Surfing Academics, again

Something occurred to me in respect to this.

Funny thing. Much of this is written in a rebellious spirit, practically ‘against’ academia, to show ’em. Fuck yeah. Rogue surfer dude is as good as the fucking academics.

But the thing is, by extracting that guy from academia, defining an academic not by conpetence or even occupation, inasmuch as the man studied, did his phd, attended fucking professional conferences and spoke there. They concur with the worst idiots in academia that it has to be your career, you have to make money (and thereby hangs a tale) off of it in order for it to count. So these poor deluded people are doing exactly the opposite of what they set out to do. Instead of being ‘unruly’ they reproduce the exact power structures that the people they oppose represent, they copy the rules, word by word. Instead of shaking anything up or thinking outside the box, they sit squat in the middle of said box, staring at the walls, thinking about the walls, writing about the walls.

It happens to us all, happened to me too. When (not if) it becomes a habit to me, too, please please shoot me before I make more of a fool of myself as I’m making anyway.

(yes, I know, this was obvious and I should have said it before but I’m kinda slow and somewhat drunk)

Academics Cannot Surf

I recently remarked on identity politics on this blog. This is another case.

Apparently, it’s fine to headline an article Has A Surfer/Snowboarder Who Lives In A Van Rewritten Physics?, or “SURFER DUDE STUNS PHYSICISTS WITH THEORY OF EVERYTHING” or “COULD THE NEXT EINSTEIN BE A SURFER DUDE?” or surf’s theory of everything, even if you talk about a guy who is “40 years old and possess[es] a Ph.D. in theoretical physics”, who “posted an academic paper called “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything” to arxiv.org, a site for scientists that’s maintained by Cornell University” and who “began presenting his theory at conferences last year, and many well-regarded physicists found it interesting, even plausible”.

But nooo. He’s a surfer dude.

Let me tell you something. If I continue working odd jobs as I do now, never find my way into an academic career, but work on complex theories of literary criticism daily, for 15 years, attend professional conferences and publish my results in an academic paper, and you call me a “surfer dude” (or something like it), I will bloody your nose.

That said, the article linked above is an engrossing read and highly recommended.

"Humans = Shit"

Interessante Wortwahl bei Casula

Was lernen wir also aus diesem faulen Handel? Dass Israel gut daran täte, bei nächster sich bietender Gelegenheit die heute hämisch grinsende Visage Nasrallahs in den Staub zu drücken – und die seiner Horden gleich mit. Und in Gaza genauso verfahren muss, wenn Gilad Shalit etwas zustößt: den Augiasstall komplett ausmisten.

Ich gebs ja zu. Ich mag Slipknot auch.

Where have all the standards gone…

Oh, well done, folks, well done. The James Merrill Writer-in-Residence Program apparently offered the job to a Mr. Pjotr Gwiazda, whose book I called “exasperatingly bad” (we will not even mention his poetry). Good thing then, that the man who, according to McClatchy, insisted on his biography being written not by a homosexual, is now commemorated by a fool who wrote a whole damn book about Merrill’s homosexuality, basing his whole flimsy argument on that fact, practically wiping his arse with the man’s poems in the process. Whatever he’s going to do in that quaint house, he’s not going to “complete a project of literary or academic merit”, going by his past ‘accomplishments’. Oh, James.

Too Lunatic To Be True

I have been talking about these issues several times now, but still, I find it astonishing when smart people read a clearly aggressively xenophobic article like this one and find themselves nodding in time to the beat which is so obviously wrong in so many respects. The first sentence should ring several alarm bells

It seems too lunatic to be true. But here a hair salon boss reveals how she was driven to the brink of ruin – and forced to pay £4,000 for ‘hurt feelings’ – after refusing to hire a Muslim stylist who wouldn’t show her hair at work

It hits all the right buttons for its clientele. How the hairdresser is introduced, how the issue is both played up and played down, in all the right ways. It’s nauseating, right there.

And the smart people all readily jump to the flimsy excuse put forward by the woman, the rag that calls itself the Daily Mail and the BNP: of course, a hairdresser can’t cover her head. Bah. Has a person who agrees with this article never asked him- or herself, whether the scarf is just a marker of something alien and is not accepted because it represents, in a way, The Other? I know many, many bald hairdressers. I wonder if a white, plainly ‘British’ person, who wanted to wear a scarf for whatever cooky reason, would have similar problems? But the ugliness resides deeper.

Funny that even that hateful article cannot hide what, in many countries, is part of an ugly truth:

But, speaking last year, she admitted she had attended 25 interviews for hairdressing jobs without success.
But Sarah, she told the tribunal, had upset her the most.
She said: ‘I felt so down and got so depressed. I thought: “If I am not going to defend myself, who is?” Hairdressing has been what I’ve wanted to do ever since I was at high school.

No deconstructive reading necessary here, just openness, really. A certain anglocentric mindset might overlook it, but the situation described here is a common problem for Muslims and colored immigrants all over Europe. They have a tough time getting jobs. The job market has become selective, weeding out non-whites, people living in the wrong neighborhoods, ‘wrong’ unfailingly meaning an identification with an unwanted ethnic group. It’s become difficult to get a credit with a mainstream bank, CV’s are often rejected just because of the photograph. In France this situation has lead to the uprisings in the banlieues of Paris in 2005.

In other countries, too, Muslims are driven to the margins, to create their own networks to support those who are not supported elsewhere. These networks, then, appear to alienate a good portion of, for instance, the British electorate, making the situation worse and the networks more necessary. It’s a horrible situation and by making arrogant “ah what’s she complaining aboot” comments about it, comments that smack heavily of cynicism, no-one’s helping anyone.

So what is she complaining about? This hairdresser-in-the-making has had many rejections, and, as this article in the Guardian correctly points out, the reason why the poor white woman was sued, has had more to do with her honesty than with her being an exceptionally racist person. Probably more than 70% of those rejecting the girl share the hairdresser’s opinion, as I explained above.

Is that a reason not to sue? They’re all bastards, sue all or none? That’s daft, no? But, read the article again, the constant discrimination may have weakened the girl’s resolve, but being explicitly rejected because of her belief (and let’s not mince words here, please) has humiliated her. Would the hairdresser have been sued if she’d lied? Probably not. Should she have been sued? Yes. So why is it any argument to persist in saying that all this case ‘teaches’ us is to be dishonest? Do I hear a trace of a scornful Republican hizz “zzzzz it’s all that political correctness mumbo jumbo” here? Why would someone smart say that? I don’t know. It’s too lunatic to be true.

Western Tolerance (rant)

I am so sick of all these dumb people “defending the West” against some phantom horde of turks or something, all these people who extol the virtues of ‘The West’ (what an irrelevant description of a place on a round planet!) and demand, yes demand, of immigrants (and they always, always mean Muslim immigrants) that they adhere to the high standards of tolerance espoused by ‘the West’. Yes, YOU, dirty Muslim, if you want to live here, YOU will have to accept and embrace our tolerance for all religions and minorities such as gays, for instance.

Apparently these staunch defenders don’t know their own countries. For example, people in ‘The West’ don’t like gays all that much. The most challenged book in the US is, once again, And Tango Makes Three:

A children’s story about a family of penguins with two fathers once again tops the list of library books the American public objects to the most.

And Tango Makes Three, released in 2005 and co-written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, was the most “challenged” book in U.S. public schools and libraries for the second straight year, according to the American Library Association.

“The complaints are that young children will believe that homosexuality is a lifestyle that is acceptable. The people complaining, of course, don’t agree with that,” Judith Krug, director of the association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, said in an interview yesterday.

Neither, judging from voices in West Virginia, do they like blacks very much. Or, still the primary, women. But we’re not as bad as them rag heads, right? I hear them proclaim behind their beer hump. Yes there is a difference, even a fairly large one. But it’s a difference in degree, not a difference in kind. And it’s utterly despicable, and dishonest, that so-called cultural differences are played up as if they, in fact were differences in kind, to justify treatment that is unwarranted, racist and entirely unacceptable.

Der Freund meines Feindes, nein, der Feind, nein, wie war das noch mal?

Albernes (wiedermal) bei Lizas Welt, wo die Autorin in einem Artikel über Frau Amirpur schreibt

Man kann es nicht einmal mehr Appeasement nennen, was die promovierte Koranexegetin betreibt – es ist eine Form von Kollaboration.

Denn wenn man schon nicht die gleiche, wie selbstverständlich RICHTIGE, Meinung vertritt wie Liza, hat man nicht einfach unrecht, nein, im Grunde arbeitet man dem FEIND zu. Subtilitäten sind da reine Korinthenkackerei, nuschelt sie einem ins Ohr, zumindest bei diesem Thema. Man möchte es nochmals unterstreichen. FEIND. Daß das klar ist. Der Feind ist der Feind und der muß WEG! *hust* So einfach kann die Welt gleich sein. Ach ist das lustig. Ein paar Scheiben Jingoismus, eine Messerspitze Rassismus und ein gehäufter Löffel Sexismus, fertig ist die Pampe. Na, Appetit?

Liza schließt mit einem bedauernden (und bedauernswerten) Nachsatz

Leider ist das hierzulande nicht strafbar

In ganz verzweifelten Momenten denk ich das zugegebenermaßen auch. Frau Amirpur meine ich damit aber nicht.