Nobody Cares About Reality

It’s like people are inhabiting a different universe. Pompeo has always been a lot more anti-Putin than Tillerson. How anybody can arrive at a conclusion that removing Tillerson in favor of Pompeo is some sort of a gift to Putin is a mystery.

The moment Trump does anything pro-Putin (and anti-Ukrainian because it’s the same thing), I’ll be howling like a banshee. I’m very ready to howl because I’m just in that sort of mood. I just need a reason. Or even a little excuse.

How Everybody Lives

I’m sure by now everybody has read the hilarious piece in the NYTimes about the rich guy who has consumed no news for a year. The funny thing in the article is the idiot reporter who seems completely unaware that this is how most people live. And good for them.

The protagonist of the article is an idiot because he’s a huge drama queen and is making a nuisance of himself to others. But there are many folks I know who have zero interest in the media ridiculousness, and I think they are right. I have quit watching TV news, and I’m skipping on online news more and more because there’s rarely anything but dumb, pompous posturing.

Another Special Snowflake

As it turned out,(almost) no one abandoned me because of my loss of faith in graduate study. Instead, my relational terror was replaced by an existential terror as I realized that all of those specialized topics we study so deeply for so long in graduate school are — for the most part — of zero interest to anyone else.

Maybe because you aren’t any good at it.

I’m so tired of all this hand-wringing about how nobody cares about our research or reads what we publish. It’s not in the least true. When I was writing my first book, I was taking a lot of Greyhound buses. And on a 38-hour trip you end up striking tons of conversations whether you want it or not. People always asked me what I did, and we had great conversations about it.

All that you need to get your research out to people is to stop thinking that you are such a special cookie whose profound ideas are inaccessible to the hoi polloi. Maybe the problem lies with the delivery and not with the audience.

Quitting graduate school is an entirely valid and wonderful life choice. Just like not quitting graduate school. And most people I know who made it know how to do it without shitting all over alternative choices. And hey, this isn’t even the worst quote I’ve chosen. It gets a lot worse later on in the essay.

Ideological Apparatus

I hate it when academics gleefully dedicate themselves to the cause of creating an ideological apparatus to support fluidity. I hate it that there is such an unthinking endorsement of fluidity. I hate it that the anti-capitalist bluster they so love is just a front for doing the work that advances the interests of capital.

As I shared before, the association for the scholars of female Hispanic literature has been renamed into Association for the Study of Genders and Sexualities. The only idea that has come out of the study of genders and sexualities is that both are fluid. So we are ditching the national literatures because there is a clear limit to fluidity there, and are moving into an area that does nothing but boringly repeat how great fluidity is.

Obviously, none of us know anything whatsoever about human sexuality beyond what a regular person does. We are not even remotely qualified to produce scholarship on the subject. All we can do is repeat how much we love the idea that it’s all fluid. But that’s the whole point. The task here is to normalize the idea that everything is fluid to the point that not even the physical reality of human biology can stand up to it. And if you can’t embrace that, then you are hopelessly behind the times.

People tell me I worry over nothing because it’s just a name. But I say, imagine people you are living with call you “Brilliant and Beautiful” for the next year. And now imagine they call you “Dumb Loser” for a year. Can anybody honestly say it would have no impact on them? (And those who would are immature poseurs who bore me.)