Whenever anybody on campus starts saying that our freeze on salary raises is daylight robbery, somebody immediately pipes up with the dumb, toothless narrative of “we are not in it for the money.”

I detest this kind of sorry crap. I’m absolutely in it for the money. It’s deranged to show up for work for any reason but that you are getting paid for it. Instead of fighting for political change and organizing to get rid of stinky Rauner, people hide behind pathetic narratives of teaching being a higher calling that stands above puny monetary concerns. 

Well, I’m not in the least above these concerns. I work hard and deserve a decent wage. And people who pretend not to care are cowards. 


Astrology is idiotic but this image is so true. N is a Taurus and he can never get enough sleep. You, folks, have no idea what it feels like to get up every night for a baby while your partner sleeps comfortably and then hear the endless stories the next day about how exhausted from all this lack of sleep he is. And placing him 2 floors away from the action has zero effect. “Enough sleep” is simply not a concept that exists in his world. 

The Planetary TrollsĀ 

Started reading Huntington and got unhappy on page 2. He says Russia supported Serbia in the Yugoslavian conflict because of a cultural affinity they share. That’s a very insane statement. No such affinity exists, and there is no Russian person who’d claim there is. And as a Russian-speaker, I find it deeply aggravating when Americans tell me, “Ah, Ukraine! It’s like Serbia, right?” Both Russia and Ukraine are “like Serbia” in the same way we are “like Australia”. We are all humans, so there’s that commonality but nothing much else. 

Then, as now, the only motivation that Russia had was to troll the US. Trolling is an end in itself. Serbia, schmerbia – who cares, as long as you can stick it to Americans? It’s all about that, all the time. 

This is also an answer to the question of why the Russians promoted Trump’s candidacy. To troll, they did it to troll the US. Let’s not look for complexity where there isn’t one. Russia is like a 9-year-old boy who feels an overpowering need to tug on a girl’s braid.

Between Parent and Child

For those who are interested in parenting books: Haim Ginott’s Between Parent and Child is really good. It should have been used during the Cold War to defeat the Soviets.

Forget the arms race and the star wars. All that Americans needed to do to make the USSR collapse was translate this book into Russian, print a few million copies, and make sure the book got into the hands of the Soviet people. Every Soviet person who was a parent or who had a parent would have immediately suffered an apoplexy, and there would be no USSR any more.

I like the book because it makes me think of things I wouldn’t consider on my own. For instance, there is the really great advice to keep the answers to a child’s questions short. I do have a tendency to answer the simplest questions with an hour-long lecture, and I’m realizing that it might be aggravating to a child.

The best thing about the book is that it teaches parents never to succumb to the temptation to see the child as an enemy or as a little tyrant who is victimizing them. The power is always on the side of the parent 100%, and it is crucial to wield this power with great care. Yes, as I said, Soviet people would not survive even the first two pages.