A few questions I'm asking myself these days:
- Who would want to recall from me the transcript of the 1949 HUAC hearings on "The Negro in the Communist Party"? It's not that I mind returning it, as I've finished that chapter, but I'm curious who else at UCLA is interested in the subject. It is actually a very interesting hearing, held in the wake of Paul Robeson's famous remark that if the United States ever went to war with the Soviet Union, African Americans wouldn't fight. In response, the HUAC committee subpoenaed Jackie Robinson, who rejoined, "yes, we would." Good stuff. Earlier in the hearing, one "expert witness" testified that the reason there were few black members in the Communist Party was because strong black women kept their more shifty men in check. You can bet I get a lot of mileage out of this comment in my chapter.
- If I work as a receptionist at my wife's vet clinic, will I lose all self-respect? Not because of the nature of the job, or the nepotism, but because I would have to wear nurse scrubs printed with cartoon cats and dogs. On the other hand, it fills in some financial holes until I start adjuncting in the fall.
- When did Hillary Clinton become the symbol of feminism in this country? I would write a 5000 word blog post on this subject, but it just makes my blood pressure go up unhealthily.
- Why was I previously unfamiliar with Roy Harris's Third Symphony? It's a beautiful piece. I knew of it abstractly, before, but as it is relevant to my Bernstein chapter I found a score and sat down for a listen. Lovely!
- I've been helping a friend copyedit the bibliography for her book, on a fifteenth-century topic, and I've got to say: thank goodness we twentieth-century Americanists don't have to deal with the gnarly world of fascimiles, twenty-volume multi-year editions, nineteenth-century reprints, and paragraph-long titles. They might get disciplinary capital and the ability to give a paper at AMS whenever they want, but at least our footnotes are a lot neater.
- Is my Fu-Wah tofu hoagie ready yet? I hope so. West Philadelphians will know of this delicacy. I know the idea of a "tofu hoagie" probably sounds disgusting--it did to me--but it is one of the best things you have ever tasted, and only costs $3.50.