Listen, My Children...

Every Little Helps

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

I hate academia. I want out. Tightly Wound is right about how you can get rave reviews if you just quote enough people saying that whites are evil, it's all about neocolonialism, and those evil conservatives are just trying to veil what their true nefarious plot is -- to oppress all and sundry. I hate it. I do it at times, and I can ape it quite well, but I hate it I hate it I hate it.

Monday, October 28, 2002

Damn, another one. Another one engaged. They're dropping like flies.

Of course, some of it's also me. I come across so much of the stuff that makes me bitter that I tend to assume that it's all that way. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering that not every time someone writes, "America is different from Poland," do they mean deep down to follow it with, "and therefore America is terrible." "Justice" is not always a code word for "thwarting American foreign policy." "Peace" does not always mean "supporting suicide bombers." Some people talk about the problem of violence in the American mentality and mean just that -- that somehow we've gotten it into our heads that killing our babies is fine if we don't want them at the moment, or that divorce is fine if we want to sleep around again, or that it's understandable if you want to stab or shoot or run down your whole office because you've got a headache that day and someone said something that offended you -- and that's a bad thing. Not all people talking about the problem of violence follow it up (as the priest last Sunday at Christ Church Cambridge did) with the conclusion that it's all the fault of the NRA and the evil vast right wing conspiracy. Most at Harvard do all those things, and a huge amount of the new media does, but such a small portion of the actual population of this country does. I just have a hard time realizing that. Which is why I need to get out of here. Soon.

(bitter, always bitter.)

Why are we supposed to consider foreigners justified in saying/doing things we're condemned for doing? A German exchange student lived with my family one year, and everything in America was "bad" and "wrong" and "stupid." We trained her out of that ("it's not wrong, it's just different"), but since arriving here I've found that it's perfectly ok and even laudable for foreigners to call American things bad and stupid simply because they're different. When I was living in London, in Germany, in India, it never even crossed my mind to pass value judgments on those things that are different, and, while I did criticise some things for being poorly executed (gross inefficiencies in a system that takes three weeks to install a telephone; security concerns in a system where a bribe will exempt you from an inspection; etc.), I would have expected to be excoriated for saying such things were "stupid" with my main ground being that they weren't American. Today I'd expect to be accused of "cultural superiority" or some such deadly sin. But those who use the identical arguments the other way are of course not believing that their culture is right and better (and, of course, even if they are, they're correct in so thinking). Occasionally people will criticise other cultures -- Rushdie making fun of India, for example -- but always in as good a vein as when I make fun of my friend the future president, because I love him more than anyone else in the world and just need to jest so I can moderate it! -- and even those people are frequently ("justifiably") called to task or censored or given death sentences or so forth for saying unpleasant things. Anyone criticises America, they're to be lauded. Aargh!

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Fascinating 60 minutes today. Black people (emphatically "black" and not "African-American") segregating themselves because their kids are too integrated into white society. Upper- and upper-middle-class black families moving out of mixed suburbs into all-black suburbs, asking their kids to move to all-black schools, complaining about forced desegregation of schools. They show up as so incredibly racist -- well, not really -- but what they do, were a white person saying the same things, they'd be accused of hate speech or whatever and shouted off the set. Damn double standards. Where I can't date an Indian or be in Indian Studies because I'm white and that's bad, where my Taiwanese friend can't date his girlfriend because she's white and that's bad, but if it went the other way we'd be accused of racism. I hate everything. (why not give up? it's tempting.)

Aargh, quote from the American Civil Liberties Union: "Latest News: ACLU Criticizes Bush Administration for Providing Prenatal Care" -- wtf????
I give up. I've been trying to tell myself that they're a generally good but just often misguided group. But I can't get myself to believe that anymore. They're just a group that cares much more about their ideological issues than those who would be hurt/killed/whatever by those actions...

And I just went to hear the Lowell House Bells -- huzzah for change ringing!

There are two good articles by my friend Josh Chafetz on OxBlog about the left's definition of "free speech" and about abortion law. Very well argued on foth counts. You'll hear more about Josh in the next few years, I'm sure.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Dang, comments left again. Oh, well.

Such a long bizarre list of things that count as "weapons of mass destruction"!!! Silly me, I thought WMDs were things like nukes and strategically released ebola and such, things that would kill hundreds or thousands + in one go. But Bradshaw says SUVs are WMDs, a poster outside says handguns are WMDs, and an email I got this morning lists "high-tech surveillance equipment" and "CIA operatives" and "capitalism" as WMDs. Well then. (sigh.)

Thursday, October 24, 2002

I'm so sick of old-wave feminists. It's incredibly reassuring to me whenever someone I respect (mainly professor-types, or Dancer) points out that it *is* old-wave feminism. I'm actually at the forefront of feminism, in some ways, in that I'm not ashamed of being female and don't think I need to transform myself into a man (sexual attraction to women included) in order to be "emancipated." Of course, in other ways I'm the worst nightmare of a feminist of almost any variety, in that my ideal life would be as a carbon-copy of June Cleaver (key there, though, is that I would like that as a choice, not as a forced lifestyle). And with at least two of the guys I passed up my chances with, I could have managed that dream. Probably not with Bob -- perhaps, if he becomes a doctor. But even then probably not. And if he wants to work at a daycare always, or do occasional computer animation or some such, definitely not. Anyhow, I think he holds the "enlightened" view that a woman should not be allowed to feel fulfilled unless she holds a 9 to 5 deskjob and carts her kids off to a daycare (costing more than her salary) to have other people care for them. He has said that sending your kids off to have other people raise them is better than keeping them yourself. Well, we're not there yet; that's one of the things that will have to be discussed before we get there, though. In the list of such things, after religion (oh Lord, not sure about how that one's going to work out!), before relationship with his family, before finances, way before where to live (which is almost entirely up to him -- I just want veto rights).

My word, New York wants to ban toy guns!!! Right. Here's to insanity.

Another mad late night. Keep feeling the world's falling apart; had slight flight-of-fancy daymare about someone shooting up St. Paul's. Decided to live inside my dorm forever. (Should probably sleep; then I'll become more rational.) (Unless that is rational?)

Monday, October 21, 2002

And I'm going to go see Bob's family in Florida (crazy, huh?) in November. Getting in, I guess -- or being given good opportunities to try to ingratiate myself, more likely.

May as well put Campus Watch on here too -- although they got a very good plug from Matthew Yglesias a while back. They're still interesting. Sometime I'll get around to putting up my anti-Said anti-academic-racism screed.

Take another little piece of my heart -- this is my friend Meghan's blog. Just thought I'd give her a plug.

fun blogger help page glitch -- you have to click the link once, get an error message, then go back and click it again. for every silly little link.

I am being watched. Weird.

Yes, Daschle is just some strange mirage brought about by the Press.
(love this misting)
and no sniper; just his pals or summat.

And I hate L.K.Advani, by the way. He deserves to be lynched. Well, Thackeray's been calling for Hindu suicide squads, and the VHP's been saying that the life of an untouchable is worth less than the life of a cow, but Advani is in charge of the country.

they may have got the sniper. more later.

Friday, October 18, 2002

School hostage situation in Germany. The article is mostly about the strict German gun laws (which are clearly not helping much). Note the entirely unconnected mention of the DC sniper at the end. Just to make us think it's America's fault, I suppose.
UPDATE: Bother, they updated the article. Anyhow, it *did* focus on Germany's useless gun laws and then mention America.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

And you can buy shirts (thanks Instapundit) with quotes by the loony animal activists...

Nice article on Saudi tolerance as compared with US intolerance.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Ooh, this is a good one. Loony churches of the world, untie! This one's so off the wall, I can't even tell if it's a hoax or not!

Sunday, October 06, 2002

The Indian Express has yet another story on the VHP creating crazy tales of coerced conversion by poor helpless tribals unable to think logically about anything at all. Typical. Maybe I should write my thesis on them. In another story, the following: "Quoting a two-month-old incident in Punjab, Singh said some Christian missionaries were seen luring poor Sikhs in villages to adopt Christianity. A few cases of conversion by the missionaries were also reported, he added. He said even during the Partition communal carnage, Christians were protected in Punjab." I love that. Luring poor Sikhs in villages. Because they can't make up their own minds. With the only very slightly veiled threat of communal violence. We protected you once, but if you don't treat us the way we want.... yeah.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

I hate ICQ. they either have a massive computer flaw that occasionally shuffles people's info, changing their name, email, password, etc., or they have a massive security flaw that allows people to access and alter other people's accounts. The past few weeks I haven't been able to access my main account, because the password they send me does not work. I write them, and they write back telling me my comments are important and tell me how to get them to send me a password. I write them to say, yes, I know all that, I know how to get them to send me a password, but the password they send me does not work. They write back, telling me my comments are important and telling me how to get them to send me a password. ad nauseum.