NXIVM on Dateline

A two-hour Dateline special on NXIVM! On right now. There is supposed to be at least one person debunking the ridiculous “it was a cult” narrative.

P.S. Unfortunately, the Dateline coverage was as ridiculous as all previous coverage. An aged starlet gets dumped by her husband and tries to get some air time by declaring that her loser college-dropout daughter who’s sex-orgying somewhere in Albany is in a “cult.” Utterly ridiculous.

P.P.S. Stupid NBC. I should have known they couldn’t research the location of their own coccyx, let alone a story like this.

Spain as Infectious Disease

I’m writing one of my superficial pieces that touches upon the economic crisis of 2008-9 in Spain. I found some fascinating research published in 2015 about how the metaphors of infectious disease, viral spread, and viral pandemic were used in the German press to discuss Spain and other Southern European countries during the crisis.

Today it has these eerie connotations because the moment Spain and Italy climbed out of being a disease vector for one illness, they turned into a disease vector of another. There’s an article here begging to be written. I have several superficial projects going on at this moment but this would be a really great subject to analyze.

One could start with the “Spanish” flu or, really, even during the colonial times. OK, that’s more of a book than an article.


So that people don’t think my life is too easy and I experience nothing but success, I just got an article rejected. It was rejected in such humiliating terms that are all the more painful for being completely fair.

When I write, I can’t get rid of the feeling that I’m addressing the readers of my blog, so I always explain what the works of literature I analyze are about. As a result, I get accused of retelling. And it’s true, I do retell. I’m struggling against it but I haven’t mastered the art of writing as if every reader has read these works of literature yesterday and knows the text perfectly.

It’s my big failing. The reviewer called me superficial, and it hurts.


I can’t even with these people. What fear? Biden announced that he was going to bomb Syria in campaign ads. I saw one in August or September. Psaki said recently that the Biden foreign policy will be the opposite of Trump’s.

He also said he was going to ban fracking and said that he had no intention of reopening schools until May (as I reported on my blog during the campaign.) He openly said he supported gender transition for 6-year-olds including the medical / surgical option.

But now these people are pouting. They voted for the guy, and now he’s doing exactly what he always said. Wow, big shock.

As for the minimum wage and college loan forgiveness, Biden has been in public office for half a century. If that’s not enough to figure out that he’s as neoliberal as it gets, these people are hopeless.

Vile Beliefs

On a FB college prof page, a college professor is complaining that a student quoted the Bible in an essay and he had to be exposed to her “vile and inane beliefs.”

Leaving aside the extraordinary unprofessionalism and the grievous lack of culture, let’s consider our favorite academic virtues of diversity and inclusion. If the professor teaches chi-chi fru-fru rich white kids, OK, fine. But if there’s anybody in the classroom who is black, Hispanic, or working class of any race, it’s highly probable that they are church-going Christians. How included are they going to feel by the fanatical professor?

And, of course, the extreme cultural and intellectual impoverishment is sad, too.

Capital Punishment

This is the first time I’m reading a book that follows the new rule about capitalizing “black,” and it’s confusing.

“She had Black skin and brown eyes.”

“Jimmy and two Black girls came up to her.”

It’s a good thing there isn’t a character whose last name is Black. “Johnny Black was Black.” Or better yet, “Johnny Brown was Black.”