Creative Chaos

I always watch reality TV competition shows like Project Runway, Top Chef, that kind of thing. I love watching talented, creative, driven people at work.

And here’s what’s interesting. Whenever there’s a team challenge, if a team is working in perfect concert, everybody is agreeable, everybody is in sync – that team’s going to lose.

But whenever a team is in total chaos, everybody is arguing, pulling and pushing, debating and fighting – that’s a team that will create something great.

Because creative work doesn’t happen in a conveyor belt environment.

Movie Notes: The Little Princess

Oh my God, what a horrible movie. Reader Shakti warned me I’d hate it, and I should have listened. Because I really hated it. The only characters that made sense were Queen Victoria and Bertie, and they are not even in the novel!

The book itself was mangled to the point of utter ridiculousness. The utterly unneeded love story, the idiotic musical numbers – and why, why do there need to be musical numbers in everything? – the fact that the Dad was turned into a hero of the Boer war instead of a shifty capitalist type and a total flake, oh goodness.

The kid was super cute but she’s a stoic British introvert like I’m Maya Plisetskaya. The whole point about Sara being a little princess in the book had to do with the idea that even in the midst of poverty and hunger she preserves her dignity, poise, and a sense of self-worth. She doesn’t run around throwing garbage on people’s heads like a typical American spoiled brat.

The horrible Victorian poverty was completely erased. The exploitation of child labor, the unbreakable class barriers, the snobbery – all gone.

The whole reason I like the book is that it teaches kids about the value of humanity, of imagination, of books. It teaches that you don’t have to be pretty, or rich, or sociable. You can be an awkward, unattractive, bookish child but your intellect and strength will keep you going.

Klara loved it although she didn’t understand a single thing people were saying. But she is a screen-deprived child who’ll stare at a soap commercial on a loop if anybody lets her.

Competing for the Vote

So Biden is like, “I love drunk drivers. Especially illegal drunk drivers. They are more American than any American because their drunk driving is so expert.”

And Bernie is like, “Hah! I take your drunk drivers and raise you murderers and rapists. Voting rights for the most evil bastards ever! It doesn’t get woker than that!”

And Warren is all, “Hey, I’m so much woker than you, old white males. I’ll have a cabinet that will be 99% non-binary! I have no idea what it means but it will be truly representative of the population. I mean, I’ve never met the population but my advisers tell me it’s all about non-binary these days.”

And voters are like, “you crazy.”

Columbus Day

And one more post because I was in class all day and now I’m firing them off fast before mother duties kick in.

We are learning about Christopher Columbus in class, and of course, the question arises of why we celebrate Columbus Day if Columbus was such a dick. Which he totally was.

My answer is that it’s not Columbus we celebrate but our existence. If he hadn’t gone on his voyages, we wouldn’t exist. I mean, I probably would and so would the student from Bulgaria. But everybody else in the classroom wouldn’t.

Sneaky Rhetoric

From Warren’s plan on cancelling the student debt:

I’ll also direct the Secretary of Education to use every existing authority available to rein in the for-profit college industry, crack down on predatory student lending, and combat the racial disparities in our higher education system.

It’s such a typical dirty rhetorical trick. List a bunch of eminently reasonable things everybody agrees on and then sneak something at the end that can mean anything.

What is this whole thing about “combatting racial disparities”? How do we define a disparity? Where in the higher ed system? How will they be combatted? Given that we will simultaneously lose any financing that doesn’t depend on the state, these are important questions.