Day 1 of Spring Break

1. Added 362 words to the article + 3 new sources.

2. Had the taxes done. 

3. Celebrated the start of spring break with a sushi dinner.

4. Took Klara to her music lesson.

5. Reading: History of Africa and Trollope’s Dr. Thorne.

6. Failures: didn’t fold the laundry.

7. Successes: taught Klara to walk holding me by one hand. 



And since I’m venting anyway, we now have a course called “Spanish for Heritage Speakers.” This means Spanish for children of immigrants. All 3 of them that we have in this region. Why they can’t learn with everybody else is a mystery.

Some sly character somewhere in California invented this type of courses to milk bureaucracy for easy money. And we have to follow this stupid trend even though there is no public funding to milk. 

In states like New Mexico or Arizona it makes sense to use this kind of nothing-burger courses to fake high enrollments. But we don’t have large Hispanic population cynically to exploit in this way. 

Does anyone wonder any more why I hate second language acquisition theorists who invent all this crap?

Please Share Alternative Explanations

In my field of Hispanic Studies, tenure-lines in literature and culture are being eliminated while new lines in linguistics are opened at such a pace that there is nobody to fill them. While literature is dying, linguistics is experiencing a huge boom.

If anybody has an explanation for this phenomenon that differs from the one I gave in the previous post, please do me a favor and share it. Because I fail to come up with anything else. 

And yes, of course, I’m angry that my field – which will tell you about the destruction of the nation-state and the triumph of liquid capital, among many other things – is being destroyed in favor of the field that will tell you all about how “semantic predication is encoded in the syntax as some sort of coindexing between subjects and predicates.”

A Job at Oxford

Are there any Spanish linguists here who want to work at Oxford? Here is your chance.

The demand for the (absolutely ridiculous) field of Spanish Linguistics is insane. There is a general push these days to promote toothless, ideology-free fields at the expense of the fields of knowledge that might express a political message.

The Real Problem at the Border

The US is experiencing the worst drug addiction crisis in decades. Heroin addiction is out of control. Whole towns are being wiped out by heroin. I have students who are escaping such towns and they tell of terrible things. 

94% of all the heroin in the US comes from Mexico. In Mexico, cartels are slaughtering each other and the innocent civilians for access to the distribution areas of the drug in the US. Drugs cross the border with ease. 

The problem is that there is no evidence that clamping down the border will help. When there is such a huge demand, there’s no likelihood that it will go unmet. 

In the last years of the USSR, an attempt was made to battle alcoholism. But when the access to alcohol was limited, not a single addict got cured. Those of the lower social classes drank cologne and sniffed glue. Those higher up switched to hard drugs. The anti-alcoholism campaign turned out to be part of a concerted effort to promote drug addiction in the USSR.

Addicts will find their drug and the drug will find its way to them. Drug addiction rates can only be addressed from the consumption side. Treating people and creating conditions that will prevent new addicts from appearing will defeat cartels. Borders never did and never will. I wish this weren’t true. I hate drugs and I’d support any kind of border security that could limit the flow of heroin into this country. But there is no evidence that it ever helped.