Society of Biblical Literature: No Sausage-Fest Allowed?

An amusing story from Ronald Boer – apparently his paper (“Too Many Dicks on the Threshing Floor, or, How to Organise a Prophetic Sausage-Fest.”) for SBL contained an inappropriate phrase:

Dear Prof. Boer:

Even though so near to the meeting, I am writing you about the title of your paper in the Prophetic Texts and Their Ancient Contexts session S20-330.  It is the first Annual Meeting presentation to use the word “sausage,” to my knowledge, and indeed a little controversially.  I appreciate the gendered paronomasia in the first portion of the sentence, but it has come to my attention that the second part of the sentence is offensive to some.  To be clear, it is only the last phrase “sausage-fest” that has been taken as gratuitous.  Would you consider revising the title to something like “Too Many Prophetic Dicks at the Writing Desk” or “Too Many Dicks at the Prophetic Writing Desk”?

Thanks for your cordial response, Prof. Boer.  I am not interested in adjudicating legitimate and illegitimate titles, only in cultivating an atmosphere of collegiality and respect at the meeting.



Seriously? “Babylonian whore” is just find but “sausage-fest” is offensive to some? I hate it when folks do this bullshit move – “You know, sire, I’m so open-minded and cool meself, but it could be offensive to some, y’know?”

Biblical studies gone all un-cool, sadness…

I think the masses should rise in protest!

Job Interviews in the Bedroom (Awkward, at best)

Good discussion at The Philosopher Smoker about conducting interviews in hotel bedrooms/suites and sexism:

Over at Leiter, there’s been some interesting discussion about interviewing in bedrooms. Robert Allen says,

I should have thought that we philosophers were a little more relaxed in our dealings with each other than to fuss over interview settings (or even “stares and worse,” i.e., boys being boys). Whatever happened to being of good cheer and leaving the professionalism to the attorneys and politicians?

It has been my experience that “boys will be boys” is shorthand for “men are assholes, and you should put up with it, because they’re men and they like having fun at your expense.” This is one of the things I hate about being a man.

And I hate this “good cheer” argument more than anything. Why does everyone else have to have good cheer in the face of what an asshole you are? What happened to “good cheer yourself, and don’t be an asshole”? You can start by conducting your interviews sitting up, with shoes on like a civilized person, and not in a room dedicated to sleeping and/or fucking.

There’s much to agree with here. By the way, why is it every time I turn around somebody is complaining about Brian Leiter? Just saying.  Read the rest if the post and ensuing discussion over here

Dubai: An Enormous Ponzi Scheme?

Last week it was all over the news that Dubai World Corp was trying to renegotiate some of its debt repayments.  Unsurprisingly, stock markets around the world dipped.  Yet, at first many of the commentators insisted that people hold back the knee jerk reaction to panic because the economics of Dubai were at bottom, solid.  Hmmm…  From all accounts there are empty shopping plazas, restaurants, buildings etc. one wonders if a country with very little, if any natural resources, may want to “sober up.”  Anyway, here’s an article about Dubai I found on CNN:

London, England (CNN) — For the past decade, Dubai has been home to the greatest concentration of cranes anywhere in the world as billions of tonnes of concrete, steel and glass have refashioned the city skyline. But the rapid growth of the past six years has slowed recently due to the global slump in property prices. Hopes of a recovery have now been further imperiled by the news that the state-owned Dubai World has requested to delay paying its massive debts by six months. Dubai has become a playground for architects as well as millionaires commissioning a string of audacious building projects aimed at helping reposition the city as the financial and cultural hub of the Middle East. Billions of dollars have been spent transforming the landscape, erecting buildings which continue to break records of all dimensions. The Burj Dubai — at 818 meter the world’s tallest skyscraper, the vast Palm Jumeirah — built on land reclaimed from the sea, the Dubai Mall — the largest shopping center in the world and the Mall of the Emirates; home to the world’s biggest indoor ski slope form part of a very long list of completed construction projects. “The whole place is kind of like a time-lapse film. You wake up in the morning and it’s just a little bit different,” Jim Krane, author of “City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism” told CNN. But, according to Krane, some of these projects, like the Burj Dubai, suffer from a severe lack of practicality. “Dubai doesn’t really need to have to build tall asides from prestige purposes. If you look at it, it’s a really bad idea. It uses as much electricity as an entire city. And every time the toilet is flushed they’ve got to pump water half a mile into the sky,” he said. The telescopic shape is also presents problems of a more practical nature Krane thinks. “The upper 30 or 40 floors are so tiny that they’re useless, so they can’t use them for anything else apart from storage. They’ve built a small, not so useful storage warehouse half a mile in the sky,” he said.  Read the rest

From God’s colon…



A friend of mine, Bay Area artists Lucas Murgida, sent this little story in an email to me and I just had to share:

Imagine this. There is a man that is quite profound. Often he is told how moving his actions are and that people find great comfort in his words. To this he responds, “Its not me. It’s god moving thru me.” This makes most people flush and coo with praises of his gentle modesty. Tragically no one ever truly listens to what he is exactly saying. One day he meets someone that might just understand him. She says, “Your words resonate in me with deep truth.” To this he replies, “Its not me, its God moving thru me.” She says, “You are so modest, and that is why your life is so important.” To this he replies, “No, you are not hearing me. God is moving thru me…kind of like a bowel movement.” He sighs deeply and confesses, “I am in fact gods asshole.” “What??!!” She exclaims. “Through some inter-dimensional rip in space time gods colon has become directly linked to my body. For the past 10 years when he shits the world listens and my body is the conduit,” he says. She replies, “That’s fucking gross.” He says, “I know, but take comfort in the fact that though God’s shit is profound, it still stinks like mine or yours. Don’t come to close as my breath is horrific, like I have been deep throating a homeless mans foot.” He walks away into the sunset leaving the shocked women behind. Relieved of his secret burden he feels renewed and begins his quest to spread gods shit throughout the entire world.