Everybody’s Got an Obsession

Bolton is a pan-warmonger; he may mean it. But Trump may be giving his backers a heads-up. https://t.co/woKOc7bjEt

— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) April 11, 2018

It’s like she has no other thought in her head aside from this weird obsession with heads-ups. What a crazy person.

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An Old Trick

Somehow I stepped into having the flash pop-ups from two of the most popular of the propaganda channels of Russian news on my computer. And I’m too lazy to try to disconnect them. So while I work on my desktop, I constantly see these pop-ups in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen yell breaking Russian “news” at me. I’ve been working on the desktop for the past 3 hours, and in that time I got over a dozen pop-ups in the vein of “Trump said in a tweet he’s going to attack our troops in Syria! American missiles are on their way! American bombing is imminent!”

It’s not really hard to guess who it is that is desperate to prevent US troops from withdrawing from Syria. Distracting people from a failing economy, corruption and a crumbling infrastructure with saber-rattling is the oldest trick in the book. The idea that the US would withdraw from Syria was so threatening that Russians had to organize a chemical attack to stop it.

I’m Having an Affair

The “Basque turn” of my scholarship is, to put it very mildly, not the smartest idea I could have had. I’m narrowing an already narrow field, which my colleagues from other departments consider to be irrelevant and arcane as it is. They consider research into Spain to be useless and boring, so what will they think if I ask for a grant to study the culture of a tiny part of this already ‘insignificant’ country? (I’m obviously not going to apply for such a grant because it’s a total waste of time). The Spanish language, at least, is interesting thanks to the enormous Latin American population of the world. But Euskera? If we were in Nevada, then OK, but not around here.

I feel like a married woman who has fallen violently in love and starts an affair even though she understands it’s destructive. I’m trying very hard to get interested in something else but it’s not working. I’m hopelessly obsessed.

A smart person in my place would branch out into Latin America, which I’m very well-equipped to do. But love can’t be reasoned away.

 

Ehrenreich’s Best

This, I believe, is the best thing Barbara Ehrenreich has ever written. Of course, being who she is, she is incapable of engaging even with such a concept as death outside of the same ideologically barren framework of primitive Marxism.

Primitive Marxism is similar to primitive feminism. It consists of a constant pointing out that capital is evil (or men historically oppressed women.) There’s no intellectual engagement with the issue. Just repeated incantations that go in a loop.

This impoverished ideological approach has always characterized Ehrenreich’s writing, so this is nothing new. Within the limits of what she’s capable of, this is the strongest piece by her that I have read. Which obviously doesn’t mean I endorse or share her ideas.