So I read the actual flier attached to that History Channel job search:
"Warriors: 'Experiential History' TV show"
- Male, in his 30s. - Credentialed Historian (or comparable expert) - Outgoing, naturally curious, asks great questions - Physically fit and able - Smart, attractive, charismatic - Passionate about military/combat history - Willing to travel internationally - Prior TV experience helpful but not required
Why do I feel this will not amount to, eh, an unflinching view of wartime experience?
Indiana: Road work, boring, busy, Gary. Didn't see Bloomington, didn't drive fast to Tom Petty. F-
Ohio: Longer than Indiana, no Gary. D+.
Kentucky: Creation Museum, gun advocacy, hills. F. Provisionally. Could change in November if they throw out McConnell along with Fletcher.
Pennsylvania: Insufficient information this time around, sounds like where vampires come from. Voted Kerry and Gore. C+.
Tennessee: Rural, but no creation museum; very good food; legitimate mountains, not just hills; lots of mosquitoes despite no rain. Good reviews from Tina. Fascinating Orange football rituals. A/A- (lost points for weird dry-weather mosquitoes).
New York: Class act, but too long; big waterfalls (Canada's are better), kickin' little back-porch bar outside of Albany. Adirondacks look promising. B++. (City aside, of course.)
Vermont: Trustworthy farmers. Almost ... too trusting. Maple syrup. Lots of trees. Terrifying drive of death through the woods at night. Downright harrowing state routes linking picaresque little President Bartlett towns. A.
New Hampshire: This is where Bartlett comes from? I think not. Keene has Monty Python playing--major points. Getting into fresh seafood terrain. Live Free or Die? Little freaky, especially with those tax-evading felons still holed up in the hills there in nearby New York or wherever the hell it is. Suggested alternative motto: "It's no Vermont, but it'll do." B-.
Boston: Oh my god. Oldest tavern in America, Italian restaurants where I expected the Irish (North End hasn't, evidently, been Irish for 100 years. Go patchy Urban/social history!). Puritan graveyards, Increase and Cotton Mather. USS Constitution with view of the skyline, such as it is. Red Sox kicked the Yankees ass, I got lost between the water and Boston Common and the train station. A.
DC: Nice as ever, creepily fascist --but clean and punctual!-- Metro system. A---.
West Virginia: Could Amtrak put in another, oh, I dunno, four or five hundred stops in this damned state? Oh, suppose not -- they already have stations in every single town, village, barn and bend in the road. Nice hills though. D.
So we all know, right, that Google reads our emails and advertises at us accordingly. Old news.
Then I'm emailing Dan, and going back and forth on something on 24. Torture or something, who knows? Then, I notice ... Google always knows how to do targeted advertising on email margins, but ... has no idea what the hell to make of this conversation. Not one ad. Wonder if that means the NSA has taken over from Google.
Which, stream-of-consciousness like, prompts me to wonder -- do they screen out messages with the words "Bauer", "24", "President Palmer", "dammit Chloe", etc., when they go trolling for suspects online?
And if so, is there a danger the terrorists will learn this, and use conversations about TV to cover their tracks?
"The Chinese City again and again leaps to attention. Like the Chinese, it is unique. It is a series of satisfactions; not merely for the few, for the rich, for the well-to-do, but for everybody. It has color--flamboyant color of banners, streamers, flags, lanterns. It has sound--not only a babel of human voices, but cries of selling, song, and now shreiking radio. It has a companionship for everybody, no one lonesome, no one, or at least not everyone, exclusive. There is food and drink, inconceivably cheap, perhaps dirty, but hot and abundant, and cooked exactly to the customer's liking. There is fortune-telling, sober silent rows of seers and paraphenalia, not mocking and cynical, but earnest. There is gambling, but usually games of chance of skill, not rigged cheating. Skills are for the sale carving, fashioning, making; there are services of barbar, and hairdresser. There is systematic begging and sale of all imaginable. There is shelter and the promse of cure for ill and healing. The Chinese city fascinates and holds millions. It is cheap life for a poor people, whom it satisfies."
I don't get it. You can hold your own with Bill Murray at 19 years old. You're probably the most captivating woman on the screen since Audrey Hepburn -- you can bring light to Vermeer, for crying out loud. (Seriously, you looked better in that picture than any of his stuff did.) And you made Match Point shine as much as Woody Allen or Dostoevsky.
So what the fuck is up? Did you even read *Scoop*? Did you bother to see it afterwards? I mean, when people talk in hushed tones about What Woody Allen Did now, I'm pretty sure it's in reference to that travesty.
And then, Brian De Palma? I mean, really, Brian De Palma?
Now I mention your name -- your sweet, perfect name -- to a friend online, and I get sent a link to a Justin Timberlake video. This is where I have to see you now? I mean, everyone secretly loves Sexy Back, I don't think there's any need to deny that. But just because you like cookies doesn't mean your next role has to be opposite the Keebler elves.
You're perfect, never change. But get some help picking parts, lest your *Entourage* cameo becomes a recurring role. Jeremy Piven is a gifted man, but if you get tagged as "Vince's girl" there'll be nothing that can pull you back into the golden orbit you adorned just a few short years ago.
I think non-historians may underestimate the depth of the crisis represented by an inability to renounce Tolstoy. The new historicism is a dead-end. Strauss was right, Nietzsche was wrong. Read Steven Pinker and despair, all ye constructionists.
"Louis XIV was a very proud and self-confident man. He had such and such ministers, and he governed France badly. The heirs of Louis XIV were also weak men, and also governed France badly. They also had such and such favorites and mistresses. Besides which, certain persons were at this point writing books. By the end of the eighteenth century there gathered in Paris two dozen or so persons who stated that all men were free and equal. Because of this in the whole of France people began to slaughter and drown each other. These people killed the king and a good many others. At this time there was a man of genius in France - Napoleon. He conquered everywhere, i.e. killed a great many people because he was a great genius; and, for some reason, he went off to kill Africans, and killed them so well, and was so clever and cunning, that, having arrived in France, he ordered everyone to obey him, which they did. Having made himself Emperor he again went to kill masses of people in Italy, Austria and Prussia. And there too he killed a great many. Now in Russia there was the Emperor Alexander, who decided to re-establish order in Europe, and therefore fought wars with Napoleon. But in the year '07 he suddenly made friends with him, and in the year '11 quarrelled again with him, and they both again began to kill a great many people. And Napoleon brought six hundred thousand men to Russian and conquered Moscow. But then suddenly ran away from Moscow, and then the Emperor Alexander, aided by the advice of Stein and others, united Europe to raise an army against the disturber of the peace. All Napoleon's allies suddenly became his enemies; and this army marched against Napoleon, who had gathered new forces. The allies conquered Napoleon, entered Paris, forced Napoleon to renounce the thrown, and sent him to the island of Elba ...
Suddenly the diplomats and monarchs almost came to blows. They were almost ready to order their troops once again to kill each other; but at that moment Napoleon arrived in France with a battalion, and the French, who hated him, all immediately submitted to him. But this annoyed the allied monarchs very much and they again went to war with the French. And the genius Napoleon was defeated and taken to the island of St Helena, having suddenly been discovered to be an outlaw. Whereupon the exile, parted from his dear ones and his beloved France, died a slow death on a rock, and bequeathed his great deeds to posterity. As for Europe, a reaction occurred there, and all the princes began to treat their peoples badly once again."
Well that was a long week. I'm never procrastinating again. Three papers due between last Friday and yesterday, and none of them at any particular stage of development when I went to my final seminar meeting eight days ago. So I sit down to read the six books for paper the first (a review essay, meaning, well, you really have to read the books) when my asshole brother sends me linkage to The Adventures of Pete & Pete on YouTube, which pretty well fucks my concentration and my planning. OK, to be fair, I was almost done with the review essay by the time he sent it. Still, serious sabotage. I try to read about Mary Rowlandson, but Pete is a rangeboy in a bear suit, so you gotta do what you gotta do, you know?
Three or four episodes later, I've completed a miraculous 5 p.m. Saturday completion of the Mary Rowlandson project (which it now occurs to me would be an excellent title for a science fiction novel) and begin my propspectus for my MA thesis, by which I mean I watched Rushmore and wasted time. Sunday it seemed to me that the words draft and proposal obviated the need to do any serious work on my prospectus. I checked out a stack of books from the library and contented myself with tracing the lineage of serious historians who signed the 60-year-old cards in the older books. Monday it seemed to me that the word thesis outweighed draft, so I got nervous got coffee and began furiously scribbling notes and downloading review articles, all the while cursing Dan to the heavens for the Nickelodeon diversion.
At about 1 a.m. it occured to me that Canguilhem and Foucault already said pretty much what I was suggesting I might discover, but decided that was a minor difficulty and that I could always just throw in a footnote. Made some more coffee.
But somehow the slapdash draft failed to quite dash as I wanted it to, and I wrote without repreive--without so much as YouTube--between dinner and around 11 the next morning. At which point I didn't so much 'finish' as submit the paper, and realized that sleep was going to be problematic, given that I just finished my third or fourth pot of coffee in a 24-hour period. So I watched this bear eat a caribou on YouTube, and more Pete & Pete, and walked in the mist by the lake, grateful to the fog for obscuring Indiana from view.
I am absolutely not working on revising that paper today (asshole professor wants a revision on January 3, can you believe that? What, am I supposed to work in December?) and, being out of practice, welcome notes on how to actually do something fun, as opposed to just procrastinating.
On the same note: when Bush made his speech announching the ban on Federal financing for stem cell research, my dad could talk about it. When the Congressional majority that let him do it was reelected, he could shake his head. When Bush was reelected, he could vote - with a legal waiver to get some help. This year, I doubt he could stand in the polling place long enough to get to the end of the line.
So I guess my feeling is, if you're planning to vote for the anti-research agenda this fall, you've missed your chance for my father's forgiveness -- and you will never, not for anything, have mine.
So I should be saying, "ugh, I hurt", but really, it feels good. Not a lot of fast food recently. Then this morning, en route to the divinity school (that is, still in my pajamas in the kitchen, but I like to casually slip in that I go to divinity school now on Monday and Wednesday mornings) my coffee pot spills stuff all over and I give up on making my own breakfast. So I get Dunkin Donuts.
Then my phone goes off in class (ahem ... at the divinity school) and Jinnel says I should meet her to hang out at Borders, so I get a mocha there. Then I have to head into the city to buy a USB cable for my printer. So I'm down there in the afternoon, and hungry, and I get Taco Bell. Cheap. Good. Fast. And head to Java Java to study -- might as well stay out of Hyde Park a while, since I paid to come down to the Loop anyway. So I get a cappuccino there.
And on my way back, I'm hungry again. But my train is in just few minutes, and most of the stuff on 53rd is expensive (Boston Market, ribs) or closed (Chinese places) or cash-only (gyros) and I don't want to walk far. So I get a Big Mac. Yep.
Three square meals: Dunkin Donuts, Taco Bell, and McDonald's. Espresso in between those. And you know what ... it was all good. All of it. And if I could afford it, I'd do it regularly. So there. Fast food rocks.