Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”


I’m not a big fan of shoes. But I’m obsessed with Camper. I can’t unglued myself from their website. This year’s collection is insane. 

Maybe it’s good that the Montreal trip has been canceled because I would have hauled out the entire store.


Ms. Pattie

Klara loves her daycare teacher Ms. Pattie. All kids love Ms. Pattie because she adores them. She gets an almost religious glow when she clutches a child to her chest. 

All parenting books warn me that it’s normal to feel jealousy when your child shows love for a stranger for the first time but I say, are you fucking kidding me? I’m ecstatic that Klara loves her teacher. 

By the way, everybody who was telling me not to be afraid of daycare and stop looking for a nanny was right. And I was wrong, probably because I saw daycares in Soviet terms. For instance, both N and I were stunned to discover that we can brimg Klara in and take her home whenever it’s convenient. Of course, we are never disruptive of the group schedule but if I feel like not bringing her in on a Thursday, for instance, I can do that.


In reality, this in-between identity that I wrote about in the previous post can be a fantastic asset, especially in terms of one’s value on the job market. But as I said, you need a certain degree of intellectual sophistication to be able to put it to use.

Children of Immigrants 

The Manchester bomber is a child of immigrants. Children of immigrants turn into a high-risk group in terms of anxiety, depression, alienation and anger if the parents resist integration or refuse to acknowledge that any emigration is a traumatic rupture that requires compensatory mechanisms. If the parents choose not to compensate, children will have to do it in a much greater degree. 

When such children end up stuck between two cultures, the private and the public, unable fully to move into one or the other and lacking the intellectual sophistication to turn this situation to their benefit, they might act in destructive ways. The nature of the destruction is, of course, mediated by gender and culture. Some people will thwart their own lives, others will visit devastation on their immigrant community, and there will be some who will go to the extremes of the Manchester terrorist. 

None of this is aimed at justifying the act of terror, of course. Everybody has shit to deal with, and it’s everybody’s choice how to do that. 

DR Harassment 

At first, I thought yay, I’m finally too old to be harassed in the Dominican Republic, so I’ll get to enjoy my visit there in the Fall.

But then I remembered that middle-aged women go to the Dominican Republic and Cuba in droves for purposes of sexual tourism. Does that mean I’ll be harassed even more than in the past?

The first time I was in Havana I was 23, and the harassment was so bad that there were days I wouldn’t leave the room. Not even to eat (and we all know how I feel about eating.) I’m not a shrinking violet and I don’t see every smile and compliment as offensive. But this was relentless harassment that was very hard to deal with. 

The Famous Diet

Everybody is asking about the famous diet. OK, here is the example of what I ate today. 

Breakfast: I made a frittata with beet greens, tomatoes, zucchini, a teaspoon of garbanzo flour dissolved in water, and 2 egg whites. And some cracked rosemary. 

Lunch: lentil soup with spinach and zucchini. And an ear of young corn.

Dinner: zucchini and patisson noodles (I bought a ton of zucchini at the farmers market and now it goes into everything) with tomato and fresh basil sauce. 

I eat raw cucumbers and radishes at every meal because I always do. 

I’ve been on the diet for exactly a month tomorrow, and I lost 10 lbs. 


Ah, who needs the darn Tween Peaks. I want to see a sequel to Buffy. There can never be enough Buffy.

Savages and Complex Ideas

Imagine if Melissa McEwan or the freaks on Feministing or Slate heard something about the erosion of the nation-state and decided to share the news with their excitable followers. The trajectory of the nation-state model is a complex subject that requires a nuanced treatment. Here on the blog we have spent years trying to figure it out. 

But what if the subject is stumbled upon by the people who are incapable of nuance and mistake psychological problems for a political stance? They would produce something along the lines of “the nation-state is collapsing and the pieces will fall down on your head and give you a concussion and then the job market would reject you and you’ll die! And we will all die! Immediately!”

I’m reading The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame by David J Blacker, and by God, he is the Melissa McEwan of the nation-state erosion. He is in love with the concept of eliminationism that prompts McEwan to see every ad featuring thin people as an attempt to eliminate fat people and that, in Blacker’s case, translates into the idea that standardized school testing has as its goal the physical elimination of students. Like in causing their physical death. And that’s just one of his insights. 

The writing is so overwrought and intense that it reads like a parody of everything Zygmunt Bauman and Ulrich Beck ever wrote. I enjoyed being a popularizer of these ideas on the blog and in my book but now I have seen what will happen if the over-eager yet intellectually unsophisticated folks stumble across them. And it’s not pretty. 

Kids and Vegetables

People give kids boiled carrots or green beans and when kids refuse to eat them (and who wouldn’t?) declare that “kids don’t like vegetables.” 

Every day I hear at daycare that Klara “wouldn’t eat her vegetables.” And then we come home and she devours my lentil soup with zucchini, carrots, and beet greens. Or my Israeli couscous with spinach, pâtissons, and tomatoes. Because they are real food and not some boiled out, bland stuff that tastes like paper.

P.S. I find it very weird that people would serve green beans right in the pods. I have no idea how to eat something like this. And especially how to get kids to eat them except for cutting them all up in tiny bits and mixing with something else.

Rotherham Returns

Please note how naked and transparent is the terrorists’ desire to destroy girls. This is still Rotherham. It’s an endlessly replayed symbolic destruction of a culture’s future. 

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