How-dee! La 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.