Saturday Link Encyclopedia

Busy brain = happy brain.” I recognize myself in this a lot. 

When I blogged back in 2014 that there were international conferences of neo-Nazis in Russia, nobody cared. And now everybody is suddenly noticing the results. I’m so tired of this idiotic provincialism.

very good post on the Reformation and modernity from Steve. It’s lovely to see somebody who is a great erudite on this subject.

Japan, an experiment in unbridled neoliberalism that is a warning to all of us.

Twitter is horrible and we should all boycott it. Just the fact that it’s Trump’s favorite medium of communication should tell people something.

Total cuteness: the mid-century dining club

The New Yorker rehabilitates itself after the ridiculous yet famous piece by Ronan Farrow with a great article on “the family that built an empire of pain.” By the way, I hated the Farrow piece long before I knew he was the son of repugnant people.

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Union for Walmart!

Whatever else is wrong with Walmart, it has the most courteous, professional salespeople ever. They should be unionized.

I’m like a broken record, saying that everybody should be unionized but what can I do? I’m a bit obsessed.

Need Advice

Folks, I need your help. I’ll tell you a story and you’ll let me know if I’m completely deranged and need to get over myself, OK? I’ll be very happy to do so if there’s a popular consensus.

I’m on a committee that audits the work of one of the University’s academic departments. We talk to students and faculty, conduct surveys, visit the facilities, and in the end rank the department’s performance. If we rank it as unsatisfactory, it has to cease operations immediately because that means it’s not doing its job. This is called academic self-governance. The administration doesn’t do this. Only faculty revise each other’s work in complete anonymity. I happen to think it’s a very important principle, and I take this work very seriously.

Usually, we get together as a committee, decide the ranking, create a list of recommendations for the department and the administration, and write a report explaining our recommendations. That’s how it usually works. 

This time, though, everybody decided (without me) that we will write the report first, and then the recommendations will somehow come out of that. We will all be writing separate sections in Dropbox without meeting in person and agreeing on what we want to recommend and why. There was never any discussion of anything. 

So now I’m completely stumped. I don’t want to be difficult and complicate anybody’s life but I can’t figure out what I’m supposed to be writing about the recommendations nobody has outlined. This is all supposed to be done over the weekend, so I have no chance to talk to anybody. This is the fifth time I’m doing this committee, and I never had a problem before. I simply fail to understand this method of collective writing in complete isolation.

Am I being rigid? Am I a contrarian bitch? Should I just write any vague bullshit and agree to sign my name to the recommendations I never approved?

Sorry for a long post.

Where Are They Getting It?

My pedicurist shared with me a sob story about tragically oppressed Catalonians that she got from social media. She is in no way related to the region or normally interested in it. 

For some incomprehensible reason, the story people who are not knowledgeable about the region are getting is completely pro-independentist. Does anybody understand this?

Consumers Are Cheering

From a chirpy fool cheering Catalonia’s “independence”: 

“We’re finally free,” a woman next to me said, as she began to cry. “We are oppressed here. We’re fighting for our freedom.”

God, it must be so pleasant to think ‘freedom’ can be purchased like a discounted toaster. 

Freedom and choice, the favorite slogans of the neoliberal revolution.