Orson, shhhh!

January 31, 2008

Seriously, if you had just kept this priceless tidbit to yourself:

“Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.”

I could have kept recommending Ender’s Game without a single hesitation, Mr. Card. I think you can keep your teen literature award because you wrote a great book that happens to be much more intelligent than that statement, but darn, you make it awfully hard to argue for you with kookbrain utterances like that.

(I realize that I’m dangerously close to echoing the people who told the Dixie Chicks to shut up and sing after they publicly stated what they believed in. Not sure what to do about that. Other than write it off to, well, the Dixie Chick’s stated a morally defensible view, whereas homophobia is not and neither is wanting to write laws to regulate sexuality.)

Please, no

January 31, 2008

The latest cringe-inducing antics from my potential future colleagues co-inhabitants of the asylum.

(All embarassment aside, wouldn’t that be like extremely offensive if it were female librarians being showcased?)

Ugh

January 30, 2008

A week of radio silence, and that’s still all I can manage. Usually Wednesday’s are so much better than Tuesdays, but…

Ugh: Florida, the take it in the ass state.

Ugh: adios to my presidential preference. Tear, for real.

Ugh: Milton was a sexist, selfish bastard. Ignorance was bliss.

Ugh: my future employability may depend upon me believing that the best way to make medical decisions is to plot “Quality of Life Adjusted Years” according to probabilities of treatment outcomes, and that I may one day be asked, so if being healthy for ten years is worth ten points, how many points would being sick for ten years be worth? Because I’m sure to come up with a valid answer for that one when I’m sitting on a doctor’s examining table in a little paper gown staring down some life-threatening condition.

Is this just what I get for starting 2008 with a ridiculously optimistic mindset? Or is this just the caffeine withdrawal still talking (I kind of gave up coffee… bad idea?)?

The future of libraries

January 24, 2008

According to the Onion: “Area Eccentric Reads Entire Book

…you read this response to Joan Didion by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison and find yourself laughing uncontrollably every other sentence. Titled “Only Disconnect,” it’s like the perfect comeback a thousand times in a row. Ms. Didion has been a common topic in my CNF workshops, and while you can either love her, hate her, or alternate between the two, I think that you can say she has a distinctive style/set of prose tics, and Harrison captures that perfectly in her elegantly barbed skewering. After you laugh, though, you’ll think. Harrison has serious critiques of Didion’s writing, and they are critiques that seem worth consideration if you are a person who writes nonfiction. Thoughts concerning subject matter (“always herself”), seriousness of purpose (she uses “style as argument”), and finally, political committment within commitment to other human beings (“The pulsebeat from any breast, however armored, is felt, not just in private contracts — “doomed commitments” — between private persons, but in Selma, in Haight-Ashbury, in Vietnam, in South Africa, in East New York. Reports from those locations are also reports from the heart. And Didion’s heart is cold.”) are provocative and well-reasoned. It’s a welcome dispatch from a different point of view.

Thanks to person I’ve never met but only heard of and read about, Al Filreis, who wrote it up on his blog and posted the whole piece online. Thanks! This is the perfect antidote to a cranky Tuesday–smart cranky!

Cranky Tuesday is ba-ack

January 22, 2008

It’s Tuesday, and I’m cranky. I had a lovely long weekend that I really did not want to end so I knew that today would not e the best of Tuesdays, but really did it have to be this bad?

  1. Morning drive to work kicks off with news of massive stock losses abroad and a possible 1/2 point interest rate cut in response. This could/will affect lots of people, not just me, but yet I feel a special bond with news of impending economic doom b/c I am five months away from the job market with not just one but two humanities advanced degrees under my belt. Joy. At this rate, I should just have stuck to the plan to be unemployed at what I really love, because it looks like I might just be unemployed at what I didn’t even want to do in the first place.
  2. Following the yee gads the markets are crazy story comes a story about “human life amendments” being put on the ballots in several states, potentially, although only Colorado right now. It was described as a stealth move by anti-choice activists, although I don’t know what is all that stealthy about it. These amendments would “would give fertilized eggs state protections of inalienable rights, justice and due process,” which is just… beyond words when there are so many born human beings in our country and being actively detained by our country who do not have these things. A NARAL rep mentioned the possibility that this type of amendment, were it to pass (would it pass??), could be a wedge into contraception as well if it is proven argued by nutjobs that a given type of birth control can interfere with a fertilized egg.
  3. Then I got to work and there was the free speech zone, more coherently discussed by Amy on Incertus than I can manage right now.
  4. Then I found out that because the Christmas break period fell between two of my work contracts, the extra hours I worked to make up for the hours that I missed over the holiday are null and void, and so I will not be paid for them. This doesn’t even top my cranky list, b/c I know that as an hourly employee I have no legitimate claim to being able to make up missed hours… it just annoys me that I worked them at all under a false assumption based on missed hours I’ve made up in the past.
  5. And a final, sad piece of cranky: this bummer of a piece about why Friday Night Lights just can’t live–it doesn’t have built in ways to sell more of itself! And Heffernan’s argument about how any art that “distances” its audience is just doomed from here on out in the age of wikis and fan fiction just seems completely misplaced to me. First off, the idea that this show is just sealed away by its artistic brilliance is laughable. Yes, it’s a great television show, no, it’s not War and Peace. Also, as she proposes that shows that want to survive today have to be rhizomic kind of ignores the fact that being rhizomic doesn’t necessarily make art more resonant with its audience, it just makes it more amenable to marketing.

But not to worry, there’s a very nice little slice of crankiness I’ve got all queued up for my next post.

Hmm, should I zip off a resume?

Posted 1/7/2008: Researcher / Information Specialist, Fox News Channel, New York, New York

Fox News Channel is seeking an experienced, enthusiastic research professional for its New York City information center. Candidates must be willing, able and excited to work on a flexible schedule — including evenings, overnights, and weekend shifts. Only candidates with experience using several online databases (Lexis-Nexis, Factiva, AutoTrack, etc.) and the Internet for research purposes will be considered. Qualified individuals must be able to handle multiple and varied research assignments, in fields ranging from politics to business to entertainment. They should have a nose for retrieving and analyzing information, be able to meet tight deadlines, and work well in a team atmosphere. Candidates must be able to work in an extremely fast-paced environment. Excellent communication skills are also required. Attention to detail is a must. A strong knowledge of current events is a key to success. A bachelor’s degree is required and an advanced degree is a plus.

NO PHONE CALLS!

Please fax your cover letter and resume along with SALARY REQUIREMENTS to (212) 301-8583

or

E-mail your resume to foxnewsjob@aol.com

ZIPPED FILES WILL NOT BE OPENED! Send cover letters and resumes as a single document.

Fox News Channel is an equal opportunity employer.

I’m just having a hard time believing that a job finding actual information and facts exists at Fox News. They must think of information as something different than I do.