Only the Positives

On the positive side, Hollywood movies are already so bad that it’s hard to make them worse.

On an even more positive side, this is a giant stride towards making the world “inclusive” repellent for absolutely everybody.

Being Boring

After a day spent preparing two lectures on literature and writing a book review and an article about literature, I came home and indulged in my new hobby of participating in an online book club that discusses canonical works of literature. After that, I finally had some time to read a work of literature.

I’m beginning to wonder, am I a boring person?

Inattentive

Since I became Chair, my view of my colleagues changed dramatically. Not all of them but several for sure. I’ve discovered depths of reliability, seriousness and deviousness in the best sense of the word in several of them.

This means that I’m an inattentive, self-absorbed colleague, which isn’t really big news. I wonder, though, if it will freak people out if I start telling them how wonderful they are 12 years into the relationship.

Link of the Day

Here’s a fascinating story about a KGB spy whose cover was being a Hispanic college professor. It’s admittedly easier for a Russian-speaker to pose as Hispanic because the articulation apparatus is so close. But this guy makes my perfect Spanish less unique so I’m kind of upset.

It Can Happen Here

There once was a group of people who had fought against a totalitarian regime and really wanted free democratic elections. And their dream came true. Totalitarianism fell. Elections were declared. Victory! Joy!

But as tends to happen with free elections, it soon became clear that the results weren’t going to be what the Democrats (which is what they called themselves) wanted. Catastrophe! What if the winners – bad, bad guys! – were going to subvert democracy? Democracy in danger!

So it made sense to falsify the election, just this once and only to save democracy. It was such a good cause! And it’s so easy to convince yourself that the actions you are dying to take are morally justified.

We all know how the story ends. The country where those Democrats lived hasn’t had free elections in the 30 years since.

This is an old story and I told it before. What I don’t get is why anybody would think it can’t happen here. Human nature is such that people don’t need a reason to be corrupt. They need a reason not to. There’s no reason other than a belief in American exceptionalism to doubt that people can easily convince themselves to cheat “just this once to save democracy in the extraordinary times we are living with lives at stake.”