Judith and Wendy

I don’t remember if I said this before in this space but I can’t get over how Judith Butler is the high priestess of fluidity and her wife Wendy Brown is its fiercest critic in the Zygmunt Bauman and Dardot/Laval way. Opposites attract, I guess.

It’s truly unfair that Butler is so much more famous while the clearly more talented Brown has had to trail her all over the world as an unwanted spousal hire.

Butler’s writing is notoriously indigestible. She writes in the style of, “the subjectivation of the dialectic of this range of ontological categories subverts the hermeneutics of the absolutes which, as we all know, is profoundly onomastic.”

Wendy Brown, on the other hand, writes like normal people. A random quote:

Once about developing intelligent, thoughtful elites and reproducing culture, and more recently, enacting a principle of equal opportunity and cultivating a broadly educated citizenry, higher education now produces human capital, thereby turning classically humanist values on their head.

This is still academic writing, obviously, but it’s not incomprehensible. Another one, again, completely random:

Both persons and states are construed on the model of the contemporary firm, both persons and states are expected to comport themselves in ways that maximize their capital value in the present and enhance their future value, and both persons and states do so through practices of entrepreneurialism, self-investment, and/or attracting investors.

And yet her rah-rah-fluidity, nobody-knows-what-the-hell-my-endless-sentences-mean wife is much more famous.

Have I ever reviewed Wendy Brown on the blog? She’s very relevant to our discussions of fluidity. And if somebody is looking for an accessible variation on Bauman, she’s great.


Turns out there is a name and a thousand FB groups for my parenting strategy. It’s called respectful and gentle parenting. Apparently, it means no baby talk, no punishment, no timeouts, no rewards for good behavior, no yelling (I’m not a yelling person, I’m an endless, rambling, boring didactic monologues person, which is probably worse), no chastisement for grumpiness, etc.

I’m not joining any RGP parenting groups on FB, though, because I’m still traumatized by the group for parents of only children. It turns out there is nothing but misery behind the “decision” to have an only child. I don’t know why I expected anything different but I heard some really tragic stories on that group. Widowhood, illness, death, old age. God, I so need to leave that group.

My Child Hates Santa

And it’s all my fault. We were at Lowe’s, looking at Christmas ornaments, and there was this big plastic Santa with a large red button. Klara asked me to press it, and I did thinking that it would maybe light up or play some Christmas music.

Instead, the darn thing started contorting in clearly pornographic ways and bellowing “Merry Christmas!” like it was possessed. Klara was so scared she can’t see a Santa any more without crying.

They should make a special section for brothel Santas and avoid freaking out small children. We are going to a brunch with Santa on Sunday that I’ve been waiting for the whole year because the food is amazing, and I’m afraid Santa will freak Klara out.


Which technological advances are you most grateful for?

I’m ecstatic over the refrigerators that don’t need to be defrosted. God, I hated defrosting refrigerators. But the last one I had to defrost was in Montreal 15 years ago.

If you’ve never defrosted a fridge, you are too young to be my friend.

The First GF Experiment

My George Foreman grill has arrived? I finally made my own burger.

It’s a bunless cheeseburger with grilled mushrooms.

Super easy to use and burgers have a great sear. Thank you, reader Dreidel, for bugging me about it incessantly until I bought it. Let’s see what N has to say. He adores mushrooms.