Thursday, February 09, 2012

Friday Fragments

This Marketplace report brought me up short. 

It’s about Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, endorsing gay marriage in New York.  The report notes that CEO’s of major banks aren’t generally known for taking positions on potentially divisive social issues.  

What caught my ear was the pair of lines toward the end.  One interviewee notes that the kind of people who would object to gay marriage aren’t the kind of people who have enough money for him to worry about.  The second line, by the reporter, noted with a smirk that Blankfein doesn’t have to worry about how his views will “play in Peoria.”

I don’t have an issue with the substance of the report, exactly.  It’s true that we don’t usually expect to hear CEO’s take positions like that, and as it happens, I agree with the position he took.  But the smug and un-self-conscious classism in which the report was couched was bracing and, frankly, disturbing.  It plays into the stereotype of limousine liberalism, and it suggests that people who don’t matter -- the folks Lloyd Blankfein doesn’t have to worry about  -- amount to punchlines.


The Boy and The Wife sometimes watch The Middle, a sitcom about a family in the Midwest.  This week’s episode featured, among other things, a brief discussion of French kissing, along with a definition.

TB recoiled, as if from a bad smell, and asked TW “is that real?”

Sometimes you forget what the world looks like when you’re ten.


Like many, my college uses Google sites to post documents for internal campus use.  (Examples would include meeting agendas, minutes, motions, etc.)  

Having done that for over a year now, I’m starting to think that posting a document to Google sites is sort of like putting a vegetable in the crisper.  In theory, it makes perfect sense.  But in practice, it’s where things go to be forgotten.


Of course, Google docs can sometimes be relatively public.  The New Faculty Majority is crowdsourcing a compilation of profiles of adjunct pay and working conditions using a Google doc -- the link is here.  A quick glance showed that a college I know has its rate for a 3 credit course understated by about 40 percent, so I strongly encourage the NFM to do some serious fact-checking.  

With the caveat that some of what’s there is unreliable, though, I like the idea.  If nothing else, it may dissuade potential graduate students from throwing themselves into the sausage grinder.  That would be a genuine public service.