The 4 Words Meme

Everybody has probably seen this meme already but I just discovered it on my sister’s Facebook page (more on me and Facebook later) and decided to share it anyways:

4 words


My 4 words are: talented, loyal, dramatic, impatient, and they describe me perfectly. Especially the last two.

Which words are yours?

Gérard Depardieu Rejects His French Passport

Gérard Depardieu is one of the greatest actors of the XXth century. Hollywood in its entirety has less talent than Depardieu’s toenail. So it is understandable that the great actor got offended when Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s Prime Minister, referred to him as pathetic. Ayraults and Hollandes come and go, yet Depardieu’s amazing talent will keep making France proud for decades to come. 

This entire scandal happened when Depardieu declared that he was fed up with having to pay 85% in taxes and was moving to Belgium. In response, Ayrault, who has deluded himself into thinking that he and Hollande are more valuable to France than people of Depardieu’s caliber, has insulted the actor.

I happen to agree with Depardieu that 85% taxation rate is nothing short of robbery. This is not what interests me the most about the story, however. It is a lot more curious to observe the gall of some dime-a-dozen politicians who consider themselves entitled to judge who is and who isn’t French enough. It’s a good thing that Molière, Racine, and Balzac are dead. We can’t guess what their response to Hollande’s tax plan would be and it isn’t like France is in a good position to reject its entire pantheon of great artists at this point when it isn’t producing any new ones.

If you are a speaker of French, read Depardieu’s letter to Ayrault here.

I’m a Low Class Underachiever

I have had to take N to the optometrist today. I have turned into one of those wives who have to drag husbands to the doctors’ because the husbands were brought up to believe their health doesn’t matter and wouldn’t see a medical professional even if they are bleeding on the sidewalk. (Parents of boys, please do something about this because convincing adult men that if they wriggle in pain it might make sense to see a doctor gets very daunting. And don’t even get me started on the story of a man I know who suffered a stroke yet concealed the symptoms for a week to avoid looking like a cry-baby.)

The optometrist discovered that N’s vision had slightly deteriorated in the past 3 years.

“You must be a very smart person,” the doctor declared brightly. “Near-sightedness is an illness of people from higher social classes, the overachievers, ones who always read, learn, and try to make themselves better.”

With my perfect vision, I immediately felt like a low-class underachiever who wouldn’t know a book from her elbow.

People love identities so much that they can construct one out of anything.

Political Correctness

I hate out-of-control political correctness, folks. It’s stupid and counter-productive. Let me just give you one example. My department used to be called “Department of Foreign Languages.” I like this name very much because it’s clear, self-explanatory, and easy to find in the course catalogue.

However, out of a misplaced sense of politeness, people have set out to eradicate the word “foreign.” We, the actual foreigners, are supposed to feel hurt whenever the fact of our foreignness is mentioned. As a foreigner, I don’t see absolutely anything wrong or upsetting about my foreign condition. In fact, I even cherish it because it is a huge part of who I am. Still, in order to avoid hurting the feelings of foreigners (who never mentioned being bothered in the least), we will be renaming the department. It will now be called “Department of World Languages and Cultures.”

I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate this stupid appellation. How come we are “world languages” while the Department of English is not? Is English not a world language? And how are students supposed to find us in a catalogue? It would have never occurred to me when I was a student to look for Spanish under W. Will anybody manage to register for our courses?

I love working for my university but the idea of working at a “Department of World Languages and Cultures” is extremely unappealing.