Does anyone else feel like he’s a Mad Men character (Donald Draper/Roger Sterling) who showed up forty years late with ideas that are seventy years out of date? Every time I hear his name it’s like I’m in a meeting at Sterling Cooper Draper Price.
Archive for the 'bad language' Category
Junot Diaz, an alum of the Cornell University MFA program, on MFA vs. POC: “Lately I’ve been reading about MFA vs NYC. But for many of us it’s MFA vs POC.” He continues,
I didn’t have a great workshop experience. Not at all. In fact by the start of my second year I was like: get me the fuck out of here.
So what was the problem?
Oh just the standard problem of MFA programs.
That shit was too white.
Some of you understand completely. And some of you ask: Too white … how?
Too white as in Cornell had almost no POC—no people of color—in it. Too white as in the MFA had no faculty of color in the fiction program—like none—and neither the faculty nor the administration saw that lack of color as a big problem. (At least the students are diverse, they told us.) Too white as in my workshop reproduced exactly the dominant culture’s blind spots and assumptions around race and racism (and sexism and heteronormativity, etc). In my workshop there was an almost lunatical belief that race was no longer a major social force (it’s class!). In my workshop we never explored our racial identities or how they impacted our writing—at all. Never got any kind of instruction in that area—at all. Shit, in my workshop we never talked about race except on the rare occasion someone wanted to argue that “race discussions” were exactly the discussion a serious writer should not be having.
. . . . .
In my workshop what was defended was not the writing of people of color but the right of the white writer to write about people of color without considering the critiques of people of color.
Oh, yes: too white indeed. I could write pages on the unbearable too-whiteness of my workshop—I could write folio, octavo and duodecimo on its terrible whiteness—but you get the idea.
Modupe Labode, Assistant Professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, sent out a tweet yesterday: “Where are the analyses of Cliven Bundy & race from western and/or public historians? Was looking for my students and found v. little.” This anti-racist, feminist, fake cowgirl has been looking around too and found little beyond stuff on political blogs and websites.
Now that the work week is officially over, it looks like I just might have to start mucking out this nasty little stall, as it seems to have a great deal to do with the stuff I’ve written a lot about from the other end of North American history: guys, guns, whiteness, and gender. You know what those cheese-eating surrender monkeys say, mes amis: plus ca change. . . plus c’est le meme chose. Or to quote William Faulkner, a dude who doesn’t get a lot of airplay on this blog, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Although I am loathe to direct any more attention to this failed rancher who nevertheless has figured out how to whip up the rubes to his defense, I have a few things to say about Bundy’s recent bout of whistling Dixie. Continue Reading »
Here is the text of an email I received yesterday from my university. I honestly have no idea what it’s talking about. Does any part of this sound familiar to any of you? (Are there any palaeographers among you?)
This seminar will provide information about the university’s involvement in a national consortium that promises to enhance learning and teaching. The consortium, which includes several leading research universities, is exploring new directions in the use of instructional technologies. The intent is to facilitate and accelerate digital learning using the best integrated digital systems available that make it easy for faculty and enhance learning. The ecosystem consists of three components: a digital content repository/reflector, a service delivery platform, and a learning analytics service. The digital content repository/reflector will allow us to regain control over our digital learning objectives, allow faculty to choose to share/reuse digital content easily and seamlessly while preserving their digital rights. The service delivery platform is Canvas by Instructure, and has the characteristics of easier use by faculty and faster development of courses in it. The best learning analytics will be deployed and evolve apace as this area develops.
My first thought when I tried to read this email: was this written by one of those software robots that allegedly can fairly grade essays? Continue Reading »
My weekends are just too freakin’ short this semester, as I’m teaching two lecture classes on a MWF schedule. I honestly don’t mind teaching three days a week–I’m just frustrated that I don’t have a discretionary extra day to prep for Monday lectures, finish the neverending piles of grading, etc., let alone think for 20 minutes about how to get back to writing my book and figuring out what needs to happen archival research-wise before I make my base camp at the feet of the San Gabes. What’s with the MWF; can’t we get a MWR, or a MTR, or a TWF? Let the people who teach twice a week show up on Mondays and Fridays, as they’ll have three weekdays in-between without classes to TCB.
I know this is an academic blog, but you didn’t come here to see me b!tch about my mostly-imaginary and very temporary frustrations now, did you? So here are some random tidbits of THC, TBD (The Big Dog), and OMs on TDIS (Thank Dog It’s Saturday).
- Nepotism alert: Sometime in the next generation, every single American roots music recording artist will be either a member of the Wainwright-McGarrigle clan or of the Carter-Cash family clan. Seriously: are there no other worthy recording artists these days?
- Recreational reefer madness 2014! Earlier this week, some dip$hit in Denver ate some marijuana-infused candy and then shot his wife in the head and killed her in front of their three little kids. Of course, the media conversation in Denver is all about the marijuana edibles instead of the gun in the home. (Because that’s what all upper-middle class people need in their homes with three children in perfectly safe neighborhoods: easily accessible handguns!) You gotta love the politics of Colorado! Or just shake your head in wonder at the criminal stupidity of it all.
- Speaking of polidicks: I’m reading Double Down: Game Change 2012 by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann (which, BTW, is pure political crackerjack, so delicious and so non-nutritious!), and I get to this paragraph: Continue Reading »
Here’s my brief summary of Margaret Wente’s predictable, by-the-numbers shot at the academic study of pornography:
Provocative lede! Bad puns. Academics write only jargon-filled articles that no one will ever read. Also: the stupid feminists used to be against porn, but now they’re pro-porn, but they’re still stupid (duh). Irrelevant academics can’t even make porn interesting. But you should be very alarmed by this trend! Academic research on porn will take over our universities! This research is trivial and therefore all higher education is unworthy of public support. All college students should watch porn, just not for college credit.
I don’t carry any water for porn studies here, but I also don’t think it’s the most irrelevant thing ever studied in an academic setting. (Because the internet. Continue Reading »
Did any of you see Tenured Radical’s post yesterday about the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue 2014, “Happiness is a Cold, Plastic Doll?” This year it features Barbie on the cover, but the same old soft-core porn inside.
The point of TR’s post was to comment on the cultural significance of SI’s annual swimsuit issue. She noted her confusion when she first saw it in the 1970s, a decade in which porn was pushing into the mainstream, and Playboy had come to her campus to take some photos for “Girls of the Ivy League.” (This was 1978; recall that most Ivies hadn’t admitted women until the early 1970s. Welcome to campus, ladies!) TR writes that the swimsuit issue wasn’t porn, but yet it “wasn’t not porn, because everything was exposed except, as Monty Python would say, the ‘naughty bits.’” And yet–
The women were definitely chosen for their porny qualities. No model was included who didn’t have (as they used to say back in the 1970s) a “great rack,” or was not able to spread her legs, tip her butt up alluringly for potential rear entry, or cock her head back in that time-honored fashion that says, “Come and get it, Buster Brown.”
But like those who reject changing the name of the Washington Football Team, the swimsuit issue is spoken of as a tradition. Hence it is harmless, right? Wrong. The swimsuit issue is the porn that gets circulated in public, as if it were not really porn, which to me – makes it more sexist than the tabletop magazines that just say brightly: “we’re all about porn!” It’s the porn that gets delivered at the office, and it’s the porn that people think it’s ok for little boys to have, like the Charlie’s Angels and Farrah Fawcett posters that were so popular back in the day, because it helps them not grow up to be fags.
This is not what all but four or five of us commenting on the post learned. Instead, several porndogs wanted to turn the comments thread on this post into a strange personal porny fantasy involving fetishizing women’s bodies and insulting feminists and feminism at the same time. This is a fair summary of their threadjack: Continue Reading »
Howdy, friends, and as the sign says, “Welcome to Colorful Colorado!” Heck’sapoppin’ out here on the high plains, where the cold and the snow apparently will never cease this winter. Oh, well: I’ve got my horse to keep me warm–here’s hoping that you have someone to keep you warm, too. Some in-state news and views you can use (or at least laugh at):
- What the hell is going on in the CU-Boulder Philosophy department? Here’s a story from last weekend in the Boulder Camera; the Inside Higher Ed summary; and today’s op-ed in the Denver Post called “What Exactly Went On in CU Philosophy Department?” A brother-in-law yesterday alerted me to the fact that this story made it onto Gawker. Is anyone really surprised that alcohol may have been involved? Obvious advice for proffies: if you’re having more than one polite drink with a grad student or multiple grad students, you have a problem, which is that you’re a pathetic loser, in addition to whatever alcohol or sexual harassment problems you’ve made for yourself. Go find someone your own age and size to play with.
- What the hell is going on at CSU-Pueblo? (H/t Jonathan Rees @jhrees.) Apparently, no tenured or tenure-track faculty will need to Xerox their CVs anytime soon, but $290,000 of adjunct and VAP faculty will be cut, in addition to a dean of continuing education and a $100,000 security contract with the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Department (!). However, “[t]eaching loads of the current faculty members will be readjusted to cover the classes of the eliminated positions.” Naturally. Will they leave the SWAT team equipment and maneuvers to the regular faculty, too?
- Clive Thompson says Hello, Millennials, and welcome to Generation X’s former role in the media stereotype landscape. I’ve been saying this for years on this blog, but I’ll let Thompson speak for me as we’re exactly the same age: Continue Reading »
This appears to be Baa Ram U.’s management strategy right now. But first the good news from the Pueblo Chieftan (h/t Jonathan Rees): Sociology proffie Tim McGettigan’s access to email has been restored, but his ability to send out mass emails is currently blocked. (Chancellor Michael Martin, CSU Deputy General Counsel Johnna Doyle, and CSU-Pueblo president Lesley Di Mare have never heard of twentieth-century technologies like gmail, hotmail, yahoo, or early 21st-century technologies like blogs or Twitter.) As Rees says, anything less than an abject apology for comparing him to mass-murderers and a full restoration of his email privileges is unacceptable. Engaging or arguing with your political opposition is fine, and even welcome; petty over-retaliation is not. It only makes you look weak and stupid.
I agree with Rees. CSU needs to back down entirely and apologize. Let’s review:
- McGettigan sends group email suggesting parallels between Martin’s plan to fire faculty and staff to the Ludlow Massacre.
- CSU-Pueblo suspends McGettigan’s email access, compromising his ability to do his job
- CSU-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare releases a statement claiming that “Considering the lessons we’ve all learned from Columbine, Virginia Tech, and more recently Arapahoe High School, I can only say that the security of our students, faculty, and staff are our top priority. Continue Reading »
With many thanks to Eric Erickson for “Kwanzaa: The Scientology of Holidays.”
DATELINE: Jerusalem, 66 C.E.
What do you get when you take an anti-Roman felon and add a desire for Jewish nationalism? Christianity. What does the success of Christianity so far say about our modern Common Era? It is a reflection of Common Era nihilism given legitimacy by scribes hell bent on diminishing the Pagan heritage of Rome.
Over the last few decades, scribes have profiled his “disciples” and family members close to Jesus Christ. Apparently, our Roman gods and goddesses are too powerful and numerous for these Christ-lovers.
Christianity has absolutely nothing to do with Judea and everything to do with hating the Roman Empire. Christianity is the brain child of Jesus, who you will not be surprised to learn claimed from early childhood that he was the son of YHWH, the Jewish God. Some time after that, he took the name Christ, ran afoul of imperial officials, and proclaimed that belief in his divinity was required for entry into the afterlife. Continue Reading »