Wednesday, June 26, 2013


How the hell am I supposed to concentrate on my work when there are Supreme Court rulings like this to read?

Excerpts from Justice Kennedy's majority opinion:
The history of DOMA’s enactment and its own text demonstrate that interference with the equal dignity of same-sex marriages, a dignity conferred by the States in the exercise of their sovereign power, was more than an incidental effect of the federal statute. It was its essence.
DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state sanctioned marriages and make them unequal. The principal purpose is to impose inequality, not for other reasons like governmental efficiency. Responsibilities, as well as rights, enhance the dignity and integrity of the person. And DOMA contrives to deprive some couples married under the laws of their State, but not other couples, of both rights and responsibilities.
What has been explained to this point should more than suffice to establish that the principal purpose and the necessary effect of this law are to demean those persons who are in a lawful same-sex marriage. This requires the Court to hold, as it now does, that DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.
 And the money quote:
DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty. It imposes a disability on the class by refusing to acknowledge a status the State finds to be dignified and proper. DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others. The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.  By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment. This opinion and its holding are confined to those lawful marriages.
Pardon me while I sniffle happily a bit at this ruling.  I'll be skeptical and analytical tomorrow, but right now I just want to savor the moment.

Monday, June 24, 2013

RBOC: Buckling down to summer in spite of my advancing age edition

First, the more personal, grumbly stuff:
  • I had a birthday recently.  I was not happy about it.  I've never been conflicted about my birthday before, but I was grappling with the anxiety of being [insert milestone age] and not being all the things I once envisioned I would be at this age.  Fortunately, several friends, including the lovely Fie Upon This Quiet Life, took me out for cheese and wine, which made it much better.
  • I'm really not so thrilled with the increasingly evident male-pattern baldness that I can see on my head every morning before I shower.  It's not a pattern I've ever seen in any living ancestor of mine.  I find myself scanning old family photographs to divine some idea of what I will look like in another ten years or so.  (The endemic genetic tendency on all sides?  Dorky.  I'm doomed.)
Okay, now for the better (or at least more academic) stuff.
  • This is THE SUMMER OF SCARY WORK.  Okay, maybe not quite creature-feature scary, but it's intimidating.  I have until the end of summer to finish my book revisions whilst I plan my syllabi, one prep of which will be brand-new.  And, at time of writing, I really don't give a damn about the syllabi.  Ho hum.
  • The book, now that I care about.  I've been digesting ideas for a while now without much committing them to print, but now that I've kicked out the most recent article, I have a lot more stuff to shoehorn into the manuscript.  Naturally, that doesn't fully address the critiques on my plate, but it will go some way toward that goal.
  • Oh, and just in case you missed reading my anxious thoughts about employment, I'm back on the job market this fall, as I roll into the second year of my term contract.  At the moment, I have delusions that I will blast into the job market like an avenging anti-hero in a revisionist Western charging into a saloon to annihilate everything that moves.  No doubt, though, that I will soon fall back upon my more familiar metaphorical avatar of Frodo desperately clawing his way up Mount Doom before he expires from exhaustion and despair.  But hey, that's another day and another cup of coffee!
  • I'm getting paid this summer!!  The pro-forma renewal letter that CBU sent me explained that my second contract year begins in July, which means I will have no paycheck gap this summer.  I am even more pleased about this than I am astonished.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Back to the online world

It seems that my brain needed to hibernate for a bit after the semester ended.  This wasn't really possible, since I had an article to revise and a trip to Hometown to execute – unbloggable sad stuff blah blah blah – but my brain tried its hardest to shut down anyway.  The upshot was that I had no psychic energy to deal with posting about these things in media res.  Only now that I am back in Cornstate, and have uploaded the doubly revised version of my article manuscript, do I feel like I can do this again.  Funny how the mind works.

So, hi, everyone!  I hope you all haven't abandoned the blog for lack of new posts.  I'd better go catch up on yours, so you know I'm still alive.