Do You Feel Sorry for Jeb?

People feel compassion for Jeb Bush and the way he’s making himself look pathetic in this campaign.

I must be a bad person because I’m incapable of feeling any pity for anybody named Bush. After what these people did to all of us, I feel like Jeb’s current misery doesn’t even remotely begin to expiate the Bush sins.

Looking for a Formatter

People, I need suggestions. The publishing house requires us to submit our pieces in the Chicago Manual format. And my article is in the MLA format. I don’t have either the time or the mental fortitude to subject myself to the aggravation of changing MLA to Chicago. So I want to hire somebody to do it.

Question: where do I go to find people who do this kind of freelance work? The article is ~ 24 pages long, in English with some quotes in Spanish, I don’t need any editing, just the citation format. Are there websites for people who want this type of work?

And please don’t say “students.” The whole point for me is to spend no time on this at all, and teaching a student how to do this will take me straight to retirement age.

Also, has anybody done this kind of thing and can tell me what a good price is?

Why Are Bernie’s Supporters Getting Desperate?

Is Bernie doing poorly in Iowa? His supporters in my blogroll are becoming unhinged and incoherent. (Here is one example but there are dozens more.) Their rants have moved into the area of unadorned sexism, which tells us that, unfortunately, many people support Bernie for reasons other than liking his economic program. It’s not for nothing that his base is skewed towards young men.

Entrenched Losership

After getting tenure, many people decide not to move to the next stage and remain in the Associate Professor position without seeking promotion to Full Professor. This is an entirely legitimate choice worthy of respect. I know many people who organized their careers this way, and they are very happy and fulfilled.

Problems begin when people don’t manage to move on to the next stage and, instead of accepting that they don’t really need it, begin to dump on those who do, labeling them as lesser human beings, bad, evil, and incapable of “noticing that their privilege rests on countless others’ exploitation.”

Obviously, entrenched, aggressive losership doesn’t only happen in academia. We all have a choice either to embrace our lives the way they are or to identify sources of unhappiness and seek inner resources to change our reality. Both of these paths are healthy and good. What is not healthy is to resent and envy others to the point where you need to convince yourself that they are happier and more successful than you because something is wrong with them. 

Old Mule Learns New Tricks

I never participated in edited collections with crowds of star academics, so I had no idea how the process works. There are six rounds of corrections and review. Six! It’s nothing like the “once you are accepted, you are done” process in place at academic journals. I will be working on these articles until the end of April.

On the positive side, the editors are driving me like a stubborn old mule, so the articles will turn out great. These will definitely be the best pieces I will have written so far. My biggest problem is that I never drive myself until the very end. I decide I’m done before I’m really done. And these editors will not let me do that.

Dawkins and the Professionally Wounded

Not that I have any interest in Dawkins but I feel for the poor fellow when he gets viciously trolled by a self-righteous creep and feels the need to apologize slavishly and pathetically (see the Twitter exchange at the link).

This is why I don’t participate anywhere but on my own blog. Here I can surround myself by intelligent, interesting people and avoid any engagement with the professionally outraged and customarily aggrieved.

Class Consciousness

I don’t understand how anybody can care about the lower salaries of Hollywood actresses or the absence of black Hollywood performers from the Oscars. To me, these are neither women nor African Americans. They are immensely rich folks who don’t give a crap about me and my interests, so I’ll be damned if I care about theirs.

And I especially resent the idiotic argument of, “Well, if these super famous people suffer discrimination, then what hope do we have?” There is no connection between their lives and ours. Their whole existence is about getting us to identify with their petty dramas so that we’ll forget about our real troubles. That’s what they get paid for. And whether they manage to get paid even more than they already do and get even more fame than they already do, they’ll never do anything for me.

Back in the harshest years of the post-Soviet economy, we were all glued to the TV screens watching a Mexican soap opera titled “The Rich Weep, Too.” It was comforting to imagine, in the midst of food shortages and an inflation of 1000%, that the rich experienced all the same problems we did. . . Only they didn’t. It was an illusion that they were peddling to us and that we idiotically lapped up. And while we stared beatifically at those screens, feeling sorry for the rich, the real oligarchs robbed us blind.

Book Notes: Victor Sebestyen’s 1946, Part 3

6. Roosevelt appointed Herbert Lehman, of the Lehman Brothers family, to manage refugee aid at the end of the war because he thought it would be enjoyable to watch Germans beg a Jew for food. Of course, he also really liked Lehman as a person. Lehman was succeeded as the leader of UNRRA by Fiorello LaGuardia who, as it turns out, was a Yiddish – speaking Jew (and a polyglot who spoke a ton of other languages.)

As you can see, I put nothing but fun anecdotes in this review. That’s because there isn’t anything else in Sebestyen’s book. He doesn’t have the intellect to create any sort of an overarching narrative and, instead, tries to connect disjointed anecdotes about 1946 with the help of the banal idea that all politicians are imperfect and all human beings are deeply flawed.

Ultimately, the book fails because the author never manages to rise to the level demanded by his challenging, complex material.

Russia Keeps Provoking Turkey

And once again, a Russian fighter plane breached Turkey’s air space. Erdogan acted with commendable restraint and did nothing but issue warnings. Let’s see how many more times he will let these provocations slide.

If there are still people who don’t think Russia wants to provoke a conflict with the NATO, I’d like to know what they are smoking.

WordAd Earnings: An Important Update

My regular readers will not find this interesting but I know there are many fellow bloggers who are curious about the way the WordAds program functions.

If you look at the table of this blog’s earnings, you will see that WordPress has dramatically lowered the compensation for each ad impression. Note also that ad impressions are not the same as the number of hits. You have no way of knowing where the “ad impressions” figure comes from and why it varies from one month to another. You will have to trust WordPress on that. I experimented with placing the maximum amount of ads as opposed to a moderate amount of ads and that had absolutely no impact on the number of ad impressions.

After perusing the table, you can judge for yourself if the WordAds system is something you want to try out on your blog.