Speaking of Charles Forsman as I was yesterday (he of the brilliant Raiders of the Lost Ark/Popeye mashup) I realized that the timing of the hiatus prevented my sharing with you my own Forsman original sketch.
Spoiled for quadrangles by my past college experience, I could not help note on first study that the quad at UC Davis has no campanile or carillon; its clock chimes come from some hidden electronic facsimile. Its oldest buildings are the prosaically named North and South Hall, of 1908-12 vintage; most of what surrounds it are hunkering mid-century hit-or-miss structures. (more…)
So I heard we might be starting blogging again. I kind of want to do a roundup of what’s happened since we stopped. But that seems like work. So I’ll note instead that today, I gave a lecture1 on 1968: Tet, Johnson surrendering the Alamo declining to run, MLK’s murder, RFK’s murder, Chicago (including Ribicoff v. Daley, Buckley v. Vidal, and selected truncheons v. a whole bunch of protesters) … is it the worst year in American history?
1Lecturing is for professors who should be writing their books what writing letters was for Hemingway:2 empty calories, an excursion that makes you feel as if you’ve done something really productive when kind of you haven’t.3 2I should probably have a link for that quotation but I can’t find one. Anyway I’m not sure we’re really starting blogging again, so I don’t know if I feel committed to looking for stuff like that, you know? 3Hey, html footnotes a…
… this isn’t actually true. The federal government requires lots of things to prove that a foreigner wishing to qualify for a spousal visa is in a legitimate marriage, but there is actually no requirement to prove that you’re having sex. Shared finances, yes. Shared residence, yes. Tax returns, yes. Proof of a commingled life, yes. Letters of support that you present yourselves as a married couple, yes. Sex tape? No.
(It’s not cynical if you think about it. It is compatible with a fraudulent marriage that the two people could be copulating like rabbits; but it’s less likely if the two are sharing their money.)
This is not a defense of DOMA; people arguing that gay people could always commit immigration fraud to get a green card are making an exceedingly stupid argument. Any marriage would have to be entered into for bonafide reasons to qualify for a green card, i.e.,…
Despite this atmosphere of youth and mirth, there were a small handful of things about which the editorial staff was deadly serious. Language, the rigor and talent to wield it, was tantamount.
But not, evidently, the rigor to look in a damn dictionary to check that words mean what you think. And indeed, Schnackenberg’s poetry, by the examples given, appears to measure up perfectly to such proud but fallible praise.
(Photo by Flickr user M.V. Jantzen used under Creative Commons license.)
Not that I’d want to rain on the parade of the little tin god, but don’t most children’s sports have a league for the competitive types and a recreation league for learning to play, getting exercise, and having fun? If the fate of western civilization hangs in the balance, perhaps he should encourage his son to try out for the competitive league.
It wouldn’t excuse his behavior, of course, but at least he’d be around his peers. I mean the dad.
…because something stupid is surely heading my way. First, Williams is probably right to say that NPR was looking for a reason to fire him, though he is wrong about why; it’s not so much that he appears on Fox as it is that he says inane things, e.g. Michelle Obama is like Stokely Carmichael in a dress. (The halfway serious point here is that it’s a mistake to take Williams’ firing out of the context of his general lousiness.)
Second, the people in “muslim dress” on your flight are probably the least likely to be jihadists, unless their nefarious plot involves making everyone very aware of, and suspicious of, their presence.
Third, the phrase “muslim dress” annoys me because it conflates religion and culture. There’s no religious reason to wear salwar kameez instead of a suit. Everyone knows what he meant and it’s not a big thing, but still, irritating. Oh look, someone made t
Here’s an interesting piece on women’s hairstyles and aging, but I can’t get past the idea of calling someone who is fifty-five “middle-aged.” Not that she should cut her hair! But there’s an interesting tension between flouting traditional short hairstyles for “women of a certain age” and the headline, which moves middle-aged up with the baby boomers.
On the other hand, this should make me a young woman for another ten years or so.
“Friending” someone on Facebook is acknowledging a weak tie. Yes, you sat behind me in concert band in high school. You emptied your spit valve. I therefore acknowledge you as an acquaintance and accept your request to be a friend. I will look at your pictures. I will look at the pictures of your child in a bumblebee costume. I will see that you finished college. I will see that you have a new car. I will see that you crashed your bicycle. I will see that you need a sheep, cow, and pig for your Farmville. I will see that you like your…
It may seem incredible to suggest that the anticolonial ideology of Barack Obama Sr. is espoused by his son, the President of the United States. That is what I am saying….For Obama, the solutions are simple. He must work to wring the neocolonialism out of America and the West. And here is where our anticolonial understanding of Obama really takes off, because it provides a vital key to explaining not only his major policy actions but also the little details that no other theory can adequately account for.
A couple days ago I alluded to Henry Morgenthau’s premature departure from Cornell after some study of agriculture. I tried to find information about Morgenthau in The 100 Most Notable Cornellians, but discovered that the authors had instituted stringent criteria: you had to have completed an undergraduate degree. No famous faculty (no Richard Feynman or Vladimir Nabokov), nobody who got only a graduate degree (no William Gass), and no flunkouts. So no notability as a Cornellian for FDR’s Treasury Secretary and the President of the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference. Or for Kurt Vonnegut either.
What does explain it? Culture, specifically parents’ expectations, which is why I thought this was interesting. Often in informal discussions people assume that the culture must affect the child’s expectations directly, and so there’s a type of argument that points to a child’s preference for princess costumes or trucks, notes that the child is too young (and too well-parented) to know that those toys are gendered, and concludes therefore that preferences for princess costumes or…
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This blog is a blog about history, Yiddishkeit, and the Muppets, neither exclusively nor necessarily in that order. And as William Gibson said about this very blog (no, really), “History can save your ass.” Yiddishkeit and the Muppets are just extras.
is the associate director of the Cornell in Washington program and a senior lecturer at Cornell University. He teaches courses on European history, modern military history, guerrilla war, and the role of popular will in waging war.
is a professor of history at UC Davis. He is the author of A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans, which won the Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize in 2004, and his new book, A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek, will be published by Harvard University Press in fall 2012.
is a professor of history at UC Davis. She is the author of Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11 (Oxford, 2009); Red Spy Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth Bentley (North Carolina, 2002); and Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI (North Carolina, 1996).