Jesus H. Christ (Esquire?)

18 01 2011

Good God.  Literally.  I just got the following from a student.  Now, it’s not a terrible essay.  It’s actually quite sweet.  But the weird thing is, the assignment was to take two seemingly opposite things and do a thorough pro/con list for both.  I have no idea how she got from point A (assignment on syllabus) to point B (essay on Jesus).

“REDACTED.”

Also, “he will not waste any affliction”?  Am I the only one who thinks that sounds rather like he has some extra plagues lying around and will just pour them on us whenever, so as not to “waste” them?!

UPDATE:  The student from the crazy affirmative action essay (from “Back”) has gone to the dean about the offensiveness of white people writing about affirmative action (nevermind that the author is hispanic), so I am striking some of my materials from the record until I feel it’s ok to post them again.  Like I mentioned, I feel bad for her ire, and I’m genuinely sorry she’s angsty about this, so it’s not right for me to post these right now.  Sorry, sports fans.





BACK

12 01 2011

As in, baby got.  And also as in, I’ve returned from the maniacal holidays and survived a wicked fucking sinus infection.  I am happily snow-bound, since my town has no goddamn idea what to do with a couple inches of snow, but don’t worry.  There is wine.  In a box.  In the house.  I’ll survive.

Since I have not decided on which books to kick off the new year with (oh hai, 2011), I thought I’d share this horrifying little tidbit from the online class I teach:

The students are assigned to read an essay on Affirmative Action and then tell me the author’s main point.  That’s it.  5 sentences.  His main point is that Affirmative Action doesn’t need to be based on race but rather income, since there are plenty of poor whites not going to college.  For the record, he himself is a Mexican-American.  Well, since my students have the IQ advantage of lemmings, naturally I got this response: 

“REDACTED”

That’s the entire essay she turned in, spelling/punctuation all original.  My favorite part is where she compares rednecks to prostitutes.  Also, she slam dunks that slave card.  It’s a grand gesture of righteous indignation, and I perfectly agree that white people are not a minority.  However, she missed the point.  Which was the point of the assignment.  Also, while I tend to agree this is a stupid essay to assign these students, that’s because it’s too distracting for their overheated brains.  I end up getting opinion pieces on everything from China to lynchings (see above) instead of a simple explanation of a) what the main point is and b) how the author stresses that main point.  The same thing happened in another online class, where instead of just telling me what the thesis was in a Newsweek article, the entire class rallied around the Chinese governement, saying they wished Americans could be more like that. 

Sigh.

So, book recommendations, kids?  Read anything awful lately?  Let me know…

UPDATE:  Affirmative Action girl has complained to the dean about the inhumanity of reading an article on Affirmative Action, so I am pulling her full essay… for now.





The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain, aka Samuel “lazy-ass” Clemens)

1 10 2010

This is part of Luker and Sorcia’s “Back to School Special” month of titles.  If you’d like us to rip a new hole in something particularly awful you recall from school-days of yore, put it on our Suggestions Page or in the comments!  Also, don’t forget to vote on Luker’s last name! 

Fuck Hinn – a story of racism and cross-dressing written in elitist vernacular, with under-developed themes of homoeroticism. 

Punch him the fuck out, Jim.

By Sorcia MacNasty

Oh, this book.  I don’t know what god-awful (and probably male) powers in the universe got together and decided to mind-rape the fuck out of a generation, but I had to read this goddamn thing 4 times before I was 22.  That’s 4 times too many, loyal readers.  If you didn’t have to read it, you’re probably Canadian/European, home-schooled, well-adjusted or some combination of those things.  I personally believe that it’s wide-spread in American schools simply because crotchety old department heads of public school English departments get their jollies from allowing the N-word back into the classroom in an official capacity.  You stay KKKlassy, public schools. 

Spoiler Alert for any lucky soul who has escape this nonsense!  Ok, we get Huck Finn, a filthy youth clearly in the pay of Samuel Clemens, since he opens the story with a foreal plug for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  Thanks for the lesson in marketing, ya douche.  Then he SUMS UP Tom Sawyer for us.  God.  Really?!  Long story short, Huckleberry has been adopted by a kindly widow, inherited a pile of gold stolen from robbers and is chafing under the Widow’s well-meaning efforts to turn him into less of a filthy urchin than he is.  Naturally, he resents this.  I guess we’re suppose to side with him or laugh at him (Twain goes out of his ever-loving way to make Huck appear as superstitious and ignorant as humanly possible, because I guess under-educated abused children of alcoholics are hilarious?) but it’s hard when you’re distracted by the N-word being thrown around like pinata candy. 

Anyhow, he gets kidnapped by his dad, fakes his own death and hooks up with Jim, a runaway slave, whereupon they raft down the Mississippi River together and have ridiculous “adventures.”  Wocka-wocka — Huck dresses like a girl!  (Just like Tom did in Tom Sawyer — what the good hell, Twain?  You need to tell us something?)  These “adventures” allow Twain the opportunity to heartlessly mock all walks and forms of Southerners, good and bad alike, including cruel lampoons that make fun of poems written for DEAD CHILDREN.  Nice.  Defenders of Twain say that he is deliberately trying to exploit the failures of Reconstruction, which is fine, except that the lazy bastard never bothers to suggest how to actually correct or escape the situation.  He just criticizes the shit out of everything and we’re all supposed to be “Har-dee-har-har!”  He was like a 19th-century Glen Beck, and just as humorous.  

Keep in mind that this whole thing was written by a financially-inept tool who fame-whored his way back into good credit-standing, even lecturing while his daughter died of fucking meningitis while visiting her childhood home — the one her dad thoughtfully lost to outstanding debt.  Where’s the mockery of dead kids now, Clemens? 

There is one good character and one good moment in this book.  Jim, the runaway slave, is both smarter and kinder than any other character, and also provides the few moments of genuine humor (i.e. not Minstrel Show in quality), usually when he’s fucking with Huck.  He’s also the only one on the raft who has a good reason for running away, since he’s a SLAVE.  The one good moment is when Huck finally (and I do mean FINALLY, it only takes the little sonofabitch 31 chapters to get there) decides to NOT turn Jim into the authorities despite the law-breaking involved in harboring a runaway slave.  He doesn’t actually decide that slavery is wrong, of course, but he does realize:  “All right, then, I’ll go to hell” – hell being better than turning over your best pal to be lynched (Twain 202).  And that’s a pretty profound moment.  If the book ended right there, we’d be gang-busters. 

Unfortunately, what follows gets off-the-chain ludicrous instead.  From Chapter 34 to the end, mother-fucking Tom Sawyer shows back up (there is even MORE mistaken identity…  Seriously, did Twain have any other goddamn tricks in his bag from creative writing class?!)  and the reader is treated to a slap-stick account of the two boys torturing the good-shit out of poor Jim, who is locked in a cabin, awaiting punishment for his running away.  What the Fuck, Huck?  You’d rather go to hell than turn in your pal, but Tom shows up and you’re totally cool with putting rats and snakes in his cabin?! 

There is all kinds of stupid little boy pranking throughout the last ten chapters, leaving any sensible reader exasperated, confused and annoyed.  How do they get away with still teaching this shit in schools?  Twain is happy to allow the boys to complete revert to a level of immaturity that is baffling, and, in the light of Huck’s newfound humanity, depressingly pathetic.  It’s impossible to draw a decent lesson or moral, because Tom KNOWS that Jim has been freed all along and is still happy to devise tortures for the man while he waits, psychologically tormented by the knowledge he might be branded or even lynched for running away.  The only good part is that Tom does, in fact, get shot.  Unfortunately, he lives. 

In sum:  Mark Twain just made you sit through 30 chapters of excrutiatingly boring 19th-century hijinks, and when he finally bequeaths a decent moral, he reverts right back to even more preposterous hijinks.  For God’s sake, WHY?!  The only explanation I can come up with is that he was a complete and utter LAZY ASS.  Twain at his desk:  “Oh, man, my brain is tired from writing a few compelling and moralistic sentences.  Better get back to the cartoon bullshit.  Immortalized literature — here I come!  BWAHAHAHAHA!”  And then I picture him tossing back his shaggy head in maniacal laughter before inviting Tesla over to talk about coils

SO, what is billed as a poignant and funny bildungsroman is in fact a pack of lies.  There is no “coming of age” when the hero reverts back to childhood, jackass.  Funny?  I guess, if you completely hate yourself.  Poignant?  Sure, for misanthropic recluses.  Whatever good parts of this book that were initially celebrated were first noticed by predominantly white male critics who waxed philosophic about Twain’s message about boyhood and freedom.  Fine.  I get that times change regarding values and ideals, especially in literary trends.  But why on earth are we still shoving this particular, and very convoluted message down teenage throats?  Idiots will tell you:  Oh, it’s such a good story about Racism/Reconstruction/Vernacular language/Coming of Age. 

I beg to fucking differ.  You want a good book about racism?  Read Frederick Douglas or Ralph Ellison.  You want a good book on the Reconstruction?  Read Jubilee by Margaret Walker.  Want to read dialect and high-quality dialogue?  Read anything by Kate Chopin.  Need an honest coming-of-age story?  Good fucking christ — take your pick!  And really, I am pretty sick of reading about racism and the Reconstruction from any Old, Dead, WHITE guy.  There are too many alternatives, and we are doing students and the literary canon a disservice by still including this tripe. 

Some particularly absurd lines: 

–  “I don’t take no stock in dead people.” (33) 

You and everyone whose seen The Sixth Sense, Huck honey.  Seriously, though, Huck is so fucking superstitious that this line is just patently dumb.  It’s Twain’s sad attempt to show how silly the Bible seems to young people — ooooh, what a radical idea, Twain!  Tell us more about the malaise of teenagery and their distaste for adults being boring.  Blah. 

–  “Git up and hump yourself, Jim!  There ain’t a minute to lose!”  (81) 

Har.  This is funny because I’m a twelve-year old. 

–  “I seen it warn’t no use wasting words — you can’t learn a nigger to argue.  So I quit.”  (95) 

Wow, Twain, thanks for the lesson in hateful racial assumptions. 

– “Human beings can be awful cruel to one another.”  (216)

Oh, the irony.  He says this about two assholes who get tarred/feathered and right before he viciously goes along with Tom’s plan to make Jim’s imprisoned life a complete hellish misery. 

Huck and Mark Twain TRIED to be good.  They really did, and they even were, for a little space in a misguided time.  But it’s just like Homer Simpson said, “Son, you tried your hardest and you failed.  The lesson here is, never try.”





What have you done?

3 09 2010

I got the following in my fortune cookie:

Your problem just got bigger.  Think, what have you done. 

Hold the fucking phone, Panda Palace.  I don’t need to be judged just after sucking down bowls of lo-mein.  And the damn cookie assumes that the problem is MY fault!  I don’t even have a problem, goddamnit.  Well, I didn’t until I opened this sassy fucking cookie.





Tits and Bigfoot

30 06 2010

I feel like this blog post title should win a goddamn award.  If someone wants to nominate me, feel free. 

So this post is going to be a collection of completely random shit from my life.  First, the Tits: 

Who is losing sleep over having a great rack?! Not me, son.

All right.  What the good fuck is going on here?!  “My boobs… they’re so HEAVY!  I wish I had something large and uncomfortable to shove between them.  That’ll help.”  And it’s so judgey – C cups and larger ONLY, ladies.  Makes you wonder if there is a guy on the phone when you order to verify that you got big knockers.  I have more than a handful myself, kids, and I can’t fathom the purpose of the damn thing.  How is wedging cock-shaped plastic between your Girls going to help you sleep better?  If I needed a huge brown and pink wanker between my ta-tas ALL NIGHT LONG, I’m pretty sure my husband would volunteer his services.  

Apparently, it’s called a “Kush” and you can see a close-up and read the hilarious customer reviews here.  

So, this can’t be a real thing, with a real purpose, in any case.  It’s gotta be some kind of sex toy in disguise, right?  Yet… just a few pages later…. 

Quite a selection, you must admit.

 

My doorbell just don't require this level of ringin'

So they’re clearly not shy about selling clitoral massage pumps.  “Gentle suction” my ass.  And look at that lady bottom right, holding the blue vibrator to her throat.  Someone give that bitch a map, some GPS, something.  She is a bit north of her intended destination, I feel.  My favorite comment from the reviews online:  “The suction thing hurts!”  Bwahahaha!  I fucking bet it does.  But you can’t really claim that you didn’t know what you were getting into.  That is an explicit little mechanism, pal.  See close-ups and read more hilarious reviews here

But such a selection means, terrifying as it may seem, that the titty shelf is foreal.  *sigh*  This is why the rest of the world hates us, America.  There are starving African babies and we’re inventing boob balancers.  

No lie, this is all from a catalogue called “Solutions: Products that Make Life Easier.”  It’s like getting SkyMall at home.    

Now this, gentle readers, is from my honest-to-god local news channel.  I cannot even make this shit up.  This is where I live.  Fucking brace yourself: 

Not only do I live within miles of people who foreal believe in Bigfoot, but apparently they kinda have a tween-girl crush on him: “He had beautiful hair!”  

Also, in case you missed it while rolling on the floor in your own urine just now, the newscaster’s name is Neill McNeill.  What a fucking douchebag.  At least Mr. I-tell-Bigfoot-to-Git-and-he-Gits hasn’t got a ridiculous name.  Well, not that we’re aware of.  Yet. 

That’s your weekly Southern update, friends.  As the 4th of July approaches, I just thought I’d take the time to examine what makes this country great:  Tits and Bigfoot.





The Science of Superheroes

3 06 2010

 Recently, a prompt at Jezebel.com (What Was Your Most Ridiculous College Class?) really reminded me of my days at *sigh* University of Central Florida.  I know, I know, it’s not like I should have really expected any better from a school located in the dead center of Flori-duh, but what can I say?  It was cheap. 

So, the class that first came to mind as “absurd” was my credit for Physics, though it was entitled: “The Science of SUPERHEROES.”  Yes, the caps are original.  I was an English major, and I just wanted to get the damn thing over with, so much so that I literally didn’t see a problem with signing up for a course that was seemingly designed by a 40-year-old Warcrafter living in his mom’s basement.  Actually, the professor, bless his heart, was from Greece, and his accent was a tad heavy, especially on words like “syllabus,” which he pronounced “Silly-BOOS.”  He had created the course from scratch, clearly in a masturbatory fantasy involving Wonder Woman posters, and was hoping the department would let him expand it in the coming years.  I don’t think this happened. 

We spent an entire semester reading comic books, taking field trips to the new Spiderman and X-Men movies, and discussing AT LENGTH all the reasons that Superman couldn’t fly but Batman probably could.  In retrospect, it was a nerd-girl’s dream class, and I had a great deal of fun writing essays entitled, “Spidy’s Web Throwing:  Fact or Fiction?” and “Where Will You Be When the Earth Starts Turning Backwards?” and “How to Prepare for the Mutant Take-Over: 10 Easy Steps.”  Yes, I got grades for these papers.  Yes, I got A’s (English majors, it should be noted, are nothing if not long-winded).  But each class was like going to some secret enclave at Comic-Con (read: like the elevator) where comic books and super-powers were picked apart with the same fervor and detail as an academic conference on James Joyce’s Ulysses.  No question was too ridiculous to warrant a 3-hour discussion about, including but not limited to: how one might construct Batman’s accoutrements in one’s gardage; the temperature difference between Earth and Krypton; whether or not the Mutants were the “real” zombie apocalypse (which was equally inevitable); if Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s butler, had ever tried psychadelic drugs (one class member posited that the whole Batman series was a fantasy of Alfred’s, ala Walter Mitty, St. Elsewhere or similar).  The powerpoint presentations alone were hilarious if baffling, featuring clip-art in lieu of trademarked superheros, which only served to confuse us further. 

Pictured: SCIENCE

 

What about you, loyal readers?  What was your biggest waste of time from your college daze?





Students Gone Wild

17 04 2010

Pictured: The End Result of my Teaching Career

 

It’s not that teachers are bad people, it’s just that we’ve made terrible life choices.

I guess it’s an ambiguous honor when you’re beloved enough by your students that they call you at 2 PM on a Saturday, frantically wanting to know where to find a large rubber dildo.

Actually, in the interest of full disclosure, I should mention 2 things: 1) the message was texted, and I mentally gave the student mental points for correctly spelling both “rubber” and “dildo” and 2) the student is a boy, who followed up text #1 with text #2: “Don’t judge me. I’ll explain later.”

When I called back with the answer (I mean, in all fairness, they totally picked the right person to tell them where to go sex toy shopping in my conservative one-horse/whore/dildo-shop town), my opener was, “Rubber or latex?” And then, later, the sign off from my own personal peanut gallery was, “I TOLD you guys she would know! Thanks! See you Monday for school!”

So either the entire baseball team is roaming my town on a misguidedly homoerotic shopping spree, or college is simply keeping young men too fucking busy to go boondoggin’ after chicks (as should be their wont).

I gotta just say: the image of burly young college dudes roaring around town in a Honda Civic (or similar), waving brightly colored plastic dildoes out the car windows really brings a smile to my face. Truly, this was why I got into teaching.








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