Wednesday, April 28, 2010


This was a very well written biography in its ability to illuminate the psychology of the subject, I did find it someone lacking in that it had relatively little to say about Rousseau's politics or philosophy.

When reading biographies, it becomes difficult not to, in some sense, root for the subject. You become so connected to the life of an individual, that you begin to root for them, even if you would ordinarily be entirely opposed to their goals or ideas. This was not the case with Rousseau. I found J.J. to be impossible to like. Consumed by paranoia and self-indulgent bitterness, he alienated almost everyone in his life, including many of the leading thinkers of the period (Hume, Diderot, and Voltaire included).

My relationship with Rousseau's system is unique (for me) in that I am largely sympathetic to many of his conclusions, but not at all to his process. I have the opposite relationship to many thinkers (particularly of this period), in that I appreciate their methods, or their system, but disagree with their ultimate conclusions.

In some ways, Rousseau's philosophy can be seen as a skewed sort of proto-Marxism. He exhibited a strongly negative reaction to Modernity (even beginning the social contract by writing, "everywhere, man is in chains..." a line echoed a century later in the Manifesto), but rather than view Modernity/ Capitalism as an essential step on the way to ultimate progress, he saw it is the original betrayal, forever alienating man from his natural state. He (like Marx) felt that European religion was a tool to keep the people confused and complacent, but rather than desiring the eradication of superstitious fate, desired a pared down, spiritual interpretation of reality, believing himself to be more Christian than the Christians.

While I was aware of Rousseau's (at the time) radical pedagogical theories, I as unaware of the powerful impact he had on the development of psychology. In the confessions, he was the first memoirist to ascribe any importance to early childhood development.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

paul f

snookie snookie I got hookie

Jersey Shore

Snooki Dumped Me in a Voicemail, Says Boyfriend

April 21, 2010

On Monday, he Tweeted that he was back on the market and now, Emilio Masella, the Gold’s Gym trainer who began dating Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi in January, is speaking out about his breakup with the Jersey Shore star.

“I told Nicole I tried out for Real World and she was upset,” Masella tells PEOPLE. “She thought I was using her to get on the show which is ridiculous.” An argument ensued, and at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, he received a voicemail from his angry girlfriend saying, “You’re nothing. You’re single.”

Masella was confused and tried to call her back, but she hung up on him. What he didn’t expect were the allegations of infidelity — “I’d never cheat on her–I love her,” he says — and the rumors that Snooki hooked up with her costar Mike “the Situation” Sorrentino on Monday.

“I talked to her yesterday and I was like, ‘You know I’d never cheat on you; I’d never do something so low,’” he says. “She said she hadn’t hooked up with anybody [either] — but she freakin’ lied to me. She put out there that I cheated, which is ridiculous, and now the tables have turned. It sucks.”

Reps for the Jersey Shore star have not return calls for comment.

Masella is equally confused by his ex’s anger toward his Real World audition — as he assumed she’d be supportive. “I never asked her for anything,” he says. “She’s the one that pulled me into the spotlight, bringing me to all these places. It seems like she’s starting to get jealous.”

Masella adds that Polizzi was also worried that he was hanging out with girls — but he claims 80 percent of his friends are female.

“I talked to her yesterday afternoon and I fought with her,” he says. “I [told her] she has no reason to be mad — and she hung up on me. I told her, ‘You can’t expect me to stay home and never go out if you’re gone for two months.’”

“But I’m not a scumbag,” he says. “She said, ‘If you want to have fun, bye,’ and she hung up. She’s being very jealous and spiteful.”

After hearing the rumors of the hook-up with The Situation, Masella tried calling her Wednesday morning, but Snooki was sleeping. “I don’t know if she [broke up with me] on purpose so she could hook up with Mike,” he says. “I knew [her time on set] was going to be crazy, but I didn’t think it was going to be this crazy.”

Though he doesn’t have confirmation of the hook-up, Masella believes that it happened. “I trusted her and I trusted all the kids in the house too — I was friends with them too,” he says. “I thought they’d have more respect for me than that.”

So is there a chance for reconciliation?

“Only time will tell,” Masella says. “But I don’t care who you are — I’m not going to let a girl step all over me and cheat on me.” –Lesley Messer

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

short book review

The Red Flag: A history of Communism

I imagine (in part because it was published in 2009) that this is one of the more complete surveys of the communist movement available, in that in covers a lot of territory. It is not particularly challenging, which is useful for someone hoping to gain a sort of "101" understanding of certain movements (for example, I knew very little about Pol Pot and about certain 1970's and 1980's African communist movements). However, it does not go intro great depth, and I found it almost useless when covering topics that I was more familiar with (French Revolution, Marx, USSR). It also has very little to say about theory.

I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to become more fluent in the history of communist movements, or to gain a more thorough understanding of the role of communism in particular times and places. For someone with a reasonably developed understanding of the topic, this book is a fine reference, but the reader may grow weary.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Today I finished a 91 page paper that I had to write over the last week to finish up my teaching credential. It's 14 parts, and includes 34 pages of supplemental materials and lesson plans.

Writing it was awful.

Now I'm on Spring Break.

dj pauly d

Dawkins on the pope

No, Pope Ratzinger should not resign. He should remain in charge of the whole rotten edifice - the whole profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution - while it tumbles, amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, about his ears.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


So I'm watching the documentary 638 ways to kill Castro with my World History Class.

My favorite part so far:

One of Fidel's spurned lovers was sent to his room by the CIA to put poison pills in his water. He caught her in the act and said, "I know you've come to kill me", he handed her a loaded gun, sat down on his bed, lit a cigar and demanded that she shoot him.

She pointed the gun at him for a few seconds, broke down in tears and said, "oh Fidel, I cannot kill you"

He took a puff on his cigar, laughed and said, "of course you can't kill me, NO ONE CAN!"