Archive for the ‘linkings’ Category


what this blog is for

January 22, 2011

Eruntics, I knew about. Memetics drinking, though, that’s a new one. (Sounds like my Saturday nights.) And “chronotope with no referential value,” well, that’s a badge I’ll wear with pride. I may have it printed on a teeshirt.


Sundry and Philology

November 8, 2010

While carefully avoiding the massive pile of Bakhtin at the foot of my bed, I decided to procrastinate on Language Log. This was fun, because there’s a lovely discussion of preposition stranding in Wilde which led me to both the cutest linguist-issued death threat ever and the cutest picture of and information about Oscar Wilde ever. He’s a witty classicist! Who gets linguists excited! This is a really fancy version of my entire social life! (Also I’ve a friend who’s reading Dorian Gray for the first time, and she keeps emailing me with adorable flailings about the language, and it’s making me want to reread that instead my augh-why-do-I-inflict-Bakhtin-on-myself.)

Now, I really do have to finish this Another Damn Essay On The Cena And Gatsby (working title), but in the meantime, go look at Ben’s ballot poem, which is gorgeous and inspiring.


if you haven’t completed syntax II, do not read this.

July 8, 2010


This is prompted by my esteemed colleague, Devin, who posted an analysis here of some Chinese sentences that he’s collected on his current travels there. Mind you, even if I didn’t have this severe (and reasonable!) phobia of lowering, I’d still take issue with the whole “let’s just stick a T in some place that has nothing to do with X-Bar” shindig taking place in the last trees of his analysis.

What I’m trying to say here is, I am incapable of going more than two months without syntax. Apparently. I’m sitting in some college library right now, I do not even know what college (they’re thick on the ground in Saint Paul, for some reason), obsessing over this instead of having real adventures. I suppose it’s consolation to myself for losing my cellist. (Sad story. I’ll tell you later.)


Mark Yudof, go to someone else’s party.

February 1, 2010

So, I’m having a bit of a hard time with something, and I’ve been a little nervous about mentioning it in public because frankly it could well be slander depending on how I phrase it, and I just don’t know how diplomatic I want to be.

Thing is, Mark Yudof follows me on twitter.

That’s… well, that’s weird enough as it is. Yudof is the president of the University of California. I’ve never met or spoken to the man. I have occasionally sent him angry emails, because being a conscientious UC student requires one to send angry emails at one’s president once in a while. However, I certainly have no personal connection with him. And while I did use my Twitter for a short time while involved with the UC Occupations, I rarely tweet about anything that University administrators should be especially interested in.

My twitter is a personal thing, a toy, a microblog where I talk about what I ate for breakfast and how cool my Translation Theory class is and how I think that kid in my lit section is super cute. Mark Yudof does not need to know these things. I don’t want my dad’s boss showing up at my birthday party, and I don’t want my university president following me on twitter. Mark Yudof is, in fact, disinvited from the party that is my twitter.

But Kirby! You say. Why not just block him and continue blithely tweeting about porn and ice cream as you are wont? Well, the same reason I wouldn’t kick my dad’s boss out of my birthday party if he showed up: I don’t want him there, but I don’t want to get in trouble for kicking him out.

See, a friend of mine, @Benladen, just got suspended from twitter because Yudof decided that he didn’t like his tweets. (My dad’s boss just kicked my loud, drunk friend out of my party.) I do not think he had the right to do this. I do not think Yudof has the right to BE on twitter. But we can’t tell him to leave, because then he might kick US out. It’s not fair, and I feel invaded in what was a safe, fun place for my peers and me. If I want to get to know him, I will approach him myself. It’s inappropriate for him to try and get to know me in this way, because I feel so pressured and trapped.

I don’t follow him back. I don’t expect him to actually read most of my tweets. (Thank god.) But I’m very, very angry about the suspension of @Benladen, and I wish someone would convince Yudof that @mark_yudof has other, cooler parties to go to.


Displaced Rantypants.

November 18, 2009

I’ve started a second blog to talk about the issues with the funding and fee hikes at the University of California. You can find it here: Whose University?. I’d love to get some discussion, dissent, and dialog going over there, so drop on by and comment, and spread the link to those you think might want to do likewise!


The world is watching.

June 16, 2009

I was going to write about all the trials and tribulations of moving into this new (old) house in the mountains, but then I saw this quoted tweet on Facebook:

“140 chars is a novel when you’re being shot at.”

And my heart kinda broke. There’s only so much I can do from where I am, but I hope everyone who reads this will join me in doing what small part we can.

From the Amnesty International-US website:

Since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner in the June 12 elections in Iran, there have been widespread protests against the contested election results. The Iranian authorities have responded with violence and repression. Reports indicate that large numbers of people were severely beaten by riot police and that several people have been fatally shot Furthermore, over 100 people are reported to have been arrested, including the brother of former President Mohammad Khatami. Amnesty International is concerned that those detained may be subjected to torture and ill-treatment. The Iranian authorities have attempted to stop the flow of information both among Iranians and from Iranians to those outside by blocking cell phone communication, text messaging and email. Amnesty International is also concerned that the protests, which have already drawn massive crowds in Tehran and other cities in Iran, may be met with increased levels of violence by Iranian authorities. AI calls for the authorities to exercise restraint in response to further demonstrations and to release all those who have been detained for peacefully expressing their opinions about the results of the election. It also calls for an end to restrictions on the right to freedom of expression and association, including the freedom to receive and impart information and ideas.

To send a letter to Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei [click here]. Let him know the world is watching.


Seven Years of My Life and Service

June 3, 2009

I found out from a colleague of mine last week that the Heroes programs, Young Heroes and City Heroes, have been cut because City Year and Americorps simply can’t afford them anymore.

I was a Young Hero for two years and a City Hero for four, both at City Year San Jose. For every single leadership opportunity– advisory boards and committees within the Heroes program, mainly– I volunteered or was chosen. I received three Presidential Service Awards simply from participating in the program. I’ve done over a thousand hours of community service through the Heroes programs. In freshman year, I was chosen to represent the new City Heroes program at the end-of-year City Year gathering in Boston, Cyzygy. One of my best friends from the Heroes programs is now legally my sister.

In short, the program was a huge part of my life.

I’m incredibly sad to see it go, and incredibly disappointed in the current state of things that made it impossible for the programs to continue. President Obama issued a call to service, and this is not how we should be answering that call. Yes, the economy’s in the crapper, but these programs could have helped to pull it out, in the long run. I know at least a dozen former Heroes personally who would not have gone to college if not for the programs. Because of their participation and their service, they’ll be ready to get real, competitive jobs that bring tax flow and money flow to wherever they settle down. Former Heroes will stimulate the economy, not burden it. And when, in another seven years, the generation of kids who never had these programs available graduates high school and enters the work force or higher education, I think it will show.

When I was twelve, I referred to what I did every Saturday as “saving the world.” I don’t think I was hyperbolizing at the time. The programs were, and are, incredibly important in the lives of thousands of young people. They will be sorely missed.