Saturday, May 03, 2008

School's Out for Summer

Summer is upon us. Well, not technically – That won’t officially start until June 21. Given that my life is dictated by the nine month academic calendar rather than the actual calendar, it has already started for me. Screw the solstice.

This leads to my annual list of things that I must accomplish in the coming months. Here are items that must be done by September 2:

    * Complete the Never Ending Research Project of Doom. Yeah, this has been on my list consistently. This time, though, I really mean it.

    * Ruthlessly exploit friends and colleagues by having them proofread drafts of the Never Ending Research Project of Doom.

    * Attend an all-day meeting to discuss matters deemed critical for the direction of my academic department.

    * Struggle not to slit my wrists out of boredom while attending an all-day meeting to discuss matters deemed critical for the direction of my academic department.

    * Single-handedly heal the wounds of the Democratic Party once they finally decide on a candidate. The key will be baking enough delicious Bundt cake for everybody.

    * Lose eight pounds. I am at that awkward stage where my regular clothes are a tad tight, but my fat clothes are still too large.

    * Take my Honda Civic for much needed service. It’s odd that at the point that I finally paid it off, I decided to see if I could destroy it by not bothering to get its oil changed.

    * Quash my environmentally-dubious desire to purchase the insanely hot Dodge Challenger. I am not ashamed to say that I would probably have sex with that car. I would do it on camera too as long as I could keep the car afterwards.

    * Vigorously shake working-class whites until they realize that the Republican Party is their worst enemy.

    * Spend ample time in the sun to obtain a much needed tan and to stave off rickets.

    * Invent a new cocktail and name it the Gravitas.

    * Travel to New Mexico for research purposes.

    * Seek medical treatment for guaranteed heat stroke while in New Mexico.

    * Enjoy refreshing TaB cola.

    * Enjoy even more refreshing tequila.

    * Travel to Philadelphia and New Jersey for an event on my mother’s side of my family.

    * Contemplate just how much worse traveling by air will become if we allow Delta and Northwest Airlines to merge. Do we even remember that this nation once had anti-trust laws?

    * Solve the mystery at Lilac Inn.

    * Use my federal tax stimulus check to buy a single week’s worth of gasoline.

    * Update CoG more often (Unlikely if I want to accomplish the first thing on this list).

    * Remind the nation that allowing John McCain to assume the presidency would be to install somebody who has no moral conscious; enjoys war as a pastime; voted against the federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.; has promised to continue the disastrous economic policies of the Bush presidency; and smells like Bengay.

    * Watch films that center on an alcoholic industrialist with a metal suit; a cowled misanthrope with abandonment issues; and an aged archeologist who probably also smells like Bengay at this point.

    * Wonder aloud about why Gwyneth Paltrow has a screen career. Conclude that it has to do with the U.S.’s incredibly low standards for acting.

    * Change my currency into something less likely to lose its value than the U.S. dollar – Like the Colombian peso.

    * Purchase a new bed and/or couch – Depending on whether I imagine that I will have more house guests or overnight guests.

    * Laugh at the fact that the media/government is trying to spin the loss of jobs in the economy as a sign of growth. Hey, we didn’t shed as many jobs as we expected, so things are looking up. That’s a great strategy that I am going to start using with my credit card companies. Hey, my check wasn’t nearly as late as I thought that it would be, so, really, we are ahead.

    * Completely redesign the syllabus for one of my fall classes (Unlikely if I want to accomplish the first thing on this list).

    * Wrestle control of the Federal Reserve Board away from the incompetent and dangerous Ben S. Bernanke and the other conservative white men who currently staff it (Yep, all conservative white men on the Fed – Nobody else seems to have noticed that).

    * Spend some quality time playing with my Mego Wonder Woman doll.

    * Convince my friends that spending quality time playing with my Mego Wonder Woman doll is not evidence of the long anticipated mental breakdown.

    * Celebrate the genius of Dolly Parton.

    * Be grateful to Guadalupe that I don’t have to move this year (unlike the previous three years).

    * Start a movement to finally dump the 1789 Constitution and replace it with a parliamentary form of government for the U.S. Why do we cling to a document that stated that some individuals only count for three-fifths of a person? Why do we tolerate a system where one person, one vote is not the standard? We have the technology to rebuild it. We can make it better, stronger, faster.


kiita said...

I admire the interweaving of personal, professional and political goals in this list. I just hope the Gravitas doesn't include TaB and tequila. I think I accidentally tried that in my youth.

Sisyphus said...

I think that your goals and my plan for ending global warning could be combined if we put McCain, the members of the Fed Reserve board and large numbers of working class white men on a rocket and then shoot it into the sun.

Oh wait ---- no, that's not part of my evil plan --- it would just be really fun to watch.

CoffeeDog said...

Agree w/you about Gwyneth Paltrow. What a pompous ass she is! She is only famous because she has famous parents.

Lavenre said...

I'm assuming you've already solved the secret of the old clock, found the hidden staircase, and know what the bungalow mystery is?

Oh man, if I'd only saved my books; I'd be a rich girl now.

Laverne said...

Yeah, I can't even spell my own name...

Les said...

If we try to replace the constiution with a better document, how do we keep the neocons from sneaking in a worse document? Or do they not care because they never have to pay atention to the old one, anyway?

Historiann said...

Hey, GP--is that a photograph of a modern-day Charger? It looks like something Steve McQueen drove!

And of course, I must comment on the cool Wonder Woman doll. I'll be in the neighborhood of BMU this summer--maybe I'll give you a call and we can play barbies?

Frank said...

"* Travel to Philadelphia and New Jersey for an event on my mother’s side of my family."

Hmmm... We may need to speak privately of this, GayProf.

Greg said...

I do like your plans for summer cinema. If only there was also a film about a beautiful princess who's trying to bring peace to the world, as well.

Which isn't meant to demean any of your other, loftier but worthwhile plans for the fastest months of the year.

But still...we ought to be seeing that by now.

(I have to say, tho, the Mego WW seems not to be acquainted with the beauty of Aphrodite.)

Anonymous said...

The 3/5ths clause didn't deny slaves any actual rights; it kept slave states from having a greater presence and (more power to promote slavery) in the legislature.

How would slaves being counted as 5/5ths for the sole purpose of apportionment have done anything except prolong the injustice of slavery by giving states like Georgia and South Carolina MORE votes in the legislature?

Entiendo that this isn't your area of expertise, but en serio? Open a maldito book.

tornwordo said...

I still can't get past the fact that school's over for the session. i've still got three weeks. Oh and don't worry about the dollar, it's every one else's turn on the planet to have purchasing power. Y'all have had your turn for awhile now (smirk).

GayProf said...

Kiita: I had not thought of mixing TaB and tequila -- It's crazy enough that it just might work.

Sisyphus: I am not sure that I want to deport working class white men. I would just prefer if they started voting in a reasonable way.

CoffeeDog: Don't even get me started on the disaster that was Shakespeare in Love.

Laverne: Right now, I am stuck on Larkspur Lane.

Les: That is the major hole in my plan. We would need a way to exclude Texas...

HistoriAnn: I knew if there was anybody who would appreciate Mego Wonder Woman, it would be you.

Frank: Yes, let's talk about this.

Greg: Despite never having been removed from the box, my Mego Wonder Woman has had a hard go of it. Her hair is mess, her tiara doesn't stay up, and her costume is a little droopy.

Anon: What book do you think that I should read? Your eighth grade social studies textbook?

It's true that I am not a constitutional historian; however, I am well aware of the origins and reasons behind the three-fifths clause. This was a document that was based on assumptions that certain individuals didn't count as part of "the people" -- especially those, as you point out, who were held in race-based slavery. Whatever we think of the circumstances that brought it into creation, why should we prop up a document that implicitly endorsed human bondage? It is not 1789 any longer and we are under no obligation to praise their decisions.

Moreover, people from the north didn't want to count slaves for representation because they considered those individuals "property" rather than people with inalienable rights that the south was wrongly taking away. This document did not champion a universal sense of freedom nor establish a just society.

Why should we celebrate a document that made compromises with the southern white oligarchy (and did bloat their strength in the federal government by granting them representation based on every three-out-of-five people who had no rights of their own)?

If you would like to read more about changing notions of race, gender, and citizenship in the U.S., let me recommend the following articles. Ohline, in particular, argues that the three-fifths decision wasn't even that much of a debate between Northers and Southerners:
Howard A. Ohline, "Republicanism and Slavery: Origins of the Three-Fifths Clause in the United States Constitution," The William and Mary Quarterly Vol. 28, No. 4 (Oct., 1971), pp. 563-584; Walter Ehrlich, “The Origins of the Dred Scott Case,” Journal of Negro History, (Vol. 59, No. 2, April 1975), pp. 132-142; Nancy Cott, “Marriage and Women’s Citizenship in the United States, 1830-1934,” American Historical Review (Vol. 103, No. 5, December, 1998), pp. 1440-1474; Jan Lewis, “Of Every Sex & Condition’: The Representation of Women in the Constitution,” Journal of the Early Republic (Vol. 15, Fall 1995), pp. 359-388; Linda Kerber, “The Meanings of Citizenship,” Journal of American History, (Vol. 84, No. 3, December 1997), pp. 833-854; Robert J. Kaczorowski, “To Begin the Nation Anew: Congress, Citizenship, and Civil Rights After the Civil War,” American Historical Review, (Vol. 92, No. 1, February 1987), pp. 45-68; David R. Roediger, “The Pursuit of Whiteness: Property, Terror, and Expansion, 1790-1860,” Journal of the Early Republic (Vol. 19, No 4, Winter 1999), pp. 579-600; William G. McLoughlin, “Experiment in Cherokee Citizenship, 1817-1829,” American Quarterly, (Vol. 33, No. 1, Spring 1981), pp. 3-25.

Torn: I actually do have mixed feelings about the dollar. In many ways, the U.S. is getting what it deserves. Voters dumbly reinstalled Bush in 2004, now they are reaping the rewards for it. The bad side, though, is that I and the other half of the voters have had to suffer from their bad judgment.

Chad said...

I've been wondering lately if the Constitution is one of the few things that actually gives this country its ideological glue, like a monarchy or a shared history or a sense of ethno-social identity. I really do believe a serious revision of the Constitution, or even a "Second Constitution", would bring us closer to splitting apart into a multitude of countries (whether or not that's at all a bad thing is a topic for another time).

vuboq said...

I didn't see "Visit a possibly unemployed VUBOQ" on your summer to-do list. A glaring omission, methinks. *smooches*

Oso Raro said...

Rickets? OMG, maybe I have rickets! (furiously looks up Rickets via Google, faints straight away)

Marius said...

Celebrate the genius of Dolly Parton


Paris said...

Judging from the rest of the to-do list, Gravitas sounds like TaB & tequila. Garnish with lime?

I'm not sure how good an idea that drink would be.

Dye your hair red Oso, that'll take care of the rickets.

Earl Cootie said...

Ouch. Please, not TaB and tequila. Though, who knows, could be good. Though I'd garnish with lime, as Paris suggested. Or garnish with anything, please, God, anything, to make it not taste like TaB and tequila.

I'm still working on the ingredients of the Whore or Babylon, by the way. I'll let you know when that's done.

jeremy said...

Me want prrofread.

Dance said...

I will join your movement for a parliamentary system. I especially like the idea of shadow ministers.

pacalaga said...

Re: Dodge Charger... OH YES.

K said...

An admirable list. What do you get when you mix TaB and tequila? Could it be a Gravitas cocktail?

Anonymous said...

And just how do you know that John McPain smells like Ben-Gay? How did you get so close? Were you a page at one time? ;-) This research in New Mexico intrigues me. May you have an enjoyable summer regardless. And raise your Gravitas cocktail glass in salute to "mi cumpleanos" on the Solstice! ;-)

Alan Scott said...

Hey, GayProf! I understand the desire for sex with a car (I sat in a Ferrari once! It was good for me). If I'm on camera though, I'd go for the Mustang convertible.

The ONLY way TaB coke will be refreshing is to mix it with some refreshing tequila. It's the only thing that will kill the taste of the coke.

I think someone beat you to the mystery at Lilac Inn. (Nancy Drew is SO fashion-unconscious).

Be optimistic! Buy a new bed! ;)

If u want somone 2 chek ur projet of dum, i chek it 4 u and c if it ok

Susan said...

I will promise to eat the bundt cake while drinking the Gravitas. I do think bundt cake has the potential for healing all wounds.

Carl said...

I believe any cocktail called 'Gravitas' should contain Absinthe. Absinthe and gravitas go together like two peas pondering the fate of their pea-ness in a pod.

You might try it with Tequila. Absinthe and Tequila. Try it. Let me know how it goes.

David said...

If you come to NJ you have to stop by NYC for a drink.

And don't you be dissing the H-Ford. I will cut you.

Anonymous said...

Man, just reading through this blog's archives. The writer of this blog has to be the most twisted, brainwashed POS on the planet!

Homer said...

Re Lilac Inn, it's a fricken submarine! At least that's what I recall.

While at my sister's house I read "The Secret in the Old Clock." My mother should have known I was gay because when I was 8 all I wanted was to read Nancy Drew.

GayProf said...

Chad: I have wondered about this as well. Assuming that the Constitution was/is a supremely perfect document seems to be the mythology that keeps the nation in existence. Nobody seems to notice, though, that when the U.S. goes out to build new nations, it follows the British model of parliament rather than our own system.

VUBOQ: Weren't you supposed to come to MFT?

Oso: It turns out, we actually do need sunlight.

Marius: When she goes, it will be a national tragedy.

Paris: It seems TaB and tequila is the winning combination for a Gravitas. The problem, though, is that few bars would actually have TaB.

Earl: Is it the TaB or tequila to which you object? Or just the combo?

Jeremy: I'll add you to the list.

Dance: I only hope that the shadow ministers wear long, flowing cloaks. That just feels right.

Pacalaga: I know, right?

K: I am thinking that there could be another cocktail with TaB -- Like TaB and vodka. We could call it the Cancer.

AFOD: I am just making a reasoned guess that he smells of Bengay. I have no firsthand experience to back that up. Hopefully I never will.

Alan: The Mustang is pretty hot, too. Still, I could easily become a slave to Mopar (if I didn't buy Honda exclusively).

Susan: Bundt cake with a special lemon glaze is the key -- KEY -- to solving this election split.

Carl: Absinthe and tequila should be called the Insanity Maker.

David: I am not dissing H-Ford. I am just pointing out that he has been on this earth a long, long, long time.

Anon2: You're right! Thank God that you have such keen insight that you can use this blog to know me so well. How fortunate I am that you left such a well-reasoned, erudite, and respectful comment. Now I see so clearly that I have wasted the past thirty years of my life! From now on, I will try to think exactly like you. It is all so obvious to me now. If only the entire nation would be just like you. Imagine the paradise.

Homer: I read the Hardy Boys -- It seems like that should have also been an indication of gayness.

Anonymous said...

So, now I'm confused. Will the Bundt cake be chocolate or not?

Roger Green said...

So you want AMERICANS to embrace a parliamentary systyem? Americans can't even fully embrace the metric system; they are a stubborn people, convinced of their rightness.

Greg said...

Well, I hope you are trying to hit a few things on the list with your newfound freedom, and not JUST the Tab and Tequila and the NERPD.

Say, are all these Wonder Woman covers from your personal collection?

Terri said...

this is my first time here and i think i love you.

milletappe said...

site featured in

I will be hoping there is some reference to election 2008 when I'm up in the g's, as I'd love to feature the word gravitas, long a fave :)


Carlo said...

Good job! :)