Clarissa's Blog

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

Archive for the month “October, 2017”

A New Language

For now, the Basque expressions I remember best are of the seriously pro-ETA bent because I encounter them most often in literature. I’m afraid when I meet actual speakers I will blurt out something in the vein of “etarra, etarra, gora ETA militarra”, and that will be very uncomfortable for everyone.

This reminds me of this Jewish fellow who traveled to the Netherlands and entered a business meeting with “Arbeit macht frei” as an ice-breaker. The Dutch businessmen did not appreciate the humor. 



Has anybody seen anywhere an explanation of why Saipov – an uneducated, unqualified, radicalized fellow who clearly had nothing of particular value to contribute – was able to get a green card? This is not a rhetorical question. It bothers me because in 2010, when this hugely valuable terrorist came legally to the US, N was unemployed. Because he, apparently, was not as good as this Saipov jerk to get a green card. What is the immigration category Saipov fell under?

My best student, an incredibly bright and hard-working young woman, is undocumented with no hope in hell of getting a green card. Yet Saipov was welcomed with open arms. This student I’m talking about could easily be at Harvard and kicking ass there she’s that good. But she’s not wanted. 

I don’t know how this is supposed not to make one angry. 

True or Not?

It’s not true, right? It’s got to be fake, right?

EXCLUSIVE: DNC Official Says She Doesn’t Want To Recruit ‘Cisgender Straight White Males’

They don’t want more individuals in the “majority” having jobs within the party …

I know this is a party of people who love losing but surely, not to this extent.

I don’t want to believe idiots who could have penned the linked email could exist anywhere in humanity, let alone in the party leadership. Of course, you’ve got to be dumb as ass to use the expression “a well-oiled machine” outside of a comedy club.

Change Is Good

As they say, no hay mal que por bien no venga. The famous stylist I had retired but the young guy I have as my new stylist makes me happier. He’s fast, quiet, not in the least chatty, and doesn’t make a drama out of my “extremely complicated” hair. 

On a similar note, I’m feeling very bored and underchallenged in my job. Post-tenure blues are still here with a vengeance. To get out of the rut, I started learning Basque. And one day I will read Saizarbitoria in his native language. It’s a much easier dream to entertain than ever having a chance to teach him in translation. Because that is completely out of my control, and we all know how much I detest not being in control. 

Now You Get It?

In terms that everybody will finally be able to understand, the Ukrainian Revolution of 2013 happened because Ukrainians were fed up with the president whose campaign had been organized by Paul Manafort. 

And if everybody just listened to what Ukrainians were saying back then, we wouldn’t have to deal with Manafort’s next candidate now. 

Obviously, Manafort is a dumb pawn. He’s a symptom and not the disease. But it’s a symptom that should have been noticed earlier. The name of the actual disease is:

An international conspiracy of oligarchs to use the popular resentment generated by the globalization for further enrichment.


What?? There will be no more House of Cards because Kevin Spacey might have bumped into somebody back in 1988? 

Why not cancel all Hollywood movies instead since Weinstein is a proven dick and all of Hollywood was complicit? Why cancel a good show instead?

Is this simply an excuse and the show is cancelled because of Trump?


The union leader says the strike is the last resort and nobody wants to strike. And I’m like, hey, I totally want to strike. I’ve never struck and I want the experience. I don’t know why people are so afraid of striking. Especially in an egregious situation like ours. 

My First Halloween

So yesterday was the first time I went trick-or-treating. It wasn’t supposed to be done yesterday. We went out for a walk and got swept up in the general excitement. Klara absolutely loved it. She doesn’t understand the concept of candy yet but she enjoyed seeing so many people out in the streets. “More people!” she’d say whenever we found ourselves in a less busy street. “More again! More again people!” It’s very strange to think that N and I produced a sociable child. 

I discovered that Halloween is a male thing. Men put portable fire pits outside and sit next to them with candy for the kids and beer for themselves. Some have buddies over, roll out huge screens, and watch sports or news. Even crusty old bachelors do it, which is very cute. 

All Klara wanted to do this morning was to talk about trick-or-treaters. She will be in the school parade today and then they’ll have a party. What a great holiday.

Good Kids

Kids in this country are amazing. Whenever they approached our house to trick-or-treat and saw I was holding a toddler, they’d remove their scary masks and other spooky parts of their costumes in order to avoid scaring her. Then I’d ask them to put it all back because Klara is too little to get scared and she loves all of the Halloween stuff, especially zombies and scary clowns.

The point, though, is that they’d know that it’s important not to scare the toddler and would make an effort to be kind. I come from a place where kids and adults would invariably do the exact opposite and go out of their way to be mean. 

P.S. to the Wall

I forgot to add that what I discussed in the previous post is a response to Trump’s tightening of the H1B reqs. Universities don’t want to risk hiring somebody only to find out, in the middle of the academic year, that their paperwork didn’t come through. Before, college professors’ H1Bs were expedited, so you had the paperwork before starting work. So I’m not blaming these schools in any way. 

Also, I need to add that as somebody who had a close personal experience with H1B, I don’t in the least mind people who think that in difficult times you protect your own and that these jobs should be for citizens first. What I do mind are the idiots who claim that such measures exist to help the H1B applicants themselves because having the H1B would somehow lead to their exploitation. No, it won’t help these folks to be deported against their will. It will help those who will face fewer competitors on the job market. 

I prefer honest protectionism to mealy-mouthed, insincere “I’m doing it for your good, you dummy” pronouncements. No, these measures don’t help immigrants. They help locals. And that’s ok as long as everybody is honest about it. I hate, hate, hate the people who want to use Trump to clear the field of competition while faking outrage over Trump’s position.

I also detest folks who are outraged by the border wall yet are all in favor of dramatically reducing the H1B. Their hypocrisy is extremely off-putting.

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