Lock Her Up

Did you, folks, know that the Steele dossier was paid for by Hillary?

So we’ve sat here for two years waiting for Mueller to investigate something invented to help Hillary contest the election? And everybody knows about it? And we are still wondering why people yell “lock her up” at rallies?

The Power of Cooking

I taught Klara a gender stereotype. We were reading a book about Nelly Gnu where Daddy makes dinner.

“The story is not saying the truth!” Klara exclaimed indignantly. “Daddies don’t cook. Mommies do!”

My explanation that some daddies – like uncle Etki, for instance – do cook had zero effect. She believes in observable reality, which is that Daddy never cooks.

I don’t mind because there is no greater power than the power of cooking. It’s the power over the life and well-being of the whole family. If I feed you deep-fried, greasy and sugary stuff for several decades, you’ll die 20 years before your time. But if I do fresh, seasonal and green all the time, I’m giving you life. N, by the way, got off statins and brought his cholesterol to a super healthy range only thanks to my cooking. When he was single and cooked for himself (out of deep freezers and cans), he was 40 lbs heavier and had no energy to work out. Plus, I have a kid who literally tears broccoli out of my mouth because she likes it so much.

Also, cooking is a great way to promote psychological hygiene. I wouldn’t give it up for anything.

Nice Experiences

A really nice experience is to be able to respond to “I’ve been reading your book” with “which one?”

Another nice experience is to be able to say to graduate students, “You don’t need to find a job at an R1 institution to do a lot of research.” Their advisers keep telling them that unless they get employed by an Ivy, they are doomed to doing no research. So my mantra of “don’t let the job define you because it’s you who needs to define the job” is a revelation. I support the mantra with personal example, so it’s convincing.

P.S. I’m on a break between sessions, in case anyone suspects that I rudely blog during talks.

Ideology vs Research

Graduate students from fancy schools are very often taught to do one-dimensional boring ideology instead of research. The difference between their scholarship and a Slate article is imperceptible.

White men are evil! They oppress marginalized groups! One would expect that after repeating this inanity a thousand times people would get tired and would finally move on. But no, they keep denouncing white heterosexual men and the evil nuclear family only to go straight to their white hetero boyfriends they hope will finally propose.

The fancier the school, the worse it is. And then somebody from Northern Arkansas or something of the kind comes and gives a talk that’s actual, interesting scholarship. It’s never without the obligatory bow to the dogma but at least there’s something beyond that.

Research Scholar, Cont’d

A research scholar is a person who has 30 minutes between sessions and uses them to whip out her laptop and work on her article because she got some ideas on the Uber ride to the venue and is eager to add them to the piece.

I’m at a conference, so all posts are broken down into snippets.

Research Scholar

One of the students I’m research-mentoring is going to be a research scholar. I mean, everybody says they want to but this one is actually going to do it. I saw the slightly insane glint in his eyes when he was talking about his research. Plus, he says things like “and then I decided to read every single thing these authors published.”

Real research scholars are quite few (as they should be), and it’s great to meet a budding new one.

Grits, Cont’d

This is really funny because I went to a Southern-style restaurant to find something very Southern that I never had before. I was always curious to try the famous grits because they sounded very exotic. And then I discovered that I’m actually very familiar with them. They taste exactly like what we call mamalyga. Which I can make better than this restaurant.

I had to pour the Pure Crystal Hot Sauce on the grits to make the dish feel at least a tad exotic. But what was I supposed to choose? Eggs Benedict? That’s hardly Southern. It’s too early for short-rib. The Hangover Comfort? I don’t drink. The restaurant is so popular I could only make a reservation for 10 am. Everything else was taken.

Veyizmir, veyizmir, where is a person to taste something actually Southern? I’ve been to a famous Cajun place in St Louis but even a doofus like me knows enough to figure out that actual Cajun isn’t supposed to look and taste like dust.

One Voice

And it’s exactly the same with Fox News. They are bad, they are evil, whatever. But do you really, honestly want there to be a single “correct” perspective on offer with no contesting point of view? That’s called propaganda, and it’s bad no matter if you agree with its contents.

There is already a scary uniformity in the media. Do we want even more? Before, we could say, well, there’s the internet for alternative viewpoints. But the internet is being censored by precisely the same folks who create the uniformity of opinion in other media. And the censorship is only going to get worse. Look at what’s happening in Europe where linking is becoming illegal and people who express “incorrect” viewpoints are hassled by the police.

Even if you are completely aligned with the Maddow / WashPo / NYTimes / Don Lemon crowd, do you really want no other voices even to exist? Is that going to be good for you? How? By making sure there’s a one-party system? Because that’s such a great thing?

Remember during the Bush years how crucial it was to have voices that questioned the WMDs? It’s equally important now to have somebody question all of these Julie Swetnicks, Covingtons, collusions, etc.

One Party

A one-party system is a really bad thing. I should know because I lived in one. The party that can’t lose has no reason to listen to the voters. It has no reason to address any of the voters’ concerns. It becomes a vehicle for the personal enrichment of a small political class that couldn’t care less about voters.

Does anybody disagree with this? Does anybody think that if the party you support can’t lose, it’s going to do more for you?

Abolishing electoral college, letting non-citizens vote, lowering the voting age – this is how the Democrats want to guarantee an electoral majority for the foreseeable future. Forget about how it will disenfranchise many people. What will it do for us, registered and passionate Democrats? It’s already hard to make the party do anything for us. How is it going to be better if they are guaranteed to win?