Saturday, September 19, 2009

Out of Status

There's still serious blogging going on in the world, kids. If that's what you're in the market for, head on over to Historiann's place. She's got a great post up today on how race does -- and does not -- explain the resistance to Obama's policy proposals. This is an insightful intersectional analysis, much more satisfying than the silly all (Herbert) or nothing (Brooks) garbage that has been in the press of late. Ditto Anglachel, who rarely posts these days but has a good one up on how Dems, such as former President Jimmy Carter, keep the Southern strategy alive by focusing on race and racism as the source of all opposition and refusing to engage substantively and politically with resistance to what they (Dems) see as their more enlightened policies.

In another corner of the blogosphere, GayProf offers a dazzling contribution to our series (even though he doesn't, technically, know us), Excellence Without Money: Hard Times in Higher Ed. He's got a long, brilliant list of suggestions for how to cope with the increased scrutiny faculty are facing over class size as universities look to increase their economies of scale, as someone said to Moose in a meeting shortly before she fled the Eastern seaboard. Among our favorite ideas for making sure that students enroll in your classes and stay in them? We're keen on the idea of bar service in classes that start after 1 p.m., as long as the bar is open to instructors, too, but we are especially impressed with GayProf's efforts to exploit the tools of social networking in order to appeal to today's students. He'll consider an updated Facebook status line as the equivalent of attending class, for example, and, instead of final papers, he's going to let students Tweet their ideas about U.S. history. Now, that is some serious pedagogical innovation for these troubled times of ours, my friends! We'll mark that post with the official Excellence Without Money seal of approval.

Meantime, here in Roxie's World, my typist is still in a state of loopy bliss that makes it difficult for her to concentrate on the serious topics that typically absorb our attention around here. We don't know if it's the altitude or the sabbatical, but she's refusing to type anything that has to do with health care or the official QTU furlough policy, which was just announced today. Heck, we couldn't even get her to weigh in on how well Marissa "Shoulders" Coleman played in the Mystics' playoff loss to the Indiana Fever the other night! (Newsflash: Mystics just lost again to the Fever, in overtime, 81-74, to be eliminated from the playoffs. Boohoo.) All we get from her is a lot of hooey about how amazing it is to breathe a different air, see a different sky, walk a different path. What's wrong with the old path, I wonder? I like our trail just fine!

To try to get a clearer sense of what's going on with our prodigal typist and to pass that sense along to you, our passionately curious readers, we've enlisted the aid of a special team of (non)digital forensic experts to dig into the hard drive of Moose's brain and see what's in there right now. They're a bunch of high-level geeks, armed with what we might call, in homage to a pal and colleague, Kirschenbats, ready to flush out the truth. So far, their most intriguing find is a series of rejected Facebook status lines Moose came up with during her journey across the country and in the first few days of her stay at her undisclosed location. Here they are, in no particular order. Take a look at them. Let us know if you think we need to send the guys in white coats out to her undisclosed location to pick her up. Frankly, I am a little concerned.

Moose on the Loose:
Rejected Facebook Status Lines

Moose has settled the debate: If the universe had been intelligently designed, Oklahoma would have been much, much smaller. Think about it.

Moose cannot decide if, at the moment, she is Thelma without Louise, Lucy without Ricky, Lucy without Ethel, Bogey without Bacall, Gertrude without Alice, Hepburn without Tracy -- or vice versa. In her darkest moments, she fears she may be Fred without Ethel.

Moose has become that weird woman, dining alone, trying discreetly to take photographs of her food. You know, like this:

(Photo Credit: Moose, on her iPhone, undisclosed location, 9/19/09. What's the dish, which she neglected to photograph before she dove into it [which explains the jalapeno with the end bitten off]? Molcajete al pastor, which Moose loosely translates to, why Dog invented pork. Click here for a review of the restaurant and a description of this delicious dish, but only if you are not deeply invested in the fantasy of Moose's undisclosed location. You have been warned.)

Moose wonders if that is what coyote poop looks like.

Moose has looked at clouds from both sides now. Rather than illusions, she sees what appears to be a map of Africa, sliding slowly toward her from the mountains. It is one of the most sublimely beautiful things she has ever seen.

Moose is getting desert nose. 'Nuf said.

Moose now realizes that Rodgers and Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone," from Carousel (1945), is in fact a brilliant prolepsis of the existential condition of the iPhone user.

Moose moves quietly in her borrowed home, trying to intuit the rhythms and the ways of life there, slowly getting the feel of an unfamiliar space, full of gratitude for the generosity of friends.

Moose takes pretty good food pictures but feels defeated by the sky. She cannot capture it. Paging Ansel Adams! Ansel Adams, come in, please! Or Kate Flint. ;-)

* * *

So, what do you think, kids? Is it time to call in the mental-health professionals? Time to cut off her access to the internets? Time to tell her to get a grip, grab a pen, and start drafting the Big Whoop-de-doo Book on Blogging That Will Save the Humanities, Get Her Promoted, and Perhaps Attract the Attention of Nora Ephron? Like I said, we report, you decide. A gold-plated Kirschenbat (trademark RW Enterprises, LLC) to anyone who can make any sense at all of Moose's rejected status lines. Get out your secret decoder rings, and start crackin'!


  1. Ha! Big skies where you are--too bad you can't swing by, Moose. The Great American Desert just goes on and on and on and on, doesn't it? (If you think OK is big, try Nebraska! Or even Tennessee, the long way. Yikes! At least Oklahoma! comes with its own catchy show-tune soundtrack.

    Thanks for the link.

  2. I believe in skys, I do. And your well deserved sabbatical is already using them with aplomb.

    I am an ocean gal myself. And my sabbatical memories are of sun shining off the Monterey Bay and the 360 vista of water, mountains, and beach....

    But I know you have a heart for ocean too and lots of experiences with all of these beauties.

    Thanks for sharing them....

  3. Coyote poop? Look for fur and grass... Back here, the kitties shudder at the very mention of the thought.

  4. I Goose will not reveal your undisclosed location. After laughing through your rejected FB status lines again (had such fun reading them with you last night, Moose, while Skyping), I'll point you to something serious in this morning's WaPo, a column by Jim Sleeper about the public animosity directed at President Obama, "This Anger Isn't Just in Black and White" ( He makes many of the points Historiann does (though we think she makes them better), and points out that liberals keep falling into the trap of "it's all about race" and therefore ignore many of the real issues driving this backlash. These two paragraphs seem especially trenchant to the Rox and Goose:

    "The mistake of crying racism is especially tempting to upscale, influential liberals who, no less than protesters on the right, are ducking the true causes of dispossession, fear and rage: the premises and practices of financial capital, predatory consumer marketing and a national-security state boondoggling.

    "Liberals who've done well by those practices aren't always serious about redressing their inequities and disruptions. But they can't bring themselves to defend them very wholeheartedly, either. So they grasp at symbolic gestures against racism that short-circuit political currents for necessary change as surely as Rush does."


    Goose is already hungry for the meal Moose enjoyed last night. . .and Goose and Rox love their hero Moose!!!
    --from RW Enterprises, LLC home base

  5. Oh, the moms have done Nebraska AND Tennessee, Historiann -- Someone had a little Cather work to do out in NE, and they've always driven the southern route to Texas and the SW in the past. You are right about the OK soundtrack, though -- It is marginally redeeming of the state.

    Here's hoping the skies are big and beautiful for everyone in Roxie's World today! Moose is off to do a little yoga al fresco. Boy, that already sounds like another rejected FB status line, doesn't it?


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