Unmasked Woman in Ohio

Re: the woman tasered in Ohio for not wearing a mask.

The mask mandates are stupid. Wearing a mask outside is idiotic. Doing so in a mostly empty bleacher is deranged.

But.

The woman behaves in a highly abnormal way. There’s something very much not OK with her. She was there for a little boy’s game. The impact on a middle-school boy of a mother who flies into fits over nothing isn’t great. I think masks are completely useless and often a hazard. But I’ll wear a mask, a niqab, a burka, and a spacesuit all at once to avoid any tension or unpleasantness where my child is present.

There’s something in that situation we don’t know. The woman is on drugs, she has mental illness, or this is a publicity stunt. But thank goodness she’s white because otherwise we’d see the whole state burn over the actions of one clearly unstable individual.

NeMLA Woes

The stupid, stupid, stupid NeMLA went back on the promise to have a normal (or maybe semi-normal) conference in March of 2021 and announced yesterday that it’s going fully online.

I’m livid.

I mean, I’m seeing red, my BP is up and I’m angrily chewing on a large piece of mortadela while growling uncontrollably kind of livid.

I don’t go to conferences to read a talk out loud. I go for a change of scenery, lonely walks around a new city, connecting with people, hanging out together after a panel, meeting with early-career academics and chatting with them. The last real conference I went to, I met one of the blog’s readers and we had a great chat.

Being in a new place, outside of your regular environment is the whole point of a conference. It clears your brain and helps you move your research along as a result. What is the flipping point of a “conference” when all you get is another Zoom meeting in addition to five million Zoom meetings you already have?

And I was going to give such a fun talk. Remember how I roasted Almudena Grandes’s Frankenstein’s Mother here on the blog? I was going to give a whole talk on it. How fun is that?

I’m still going to do it because I promised to organize a session for my association but I feel zero enthusiasm for it.

Struggling to Connect

The nice middle-class people who post about “the racist murder” of Breonna Taylor do it because it makes them feel edgy and important. They are completely indifferent to the violence, destruction, and hatred that their careless chirping makes possible.

The obligatory “I hate this racist country” Facebook statuses are a class marker. “I’m one of the cool, hip people with good jobs, nice houses, and a well-deserved sense of moral superiority,” they signal.

It’s getting worse because virtue-signaling online is the only remaining way of connecting with people. The overlap between BLM-supporters and Covidiots is close to 100%, so people get ever more rabid in their efforts to Breonnataylor a feeling of relevance and community for themselves.

I really wish that instead of all this we felt the sense of community and solidarity against the bastards who engineered the COVID-craze and the riots to keep us hating each other while they exploit us. But as usual, the dumb schmucks are at each other’s throats over yet another hoax.

Remote Teaching Infects More than Real Teaching

Teachers get infected more with hybrid and remote teaching than with regular, in-person teaching:

Thr mechanism of this has been known since late March but nobody wants to listen. This is an infection that spreads at home.

The source is NPR and being who they are they counted “suspected cases” too. The number of actual infections is minuscule for all groups. The number of hospitalizations and deaths… Well, that’s been over since May.

What We Lost

You know that moment in a meeting when somebody is saying something stupid, and you make eye contact with your buddy across the table, and you raise your brows ever so slightly, and the buddy smiles a little, and you know that you are understood. These moments of solidarity, friendship, humor, contact – they are all gone.

I’m not the most sociable person in the world, to put it mildly. But I really miss these moments.

I miss popping into a friend’s office every morning for a bit of gossip and giggling together over yet another edict from the administration.

I miss going to lunch before a departmental meeting and picking up colleagues along the way. The last time we did that was in February and we talked about COVID. Now I don’t have anybody at work to talk about COVID. I don’t have anybody to talk about anything. I have a huge box of candy in the office and nobody to share it with.

Why does nobody else miss it? Or miss it enough to do something? Get angry, protest, question things. Why does it make me an eccentric and a crank to mind losing all this?

UBI World

At least, we all got to experience life in a country with a Universal Basic Income. The result is riots, looting, mass hysteria, and crowds of people going over the deep end.

Unlike predicted, the idle yet UBI-ed masses didn’t create works of art or explore new hobbies. Instead, they started prowling the streets and punching strangers in the face in a search for a sense of purpose.

Can we put this idea to rest, at least? Or is more proof needed?

I’d gladly recognize I was wrong and embrace the UBI if the results weren’t as horrid as they are. Why can’t the supporters of the idea change their minds now that there’s clear evidence that UBI leads to misery and chaos?