In this post, Shark Fu, the Angry Black Bitch, explains her situation as a black woman. While Hillary Clinton is a woman with white privilege and Obama is a black with male privilege, she is, as she says, the subject of both her race and gender but the beneficiary of neither. That is well put.
This article from The Atlantic, In the Basement of the Ivory Tower, by "Professor X," is on the perennial subject of underprepared university students and despairing teachers but more original and more devastating in its conclusions than any I have read before. I think it's because the situation has gotten worse. The very fact that this teacher does not feel free to use his/her own name speaks to the secretiveness and other undemocratic features of higher education institutions today. What about the poor souls Professor X teaches who have to pay large sums of money for the privilege of failing classes that are too difficult for them to pass? This is not a money back guaranteed deal.
I try not to be bugged by this sort of thing, but the spirit of self congratulation these kids display is really off-putting to me. After all, they have not accomplished anything yet. It seems to be all about how wonderful they are compared to --who?--their parents who financed their expensive elite educations? What do they think about their professors, the ideas they presumably were exposed to in the classroom, the books they read, etc? I get no sense of Wesleyan as dedicated to the life of the mind, and yet it has to be, doesn't it? Or isn't it actually the playschool for rich kids that Trudeau satirizes as "Walden?" Where every student is an "A" student?
I have spent my working life with the people I presume these pampered princes and princesses claim they are going to help: immigrants, prisoners, the physically and mentally challenged, "minorities." Do they know that such folks are often not handsome, sweet smelling, or grateful? That mostly it is not fun, and it certainly is not a source of narcissistic gratification, to deal with the unlucky? Are these people really idealists, ready to give up some of their privileges for the sake of others? I hope so, but I am doubtful.
I believe that most social welfare programs involving poor people are a form of exploitation, of the poor and of those who help them. I know that is an awful thing to say, but look at the prison system as an example. Most prisoners are poor people who would not be in prison if they could have afforded good lawyers. So we have institutions that benefit from continued poverty. Likewise, poverty causes people to come to the U.S. for work, where they use programs that employ social workers, ESL teachers, and so on and so on. I speak as one who spent her working life in the trenches, so to speak, and that is what I conclude.
So it looks as if we will continue more or less with the system we have today, but everyone will feel better about it. This is the post-post modern condition. Don't worry, be happy.
Here is my uplift for the day: My granddaughter is enjoying Pink Panther cartoons with her Grandpa in our little condo in Seattle. We head back to Hilo tomorrow. It's been a great visit. My grandkids are the best!
...represents a special, slightly weird world, inhabited by hybrid human/animal creatures who are generally having a good time. That's the place my imagination inhabits, and it's the source of all my inspiration.
I am happy to own several of her paintings and a set of tarot cards that provide great pleasure to me in my daily life.
Conservatives must be laughing themselves sick over the way Obama supporters have done their Hillary hating work for them in the last several months. This is an article from the January GQ by Jason Horowitz on their vilification campaign that was in full swing.
Sitting here in Seattle, I have the pleasure of fuming over what's happening in Hilo. I might as well give up on the Hawaii County League of Women Voters, because we're being totally cut out of the loop. The faux alternative newspaper, the Big Island Weekly, completely owned subsidiary of the only newspaper in town, the Hilo Tribune Herald, which is owned by Las Vegas based Stephens Media, is putting on a mayoral candidates' forum on May 28, months before the one we had planned. We have been struggling to put something together and have run into big personality problems among the members which may lead to us having no forum at all. We can't compete with the big guns anyway. This is how outside interests, while appearing to provide local services, actually gun down local organizations.* Whereas they have infinite resources, we have only ourselves. In a moment of institutional weakness they move in and take over. So our little operation gets swept away, just like a mom and pop store.
What's perhaps even worse is that the county clerk has decided that we will not be allowed to register voters, even after some of us recently attended registrar certification classes. It has not helped that one of our members, a very aggressive person and recent arrival from one of the more belligerent parts of the country, has managed to get county officials angry at us by using our name and e-mailing list to more or less call them all a bunch of crooks. Worst of all, she used our e-mail list to urge us all to vote for the county council candidate of her choice! We are a non-partisan group, but she doesn't "get" that. She may have ruined our reputation in her single minded desire to at last bring democracy to our benighted little town. The first time I talked to her I knew she was a whack job, but my peers, who are all nicer than I am, just thought she was a little, well, intense.
I give up. The bad news is on Hunter Bishop's Blog. The only good news he has to report is that at least the county is refusing to accept money for marijuana eradication efforts.
*The Big Island Weekly is trying to run the real alternative paper out of business. The Hawaii Island Journal is our only news source not controlled by Las Vegas based Stephens Media, which also owns West Hawaii Today. They are putting up a facade of caring about local concerns, which is similar to Wal Mart's claims of being "for you nice folks in your unimportant towns." Their strategy is market driven and has nothing to do with actual local needs, especially the need for diversity of opinion in the press. This is how we lose democracy, in these little struggles lost.
Good Lord. Is that Clint Eastwood? Time certainly has caught up with him.
Mildly jet lagged, I'm sitting here blogging in the early a.m. I'm in Seattle, and it is quite lovely and pleasant, overcast but mild. I like this kind of weather. And getting away from the worries of the economic situation on the Big Island and the possible worsening of our quality of life due to the vog is also pleasant.
My grandchildren are wonderful. I shop for food and cook. And cook. And cook. What a hungry mob they are.
Well, Hillary Clinton is still in the race to the extent that Obama backers in the Huff Post find it necessary to continue to vilify her. My 70+ years old friend is now grousing, "I'm waiting for more than a lot of vague statements. What does he plan to do?" A couple we know are great Obama enthusiasts of the type who really annoy non-yuppies. They say things like, "I am a social liberal and a fiscal conservative." They look down their noses at ordinary people, the kind who have kids and mortgages and whose lives lack glamor.
Now I'm one person with a very limited point of view who never presumes to speak for anyone but herself, but honestly among most of the people I know what I'm hearing is that we have got to get a Democrat in the White House, not that we have got to get Obama in the White House. And our diehard neighbors across the street will vote for McCain, even though they don't really mind Obama, because they can't see voting for a Democrat. Of course they are very old, but their four kids are also going to vote Republican, because it is their family tradition.
In any case, it is not going to be a cakewalk for Obama.
Here is the latest outrage from Will about how Hillary Clinton ought to dry up and drop dead. I thought she was a U.S. Senator, sixty years old, in good shape and with a lot of years of public service ahead of her still. Does this poem, from which Will quotes a snippet, really describe Ms. Clinton?
The witch that came (the withered hag) To wash the steps with pail and rag, Was once the beauty Abishag,
The picture pride of Hollywood. Too many fall from great and good For you to doubt the likelihood.
Die early and avoid the fate. Or if predestined to die late, Make up your mind to die in state.
Make the whole stock exchange your own! If need be occupy a throne, Where nobody can call you crone.
Some have relied on what they knew; Others on simply being true. What worked for them might work for you.
No memory of having starred Atones for later disregard, Or keeps the end from being hard.
Better to go down dignified With boughten friendship at your side Than none at all. Provide, provide!
Will exemplifies the entitlement of a certain class of white men. If you are going to talk about people who have overstayed their welcome, he seems like a perfect example of that.
I have a lot to say about George Will if you want to use the search thingie on the sidebar.