One of Those Days

It’s one of those days when a person wakes up and the world greets her with a surge of negativity. Which is why I feel a profound need to bitch. I have been awake for less than an hour and have already been presented with the following unpleasant discoveries:

  • I have missed the delivery of an extremely important package. The content of the package is of such a nature that I cannot be at peace until I have it in my possession. Just once I decide to sleep in until 9 am and this happens.
  • I forgot my own golden rule of action which is, “Never ever ever have any dealings with Russian people, especially if they are from Moscow or St. Petersburg. They are weird, unpleasant, dishonest folks, and it’s best to keep as far away from them as possible.” Now, I’m paying the price for this untimely forgetfulness.
  • I had postponed my research in favor of other things that I decided were more important. The universe, then, demonstrated to me that this was an idiotic decision.
  • My mailbox is inundated with messages telling me that every important event under the Sun has been scheduled precisely for the weekend when I will be out of town.
  • People who should have listened to my advice chose to dismiss it and now we are all in deep shit.
  • And the stupid Introduction to the article is still not working out.
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Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

A brilliant takedown of the moron who claimed college profs are lazy and overpaid.

And here are suggestions on how to combat such morons.

A recipe for orange-liqueur pancakes. Yum!

You will not be less busy in the future than you are right now.”

It doesn’t matter what a child chooses to spend his or her time doing, parents have no right to bully their children into partaking in hobbies they deem ‘worthy’.” A fantastic post!

The world [is] in a post feminist reactionary period where Republican primary candidates are talking about making the American government small enough to fit in a vagina while their June Cleaver wives stood by theirman and baked cookies for the cause.”

It always drives me around the bend to hear my students drawl, “Oh, I’m not interested in politics!” I wish they could get acquainted with this post by a brilliant young person who is politically active and engaged: “The first thing that I learned was that politics affects everyone. It touches everything in our lives. This was the same fact that I told every person who skeptically, condescendingly, asked why I was studying English. Politics was why the roof of my urban high school leaked when it rained. Politics was why gas prices were soaring. Politics was why tuition was so dang expensive. Politics was why. Politics was. I had to learn as much as I could about this thing, this entity, this institution that touched every corner of my life. I had to know.” By the way, this was written by a young journalist. I have got to ask: how come we see articles from complete and utter morons in leading newspapers and never great stuff by promising writers like this one?

How to engage with a recruitment agency in a way that maximizes your chances to be introduced to a potential employer.

The American education system has never been better, several important measures show. But you’d never know that from reading overheated media reports about “failing” schools and enthusiastic pieces on unproven “reform” efforts.” The scare-mongering about the completely fictitious horrors of the American public education are spread on purpose by people who are terrified of intelligent voters.

In the kind of world the forced birthers want to exist. . . the minute a woman is pregnant the man who impregnated her would have extra rights over her body because of her pregnancy. She is now the aquarium for his future child, after all. That the aquarium is also a person is where the complications enter.

Political coverage is nothing but empty prognostication, with no indication about why we should even care about the outcome. Meanwhile, political debate is conducted via empty abstractions that are supposed to be vaguely “good.” All of it is utterly meaningless and useless.

This is the most brilliant thing I have read for ages on the US foreign policy: “We try to analyze what happens and is likely to happen in North Korea as though we knew as much as there is to know about it. We seem to look upon it as a small state in a mid western part of the United States.  It is not. Korea has a far longer history than does the United States and is extraordinarily different culturally, historically and in just about every other important respect. . . Until we learn that people around the world are not necessarily the same as we are, don’t necessarily think in the same way and don’t necessarily appreciate the same things, we will continue to muck up foreign policy terribly. Our troops and those of our allies and enemies will continue to die unnecessarily, we will continue to spend money that we don’t have and continue to be impoverished in the process.  Are we stupid, naive, or just mistakenly well-meaning?

It always shocks me to see how people use horrible crimes like the one committed against Trayvon Martin to write bizarre pieces on how things would have been a lot worse if Martin had been a woman. Because he’d be more dead, or something: “The president has promised a proper investigation. The case will go to a grand jury next month, and the Department of Justice plans to review it. The governor has appointed a special prosecutor, and the police chief has stepped down temporarily. Martin’s parents have spoken before a Congressional panel. I can only dream of a female president speaking out when a man kills a woman. Take Back the Night marches draw little or no media. Slutwalks do better, probably because they include young women in sexy clothing. Offhand, I can’t think of any time in recent history when hundreds of women and men took to the streets across the country because a man stalked and killed a woman.” Constructing an argument that presents Trayvon Martin as hugely fortunate could have only occurred to a very diseased human being. His parents have spoken before a panel, yippee, problem solved. This is simply outrageous.

Stupid Jerkwad Dares to Take a Good University’s Name in Vain

I had to spoil my own blog’s birthday by going and reading a stupid post by a stupid ignoramus who blabs like a stupid idiot because she has nothing better to do with her stupid time. I used to like this stupid creature’s stupid blog but now I know better.

The stupid jerkwad said stupid and nasty things about my university. One of them is that we are losing faculty members because they are supposedly leaving for I don’t know where. I have discussed my university’s fantastic and absolutely exceptional hiring practices at length here, so I won’t repeat myself. I’d worked for three super-duper fancy schools before I came to this modest public school and I can give you my word that they were nasty, corrupt cesspools where exploitation of employees was rampant. My current university is, indeed, Utopia.edu compared to those fancy places where you could only hope to survive by outmaneuvering and out-intriguing everybody else.

And then this stupid, stupid, stupid blabberer goes and runs her nasty big mouth and offends a place where good people do good work. We apparently don’t have enough people bashing public education in this country. Now, faculty members (because this is who this useless fool claims to be) have to dump on universities they know nothing about just because they have nothing else to blog about on a Saturday.

Of course, I will not offer a link to this idiot’s offensive post. I don’t promote brainless fools who besmirch the reputation of a public university that provides cheap, high-quality education to people who wouldn’t be able to get educated otherwise and that treats its employees very fairly.

I feel very patriotic about this university, people. And any ignoramus who ventures to say anything critical about it does that at his or her own peril.

Birthday and Compliments

Today Clarissa’s Blog turns three!

If we assume that a blog follows the same stages of psychological development as a person, then we can say that at this point, the framework of this blog’s personality has been established. So what do people have to say about Clarissa’s Blog? I have been gathering some of the compliments people have been making to the blog. Here they are:

Brittany-Ann: “My day is not complete without having made the rounds to my favorite blogs. Some of them are well known and popular, like Shakesville and Clarissa’s Blog. Others have their own niches on the net.”

Evelina Anville: “Clarissa’s Blog falls under the category of “necessary” online time.”

Elizabeth: “The best part of my day is getting online and seeing that you’ve made a bunch of new posts.”

Keith: ” I hold tremendous respect for you your integrity is seldom baited. I value your honesty and respect the liberty of your thoughts and ideas. I like the geometry of your thoughts and the thoughts of many of the commenters.”

Liz: “This blog profoundly changed how I view many things, particularly feminism. Now I argue with friends telling them how misogyny unfairly places everyone in boxes, whereas before I bought into evolutionary psychology and had no idea that gender stereotypes might not be based on anything important, and I thought feminism equated hatred of men – which in all honesty after a long look in the mirror (largely thanks to this blog) I realized I regularly engaged in.”

Another Liz: “I enjoy your blog immensely, though I don’t believe I’ve ever commented. I would like to add here that your trolls’ comments are ridiculous, and not only do I think you’re intelligent and humorous, but your hair is awesome.”

Arzee: “I often agree with you – as I do for this blog – but even when I don’t, you discuss the most interesting things and spur good dialogue. ”

Titfortat: “You make me and wifee smile. Great sense of humour that is much appreciated!”

And my blog was referred to as “the awesome Clarissa’s blog” here.

This blogger also agrees that my blog “is awesome.”

And this is from a blogger I barked at angrily: “This girl is very intense, like a microwave that got stuck on high and is emitting brainwaves more intense than a microwave stuck on high.  She writes an incredible amount of blogs a month, knows a bunch of languages and is a professor.  She was arrested for stealing a microwave that emits brainwaves and presently cooks for the inmates on Death Row*.” I really dig being an intense girl-professor.

Thank you, everybody, for reading and commenting! I can safely say that my blog attracts the most intelligent, enlightened, passionate people ever.

Happy 3rd Birthday to all of us!

Answering Search Queries

Time has come to answer a fresh round of questions that bring people to this blog.

why do eastern european women do porn – For the same reasons as men and women from any other part of the world. Neither the gender nor the geographical area of one’s birth can possibly have anything to do with a decision to do porn.

dumped after disclosing aspbergers – I’m sorry to hear that. However, what you need to know is that s/he was just not that into you and was looking for an excuse to dump you. If this person really wanted you, you could have disclosed having a tail and horns, and s/he would have found it super cute.

is twilight a bildungsroman – Rather than a novel of female development, it’s more of a novel of a stunted female growth. The last 30 years have brought a scary number of novels where women who live in societies that place no restrictions on their personal development willfully stunt their own growth and infantilize themselves. In the much more repressive XIXth century nothing like this existed.

does kindle fire read cyrillic – In .doc and .pdf files, absolutely.

ways too avoid alcohol at parties – Drink water.

reasons to fuck older men – The only reason to fuck any men or women irrespective of their age is desiring them sexually. And if you don’t understand that, you need to visit a sexopathologist urgently.

contemporary spanish literature what to read? – Just a brief list of names: Juan Marse, Almudena Grandes, Manuel Vilas, Antonio Munoz Molina, Care Santos, Enrique Vila-Matas, Julia Navarro, Juan Jose Millas.

celebrating gender differences in classroom – Get a brain, buddy. What is there to “celebrate” about physiology? Are you getting ready to waste class time on celebrating the differences in the lengths of your students’ noses? Is that what you are getting paid for?

liberal arts majors are jealous of engineers – What are you, three? People aren’t sentenced by the court to have a certain major in college. They choose their own majors. And it’s very very easy to declare a new major whenever you get disappointed with yours. Got it, you weird person?

i didn’t become a teacher to deal with horrible parents – I know where you are coming from, buddy, and I commiserate. I have no useful advice to offer other than getting yourself a nice massage or having a relaxing bath.

how is bdsm transgressive? – It isn’t.

is rape a defense against child support? – What a completely meaningless query. Rape of whom and by whom? Unless the child in question raped you, how can rape have anything to do with that child’s support money?

grown children and co sleeping – Horrible abuse. I know of a few cases when that happened. Such people do not have any semblance of a personal life and are complete hysterics and weirdos. (I’m talking about both “co-sleeping” parents and children here).

should students become entrepreneurs – What a strange search query. If that’s what they want to, yes.

are men scarce? – There are about 3,5 billion men in the world, so I’d say no. In some countries, the population of men vastly exceeds that of women because of femicide and gender-selective abortion. In those parts of the world, women are getting scarce. There are some tiny countries that experience male scarcity but, in terms of the entire planet, they are very insignificant.

eastern europe women porn why – Gosh, buddy, you are obsessed. Because they want to, got it?

best dry skin facial cream – Here I can really be of help. Olay Regenerist is all that its ads promise and more. I also have started using Korres Wild Rose recently, and it moisturizes really well.

why are women so complicated – Because we are human. Or haven’t you heard?

awesome alcohol for new years party – I’ve got to say, my friend, if you are choosing alcohol for New Year’s in March, you might have a problem.

russian salad mayonnaise – Yes. All Russian salads have huge amounts of mayonnaise.

husband immature video games – Hey, lay off the husband, shall you? He has a very mature way of conducting his own psychological hygiene through practicing this good and harmless hobby. And it looks like you are in need of some psychological hygiene of your own because “my husband is immature” is not a psychologically healthy thing to say.

how to forget about what people think – By remembering how rare it is for people to think of others.

did fluke say she was having a lot of sex – Of course, not. But why, on God’s green Earth, does it possibly matter?

is eve ensler a lesbian? – You do realize that the moment such a question occurred to you, you have become an official weirdo, right?

feminists are autistic – Some are, some aren’t. There are just as many autistics among feminists as there are among anti-feminists. One starts to lose faith in humanity when seeing completely stupid queries like this one.

how are our brains hard wired to do some of the things they do – Brains are not “hard wired.” Anybody who uses this expression is a total idiot. Hint: Dr. Phil repeats it like a parrot.

can a rapist be forced to pay child support to victim that conceives from rape – Another genius. Child support is paid to children. Hence the name, “child support.” Being a victim of even the most horrible crime does not transform you into a child and make you eligible for child support. How come there are so many intellectually impotent people?

how much sex is sandra fluke having – I want to hope that a team of experienced psychiatrists can help the idiot who entered this query into the search box.

clarissa rules – Yes, I do!

Romney and Others on Russia

I wish profoundly ignorant people did not write about foreign relations. The following statement almost made me fall off my chair:

Broadly speaking, U.S. policy in Europe aims for a Europe that is “united, whole, and free.” On the whole, Russia cannot do much about that and doesn’t try, and it isn’t interested in rolling back the eastward expansion of the European Union.

Erm, what? Do the words “Ukraine” and “the Orange Revolution” mean anything to this blethering fool? When the Russian Secret Services aggressively interfered in the Ukrainian elections and poisoned the pro-European candidate, that didn’t count? The people of my country protested in the streets for months to defend their right to elect their own president and not have a pro-Russian, anti-European puppet appointed by Moscow.

It is especially annoying to see how this uneducated author easily dismisses the reality of foreign nations to prove some silly and insignificant point:

Russian ambitions, such as they are, include keeping NATO from additional eastward expansion, maintaining its influence in former Soviet space (which is related to blocking new NATO expansion), and using its energy resources to wield clout in Europe. Their ambitions are “directly counter our own” to the extent that the U.S. insists on expanding an obsolete Cold War-era military alliance and building ballistic missile defense systems in Europe.

“Maintaining its influence in former Soviet space” in reality means invading, interfering, destroying any possibility of a democracy. And having something to say about this egregious conduct is “obsolete.”

I believe that Romney blundered when he declared that “Russia is our #1 geopolitical foe.” The blunder, however, consisted in when and how this statement was made, not in the message it contained. This position is, at any rate, more realistic and bodes greater hope for the FSU countries than Obama’s coy “wink, wink, giggle, giggle, just wait until I get elected and then we’ll be best buddies.”

Just remember for a moment that there are over a dozen nations that are located close to Russia and that have a very long history of being violated, invaded, tortured and persecuted because of the imperial ambitions of the Russians. The people of those nations are looking avidly for any sign whatsoever that if they get invaded by their huge neighbor, somebody will object. In 2008, when the international community said absolutely nothing as the Russian troops razed Georgia, these people got their answer.

Romney’s position gives all these people hope, while Obama’s stance is a little terrifying to them. Romney is not going to  win these elections, and I really don’t want him to. It would be great, however, if this country’s foreign policy stopped being oriented towards the immediate needs of the election cycle and started to develop at least a little bit of a long-term perspective.

The Freedom To Be Left Alone

I support the healthcare reform in this country. But I almost changed my mind after reading this very unintelligent defense of Obamacare:

This morning in America’s highest court, freedom seems to be less about the absence of constraint than about the absence of shared responsibility, community, or real concern for those who don’t want anything so much as healthy children, or to be cared for when they are old. Until today, I couldn’t really understand why this case was framed as a discussion of “liberty.” This case isn’t so much about freedom from government-mandated broccoli or gyms. It’s about freedom from our obligations to one another, freedom from the modern world in which we live. It’s about the freedom to ignore the injured, walk away from those in peril, to never pick up the phone or eat food that’s been inspected. It’s about the freedom to be left alone. And now we know the court is worried about freedom: the freedom to live like it’s 1804.

I actually want all of these freedoms that are listed here. I don’t care whether food “has been inspected” because I have no idea what that even means, but the freedom not to pick up the phone is mine, and you can’t take it away. And the freedom to be left alone is completely fundamental to my happiness.

I also do not recognize any obligations to anybody other than the ones stipulated by my work contract and my lease agreement. Everything else I do for people is an act of free will and not an obligation of any sort. I take care of my husband when he gets sick or has problems. I support my relatives and friends and always offer them any help I can. But I do not do that out of a sense of obligation. I do it because that’s what I feel like doing at every given moment. If anybody tries to suggest to me that I have to care, help or assist, they will discover very soon exactly where they can shove their expectations.

I obey the laws of the land as part of my social contract with society. That, however, is also an act of free will on my part since I chose to live in this country and have not been forced to do so by anybody.

What the author of this quote fails to realize is that freedom from community and shared responsibility is one of the defining (and, in my opinion, one of the best) characteristics of a modern society. In the pre-modern, deeply patriarchal world, a human being belonged, first and foremost, to his or her family, clan, and community. Those of us who have grown within such a communal model know how incredibly stifling, disempowering and miserable it is. And in the Western world, the reality of 1804 is much closer to that model than the reality of 2012. There is absolutely nothing modern about promoting a return to a system where the rights of an individual are overrun every time in favor of the needs of the community.

I want to remind everybody that women do not tend to fare extremely well in societies where community reigns supreme. Reproductive rights, for instance, can only be defended successfully on the basis of the respect for individual rights, individual bodily integrity, and right to privacy.

I want this country to have a better system of healthcare. But I’m not giving up my right to be left alone with my phone off the hook for the sake of that.