Whoo-oop, just a little bit

1 07 2013

dmf is right: I gotta lay off the blogs that are leading me to screw myself into the ground.

Y’know, Sullivan with his Baldwin-proves-liberals-suck rampage (and before that, Clinton, and Palin, . . .). I don’t disagree with him (that Baldwin’s an asshole, and his Tweet, hateful), but jeez, make the point, and move on.

I mean, Alec Baldwin is an actor. An actor. That’s it. So you don’t like the people who like him, which gives you a chance to get all tribal and everything. Fine. We all get tribal some times. Just. . . own the tribalism, man, and stifle the it’s-the-principle! nonsense.

And Dreher, oy, reading him of late (Paula Deen, Trayvon Martin, liberals always and everywhere) is plucking my last nerves. The meanness, the double-treble-quadruple standards, the pissiness at pushback. . . .

Oy doesn’t begin to cover it.

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Oh, and then there’s this.

Makes me so proud I work for CUNY.

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There’s a difference between motive and intention, isn’t there? It seems that there’s a difference.

Motive is where something starts, and intention is where it leads, right?

Yeah, I think that’s right.

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So I’ve been turning over this thought in my head about the whiteness of the GOP and arguments (click here for a Crooked Timber post that has the various relevant links) that Republicans don’t have to worry about being the party of the pasty.

I think they do.

I don’t have this all worked out, but it seems that in order for the GOP to be the White Party they’re going to have to entice voters based on their whiteness, and I don’t know how many folks think of themselves primarily as white.

This is the crumbling underside of the default standard of white: regular [i.e., non-academic, non-race-politicized] white folks haven’t had to think about their whiteness. To bring them to you, you first have to bring them to their whiteness, convince them that their whiteness ought to be their primary concern, then further convince them that their candidates will do the most to preserve their white privilege.

Yes, whitey-first appeals have worked and will continue to work in a number of districts, but I don’t see how this appeal can be expanded, largely because I don’t know how much white folks who aren’t already racialists really want to be racialists. I think white-first appeals would turn them off, maybe make them less likely to vote Republican.

Most Americans don’t want to think of themselves as racists—even the racists don’t want to be seen as racists—and aren’t in a hurry to separate themselves (in their imaginations, at least, if not always in practice) from their fellow Americans. We’re not always large, but an awful lot of us aspire to be.

I don’t know, I’m probably talking out of my nose. It just seems like  focus-on-the-whites is a losing proposition with many of those very same whites.

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Okay, back to Dreher—but to one of those posts that make me go Hmm rather than AAAAAAARGHHH! Namely,  on the problem with ‘the right side of history’ arguments.

Someone as non-whiggish as me casts a similarly skeptical eye on those claims, but skeptic that I am, I go even further: If there is no right side to history (which there isn’t), why the fealty to moralities anchored deep within that history, i.e., traditions?

I mean, isn’t the advocacy of tradition based on a notion of the judgment of history (properly threshed, of course)?

More talking out of my nose, I suppose, and maybe these are really two separate things.

But I kinda think not.





It’s gone, gone, gone, and it’s never coming back

15 11 2012

File this under “oh for fuck’s sake!”

All City University of New York campuses were closed that Monday-Thursday of the storm, and although weekend classes were held beginning that Friday, most of us didn’t return to work until the following week.

Fine.

The different campuses/CUNY had to decide what to do with that missing week, whether to adjust schedules, extend the semester, write off the time off, etc.

Again, fine. A missed week of instruction is a serious matter, so considering how to deal with it is reasonable.

However.

Not everything can be fixed. There have been suggestions about assigning students extra work, making up classes at another time, scheduling activities outside of the class, which again, while not unreasonable, lead me to that exasperated ohforfuck’ssake.

I put a lot of work into my syllabus, and losing that week matters to me, but it is precisely because I put a lot of thought into the semester’s schedule that I find the suggestions that I shoehorn something extra in just. . . y’know, to pretend that the lost week was not, in fact, lost, really crisps my nippers.

I’m being churlish, I know, and the suggestions offered are not necessarily bad ones, but honest to pete, do administrators really think that either instructors or students can somehow add hours to the week? Do they not understand that students (and their laaaaarrge contingent workforce) have other commitments that might just conflict with the make-up time? Do they in fact think that time is fungible, such that the hours not used during that lost week can somehow be plucked out and glued on to the weeks following?

*grumble mumble piss moan sniff*

The week is gone gone gone daddy gone, and unless my campus is willing to extend the semester a week, we should just say sayonara and be done with it. Anything else is mere Potemkin pedagogy.





Jeffrey Wiesenfeld: Go fuck yourself

6 05 2011

Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, trustee for the City University of New York, recently railed against playwright Tony Kushner for his alleged anti-Israel views.

That’s not why I invite him to go fuck himself.

This speech led the [boneheaded] CUNY trustees to withdraw—without hearing from the playwright himself—the honors John Jay College was to bestow upon Kushner.

That’s not why I invite him to go fuck himself.

No, it was this statement to New York Times reporter Jim Dwyer:

I tried to ask a question about the damage done by a short, one-sided discussion of vigorously debated aspects of Middle East politics, like the survival of Israel and the rights of the Palestinians, and which side was more callous toward human life, and who was most protective of it.

But Mr. Wiesenfeld interrupted and said the question was offensive because “the comparison sets up a moral equivalence.”

Equivalence between what and what? “Between the Palestinians and Israelis,” he said. “People who worship death for their children are not human.”

Did he mean the Palestinians were not human? “They have developed a culture which is unprecedented in human history,” he said.

That is why I invite Wiesenfeld to go fuck himself.

credit: Jim Dwyer, New York Times