Pathetic FDA!

Bet it can’t even drink a glass of water with one hand, or walk down a ramp without serious difficulty. AMERICA DESERVES BETTER!!!

Lyrics for Our Time

The morning after a sad Zoom session with four of UD‘s old friends, she found this old English folk song in one of her piano music books and really took to it, singing and playing away, and finding its lyrics profound.

Come, let’s be merry, let’s be airy,

‘Tis a folly to be sad.

Come, let’s be merry, let’s be airy,

‘Tis a folly to be sad.

For, since the world’s gone mad, mad, mad,

Why alone should we be wise,

And like dull fools, and like dull fools,

Like dull fools gaze on other men’s joys?

Let not tomorrow bring you sorrow,

While the stream of life flows on,

Let not the morrow bring you sorrow,

While the stream of life flows on;

But when the cheerful day is gone

Still endeavour that the next

Shall be as gay, shall be as gay,

Be as gay and as little perplexed.

If you have leisure, follow pleasure,

Let not an hour of joy pass by.

If you have leisure, follow pleasure,

Let not an hour of joy pass by.

For as the fleeting moments fly,

Time it will your youth decay;

Then try to live, then try to live

Then try to live and enjoy while you may.


Lotte Lehmann tells you how to sing it. Frank O’Hara elaborates on it:

Two communities outside Birmingham, Alabama, are
still searching for their dead.” —News Telecast

And tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock in Springfield, Massachusetts,
my oldest aunt will be buried from a convent.
Spring is here and I’m staying here, I’m not going.
Do birds fly? I am thinking my own thoughts, who else’s?

When I die, don’t come, I wouldn’t want a leaf
to turn away from the sun— it loves it there.
There’s nothing so spiritual about being happy
but you can’t miss a day of it, because it doesn’t last.

So this is the devil’s desire? Well I was born to dance.
It’s a sacred duty, like being in love with an ape,
and eventually I’ll reach some great conclusion, like assumption,
when at last I meet exhaustion in these flowers, go straight up.

Scathing Online Schoolmarm says….

… if you’re going to write super-duper-snob prose, get it right or risk being laughed out of the gated community. Here’s the ad copy for a six million dollar house a couple of miles away from ol’ UD in Bethesda, Maryland. Can you spot the problems? Let’s scathe through this, shall we (sniff)?


Quintessentially luxurious in every aspect, the stunning residence is the perfect retreat nestled in verdant Bethesda, Maryland. [So far utterly cliche-driven, but okay. Nestled, verdant – the writer makes use of every stilted, long-dead upscale real estate adjective, but you don’t lose marks for writing generic prose.] Short drive to downtown Bethesda and less than ten miles away from the hustle and bustle of Washington, it is the idyllic cross between peaceful suburbia and city living. The property is just steps away from the prestigious Burning Tree Golf Club, host to numerous American presidents. [Prestigious – of course we’d make use of this embarrassing term. And be one of the lucky few to catch a peek of Donald Trump grunting through a round.] Regarding quality, the sophisticated residence knows no compromise. Perched atop a hill with two separate gated entrances, the home possesses the distinct architectural quality of an eastern castle with a modern panache. [Which is to say that, like a lot of megaostentatious megahouses in ‘thesda, it reaches out desperately, in any and all cultural directions, for imperial transcendence of its debased democratic surroundings. Some kinda … eastern? … castle? (“Yonda lies my faddah’s castle.”) is what the pile looks like.] Each unique feature of the house compliments the abode’s unparalleled architecture, [The writer means complements. Before trying to impress people with your stunning sophistication, learn to spell.] with Burma Teak windows and solid oak doors, towering ceilings, and a romanesque [Just to add yet another culture.] indoor pool and elevator to accommodate the three story building behind a custom wrought iron fence. [After all the Nicholas and Alexandra flouncing, the proletarian word building is a let-down… Although the house is probably in a gated community, note how many security walls and fences we’re featuring. No one will be able to get anywhere near you behind your modern panache golf view battlements.] The property possesses a stunning [Second use of stunning: At this point, we are knocked out flat.] floating staircase, an enclosed courtyard situated beside a double-level deck, a privately tiered backyard that meets an arbor with hand-carved rosewood corbeling. Bathrooms include a lavish display of marble inlay and a lapis lazuli sink. Furthermore, the property boasts a veranda complete with outdoor fireplace and pillars erected over 150 years ago, which elegantly compliment the state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor amenities of the palatial abode. [There’s that pesky compliment again. And while it’s impressive to contemplate a pillar that has remained erect for 150 years, the writer might have been better off with the word built... Plus: What’s a palace doing in my castle?]

Imagine what she’ll negotiate if he’s re-elected.

She’ll be worth the entire GDP of Slovenia.

Exciting Early Elmerian Excavation

[Spanish archeologist Eliseo] Gil proclaimed that his finds would “rewrite the history books”, and for a while it looked as though they might. But less than two years later, an expert committee poured icy water on the authenticity of the [third-century] discoveries. As well as pointing out that some of the pieces bore traces of modern glue, they found references to non-existent gods – and to the 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes.


Seattle Mayor Tells Trump to ‘Go Back to Your Bunker’ After He Criticizes Her Handling of Protests

Headline of the day.

Fun in the sun as our beaches open up!

Here’s a bit of video from the boardwalk at Ocean City, Maryland, where, faithful readers know, UD has deep roots.

The only thing separating Ocean City, at this point, from Beach Blanket Bloodbath Myrtle Beach, SC, is that for some reason no one at this latest event has a gun. Someone always has a gun during brawls in Myrtle Beach.


The reason these particular beaches are singled out for gang violence? Too simple. If you build it, they will come. Look at the sorts of commercial establishments that dominate these towns. And there’s too much money and political power on the line to change that. Note that no police appear at any point in the video.

On the Disgrace of Israel’s Ultraorthodox Leadership.

Meni Schwartz, a prominent ultra-Orthodox communications strategist who served as a special adviser to the Health Ministry regarding the ultra-Orthodox community during the height of the crisis [comments]:

“The ultra-Orthodox [members of Parliament] should have gone from house to house amongst the rabbinic leadership telling them what was happening, each one should have gone on every single radio station to tell the public,” he says, and angrily juxtaposed this torpor with the alacrity with which the MKs take to the media regarding political campaigns and elections. “Since they are connected to the wider world, and understand that there is a danger to life from the coronavirus and saw that it was taking time for their community to understand the danger because they are disconnected from the media, why didn’t they do anything with urgency when they saw that this disease was life-threatening?” he demanded. “How did they not turn the world upside-down to do everything to get the information out and inform the rabbis? Why did it not bother them? Why wasn’t it the first thing on their agenda? Why did you not want to save the lives of your brothers?”

In 2018, it ranked as America’s most dangerous city.

Monroe, Louisiana ain’t what you’d call a premier destination, and students who attend the University of Louisiana Monroe ain’t got much to be proud of.

And, now that we’re all paying attention, the school boasts a couple of quite proudly out-there racists. Nursing professor Mary Holmes (who studies “why men sperm count has decreased 40% over the last couple of decades”) calls our last president a “monkey.”

They CONTINUE to have Leopold Statues in Belgian Cities?

Wow. They certainly took their time taking them down. It’s hard to read about his activities in the Congo without throwing up.

“It’s important to understand what the people around the president are thinking,” [Michelle Goldberg recently] wrote. “But if they’re honest about what they’re thinking, it’s usually too disgusting to engage with.”

I dunno. I think what’s most salient about Trumpian thinking is its quality of being simply embarrassing. To betray your titillation at the thought of the big boys rushing in and bashing democratic dissent is to prompt blushes rather than revulsion. To write a love letter to the president, begging his approval of your convictions about deep state and deep church conspiracies, is to inspire us to twist about uncomfortably in our chairs. To try – and fail – to be as sadistic as your master is to humiliate yourself. To “dream of a world in which we will ‘sear the liberal faith with hot irons’ in order ‘to defeat and capture the hearts and minds of liberal agents'” is to reveal the extremely peculiar eroticism at the core of your being — something most people would try to hide.

So it’s not really disgust that we feel at Trump-thought. The feeling is closer to how we feel witnessing a person with middle-functioning autism work his way around a room. His passions clearly control and mark him; and though he does not understand them, he cannot help barking them out.

As the dirty university basketball penalties start dribbling in…

… this blog keeps its eye on its beloved University of Louisville, scummiest school in these United States. I mean, Louisville is only one of zillions of dirty jockshops awaiting its NCAA fate because it bribed players’ families or took money from commercial interests to steer players toward them or blahblahblah same old shit … This just in: Big time university sports is weawy weawy filfy doity… But when it comes to athletic as well as academic corruption, no one does it like Louisville.

And mes petites – Now that the American university has disappeared as an empirical-world phenomenon, the only happening place on campus is the basketball arena/football stadium, haunt of the heinous.

Taking the “I’m Nuts” Approach in ‘thesda.

“I am committed to making amends by addressing, through counseling, the underlying issues that led to my abhorrent behavior,” announces a close neighbor of UD‘s here in Bethesda, Md. Having attacked college students holding Black Lives Matter signs on the Crescent Trail (Les UDs walk it all the time), this guy would, you know, prefer not to go to jail; so he’s going to pay some psychiatrists to attest to his attacking-innocent-people-while-cycling problem… A behavior rooted in the abuse he suffered from Mad Mom, Drunk Dad, Perverted Priest, etc.

I mean, not to make light of it; everyone’s got legitimate problems. But consider the fact that rich people with good lawyers routinely avoid jail for … forget abhorrent, illegal behavior… by seizing onto a psychosis or two for which, certes, they will be receiving counseling if you will just leave them the fuck alone.

If you ask UD, crazed assholes willing to assault strangers on a bike path should indeed spend a little time in jail. We will see if this one – even though a rich ‘thesdan – gets there.

As today’s demonstration in DC gets underway…

La Kid shows us what it’s like to be there.

Barr Association

A law school doesn’t have to stand for much but it at least has to stand for the rule of law or it’s just $200K and three years of reading Enlightenment fan fiction. Gassing peaceful protesters, illegally bringing National Guard troops into Washington, and hiring… whoever the hell these paramilitary shocktroops are, all safely fall outside the confines of “respecting the rule of law.” Taking away a fake degree — and perhaps the “William P. Barr Dean’s Suite” that graces the school — would seem the very least that the school could do to protect their legacy.

Joe Patrice at Above the Law notes that UD‘s school – GW – has plenty of reasons not to want to be associated with Trump’s militarized attorney general; and, having awarded him a “fake degree” — that is, an honorary one (he also has an actual law degree from GW) — it shouldn’t have much ambivalence about revoking it. Patrice also notes the bs about slippery slopes universities always generate when this very rare event – degree revocation – occurs:

The slippery slope … continues its undefeated reign as the logical fallacy of choice for anyone interested in draping immorality in the faux high-minded vestments of amorality.

As you know if you’ve read this blog for any period of time, a recent GW president lustily and certainly amorally defended Bill Cosby’s right to hold on to his GW honorary degree, despite Cosby’s having drugged and raped all those women. (For UD‘s posts on that revocation story, go here.)

As for the Dean’s Suite, I think they should maintain that, and simply add a dollop of commentary. Post six of these at the entrance. It would only set the school back three hundred bucks.

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Dr. Bernard Carroll, known as the "conscience of psychiatry," contributed to various blogs, including Margaret Soltan's University Diaries, for which he sometimes wrote limericks under the name Adam.
New York Times

George Washington University English professor Margaret Soltan writes a blog called University Diaries, in which she decries the Twilight Zone-ish state our holy land’s institutes of higher ed find themselves in these days.
The Electron Pencil

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.

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.

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