Still Not Getting It

“OMG, everything is horrible. I’m so scared I don’t even know how I’ll ever leave the house! Did you hear how many people are getting sick with COVID? It’s back! There’s a second wave! Thousands are getting sick!”

“Sick or infected?”

“It’s the same thing!”

– July 17, 2020.

Robbed, Again

Yet another resignation letter, this time from Andrew Sullivan:

It seems to me that if this conservatism is so foul that many of my peers are embarrassed to be working at the same magazine, then I have no idea what version of conservatism could ever be tolerated. And that’s fine. We have freedom of association in this country, and if the mainstream media want to cut ties with even moderate anti-Trump conservatives, because they won’t bend the knee to critical theory’s version of reality, that’s their prerogative. . . But here’s what I do truly and deeply miss: writing freely without being in a defensive crouch; airing tough, smart dissent and engaging with readers in a substantive way that avoids Twitter madness; a truly free intellectual space where anything, yes anything, can be debated without personal abuse or questioning of motives; and where readers can force me to change my mind (or not) by sheer logic or personal testimony.

I disagree with about 92% of everything Sullivan says. As far as I know, everybody does. Sullivan isn’t a sheep, so everybody finds him annoying at some point. But it’s undeniable that he’s a good, gifted writer, which is precisely why New York Magazine doesn’t want him. Like Bari Weiss, Sullivan will be fine. But we, the readers, are robbed yet of another formerly good periodical.

Professors Are Healing

Here is how people voted regarding the NeMLA conference in March:

  • Out of 296 respondents, about 84 percent will travel to Philadelphia to attend NeMLA in person so long as all precautions set by the CDC as of March 2021 are complied with.
  • Out of 294 respondents, about 86 percent will travel to participate in the convention in person if stronger COVID-19 treatment options are in place.
  • Out of 292 respondents, about 28 percent will travel to Philadelphia to participate in the convention in person only if there is a vaccine.
  • Out of 299 respondents, about 94 percent will participate in the convention virtually if circumstances necessitate.
  • Out of 295 respondents, about 38 percent would prefer a virtual conference in 2021.
  • Out of 295 respondents, if the convention occurs in person, about 90 percent would provide their own computer if they were chairing and had to host remote presenters via online conferencing.
  • Out of 295 respondents, about 72 percent would be willing to livestream with their own technology if they were chairing and if the convention was taking place in person.
  • Out of 237 respondents, about 91 percent would be comfortable working with panel members to coordinate livestreams.
  • Out of 296 respondents, about 28 percent have funding restrictions from their institutions that may affect participation in the 2021 convention.
  • Out of 293 respondents, about 19 percent have travel restrictions from their institutions that may affect participation in the 2021 convention.
  • Out of 293 respondents, about 76 percent will participate in the 2021 convention whether or not they receive travel funding.

Only 28% are total idiots and only 38% are partial idiots. This is an unusually good result for academia.

Based on the vote, the organizing committee is planning to do a normal, in-person conference.

We don’t completely suck, we don’t completely suck, we don’t completely suck!