Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quick Hits: I have no internet edition

    What about the people or organizations who have trouble with this concept—such as what happened with Warner Brothers when it started sending cease-and-desist letters to kids who posted Harry Potter fan fiction online? "For entertainment corporations, the lesson should be obvious: don’t threaten a bunch of Web-savvy teens who’ve done nothing wrong. The bigger lesson is, don’t attack the audience for trying to connect with a story you hold the rights to."
  • N+1, fast becoming one of my favourite reviews, has a piece on the devaluing of the humanities in the American university's push toward a neoliberal model of higher education. I'm a fan of Nussbaum and Menand's writing (although not always their conclusions), and this article makes me want to pick up all three books it reviews:
    The budding graduate student has no Paper Chase, no ER, no thrilling fantasy of the intellectual rigors and erotic enticements of professional initiation that would mitigate the shame involved in gaining entry (or re-entry) to middle-classness. Even the few official bureaucratic hoops of a doctoral student — the oral exams, the reading lists — are anticlimactic, presented with a dully comforting reassurance that they’re not really all that frightening. And of course the stories of unpaid rent, half-employment, and the neo-Victorian social struggles of men and women past their first youth have no glamour about them. What is left is a culture of defensive shame: shame about so many things, but mostly about the tremendous gap between exalted goals and humble everyday routines.
I've been in transit the last week or so -- moving into a new apartment -- and have been without internet. This has left me with lots of time to blog and no medium to blog with. Lengthier updates returning soon!

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