Worth It

Despite our moans about hours of work, pay, and pensions, being an academic is still the best job in the world for those of a particular temperament and talents. It can be worth the struggle and risk simply to have a decent shot.

And not even a decent one is worth it. Yes, it’s a gamble, but what isn’t? The payoff is fantastic if you get it. And it’s not like you risk much anyways.

I honestly don’t think I would have been able to have a career in anything else. My only alternative is something like free-lance translation.

Puerto Rico

“People on TV news shows spoke significantly fewer sentences about Hurricane Maria than about Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” he writes, and “the spike in conversation about Puerto Rico right as the hurricane hit was also much smaller than the spike in mentions of Texas and Florida.”

True. And what’s really sad is that if Trump hadn’t started tweeting about Puerto Rico, it would continue to attract no attention. Nobody gives a drat about Puerto Rico unless it can be used as an argument in the eternally boring “good Trump / bad Trump” debate.

The mayor of San Juan is very smart. She knew she had to needle Trump to get him to say something nasty. Without this, it would all be still about millionaire knees and that sort of thing.

Trump is what he’s always been. There’s nothing new here. What’s everybody else’s excuse? Why is Puerto Rico only interesting because it can be used to say something about Trump? Why is nothing of any value if it can’t be seen through the prism of Trump? Why are slivers of reports on Puerto Rico sandwiched between the huge, insane stories about how the darn athletes stood for the anthem today? Nothing happened! Nobody knelt! They all stood! There’s no story here! Why in the ever-living fuck are we still on this??

OK, I’ve vented. Now let’s discuss where we are donating. Now is a good time to donate because everybody just got their paychecks and can afford to help. I hope people realize that it’s only money donations. Donating anything else right now is a horrible idea. Nobody can get even the available stuff in there. Money isn’t going to do much either while the infrastructure is down but it will help a lot in the coming weeks. This is a long-term disaster, folks. There’s no back to business for a long time to come.


All you need to know about the Catalonian “referendum” is that the Russian propaganda machine is passionately and hysterically supportive of the independentists. The Russian news are reporting the events in Catalonia with such an emotional investment that it sounds like the newscasters are about to break down in tears. This is hilarious in a country where nobody knew the word Catalonia until yesterday.