Philip Roth on ‘Me Too.’

Men responsive to the insistent call of sexual pleasure, beset by shameful desires and the undauntedness of obsessive lusts, beguiled even by the lure of the taboo — over the decades, I have imagined a small coterie of unsettled men possessed by just such inflammatory forces they must negotiate and contend with. I’ve tried to be uncompromising in depicting these men each as he is, each as he behaves, aroused, stimulated, hungry in the grip of carnal fervor and facing the array of psychological and ethical quandaries the exigencies of desire present. I haven’t shunned the hard facts in these fictions of why and how and when tumescent men do what they do, even when these have not been in harmony with the portrayal that a masculine public-relations campaign — if there were such a thing — might prefer. I’ve stepped not just inside the male head but into the reality of those urges whose obstinate pressure by its persistence can menace one’s rationality, urges sometimes so intense they may even be experienced as a form of lunacy. Consequently, none of the more extreme conduct I have been reading about in the newspapers lately has astonished me.

Garrett Park: Amazon!

UD‘s godless little town (it has only a thousand people, roughly sixty percent of whom, in 2010, overcame their “fear of coming out” and identified as having no religion) is way in the HQ2 running.

Soon, instead of walking to the GP Post Office and then through Porcupine Woods, UD and her dog will be looping around massive tree-filled corporate domes. Instead of waiting twenty minutes outside the town’s only restaurant for a table, UD will wait fourteen hours while five thousand people try to eat lunch there all at once.

Yes, life around here will certainly change if we’re chosen for the new Amazon headquarters (it will be a ten minute walk from UD‘s house). Some folks say they’ll move the MARC train station out of GP and onto the new Amazon campus, but UD‘s thinking if stations are that movable she should pitch MARC the idea of a dedicated station down the hill from her backyard, so that UD wouldn’t even have to walk down the block to catch the train but could really literally roll out of bed. UD also anticipates regular feelings of rageful impatience, existential futility, and corrosive irony as she waits for late-arriving Amazon purchases with the realization that hugely looming over her is The Thing Itself.


Philly sports fans have a reputation for being passionate

‘The rector of the University, Achilleas Zapranis, said that this was “another typical day in a Greek university”.’

What a remarkable story is the ransacking of Greek universities! On one side, civilization; on the other barbarism:

Vandals Ransack University Campus in Thessaloniki

The Greek university literally sinks under the weight of its defacement, as in this photograph of the National Technical University of Athens.

Perhaps most remarkable about this story is the fact that no one covers it. Why isn’t there a front-page story about the sordid erasure of thought – in Greece of all places – in the New York Times magazine?

“At least five PornHub categories”

As ever, UD recommends you read Deadspin’s account – including comments!! – of the arrest of one of Temple University’s sports heroes. Nobody covers the wonderful world of football like Deadspin, and their readers’ comments never fail to amuse.

‘Montgomery County has not made its bid public, but it promoted a 60-acre site near a Metro stop.’

Les UDs are still in the running for the new Amazon headquarters. They live a hop, skip, and a jump from the site.

UD’s Morning Brew.

Subterranean Ruin Porn

[A] sewage pipe [recently] spewed waste onto a heavily trafficked concourse — an honest-to-God shitstorm. “I’m like, ‘Literally, it’s raining in Penn Station,’ ” recalls Marigo Mihalos, a booking agent from New Jersey who witnessed the fecal deluge on her way to work.

…The addition of New Jersey Transit trains in the 1990s was both an economic boon to the region — I bought a house in Maplewood, N.J., in 1996 so I could ride the new Midtown Direct to work — and the beginning of Penn Station’s transformation from mere malodorous eyesore to Hieronymus Bosch-grade hellhole.

First, spare a thought for all those other Professor Ashutosh Tiwaris out there.

Turns out there’s a bunch of engineering types with that name who teach here and in Europe, and it’s their misfortune to share a name with THE Ashutosh Tiwari – the Ashutosh Tiwari allegedly guilty of so much scientific and financial misconduct that – UD‘s not sure, but she thinks that the guy has basically accomplished everything you can possibly accomplish in the academic malfeasance line. I really think he’s exhausted all conceivable avenues of scholarly fraud. Ghostwriting. Fake degree. Plagiarism. Faked research. Predatory conferences and journals. Fake university affiliation. Fake credentials. More. More.

Tiwari has erased his manifold web presences as fast as Yeshiva University scrubbed references to trustee Bernard Madoff once his fraud hit the papers.

The lazy whorish Swedish university that lolled around for years letting Tiwari do his thing has now shaken itself into bug-eyed alertness and begun an investigation.

Not to be outdone by Ruth Lilly, who gave one hundred million dollars to a …

poetry magazine, money guy Bill Miller has given seventy five million dollars to the Johns Hopkins University philosophy department.

To live with books.

Victor Brombert, New Yorker:

In 1941, a week or two after my family’s safe arrival in New York Harbor on a freighter overcrowded with refugees escaping from Nazi-occupied countries, an old friend of my parents took us on an excursion to a small town in New Jersey. He parked his car on what I now know to be Witherspoon Street, near the corner facing the Princeton campus. Looking at the scene of university life before me then, I was struck by the confident gait of figures in tweed jackets moving along the alleys, carrying books and briefcases. No hurry, no sombre faces. Without my realizing it at the time, a series of idyllic images settled in my mind, and I carried them with me throughout the war, all the way to devastated Berlin, where, in the fall of 1945, I determined that this was the kind of life I wanted: to live with books, to study, to learn, perchance to teach.

… A sonnet by William Wordsworth extols the contentment of students in their “pensive citadels” — strongholds not for the exercise of power or for war but for the joy of studies.

The Quest of Chatterton

Once Thomas Chatterton Williams, a writer named after the tragic poet, sensed some plagiarism in this Daily Beast essay, he pressed on, and discovered gobs of it.

The author, Lizzie Crocker, lifted much of this Weekly Standard essay about outing people. She has resigned/been fired from the Daily Beast.

All that’s left is why. As you, dear reader, know, this blog has been attempting to answer that question for a long time.

Chatterton says it’s because, given the vast ideological divide between the rightwing Standard and leftwing Beast, Crocker figured no one would read both her piece and the one by the Standard writer, Alice B. Lloyd. But he then goes on to note the irony that the content of the piece (an analysis of the ethics of revealing anonymous sources) fits both places perfectly well… And indeed UD and Chatterton can’t be the only people in America who read both of those magazines…

No, UD proposes that this instance of plagiarism falls under her Ambition category (see her categories here). A little searching reveals Crocker to be a young and very ambitious writer; my guess is that she leads her life at breakneck speed, and that she speedily gobbled Lloyd’s writing, and that there’s a reason they call it breakneck.

‘He holds Honorary Doctorates from the universities of McGill, Montréal, Laval and the Curtis School of Music.’

Until they took it down, the Royal Philharmonic conductors page included an entry on Charles Dutoit which listed some of his honorary degrees. They took it down because

Monsieur Dutoit
Is hot to trot.
All his Mais non!s
Have come to naught.

Will the schools revoke the degrees?

UD predicts that maybe one will follow the Nevernevernever Yale model (To be sure Dr Mengele performed some questionable surgeries, but we never revoke an honorary degree…), while the others will announce that they are passing Dutoit’s, uh, baton back to him.

UD feels fortunate to see yet another transformation of…

… the Old Post Office. Most recently, it was transformed into the Trump Hotel.

Now this.

Architecture is certainly a living thing.


O dio! Something’s fahny
With my Modigliani.
Mio santo Amedeo –
They’re stripping off his halo
And I want back my mahny.

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