In the CNN discussion of Trevor Noah, three white dudes try to shut up a black woman who is talking about racism, yelling over her and interrupting. Finally,  one of the dudes praises her for being articulate.

You cannot make this shit up.

I Don’t Want to Hire Women: Spillover Thread

This is a spillover thread for the massive post from May of 2014 that has attracted 650 comments. If you still have something to add, please do so. Just a small recap, however, to prevent people from reproducing that mammoth thread verbatim:

1. The only reason why men and women sometimes behave differently is that this is what they’ve been told they should be doing.

2. Scientists are desperate to please the public and find proof of inherent psychological, emotional, and cognitive differences between all men and all women. Still in spite of the enormous confirmation bias, not a shred of evidence supporting the belief that “men and women are different” in anything but the basic physiology of their reproductive apparatuses has been found.

3. It is very useful to analyze the reasons why you experience the desperate need to repeat “but men and women ARE different!” like a crazed parrot. To offer an example of how one can approach oneself in an honest and critical way, I can explain why I keep repeating “no, they are not.” I am from a different culture. My scripts of what men and women “are like” are different from yours. More often than not, they are the opposite of yours. Your screechings about the way “all women are supposed to be” define me as somebody who is not a woman. And I’m reacting against that. Now you take a few very deep breaths and try to do this exercise. What is it that you think I’m taking away when I tell you that “men” and “women” do not think, feel, process information, etc. in inherently different ways?

Will There Be a Civil Society in Russia?

I never thought I would see a functioning civil society within my lifetime anywhere in the world. But then I saw it come into existence in Ukraine and realized that it’s a beautiful thing. Now I’m searching for evidence that there can be a civil society in Russia, as well. That is the only hope for Russia, really. When the people of Russia stop waiting for the good tsar and start doing for themselves, this will be the greatest positive development the country has known in. . . well, in forever, actually.

nemtsov bridge
The memorial on the Nemtsov Bridge

After the assassination of the dissident Boris Nemtsov, people created a small memorial at the bridge where he’d been murdered. There were flowers, cards, small posters, candles, wreaths, etc. that commemorated the slain politician. And then, of course, vandals showed up and defaced the memorial. The authorities used the act of vandalism to remove the entire memorial, making the bridge look like nothing had happened there.

So a group of volunteers got together and decided to restore the memorial. They put up their own money and relied on their own effort to do it. And as a result, the memorial is now even bigger and more beautiful than it had been before the act of vandalism. This is the most potent evidence I have seen that not all is lost in Russia. In spite of everything, I want the people of Russia to find their own way and to be happy in a productive way that does not involve invading other countries and seething in rage against the rest of the world.

Of course, the efforts of the volunteers have been greeted with suspicion and even anger. They are now fending off endless accusations that they are only trying to restore the memorial as a way of promoting flower delivery companies. The organizer of this volunteer efforts is swearing up and down that even though he is a Jew, this does not automatically mean that he is trying to enrich himself through recreating the memorial. 

The abrupt entrance into capitalism was traumatic for the FSU countries. All of us have seen our friends, relatives, and neighbors lose face and do some really shitty things to us and each other for the sake of making money back in the 1990s. The result of that experience is that now Russian-speaking people find it enormously hard to believe that anybody can be motivated to engage in any activity by anything other than the desire to stiff others out of a quick rouble or two.

Ukrainians managed to get over this trauma and have organized a volunteer movement that is supplying an entire army and helping out over 1,000,000 of refugees within the country. Let’s hope that the bouquets on the Nemtsov Bridge (as it is now known among the volunteers) will serve as a foundation for the birth of Russia’s civil society.

Russia Glorifies Wehrmacht

Russia is getting ready to celebrate the victory over Nazism 70 years ago. Or not.

In a booklet printed in the annexed Crimea, the following picture was used to glorify the troops that took part in the fighting:


I don’t think you need to be a huge World War II buff to figure out that this guy is not a Soviet soldier. He actually belongs to the troops of Erich von Manstein, the Wehrmacht Field Marshal who invaded the Soviet Crimea.

Here is the booklet with the offending image:

crimea craziness

Yes, it’s probably just a mistake. But it is one more among the “Goebbels was such a talented guy” and “when the Nazis occupied Leningrad” kind of mistakes that keep plaguing Russia’s official discourse on WWII. Given that Russia is currently fighting a costly war in Ukraine because Russians supposedly feel that Ukrainians disrespected the memory of the war over Nazism, you’d expect a more careful approach to the issue.

Monday Link Encyclopedia

People have the weirdest erotic fantasies: “I’d love to see Bradley Cooper and Vladimir Putin duke it out, shirtless, in a ring, in no-holds-barred boxing and wrestling. Now that would be a way to settle our diplomatic differences with Russia!” And then everybody is shocked that 50 Shades is so popular.

Amazing 3D drawings in the sand. The text is in Russian, but who cares. Just look at the drawings.

The result was a flourishing matriarchy, in which a woman’s authority and stature grew with age and in which—thanks to the proximity of employment for the menfolk and the geographically compressed layout of working-class districts—the households of Mum and of her married daughters’ families were, and in fact had to be, nearly always at most a few blocks away and often on the same street.” This bit of brainless idiocy reminded me of why I quit reading Zinn’s otherwise very good People’s History. Neither Zinn nor this male author have the slightest inkling of what an absolute, soul-crushing horror this for of family life is to women. The facile fools actually insist that it’s somehow good for women to exist in this horrifying way.

A really brilliant post on the reasons why Soviet psychiatry was used to persecute dissidents.

If the United States arms Ukraine, Chechnya will send arms to Mexico, the speaker of Chechnya’s parliament announced earlier this week.” Of course, they would anyways, so the point is moot.

A Catholic priest has reportedly told a primary school mass in Melbourne that Jill Meagher would not have been murdered if she had not been out so late at night.”

It’s tiresome how stupid people are: “Meyers argues that something like 30% of the instructional period every day is lost to “interruptions,” or other non-instructional tasks like distributing materials, switching tasks, or taking attendance. Tapping into technology connected to the Internet of Things, he argues, has the potential to eliminate these inefficiencies.” Interruptions are crucial for the absorption of information. Even sleep is better and more restful when it is interrupted. Have these idiots ever been inside a classroom?

[In Russian.] Why the Russian-speaking immigrants so often detest the countries to which they emigrated.

Scott Walker’s tiresome stupidity. I actually had to check the name twice before finishing the previous, very short sentence. All of these fuckers – Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush – are so extraordinarily stupid that it’s hard to keep touch which of the idiots is guilty of the greatest idiocy of the day.

Here is another one of those illiterate presidential candidates making an ass of himself on the subject of Israel.

And here is a great post for those who want to keep track of all these clowns.

What I find really incredible is that after MOOCs failed by every single measure and even their creators publicly called them lousy, there are still weirdos who believe that “MOOCs will save the world” because there is supposedly some huge issue in higher ed caused by evil scholars who do research. Why don’t they take their delusional fixation on “research” to a psychiatrist already?

Of course, there is no addiction to sex.

How I love seeing posts like these.

[In Spanish] Being a <30-year-old Spaniard is a recipe for permanent joblessness.

Yes, it is possible for cops to behave professionally.

The qualifications of AA counselors – or, rather, a terrifying lack thereof.

A fascinating true story of an immigrant who really hated Canada.

History buffs unhappy with resumption of construction on possible downtown Montreal Indian burial site.”

The good things that came out of the Recession: “At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a premier source of young recruits, only 9.9 percent of undergraduates went into finance in 2013, compared with the 31 percent that took jobs on Wall Street in 2006, before the financial crisis.” Yes, it’s just one good thing. The rest is bad.

Authentic Coupledom

“Where gender does inform working practices at home is the performance of tasks which many women associated with their male partners: gardening and home maintenance. Where men fail to undertake these tasks, women may question their experience of heterosexual coupledom, finding it somehow inauthentic” (54).

Masculinities in Transition. Eds. Victoria Robinson and Jenny Hockey. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

People should get a life as soon as possible before this delusional thinking gets the better of them.

I’m three days into the exploration of masculinities, and already I’m losing faith in humanity.

Soccer Scandal in Montenegro

Yesterday, Russians forced the soccer match in Montenegro to be stopped mid-game because they used the match to engage in massive anti-Ukrainian and anti-US propaganda. This is not the first time they are breaking the FIFA rules and use the game to burn flags and do all that kind of crazy shit.

There is still time to move the 2018 World Cup away from Russia. Imagine what pandemonium will each game become if the World Cup is allowed to be conducted among the completely insane and hugely aggressive Russians.