Friday, February 07, 2003

All Right, Dammit. That's About Enough Out of You.

This'll be brief, as I'm pressed for time. Via the Corner, this lovely piece from the ASA about "the storm of attacks on intellectual freedom and the ebb of open public debate, in the name of patriotism and a war on terror."

Yep, this crap again. Note the use of "chilling effect," the academic's version of the overused "drums of war" trope. It's a collection of the usual suspects--profiling of international students, the eeevillle of Campus Watch--and actually has the gall to state the following:

University administrations are under pressure to silence faculty and researchers who take unpopular political positions. Organizations such as Campus Watch publish lists of faculty and students critical of US foreign policy, especially vis-à-vis Israel. They represent a broad trend among conservative commentators, who call for the censorship of faculty dissent and equate criticism of the government with being anti-American and anti-patriotic. We call on colleges and universities to resist external pressure to curtail academic freedom and to stop aiding federal agencies in the surveillance of teachers and scholars with scholarly or familial ties to other countries.

Look at all the pretty "red alert" words: Israel, conservative, censorship, dissent. It would be funny, except that they actually believe what they're saying. Yes, I stand outside of my office daily, pointing and laughing as the jackbooted thugs drag yet another unsuspecting professor away to the gulag. Hoorah for the suppression of free speech! Viva the quashing of dissent! Can I go kick a puppy now? Oh, sorry, just another fever dream brought on by overexposure to Brit Hume. Ignore me.

Again in the interest of brevity, let me get straight to the point. Dear ASA: Folks are paying attention to the crap you spew, and they're calling you on it. The ivory tower isn't so unassailable anymore, and that's as it should be. And your response is typical--"Ooooh! People on the internet are being disdainful of my intellectually superior beliefs! Our country is acting in its own self-interest, just like every other country ever! The sky is falling!" Get real, get a spine, and get your heads out of your asses. Oh, and you might want to try actually responding to the charges made against you in the name of the academic freedom you hold so dear, instead of running to mommy and crying McCarthyism. You are beneath contempt, you pathetic, puling little whiners, and if I were on your playground, I would take extreme pleasure in knocking your ice cream cone into the dirt. And then stomping all over it. But then, I'm funny that way.
Share the Pain

I won't suffer alone. Go here. And I don't want to hear about your resulting optometrist bills, either, so just stop it.

UPDATE: Okay, so they have a rotating photo gallery, and I'm on Blogger for Free, so no posty of piccy here. It's currently on Drudge's homepage, though, but look fast.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Ahh, Modern Politics

Here's a bit of advice from Clinton to John Edwards, hometown boy, on running for the Big Chair:

"So I told him ... that he'd been on TV enough to be hot. Which was good. But if I were in his position, I'd spend lots of time trying to think things through. ... I told him that I thought that my association with the Democratic Leadership Council, with the education commissions in the state, with policy boards, with these groups most of you had never heard of, had given me a chance over a 10-year period to decide what I really believed about the big issues facing the country. ...

"By the way, the great thing about this approach is that if you win, you don't need to wonder what you'll do. You've actually got something in place."

Yepper, THINKING tends to be a good thing. Interesting, though, how it comes in second to being "on TV enough to be hot." That low-level buzzing sound you hear? Ignore it--just the founding fathers spinning in their graves. I hear that sound a lot, nowadays.

Via Drudge.
Gimme that Old Time Religion

Or maybe not. Via Andrew Sullivan, this lovely course description from Harvard. I thought at first it was a Poli-Sci course, given the reading content and speakers, but a glance at the top of the page shows it listed under religion. What religion would it be, exactly, that embraces Sissela Bok, Peter (bestiality is okay by me, and btw, let's kill people whenever they fall below accepted standards) Singer, and Noam Chomsky?

Ooooh, right. Multiculturalism. See, all this time I thought folks were being figurative when they described mulitculturalism as a religion for its slavish adherents and proponents. Silly me. But the funniest thing about the course description seems to be the professor's need to hype it like the latest release from Tri-Star:

Designed for students who hope to make a positive difference in a troubled world, the course in 2000-2001 received a CUE rating of 4.9; the instructor and the head teaching fellow won the 2002 Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize.

I loved it! It's much better than Cats. I want to take it again and again!

Of course, perhaps there's a reason for the shameless shilling: This is the last year in which Religion 1528 will be offered.

Wonder if that would have anything to do with the bright hot light of reality finally burning through the hazy fog of unworkable propositions and fuzzy thinking that this course has cobbled together? I can only hope.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Okay, Now This is Just Irritating

Comments are back, only half have gone missing. The. Hell? Maybe if I turn my back and pretend not to be watching, they'll all return.
Comments? Hellooooo, Where Are You?

Well, my comments have vanished again. Can't tell if it's a problem from work (having trouble accessing several sites), or if Haloscan's gone all wonky.

I should probably get the heck off of Blogger.


Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Well, Slap My Face and Call Me Shirley!

Via Instapundit, Stanley Fish, my most un-fave academic, comes down on the side of common sense! I must therefore conclude that the world will be ending by midnight. Seriously, though, it's refreshing to see.
Hey Look! It's Monday, Except on a Tuesday!

How's my day been? Thanks for asking! Here's a list:

  • Car needs inspecting.

  • Car can't pass inspection because check engine light indicates problem with emissions.

  • Car must go to shop.

  • Boy must go to daycare.

  • I drop boy at daycare, and car at shop.

  • Spend 30 minutes waiting for shuttle with man who sounds like Darth Vader. I fear for my health and sanity, as well as for his health.

  • Run through basic CPR in head while waiting for shuttle; eye Darth Vader anxiously, looking for bluish tint around mouth or other indication that he is insufficiently oxygenated.

  • Jump into shuttle when it arrives, thankful to escape Darth Vader.

  • Shuttle smells...odd.

  • No, REALLY odd.

  • Cannot roll down window, as it is now pouring rain.

  • Think culprit may be oddly dressed man to my left.

  • Think fondly of umbrella left in car at shop wih Darth Vader.

  • Think fondly of my car, with its non-smell, left at car shop.

  • Wonder why it's taking so long to get to work.

  • Realize that shuttle driver cannot navigate downtown.

  • Finally arrive at work--at university that shuttle driver couldn't seem to locate.

  • Get dropped off on corner, in rain.

  • Think not-so-fondly on stupid umbrella, left in stupid piece of crap car at stupid shop with mouth breathing freaks.

  • Run to building, stepping in REALLY DEEP, UNSEEN PUDDLE.

  • Get in, wring out sock, check messages.

  • Oh, look. The daycare called.

  • Call daycare. Pinkeye? Are you sure, because he has a blocked tear duct, and....other kids have had it? Oh. Let me make some calls.

  • Make call to car place.

  • Make call to doctor.

  • Make call to husband, who works an hour away.

  • Make call to daycare.

  • Arrange to pick up car, go to Very Important Meeting, pick up boy, go to doctor, and get home, while simultaneously arranging for husband to stay home tomorrow so that I can be here for Several Very Important Meetings coordinated with Important Out-Of-Town Guests Who Cannot Reschedule Because the Fate of Our Very Livelihood Rests Upon Their Input.

  • Look at clock--9:45 a.m.

  • Think of Army motto--we do more before 8 a.m. than most people do all day.

  • Wonder if Army would take thirty-something mom, as I have the "doing lots of stuff" thing down.

  • Sigh, and resume day.

Monday, February 03, 2003

Embarrassing Personal Admission, Followed by a Rant.

Ahem. Attention, everyone, for I have a confession to make: I HEART Sean Astin. There, I said it. He was a super cute Goonie, great as Rudy, and in my humble opinion, the perfect choice for Samwise, my most favorite of the hobbitses. You got a problem with any of that? Not that I'm defensive or anything...

So there's this press release, in which it's revealed that Astin is going to serve on the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. Pretty bland, huh? I thought, "Oh, how nice. Sean Astin is trying to help out! This may actually make me heart him more. Yay little Sean Astin family guy man!" Okay, so my thoughts weren't terribly deep. Sue me.

Although, I shouldn't just toss that out there in jest, because there are apparently folks who would probably do just that, given their reaction to this nothing little announcement. Suddenly, poor Sean Astin has either become a Tool of the Man, or a cynical, calculating Machiavelli, because he's a-workin' for "the shrub!" And I can't decide what chaps me more, the idea that if you don't like a president, you aren't allowed to recognize that maybe some of his policies might be okay, ever (or risk getting your Moral Superiority Club card confiscated) or the idea that you can somehow divine the motives of a guy you'll never, ever know, by virtue of the fact that you've watched a couple of movies and seen an interview or two.

I just wanna watch my hobbitses running around and being hobbity. I don't want to hear Arathorn's son's views on petroleum, nor am I interested in the latest conspiracy theory involving New Line Cinema's attempts to squelch dissent and cover up the rampant homoerotic content of their films. Yeesh, folks. Movies. Just movies. And actors. Just actors. Not about you. Not at all.
Cause Nothin' Says Gritty Realism Like Stripper Ass!

At first I thought it was a parody. I mean, Come ON! Al Bundy as a tough guy cop? Re-doing Dragnet, which has become a kitsch staple? It had to be a joke. But then I saw the ads and realized that the studio heads were not only serious about this show, they wanted it to compete with the likes of NYPD Blue and all those other hard-hitting crime dramas. How did I realize this? Because the teasers were full of g-string bedecked stripper cheeks.

When did butt cheeks become the universal symbol for Serious Police Drama? What, it's not enough that you show people getting brutalized by criminals (and cops, for that added dash o' tough-guy cred!) each week, that everything seems to take place in a grimy back alley or flop house, or that your criminal extras sport enough faux dirt to qualify as walking pig wallows--you have to add in naked buttocks to prove that you're serious about realism? On what planet is the strip club the loci of Every Single Crime And Clue To Said Crime In The Entire City? It would be funny if it weren't so annoying, because then, in order to avoid the (logical) accusation that perhaps these shows are only about titillation, the writers throw in the gratuitous Lead Male Character Ass-Baring Scene.

Dear Writers: On behalf of America, please, stop doing that. Love, Big Arm Woman. I was scarred for life when Michael Douglas showed us his flat, droopy, saggy little booty in Basic Instinct, and I will never recover from or understand the cinema's need to go the Full Harvey Keitel, which it has done, unbelievably, more than once. Jimmy Smits? At least he's pretty well-toned. But Dennis Franz? Noooooooo! What, exactly, does that add to an hour of television? Do TV producers get a cut from the optometric surgeries required to repair the post-Franz Ass retinas? It's the only explanation I can come up with that fits.

Do real cops wander through a sea of bare buttocks on a daily basis, solving crimes, bravely angsting around bars and "fighting their inner demons," and then returning home to a softly lit sex scene with women who look like Sharon Stone, when they look like Homer Simpson? I'm thinking not. Note to producers of future "gritty, realistic cop shows": Just because you're pulling these shows out of your asses doesn't mean we need to see your asses, or their Hollywood doppelgangers.