Feministe’s Favorite Fraudster

My favorite fraudster is back to pontificating at Feministe and she is as stupid and dishonest as ever:

Is the Russian government homophobicYou know, all of the evidence I have points to “nope.” The government was initially just trying to ride the wave of popular sentiment directed against sexual minorities – and it expected a Western backlash, because a Western backlash actually makes Russian officials seem tougher and more courageous (you can blame this on the disastrous 1990s, when the Russian economy and society suffered tremendously, when many people died, when there was no hope – and economic liberalization a la the West was blamed).

This is, of course, nothing but a bunch of stupid lies. Watch the members of the Russian Duma, listen to the President or any of the Ministers, and you will see that they practically foam at the mouth with homophobia. The “popular sentiment” is actually getting more enlightened and open to sexual minorities, especially if we are talking about people of my generation and younger. Yes, it’s a slow and painful process but more and more Russians are awakening to the ideas of tolerance. The reason why the government in Russia lags behind the rest of the population in this sense is that everybody in power is a remnant of the Soviet times. The same people who were in power when homosexuality in the USSR was punished by a prison sentence are in power now. They are not letting younger, more progressive folks to come to power.

As for the “disastrous 1990s” when “people died”, this loser chooses to disregard that this was the decade where an economy was actually created out of nothing and people finally started conceiving hope after decades of suffering in a country that was one enormous Soviet prison camp. That was also a decade that allowed her to make a living by chirping idiotically on American websites. I’d really like to see her try to do that if the 1990s had not happened.

The hatred of all things Western in Russia dates back not to the 1990s (when “America” was code word for “everything wonderful, enviable and amazing) but to the post 2000 era when Putin came to power and began spouting his anti-Western rhetoric.

The Worst Novel of the Decade

How does the following novel plot sound to you?

A housewife separates from her husband and decides she needs to find a job. After 10 years spent heating up pizza for her only child and doing absolutely nothing else, she heads to New York and immediately gets hired as a Vice President of a PR firm. Of course, she has no education, no credentials, no work experience in the field, and no people skills, but she immediately becomes a star in the field. By “immediately” I mean with the very first project she completes.

Soon, our housewife cum PR genius gets hired by the most famous PR company in NYC, gets a huge salary, a personal chauffeur, and is routinely invited to red carpet events. She puts to shame all of the seasoned PR execs at her company by her natural brilliance in the field of PR.

Then a Hollywood movie star falls in love with her. And that is just the beginning.

No, I’m not describing a plot of a Harlequin Romance. This is a novel called A Thousand Pardons by writer Jonathan Dee. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about him:

Dee was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2010 for criticism in Harper’s. He has received fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts[6] and the Guggenheim Foundation.[7] His 2010 novel, “The Privileges”, won the 2011 Prix Fitzgerald prize and was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He was the second winner of the St. Francis College Literary Prize.

Amazon’s review page describes Dee as being in the same group as not only the trashy Jonathan Franzen but also as the phenomenally talented Richard Russo. I mean, this Dee fellow obviously has some pretensions to be an actual writer who produces actual literature. In reality, though, all he can create is an equivalent of 50 Shades of Grey without the bonus of the masturbatory potential. If the author of this kind of garbage gets prestigious literary prizes, then something had gone really wrong.

We all know that literary prizes get handed out for all sorts of corrupt reasons but the kind of shamelessness needed to short-list the garbage produced by this nincompoop for the Pulitzer is really scary.

Healthy Academics of the World, Unite!

It’s great to see that, among the whiners and the drama queens and the obsessive passive voice users, there are very healthy, balanced, and happy young academics:

I’ve enjoyed my seven years as junior faculty tremendously, quietly playing the game the only way I knew how to. But recently I’ve seen several of my very talented friends become miserable in this job, and many more talented friends opt out. I feel that one of the culprits is our reluctance to openly acknowledge how we find balance. Or openly confront how we create a system that admires and rewards extreme imbalance. I’ve decided that I do not want to participate in encouraging such a world. In fact, I have to openly oppose it.

Do read the whole article. I don’t do things the way this person does and I’m at a very different kind of institution, but I really like the intense emotional and psychological health that inspires this article’s every word. Even just reading the piece is soothing and therapeutic.

Thank you, dear E, who sent me this link.

My Magical Reader

Stupid WordPress statcounter shows the blog has had 1 visitor today. It also shows that this single visitor is in 17 different countries. Well, maybe this visitor has found a way to travel really fast. Should be taking out a patent, or something.

Seriously, how hard it is to make an algorithm that would at least show the number of unique visitors that would correspond to the number of countries blog visits come from?