Government Shutdown Is Upon Us

Such a great country governed by a bunch of inept idiots. What a shame.

If this gets to the point of an actual default, we will go down in history like the generation of the greatest losers imaginable.

Why are people just sitting there like broken down robots while this is happening?

Controlling Dicks

From an article about a man from Utah and his mail-order bride from Ukraine:

If he turns out to be a controlling dick, let’s hope she’s just in it for the visa. Ah, romance!

The only person who will be a controlling dick in that relationship is the Ukrainian woman. And there is no if about that.

Cultural awareness matters, people.

P.S. Special thanks go to Musteryou who always knows how to make me smile.

Women and Veterans and Children

Yes, I’m boring and I sound like a broken record but I can’t help it, whenever I see something like this, I stop following:

Obama said lawmakers should “sit down in good faith without threatening to harm women and veterans and children with a government shutdown, and certainly we can’t have any kind of meaningful negotiations under the cloud of potential default.”

When women are put in the same category of fragile individuals in need of protection as children and veterans, I stop caring what point the speaker is trying to make.

Sequesters, defaults, and debt ceilings come and go. And I remain a woman for as long as I live.

Whenever I try to inform myself about the current news, I end up thinking, “A plague on both your houses, you useless creatures.”

Ideal President

We have been sent a survey on what we want the new president of our university to be like. I wrote that s/he should be aware of why it is crucial to keep corporate values out of academia, realize that a public university should not be run like a business, and resist at all costs the substitution of tenure lines with adjunct positions.

Is there anything crucial that I’m forgetting?

Where Is “Other” Located?

Thirteen people said they reside in “Other” on the most recent poll (see the right-hand panel of the Homepage of this blog.) Did people do this to mess with me or is there a region I have missed when making the poll? I keep staring at it but I still have no idea what area of the world I might have forgotten.

In my defense, I can say that I’m really bad at geography because my geography teacher hated and terrorized me. Once when I was 11, I came home from school three hours late, disheveled, my face completely swollen with tears, my pantyhose torn, and unable to say a word because trauma blocked my voice. My mother almost had a heart attack because it took me a while to calm down and explain that I hadn’t been assaulted by pedophiles.

And now that I have guilted everybody into feeling sorry for me, please tell me what “Other” on the poll means to you.

How Our Students Live

I wanted to share with you some photos I took of our student residences.

The buildings are located in a beautiful wooded area. Students can enjoy the view of the lake from their balconies. Deer walk around and show no fear of humans.

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A short walk across the university gardens takes you to campus. The area is very quiet, and the air is phenomenal. I even saw somebody fishing in this lake today, although I have no idea if he caught anything.

There are freely accessible tennis courts and several playgrounds here because our students often have children.

Tell me if these are not among the most amazing student residences you have ever seen.

Breaking Bad Finale

I’m not watching Breaking Bad because bad boy fantasies bore me but I wish an enjoyable finale to everybody who is watching. May the protagonist be killed by whomever you want to kill him or by all of the possible candidates at the same time. (I’ve gathered that this is the main issue of the finale from the endless articles I’ve seen on the subject.)

Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

The only reason why there are no reasonable gun control laws in this country is that a bunch of insecure fools need for everybody to approve of their stupid little hobby.

Most of us hope that global warming actually has stopped. . . Alas, I think such optimism is premature. The current pause is consistent with numerous prior pauses. When walking up stairs in a tall building, it is a mistake to interpret a landing as the end of the climb.”

A blogger names the only criterion that counts in whether you will get an academic position. I agree, with the qualification that this is not only true for academic job searches but for all job searches. The post also explains why people who are often branded as elitist are nothing other than realists.

Wondering why so many people are unperturbed by the possibility of the government shutdown? Because they welcome it in the same way that small kids welcome adults leaving the house all to themselves.

Why do so many people choose to stick to doing the bare minimum? This post is written by a heroic scholar of English literature whose university does not even begin to deserve her.

If there’s one clear trend that has emerged in recent years, it’s that those who download and share unauthorized copies of files the most also tend to be the most avid purchasers of similar material. This completely negates the copyright industry’s rhetoric that people who share files are just a bunch of freeloaders, suggesting instead that it’s more a matter of sampling materials before going on to buy.” 

A beautiful post on why those who denounce progress are stupid idiots.

Universities go out of their way to make students watch football games but fail every time.

Pet Shop Boys performed in Montreal. What are the chances they would ever come to Missouri? Yes, I know, but I can keep dreaming.

The weirdness of Israel’s obsessive desire to bomb Iran is analyzed here.

The university of Athens closes down. I just can’t believe that in all of Europe there is not enough money to keep universities in the cradle of Western Civilization open. Shame on all of us.

Ugly, cheap and functional versus beautiful, expensive and useless: which kind of architecture do you prefer? When one of the options looks like this, how can anybody choose this ugly tomb of a building instead?

I think it makes a lot of sense to start a tradition of adding an “Unacknowledgments” paragraph to our publications. All of the people and institutions that worked extra hard to make sure we never published our work deserve a special mention, don’t you think?

A very funny article on how to piss off a Nepali.

Job List, Four Years Later

I hate quoting posts in their entirety but it couldn’t be avoided in this particular case:

This week, there was exactly one (eins!) job added in German studies, and apparently its ideal “fit” will be in possession of demonstrated teaching ability, specialization in distance learning, a proven record of securing outside funding, and a time machine.

Texas Tech U. Texas Tech seeks a Germanist “specializing in early twentieth-century literature and culture, including Holocaust studies.” You know, all those things that happened in the early 20th Century, like the Holocaust.

Four years ago when I was last on the job market, we definitely never saw “distance learning” on job ads. And “a specialization in distance learning” was not even a term that existed. I’m reading it as “a person who teaches only online”, and that’s a scary concept.

Another new and troubling development is “a proven record of securing outside funding.” For a tenure-track position? In frigging German Studies? Seriously? What outside funding precisely is there to secure? Especially in a way that would be accessible to a recent PhD graduate or an adjunct?

The only thing that does not surprise me about this ad is that, in terms of the intellect, Texas Tech remains. . . you know. . . Texas Tech.