Some Friday Potpourri

It’s pillory time for Series of Unfortunate Events author Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler), who made some ill received comments about an African American writer’s watermelon allergy. Mr. Handler has already engaged in self-denunciation, so doubtless his re-education and rehabilitation (two words that mean “the old Winston Smith business”) may proceed apace.


In other news of our ongoing cultural revolution, fun and games at UCLA:

Val Rust’s dissertation-prep class had devolved into a highly charged arena of competing victim ideologies, impenetrable to anyone outside academia. For example: Were white feminists who use “standpoint theory”—a feminist critique of allegedly male-centered epistemology—illegitimately appropriating the “testimonial” genre used by Chicana feminists to narrate their stories of oppression? Rust took little part in these “methodological” disputes—if one can describe “Chicana testimonials” as a scholarly “method”—but let the more theoretically up-to-date students hash it out among themselves. Other debates centered on the political implications of punctuation. Rust had changed a student’s capitalization of the word “indigenous” in her dissertation proposal to the lowercase, thus allegedly showing disrespect for the student’s ideological point of view. Tensions arose over Rust’s insistence that students use the more academic Chicago Manual of Style for citation format; some students felt that the less formal American Psychological Association conventions better reflected their political commitments.

If your style manual must reflect your political commitments, you are a lunatic and should be disregarded.


Withywindle calls for Irish Democracy.


The Spawn has announced an interest in being the Jane Goodall of nerd culture, and has begun work (on her own time) on an analysis of a fandom that she sees as a a microcosmic example. She is citing sources. Clearly I have corrupted her irremediably. In keeping with the current zeitgeist, I denounce myself.


Finally, some garage rock. I have previously mentioned the single generally regarded as the punkiest, most obnoxious (and therefore most beloved) garage single ever, parts One and Two of “Rats’ Revenge” by the Rats. I don’t know if this quite rises to that level, but it’s close. Reportedly, the band on this track lured friends to the recording session with the promise of free food, which accounts for the barrage of questions about peanut butter sandwiches and cornbread from the audience. Where the “Down with puppet shows!” came from, however, remains a mystery. Ladies and gentlemen, from Smyrna, GA in 1966, here are the Snails, with “Snails’ Love Theme.”


The Berries have a gig tomorrow night — I’ll try to have a report Sunday, and then… Gradeapalooza.

Enjoy your weekend, unless you already have other plans.

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
This entry was posted in Culture, Education, Family, Literature, Music, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Some Friday Potpourri

  1. ScottO says:

    Having only a lowly baccalaureate myself, I make the presumption that “dissertation-prep” means the “students” are doctoral candidates. This kind of behavior is unsurprising in America today. If they think they’re being aggressed by not being allowed a choice of style manual, just wait until they actually start working for someone else. Oh, many of this group may never have that experience.

    Thank you, Professor, for spurring me to look up the parts (as my AHD does not have the entire word) of “withywindle”. From what I found, I gather it means an osier basket?

    It appears the Spawn has a clue as to her own doctorate path! I predict field work at Google and IBM.

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