The best question from today’s talk was, “do Ukrainians, Latvians, etc perceive themselves as being a separate country from Russia?”
I always get this question, so I had a map of Europe with countries marked on it all ready to go. But yeah, it’s kind of sad.
To illustrate what literary genius is, I’m reading Castellanos Moya’s recent essay collection, and there’s a chapter on Vargas Llosa’s novel The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta. I didn’t like the novel, and I’m thinking, why do I need to read an essay about it?
But then I start reading, and it’s so good that I’m walking into walls and tripping over furniture. Castellanos Moya explains so well why I didn’t like the novel. Beautiful, incredible writing.
The way we are collectively reacting to the virus is product of the “there is no God, so I will be God” mentality. People just can’t process the simple fact that the waves of the infection are determined not by human actions but by seasonality. We are cognitively incapable of acknowledging that there are parts of reality that we can’t control.
And it’s in everything, not just the COVID response.
Global warming. We need to do something!
Low math scores in schools. We need to do something!
Puberty is unpleasant. We need to do something! Of course, the “doing of something” is always moralistic.
At the Soviet talk, somebody asked what Biden should do to keep Putin in check. It took everything I had not to say “be Donald Trump.” But I did find a polite way of expressing this idea.
“He should keep gas prices low,” I said.
Forget the sandwich. What kind of Italian can Mike possibly be, if an innocent joke about sandwiches gives him the feels?
Mike should definitely eat more meat and hopefully get his balls back from wherever he left them.
Jokes aside, I believe that this kind of portrayal would be a lot more offensive to Mike than the sandwich comment.
On April 14, 2021, I discovered, to my great delight, that it’s possible to print out and outline of my PowerPoint presentation.
I’m really ready for my talk on the fall of the USSR:
I also have my class on Latin American dictatorships right after the talk, so I’ll look like many of the dictators we have covered in class, with their medals covering their entire chests.