On Handke

For obvious reasons, I’m not on the side of the Serbs in the Yugoslavian wars, but I don’t understand why Handke’s position on the Serbian conflict is in any way relevant to his Nobel win. I never read him and I’m trying to decide if I should but there’s zero discussion of what and how he writes.

I believe, for instance, that the Salvadoran novelist Horacio Castellanos Moya deserves the Nobel asap because he’s an absolute genius. Were I to discover that, for some unfathomable reason, he’s an inveterate Putinoid who cheered the invasion of the Donbass, this would have zero impact on my belief that he’s a literary genius and deserves the Nobel. Because he is and he does.

It well may be that, as Salman Rushdie (who is also a literary genius) says, Handke is a mega-moron. But who cares? Is he a good writer? That’s all I want to know.

Would it be weird, by the way, if I teach a course on Castellanos Moya? A whole course, just on him. That would be heavenly.

More Budget Crisis

Today we cut our department’s travel budget by half because there’s another funding crisis. The whole travel budget for the year is $2,000. That means we cut $1,000.

We also got rid of office supplies and a couple of student workers. (I’m ranking stuff in the order of importance for the functioning of the department.) The total amount that we had to scrounge up was $8,300. The whole exercise makes the cheerful wasting of huge sums by the diversity folks even more aggravating but that’s not even the point. We are the leading state in the nation, aside from Alaska, I believe, in our reliance on state funding. And this is the result. We are spending our Friday afternoons getting rid of paper clips and conference travel.

On some level, I can understand people who vote for Trump. But people who want to vote for Warren are a mystery. I’m not saying they are bad or anything like that. I just don’t get them.

Over the Top

Also, I’ve got to ask. This whole spectacle with how it’s “violence” to pronounce Shia as Shea and the subsequent abject apologies for this horrible infraction – which constituency is that going to attract? The particularly woke segments of the trans community that will put a Democrat over the top in Ohio and Pennsylvania?

Or is there hope that all information carriers will be wiped out between now and the general and this will disappear from human memory?

Shooting Yourself in the Foot

“You think religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities, should they lose their tax exempt status if they oppose same sex marriage?”

O’ROURKE: “Yes. There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us.

People should pay attention before they start bleating about how can Evangelicals support Trump if he never read the Bible am cheated on his wives.

A Democratic candidate for president plans to abolish the freedom of religion. You’ve got to be either clueless or a hypocrite to expect religious people to care more about Trump’s icky personality than that.

Also, a party that hates the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech (see the article in the NYTimes this week calling to abolish it), the second amendment, and the electoral college, isn’t that a party that simply hates the Constitution? Where are all the normal people who understand that this is atrocious?

Even as an electoral strategy this is dumb. The percentage of gay people who actually want something like this has to be minuscule. And it’s not like they are likely to vote for Trump anyway.

Once again, I’m wondering if they are trying to lose. Or do they honestly believe all this crap so much they are willing to lose for it?