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Clarissa's Blog

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

What He Tells Them

And by the way, I have no doubt that what Obama is telling his audience in his $400,000 speeches is all the crucial stuff about the liquid capital, fluidity, and transformations in statehood that no politician has the gut to tell all of us. Mostly because we don’t want to hear. 

It makes total sense that the emissary from the fading nation-state should brief capital on when said nation-state will remove the last obstacles from the capital’s way. (Answer: now that Americans elected capital to lead the nation-state, irreversibly soon.)

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No to Dynasties

I don’t care if Obama accepts hundreds of thousands or millions in speaking fees from absolutely anybody, including Putin. As long as nobody carrying his last name runs for office, I’m very happy never to think of him again. 

And mind you, I deeply admire and respect Obama. But if the Bush and the Clinton sagas taught us anything, it’s that attempts to create political dynasties are a horrible idea. This is not Latin America, where once you elect somebody, you can’t get shot of them and their useless family ever again. When a politician’s term in office runs out, that politician should forever disappear from politics and take their brood with them. 

I’m very paranoid about having the next generation visited upon us. Imagine after Trump’s term finally runs out having to observe the next five generations of the family trying to get elected. No, the whole practice should be condemned right now. 

Idiot Activism

Does anybody understand what these idiots at Berkeley are trying to achieve? If they hadn’t freaked out, Stinky Coulter’s visit would have gone unnoticed by anybody but a couple of mental invalids eager to hear the spiel she already delivered through every possible medium. There would be no opportunity for her to inflict herself on the notice of normal people beyond that. 

But no, they had to go and create a situation where she is actually right, for the first time in her stupid life. Is there really no better way to spend their time?

Room With a View

I’m finally going to get an office with a window. The new chair is leaving his office and the outgoing chair said he doesn’t want it. So I said I do. Immediately, a huge drama ensued with people suspecting that the outgoing chair was being martyred (sic). I started feeling bad even though I hadn’t been the one to suggest the swap.

The outgoing chair had to swear he wasn’t being a victim and he really, truly doesn’t want the windowed office. I think he didn’t like the spectacle of people rushing to his defense when he never said he needed it. 

As for me, I’m happy to be working from home for the next 4 months. 

Pre-emptive Russian

The Russian colleague pre-empted any action on my part by showing up at my office right after I arrived. I managed to steer the conversation away from anything political, at least, because the last thing I need right before class is to have a confrontation about Putin.

Last Day of Classes

The worst thing about my job is that so many people in my profession are total, irredeemable and utter freaks.

This is why the three people I’m closest to (N, my sister and my BFF) are not in academia. It’s not that all academics are like this, of course, but the risk of running into a freak are too high. 

A Russian Colleague 

I just got an email from somebody who is a Russian-speaker and who works at my university. She suggests we meet for lunch, and I normally wouldn’t mind, but I always fear a Russian-speaker turning out to be a Putinoid. She refers to herself as a “Russian colleague”, which might be a bad sign. 

Should I go decked out in my Ukrainian patriot attire, just to make things clear from the start?

First Steps

Klara took her first steps yesterday. Everybody asks me if I filmed it but I don’t understand how it could have been done. She’s been standing on her own for a while, and save for filming her constantly, there was no way of knowing that this was going to be the time she’d decide to take the first step. 

Besides, I almost never even have the phone when I’m around her because she’ll try to grab it, and it’s an expensive phone. 

N gives her his phone to play with because it’s a $20 burner he’s had for years. What’s hilarious I’d that she asks us to open it and when we do, she presses it to her ear and pretends to talk. I have no idea where she learned it because she almost never sees us talk on the phone. Maybe she saw me a couple of times but she does a fantastic impression of me talking. She raises her eyes and looks up and to the right when she “talks,” just like I do. And she says, “Da. . . da,” which is “yes” in Russian. (She only ever heard me speak Russian on the phone.) It’s hilarious. 

Workers Celebrate 

Ah, so Trump finally stood up for the working classes and eliminated the estate tax! The working stiffs everywhere have breathed a sigh of relief. 

Reading with a Toddler 

Reading a lot while looking after an active toddler is easy. Here is what you need to do:

1. Place books in all rooms or spaces where the toddler might want to go. 

2. Learn to follow several plots or lines of argument simultaneously. 

3. Learn to read in short bursts that last under 1 minute. 

4. Learn to find your place in every one of these books instantly. 

5. Learn to read in a way that doesn’t prevent you from closely observing the toddler. 

And you are done!

That was a joke about it being easy, by the way. 

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