Maddow’s Xenophobia

Maddow has gone off the deep end completely. During the recent spell of extreme cold weather, she announced that Russians were going to sabotage power lines in Fargo, North Dakota and cause everybody there to die. There is obviously not a shred of proof that any Russians were trying to do anything like this.

That poor dumb cow.

Jokes aside, she’s inciting hatred against an ethnic group. This is Rwandan radio with its cockroaches theory. Say “evil Russians are coming to kill you” a hundred times a night, you might convince somebody to act. Is this idiot freak of nature thinking about that at all?

P.S. Some other dumb fuck on MSNBC accused Russians of the Kaepernick kneeling debacle. There is a clear mental health issue among these folks.

Bye-bye, Northam

Virginia’s governor posed in blackface next to a person dressed in a KKK hood. What is it with people thinking this is funny? And he wasn’t a kid, either. He was in med school, meaning very adult and supposedly not a total idiot. I mean, we now know he’s a total idiot but this is still ridiculous.

I used to love dress up Halloween parties in grad school but I can’t imagine seeing anybody in a KKK hood there and finding it entertaining. Blackface is something I didn’t know about until people explained on this blog because I’m from a different part of the world.

How Neoliberal Mentality Is Disseminated

So Law & Order: SVU, ok? The most recent episode.

Amanda is a cop and a single mother who for some mysterious reason decided not to maintain a relationship with the baby’s father, a stunningly attractive police with a cute Irish accent. In a feat of horrifying self-centeredness, she never even informed him of the pregnancy or given him a choice to be present for the birth.

Now Amanda is pregnant again. The father is a rich doctor. Cute, although nothing like the truly sensational Irish guy. The doctor proposes to Amanda and offers a diamond as big as my head as she goes into labor but she says no. Because she doesn’t love him.

It’s a TV show, so let’s forget how unrealistic it is to have rich doctors desperate to marry single mothers who work as cops and throwing gigantic diamonds at them. Or to have police who look like Amanda and like baby daddy #1. What I find curious is the aggressive peddling on so many TV shows of this ridiculous neoliberal mentality of women running around arresting dangerous psychopaths and looking for “looove” while literally being in labor. The idea that maybe the baby would prefer the nearly middle-aged mother not to put herself in danger while heavily pregnant or to have daddy in the house never occurs to anybody.

The episode ends with Amanda holding the newborn while surrounded by her “real family” of coworkers. The actual blood relatives of the baby, like the father and the grandma, are conspicuously absent.

Yes, it’s just TV. But that’s how this mentality gets normalized and disseminated among the masses. There is nothing more important than work, you have to be working constantly, if you want a maternity leave something is deeply wrong with you, human beings are disposable if they are not completely perfect, children are consumer objects, there’s always a better love object out there, there’s nothing more important than individual whims, taking into account the interests of others is out of the question even if they are your own infant children.

Day in and day out we are bombarded by this messaging. The messaging is created by the economic agents that profit from our acceptance of this ideology. All we can do is develop a critical distance from the brainwashing. This is my favorite show but you can do it for yours.

Love Castellanos Moya

I had no idea how Castellanos Moya felt about the writers of the Latin American Boom but from the way he writes I guessed he had to hate them as much as I do and for the same reasons. And I was right! Here is what he said in a 2009 interview:

“Los próceres de la literatura latinoamericana dan una visión que a la vez los justifica dentro de la lengua. Le dicen al mundo “¡Descubran América Latina!” y con ello se confirman portavoces. No dudo de que hubo un momento para describirla, llenarla de bellos adjetivos; por más violencia que existiera, ellos tenían una fe en el mundo, y la contaban. Los que vinimos después entramos maldiciendo una cochinada que, tal como está, ya no sirve para nada. Son dos momentos de la literatura, el momento en que Latinoamérica se descubre y se ve bonita y se difunde. Y este, en que uno dice, “¡Pero si esto apesta!” Esto no nos hace a unos mejores que a otros; hay un fatalismo en ello, uno sale en su época como le toca salir.”

I love, love, love this guy.

Sorry, I’m writing an article on. . . guess what? a novel by Castellanos Moya and I don’t have time to translate this quote as beautifully as it deserves.

Summer Is Here

I’m in short sleeves today. And not because I’m a showoff. Everybody is in short sleeves.

Bye-bye, polar vortex. It was never all that bad here, though. We are 5 hours south of Chicago. I did put on a hood yesterday (it’s actually how I discovered my coat did have a hood) but I stopped short of finding my thick Canadian mittens.

And by the way, 100% of students showed up for the Cervantes class. I’m very lax on attendance and there are no exams or tests in this course. Yet they all showed up. I think it’s because they really like the course. I honestly had no idea it would be so easy and fun to teach this course. Cervantes rules.