Northwestern professor and alleged discriminator Laura Kipnis
Three months ago, Laura Kipnis wrote an essay for the Chronicle of Higher Education called Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe. In it, she argues that Northwestern’s new policy forbidding professors from dating undergraduates presumes young adults are powerless before the charismatic and institutional powers of teachers—presumes it in a way that encourages students to think of themselves as powerless, too. Quote:
It’s the fiction of the all-powerful professor embedded in the new campus codes that appalls me. And the kowtowing to the fiction—kowtowing wrapped in a vaguely feminist air of rectitude. If this is feminism, it’s feminism hijacked by melodrama. The melodramatic imagination’s obsession with helpless victims and powerful predators is what’s shaping the conversation of the moment, to the detriment of those whose interests are supposedly being protected, namely students. The result? Students’ sense of vulnerability is skyrocketing.
She also describes, in vague terms, recent allegations against fellow Northwestern professor Peter Ludlow. Shortly thereafter, two Northwestern graduate students filed their own Title IX complaints against her, saying the essay constituted “retaliation” and discouraged victims of sexual misconduct from coming forward. A subsequent investigation cleared her of wrongdoing.
Hillary Clinton, recently upgraded to “old” from “bitch”
“In some ways,” Rand Paul says in this article from the Times, “the older Democrats have become more staid and status-quo-like than some of us Republicans.” Thus begins the most tenuous political strategy in recent memory: Republicans’ plan to characterize Democrats as the party of the old. Former Romney strategist Stuart Stevens told reporters last month that electing a Democrat in 2016 would be like going back in time. And Mitch McConnell described the likely Democratic field as like an episode of The Golden Girls, presumably in that he masturbates to it.
“We’re really puzzled,” Newt Gingrich says. “Here at Gingrich Productions, we’ve spent weeks trying to figure out: what do you call this?” Then he holds up a smartphone. It appears to be an iPhone, but it’s definitely some kind of touch-screen, internet-capable personal communications device, known in circulars and strip malls across America as a smartphone. The term “smartphone” was first used by Ericsson in 1997, but Gingrich seems genuinely not to know it, spending three minutes in rapturous speculation on what such a device might be called. “If it’s taking pictures, it’s a not a cell phone,” he opines. “If it has a McDonald’s app to tell you where McDonald’s is based on your GPS location, that’s not a cell phone. If you can get Wikipedia or go to Google, that’s not a cell phone.” Props to Aaron Galbraith for the video, which is 2:53 of uncut dramatic irony that you can watch after the jump.
Ke$ha is forced to work as a zombus on the Louisiana bayou.
Yesterday, vigilant Ke$ha-watcher Ben al-Fowlkes sent me links to two Ke$ha tweets. The first was mysteriously deleted, and the second apologized to anyone “effected by this tragedy,” saying that she understands “why my song is now inappropriate.” It was a puzzlement. I assumed “this tragedy” referred to the music industry that effected her rise to stardom, but it turns out I was thinking of “travesty” and she was thinking of “affected.” Ke$ha was actually apologizing to those affected by the Newtown shootings, which prompted several radio stations to stop playing her single “Die Young.”
The pleasingly-named Hans von Spakovsky
Let’s say you lived in an exceptionally honest town where theft was almost unheard of. After years of almost zero larceny, the Honestburg Police Department announced that a massive crime wave had struck the city. Thieves were thick, according to the HPD, and so the cops went house to house confiscating stolen property. Occasionally they would take the television some old lady had for decades, but they returned it to her eventually and, besides, such mistakes are inevitable when battling a crime wave of this scale. So a question: does Honestburg have a theft problem now? On a completely unrelated note, the Ohio Voter Project filed a complaint with the Hamilton County Board of elections alleging that Theresa Sharp was fraudulently registered at the house where she has been living for 30 years.