Thursday, April 29, 2010

Noted, With Ego Satisfaction

A slightly revised version of Moose's heartwarming piece on her teacher Susan Gubar is up on Inside Higher Ed this morning. It's published under her real name and everything! Give it a click, will ya, so that the big muckety-mucks at IHE will know that America's favorite dead dog blog can bring in the eyeballs?

What's next, people? A talk show? A book deal? I worry that my typist may be going rogue. Not only is she publishing off-blog and out in the open, but there's a new dog curled up on the big leather couch in Roxie's World! No, no, darlings, the moms have not replaced yours truly (they assure me I am irreplaceable, as if I didn't know that!) -- They are dog-sitting for a few days for a little schnoodle that even I have to admit is adorable. Tomorrow is the four-month anniversary of the you-know-what, so I'm glad they've got some canine company for the next little while. It's nice to hear them using their talk-to-the-dog voices again and to see a happy critter racing around the ridiculously large back yard grooving on the glories of spring. Time marches on, and we can't expect the moms to console themselves with puppy porn forever, can we?

What are you still doing here, sweet pea? Didn't I tell you to click on over to Moose's piece on Inside Higher Ed? Do that, and then come back here and tell us what your big news is, 'k? Peace out, happy critters.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bye-Bye, BigBabyKenny

Or, Somewhere in California, a Provost Is Sighing


Yes, darlings, it's true -- BigBabyKenny.com, the indispensable blog about straight male sex tourism in Thailand built by a tenured Econ prof at Cal State Northridge, is no more.

Y'all know the unofficial motto of Roxie's World is Tenure means never having to say you're sorry, but Kenneth Ng apparently said Uncle, giving up his noble defense of free speech and his right to spend his non-work hours advising guys on where to go to find underage girls about a week after the site caught the attention of the LA Daily News. (Here is the story that originally outed the site. Here is the story on its being taken down. Here is Inside Higher Ed's report on the issue. H/T to this post at Student Activism, which first called our attention to the story.)

Under pressure from administrators, who had known about the site for months before it was publicly disclosed, Ng took the site down on Friday, after he and the administration somehow figured out that its existence "tarnished the university's reputation." No, really, fellas? Are you sure about that? I mean, it's not as if he produced it during school hours or using state resources! Can't a guy devote his leisure to helping travelin' dude bros negotiate a price so low that pimps will beat up their prostitutes for agreeing to bargain-basement terms? (No links here, but Angus Johnston has summaries of some of BigBabyKenny's more disgusting posts and links to copies available in Google's cache here. Trigger warning for revolting celebrations of child prostitution and physical abuse of women.)

After the site was taken down, Northridge Provost (and I swear we are not making this up) Harold Hellenbrand issued a statement commending Ng for his belated exercise of good judgment and acknowledging the tensions and conflicts around the case:

I thank [Ng] for his reflection and removal of the site. I thank the University community for their comments.

I understand that some people will be disappointed that we did not force the site’s closure; others already object that university leadership was critical of a university employee’s speech.

We are trying to balance two principles that, in this case, clashed. Our commitment to gender equity compels us to see the site as offensive; our commitment to expression urges us to tolerate words and pictures we find intolerant. As university leaders, we believe open debate is critical to ordering our values and determining our acts. While belief in an absolute right to censor might initially comfort us; “our” and “us” has a way of quickly narrowing to “you” and “me.” Then the danger is that exclusion and exploitation, the acts that initially incited us to censor, become the rules of the day.

Translation: Boy, did we get our a$$es burned on this one! Feminazis dusting off their old copies of "The Traffic in Women," free speechers climbing the flagpoles in defense of the right to be disgusting, reporters sniffing around asking questions about the line between work and leisure in the lives of professors and the conflict between individual freedom and professional responsibility! Yikes, fellas! What's a provost to do?

Seriously, folks, we're curious to hear what you think about this case. Should the Northridge administration have demanded that the site be taken down as soon as it learned of its existence? If so, does that mean we are comfortable with universities censoring employees' off-campus speech? Sure about that? Where do we draw the line? What if Northridge had pressured a faculty member with, say, a blog that was critical of university policies and actions? Hellenbrand has a point about the clash of principles involved here. Tell us where you come down in the vexing conflict between free speech and civility. On your marks, get set, discuss!

(Image Credit: BigBabyKenny.com, via)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Express Yourself

Big doings over at QTU today, so let's put up a song to get Mama and her hard-working kids going this morning. Don't go for second best, kids -- If you're gonna do it, do it right!



Have a great day, darlings, and if you are anywhere in the neighborhood of College Park, stop by and see what's happening in that spiffy building the English department finally got moved into. Peace out, and rest assured that somewhere in the English countryside, in a stately manor home, Madonna is smiling today.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Teacher, Susan Gubar

Or, You Know, To Her, With Love

My typist has something she wants to say, something that has been building up since her recent trip back to her native state to participate in a symposium honoring the retirement of someone who has mattered enormously to her professional and intellectual life. You know how Moose is. If there is something weighing on her heart/mind, she is just unbearable, so we might as well go ahead and let her say it. Consider this an invitation to offer up your own "My Favorite Teacher" stories or "Parables of Education Going to Hell in a Handbasket." Take your pick. My work is done. Take it away, Moose.

* * *

Susan Gubar was my teacher. At first glance, the claim might seem thin or self-aggrandizing, the evidence in support of it accurate but scant. I took just one class with Gubar, an undergraduate seminar at Indiana University in the fall of 1980. Three credits out of the 120 or so I earned for my bachelor’s degree. Fifteen weeks out of a student life that lasted nearly a quarter of a century.

So, no, I never took a graduate course with her, never experienced the peculiar intensity and intimacy of a dozen brilliant brats hammering away at big ideas and hoping to earn an approving “Smart, very smart” from a demanding professor who delighted in the give-and-take of the seminar table. She did not chair my qualifying exam or direct my doctoral dissertation. She never tore my rough drafts to shreds, exhorting me to read more, think harder, or write more clearly. I never stayed up late grading papers for one of her lecture courses, never faced the terror of speaking in one of those big halls myself in front of one of the most dynamic lecturers in the history of teaching. I never ran to the library to track down a reference for an article she was writing, never house-sat for her, never sat through a mock interview with her in preparation for the job market. I did not teach her to quilt.

I took one class with her, and all I can say is that thirty years later I still give the class and the teacher credit for changing the course of my life. I don’t give Susan all the credit. At twenty-one, I was ready to be inspired and transformed, to find the personal and professional paths I was meant to walk and take my first tentative steps on them, though that cheesy path metaphor makes me sound more like a Victorian heroine than the naïve and unkempt baby dyke I was at the time. In any case, I credit Susan with recognizing what was happening for me and doing everything she could to assure that the moment bore fruit.

What did that mean, in concrete terms? Well, for starters, it meant she didn’t toss me out of her office one autumn afternoon when I burst in without an appointment, pointed at her, and impetuously declared, “I want to do what you do.” She sat me down, listened to me, talked to me about what realizing such an ambition would actually involve, and patiently guided me through the steps it would take to get into graduate school. She told me what schools to apply to, carefully read my personal statement, wrote in support of my application, and helped me make a decision when it came time to weigh admissions offers, including a fine one from her own department. “Go East,” she said, because she knew it would be professionally advantageous to have my advanced degrees from an institution other than my undergraduate one. I suspect she also thought it would be good for me to get out of my native state. I took her advice and landed at Rutgers in the fall of 1981, a golden moment when the English department was just beginning to recruit students to come work with the pioneering feminist critics who were there at the time, including Alicia Ostriker, Elaine Showalter, and Catharine Stimpson.

End of story, right? No big deal, eh? It’s the kind of thing we do for our students all the time. Maybe, maybe not.

This is partly a story about luck and good timing, but it is also a story about the structural conditions of American public higher education, conditions that have changed significantly since my undergraduate days. I stumbled into Gubar’s class because I needed to pick up a senior seminar after deciding to add English as a second major at the end of my junior year. A friend recommended the course because she’d heard the co-author of a recently published book called The Madwoman in the Attic was a pretty good teacher. The seminar, with the rather dry-sounding title of “Feminist Expository Prose,” didn’t necessarily lead one to expect life-altering encounters with radical texts and ideas. I had never even heard of Mary Wollstonecraft, and Three Guineas, the Virginia Woolf text on the syllabus, was the first Woolf I would ever read. I had never heard of Charlotte Perkins Gilman either, but her Women and Economics rocked my young world, while Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s autobiography Eighty Years and More so fascinated me that I hopped in my car over Thanksgiving break to go read the author’s letters in a library 700 miles away. It was the excitement of that first research trip that propelled me into Susan’s office to announce that I had found my vocation. It’s not immodest to say that Susan took me seriously in part because I so obviously took her and the challenges of her course seriously. She paid attention to me in the office because I was paying attention to her in the classroom. Teaching and learning are all about such moments of recognition and exchange, the meshing of desires, intelligences, imaginations. What do you think about this passage? Lord, I don't know, but did you happen to notice this one?!?

Why write about this formative experience, though, beyond my desire to pay tribute to a great teacher and a valued friend as she steps away from the classroom? I write about it because I am concerned that the conditions of possibility for such encounters are threatened in the current economic climate of higher education. There will always be great teachers, but I fear that great teaching will be much less likely to occur as we reduce the opportunities for the kind of undergraduate learning experience I was so fortunate to have with Susan back in Bloomington all those years ago.

I note with sadness, for example, that the department from which I graduatedlike the department in which I now teach – no longer requires a senior seminar of its majors. Such small-group, research-intensive learning is now mandatory only for students enrolled in the honors programs in large humanities departments in cash-strapped public universities. (Did IU's English department have an honors program back in the early 80s? I have no idea, but I probably wouldn't have been in it, since I transferred to the school as a junior and, as previously noted, only declared an English major at the end of that year.)

I have never been one to fetishize requirements and tend to think we have ridiculously over-structured the lives of today's undergraduates, but the reality is that if I had not had to take a senior seminar I would in all likelihood not have enrolled in Susan Gubar's class in the fall of 1980. And if I hadn't taken that course, I doubt seriously I would have formulated the insane notion of pursuing a PhD in English. Yes, my mother was a high school English teacher when I was young, and I definitely inherited her passions for reading and writing, but I was never encouraged to consider an academic career. My parents thought my facility with languages and the reporter's notebook stuck in my back pocket meant they were making a down payment on my career as a foreign correspondent, though I think my father secretly hoped I would become a Broadway belter.

My point is simply this: Thirty years after my fortunate fall into a class that changed the course of my life, we've made it much harder for kids like me -- middle class, publicly educated, from non-academic families -- to have such experiences. For the upcoming fall semester, my department has exactly one undergraduate seminar on the schedule. It has 20 seats, all reserved for students in the honors program. Ten years ago, the department had six such courses on the fall schedule, each with 18 seats, open to all majors. I understand the brutal economic and institutional conditions that have dictated that shift, but I still can't help worrying about the 88 lost opportunities for students to stumble unwittingly into the delights of concentrated research or to have a close encounter with a faculty member that flicks on a switch they didn't even know they had. I am sure that if I had only had the opportunity to take one of Susan's large lecture courses I still would have had a thrilling intellectual experience, but it's hard to imagine it would have had the same transformative impact as that magical seminar with the dry-sounding title. It's hard to imagine that, under such circumstances, she would have known me well enough to take seriously my passionate yet inchoate desire to "do what you do." I grabbed the apple and ate hungrily from the tree of knowledge, but the English department made sure I walked into the bounteous, well-tended garden of its roster of seminars.

Walking through the streets of Bloomington last Saturday morning for the first time in many years, still trying to absorb the marvelous stories and reflections I had heard the day before of Susan's decades of accomplishment both in and out of the classroom, I felt proud and grateful to be able to say, with so many others, that Susan Gubar was my teacher. She still is, of course, and in all the ways that matter she always will be. I can never repay what I feel I owe her, but, in honor of her and for the sake of the eager 21-year-old kid I will always be in her eyes, I promise I will never stop working to assure that today's and tomorrow's students have access to the same kinds of life-altering learning opportunities I happened upon thirty years ago. My teacher taught me too well for me to dream of anything less.

Thank you, Susan -- for everything.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blue Glasses

Sorry for the light posting, kids. My typist is on the road, visiting family in her native state and attending a symposium honoring the brilliant, generous teacher who had everything to do with her getting the heck out of her native state and becoming an English prof instead of a bourbon-drinking small-town journalist running from a school-board meeting to the police station to see which neighbor kid had been busted over night for skinny-dipping in the country club pool.

More on the symposium and the teacher later. Her heart is too full of love and gratitude right now to type on that subject without weeping over her laptop. Instead, we offer her latest ToyCamera creation, a pic of the new reading glasses she had to buy in the airport after the skinny blue ones she was so terribly fond of somehow disappeared on the shuttle from the parking lot to the terminal. Her new blue glasses are much bigger than her old blue glasses were, but she rather likes them and thinks that they may be less likely to slip away unnoticed than her old blue glasses. Moose doesn't like having things just slip away, even such insignificant things as a pair of glasses. Such losses gnaw a little, if only at the edges of her heart/mind.

Put the glasses on top of your head when you're not using them, I say to her tenderly. That way, they will be less likely to get lost. Silly old Moose, in transit and absent-minded, seeing ghosts of the girl she once was, no matter what glasses she wears. Travel safe, Moose, and come home soon.

(Photo Credit: Moose, on her iPhone, BWI Airport, 4/15/10)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sue Says, "Vogue"

And in Roxie's World, what Sue says goes.



That is all. You may go to bed now. Sweet dreams, my little Cheerios.

Mental Cases

As in . . . .

1. State of Nebraska is just a governor's signature away from requiring that women seeking abortions be screened for "mental and physical problems that might result from an abortion." Nice. Meteor Blades over at Daily Kos has a helpful chart doctors might want to use to help them decide whether the brainless unstable ninnies who come to them for help in exercising their constitutionally protected right to reproductive freedom are mentally tough enough to live with the alleged, possible emotional consequences of the procedure. Outlook? We'd say for straight sexually active women in Nebraska it's cloudy with a chance of baby. Here's the handy chart (picked up via Nan Hunter):

2. Glee returns with fresh episodes tonight, and we're a little mental about it here in Roxie's World, because, you know, our heads are aching from trying to keep up with the late-season twists and turns on Damages. (OMG, there's that red car! She totally bought that red car we've been seeing all season!) We need us some singing and dancing and we need it now! Advanced word on the 9 new eps is good. We will put up with having to watch a budding romance between Will and Emma and ongoing drama between Rachel and Finn for the thrill of seeing Kurt join the Cheerios (what? no same-sex love interest for the finest interpreter of Beyoncé the world has ever known?) and, of course, the endless delight of seeing what deliciously diabolical Sue Sylvester will do. Mark your calendars now, Gleeks, for the all-Madonna episode on April 20. We don't know what Sue will do that night, but here's a peek at what she will wear to inspire the Cheerios to scale the heights of Material Girlishness:


You heard it here first, darlings. Don't say a word for the rest of the day, 'k? You'll want to save your voice for the power ballads, won't you? Come back here when it's over and tell us what you thought. We'll be here, honor bright. Sing your little hearts out. It's good for your mental health.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hand Job

Click to embiggen that image, darlings, or my typist will get her feelings hurt thinking you are not interested in her latest exercise in fetishistic self-portraiture. Crazy, I know, but apparently a broken wrist is all it takes to send a girl straight down the road to artsy-fartsy ville, which can get so much artsy-fartsier than anything Moose could ever produce or dare to share. You know what I'm talking about, don't you, queer culture mavens? Oh, yes, you do.

Moose, I whisper to her, from my all-seeing, all-knowing post in what, for lack of a better term, we might call Heaven, isn't it a touch melancholic, all this zeroing in on one part of the body and photographing it over and over again, from different angles, in different, borrowed styles? I know you're upset about your wrist, but, really, what would Freud say?

Screw Freud,
she mutters, while trying yet again to decide whether "Lolo" or "Cinema" is her favorite CameraBag filter, what did he know about a woman calling her own shots, being the subject and the object of the gaze? Not bloody much, Rox.

She pauses in her work and stares out at the ridiculously large backyard, exploding in a riot of spring color but missing the thing that for nearly sixteen years made it a space of unbridled joy and adventure. Ah, Rox, she says with a sigh, perhaps you have a point.

It's all right, Moose. Remember that line from Forché you always used to quote? Maybe Freud didn't understand everything after all.


Peace out, my tender ones. Wherever you are, may spring bring warmth to all the parts of your body and soul.

Friday, April 09, 2010

For Your Tentacles Only

We've got a special treat for all the good girls and boys of Roxie's World this morning. You know we've always got a paw on the pulse of the zeitgeist around here. We keep our noses to the ground, sniffing out the Next Cool Thing for our legions of loyal and uber-cool fans. Hey, it's a tough job, but who better than a dead dog and a couple of cranky old dykes to let you know what's hip and happenin'? Right, I know.

Anyhoo, mes amis, you'll be wanting to update your personal Cahiers du Cinéma once you've seen this brilliant short film that has just emerged from that epicenter of creativity, Rodgers Forge, MD. (What? You didn't know? Wow, you do need us, don't you?) It's the latest work from a soon-to-be-famous studio that we hereby name A Boy and His Dad Productions. Aaron is ten and his dad has recently introduced him to the James Bond movies, because, well, how better to teach a young fellow that blend of elegance and ingenuity so essential for thwarting evil and poor taste?


This being the 21st century, watching films necessarily leads to the making of films, so Aaron and his dad hunkered down in their basement studio to produce this stunning Bondian homage, For Your Tentacles Only. The film is a surprising contrast to the pair's most recent previous work, a gritty documentary, Aaron's Snow Fort, produced in the unremitting winter of 2010. That film is Bergmanesque in its evocation of a child's poignant effort to create a sanctuary for himself in the harsh blue-and-white world of Snowpocalypse. There, a shaky hand-held camera follows Aaron down into the labyrinth of his chilly lair, as he explains in careful detail each element of its complex design, including a fiendishly clever garbage disposal. (Yes, yes, close readers -- That is the machine finding its way into Aaron's winter garden. You are almost as smart as he is!)

The new film shifts from documentary to action and from gritty to gripping in the intensity of its suspenseful plot, as we watch Green Gecko work to stymie the attempt of Octopussy to flood the world so that octopuses can rule it. We would point out the myriad ways in which For Your Tentacles Only brilliantly mines the Bond oeuvre for insights into the nature of evil, but the truth is we haven't seen a Bond film in at least twenty years, so we will have to be content to give Aaron and his dad an enthusiastic PAWS UP for cinematic achievement involving stuffed animals, Legos, and magnetometry. (Keep your eye on the penguin at around 1:14, and you will see what we mean about magnetometry.)

Oh, and we'll point you in the direction of this new post by Timothy Burke that takes up the question of postmodern parents and kids hanging out and doing things like making movies together. Is it, as Burke suggests, a way of generating cultural capital, or is it just, you know, fun? We'll leave it to you to decide, but first you have to watch the movie!

Enjoy, darlings, and stay tuned to Roxie's World for all that is cutting edge and, um, cute. You may leave your praise and trenchant commentaries on the dazzling intertextualities of For Your Tentacles Only and other Bond/ian films in comments. Free popcorn and a shaken-not-stirred martini to the author of the cleverest remark.

video

(With love and many thanks to Aaron and his just tenured [YAY-YYYYYY!] cinematographer. You rock our world, boys. Thanks for being in it.)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The ABCDs of Basketball

For the past couple of weeks, as the NCAA basketball tournaments (wimmin's and non-ladies') have careened along from one buzzer-beating, heart-stopping game of the century to the next, the moms have engaged in a steady stream of virtual trash-talk on Facebook, the gist of which, from their perspective, can be expressed in a new rule that Moose announced when she found herself in the awkward position of rooting for Purdue to beat Duke in the Sweet 16. (That was awkward because she comes from a long line of graduates of her native state's other big honkin' public institution of higher ed and basketball, Indiana University.) Anyway, she bit the bullet and declared that she would follow a simple rule to figure out who to root for in any given game: ABCD, she said, meaning Anybody But Connecticut or Duke. Regular readers need no explanation for the "D" part of the rule; the "C" part stems from our constitutional aversion to dynasties and our boredom with the whole Connecticut is unbeatable meme. Oh, plus our pals up at Bruce Springsteen State U (which plays in the Big East) just loathe and detest Geno Auriemma, so we decided to hate him, too, in solidarity with them.

The ABCD rule was strongly in force Monday night as the moms hunkered down in front of the TeeVee for the non-ladies' championship game between the Evil Empire and yet another Indiana school, the one that Moose has never taken especially seriously because it's an itty-bitty private school in some athletic conference she's never heard of. For the night, though, she was happy to follow the logic of ABCD and declare herself a Butler fan. She spent much of the nip-and-tuck game taunting her Duke pals on Facebook and texting furiously with her big brother, another IU grad who lives in Indianapolis and had embraced the cause of the underdog Bulldogs along with all the other Hoosiers still waiting for IU to rebuild its storied basketball program. (Trust me, kids, had IU been in the dance, no one in the state but Butler's boy wonder coach Brad Stevens' mom would have cared if Cinderella managed to get her foot into that slipper. Oh, but speaking of Stevens' mom, she gives a cute interview about her son, who we really think is the most accomplished 12-year old we've ever seen, here.)

Anyway, as the second half of the game went on, with Cinderella relentlessly refusing to admit she was no match for the three mighty Prince Charmings (Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith, and Kyle Singler) of Duke, Moose suddenly found herself in strange emotional territory. She realized she was no longer watching the game primarily because she hoped Cinderella would find a way to outsmart Prince Charming and snatch the trophy away from the Imperial Army of Durham. She was watching because it was quite simply one of the most glorious games she had ever seen, despite the fact that it was a low-scoring defensive tug-of-war rather than the kind of up-tempo transition game she usually enjoys. For a few minutes, her hatred of all things Duke (I mean, you know, all things basketball-related) melted away, and she sat, mesmerized and breathless, as two talented, brilliantly coached teams battled back and forth to see which would manage to be in the lead when the final buzzer sounded.

As it turned out, of course, the storybook ending was still -- literally -- up in the air as the clock expired. Butler's Gordon Hayward managed to get off a last-second shot from half-court that would have given Butler the win if it had gone in, but the shot hit the backboard and the front rim before falling futilely away from the basket. And just like that, the season was over, and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski had his fourth national championship.

In the closing minutes, Moose put a status line up on Facebook that probably shocked friends who expect torrents of anti-Duke invective from her any time the Blue Devils are on the floor. "Gotta say it," she confessed. "Just. Loving. This. Game." To her surprise, the feeling held up even after the game ended and the Duke celebration began. Perhaps it was because Coach K was both gracious and humble in victory. He looked a little shocked himself, as he tried to absorb the outcome. He heaped praise upon Butler and seemed slightly mournful about the game being over. "I love this team," he said, "and this is the last time we will ever play together." (We think that's what he said, anyway. Oddly enough, it's hard to find transcripts of court-side interviews, and we haven't been able to track down the vid either, but Krzyzewski says something similar in this low-key interview with ESPN's Andy Katz: "A lot of teams take stuff from you because you're trying to convince them to do things. This team filled you up . . . . I hope I'll have a team like this again. I really do.")

It's hard to hate a guy who chokes up at the realization that victory in sport is not, as we so often seem to imagine, some kind of triumph over death but is in fact a form of death. The buzzer sounds, and, win or lose, the teams who have played this spectacular game are teams no more. You can hardly blame Coach K for seeming like the bar patrons in those Buffalo Wild Wings commercials who plead to have games sent into overtime in order to extend the pleasures of watching them. We didn't want this one to end either, Coach, and for once that was not because we couldn't bear to see you and your team win. Games like this make us proud to be fans of college basketball, despite all its flaws and its tendency to produce, if not flat-out corruption, then often badly skewed priorities. Games like this remind us of why we started saying a few years ago that we heart college basketball because it's "like life, only sweatier." We don't want the game to end because we don't want the team and all its dreams and all the parts of ourselves wrapped up in those dreams to die.

(For some wonderful writing on the Duke-Butler game by actual sportswriters, check out John Feinstein in WaPo and Joe Posnanski in Sports Illustrated.)

Of the wimmin's championship, played last night in San Antonio, we have next to nothing to say. The ABCD rule failed to prevent Connecticut from winning its second consecutive title and its 78th straight game. (Shall we pause here for a moment while my typist yawns over her keyboard? Feel free to get up and stretch if you, too, are bored contemplating the sheer perfection of UConn.) It was a weird, ugly game, with Connecticut held to just 12 (yes, 12!) points in the first half and Stanford once again folding more or less quietly in the second half under a barrage of brilliant shooting from junior Maya Moore. The only bright spot as far as we are concerned? Well, um, our blog pal Tenured Radical is happy with the outcome. That's the best we can do, sports fans.

Final thoughts on the basketball season just concluded? Flat-out most memorable moment of the tournament has to be seeing West Virginia coach Bob Huggins down on the floor trying to console senior Da'Sean Butler, who collapsed with a torn ACL in West Virgina's semifinal game against Duke on Saturday. It was a remarkable moment of raw emotion that gave viewers a rare opportunity to witness the powerful intimacy of the coach-player relationship. (See the vid here, if you think you can handle it.) We're tempted to label it the greatest instance of inter-racial homoeroticism since Jim urged Huck to come back to the raft, but such snarkiness wouldn't be fair to Huggins' great compassion and Butler's obvious agony. Instead, we will end by commending the Mountaineers for a gritty performance and wishing Butler well on his recovery.

Until next season, my friends -- When we shall return to pure, unbridled Duke-hatin' and the logic of ABCD will save us from basketball boredom, I promise!

(Image Credits: Picked up here, here, and here.)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Damages

In Which an Embarrassing Blog Note Becomes the Occasion for a Weird Photo Essay in the Edgy Visual Style of a Favorite TV Show

Embarrassing Blog Note: Light posting likely ahead for the next little while, kids. My typist, who is not as young as she was two weeks ago, took a nasty tumble yesterday on her way to a meeting with her dean and either broke or badly sprained her left wrist. (Yes, she went to the meeting, with a bloody knee and searing pain in the wrist. Five minutes in, concerned that the look on her face might make the dean think she was angry, she confessed what had happened, which prompted an outpouring of maternal/deanly solicitude. Moose was hoping the solicitude would lead to a massive budget increase and the promise of a shiny new College of Queer Studies but had to be content with a free ride to the health center, which, under the circumstances, was greatly appreciated.) The hand is in a splint, and she is as comfortable as handfuls of Motrin can make her (and, yes, she has access to stronger painkillers should they prove necessary, thank you). We'll find out Monday whether she'll end up with a cast. Meanwhile, she ponders the irony of getting a workman's comp injury while on leave from a job that typically doesn't involve a high degree of risk of physical harm anyway. Funny, yes?

Late last night, after chasing a handful of Motrin with several glasses of wine, Moose repaired to the upstairs bathroom with her iPhone and started taking pictures of her wounded paw, because nothing happens in Roxie's World without somebody thinking, Hey, look -- blog fodder! And then, of course, she started noodling around with her favorite photo apps, ToyCamera and CameraBag, and the next thing you know she's plotting out season four of Damages:

Ellen Parsons, having quit the firm yet again, is on her own at last, launching a solo criminal defense practice in a seedy part of town. Business is slow, because dumpster guy has told all the neighbors that Ellen's blood-stained bag did not match her shoes, so she whiles away the long days in her office by composing bizarre images that she mails anonymously to Patty Hewes. Patty, busy suing a major East Coast university on behalf of an employee injured in the line of duty, isn't fooled for a second. From the comfort of her recently renovated loft, she sends Ellen a copy of Photoshop for Dummies along with a curt note: Get a life, Ellen. Move on. Ellen reads the note and cries quietly at her desk, but then picks up her iPhone and begins shooting again, unable to resist trying to force Patty Hewes to pay attention to her. Somehow. Anyhow. Even contempt is a form of recognition. Ooooh, Ellen thinks. That "Lolo" effect is cool. Patty will love that, won't she? She has to . . . .





(Photo Credits: Moose, in the bathroom, on her iPhone, 4/2/10)

Happy Easter/Passover/Pagan Festival of Spring, my little chickens. May your gardens be prolific and your bones be strong. Peace out.