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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Archive for the day “March 15, 2017”

Empty Space

I just read (in Bauman quoting Forbes) that if the entire population of India and China were to move to the US, the resulting population density still wouldn’t be higher than that of Holland or Belgium. I knew there’s a lot of empty space here but really? 

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The First Artistic Experience

Klara took a pen and defaced my new Zygmunt Bauman  (I’ve started a collection, hoping to gather all.books he’s ever published.) She’s smart, though, and only drew on a blank page. There’s a bunch of them at the end of the book, for note-taking purposes. 

This was when I realized that Klara is ready for working on art projects with me. I gave her a big white sheet of thick paper and a box of crayons, and she was truly ready because she didn’t even try to eat them.

After she drew, I showed her a sheet of stickers (I’ve had these materials ready for months). She’d point to a sticker, I’d give it to her, and she’d attach it to the drawing. This was hard because stickers keep sticking to little fingers but she did 8 entirely on her own. 

I hated this kind of thing when I was a kid. I hated everything that wasn’t reading. So now I can enjoy it vicariously. 

The Non-existent Epidemic

My doctor (the one who relented and took us on in spite of you-know-what) is sending out notices that she’ll no longer be prescribing long-term pain medication. The situation here is getting pretty dire. People at the gym, at the salon, everywhere are whispering about somebody they know who’s become addicted. 

We are a rich town but there are dozens of small townlets surrounding it that are quite devastated. 

Definitions 

“Feminism is about giving women choice,” chirps some dumb starlet. 

No, you stupid piece of fluff. That’s what consumerism is about. 

Ivanka’s Childcare 

The reason I’m crabby is that on Monday I stayed at home with Klara but there was a snowstorm, and I couldn’t take her out. I stayed home today but it’s the coldest day of the year, and I can’t take her out. It will be warm on Friday but I’m in meetings all day long, so I won’t be able to stay home and go out with Klara. And I have such great, fun plans for taking her out! Grrrrr.

There’s good news, though, and it concerns Trump’s childcare plan:

“[The plan] was just a total sell-out to everything that the left has been clamoring for.”

Since then, many more details about the plan have come out. At an estimated cost of $500 billion over ten years, it allows families to deduct childcare expenses from their taxes, up to the average cost of childcare in each state. The proposal also includes a new tax-free savings vehicle for childcare expenses, and a smaller tax credit for low income families.

This is way more important than some ancient tax return that proves absolutely nothing and serves no purpose at all. But the dumb tax return is being covered non-stop while the childcare plan isn’t. 

And nobody can say anything against Ivanka working on this since both Clinton and Obama foisted their wives onto our collective notice constantly. And a wife doesn’t even have unbreakable permanency inscribed in the nature of her relationship with a president like a child does. 

As for the objection that the plan is somehow insufficient, it’s idiotic because Obama had 8 years for a “sufficient” reform but nothing was done. 

Michael Brown Update

And since I’m in a crabby mood anyway, I’ve got to ask, what the hell is Michael Brown’s mother doing, trying so actively to paint him as a gangster? The boy is dead, why tarnish his memory? 

Or does she honestly think that being a drug dealer gives him a better reputation than stealing? That’s just dumb because you can steal once and do it entirely on your own. But drugs mean you are part of something,  a gang. 

I’d much prefer if in the Michael Brown story we all concentrated on what matters: an unarmed person was shot six times and left lying in the street like a stray dog. 

Tiresome Exaggeration 

The “alternative minimum tax” (AMT), which was introduced to ensure the mega wealthy pay a fairer share of tax, comprised $31m of Trump’s tax bill.

I don’t get the point of such ridiculous exaggeration. AMT starts and $200,000, which is the income of about half the town where I live. Educated professionals  (who are not professors, of course) don’t make less than $100,000 here in the boondocks and less than $150,000 on the coasts, and if there are two of them, that’s the AMT threshold right there. By referring to them as “mega wealthy”, which is patently ridiculous, you have made a step towards losing them in the next election. 

This could be worded in a slightly different way to avoid angering people. These tiresome rhetorical flourishes (neo-Nazis! Mega wealthy! White supremacy! Trump wants to murder me!) repel potential voters because nobody wants to be allied with screeching freaks.

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