Saturday, December 31, 2016

Good-Bye 2016

I wish I could hope 2017 would be better, but frankly the portents point to nope.

Here are my favorite posts from 2016:

January 2016

Happy 2016: I'm sharing this mostly for my hilarious look at what I thought 2016 would be like. HA HA HA HA HA I was so innocent.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Return to the Fort

We spent the past week in New Orleans, with (most) of my family, celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah combined. My oldest brother and SIL were only in town briefly, since she had to work Christmas; but we did see them the first night we were in town.

Now we are back in the Fort, and all of us are sick -- fever, sore throat, fierce headache. Since we always get sick for the holidays (being academics) this is NBD.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Five Stages...

I finished a short story. This is the first story I've written (started and completed) since the vile one won the election.

I might be emerging from the depression stage. MAYBE.

Whether it's a good story or not, meh -- I'm still deep enough in the depression stage that everything looks terrible. But it's a competent story, and it's finished. I'll take that.

The trouble with leaving depression is that I'm supposed to move onto the acceptance. And frankly, yeah, I don't see how to do that. Accept Trump as our president? What are you, nuts?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Little Joke For This Freezing Night

It's sleeting here in the Fort

Here's a cartoon

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What I've Been Doing

So what am I doing, in Trump's America: The Hunger Games Version?

Moping, a lot. I'm still in the depression stage of grieving. Nowhere near acceptance yet.

WTAF, is what I keep thinking, every time some new aspect of this horrible national nightmare comes to light.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

How Well Do YOU Know Your Country?

This quiz (it's not really a quiz) posted at the Guardian won't take long, and (at least for me) is interesting in what it reveals about our preconceptions.

How Well Do You Know Your Country?

(The answer for me, mostly: Not as well as I thought I did! The answer for How Happy Are Most People? shocked the living bajeezus outta me, I'll tell you that for nothing.)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Gift Idea!

Still looking for your Christmas / Hanukkah / Festivus gift? Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here is a perfect choice this year!

In 1935, with Hitler gaining power in Europe, and fascism rising up in various political groups all over the world -- including in America -- the common wisdom said nothing like Hitler could EVER happen in America. Sinclair Lewis's alternative history / SF novel is a scary vision of just how easily it can happen here. 

And his fascist president, Buzz Windrip, is a scary archetype for our own Donald Trump.


Never argue with a young male libertarian on FB.

This has been your warning.

ETA: Probably a young woman libertarian would be just as hopeless, but at least there wouldn't be the added MRA bullshit stirred in.

Friday, December 09, 2016

The Reality Gap

This is a real problem. From Steve Benen, on the Maddow Show blog:

...what struck me as especially notable about the new survey results is the persistence of the so-called “reality gap.”

* Unemployment: Under President Obama, job growth has been quite strong, and the unemployment rate has improved dramatically. PPP, however, found that 67% of Trump voters believe the unemployment rate went up under Obama – which is the exact opposite of reality...

* Popular Vote: As of this morning, Hillary Clinton received roughly 2.7 million more votes than Donald Trump, but PPP nevertheless found that 40% of Trump voters believe he won the popular vote – which is, once again, the exact opposite of reality.

* Voter Fraud: Even Trump’s lawyers concede there was no voter fraud in the presidential election, but PPP found that 60% of Trump voters apparently believe “millions” of illegal ballots were cast for Clinton in 2016 – which isn’t even close to resembling reality.

As Benen notes, when a sizable percentage of our country is invested in believing  -- for whatever reason -- what is transparently a lie, it's hard to know how we're going to move forward.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Colbert on the Pizzagate Nonsense

This is a great segment.

Colbert acknowledges at the top that he's not a journalist. Nevertheless, he's doing stellar work here.

I'm still seeing Far-Right blogs claiming that this Pizzagate drivel is true, by the way. Seriously, how intellectually limited do you have to be to buy into something this transparently ridiculous? It's like believing in chemtrails. Or that ridiculous claim that Planned Parenthood sells fetal body parts -- Rod Dreher is still repeating that vile lie.

Really, they're daily more pathetic. You would think, now that they've got their Liar in Chief headed for the White House, they'd calm down. But nope. They're ramping up the Bullshit Machines: Full Speed Ahead.

Grading, and so on

I am grading, and also moving my office from one building, on the northeast side of our campus, to another (slightly newer) building on the northwest(ish) side of our campus.

Though the buildings are no more than a few hundred yards apart (maybe three hundred? I'm terrible at judging distances), still I have heaps of books* and files (ten large boxes), and can't really move myself.

I am at the mercy of our grounds crew, and they are at the mercy of whoever is in charge of assigning their workload, I assume. In any case, though I was supposed to be moved today, yeah, not so much.

Could I come in tomorrow (and wait all day, I suppose, for the grounds crew to cancel on me again), I was asked.

Yeah, not so much.

I counter-proposed that they come move me on Tuesday, when I'll be on campus anyway, giving my last exam. I am waiting to hear whether this will be acceptable.

Meanwhile, I have stacks and stacks of essays, final exams, and papers to grade, as well as grade totals to figure once that is done.

See you on the other side.

*This does not count all the books I weeded out and dumped on our Free Book table, which students happily carried off for me, or the old files I dumped in our recycling bin.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Home for the Holidays

This year, we're driving down to New Orleans to stay with my parents for the holidays. Christmas and Hanukkah coincide this year, interestingly -- or at least the first day of Hanukkah coincides with Christmas. I'll be hauling bags of presents with us, is what this means, mostly.

Also, I have to remember to do about six billion things. So far I've reserved the rental car (our car being unreliable), reserved a space for the dog (we have to board him, though the cats will stay here and be looked in on by a friend), bought presents, and plotted our route.

An Important Post from TYWKIWDBI

Over at TYWKIWDBI, we find an important informational post:

Kleptocracy (from Greek: κλεπτοκρατία, klépto- thieves + -kratos rule, literally "rule by thieves") is a government with corrupt rulers (kleptocrats) that use their power to exploit the people and natural resources of their own territory in order to extend their personal wealth and political power. Typically this system involves the embezzlement of state funds at the expense of the wider population, sometimes without even the pretense of honest service...

(By the way, if you don't read Things You Wouldn't Know If We Didn't Blog Intermittently, you're missing a real joy!)

Monday, December 05, 2016

So How Am I Doing?

One month after surgery, more or less?

I saw the surgeon for a follow-up today. He says I'm doing well. He says probably one day I'll be able to eat bread again, not to mention meals bigger than a quarter-cup in size.

Meanwhile, the heartburn is entirely gone, and most of the surgical pain as well. Physically, I'm almost entirely recovered -- I don't get tired walking from my car to my office, for instance, and I can lift things again.

Also, I have once again started drinking coffee. What a relief that is.

So I'm better, even if our nation is fucked.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

White Moderates

Yesterday, I wrote about a hate-group putting up vile posters on our campus.

Other people on campus also wrote about this, several of them on their FB pages. On several of these pages, people got comments about how “we” should just ignore these posters. Some said we should ignore them because we had better things to do; others claimed it was their free speech right to put up the posters.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Trump's America

So this happened on my campus.

This got posted on the building where my new office will be:

Teaching Students Grammar -- Useful Y/N?

Over at Bardiac's place she wrote a post about strawmanning -- the ridiculous perceptions of what professors do and how we teach (or ought to teach).

In my comment there, I kind of went off on a tangent, orthogonal to Bardiac's original point. That tangent is one I'd like to take up here.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Packing to Move

So plant operations has finally sent me my packing boxes. I am packing my books and files, preliminary to the moving guys showing up, next Thursday, to move me to my new office, over in the fancy new building.

Well, newer building.

Meanwhile, I certainly have a lot of books. And more art on the wall than I would have guessed.

I don't think I'm going to have nearly enough boxes, y'all.

ETA: Man, I shoulda wished for money. No sooner did I hit post than the plant operations guys showed up with 15 more boxes!

ETTAA: Man, do I have a lot of books.

Small Sliver of Good News

A payment came through yesterday for some writing I did.

I love getting paid for writing.