Friday, June 29, 2012

Romani, tweeting the war of 1812 plus Queen Victoria's concern with ass

When I was a child, my mother had a romance that I liked set among the travellers of Ireland. I liked the different life style. It seemed so romantic. There was in fact a lot of English fiction that featured Gypsies in passing.

I was reminded of all this by an article in GeoCurrents, The Elusive Roma and their Linguistic Legacy. This caused me to look up the Romani in Wikipedia. Dear it's an interesting story. I knew of the Indian connection, but not the full story.

Staying with history, on 18 June 1812, the United States declared was on Great Britain and its dependencies and promptly invaded what is now Canada in what can only be described as a blatant land grab. The war is being live twittered. Now I'm not sure that that can be made to work. Live blogging of the Second World War is much easier to follow. We are in fact in the middle of the first battle of El Alamein when the Commonwealth forces held the German advance.

I guess still staying with history or at least the humanities, just over a week ago Victoria's La Trobe announced staff cutbacks and course cancellations. I quote:      

La Trobe University will cut 45 jobs from its humanities and social sciences faculty because of falling enrolments.

In a document sent to staff today, the university revealed the humanities faculty had a $4.36 million shortfall this year, which could rise to $7.53 million by the end of 2013.

The university will cease teaching art history, gender, sexuality and diversity studies, Indonesian, linguistics and religion and spirituality.

Now this sounds just a restructuring, indeed one that might even appeal to some of my biases! Yet I saw a later and scathing analysis that suggested that the decision might not even make commercial sense. In one of those periodic frustrations of the internet, blowed if I can find the story! Yes, I know that you can't rely on search engines, that you must bookmark sites in some way for later reference. But that takes time and I was busy!

Mike Dash continues his excursions down the obscure byways of history. Run Out of Town on an Ass tells  the story of a strange tale. Did Queen Victoria really expunge Bolivia from the map and all over an ass? 

Finishing this short post with a graphic from Ramana that greatly entertained me. 

The vagaries of the recruitment marketplace entertain me. Last year I applied for some contract work to fill a gap and got back a message saying that I had been unsuccessful in this case but the consultant wished me the best of luck in my career!

I thanked her for her kind wishes, but did suggest gently that she might actually read my CV!

I had been going to finish on that point, but I happened to check my emails. Seventy spam comments on one blog in the space of a minute! add four more to that.

Google actually catches most of them so they don't appear, me the rest. Still, it's a pain to then have to go though the process of actually marking them as spam and deleting them for ever. I don't mind some promotional comments and let them go through, but they gave to appeal.  


Rummuser said...

I found that application amusing too and like you had a hilarious experience when I had to ask the interviewer in person if he had read my CV! Naturally, I did not get any where further with the interview, but such things do happen.

Jim Belshaw said...

They do indeed! In my case in question, non read = non interview. But it is also something I have written about professionally, for the lack of concern - rote application -displayed can come back to bite you.

The wheel turns. In the case in question, it cost that recruitment consultant a later assignment!

Evan said...

The post you are looking for may have been on The Drum.

How the humanities allowed themselves to be taken over by managerialism and economic rationalism would make an interesting study I think - one in which postmodernism would feature heavily in my view.

Jim Belshaw said...

I think that you are right, Evan, but I still cannot find it! As with so many web sites, the Drum is bad when you want to check past posts.

The linkage with post modernism is not one I had thought of before. I suspect that you are right.