A Bizarre Newscast

Fox News did a very bizarre thing today. A newscaster narrated the recent video where ISIS burned a Jordanian man alive in a cage. The viewers weren’t shown the video. The newscaster described it, frame by frame, in painstaking and horrible detail.

I have no idea what the point of this activity was. Is describing horrible scenes in minutest detail supposed to be less traumatizing than showing them? Was this an equivalent of a trigger warning a la the Republican crowd?

The TV where this was broadcast was placed right in front of my Helix at the gym so I had to stay there for the whole thing. By the end of the newscast, I discovered that I was running 2,5 times faster than usual on the Helix.


I just saw a terrifying video of the Russian soldiers shelling an apartment building in the Ukrainian city of Uglegorsk.

“We were told the building is full of Nazis,” a fat Russian standing next to a tank calmly explains. He looks extremely bored with this excuse.

The so-called “Ukrainian separatists” all speak with very distinctive Russian accents that nobody in the Donetsk and Lugansk areas could even imitate successfully.

The next step for the Russians might be Kharkov, the city where I grew up. I have no idea how I will be able to deal if that happens.

It’s taking those American weapons way too long to arrive. Putin already has all of Russia convinced that nobody but the NATO Nazis are fighting on the Ukrainian side.

Stalin’s Children

The post’s title sounds like I’m trying to be metaphorical but that’s not the case. This is about Stalin’s actual children.

Stalin had 3 children from his 2 marriages: Yakov, Vasily and Svetlana. There are also rumors of a fourth, illegitimate child, a son whom Stalin supposedly helped out and promoted on the sly.

Yakov, the son of Stalin’s early first marriage, always had a fraught relationship with his father. He was clumsy, shy, and married early. Stalin wasn’t happy about any of this.

Yakov was captured by the Nazis during WWII. They tried to exchange him for Friedrich Paulus, the Nazi who’d led the Stalingrad offensive but obviously Stalin didn’t even consider it. Yakov was killed by the Nazis.

Stalin cherished Vasily, his son from his second marriage. Vasily had everything he wanted given to him. He became a military general at the age of 24. After Stalin’s death, Vasily was jailed for a while for getting drunk with foreign diplomats and blabbering stupidly. After his release from jail, Vasily was treated royally but he soon died of alcoholism at the age of 42.

Stalin also adored his daughter Svetlana. She fell in love at the age of 15 with a 45 – year-old married journalist. Stalin was understandably appalled and sent the journalist to a concentration camp. After Stalin’s death, Svetlana kept getting married every two seconds. Finally, she ended up asking for asylum in the United States. She was a very bizarre person, constantly getting into weird religious and New Agey stuff. She had 3 children who hate her. Svetlana died 3 years ago.

All of Stalin’s children had children, so it isn’t like the story of that horrible family is about to end. With the revival of Stalin worship in Russia, the grandchildren have started crawling out of their holes to yell the world what a great statesman their grandpa was.

Political or Pathological?

Too many people are in the grip of a belated and prolonged teenage rebellion. They have assigned the United States to the role of a strict parent. Whatever the parent does,  makes them roll their eyes in exasperation. They get especially angry when they see the symbolic parent assert authority.

Vova Putin is, in their imagination, a bad boy who is daring to defy the strict parent in a way they never managed to do when they actually were teenagers and it was time to do it. They secretly adore Putin and want to be like him. And whenever anybody suggests that their idol is a pathetic little shit,  they get upset because they can’t accept that their dream of liberation should be discredited.

And this is the psychological landscape that gives us people whose vision of global politics is, “Big bad US is victimizing everybody  [read: the introject of my strict parent is torturing me] and somebody needs to stand up to it [read: I like to fantasize about someone defeating a strict parent figure because I never tried and now I’m forever stunted as a result.]”

People are convinced that they are talking about politics when all they do is reveal their psychological defects. This would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad.

Tuesday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

Sending arms to Ukraine tells their government exactly the opposite. It tells them that they should keep fighting on and not accept the need to make those concessions.” What concessions, you stupid fuck? Nobody is asking Ukraine for any “concessions.” It’s perfectly OK not to follow the Russian war against Ukraine but if you can’t be bothered to keep up, why chirp like an unhinged parrot?

[In Russian. But it’s a video, and the words are not important.] Students in Russia make fun of their teacher by adding a very dangerous drug to her cigarettes and then watching her very public freakout. This is a new drug that is devastating Russia right now. There are countless videos of people freaking out like this poor teacher while on it. Does anybody know what it is?

WaPo opinion piece sets out to debunk Putin’s poll numbers but in fact does the opposite, leading to the conclusion that Putin’s numbers today are real and that he has the resources to stay popular for quite some time.” Yes, they are absolutely real. Russians love him, adore him, worship him.

How come there are so many people who are not vaccinated? I had to be vaccinated 4 times for the same old measles because none of my campuses accepted the previous vaccinations. My shoulders are covered with dents from these repeated vaccinations. Two of them took place within months of each other. They were identical but campuses refused to have me without administering ones of their own. Is it just foreigners who are so insistently vaccinated?

Do you think this is just a pose? Or are there people who are so incredibly dense that they actually feel guilty for being good parents? “Sally may only be in kindergarten, but already she has visited museums in four major cities. Sally may be going to a “poor” school, but the simple act of growing up in our family will give her an advantage over other students, whatever school she attends. And I feel kind of bad about that. It’s easy to talk about “poor” schools and “rich” schools with their unequal funding and the ways kids in poor school district get shortchanged. It is harder, at least for me, to talk about the educational inequalities that begin in the home. Why? Because I am actively transmitting privilege.” When people start with this kind of thing, I feel intense vicarious shame because it’s embarrassing to see these fake holier-than-thou speeches.

Do you think these protesters are for real? Or were they hired to make Kissinger and McCain look good? Because they managed that. I’ve never had such warm and fuzzy feelings about either before.

Another hysterical, weepy manifesto by another academic hysteric. These people are so boring and monotonous.

Why reverse oppression simply cannot exist. And I can’t believe this still has to be explained.

Rauner is an idiot and Illinois is fucked.

[In Russian]. A mother of seven is arrested in Russia for high treason.

I am so allergic to MFA-generated poetry, and the words “he has good writing credentials, he has an MFA” make me want to run in the other direction with my fingers in my ears.” Same here.

A beautiful post on a search for a former professor. Highly recommended. Not the search, I mean, but the post.

And a very rare good post on stumbling through college on Inside Higher Ed.

Photographs from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center make the whole space project seem like not a total waste of money.

The story that finally convinced everybody of Bill Cosby’s guilt.

Is it true that Burj Khalifa was on fire?? I hope not because I so adore that building. I want to travel to see it for real one day.

Again, I’m wondering, is this a pose, or do people actually believe this sort of thing? “Who else is offering a competing, compelling message? Who else is making sure their lights stay on? Who else is standing up for their right to live in a decent society where we all take care of each other, take responsibility for each other, lift each other up?” Does anybody really want to live in a society where adults “take responsibility” for other adults? This imaginary society sounds absolutely horrifying. And the saddest part is that it was a good post before the author started preaching in this embarrassing way.

The multitude of ways in which people use psychiatric diagnoses to feel good about themselves. Why work on having an individuality when you can always use the DSM to provide an identity?

Several states are looking into digitizing driver’s licenses for display on smartphones and Delaware wants to be the first to implement the system.” ‘Cause an actual license is so hard to carry around, or what?

A long and wordy illustration that oral traumas shouldn’t be left untreated for too long. Of course, there are sufferers like me, who don’t inflict our dysfunction on the world. And then there are those who derive exhibitionist pleasure from their masturbation around food.

For those who are fantasizing about basic income: here is what life on basic income looks like. You’ve got to hate people a whole lot to inflict it on them. “The rate of depression is 19 percent among people who have been unemployed for a year, compared to just 10 to 11 percent for people who went without jobs for just a few weeks.”

Hilarious bits from student essays.

[In Russian.] The burning of the holy images in Russia on February 2, 1930. And I feel happy every time I think about that.


Another blogger notices the phenomenon of the novels of female rage and their extreme popularity, a phenomenon that I’ve been writing about for years.

Do read this post on bullying for an example of somebody who has zero insight and zero maturity. Shocking and disturbing.

A good response to the favorite idiotic argument advanced by homophobes.

One of the many tragedies of Afghanistan.

[In Russian]. In Russia, a ritual murder of Obama will be part of a popular festival.

Get out of the meaningless gender wars! A really good video by our favorite Australian blogger.

In college, you’re trying to stake out your own identity while navigating complex social situations in a setting that is most likely much more diverse than you’ve experienced in the past. The whole process is pretty stressful, especially when we note that most college campuses are also extremely competitive environments.” I keep forgetting these things because when I went to college, I was shouldering much, much heavier burdens than these lucky students ever get to face in their lives. But it’s important to be sensitive to their hardships.

Some freakazoid whose job title is “the Executive Director of the University of Texas System’s Institute for Transformational Learning” is suggesting in Inside Higher Ed that higher ed should be destroyed and substituted with job-training.

The trouble is that the contemporary Western mind has a hard time grasping a basic truth about both Putin and ourselves; we are not the world, and Putin is not us.” Golden words, golden.

Should blogging substitute scholarly articles and books? My answer is, absolutely not, brr, yuk, what a horrible idea.

A pro-Ukrainian protest in Tel Aviv.

I would like Putin strong enough to help destroy the Euro, and Europe strong enough to defeat his aggression in Ukraine. It will be interesting if one has to make a choice between the two goals.” God, why are people so irredeemably stupid?

Stalin’s grandson criticizes Putin. Yes, Putin is a lousy insect. But doesn’t Stalin’s grandson realize that the best thing he can do us crawl into a hole and pray nobody notices him?

A recent survey revealed that companies expect a boost in pay, as well as a continued increase in hiring.” From experience, I know that this is going to make many people very depressed for some mysterious reason. Stay strong, folks! We can survive this good news! I believe in you!

And the post of the week is this brilliant post about small talk.