From the NYTIMES:

To me, the election of Donald Trump felt like a death in the family. I couldn’t sleep. I found it hard to focus at work. I was barely a click away from wailing and rending my garments.

For the past year and a half I’ve been puzzling over this kind of statement. How can people not feel ashamed of themselves when they say this kind of thing? It’s so histrionics, so ridiculous. The next thing I expect her to say is that the election gave her vapors, whatever they are.

It’s especially funny that the very people who condemn Trump in these overblown terms have no problem feeding the stereotype that women are too emotional for serious jobs. I mean, if a woman can’t focus because of some stupid election, she definitely can’t fly an airplane, perform surgery, and arrest criminals. Or be president.


Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Monday that fear of domestic violence is not legal grounds for asylum in a closely watched immigration case.

Of course, it isn’t because if it were, we could move the entire population of Russia and Ukraine here immediately. OK, not the entire population but about 80% at least.

Older Kids

Klara is eager to play with other kids, especially older ones but she doesn’t know how to make friends yet. So I have to scour the beach and the pool area to procure friends for her. I use the word “procure” consciously because it does feel weird to approach 8-11-year-olds (Klara’s favorite age group) and strike up conversations.

Because of my profession, I’m good with kids of all ages, so kids enjoy talking to me and make efforts to include Klara in their games to impress me. But it’s precisely being good at it that makes it feel uncomfortable. It’s like I’m almost grooming these kids, or something.

In the time I’ve been here, these older kids have taught me a bunch of games and a lot of interesting factoids about sea creatures. I also witnessed a truly Borgesian debate today on whether the tiny mollusks the kids were observing on the beach are aware of the existence of humans and how these mollusks perceive us. These are very happy kids because they were extremely careful not to harm even the tiniest of these sea critters. At their age, my idea of fun was squashing critters to death on a mass scale.

We Are Better Off

So what it was like to be a professor of Spanish literature, say, back in the 1920s or 1930s?

For one, teaching loads were higher than they are now. Leading research universities had their famous research superstars teach more than we do right now at most of the teaching institutions with non-existent research requirements. Everybody taught lower-level language courses. In a semester, a professor might teach two advanced literature courses and two Spanish 101 courses. Language courses required more hours per week than they do now. Nobody expected to teach only or mostly in their area of specialization.

I’m starting to think that maybe we are spoiled to bitch about workloads like mine. By “we” I mean myself. Hmm.

It Spreads

The Minister of Education of Ukraine is ordering the rewriting of school textbooks to remove the words “parents” and pictures that feature the daddy-mommy-kids families. Because it’s important to be inclusive and not hurt the feelings of the kids who don’t live with both parents. 40% of school children in Ukraine don’t live with their fathers, apparently.

I never thought that this particular type of crazy would spread to Ukraine.

Rich Boys

Of course, Trudeau provoked Trump on purpose. That’s the kind of thing he likes to do. All he ever does are grand gestures aimed at getting him cheap popularity.

But it’s a total shame to allow oneself to be provoked by silly childish pranks of somebody as pathetically predictable as Trudeau.

In the end, these are two rich, spoiled pricks who are competing for social media likes. Neither has the brains to understand the big picture or even to conceive that anything bigger than their vanity exists. One is playing a bad boy role while the other one poses as a good boy but it’s all posturing.