Meditation Versus Medication

An extreme form of PUPPPS (a pregnancy related rash) causes the kind of discomfort I wouldn’t wish on anybody. It’s really bad, people.

I found two methods that alleviate the condition. One is meditation and another one is medication. Meditation requires a lot of time and effort. Medication requires none but it turns you into a zombie. The doctor told me to take 4 pills a day. I tried one, and it knocked me out for 2 days. The medication works miracles for this condition. If I were to take it 4 times a day as indicated, I’d be completely cured already. The only downside is that there would be no me any longer. I have no idea what makes people agree to hand over their personalities to drugs at every opportunity. Maybe actually having a personality is too heavy a burden.

Existential Queries

Why do doctors love to cover the walls of the rooms where patients are left waiting with pictures of diseased organs?

Why does the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks require a release of imprisoned terrorists?

Why do all symptoms of all health problems appear to torture one at night? Is it something about darkness that brings them out?

Why can’t I find any good music now that I have a device to listen to it?

Why does every single person in my street except my autistic neighbor have a dog?

Why are there so many horrible train crashes these days?

Why does The Old Reader never function?

Immaturity in Academia

One more reason why I find it hard to identify with my fellow academics is their dedication to immature behavior:

 Even my adviser met the news of my exciting job with a shrug, because it is being in charge of a research center rather than the glorified tenure-track position. So he has yet to congratulate me.

But Megan, who got a tenure-track job 6 years ago in Utah? Oh, he LOOOOOVes her.

College Misery says everybody is reading and quoting this testament to an infantile worldview. Maybe spending so much time with students causes some people to adopt this childish whiny tone. Maybe academia has a tendency to attract people with an intense fear of growing up. Either way, seeing adults who are so emotionally invested into whom an adviser “LOOOOOVes” is very disappointing. I mean, if you have an exciting new job, why would you possibly care whether a person you will not even be meeting any more “LOOOOOVes” some Megan you will not be meeting either more than she “LOOOOOVes” you?

Before you tell me I don’t understand the horrible suffering of somebody who feels rejected by an adviser, I can tell you that mine also loved “Megan” more than she loved me. My “Megan” actually left academia and chose to do something different with her life while I got “a TT job in Utah.” Both “Megan” and  I knew the adviser loved her and detested me. This didn’t prevent us from being best friends and exchanging a quiet chuckle about the adviser’s small foibles. As adults, we believed that competing for the teacher’s affections is what pre-schoolers do.

The entire article is as whiny and disgusting as the quoted part. And I see this kind of drama queenish stuff published by academics about once a week. The authors of such articles seem to compete as to which one of them will find a more bizarre reason to feel aggrieved and downtrodden. For now, I’d say that the winner of that competition is definitely the “Mommy, why does Ms. Williams like Megan more than she likes me?” piece. But tomorrow somebody will break this record.

One Word Responses to Search Queries

There are some very repetitive search terms that bring people to this blog and that I will now answer in a single word to make the searchers’ lives easier:

co-sleeping influence on children – horrible

teaching without powerpoint – rocks

jewish men naked – again?

nude jewish women – finally!

fuck google translator – yes

what is the 39 week rule – stupid

boss not saying hello harassment – no!

gratification disorder – oxymoron

millenium hotel st. louis – lovely

zygmunt bauman liquid modernity summary – brilliant

infographic on best reasons to have sex – seriously?

why attachment parenting is disastrous for children – suffocating

where does inner voice come from – inside

eastern european pornography – elsewhere

ozy frantz – disappointing

tenure requirements – differ


Collective Joy

I have now reached a stage where it is completely obvious that I’m pregnant and not simply overweight. This fact causes massive happiness in strangers. People can’t walk past me without making comments.

“When are you due?” a woman yells from across the road. “It must be soon because you look like you are ready to pop!”

“Is that twins or just one big kid in there?” an elderly gentleman asks at the grocery store. “He’s gonna be a football player, it seems.”

“Is this the baby’s father?” another customer asks pointing at N. “Make sure you take good care of the Mommy!”

“A boy or a girl?” two women ask in the parking lot and several other people stop to hear the response.

Everybody just beams with happiness for me. I find this all to be very endearing.

The Burden of Weight

I’m so so SO sick and tired of the specious and dishonest discussions of weight one encounters virtually everywhere. I’m reading a mostly very enlightening book called Numbersense whose author (a-skinny-to-the-point-of-being-skeletal dude, of course) trots out the tired old canard that being overweight doesn’t lead to an appreciable rise in the likelihood of suffering heart attack or stroke.

Of course, people who are overweight at 30 (25, 35, 40, etc.) don’t drop off from strokes. We all know that doesn’t happen. What does happen is that such people become chronic consumers of prescription medications, and this is a real tragedy. Unless you are over 70, a chronically medicated life is no life at all.

Arguing that obesity is no big deal because there is no evidence anybody actually dies from it is completely dishonest and I’d say even immoral. It plays into the hands of pharmaceutical companies that are bent on promoting the idea that it is perfectly fine to go through life in a permanently medicated state. This is also an approach that is very helpful to people who sell us food poisoned with hormones, antibiotics, and all other kinds of noxious substances.

All of these fat acceptance movements, departments, scholarly publications and blogs pose as social activism but, in reality, they are pawns of agricultural conglomerates and junk food peddlers. They shush everybody who tries to ask what the hell we are being fed in this country to make us so abnormally fat and so dependent on drugs. Instead of asking questions, we are supposed to celebrate the harm being done to us as we make our bodies into a site where pharma companies and junk food companies vie for profits.

Yes, it’s comforting to chirp that the BMI is meaningless and that nobody has proven there will be any actual damage from needing prescription meds just to be able to function normally at 40. But that comfort comes at the price of relinquishing your autonomy and personhood and becoming an object that others fill with content, both physically and spiritually.

Good President Retires

So our university’s president is retiring. I don’t know what the story is but he has been battling the Board of Trustees for at least a year. Maybe they finally managed to push him out.

I know it’s fashionable to despise this president (I don’t want any names here, people) but I like him. Yes, he is no scholar and his thesis (or probably both theses) was plagiarized. But in the current environment a state university in a perennially broke state cannot afford a president who is a scholar. We need a politician and a hustler. And this president was both. He fought like an animal in the state legislature for every penny the state owed us.

He carried us with almost no losses through the economic crisis that toppled educational giants. We were hiring massively for tenure-track positions just as everybody else was freezing tenure lines and adjunctifying. So yes, he doesn’t really have a doctoral thesis. But the 150+ scholars our university hired in the toughest economy for a long time all do. As Cornell cut professor’s phone lined and fired people in absentia and Yale made adjuncts pay for photocopies of class material, at our university we continued to travel to conferences and expand our TT faculty.

Given that the Chancellor we recently hired is the kind of person who thinks it’s a good idea to quote Lean In to scholars and students, I fear our new president might also be a disappointment.

Once again: we can discuss this without any names or addresses.

Penis Joke

OK, I can’t help myself. I just need to share this joke that seems to have been made about Weiner even though it’s older than he is.

A man walks into a doctor’s office, unzips his pants, and plops his penis onto the doctor’s table.

“Does it hurt?” the doctor asks.


“Does it itch?”


“Is it too small?”


“Too big?”


“Then what???” the doctor finally explodes.

“It’s nice, isn’t it?” the man asks wistfully.

Weiner Exhibited Something Monumental

Sorry, this is the last one and I have to run. But I couldn’t fail to share it because it’s too good:

 You can’t believe him, and he’s also shown monumentally bad judgment. How can you trust his judgment as a mayor? I think that the problems that Anthony Weiner — like Eliot Spitzer — exhibited while in office, and after, pose fundamental problems to the serious governance of New York. They both exhibit a fundamental dishonesty, they both lied repeatedly, and show monumental errors of judgment.

So Weiner exhibited something monumental. I’m suspecting the author of the quote has seen the sexting pictures and is trying to tell us something about them.

Is There “A Divorce Is Evil” Culture?

OMG, this is getting really bizarre. I have never seen such a collection of completely idiotic posts as the one that has been provoked by the Weiner scandal. They just come one after another in an unrelenting flow of complete and utter idiocy:

One thing I find a bit weird in our DIVORCE IS EVIL CULTURE is how quick we are, as a culture, to think that a spouse sticking with cad of whatever type is somehow doing it wrong.

Capital letters, no less. In the meanwhile, 62% of all marriages end in divorce in this country, but who cares as long as a blogger has a strawman to pursue?

What is it about photos of an ageing politician’s lonely penis that makes people lose the last shreds of rationality?