I Work With Scary People

I received the following piece of crapola from somebody at work who decided it is a good idea to send this arrant idiocy as a chain email to everybody working at a university:

Sandy Hook Elementary School

Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38

When 20 beautiful children stormed through Heaven’s gate.

Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.

They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.

They were filled with such joy; they didn’t know what to say.

They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.

“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.

“This is heaven” declared a small boy. “We’re spending Christmas at God’s house”.

When what to their wondering eyes did appear,

But Jesus, their Savior, the children gathered near.

He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.

Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.

And in that moment was joy, that only Heaven can bring

Those children all flew into the arms of their King.

And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,

One small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.

And as if He could read all the questions she had

He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of Mom and Dad.”

Then He looked down on Earth, at the world far below

He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe.

Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,

“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!

May this country be delivered from the hands of fools

“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools! ”

Then He and the children stood up without a sound.

“Come now my children let me show you around. ”

Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.

All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.

And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,

“In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

It scares me to be working with a person who says “I thank God for the person who wrote this.” Crazy creep. I hope she doesn’t have any guns at home because she sounds like a very scary person.

Friday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

Churches isolate and shame introverts. I suggest we, the introverts, isolate and shame churches.

A brilliant response to the fetus-worshippers. Although it won’t do any good because they are incapable of listening to reason.

I have yet to see any pundit weigh in on the relative merits or shortcomings of Adam Lanza’s father. Our society is much more interested in monitoring the parenting behavior of females than males.”

Gay marriage is like communism (in the mind of the weird folks in Vatican.)

Live blogging a final exam. What a brilliant idea! I wish I’d thought about it during my final exams.

Last Psychiatrist’s brilliant post on our reaction to Newtown shootings: “Frantic hyperactivity to mask impotence, frantic hyperactivity to signal to some omnipotent entity that you are trying to make things right– it’s the description for what’s happening now and the definition of obsessional neurosis.”

The Good Men Project implodes. I’m not surprised. I declared the project dead and gone a year ago.

If you raise a generation of men, as Christian patriarchy does, to see themselves as antagonists toward the rest of American culture; to see feminism as the source of that antagonism; and to see themselves as entitled to control of women (through “headship”), control of government (because America is “God’s chosen nation”), and control of society (through Christian “dominionism”), you reap a whole cluster of social problems.”

The Body Positive Declaration contained in this post might help some people get over the temptation to torture themselves over their weight which is something that tends to happen around holidays.

A great visual demonstration of how zygote-freaks erase women.

A disgusting attack on an academic blogger by NRA freaks. He should have known better than mentioning a phallic symbol in a discussion concerning folks who are wriggling in the grip of a severe phallic fixation.

Wealthy donors to Ivy League universities can “buy a place” for their offspring, and admissions policies at elite U.S. universities are far less meritocratic than anything that would be accepted in Britain, the universities and science minister has argued.” Don’t I know how true this is. Oh, the stories I have to tell about the congenitally stupid at Yale. . . See? I even created a little poem.

Spain is about to see its historically weak science and research compromised even further.

Congress should end tax breaks to wealthy universities. Hear, hear!

Tragic events don’t justify the writing of poetry as bad as this. As the linked blogger says, “For the clichés, we have the media, with all their stupid-ass conventional narratives. Why should poetry be the secondary victim of an event like this?” So if a desire to say something trivial overpowers you, just go write a tweet or something. Leave poetry alone.

Bacon-wrapped lamb meatloaf stuffed with feta cheese, thyme and red onions. Take a way the red onions, and this sounds like something I need to be making as soon as possible.

How to Play Academic Politics as a Graduate Student. Very good advice that I wish I’d discovered sooner. It is very very sad to be part of a department where faculty members turn grad students into hostages of their conflicts and resentments.

Stanford University is moving toward a 5-year PhD model. Specifically, they have requested that all humanities departments come up with proposals for ways to cut down the time it takes to complete the PhD, including providing year-round (instead of semester-only) funding for grad students and more preparation for careers inside AND outside of academia.” Yay!

From the same article as linked above: “MLA president Russell A. Berman has said that changes could also include restructuring the qualifying exam–in particular, tightening the relationship between PhD coursework and quals preparation, so that the majority of quals prep doesn’t take place “off the books.”” Whenever Berman opens his mouth, something idiotic falls out. Preparation for qualifiying exams should absolutely take place outside of the classroom. If a future scholar can’t bring herself to read anything that is not assigned as coursework, she is not going to be a scholar. We are not talking about Freshmen who ask “Will this be on the test?” whenever they are assigned something to read. A PhD student in literature is supposed to live for reading. If reading is such a burden to you, get out of the grad program in literature as soon as you can.

An insightful post on how Adam Lanza’s photos are manipulated to push a certain kind of narrative about him.

Good News for MLA’s Stepchildren

For the first time in almost 20 years, there are likely to be more full-time jobs in 2012-13 for foreign-language scholars than for people with Ph.D.’s in English, according to the Modern Language Association.

What else can I say but CHEERS! Read the rest of the article. It will make you feel like it’s Christmas already.

People in English lit: please don’t get offended. Let us enjoy our turn for once. Maybe we will finally get a few good conference spots at the MLA and will stop feeling like the MLA’s stepchildren.