Mini-retreats for Academics

Since I’m doing links today, here’s a really good one for academics. Organize mini-retreats for yourself during the semester!

I’ll definitely be doing mini-retreats. They sound like a fantastic idea. They can be combined with at-home mini-spas (bubble bath, mask, aromatherapy.)


Zygmunt Bauman wrote about the persistent erosion of skills of sociability in the service of liquid capital. This article on “ghosting” is a perfect example of the prissy, self-righteous defense of subservience to capital by way of gloomy misanthropy. The really funny thing is that I’m sure the author sees herself as ultra progressive.

The Obama Day

The institution of the “Barack Obama Day” in Illinois is beyond bizarre. I was born and grew up in a totalitarian state, and naming shit after people, especially people who are still alive, creeps me out. I can see naming a street where an artist lived it was born after them. But only after they pass away and stay passed away for a while. There’s no way of knowing whether the artist’s work will survive the rest of time otherwise.

If we are talking about a historic figure of once-in-generations proportions, like Martin Luther King Jr for instance, I can see it but again, only after they died, and it’s got to be a tragic, violent death, too. 

Any naming after people outside of these conventions smacks of personality worship and is unhealthy. I love Obama but eww to Obama Day. 

Dirty Jouissance

I’m hiding from the news, switching the channel over to anodyne Law & Order and Shark Tank reruns, unsubscribing from newspapers, forgetting the talk radio because I’m afraid I will also start enjoying the spectacle. I plugged back in during the Scaramucci debacle and you know what? I enjoyed it. It was fun. And I hated seeing myself enjoy it. It’s degrading. As entertaining and energizing it is, it’s not worth selling my soul to the orange monkey. 

It’s so, so easy to get seduced by the monkey. Let it colonize your brain, your attention span, your concept of what constitutes politics or news or public life. But any engagement with the troll is feeding the troll. The troll feeds on attention, be it positive or negative. I don’t want to be troll’s dinner. 


White resentment put Donald Trump in the White House. And there is every indication that it will keep him there, especially as he continues to transform that seething, irrational fear about an increasingly diverse America into policies that feed his supporters’ worst racial anxieties.

Oh no. What will keep him there is Twitter, the Rachel Maddow show, the “resistance”, the sheer enjoyment of discussing “white resentment”, this very article, etc. In short, the culture of spectacle. 

People are having way too much fun to let the fellow go. 

Mini-link Encyclopedia

had something similar but much worse happen to me once. I found it hilarious and forgot about it in under 20 minutes. Do you, folks, think the author is a mentally ill person? Scroll through the afterword especially. 

The glamorization of introversion is one of the favorite mechanisms of neoliberal ideology.

The greatest mass murder in the history of the world.

This is simply sad. By the way, St Louis has a very impressive institute of psychoanalysis that could really help these poor kids by treating their parents. But the parents would need to lift their lazy asses off couches and go do some work. And it’s always easier to reconstruct a kid instead.