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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 “April 7, 2017”

Immigration Preparation 

My immigration preparation booklet informed me that the US is a capitalist country where vendors and customers negotiate prices of goods. I’m off to the supermarket to put my new knowledge in practice and try to negotiate the price of tomatoes. 

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Maddow Buzz

MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” finished the Week of March 27 as the most-watched show in cable news among the key demographic of adults age 25-54.

Just when I got fed up and stopped watching. I can never run with a trend, it seems. But I couldn’t take any more stale revelations about Russians. 

Uber Saviors

I started driving to the Immigration and within the first 3 minutes almost crashed the car twice. Totally my fault both times. 

Yes, I’ve only been driving for 3 years, but this shit doesn’t happen to me, folks. I’ve been a very careful driver, drove to St Louis and back when I was pregnant many times and never had any trouble other than the time when a student brushed against me in the parking lot (and I was found to be blameless in that case.) But today it’s like I’m possessed by the spirit of a lousy driver. 

The first time, I got into a wrong lane in a narrow residential road and when a fellow in a pickup truck appeared, I accelerated into him and only managed to brake a hair’s breadth before crashing into him. The fellow was super nice (I tend to have that effect on fellows.) He got out of the truck and was all, “Are you OK? Can I help you? Is there anything I can do? Are you sure you’ll be fine?” 

After he left, I parked, got out of the car, took a breather, calmed down, got back in the car and. . . almost crashed into a van. The fellow driving it was also super nice but I realized I shouldn’t be driving if I don’t want to arrive at Immigration in a body bag. 

So I called Uber and now yet another super nice fellow is taking me there. 

N got Klara up and took her to daycare today to let me sleep, so I’m supposed to be well-rested. But clearly, I’m not. 

Why Was There an Attack on Syria

It seems there were only 4 casualties in the US attack on Syria, and they are all military. This means that the attack was meant to be purely symbolic. The only thing that a symbolic attack can achieve is signal that this administration wants to continue the policy of the previous one, which can be resumed as “We’ll participate just enough to ensure that the conflict simmers forever.” 

What Obama did was maintain several foci of conflicts around the world that were simmering yet never boiling towards a conclusion. There is a whole philosophy around this centered on the idea that a large-scale military conflict can be avoided if global steam is released through the smallish conflicts in places that nobody of any import cares about. This has very clearly been the philosophy that guided the US foreign policy under Obama. Now we are seeing that Trump hasn’t come with a new philosophy, not that anybody expected him to find advisers brilliant enough to do that. 

As we discussed on this blog many times, the global capitalist economy is undergoing a profound change that is introducing a new form of statehood. Historically, such transformations are accompanied by a massive, long and painful war that devastates the participants. The “letting off steam” approach is an attempt to obviate this prospect that was designed back in the 1990s by White House experts and hasn’t been replaced by anything else since then. 

Pepsi Ad

I don’t understand the brouhaha over the Pepsi ad. Yes, it’s cheesy but it’s an ad, not a philosophical treatise. The idea of breaking through isolation and getting together with people, even if delivered a bit naively, is a good one. 

But most importantly, if you have the time to write a long screed about the lack of social value in a Pepsi ad, your time would be better spent figuring out why you are such a superficial, silly person. 

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