Poem.

THE NARCOTIC FAMINE


‘The American opioid-overdose epidemic must be addressed in the same stroke as the [global] narcotic famine.’

Hard to imagine
Narcotic famine

The stark hills the plain
Wide face of pain’s

End-of-life. Our morphine-feed.
Their tumbleweed.

Or the black unmitigated tea
Of uninfused misery.

Against our continuous bolus
The subcutaneous solace

That tranquils labored breath,
Sedates us up to death …

Their bitter unassistive pill.
Unpalliated kill.

Limerick.

When it comes to the source of their moxie
The Sacklers know how to be foxy.
“They don’t know from Oxy.
They don’t know from Roxy.
And I’m an anonymous proxy.”

Now it’s the turn of North America.

Quebec follows many European nations and regions in banning the burqa and niqab in public places.

Opponents always say the same two dumb things.

They say only a few women wear it. So? It ain’t about numbers, baby.

They say it’s all about the cynical politics of the moment.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims issued a statement saying it was “deeply concerned” by the new law and that it “boils down to ugly identity politics” ahead of the 2018 provincial election.

Opposition to fully covered women, in country after country, is profound, and transcends politics.

***************

As for ugly identity politics – hey. Better ugly identities than no identity at all.

IOW: For sure this is about identity politics. It’s about having an identity. End the blotting out of women.

“Pitino maintains complete innocence throughout, and at one point says that he actually had his program become extra compliant after a 2015 escort scandal. As for that scandal? He, of course, knew nothing about it.”

Evil whoring assistant coach!
Evil whoring corporate roach!

Little boy innocent! Little boy blue!
Rick has no choice but to sue sue sue sue.

The Center for Strategic and International Stupefacients…

… boasts on its board one of America’s most notorious opioid distributors: John Hammergren. As CEO of McKesson, he has flooded West Virginia and similar defenseless states with so many opioids that over the last ten years, while helping to destroy the lives of thousands of Americans, he has brought home seven hundred million dollars in personal compensation.

As Alfred North Whitehead reminds us, “No one who achieves success does so without the help of others.” Thanks, citizens of Kermit!

It must give the scholars at CSIS a warm feeling to ponder this major source of their funding (Hammergren is also a big-time donor). UD thinks the CSIS leadership should visit Kermit and give every one of its citizens a big fat kiss.

******************

To make it all even prettier, Hammergren chairs a CSIS task force on family health!

While you’re enjoying 60 Minutes, and following today’s news about Tom Marino (currently suffering from withdrawal), remember that opioid-loving drug czars may come and go, but people like Hammergren, given respectability by seemingly respectable academic outfits like CSIS, go on forever, destroying entire towns and setting health care policy.

‘Beyond the face-covering ban, the bill also sets out broad limits for all requests for religious accommodation. It states a request has to be “serious,” respect the right to equality between men and women and “the right of every person to be treated without discrimination.”‘

Quebec is well on its way, not only toward a significant burqa ban, but just as importantly toward an effort to discriminate between “serious” and non-serious religious accommodation requests. The intellectual laziness and social irresponsibility of beliefs like Katha Pollitt’s – “[R]eligion is what people make of it.” – make the world safe for crushing restrictions against girls and women in otherwise advanced countries.

You don’t get to say that your religion mandates that your eleven year old daughter have her clitoris cut off and her vagina sewn up and her head and body covered in veils. You don’t get to say that your religion mandates your wife can’t leave the house – ever – or if she is allowed out, it’s only under guard and under total veiling. You don’t get to say that “due to my firm religious beliefs … it will not be possible for me to meet in public with a group of women.” It’s perfectly okay for you to run your own cult in which you ban yourself from contact with the female race, but you don’t get to call this a religion, and you don’t get accommodations based on it.

You’re free to sue your daughter’s school because it won’t let you be on its grounds fully veiled. You will lose the suit, and it will cost you a lot of money and the court system a lot of time to get to that foreseeable outcome, but you’re free to do it.

But no state, and no institution within a state, is compelled to accommodate every demand made upon it simply because someone somewhere presents some behavior or other as religious.

‘Rick Pitino Out at Louisville as Expected Amid Federal Probe’

Indeed, we knew that was coming.

What you might not have known is the other big news:

Rick Pitino has just been named Academic Provost at the University of North Carolina!

Richard Wilbur, a Great American Poet, has Died.

At 96. Here’s one of his best poems. It’s nice and seasonal.

In the Elegy Season

Haze, char, and the weather of All Souls’:
A giant absence mopes upon the trees:
Leaves cast in casual potpourris
Whisper their scents from pits and cellar-holes.

Or brewed in gulleys, steeped in wells, they spend
In chilly steam their last aromas, yield
From shallow hells a revenance of field
And orchard air. And now the envious mind

Which could not hold the summer in my head
While bounded by that blazing circumstance
Parades these barrens in a golden trance,
Remembering the wealthy season dead,

And by an autumn inspiration makes
A summer all its own. Green boughs arise
Through all the boundless backward of the eyes,
And the soul bathes in warm conceptual lakes.

Less proud than this, my body leans an ear
Past cold and colder weather after wings’
Soft commotion, the sudden race of springs,
The goddess’ tread heard on the dayward stair,

Longs for the brush of the freighted air, for smells
Of grass and cordial lilac, for the sight
Of green leaves building into the light
And azure water hoisting out of wells.

******************

UD‘s Wilbur posts. (Scroll down.)

Hurricane Ophelia Makes a Rainbow in Dublin

La Kid just snapped this photo
from her apartment’s sitting room.

‘Well #VSU homecoming was lit until somebody got shot smh’

This tweeter expresses surprise (smh: shake my head) that one of America’s most violent campuses – Virginia State University – features violence. It was homecoming; there was a hiphop concert; the evening featured gunfire, injury, and a bunch of fights.

A little counterpoint, if I may, between the editorial staff of the Texas Tech newspaper…

… and a Lubbock insurance blogger.

[TT]:

With the Las Vegas shooting happening so far away from here, it’s easy to separate ourselves from the idea that [a nineteen year old Texas Tech freshman – Hollis Daniels – could be a cold-blooded murderer].

[IB]:

The FBI recently released 2016 data for crime in the United States. Lubbock was ranked as the 2nd most dangerous city in Texas with 825.4 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents.

[TT]:

It feels like our little West Texas world has been darkened by the threat of a shooting.

[IB]:

[T]he violent crime rate in Lubbock is 88% higher than the average across Texas.

[TT]:

[A]s Red Raiders, we are closer than ever and will continue to support each other.

That’s the spirit of Tech and everyone associated with this university, and that will never fade away.

[UD]:

Everyone?

‘To Quote a UNC Friend: “We beat the rap by arguing, in effect, that any UNC degree might be worthless, not just athletes.”‘

This blog has long written about how big-time athletics infects a university, attracting to it scads of unserious students, jocksniffer administrators, and rich, control-freak, alumni boosters. Eventually the university is run by the two guys with all the money: the alumni booster (Boone Pickens; Phil Knight) and the football/basketball coach (JoePa Of Blessed Memory and Cached Statue; Still-Uncached Statue Man Nick Saban).

Every now and then one of these hopeless little North Koreas, with their Dear Leaders who take students’ money in order to play the pointless war games (KILL AUBURN!) that keep students in a stupor, decides to improve itself, to look more like a university than an experiment in repressive desublimation. But whether it’s Penn State or the University of North Carolina, the systemic sickness of the jockshop (Professor Emeritus Sandusky puts PSU’s leadership in prison; Julius Nyang’oro’s depravity ushers in mandatory class inspections for all faculty) will always – as the UNC observer in this post’s headline notes – overwhelm any self-improvement efforts and reveal the sick joke at the permanent core of the place.

*****************

UD thanks an UNC insider
for this post’s headline.

You DOO-DOOs! Me wanna talk bout GAME. Me not wanna talk bout FBI. SHADDAP YOU FACE about FBI, DOO-DOOs!

Now that Rick Pitino’s out of commission, America’s filthiest, cheatingest, richest, college coach, John Calipari, struggles with the lamestream media:

Q. What is your reaction to the whole FBI investigation of college basketball? …

JOHN CALIPARI: Well, what’s out there right now is a black eye. But here is the thing for everybody here: I don’t want to come across as uneducated or dumb. None of us know where this thing’s going. So for me to really comment much on it, I mean, I don’t know where all this is going.

Obviously, what’s happened to this point isn’t good. At this point I don’t think me commenting without knowing all the facts is the right thing to do.

Q. How do you react to Mark Emmert’s statements yesterday? Do you think the culture of college basketball is so hopelessly corrupt that something has to change?

JOHN CALIPARI: I read the statement. I kind of liked it because at a point in there he mentioned about the students. At the end of the day, this is about the student-athletes.

I would say, again, this isn’t the format for me to go full boat in this. I would say if we make decisions about these kids, what’s right for these kids, we’re going to be right. If the NBA is worried about the NBA, and if the NCAA is worried about the NCAA, if each individual institution is just worried about themselves, and the last thing we think about are these kids, we’re going to make wrong decisions.

… Q. There’s a decent chance that next week Rick Pitino won’t be the coach at Louisville. Will you miss the rivalry in coaching against him?

JOHN CALIPARI: Look, it’s unfortunate, all the stuff that’s come down. But let’s talk about my team, please. Does anyone here have a question about my team, please?

Q. One more question about the FBI.

JOHN CALIPARI: Anybody have a question?

Q. Wait a minute. This is a Media Day, not Coach Day. I am entitled to ask a question.

JOHN CALIPARI: Ask it.

Q. You cannot answer it, fine.

JOHN CALIPARI: Ask it.

Q. The FBI reportedly has expanded into looking at Nike. Kentucky is a Nike school. What reassurance would you give your fan base, the Big Blue Nation, if they’re anxious about what this could mean?

JOHN CALIPARI: Again, you’re asking like you know something that I don’t know.

Q. That’s all I know is right there. If a fan would put two and two together…

JOHN CALIPARI: Wait a minute. We don’t know what you’re saying, if it’s true. Do we know if it’s true?

Q. It’s been reported.

JOHN CALIPARI: Oh, that makes it true.

I have no comment to it. I mean, we haven’t been contacted. The NCAA hasn’t contacted us. We’re going about our business of coaching this team.

How about a basketball question since it isn’t my day.

Did you click on that first Calipari link? The one that takes you to years of coverage of this vile, greedy, cynic? I think you should.

Todd Gitlin on Allan Bloom, Thirty Years After The Closing of the American Mind.

… Today’s knee-jerk illiberalism exhibits many tendencies that Bloom sketched (and sometimes caricatured). Sneers at the Enlightenment as a white male imposition are, as they say on Twitter, trending. Rereading Bloom’s jeremiad, I’m reminded of Theodor Adorno’s backhanded defense of Freud: “In psychoanalysis, nothing is true except the exaggerations.” Bloom’s exaggerations undermined the case for liberal education. It must also be said that they were, at times, disconcertingly and grimly prophetic.

… [Bloom passionately insisted] “that there be an unpopular institution in our midst that sets clarity above well-being or compassion, that resists our powerful urges and temptations, that is free of all snobbism but has standards” and “maintains the permanent questions front and center.” The university, he went on, “must be contemptuous of public opinion because it has within it the source of autonomy — the quest for and even discovery of the truth according to nature. It must concentrate on philosophy, theology, the literary classics, and on those scientists like Newton, Descartes, and Leibniz who have the most comprehensive scientific vision and a sense of the relation of what they do to the order of the whole of things. … The university must resist the temptation to try to do everything for society.” Amen.

… Bloom would not be surprised to see segments of the campus left — students not even born in 1969, and indeed whose parents might not have been born then — proudly declare today: “NO FREE SPEECH.” The mob attack on Charles Murray at Middlebury College, along with various lesser uproars against unpopular views, revealed the force of a continuing revolt against reason.

**************

UD, on the 25th birthday.

Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Dad!

There are a couple of things you need to know if you’re going to survive a culture where huge numbers of people – some as young as nineteen, a rather volatile age – carry and, at the drop of a hat, shoot, guns.

1. If you are loving parents who worry that your drug-addled, illegal-gun-toting nineteen year old is becoming suicidal, do not call the university he attends and ask for a welfare check. Things could get dicey, and he could pull out his gun and shoot off the head of one of the people checking on him. Then you get to spend the rest of your life and all the money you have trying to keep your pothead kid from graduating to the harder stuff (“An anesthetic such as sodium thiopental or pentobarbital is used to induce unconsciousness, pancuronium bromide [Pavulon] to cause muscle paralysis and respiratory arrest, and potassium chloride to stop the heart.”) In order to avoid this outcome, call the local SWAT team, not the campus cops. SWAT teams are better at approaching babies with berettas.

2. This is directed to university staff: As the Scientologists put it, Go Clear. Shake your head of cobwebs and understand with piercing precision where you are and what’s going on. Situational Awareness is another way of putting this.

Let’s start with where you are. You are in the state of Texas, where people start sucking glock about the same time they start sucking teat. Guns are in the DNA. They are in the bloodstream. Concepts like “minimum age,” “legal,” and “illegal” are quaint nothings. For your own protection, assume that everyone, as soon as they can walk on their own, carries. Under no circumstances assume that the skinny, well-dressed, tow-headed little freshman from a prominent family in Seguin who is standing just to your right while you type up his report does not carry.

Unless you want to die, you will have to adopt a new attitude toward college freshmen at NRA Blue Ribbon schools like Texas Tech. You will have to deal with them as the cold-blooded killers that some of them are. Protecting yourself against the freshman class of Texas Tech University is a matter of life and death. That’s the new reality of legal and illegal, infant, baby, toddler, pre-teen, and teen (“Snap, Crackle, Pop Pop Pop Pop Pop Pop Pop Pop!!”), campus carry.

And a word to Texas Tech professors: …. : ….

Ah, forget it.

Next Page »

Latest UD posts at IHE

Archives

Categories

Bookmarks

UD REVIEWED

It’s [UD's] intellectual honesty that makes her blog required reading.
Professor Mondo

There's always something delightful and thought intriguing to be found at Margaret Soltan's no-holds-barred, firebrand tinged blog about university life.
AcademicPub

You can get your RDA of academic liars, cheats, and greedy frauds at University Diaries. All disciplines, plus athletics.
truffula, commenting at Historiann

Margaret Soltan at University Diaries blogs superbly and tirelessly about [university sports] corruption.
Dagblog

University Diaries. Hosted by Margaret Soltan, professor of English at George Washington University. Boy is she pissed — mostly about athletics and funding, the usual scandals — but also about distance learning and diploma mills. She likes poems too. And she sings.
Dissent: The Blog

[UD belittles] Mrs. Palin's degree in communications from the University of Idaho...
The Wall Street Journal

Professor Margaret Soltan, blogging at University Diaries... provide[s] an important voice that challenges the status quo.
Lee Skallerup Bessette, Inside Higher Education

[University Diaries offers] the kind of attention to detail in the use of language that makes reading worthwhile.
Sean Dorrance Kelly, Harvard University

Margaret Soltan's ire is a national treasure.
Roland Greene, Stanford University

The irrepressibly to-the-point Margaret Soltan...
Carlat Psychiatry Blog

Margaret Soltan, whose blog lords it over the rest of ours like a benevolent tyrant...
Perplexed with Narrow Passages

Margaret Soltan is no fan of college sports and her diatribes on the subject can be condescending and annoying. But she makes a good point here...
Outside the Beltway

From Margaret Soltan's excellent coverage of the Bernard Madoff scandal comes this tip...
Money Law

University Diaries offers a long-running, focused, and extremely effective critique of the university as we know it.
Anthony Grafton, American Historical Association

The inimitable Margaret Soltan is, as usual, worth reading. ...
Medical Humanities Blog

I awake this morning to find that the excellent Margaret Soltan has linked here and thereby singlehandedly given [this blog] its heaviest traffic...
Ducks and Drakes

As Margaret Soltan, one of the best academic bloggers, points out, pressure is mounting ...
The Bitch Girls

Many of us bloggers worry that we don’t post enough to keep people’s interest: Margaret Soltan posts every day, and I more or less thought she was the gold standard.
Tenured Radical

University Diaries by Margaret Soltan is one of the best windows onto US university life that I know.
Mary Beard, A Don's Life

[University Diaries offers] a broad sense of what's going on in education today, framed by a passionate and knowledgeable reporter.
More magazine, Canada

If deity were an elected office, I would quit my job to get her on the ballot.
Notes of a Neophyte