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Tuesday Hatred: Multiply Subtitled

Repeated disappointment of fine hopes: I got an unpleasant email in the email this morning—it disappointed my fine hopes, leading to bitterness—also to hatred.

The odds are good and the goods are normal: You see this shit?

Ultimately, Chicago was her first choice. She says the university is becoming “normal,” more career oriented. She liked the maroon scarf it sent her. She also liked its declining admissions rate. In 2004, Chicago accepted 40 percent of its applicants, compared with 18 percent this year. “I wouldn’t have applied a few years ago — I would have felt overqualified,” says Ms. Lozinski, who had an A average in high school and scored a 2370 (out of 2400) on the SAT. “A college’s admissions rate says something about the quality of students who go there and the prestige of it.”

It’s not—just so you understand—Ms. Lozinski, but rather the school which she attends: why, pray, are such expansionary policies in place here? What was wrong with having a small enrollment and a high admissions rate? U.S. News looked down its nose at you? Fuck U.S. News. (The model here is Reed, which has the integrity not even to participate in the rankings.) Becoming more “normal”? It makes me wish that, in the past, I had given enormous sums to my alma mater, just so I could now, in outrage, stop doing so.

It even, and here I am aware that I should tread carefully and come close to contradicting myself, somewhat bothers me that the U of C should become more career-oriented. This is obviously touchy since, while I definitely think that liberal/humanistic education ought not be subservient to job needs and that one ought to have some time to learn and pursue one’s interests outside of the marketplace (and god knows that in America one isn’t likely to have such time once in the workforce), I certainly don’t think that such education and pursuits should simply become the preserve of those who are well enough off, in one way or the other, that they can afford to do whatever for several years and not worry about the future. Ideally some of the bad effects could be neutralized by (a) significantly cheaper (even free!) tertiary education; (b) more training on the job; (c) vocational training or certification outside of the context of expensive, time-consuming colleges and universities set up primarily for a particular kind of curriculum and student body; (d) less credentialism generally (one hears “what are you going to do with that?” asked of the pursuers of certain types of degrees, even though many jobs, even white-collar jobs, aren’t done with one’s undergraduate degree at all in any meaningful sense); and (e) a whole bunch of other stuff that won’t happen. Since such things won’t happen it seems churlish, or worse, to hate the increasing career-orientation of the U of C, but, you know, there’s something nice about a community of Luftmenschen.

Related to the first: I hate this fucking headache. I also hate how few jobs I’ve applied to—oughtn’t I have applied to more? I was talking to a fellow today who applied to well over twice or thrice as many. I wonder where he found out about them. JFP? But surely not. Perhaps he’s just more confident. Ahhhhhh, fuck it.

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November 9, 2010 - Posted by | Tuesday Hatred

28 Comments

  1. I must admit to hating a bit the argument I’ve seen used recently (not saying you are making it above) on the subject of “whither the humanities” maintaining that the humanities creates critical thinkers and politically active citizens, or makes them less likely to be capitalistic or rightwing or whatever, which is hardly borne out in reality. It’s also a bit insulting to non-graduates and scientists.

    Comment by Gabe | November 9, 2010

  2. i hate all the salads in the salad bar are tasting too sour, after eating them the tongue feels like numb for awhile

    Comment by read | November 9, 2010

  3. I put on too much perfume this morning (for the record, Histoires de Parfums 1740 Marquis de Sade). I don’t hate it (yet) but probably everyone else in my office does.

    Comment by jms | November 9, 2010

  4. I hate people who impose their stench on others.

    Comment by Craig | November 9, 2010

  5. I smell pretty great actually.

    Comment by jms | November 9, 2010

  6. And if you didn’t it wouldn’t have been your stench but the reek of de Sade, presumably.

    Comment by ben | November 9, 2010

  7. Perfume gives the impression that you are trying to hide a far worse smell. Just like Febreeze.

    Comment by Craig | November 9, 2010

  8. You’re an odd fellow, Craig.

    Comment by ben | November 9, 2010

  9. Sorry–I like my sinuses and my ability to breathe. Of course, I shouldn’t have to apologize for that.

    Comment by Craig | November 9, 2010

  10. What has that to do with getting the impression that perfume is covering up a worse smell?

    Comment by ben | November 9, 2010

  11. Why else would anyone put on perfume but to enhance or mask a deficient already existing odour?

    Comment by Craig | November 9, 2010

  12. You haven’t answered my question.

    Comment by ben | November 9, 2010

  13. As far as I can tell, it has. There is no other possible reason to wear perfume other than to conceal what you think is a less desirable smell. In the case of our dear jms, she feels that the dungeons of the Marquis de Sade–bottled, of course–smells better than her own semi-natural odours. Indeed, it smells so much better than her own semi-natural odours that she feels it necessary to flood her office with the aroma of sadomasochism.

    Comment by Craig | November 9, 2010

  14. But that seems to have nothing to do with your sinuses or fondness for breathing.

    Some people are irritated by the scent of perfume or by the volatile ingredients in perfume which carry the scent about. Such a person might complain regarding another’s wearing of perfume on the grounds that it irritates his sinuses. It is a matter of indifference whether the perfume covers up a different and worse smell because the complaint doesn’t in the first instance concern itself with smells.

    On the other hand, you might think that the perfume just smells bad. But if you think that someone would only wear perfume to cover up a worse smell, then you really shouldn’t complain that someone is wearing perfume: for the alternative would, by hypothesis, be worse. (You might complain about the particular perfume chosen, but we don’t know what jms’s perfume smells like.)

    Note, however, that these two complains are completely independent of one another. Thus I think you have not answered my question: you said that perfume gives the impression that one is trying to mask a worse aroma; I called you odd (I stand by that assessment as it’s a strange thing to think about the motivations to perfumery), and you replied, as if by way of expansion, that you value your sinuses and ability to breathe. But these seem totally unrelated.

    Comment by ben | November 9, 2010

  15. relevant
    strong/expensive perfumes, not deodorants or cheaper ones, so they all have even like human originated musk like products i read somewhere, but i’m not sure how my source is reliable

    Comment by read | November 9, 2010

  16. The connection is found in the nature of the odors.

    Comment by Craig | November 9, 2010

  17. good, now they exclusively use the synthetic one they say, hito anshin

    Comment by read | November 9, 2010

  18. Oh criminy.

    Craig, I think I can completely lay your fears to rest with a few clarifications:

    1. I’m actually not wearing that much perfume — my original comment was partly facetious. I usually wear enough that only I can smell it. Today I put on a spritz of a perfume that is stronger than I expected, and it’s enough that probably other people can smell it too. But it’s certainly not enough that it would irritate anyone’s sinuses or interfere with her or his ability to breathe.

    2. No need to suspect that my perfume masks fouler odours! In my natural state, I also smell wonderful.

    3. This:

    There is no other possible reason to wear perfume other than to conceal what you think is a less desirable smell.

    is wrong. You could wear it because it’s entertaining, it gives you something to think about, or because it colors your day. I mean, I also listen to music on my headphones, and it’s not primarily to block out less desirable sounds — it’s mostly because there’s something in the moment that I want to hear more. (Again, out of courtesy, I do try to keep my fragrance turned down so that I don’t subject other people to my particular tastes or whims.) A similar purpose might be served by keeping swabs of perfume in vials in one’s pocket or purse, to be taken out at intervals and smelled for your entertainment (something I have thought about!) but for whatever combination of historical, practical and personal reasons, most of the perfumes I like best are best appreciated when worn on skin.

    Comment by jms | November 9, 2010

  19. I am relieved to know that your shit smells like roses (and not because roses smell like poo).

    Comment by Craig | November 9, 2010

  20. I love it when Outkast makes an appearance in the comments.

    Comment by Brad Johnson | November 9, 2010

  21. i hate evening hrs 9 to 11pm, can’t do anything, except watching movies if i’m in a mood or browse the web, b/c feel too tired or unable to concentrate if i don’t have any deadlines, i wish i could work late naturally, can’t skype/chat with my family/friends due to 13/14 hrs time difference now
    maybe i should pick up again knitting or some other distracting hobby
    though should not really complain about movies and internet too, those are such great blessings unavailable still for too many yet

    Comment by read | November 9, 2010

  22. I do not hate the Outkast reference, either.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | November 9, 2010

  23. I wish to encourage jms to wear perfume, and to do so confidently. When I walk past a girl on the street, and she smells good, I like it. A lot.

    Comment by Rob L | November 9, 2010

  24. All aboard the Stankonia Express! The underground smell road.

    Comment by Andre3000 | November 10, 2010

  25. Does anyone else read the Education Life section of the NYT as “Education Lite”?

    Comment by k-sky | November 10, 2010

  26. “You think your shit don’t stink but you are Mrs. P-U.”

    Comment by ebolden | November 10, 2010

  27. I’d prefer it–should I be stuck in the same office as her–that she’d come into my cubicle and take a last-night’s-curry-dump than wear perfume.

    Comment by Craig | November 10, 2010

  28. Okay, this is really unpleasant. Stop, please.

    Comment by jms | November 10, 2010


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