i’m trying to stick to my blog publishing schedule, although i am starting to think that i have a really unrealistic perception of how to best manage my time. well, i guess i’m not “starting” to think that. i’ve actually thought it for years.
there’s kind of a lot going on this month. next wednesday, jared & i are flying out to san francisco for a few days. jared is presenting the research he did over the summer (on the historical impact of hydrology evolution in new england…or something to that effect) at a geophysics conference, & i’m just along for the ride. the hotel room is free & my airfare was half off, so why not? then we’re back in lawrence for three days before flying out to boston for xmas. we’ll be there for nine days. jared’s family still lives in boston, so we’re going to be spending the holiday with them. jared is also pumped about checking out some historical archives & getting a jump on his dissertation research. as one would imagine, the idea of hanging around an archive while jared researches the environmental impact of de-industrialization in new england mill towns thrills me to my very core.
actually, it puts me into a boredom coma. i am honestly not that pumped about any of our upcoming travel plans, though i always tend to dread traveling & then manage to have fun anyway. i just especially hate traveling when it’s cold. if there’s one thing worse than wearing a gazillionty layers, it’s having to manipulate those layers through airport security, down narrow airplane aisles, on to unfamiliar public transportation, & in strange places where i am expected to sleep. i just really prefer being in my own space, preferably wearing pajamas.
but at least we will be back home in time for the new year. i would hate to start the year off in some random city where i don’t actually live.
while all of this is going on, i am still foolishly trying to stick to my regular to-do lists. one thing i try to do every day is solve a logic puzzle or two. i have a strange phobia around developing alzheimer’s (only strange because no one in my extended family has ever had alzheimer’s), so i do a few logic puzzles a day in order to keep my mind sharp & try to exercise neuron pathways. i have no idea if this actually does anything helpful for my risk of alzheimer’s or related diseases, or if this is actually a 31-year-old really needs to worry about, but hey. i started doing picture & chart puzzles in the last few months, as opposed to just sticking to grid puzzles. grid puzzles have become too easy for me. i can knock out a basic grid puzzle in under three minutes. i find the picture/chart puzzles a lot more difficult, & therefore, fun. i really enjoy that moment when you unlock the one clue you need to make all the other clues fall into place. but in the last week or two, i have been working my way through a series of increasingly difficult chart puzzles & they’re kind of ruining my life. i worked on a puzzle for almost three hours today. i solved it, & it honestly only felt like i’d been working on it for about twenty minutes, but…yeah. three hours. i became immediately depressed & self-castigating over all the other “more productive” things i could have done in those three hours, like going to the library, washing the dishes, writing a new chapter of my babysitters club fan fiction…okay, it’s pretty arguable as to whether or not i ever do anything legitimately “productive”. but the point stands.
in other news, i am really frustrated by how many of my facebook friends “like” wikileaks (according to the little “like” icon you can click on the wikileaks facebook profile page). talk about your first world problems, huh? “wah wah, my internet friends like a web profile that represents an organization i find morally & politically dubious. i have feelings about this.”
i just don’t get it. straight up: wikileaks has yet to “leak” anything that is new or interesting information to anyone who has spent five minutes thinking about international politics/foreign policy from outside a naive ideological bubble. all that shit about how there are some rogue forces in pakistan that are not falling in line with the relationship the u.s. wants them to have with both india & the taliban? old news. predator drones targeting foreign enemies even in countries with which the united states is not at war? already knew that. leadership within the middle east not being 100% psyched about iran attempting to develop nuclear weapons? you don’t say. i’m not saying that any of this shit is awesome & gets my seal of approval, for for christ’s sake, people. read a newspaper every now & again & maybe wikileaks will seem a lot less interesting.
but the really weird part is how many so-called radicals are crawling up wikileaks ass & dismissing the possibility that wikileaks editor-in-chief may have committed rape &/or sexual assault (for which he was finally arrested yesterday). a few lefty kids i know seem to have been getting most of their info from lefty news source democracy now, & to hear democracy now tell it, assange had 100% consensual sex with two women & now sweden is trying to prosecute him for rape because he failed to wear a condom during these incidents of consensual sex. when in fact, the situation is that the sex was consensual as long as there was a condom being used, & assange continued to have sex with the women once there was no longer a condom in play, despite their protests, which is rape.
how disgusting & yet unsurprising that lefty folks (including self-proclaimed feminists, including well-known self-proclaimed feminists like naomi wolf) are happy to sacrifice the rights & personhood of women & assault survivors when a leftist golden calf like assange is on the chopping block. somehow, when critical thinking is suspended, it seems like it’s usually women who have to take a backseat to the rights of men, people of color being thrown under the bus for white people, queer people being neglected in favor of straight people, etc. assange & his attorney insist that the rape accusations are “dirty tricks” being used to “silence” wikileaks, & that in fact, accusing prominent radical male activists of sexual impropriety is a tried-&-true method for silencing them.
right. because rape is so incredibly easy to prosecute, it never boomerangs back to set the accuser up for a world of shit, & women are constantly lying about it. i forgot.
or maybe some men of all political stripes, including lefty radicals, have a lot of trouble accepting the sexual agency & basic human rights of their intimate partners, & due to being raised in a world where their male privilege reacts in such toxic ways to an overall rape culture, they rape people. the statistics indicate that one in four women will be victimized by sexual violence during her lifetime. if we understand sexual violence to mean any non-consensual sexual behavior, i am not sure i know ANY women that haven’t experienced sexual violence, & a fair number of men i know have been victimized as well. by the teeny tiny proportion of men who just hate women & go around raping them all the time, right? while all the good upstanding radical men take the fall for it…right?
obviously i don’t know what went down between assange & his accusers because i wasn’t there. but it doesn’t take a professional psychologist to understand that the dude is a megalomaniac with a very fuzzy grasp on appropriate social conduct & safe boundaries. i mean, now that he faces prosecution, he is threatening to unleash his “thermonuclear device” of complete files, no editing, no redaction (which means the identities of his sources will all be game for prosecution, & the names of any spies or other informants who safety is the responsibility of the u.s. government will be public knowledge & ripe for violent reprisal). that sounds a lot like blackmail to me–blackmail that does not bother to differentiate between “friend” & “enemy”. it doesn’t seem like such a leap to me that a dude who thinks that way might also think, “she consented to sex with a condom. why not sex WITHOUT a condom?” the survivors are also coming forth with stories about him doing things like having non-consensual sex with them while they are asleep. sound familiar? sound like maybe…i don’t know…every supposedly radical dude out there who can’t wrap his mind around the fact that he’s not actually entitled to another person’s body just because she’s sleeping nearby?
we’ll see how this all plays out, i guess, but i am definitely disappointed by my radical friends who are naive enough to be impressed by wikileaks in the first place, & willfully blind to the seriousness of the rape accusations in the second.
ps–i’ve had this blog for a little over a year now. & i’ve had about 27,000 views in that time. not bad!