Google Latin

I finally remembered what texts translated by Google Translate reminded me of. They are exactly the same as word-for-word translations from Latin.

The Most Horrible Moment

We went to a convenience store two days ago, and as I was waiting for N. outside I saw three young men of about 18 or 20 come out of the store and get into a car. And that was the most horrible moment I have had so far. I can deal with the operation, the scar, the emotional pain, the loss, but knowing that Eric will never grow up to go to a store with his buddies – that is the really intolerable, impossible, unacceptable thing. This is the real tragedy.

Yesterday was not a bad day but today is very difficult. I can’t stop thinking about those young men at the store.

I think I will try to get some more sleep because this is very exhausting.

Faludi vs Sandberg

I like Susan Faludi and read her books. I also dislike Sheryl Sandberg and would never read hers. (Yes, I’m a snob, let’s get over that already.) But this attack Faludi makes on Sandberg and her Lean In movement is petty and pathetic.

The only criticisms Faludi seems to be able to make of Sandberg is that she wears ballet flats (there is quite an obsession with them in Faludi’s article) and that she has everybody who wants to participate in the movement register through Facebook. I don’t like Facebook but I can definitely understand expecting people to be in touch with you and keeping track of your ideas through the medium of your choosing. If people want to keep track of my life, they should come to the blog and not expect me to post things on tumblr or Instagram.

What I find especially unattractive about Faludi’s article is how gleefully she ridicules women who participate in Sandberg’s Lean In program. She offers a selection of particularly gushy quotes that make these women sound like a bunch of stupid air-heads. This probably serves some hugely feminist purpose in Faludi’s opinion but I can’t figure out what that purpose can be.

In the article, Faludi creates a completely specious dichotomy between fighting for structural changes in society and vanquishing personal insecurities that stem from interiorized patriarchal discourse. Having a career, making money, getting promoted at work, enjoying life and buying gold necklaces – let alone the scary ballet flats – somehow transforms into an incapacity to be politically active. It is as if Faludi needed to see women being permanently miserable in all areas of their lives.

Faludi, who is a very successful writer and who doesn’t seem to be living in dire poverty and extreme obscurity, begrudges other women the kind of success that has made her life comfortable and gave her a voice. She rants against the women who are good at harnessing the forces of capitalism to serve their individual needs but forgets to mention that she is one of such women. Even Sandberg, who at least doesn’t rely on the dishonest rhetoric of 99% versus 1% to conceal that she is richer than the absolute majority of people in her audience, looks good by Faludi’s side.