Archive for December, 2010

December 16th 2010
Most melancholy Christmas song ever

Posted under American history & art & unhappy endings

Judy Garland as Esther Smith in Meet me in St. Louis(1944), “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”  I can’t get through this song (either hearing it or singing it) without sobbing–even without seeing Tootie’s snowmanicidal tantrum in this clip.  1944 was a year in which a lot of people wouldn’t be seeing their loved ones for Christmas–or ever again.


December 15th 2010
I am the woman who does all the committee work

Posted under Gender & jobs & women's history

And now, a funny, thanks to reader and commenter John S. who sent this along for your delectation.  It’s a letter from one faculty member to another, “I am the woman in your department who does all the committee work,” by Sophia Gould.  It begins:

I received your email about the tower you are building in the woods with a few Amish masons, and of course I understand that you’ll be unable to notify us as to what classes you’ll be teaching next semester, or when you’ll be available to meet with your advisees. With your permission, I’ll rely on last year’s schedule and again sign you up for two five-person sections of “Lyric Sexuality.” I will also schedule some extra office hours to collect mucous-soaked, germ-infected tissues from each of the suicidal girls you seem to enjoy mentoring when you are not laying stone.

Here’s my favorite part:

As you recall, you agreed to chair our hiring committee, but since I know you’re “bad with paperwork and deadlines” I will continue to fill out the “administrative paperwork” that amounts to reading and summarizing all 300 applications (or twelve feet of paper) for you. When we meet to discuss candidates, I will count on your voicing your commitment to affirmative action, as well as your support of young men who write about young men, unless they are too talented, in which case you’d prefer a woman who will do all of your committee work. Continue Reading »


December 13th 2010
Baby I’m a-laughing

Posted under American history & art & childhood & fluff

Do you get the joke below, and if you do what is your age?  (Leave your answers in the comments below.)

Here’s the joke:  when we’re listening to the news and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s name is mentioned, Fratguy says to me, “and Bread.”  And I laugh my a$$ off! Continue Reading »


December 13th 2010
Trinidad hospital slays the goose that laid the golden egg

Posted under American history & Bodily modification & Gender & GLBTQ & jobs & local news & unhappy endings

Marci Bowers, MD

After years of being an internationally-renowned place for sex reassignment surgery for forty years, Trinidad, Colorado no longer has a doc in town to do the work.  The Denver Post reports that Dr. Marci Bowers, herself a transgender surgery patient at one time, has moved to San Francisco because of what sounds like an extremely stupid business decision on the part of the local hospital:

Her work has been recorded in documentaries, magazine articles, TV shows — attention she has welcomed, even courted.

Mt. San Rafael Hospital, not so much.

Bowers views the publicity as part of her work.

“It’s important. It educates people,” Bowers said.

The hospital viewed it as an intrusion, an inconvenience and a royal pain. Crews dragging cameras, wires and microphones through the 24-bed hospital disrupt patient care and cost money, said chief executive Jim Robertson.

That prompted an unusual policy. Media must get hospital permission 60 days in advance before visiting and pay for access.

It was that policy, Bowers said, that drove her away.

“In September, I finally said, ‘Look, if I’m going to stay here, we’ve got to address this media policy,’ ” she said.

The hospital and its board weren’t about to do that.

“There are many residents of Trinidad who would like to have the city known for something other than gender-reassignment surgery,” said board member Dr. Jim Colt.

Uh, right:  let me guess.  I’m certainly no businesswoman, but does anyone really think that the one gynecologist the hospital has hired to replace Bowers and the new “cardiac diagnostic tests” are really going to bring patients from around the world to Mt. San Rafael Hospital?  Continue Reading »


December 12th 2010
No sabbaticals in “I-O-WAAAAY?”

Posted under American history & art & fluff & jobs & students & wankers

He's a fake and he doesn't know the territory!

We’ve got trouble, friends–right here!  Republican legistlators in the Hawkeye State are ginning up the kulkurkampfen again by targeting professors’ sabbaticals at public universities.  They think that Iowans are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated by the presence of sabbaticals in public university budgets!  Unsurprisingly, incoming House speaker Kraig Paulsen doesn’t remember that there are all kinds of biomedical faculty, business professors, and engineering proffies in Iowa.  He targets Medieval Studies and Music!

It’s awful hard to look a taxpayer in the eye and say, “You need to pay higher property taxes so that a professor can take a year off from teaching to go research superstitions on the Middle Ages or write a musical.”

I wonder how sabbaticals would fare if faculty proposed instead to remember the Maine, Plymouth Rock, and the Golden Rule? Continue Reading »


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