November
1st 2010
Monday Roundup: Road runner edition

Posted under: American history, art, bad language, Dolls, fluff, Gender, Intersectionality, jobs, local news, race, students, unhappy endings, wankers, women's history

How-deeLa Famille Historiann, such as it is, had a fantastic weekend camping trip in Arches National Park.  I swear, ANP must have the friendliest, cutest, and nicest park rangers in all of the 50 states–how do they do it?  And the Devil’s Playground Campground was not just pictureseque, but immaculate.  I mean, eat off the bathroom floor immaculate, and I’ve never said that about a public restroom in my life. (I’ve never imagined saying it about a public restroom, quite frankly.)  This may have been due to the fact that a number of campers and RVs were camping closest to our local bathroom in the park, but there were plenty of other tent campers like us.  You can do a lot worse for 20 bucks a night, friends.  The wind- and rainstorm we endured Saturday night was dramatic, but hardly a deal-breaker.  But be sure to make on-line reservations–unbelievably, on Halloween weekend, this campground was full. 

You were all so good while I was away!  I wish I could give you all some of the candy that we have leftover after Halloween, for which we inevitably over-purchase.  So, these bibelots will have to do:

  • First of all, check out Dr. Cleveland, who it turns out is a dude.  He explains why it’s not the same thing when a student comes on to a straight, white male professor as when a male student does the same–or is otherwise inappropriate–to a female professor:  “Basically, all a male college professor has to do to repel such invitations is ignore them. A student has a fantasy, no matter how durable or ephemeral, of being pursued by an older man; if the older man doesn’t pursue, that’s pretty much the ballgame. . . . Does the student just have a garden-variety crush, or is she actually hoping to act out her fantasies? Doesn’t matter; there’s not much she can do without the male faculty member’s cooperation. Male privilege is not only powerful, but it’s convenient.  A woman professor, unfortunately, doesn’t have to distinguish the male students with harmless crushes from the ones who are prone to act out, either, because the young men who want to act out do. If the script is ‘man pursues,’ a young man with a sexual interest in his professor is apt to make unequivocal gestures.”  Right on.  I would just add that the many blogs (including my own) that have responded to the original post at Inside Higher Ed have avoided talking about race–but that’s an important part of the story, because it’s why the white offending student thinks he can be offensive in class and sexually aggressive at the same time to his professor, who’s a woman of color.  (Because “exotic” women really dig it when you insult and disrespect them?  Yeah.)
  • Next, if you can stand it, This American Life has a fantastic episode (“This Party Sucks!”) that explains exactly why so many leftists and progressives are disgusted with the Democratic party.  Jack Hitt interviews Paul Begala, who explains what’s wrong with the Dems:  they don’t want to offend anyone, they don’t want to appear “anti-business,” and they’re afraid that the Republicans will say mean things about them.  (Just listen, then you be the judge.  Fast forward to the last 20 minutes of the podcast.)  Even the laconically avuncular Ira Glass calls it “a two year display of lame-a$$ery” from Democrats, who have controlled two out of three of our branches of government with commanding congressional majorities for the last two years.  As reporter Jack Hitt learns, “there’s always an excuse” for why the Democrats are now “electoral wallpaper in front of which daring Republicans delight in performing.”
  • More about Arches National Park:  my recommendation is that you stop at the visitor’s center on the way in and buy a pass to the Fiery Furnace, if you haven’t already made on-line reservations.  You can take a 3-hour ranger-led tour, or go it alone (which is what we did.)  The whole park is pretty much the Chuck Jones-imagined landscape for the epic conflict between Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, but the Firey Furnace is the Wiliest and the Road Runnery-ist.  They only sell 25 permits a day for the D.I.Y. crowd, so get there early–there are no trails in this seemingly endless maze of red sandstone fins that form an infinite number of little canyons, so bring a bunch of water and be mindful of where you’re walking.  The whole time we were exploring it on Saturday, all I could think of is:  meep-meep.
  • Finally, Squadratomagico sent this along for my enjoyment–so I pass it along to you.  The soundtrack sounds like something lifted from Glee–can anyone verify?  I know the point of this video is the contrast between the adult-looking blonde barbies and the dark-haired doll with the little-girl body and wardrobe, but I was struck by the essential sameness of the dolls–or, what a Marxist feminist who’s read Stephen Greenblatt might call the reproduction of mimetic capital in these totems of white femininity.  Or something.  It’s neat-o.

11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Monday Roundup: Road runner edition”

  1. takingitoutside on 01 Nov 2010 at 12:35 am #

    That song is by a Belgian girls’ choir called Scala and Kolacny Brothers (it’s run by two brothers named Kolacny; I have no idea where Scala came from). Most of their songs are covers. This particular song was also used for trailers of The Social Network.

  2. Historiann on 01 Nov 2010 at 5:55 am #

    Thanks for the intel. I don’t watch Glee, but I’m familiar with the concept, so it was my best guess. The video’s website credits the songmeisters, but I am unfamiliar with their work & so didn’t recognize those names.

  3. GayProf on 01 Nov 2010 at 7:16 am #

    It’s a real mystery to me why Democrats have accepted the idea that corporations are somehow synonymous with the nation. It’s an even bigger mystery how Republicans have convinced their followers that supporting corporations is akin to patriotism.

  4. Historiann on 01 Nov 2010 at 10:02 am #

    I agree, GayProf, but in the case of the people v. the powerful, I blame the Democrats more because of their abandonment of the people.

    Fratguy and I were so disappointed recently when listening to a debate between Brown and Whitman in the CA governor’s race. She attacked Brown for being a big recipient of union cash (esp. teacher union money), which seemed to be a great opening to say, “Yes, and I’m proud that working people see that I represent their interests, and I intend to make sure their interests are represented in any legislation I sign as Governor. It’s not just wealthy corporations led by non-voting CEOs that deserve representation in our democracy, it’s the working men and women of America too.”

    But instead, even Jerry Brown runs away from the working folks who are bankrolling his campaign. And that really says it all, doesn’t it? I’ve said it before, and I have a feeling I’ll be saying it again on Wednesday morning: Dems in 2010 = Whig Party 1852. Totally unprepared and uninterested in the inevitable coming fight.

  5. Tom on 01 Nov 2010 at 10:46 am #

    I foolishly clicked onto the link for the Chuck Jones cartoon, and, fool that I am, I laughed. (I “LOLled” in the new parlance.) Those old gags still have a real power over me.

  6. Historiann on 01 Nov 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Tom–you know, I think the Road Runner cartoons are funnier the older we are. I remember watching the Saturday a.m. Looney Tunes hour back in the 1970s with my Dad, and he would just laugh and laugh and laugh at the RR cartoons, which just mystified my brother and me. We didn’t get it–but he was old enough to get the jokes. (And I say this as a kid who got most of the WWII-era gags in the Bugs Bunny reruns.)

  7. Tom on 01 Nov 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    There’s a Sisyphean pathos to the wily coyote that I find all too relatable. Perhaps you should have linked to the cartoons rather in relation to the Sisyphean pathos brought about by the impossible struggle to find a political party with the courage to embody American values of tolerance, equality, and community.

    But maybe we’ve got to keep on pushing that boulder, because the struggle against the rock is what makes us what we are.

  8. truffula on 01 Nov 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    Thanks Historiann, for the the pointer to Doctor Cleveland’s post. His third point: the focus on student harassment as an exchange between only two people leaves out all the other people in the classroom is quite important and generally overlooked. When males in the classroom are allowed to engage in harassing activity, it provides yet another demonstration to the women in the classroom of their purpose and worth and reinforces for male students that this sort of behavior is a-okay. This is not a “safe space” for anyone.

  9. Historiann on 01 Nov 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    truffula–you’re right. There’s so much in Cleveland’s post that it’s difficult to excerpt. I also liked his point about how other students’ educations, including those not in the same classroom with the offenders, can be hampered or harmed by the actions of one student (in that professors might grow wary of working with either men students or women students.)

    And Tom, I think you’ve nailed it as to why adults appreciate the humor of the RR cartoons in ways most children simply can’t. (At least, fortunate children like me couldn’t, because we didn’t have to struggle for much of anything.)

  10. Comrade PhysioProf on 01 Nov 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    That video with the creepy dolls was too fucken creepy for me to watch all the way through!

  11. koshem Bos on 01 Nov 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    Joining Historiann on Brown from a slightly different angle. I attended the annual labor dinner in San Diego. Jerry Brown was invited and came. He gave a short speech in support of labor and his run for gov.

    The departure of Brown is an example of Democrats becoming a centrist only party.