no typical white person

The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity, but that she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know (pause) there’s a reaction in her that doesn’t go away and it comes out in the wrong way.
—Barack Hussein Obama, call to Philadelphia sports radio 610 WIP, 20 March 2008
Continue reading no typical white person

world’s shortest books

  1. Let Us Honor Great Italian War Heroes;
  2. Two Millennia of German Humanism;
  3. A Manual of French Hygiene;
  4. Recognizing British Heterosexuality;
  5. A Field Guide to Great American Lovers;
  6. Mastering Russian Table Manners;
  7. A Treasury of Polish Wit and Wisdom;
  8. The Secrets of Iranian Diplomacy;
  9. Iron Rules of Chinese Business Ethics;
  10. Side-Splitting Japanese Jokes;
  11. Loving Your Neighbors the Greek Way;
  12. Jewish Ways of Happiness; and
  13. Negroes I Have Met While Yachting.

on y va

African stories follow a standard pattern which dictates that the attention of the listeners must be held. At no time must boredom set in. One must play with the listeners’ emotions as one does with a toy doll. Make them laugh, make them cry, make them angry, thwart their expectations, puzzle them one moment, delight them, or repel them, the next. And always leave them with wide open mouths, begging for more.
Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, Indaba, My Children: African Folktales, Grove Press, 1999, p. 529

You’re violating the first rule of being Steve. — Who? — Learn to eliminate your desire. […]
This takes us to the second rule of being Steve. You have to do something excellent in her presence, thus demonstrating your sexual worthiness. […]
That takes us to part three of the Tao of Steve. After you’ve eliminated your desire, and after you’ve been excellent in her presence, then you must retreat, okay? […]
I made a cheat sheet so I wouldn’t forget. “Be desireless, be excellent, and be gone.”
The Tao of Steve

Edmond Haraucourt : « Partir, c’est mourir un peu. »
Louis Tiercelin : « Mourir, c’est partir un peu. »
Alphonse Allais : « Mourir, c’est partir beaucoup. »
Jacques Prévert : « Martyr, c’est pourrir un peu. »

the living brains

Bush got us into Iraq, JFK into Vietnam. Bush stole the election in Florida; Kennedy stole his in Chicago. Bush outed a CIA agent; Kennedy left hundreds of them to die in the surf at the Bay of Pigs. Bush lied about his military service; Kennedy accepted a Pulitzer Prize for a book written by Ted Sorenson. Bush was in bed with the Saudis, Kennedy with the Mafia. Oh.
—David Mamet: Why I Am No Longer a ‘Brain-Dead Liberal’, The Village Voice, March 11th, 2008 12:00 AM

Academic Expulsion Rules and Practices Query

On 29 February of this year, two days before the election of pint-sized Dmitry Medvedev to the post of the President of Russian Federation, performance art group Vojna (War), formerly best known for its eccentric commemoration of conceptual poet Dmitry Prigov in a moving train of the Moscow Metro, mounted another exhibition in the Biological Museum. This time, they performed in support of the survival of the bear as the totem animal of ancient Slavs. Notably, the run-up to the election prominently featured a spontaneous youth movement of “bear cubs” rallying in support of Vladimir Putin and his designated successor, whose last name fortuitously echoes notional kinship with Ursus arctos. Thus the most recent Vojna performance featured allegedly authentic sexual intercourse under the banner captioned FUCK FOR BEAR CUB’S HEIR.

In the wake of this affair, some of its participants were identified as students of the Philosophy Department of the Moscow State University, from which they were expelled after the mandatory hand-wringing faculty sessions. Their expulsion was allegedly motivated by considerations of philosophical decorum. Coincidentally, political technology is the most lucrative specialty taught by the MSU Philosophy Department at present.

In the ensuing discussion, several parties have posed the question of whether or not students engaging in similar behavior would have been expelled from Oxford or Harvard. I therefore ask all interested and informed parties to weigh in on this issue with considerations of rules and precedents.

Crossposted to [info]larvatus and [info]elitistasshat; banned from [info]philosophy.