Ukrainians on a Road Trip

My parents are driving over from Montreal. They are bringing:

1. Bell peppers

2. Eggplant

3. Duck legs

4. Smoked sausage

5. Pasta

6. Corn oil

7. Honey

8. Cucumbers

9. Pork

10. Macarons

11. Green peas

12. Condensed milk

13. Farmer’s cheese

14. Mascarpone

15. A meat grinder

16. Bread

17. Three kinds of fish (1 fresh and 2 smoked)

18. Canned meat

19. A large cooking pot

20. Millet

21. Beets (“Yes, I know you have beets. But I don’t trust anybody else’s beets. The ones I’m bringing are real beets.”)

And a lot more that I can’t remember.

We don’t have food shortages here in the US but Ukrainians don’t travel without food. My mother and aunt recently traveled to the Cayman Islands and brought their own rice, sugar, cookies, etc with them.

The border patrol virtuously confiscated a jar of dandelion jam. I’m sure the jam is a lot scarier than endless shipments of black tar heroin crossing the border all the time.

For the past 30 minutes, my mother was on the phone from the hotel where they are spending the night making me write down a list of food I absolutely have to buy before she arrives tomorrow. On top of everything they are bringing and what we already have. Because she needs to start cooking the moment she arrives. After driving all the way from Canada. (My father doesn’t drive). As much as I tried to convince her that there is no need to start cooking immediately, it was all in vain. We need to cook! There’s nothing to eat!

This is what a collective food trauma looks like.

Why Are Libraries Dying?

Because too many librarians are illiterate idiots:

If you look at any United States library’s collection, especially those in higher education institutions, most of the collections (books, journals, archival papers, other media, etc.) are written by white dudes writing about white ideas, white things, or ideas, people, and things they stole from POC and then claimed as white property with all of the “rights to use and enjoyment of” that Harris describes in her article. When most of our collections filled with this so-called “knowledge,” it continues to validate only white voices and perspectives and erases the voices of people of color. Collections are representations of what librarians (or faculty) deem to be authoritative knowledge and as we know, this field and educational institutions, historically, and currently, have been sites of whiteness.

Library collections continue to promote and proliferate whiteness with their very existence and the fact that they are physically taking up money that was usually ill-gotten and at the cost of black and brown lives via the prison industrial complex, the spoils of war, etc. Libraries filled with mostly white collections indicates that we don’t care about what POC think, we don’t care to hear from POC themselves, we don’t consider POC to be scholars, we don’t think POC are as valuable, knowledgeable, or as important as white people.”

There is no meaning to this rant, so let’s not concentrate on that. Just look at the grammar. I bold-typed the clumsiest bits for you. The writing is simply atrocious. I often complain about the poor writing skills of the freshmen but they are vastly superior to this author’s. It’s no wonder that this librarian hates books.

This is what the text looks like after being edited. I don’t even want to imagine what it looked like before.

Watch “Hacking democracy with theater”

Folks, you know I hate YouTube videos but this one is so good I have to share it. It’s about a group of Estonian theater artists who founded a fake party. Super funny and very profound. I’m totally showing it in my class on totalitarianism (pun intended) because it’s the perfect conclusion.

We Can Know

Folks, I’m sorry to keep blethering on about the Uighurs but this is really horrible. Look at the before and after satellite images of the Keriya Mosque. And it’s obviously not just the mosque. People are being persecuted in horrible ways.

I grew up in a totalitarian state and let me tell you this. The certainty that somebody knows and cares really helps. And if nobody knows or cares, that’s very harsh. So when people ask what we can do, the answer is we can know.

NYTimes: If Trump Country Soars, Will the President Glide to a Second Term?

I’m unpleasantly surprised that Bernie’s only response to the clear improvements in the economy is the perennial “but it’s better in Europe.”

It’s not better in Europe. Austerity is ravaging even the more stable European countries. But Bernie is clearly catering to the under-25s who have swallowed the “Europe is better” myth.

You folks have no idea how many students tell me their goal is “to move to like a Scandinavian country because there’s like socialism there.” When I ask what languages people in “like Scandinavian countries” speak, the response is always a confused stare. When I ask what socialism is, the response is either a confused stare or “it’s like when everybody has a lot of free stuff?”

So this crowd is easy to motivate with this kind of narrative. This is also a crowd that turns into a trickle once it is time to actually go vote. Banking so heavily on them is not a great idea.

Trump doesn’t even attempt to speak to the young. His target audience is clearly my age and older. It’s also the age group that does show up to vote.

The smart and mature young people will respond very well to the message aimed at adults. It’s the infantile “I want a lot of pot and not to have to work” demographic that won’t.