Facebook Does Not Completely Suck!

Leaving aside the tragic story of painful life circumstances that forced me to start a Facebook account, I want to say that Facebook does not completely suck.

Thanks to it, I just learned from a long-lost friend how to make real Peruvian maiz cancha.

You buy it here and then fry it at home like popcorn. It won’t pop but it will become much bigger. And unlike popcorn, it doesn’t stink and it smells phenomenal. Whatever you do, don’t add any salt to it because that’s just nasty.

If I know you in real life and don’t completely hate you, I don’t mind being sent a Facebook invite. And if I do hate you, then what are you doing reading a blog of somebody who has no use for you?


It is always fascinating to find out why your colleagues chose your shared field of specialization:

Of course, our initial interest in the country, for many of us, derives from its distinctiveness, the way it is not a typical European country. The basic ideology of Hispanism is that Spain is interesting because of the ways it does not conform to European patterns.

This sounds like a very intelligent, sophisticated reason. Mine is very embarrassing in comparison. I wanted to work with the Spanish-language literature because I wanted to start from absolute scratch and prove to myself that I could do it. I first considered Latin American Studies, but soon the pathetic, brow-beaten women and piggish men that populate every single work of Latin American literature made that field lose all attraction for me. So I turned to what was left, namely, Spain.

If I wanted to choose on the basis of exceptionality within the European context, I would have gone for Russia instead. Now, that is a really weird country. Spain is very humdrum and typically European in comparison.

Spain likes to see itself as very exceptional in the European context but, to my Eastern European eyes, this is just a pose. Germany and Italy had to collect themselves out of small pieces well into the XIXth century. In the case of Germany, its painful entrance into modernity caused not simply a civil war, like it did in Spain, but two world wars.

Hillary Clinton in 2016?

I’m bothered by the suggestions that Hillary Clinton will run for President in 2016. Don’t get me wrong, I love Hillary and supported her in 2008 primaries even after it was clear she had no chance. I’m one of those people who are still resentful after Clinton’s loss in 2008 and keep mumbling on regular occasions that “Hillary would sure handle this much better than this Obama character.”

However, I don’t think she is a good candidate for 2016. She is not young and in frail health. In 2016 she will be 69 and 8 years later she will turn 77. Everybody ridiculed McCain’s age when he ran, and he was 72 when he ran. Which is not that much more than 69. Of course, different people have very different experiences of the early seventies. Many remain vigorous, energetic, and fully receptive to change and transformation. Clinton, however, looks exhausted.

Also, I strongly suspect that the health issue she experienced recently was a stroke. The narrative of “she was at home, felt light-headed, fell down, and ended up hospitalized for a mysterious reason” is exactly what always gets said when politicians suffer a stroke and don’t want anybody to know.

I don’t know, I feel nervous about the scenario of Clinton running in 2016. What do you think?