Don’t Want to Be Forever Young

In Beginner Spanish today we were learning how to ask somebody’s age and I had students guess mine. It was very funny. They all think I’m much younger than I really am. And if you try to tell me they are saying it to suck up, you haven’t met any teenagers recently.

I’m actually really glad I’m not younger because it’s now fashionable among young men to paint their fingernails. I find that… not conducive to the awakening of my hormonal processes, so it’s just as well I’m too old to care. I don’t know how I would have found a boyfriend if I were young today. Nail polish kills it for me on sight.

My New Class

I signed up for a live Zoom class in Arestovich’s school of philosophy. From the first class yesterday, I got such stunning insight that I’m still reeling. It’s incredible that in the midst of a war he manages to teach his classes so brilliantly and seemingly effortlessly. This is a guy who has to teach between visits to the frontlines. Really puts to shame everybody who was too traumatized by COVID (or Trump or some other excuse) to fulfill their responsibilities.

There were 621 people in the class but it felt cozy and personal as if there were only ten. As a young man, Arestovich was painfully shy and terrified of speaking in public. I was like that, too, and I know what it takes to overcome it.

The next class is tomorrow and I have a bunch of homework.

Blind Elections

One of the election monitors in Russia (meaning, people who sit at the polls and make sure nobody puts fake ballots in the ballot boxes) is the singer Diana Gurtskaya. She is an OK singer but she’s blind.

There’s been too much symbolic stuff going on already but the image of a blind person in charge of monitoring the ballot boxes is hard to beat. I hope Russians won’t put the blind singer right under their famous statue of the open-eyed Lady Justice who somehow lost her blindfold.

Professional Victims

How come, how schmum. Ukrainians put in 8 years of hard work to get the world to notice. Eight years of talking, writing, publishing, organizing, making appearances. Eight years of patient explanations that no, we aren’t Nazis. And now some infantile bugger is going to pout because he only sees the result and not the hard work behind it. Get of your buns, chum, and maybe in a decade you’d get somebody to care if you work hard enough. Nobody owes you attention and support just because you exist.

And it’s always like this. “You are lucky, you’ve got a great CV,” a colleague once said. As if I had won that CV in a lottery.

The moment things got hairy at my university, I started developing a parallel career in translation. Of course, I will now start hearing, “it’s easy for you to say what you think. You have another career.”

I’m so tired of this whining. People who can’t get published because their research stinks have created a mystique of “discrimination.” Parents whose children self-mutilate whine about “social contagion.” Is anybody willing to do the work anymore or is everybody too busy being a victim?