Saturday, December 17, 2005

They Must Be Talkin' 'bout That Evil "Song of Solomon"


These students at the University of Texas-San Antonio held a "Porn for Bibles" exchange.

Later they drowned sixteen newborn puppies in a bucket.

Crazy Little Pimp Called Love


Mashup of Queen and Fitty.

(See. Mustache.)

I Wish I Knew How to Quit You, Maureen Dowd



I really don't like Maureen Dowd, but, gosh, that's kinda hard to do, isn't it. She's just so...so...spectacularly...something.

Anyway, here' s Joe Queenan's email to her:

{Would it be a good thing if men disappeared, or if only certain men disappeared?

If men are not necessary, can we take all the things we invented, like, physics, the Renaissance, the Theory of Relativity, the personal computer, the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar," with us when we go.

I know men must take responsibility for Adolph Hitler. But shouldn't women take responsibility for Paris Hilton and those people on "The View"? Are any of *them* necessary?

Where is the female Beethoven?}

Friday, December 16, 2005

Shame!



And my mom didn't appreciate it one bit!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sloganeering



The English department here recently solicited slogans for the Web site. Mine didn't make it:

"English. What Madonna majored in. And Eminem."

"You want Shakespeare? We got Shakespeare."

"English. Not nearly as dreadful as you've heard."

Hey, That's No Gentleman!



Wha'? Oh...those tricky German articles.

Dirty Santa



If it turns out that this essay was written by someone in my department, I will be the least surprised person on earth. If it turns out it was a collaborative effort involving, say, everyone in my department except me and old Alzheimer Ed, I will be the least surprised person on earth.

Don't Piss-Off the Baby Jesus



I wish I knew how to quit you, Dan Brown.

The trailer is out.

What's up with Tom Hanks's near-mullet?

Namewithheld Sighting


Professor Namewithheld sings opera. Who knew?

Gifts, Left.



Buy one for all the Democrats in your family.

I'm jus' keeeding.

But you know Howard Dean is the RNC's BFF.

That's "David" not "Bruce"


Yet a second essay...

"Ashley" really, really, really likes David Banner's song "Play," because it encourages her to exercise: "Work them hips / Run, girl."

Uh, the real lyrics encourage a different kind of exercise altogether. Aaron Airplane's got them.

And do not confuse David Banner with Bruce Banner. That will make him angry. And you won't like him when he's angry.

Run for the Room & Border



If you're from, say, Portland, and you want to go to college in California, you won't get the in-state rate. But if you're from, say, Agua Prieta, and you want to go to college in California, you *will* get the in-state rate. If you're an illegal, that is.

Here.

The New Crack Cocaine


Adderall is as common on my campus as is, say, acorns. It's not just for breakfast anymore.

Here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Little High Culture


I made the mistake of letting a student pick his own topic for an extra credit essay. I should have known better. I have made this mistake before. It got me essays like "Why Britney Should Divorce Kevin and Go Back to Justin," "Would Abe Lincoln Support the Special Olympics?," and, well, others. They make me want to go home and shove knitting needles into my eyes. These essays usually come with, hmm, peculiar sentences in which it is not the cow that jumps, but the fence. The Freshman Essay is truly a genre unto itself. But I digress.

"Jake" turned in eight pages on this. Cannibal Corpse is the best name the band could come up with. They like to sing in the same voice that little girl used in the really scary parts of that movie that time.

Jake was torn over which Cannibal Corpse masterpiece was his favorite: "Edible Autopsy," "Entrails Ripped from a Virgin's Cunt" (note: do not confuse this with the George and Ira Gershwin tune of the same title; it's not, and boy was mom surprised), or "Meathook Sodomy" (you're gonna need a little time off from work after this song).

From the looks of reading it, he must have been listening to those tracks as he typed. Or maybe another of their songs, "Shit Something Out Quick."

Still. Teaching college. You gotta love it. We get paid to think out loud.

Postscript: Putting links in any of this would send me straight to hell, probably before 3 o'clock this afternoon. Google at your own risk.

East Coast LC?



There just aren't enough hours in the day to think about LC. I set my alarm for early so I can get up and get some more thinkin' in about her. (And of course Jen.)

Until The Hills start, there's this.

Whither the Mustache?



Not for just "skeevy" men and my ex-girlfriends anymore.

Gawker's got this.

{It's a female face's worst nightmare, and a lonely vagina's dream come true: the mustache is making a comeback.}

What a Betty!


My favorite girl not named Jen or Michelle.

Check her out.

"Hey, Mr. DJ! Huh?"


I'm as excited as the next sixties burnout that Dylan's gonna be a DJ. (Time Out of Mind is one of my 5 desert island albums.) But will we be able to understand anything he says without Robbie Robertson there to interpret?

The NYT gots this...

{The singer has signed on to serve as host of a weekly one-hour program on XM Satellite Radio, spinning records and offering commentary on new music and other topics, starting in March. The famously reclusive 64-year-old performer said in a statement yesterday that "a lot of my own songs have been played on the radio, but this is the first time I've ever been on the other side of the mike."}

Foreign Jayson Blairs! Yay!



Today's Chronicle has this...

{Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice helped inaugurate a program on Tuesday that will bring about 100 young reporters from around the world to six American journalism schools in order to study journalistic practices in the United States.}

Course titles: "How to Color the News"; "How to Manufacture News"; "Photoshoping Documents"; "Lie, Page One. Retraction, Page Twenty-One."; "Why Report? Crusade!"; "Ways to Bring Down a Presidency" (guest lecturer, Dan Rather); "Diversity Means Left and Lefter."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Intellectual Diversity"? What's that?



From today's Chronicle...

{The American Council of Trustees and Alumni issued a report late Monday that assailed more than 100 colleges and universities for failing to show how they planned to carry out principles of academic rights and intellectual diversity that two dozen higher-education groups endorsed in June (The Chronicle, June 23). The report, "Intellectual Diversity: Time for Action," was scheduled to be posted today on the council's Web site. Besides criticizing college officials, the report lists ways colleges could enhance their intellectual diversity, such as eliminating speech codes, cracking down on hecklers, and pushing for such diversity in invited speakers, visiting professors, and faculty hiring, tenuring, and promotions. The report concludes by urging trustees to hold college officials' feet to the fire to make sure they follow through.}

New Grievance Studies Department



From today's NYT...

{Harvard University and Georgetown University each announced yesterday that they had received $20 million donations from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, a Saudi businessman and member of the Saudi royal family, to finance Islamic studies.}

Monday, December 12, 2005

And Then There Were 2


Final 2!

I called it!

And I'm starting to feel bad for doing this.

Just look at her. Ahh. I bet that's how angels wear braces.

And We Wonder Why They Hate Us



William F. Buckley once said he'd rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phonebook than by the 2,000 members of the Harvard faculty.

No wonder, with questions like this.

13-0!

Inclement C



That Tookie Williams has lived this long (see raping the legal system for nearly 30 years) is the injustice. But, I wonder, doesn't the whole concept of a governor's right to grant clemency need one of them makeovers everybody is getting these days. Isn't what's at play, essentially, an evaluation of whether or not the convict's case has some "irregularities" gone unnoticed, irregularities of such an extent to warrant giving the middle finger to the bunches of people in that state (lots of juries and judges) who decided on and issued judgment in the case. That we hang around the neck of a governor the life or death of person allows for fingers-in-the-wind political decisions, no? But hey, that's just me. And maybe them.

The Chronicles


In academe today...

{Hurricane-ravaged Southern University at New Orleans will undergo a drastic restructuring under a new academic plan approved on Friday by the Board of Supervisors of the Southern University System. The plan, which passed by a vote of 9 to 2, will eliminate programs in 19 academic disciplines, including mathematics, physics, and English, and instead emphasize community development and worker training, according to news reports.

Mr. Omojola said that it was hard to imagine a modern university that did not award degrees in such academic staples as math and English. "When you do not have those elements in a university," he said, "you really do not have a university."}

Go here for that.

Go here for this.

{The biggest obstacle to increased federal support for higher education is left-wing political bias on college faculties, Sen. Lamar Alexander said on Friday during an appearance before the Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education.

"When I go to talk to people about funding for higher education, the single biggest pushback I get is from elected representatives who think that higher education is too one-sided," said Mr. Alexander, former secretary of education.

Policy makers "don't put much weight on what comes out of higher education because it is one-sided."

Arthur J. Rothkopf, a commission member who is a former president of Lafayette College, said he had struggled to bring a diversity of opinions to the college during his tenure. Mr. Rothkopf, who served in the administration of the first President Bush, said he was able to invite conservative commencement speakers but was stymied by the liberal faculty in "day-to-day operations."

According to Mr. Alexander, state spending on Medicaid increased 36 percent from 2000 to 2004, while state spending on higher education increased only 6.8 percent. If that trend continues for 10 more years, he warned, "we won't have a great University of Tennessee."

"The greatest disappointment in higher education today: colleges of education." Mr. Alexander said that such colleges range from inadequate to poor, and he accused them of serving as "roadblocks to the very reforms they ought to be championing."}

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Guilty! (of Bein' Hott!)


When it's time for me to say, "But, Your Honor..." gosh I hope I get this guy.

{WHEN Sandra Beth Geisel, a former Catholic schoolteacher, was sentenced to six months in jail last month for having sex with a 16-year-old student, she received sympathy from a surprising source.

The judge, Stephen Herrick of Albany County Court in New York, told her she had "crossed the line" into "totally unacceptable" behavior. But, he added, the teenager was a victim in only the strictly legal sense. "He was certainly not victimized by you in any other sense of the word," the judge said. The prosecutor and a lawyer for the boy's family called the judge's comments outrageous.}

NYT story here.

I Read It on the Internet--It Must Be True



My students believe nearly anything they read on the Internet. I try to inject them with 100 cc's of Healthy Skepticism (hell, even *I* got a blog!), but still, Wikipedia is, like, the research paper's best friend (mine, too, on occasion). But this story is so good it should be in the Bible.

Clinton Giving the Finger Once Again



"I did not have sex with that woman..."

Wait. Wrong news conference.

'Twas the Night Before Solstice


You won't read it if I tell you who wrote it so...

With apologies to Clement C. Moore...

{'Twas the night before Solstice, and all through the land
the ACLU was watching to keep things in hand.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while forces kept Christmas out of their heads.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed and heard desperate chatter.
Someone had seen my manger display,
And wailed very loudly - go away, go away.

How could I be so crass, so utterly wrong
To show the infant Jesus and sing him a song?
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
An ACLU lawyer, looking stern and aloof.

No manger! No caroling! he said with a snort,
And if you don't comply immediately, I'll take you to court!
He was chubby and plump, a right surly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.

He dallied no more, but went straight to his phone
Lamenting the manger, in a most pitiful moan.
But I in the spirit, said nothing unkind
Christmas is forgiveness whatever you find.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
Christmas will survive, the folks will demand it,
Even if secular lawyers will not understand it.

Then I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
Happy Solstice to all, and to all a good night!}

If you must know, here.