Cruel Vegans

I don’t understand this kind of people. I know a couple who are vegans and it’s very important to them. But with their small kids it’s not even a question. The kids eat a normal diet. Milk, eggs, meat. When I first met them and learned they were vegans, I cautiously asked if the kids were vegans, too. The answer was “we are vegans but we are not batshit crazy. Of course, we wouldn’t do this to our children.”


What Kills Computer Literacy

Every year, I see some improvement in the knowledge and skills set of our freshman class. They are smarter, more knowledgeable, and easier to teach.

Except for one area.

Computer literacy. It’s plummeting, folks. Every year, it gets worse. More and more students have no idea what to do with a computer. The simplest tasks are insurmountable. Everybody knows the capital of Paraguay, which was unthinkable 10 years ago, but nobody knows how to leave a comment on a blog. Like, seriously, people don’t know how to find a comment box. This was also unthinkable 10 years ago.

It’s the smartphones, obviously. The app mentality kills computer literacy.

It’s funny that oldsters like me are a lot more tech-savvy than 20-year-olds. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. The stereotype of a fuddy-duddy old professor fumbling around with technology and asking students for help has been turned upside down. Now it’s us, ancient fuddy-duddies stunning the young ‘uns with our knowledge of tech.

Bright Side

I’m glad I became a Latin Americanist. It’s so much easier. Students are extremely motivated. Everybody is excited. Everybody has a lot to say. There are tons of questions. The classroom is loud because everybody is talking at the same time.

It’s great. Of course it would be even better if we didn’t destroy our tenure line and had a specialist teach this course. But I guess I’m the next best thing.

I’m honestly enjoying the course, so it’s not like I’m advocating on my own behalf. I’m fine, I’m great, I’ll have 7 publications this year (4 articles, one book chapter and 2 reviews), I love the classes I teach. But I can’t get over what happened with the tenure line. I wish I could develop the requisite degree of individualism and only care about what’s good for me but I just can’t. The destruction of the tenure line is good for me as an individual because I can wiggle out of a lot of language teaching and teach something fun. But I still can’t be as self-involved as some people who feel happy over this.


Everybody is pro-censorship. Leftists outlaw words like “but” and “no problem” (did I post the link yesterday of did I forget?). Right-wingers spend decades bitching about how Hollywood hates them but when a movie appears that portrays Trump supporters as folk heroes hounded by evil leftist they get it cancelled because they are too stupid to watch the trailer beyond the first two seconds.

I’m upset because I was going to watch the movie. It’s bound to have great comedic potential. I’m also upset because everybody hates free speech. Everybody. People want only to hear stuff that makes them nod drowsily in agreement.

Bad Cooking

In cooking, there are two roads you can take. If you have fresh, local, good products, you should mess with them as little as possible. Let the flavors of the food shine on their own.

If you don’t have fresh, local, seasonal fish, produce or meat, you have to fuss with what you’ve got, use sauces, many ingredients, herbs, cooking techniques, etc to make food taste anything half decent.

Remember how I said Spanish food tends to be atrocious? That’s because they can’t stop fussing around with wonderful products they’ve got.

Example. In Tudela, they have the world famous Ugly Tomato, which is an heirloom tomato that tastes out of this world. We visited this local hole-in-the-wall eatery that serves ugly tomato salad. The tomato is so good that all you need is a pinch of salt and a drizzle of balsamic, and you’ve got a meal. But instead of letting the tomato be, the cook dumped a can of tuna on top of the tomato. Cheap canned tuna! On a fresh heirloom tomato! Why, gods of cooking, why?

Even in San Sebasti├ín, a place where cooking is historically revered, you can find correctly cooked, unmessed with seafood in one very overbooked, very expensive place. Everybody has seafood. But everybody else messes with it. Cans of tuna or old, very salty anchovies dumped on top of everything are ubiquitous. If you’ve got extremely fresh fish like they do, all you need is put it on the grill for 3 minutes on each side and you are done. If you have old, defrosted fish that’s lost all flavor, then of course you need to do sauces and try to build flavor. Canned tuna is still a horrible idea, though.