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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


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Monday, January 03, 2005

The Ends of the World as We Know Them

Thank goodness I have only one more week before classes begin again, as quitting smoking has turned my world upside down. And it seems nothing short of actual paid labor will turn me around again. I'm concerned, however, that even that won't be enough and I may end up sloshed over at the poorly concealed survivalist camp down the highway (strategically located across from the bar and down from the laundromat-pizza parlor-bait shop) and with no choice but to marry a 298 pound drunken brawler biker dude skilled in the art of frying up squirrel, biscuits and gravy over the campfire, once the beer and pizza funds run out.

Just a few weeks ago, 5 a.m. seemed a reasonable time to fly out of bed. These days, however, I'm lucky if I'm asleep by 3-4 a.m. and I'm certainly not awake before noon. These new hours are wreaking havoc --- I'm much too used to the advantages of daylight and am useless once the sun sets.

I'm convinced that, come Monday, nothing will be able to rouse me and I'll sleep through all my classes and they'll fire me because of this transformation into nightowl (brought on by quitting smoking) and I'll be forced to go to work at the scary bar down the road because it's the only place open during the hours I'm awake these days and in order to keep from being trampled under as some kind of elitist sissypants schoolmarm, I'll have to take up heavy drinking and pool and whooping ass and, no doubt, I'll end up married to a 350 pound biker dude with a bandanna (affectionately known as *doorag*) wrapped around his sweaty, receding hairline--- and all for the sake of quitting smoking.

Is it really worth it? Isn't it better to stink to high heaven from smoke than to be a bar brawling drunk chick married to a 500 pound biker dude and living in a tin shack with the possums?

In any case, I slept through most of a thunderstorm this morning and was finally awakened by the large hairy four legged beasts who piled on top of me and began squealing in fright. Their squealing finally roused me, and sometime around noon, I tumbled out of bed and drowned in some coffee and took a stroll through the blogs ...

... and what do I find at Majikthise but mention of a New York Times OpEd by Jared Diamond, and Majikthise's excellent defense of Diamond's work from the scathing handed down by UggaBugga.

Now that woke me up. And not so much because Diamond's article is really quite good. I agree with him on virtually all points, especially his discussion of the dangers of an insulated elite in the face of diminishing resources and the profound threats presented by environmental degradation. And, of course, the advantages/disadvantages of various kinds of geographies and ecological niches.

And Majikthise's critique of Uggabugga's response to Diamond is right on target.

Except ... except ... except that there's something about the name of Jared Diamond which spurs some kinds of memories --- and there's something vaguely familiar about Uggabugga's response.

I've spent the past few hours trying to remember why I am so immediately predisposed to slap Diamond around much worse than UggaBugga has.

And it all finally clicked a little while ago: evil archaeology teachers. Especially evil Americanist archaeology teachers. Especially evil Americanist rchaeology teachers who are unreasonably determined to use Diamond's work (and similar) as evidence that it's all the Indians' own fault, much the way wingers these days choose to blame the chaos in Iraq on the Iraqis.

Which is why I've not simply studiously avoided Diamond's work, but have blocked all knowledge of it from memory.

What I've read over the past few hours, however, is good. Mighty good. And yet more evidence of how good theory and work can be so twisted by those with an agenda.

In any case, go read the OpEd and check out Majikthise's good discussion. Me, I'm ordering Germs, Guns and Warfare, and settling in to read some Diamon without the interfering blather of archaeologists seeking to deny the effects of their ancestors on the original inhabitants of the New World.

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