Saturday, May 30, 2015


There was Richard the Third, Malcolm the Tenth, May the Thirtieth, and Title the Ninth.

That last one, what a motherfucker.  I see "IX" and I check my heart rate a few seconds later to find that it has gone up to 80 (resting is normally 60 for me).

With Title IX, everything--and I mean everything--can go wrong.

This year, I served on a committee that, let's say, "has something to do with Title IX."  I don't know why I agreed to this.  I'd sit in the meetings and wonder why there were no lawyers in the room. "We really need lawyers here," I'd say. "These are not decisions we should be making without lawyers here." It is disheartening to say, "We need lawyers here."  Oh, christ on a cracker, what had I gotten myself into?

Yesterday, someone took a beating--just for doing her job about as well as anyone could.  I'm glad I'm not in her shoes. My heart rate would probably be up over 100 while sleeping.

I so enjoyed reading Kipnis's piece and the one in the NYT Magazine.  I skipped the readers' comments on the former--because they can be such a waste of time in The Crampicle--but I will likely go back and skim through the comments on the latter (once they've accumulated, perhaps Monday or Tuesday).  Kipnis, especially, let me feel like someone was commiserating with me.

It's such a goddamned cottage industry.  Part of me wishes I'd majored in Title IX instead of getting a PhD in whatever the hell it was I studied.  Talk about job security.

This is the ambivalence:  So much of what we do involves exploring an increasingly tangled web--with the exploration itself tending to tangle the web even more.  And I'm driven to do that. But I also so thoroughly enjoy mopping the floor, mowing the lawn, changing my mother's Depends, and washing the dishes, because these accomplishments are concrete and tangible and knowable.

That's all.  I'm just drunk and talking to myself and Cal is getting crankier by the minute....


  1. Kipnis' piece at the Chrampikle is apparently now behind a paywall. However, by coincidence I linked to a post on a blog the other day, and on that same blog there is this recent post about a the Kipnis Title IX case.

    At certain times, I enjoy plumbing, wiring, drywalling, roofing, finish carpentry, etc., all because, they are, as you say, concrete and tangible and knowable, and because their results are immediately observable and (if done right) durable. I love the idea about the exploration tangling the web, and being drawn to it -- I suspect that holds true for many here.

  2. I'm with you on the satisfaction that comes from activities that result in something "concrete, tangible, and knowable," Bubba. I'm not sure I would put changing Depends in that category, but yes, caring for others who have cared for us (and others) in their time brings its own rewards. In fact, you've reminded me of the day I accidentally threw away my grandmother's underwear in a ladies' room on a boardwalk on the Jersey Shore (I didn't realize that she -- who was experiencing a decline somewhat akin to your mother's -- was no longer accustomed to being more than a few steps from a toilet; the predictable occurred; we ducked into the ladies' room to deal with the situation; I didn't realize why she was handing me a wad of paper towels as she came out of the stall, threw them away, and then wasn't sure what to say, a block later, when she asked "where are my underpants?" Fortunately, there was a store selling the sort of old-fashioned ladies' underpants she wore a block or two away from the boardwalk, so I was able to provide a replacement, plus a few backups. Then I got to go back to the apartment we were renting and explain to my father what had happened, and why there was now a charge for "ladies lingerie" on the credit card he'd given me to deal with emergencies. Fortunately, he agreed that it was an emergency, and we laughed about it -- sometimes, you've just got to laugh, or at least take what satisfaction you can in the situation, because the alternatives are too depressing).

    Oh, yes -- and I'll have to read the articles. This stuff is, indeed, becoming more and more complicated. And yes, the tangling-as-you-untangle description rings all too true (as well as being nicely described).