NYTimes: A Poem in The Nation Spurs a Backlash and an Apology

A bunch of freaks, all of them. Opulence sounds like a good thing until it starts to vomit up this kind of dregs. Because you’ve got to be overfed for generations to come up with something like this.

Foreigner Solidarity

One of the protagonists of Castellanos Moya’s Moronga is, like the author, a Salvadoran who works as a college professor in the US. He finds himself stumped by the sexual harassment training he has to undergo until a compatriot gives him invaluable advance.

“Always answer the exact opposite of whatever you really think,” he says, and the professor aces the test.

This made me smile because I do the same thing to pass these trainings. And I mumble, “Darn Puritans” when I do it, just like the Salvadoran character.

More Anatomy

I submitted my long-suffering piece today, so now I can do more Grey’s Anatomy. I’m on season 9, so spoiler alert!

In this season, Christina finally finds a substitute daddy and gets a chance to grow up. Yay!

The character I hate in the show is Arizona. I liked her at first because I love the actress but after the plane crash she turned into the kind of person I hate the most. Everybody has shitty things happen to them. That’s the nature of human experience. Some of us have shittier things happen than others. But that’s not an excuse to treat your wife or anybody else like garbage.

As I keep saying, tragedy reveals who we really are. It’s easy to be a nice person when everything is great. But whether the niceness is just a mask hiding a pile of excrement is only revealed during hard times.

Grey’s Anatomy

What I like about Grey’s Anatomy is its psychological plausibility. I hate shows based on the philosophy of “just because” where nobody tries to provide any explanation for what the characters do or feel.

Meredith is constantly depressed and suicidal because her mother never wanted her. She tries to get symbolically unborn by drowning, which stands for a return to the womb. This happens because her mother says she’s ordinary, which might seem like an insignificant thing to those who don’t understand how the human psyche works.

Only when her mother dies and Meredith fantasizes a symbolic acceptance by the mother can she continue to live. Meredith undergoes psychoanalysis and becomes a lot more resilient than Christina, who is from a much better family.

Christina becomes an instant slave to any man who looks at her kindly because her father died when she was a kid. She is emotionally and socially frozen at the age when her father died.

The only thing that makes no sense is Bailey’s unabiding popularity with beautiful men. It’s not entirely impossible that a short, fat, dumpy woman with bad skin and sparse hair would attract crowds of tall, beautiful, adoring, kind men with large salaries. But that woman needs either to be a sexual femme fatale (which Bailey, with her limited sexual experience and anorgasmy until her mid-thirties doesn’t have) or a woman who lights up the sun with her enveloping warmth (which Bailey definitely isn’t) or a deeply nurturing, motherly type (which she also definitely isn’t.)

Reactions to Religion

A Christian journalist writes:

With oozing condescension, they lament that someone otherwise so smart and perceptive — i.e., someone who agrees with them on the issues — can’t let go of faith... I find it interesting that folks who would never judge a Muslim by the lunatics who share her faith are so ready to judge me by the lunatics who share mine.

He’s right. In academia, people find it easy to make the kind of asinine jokes and comments or to scoff openly in the face of a Christian colleague that they’d never do to a Muslim or Hindu one.

The reason is that a Muslim or a Hindu are seen as an irreducible other while a Christian is treated with the familiarity of a wayward sibling. The condescension and the idiocy stem from the residual guilt of having committed apostasy. I’m not saying anybody should feel guilt but that the attitude shows they do.