Archive for June, 2009

Iranian Redneck Revolution

Taliban Council declares Ahmadinejad the Winner!

Taliban Council declares Ahmadinejad the Winner!

Gee, seems like that goatfucking prick Ahmedinejad got his Gore vs. Bush decision from the Taliban Council. The election totals by region and city look cooked. However, my take is that the ugly moron would have won even if he didn’t rig it. We’re now sitting on 57 years of selective migration out of Iran. First, the fucking CIA installed a fascist tool to prevent oil nationalization and make certain that glaring social inequalities would fester and prevent Iran from becoming a developed nation. Everyone with a brain either left the country, got murdered, or became a toadie of the fake king (it’s really horrifying to see the “Shah’s” fat, pathetic son whining in the right-wing US media). Then, of course, the toadies got their comuppance, and they all moved to Los Angeles. Notably, unlike the CIA stooge, the Islamic radicals didn’t kill their vanquished foes, but instead killed religious liberals, Socialists, and Kurds.

    This, of course, left Iran with a bare minimum of  functioning brainpower. The majority of people left in the country are a bunch of religious nutjobs, you know, just like in Texas. Same shit. A class of people who get rich from shit that comes out of the ground. Nothing but stupid farmers and oil tycoons. You don’t need no education or nuthin’ to have BP pump oil from beneath your pomegranate orchard. Praise Jesus, or Allah Akbar, or whatever.  Depends on whether you’re in Dallas or Tabriz. Any kid with a brain wants to get out as soon as they have enough cash for the plane ticket to LA (this is true for both Texans and Iranians).  You feel sorry for the people on the North side of Tehran (closer to the ski slopes), and in Austin. But, that’s what you get when all the brainpower leaves a region populated by farmers and miners. And, like old Clark Kerr and Abbie Siegel pointed out, those bastards are all prone to violent collective action. Now, the shit’s just for fun. The affronted minority is gonna try to put some whoop ass on the victorious majority.  Yep.  Iranians and Rednecks.

Rethinking Public Sociology



“Public Sociology” has been all the rage in left-wing circles. The notion harkens back to neo-Marxist conceptions of “praxis” whereby theory and research should be applied for political ends, to serve the revolution!!! Yes, ah, the revolution. Thanks. In reality, it often gave way to irresponsible and often poorly constructed attempts to influence policy. A classic example is the embarrassing report the ASA did some years back on crime. In contrast to a multi-volume interdisciplinary effort put forward by the American Academy of Science, some glorified secretaries at ASA put together a 100 page double spaced glossy. Great. That makes us look like scholars, eh? Everyone should listen to us! I’m all for sociology having more of a voice in public policy, but sometimes there needs to be a clear dividing line between research and advocacy, separating politics from social facts and theorizing. And, mostly, I feared how public sociology would be used.

Those on the left were confident that an increased focus on public sociology would mean that activist scholars could pursue political commitments AND have these be valued by the discipline (and by their home universities). So, political opinion writing and consulting could be put on your vita along with articles in peer-reviewed journals. You really want that? Really? Think about that, now. Are you sure? Really sure?

Unfortunately, my fears have come true. As I suspected, public sociology would fall primarily into the hands of right wing partisans. While left wingers can hardly get their political opinions into minor league blogs–or can publish in Contexts (which nobody reads, except for other left wing activist sociologists), right wing sociologists are becoming valued public intellectuals! Great. Lefties “publish” in Crooked Timber, while Christian nationalist sociologists are plastered on the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, and secular right wing sociologists find easy outlets in the NYT. Wonderful. Predictable. So, what is public sociology doing? It’s advocating early marriage, railing against socialism, and claiming that contraception is the cause of teen pregnancy and unwed births.

Thanks Lefties!! Great Job! The reason why this is predictable is that right wing political and religious organizations have superior resources and low-cost access to big media mouthpieces. Left wing sociologists have never realized that there are lots of conservative sociologists, and they benefit from close associations with far right wing organizations like the Heritage Foundation. So, they have full blown media brochures politicizing and stretching their legitimate sociological findings, press conferences hailing their work, speaking tours at colleges and civic and political groups–all of this paid for by grants from right wing foundations. Oh, and let’s not forget those web sites with Glamour Shots pictures!!! There they are, your right wing boys wearing their little tweed jackets posing for a professional photographer. They have their hair parted on the side, in that little Ted Haggard way. Oh yeah. Public Sociology. Let’s keep it in the men’s room where it belongs.

Hitting 50….



19 years after the publication of my first paper in Social Science Research, I have had my 50th paper accepted for publication, fittingly in Social Science Research.  50 peer-reviewed publications. 22 of them in general interest sociology journals. 14 sole authored articles. 1o articles  in Social Forces. 10 in Jrn. Scientific Study of Religion. 6 in Social Science Research. 11 publications in medical sociology (a secret sideline for a while, until all the grant money dried up), including papers in Journal of Aging and Health, Women and Health, and Research on Aging. My papers have been cited 1248 times, in 719 different publications.

And, over the last couple of decades I also somehow was connived into contributing 9 chapters to edited volumes, and into reviewing 20 books for various journals. Several of the chapters present some of my best work, not that anyone will read any of it. And, my book reviews have even attracted attention, or at least consternation.

I think I’ll celebrate by not going to the ASA meetings. And, working on more publications!  I’ve written some of the best shit in my career in the last couple of years. And, the good does push out the bad, eventually.  If strong sociologists continue to publish good papers on the sociology of religion, then the wackjob nonsense put out by religious activists will eventually fade into the background.

Christianist Terrorism in the US


Well, another physician is murdered by a Christianist Terrorist. It appears on the face of it that Christianist terrorism increases in the face of perceived threats posed by Democrats holding national power. I’d like to see more systematic analyses of this, but it mirrors the trend in Christian hostility towards interviewers found in my 2008 Soc. of Rel article. When Democrats are in power, Fundamentalists Christians are hostile, and they appear to be more prone to commit terrorism against other Americans. It’d be a nice dissertation on the intersection between religion, politics, and violent social movements. Unfortunately, most sociology graduate students who are interested in religion are “evangelical” Christians and are too busy proving that Jesus H. Christ (and not one of those other gods) cures cancer.