Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Swimming Safely

Like lots of Los Angeles apartment buildings, mine has a pool. Unlike many pools in LA, ours is not doing so well. It always looks a little cloudy, but this summer the residents of my building have been cheerfully gamboling about in it. This is unusual; back when my building was largely senior citizens, nobody ever went in. But in the last year, more and more young people have moved in, and for a few weeks this summer the pool was becoming quite a party spot. Many of the new residents are twenty-something power lesbians, and they all seem to like the pool. They'd frolic around drinking cheap beer all night long.

But then, like the careers of elected officials in my fair city, things went downhill. The water started to get cloudier and cloudier. It started to turn a peculiar green. There seemed to be an interesting amount of hair floating about, and then a few cigarette butts. As if to confirm the obvious, an official-looking sign suddenly went up: "Pool Closed by Order of the Department of Health and Safety." And now it is supposed to hit triple-digit temperatures, and we have no pool.

In other news, I want to recommend two great blog posts:
  • Tenured Radical, with whom my partner used to row but from whom I stupidly never took any classes, has a great post about the Sherley tenure case at MIT. That post, and a related one from February, make beautiful arguments about the reality of evaulative processes in academia for people of color, women, and queers. Especially people of color. She says all the things I wish I could think to say when people grouse about how hard it is for white people to get academic jobs. And I say that as a white guy who is scared stiff about getting a job next year.

  • The indomitable Susie Bright is always wonderful. She had a great post awhile back about the annoying tag "NSFW", or, "Not Safe for Work." Today she has a neat post about safety in general. The notion of "safety" is so fascinating. It was something that came up for me in college a lot; if this blog weren't mildly anonymous, I would link to an editorial I once wrote that made very similar points.

1 comment:

Tenured Radical said...

Thanks for the props -- a Zenith alum, eh? Well, I just tagged you on a meme.