victorian, modernist and post-modernist (especially about the last two, which may sound as a Chinese to non-professional) literature, and which one you like best & why.

This is a very interesting question for me. Victorian literature is part of the great European realist tradition that I absolutely love. This is what I read for enjoyment and what I choose every single time I want to have fun reading. Intellectually, I realize how important and beautiful modernism and post-modernism are but I rarely feel actual love for these books.

Modernism fascinates me as an artistic, cultural, and social phenomenon. This is why instead of reading books by modernists, I read many books about modernism. Last night, for example, I stayed up until 3 am because I couldn’t drag myself away from a book titled Lesbian Scandal and the Culture of Modernism (2012). The book is sensational, and I will publish I review when I’m done, by the way. But as for actual modernist artists, I only like very few. Faulkner, for instance. Virginia Woolf bores me. James Joyce is a bane of my existence. Valle Inclan gives me nightmares. I recognize that they are great writers, but I don’t like reading them. I do slightly better with modernist poetry, especially in Russian (Tsvetayeva, Pasternak, Mayakovsky, Mandelshtam).

Among post-modernist writers, I have a few favorites, mostly from Spain and Latin America. Juan Goytisolo, Jose Donoso, Manuel Vilas.

I will write separate posts on my understanding of realism, modernism, and post-modernism because otherwise this post would be interminable. I ask the purists among us to understand that a blog post is not an equivalent of a conference talk or a scholarly volume. I will be simplifying and condensing a lot. Also, I obviously have my own vision of these movements, and it’s perfectly fine to have several competing visions.

Blogging and Work

Reader lamestllama, who is one of my favorite readers and commenters, left the following question:

Clarissa, I often wonder if you wouldn’t get a lot more of your actual work done if you didn’t write so much on your blog. I would be interested to know how you keep up teaching commitments, research targets and post so much here. Especially when quite frequently you end up arguing with somebody who really has nothing to offer and not worth your effort.

I was surprised to learn that your blogging is done by phone. What is the secret to your prolific output?

BTW you blogs draws ever nearer to one million hits.

I really want to respond to it here because it gives me a chance to show off and self-congratulate, and what is more fun than that?

More done? Are you saying that 3 articles published, 8 courses taught, 92 books read, 1 conference talk delivered, 1 book translated, numerous other translation orders completed, 1 book manuscript almost finished, and 1 midpoint tenure review passed with top marks in all categories is not enough work done in a year? 🙂

Blogging is actually one of the main reasons behind all this productivity. I wouldn’t be able to sit there alone grading final essays for 7 days straight, 10+ hours a day every day without blogging. First of all, I would get lonely. Even I’m not anti-social enough for that.

At the same time, the way my brain works is that I need to switch between tasks a lot. For instance, I’d be working on my book or article and feel stuck. This happens often. A sentence just doesn’t work out, or I feel like I have no idea what to write about. Then I’d go to the blog and answer a few unrelated comments. Ideally, there would be a troll lending itself for verbal beating. After this small break, my brain clears, and the elusive sentence or idea come to me immediately.

As a result, I blog a lot more when I have many things to do and less when I’m not that busy. Of course, I’m almost always busy these days. 🙂

Every productive academic I know has his or her own productivity-enhancing strategies. Blogging is mine. Before blogging, I did most of my research and grading at bars. This allowed me to create, to a degree, all of the things I need to be able to work: the company of people who can be switched on and off whenever I feel like it, the opportunity to intersperse work with small discussions on all kinds of subjects, the regular bouts of relaxation in the midst of work, etc. Bars, however, are not extremely good either for one’s health or for one’s budget. Even if you get just one drink and nurse it for hours, it’s still more than no drink at all. Now that I have blogging, I don’t think I’ve seen an inside of a bar in God knows how long.

It’s very heart-warming that readers worry about me and my productivity. However, I have to reassure everybody. As you might have noticed, I’m not only intelligent but also self-aware. I analyze myself a lot, and everything I do is well-considered. Blogging helps me in a variety of ways, which is why I enjoy it so much.

God’s Body Parts

One Million Moms are as weird as ever:

The ABC series “666 Park Avenue,” which is known for its controversial title and satanic content, will not be renewed. Glory to God! The network will air all 13 episodes, but the demonic series will not return next season. Praise the Lord! God is using One Million Moms to help remove this filth from television. As the hands and feet for the Lord, we are making a real difference.

After reading this statement, I can’t get rid of the following question: If the Lord needs people to act as his hands and feet, does he also require somebody to act as his penis and testicles? If so, then who might be playing that worthy role? And if not, how come he gets to have some body parts but not others?

Just wondering.