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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 23, 2017”

Unbroken Promises

All news channels and sources in my newsfeed are obsessively condemning the ACA repeal. . . and I have no idea why I’m supposed to care.

It wasn’t a secret that this would happen. Trump said he’d repeal the ACA at every rally. In fact, he often led with this statement. And people voted for him. Or they didn’t care enough to organize (or organize more actively) for somebody else, which is the same thing.

And it wasn’t just Trump. Republicans started saying they wanted the ACA repealed 7 years ago. This is, arguably, a single most unifying issue for the party. They’ve been talking about the need to repeal Obamacare at every opportunity. And in the 7 years they’ve been doing it, they kept winning every election.

There was no duplicity here, no lie. The resolve to repeal the ACA was blared from every news outlet for years. Unless you are yesterday’s immigrant from the Moon, you had to know that Republicans wanted to repeal the ACA. And still, people voted for them every time they elected a Republican for Senate, Congress, or the White House. 

So here’s what we have: people voted, voted, voted and voted for a certain party, giving it majorities everywhere. And the party in question proceeded to give the people exactly what it had been promising for the better part of a decade. That’s democracy for you. 

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The Bauman Collection 

Zygmunt Bauman died this past January. I found out about it from a student’s presentation and almost burst down in tears. It’s very inconsiderate of Bauman to just go and die on us right when the world is ready to hear what he’s been saying for decades. He could have taken a better care of his health and not smoked like a chimney, for instance. His life didn’t belong just to himself. And yes, he was 91 when he died, so what? 91, 101 – he could have dragged it out first the sake of humanity. 

This is turning into an unwelcome trend. First, novelist Rafael Chirbes kicks the bucket way too early. Then philosopher Ulrich Beck bites it prematurely. And now it’s lights out on Bauman. And if I sound not too serious about it, that’s because I’m too upset to be serious. 

I have decided to start a Bauman collection. I’m buying and reading everything he’s written  (that has been translated into English, of course.) If there’s no more Bauman to provide insights (and nobody else of his stature I know of), I’ll have to become a Bauman onto myself and figure shit out for myself.

Uber Mistake 

Taking Uber to the airport turned out to be a mistake this time. The driver, a middle-aged chicken farmer, turned out to be into extreme heat and massive amounts of perfume. The car was a cloyingly smelly sauna. And then he got lost, so the trip lasted twice as long.

I’d spent half the night watching a TV show about serial killers, and after the car ended up in an abandoned junkyard, I vividly remembered several of the show’s episodes that started just like that. 

When I finally got out of the car, I was so nauseous, I had to eat an ice-cream to avoid throwing up.

God has punished me for the sin of sloth.

Racist Diversity

At my university, we have very few international students, and those who do want to come are often turned away for the most bizarre of reasons. For instance, many foreign universities don’t calculate GPAs, and their transcripts cannot be directly relayed into an American version. So students with stellar records (and their tuition money) get turned away because their diplomas don’t look exactly like US diplomas. I personally know somebody who had this problem, and she ended up not being admitted. Of course, our huge Diversity Office has zero interest in this situation. 

At the school where I did my BA, I had a similar problem. The university didn’t recognize the official language of my country, which is only the second largest country in Europe. Even in the presence of notarized translations of my documents, the university officials were refusing to accept my papers because their language seemed weird to them. 

Instead of promoting diversity through helping students resolve these silly bureaucratic issues, diversity offices and organizations do all kinds of insane things. For instance, at one university they create and put up vicious racist posters. Because the best way to promote diversity is to be openly racist. 

Refusing Liberation

So what is the Left’s response to the problem of entire professions being robotized out of existence? 

No, of course, it isn’t to challenge the stranglehold of liquid capital that is marking off millions of people as dispensable human waste.

Instead, the Left is offering a flurry of books and articles arguing that work is oppressive and being unemployed and unemployable is hugely liberating. Shockingly, the authors of these books and articles are in no hurry to get liberated by giving up their jobs. Instead, they are selflessly sacrificing their own chance at immediate liberation from having a salary and a place in productive life. You’ve got to admire this eagerness to continue to be oppressed for the sake of others. 

And now please excuse me, I’ve got to get on a plane and go be oppressed at a conference all day tomorrow. 

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