Pro Social Distancing

One thing I do like about the COVIDocracy is that “social distancing” is still mandated. Nobody observes it any more. On campus, people huddle together all the time. They knowingly break the rules. This is great because it teaches them to exercise their own judgment and value it over that of an external authority. Sadly, it’s going to cost a lot to turn people from sheep to humans but whatever works.

Another Bykov Quote

If there are people, individuals or a category of people, who are always protected, spared any discomfort or criticism because we feel sorry for them, they are going to end up turning into monsters. They will end up devouring human beings.

What’s sad is that Bykov’s novel would be extremely useful for Americans to read. He’s writing for Russian speakers but we already know everything he has to say. And people who really, really need to be warned against this scourge can’t hear those of us who experienced it and want to issue a warning.

What Puts an End to Wokeness?

One idea that I find interesting in Bykov’s novel is how, in a reign of extreme wokeness, people are waiting and wanting a war because that is the only thing that can end the ideological stranglehold.

Bykov is writing about the Stalinist USSR in 1941. And he’s right in that the Great War put an end to any sincere belief in the Soviet dogma. The regime didn’t end in 1945 but its capacity to control minds and not only bodies did. Of course, it then took several decades to make it go away completely.

As I keep saying, the current insanity we are experiencing in North America will end when not a single person will be able to hear the words “structural racism” or “decolonizing the curriculum” with anything but a cynical chuckle. I hate cynicism but at this point it’s our only hope for a way out of all this.

Buckley’s Formula

It’s funny how, decades after Professor Buckley created his definition of a Bildungsroman, writers who never heard of Buckley and live in a different era and culture still follow the formula he observed. I’m reading a novel by a famous Russian writer Dmitry Bykov, and it follows Buckley’s formula with the exactitude of an algebraic equation.

As a real scholar, Buckley didn’t invent anything. He observed a phenomenon that occurs independently of Buckley’s will and described it carefully.

Funny fact: I know Buckley’s formula by heart from back in my Bildungsroman days.

Stay In

I don’t care if they stay in, stay out, or stand on their heads. This project is a stupid and ineffective Instagram fad, nothing else. What I do care about are these abject apologies. Every apology of this kind, every attempt to explain yourself, every kind of engagement with the petty tyrants makes life worse for all of us.

When “you are not inclusive” idiots try to comment on my blog I ban them immediately. I used to engage in debates with them before they acquired the power they now have. But that’s in the past. Any engagement with them feeds the destructive force that animates them.

If you ignore them, they get bored fast and seek another victim. If you engage, they won’t stop until you are completely destroyed and then will be even more vicious with the next victim.

Juniper

I recently found this divine thing at the Global Foods Store called juniper sausage. It’s extraordinary. Does anybody here use juniper berries in recipes? I’m eager to try them.

Speaking of sausage, my mother invented a recipe for cured sausage. One evening, she was sitting on the sofa, eating a piece of sausage when she heard my father’s footsteps. Unwilling to let him catch her eating sausage at night, she hid it in the sofa cushions and forgot about it.

Days later, she discovered the piece in the sofa, tasted it, and realized it was great.

Yes, Ukrainians and food. There’s always a story.

Dim Bulb

Oh, so it’s now OK to say this? Or is the guy too dim to hear what he’s saying?

Knowing Certain Principles

When college administrators start talking about systemic racism and social justice particularly aggressively, this means that punishing budget cuts are coming. The moment our administration forced us to read ‘anti-racist’ books, I knew a ton of really bad budget shit was coming. So I took serious preventative measures. As a result, my department won’t be affected. Other chairs don’t understand the connection and didn’t prepare. They now have exactly one working day to absorb the cuts and modify next year’s schedule. Obviously, they are in a state of extreme panic. We are being told to cut out all of the lecturers. Just like that. It’s dozens of courses for some departments.

And I’m sitting pretty because I understand how neoliberalism works. My schedule has been approved with zero changes weeks ago. My program will not lose a single section.

As we say, knowing certain principles frees you from the need to know some of the facts. I didn’t have any information about the coming collapse but I deduced its probability and prepared.

The people who were particularly excited about the assigned readings are the most hurt and confused. Poor bastards thought the books signaled that the administration was on their side because only the good guys could be anti-racist, right? The administration that has the social justice rhetoric down pat has to be on our side, doesn’t it? Those poor, dim creatures.

And guess what I was doing during the discussions of the books? Right you are, I was designing graphs and tables to prep for the austerity measures.

Let’s see if this lesson teaches people anything. Probably not, but one can always hope.

Show Your Face

Back in the era of burqa wars on this blog (does anybody on here remember them?), I was stunned by how hard it was to explain that forcing people to cover their faces isn’t a fashion choice like any other and that not having the right to show your face deprives you of identity, agency, and the capacity to communicate as a valid human being. There’s such poor understanding of how human brain works that people were honestly not getting it.

We are now seeing the effect of this ignorance in the embrace of mask mandates.