The Wait Is Over

Just got an email that classes are cancelled all day tomorrow. I didn’t have to go in but I’m still happy because this means we are finally getting some snow. The forecast promises 7 inches.

We are now on the way to get firewood and oranges.

Is Putin Irrational?

I’m getting very tired of the myth that Putin is somehow irrational, crazy, or sick.



Putin’s “irrational” actions have given him the kinds of approval ratings that Obama and Hollande couldn’t even dream of, greatly strengthened his regime, expanded his country’s territory, and made millions around the world worship him as a proponent of an alternative to modernity.

Yes, Putin’s supporters are brain-dead freaks. Yes, he is only loved in Russia because Russians are isolated and misinformed. Yes, there is no alternative to modernity and it’s better to recognize that sooner rather than later. But exploiting the fears and the inadequacies of modernity’s outcasts is not irrational. It’s the exact opposite. 

American Students

We actually discussed “systemic injustices” and “societal oppressions” in class last week. My students are firmly and passionately convinced that the way your life turns out depends entirely on your own effort and hard work. I tried to play the devil’s advocate and suggest ways to challenge this position but the students rejected my arguments with indignation.

“You are all so American,” I commented.
My students’ shared stance is not only a sign of robust psychological health but also an explanation for the insanely high standard of living in this country.

I left the classroom feeling proud and content. The world belongs to such people.

The Facebook Fiasco

The Friday Facebook Fiasco proved one thing: it’s a mistake to betray one’s principles. I always knew that people who attribute their persistent personal problems to “objective historical factors,” “systemic injustices,”  and “societal causes” should be avoided. Maybe one day they will choose to let go of this infantile position. Before that happens, however, it’s best to keep them as far as possible from oneself.

I knew all this, yet I departed from my own golden rule. And it ended badly. Serves me right.