Hillary in Iowa

I just watched parts of Hillary’s speech in Iowa and I’m very impressed. She’s an extremely hard worker, managing to squeeze every ounce of charisma out of a very modest natural gift.

Hillary looks young, vibrant, energetic, and her stylist is an absolute genius. The outfits are perfect.

Can we just skip to the moment when she’s inaugurated and spare ourselves the mountains of silliness that will take place between now and then?

TV Therapy

My husband is so sensitive that I can’t watch my favorite show Law & Order: SVU with him in the room.

Now, however, he discovered Dexter and it’s his favorite show. His explanation is that SVU is realistic while Dexter is plainly comedic. So now we watch Dexter.

I’m not into this show a whole lot but as long as N is happy, I don’t care what we watch. I watched a Russian series titled The Bandits of St Petersburg with him 4 times because it means so much to him.

I dislike Dexter for two reasons:

1. The actor who plays Dexter is so ugly it hurts my aesthetic sensibilities to look at him.

2. The Rita character is awakening murderous impulses in me. I have a visceral rejection of such pathetic, self-infantilizing, breathy creatures whose only goal in life is to have a pair of pants in their useless lives.

The reason why N likes the show so much is because there is a character who is a loving parent (Dexter ‘ s adoptive father) and N has never seen somebody like this. So the show is therapeutic for him.

Only a person who grew up in the USSR, with its extraordinarily messed up familial relationships, can experience a show about serial killers as healing.

The Trap of a Friendly Boss

We have this administrator whom everybody loves with a swoony, salivating passion. Everybody, that is, except me. I don’t respond positively to his attempts to ingratiate himself with the people by pretending he’s one of us, the man of the people, somebody who recognizes no hierarchies. This is something manipulators do, and I have no use for it.

This administrator is all smiles, jokes, and popularity chasing but work has stopped since we’ve been cursed with his presence. First, he was appointed interim dean. As a result, the college stopped funding travel to scholarly conferences (and by stopped I mean refused to give even a crooked dime to show some good will), started pretending that scholarship doesn’t exist at all, but instead started organizing bizarre parties for our completely useless, overpampered, and endlessly mushrooming bureaucratic personnel where every paper-pusher would get fresh flowers in a vase courtesy of the college.

This administrator distanced himself from any responsibility for the budget cuts by taking the position of, “This is them, not me, I’m one of you, folks, I hate it as much as you do” while sneaking in one destructive measure after another.

Now this tiresome fellow has been appointed interim chancellor. And everybody is happy because people’s endlessly suppurating egos appreciate fake friendliness over any actual work. What nobody wants to understand is that a good administrator  (manager, etc.) is not supposed to be your best buddy.

Workers always pay through the nose for the pretense that there’s no hierarchical distance between them and their supervisor. An honest environment of strictly articulated roles is always less oppressive than the one where the boss pretends to be your friend and disarms any resistance with appeals to this fake friendship.