The Education of Oronte Churm
January 16, 2007 - 9:23am
Having just returned from an academic conference, I know the rigors of professional travel. I boarded the plane in Philly and saw my former boss seated far down the aisle. He snickered when I shuffled close enough to see for myself that I was next to a young father with a toddler in his lap.
January 12, 2007 - 10:08am
Half-baked thoughts, then, toward an AWP presentation that won’t be: Jokes, the good Dr. Freud said famously, are often “hostile.” (That, or obscene: the jokes of “exposure.”) Aggressiveness, satire, and defense belong to the “hostile” camp, and I’m interested in how sharp-edged jokes are used to cut the threat of physical violence. My idea is that satire, if that’s what I’m talking about here, pretends to embrace the values and rules of a given situation, then takes them too far (by a step or a mile), producing a backlash against the original situation.
January 9, 2007 - 4:19pm
Once there was a writer for one of America's biggest catalog companies. Perhaps because the young man was a veteran, because he showed up for work, met his deadlines, and wore trendy J.C.
January 5, 2007 - 5:01pm
A film corollary to my last post, about bad books: The media always reports on how emotionally hard the holidays can be, even while showing consumers joyously throwing their paychecks to grinning Macy’s clerks.
January 2, 2007 - 11:25am
Some experiences don’t last long enough for satisfaction. You know what I’m talking about—cream soda numbs the tongue to its own silky sweetness, so you get a couple of tasty sips, then nothing, and the more you drink, the more bloated you feel. It’s a steep parabola on a graph with pleasure as its x-axis and time on the y-axis. Pure unending pleasure, on the other hand, is unimaginable. What if semesters never ended, and we could grade freshman papers through eternity? The graph would be a nearly horizontal line; the bliss would destroy us.
December 31, 2006 - 3:57pm
And great good luck to all our friends looking for jobs on the academic market this year.
December 29, 2006 - 7:51pm
Yesterday I went to the session on Literary Studies in the Public Sphere. For two of the speakers, Amardeep Singh and Michael Bérubé, public meant Bloggic. I felt great personal warmth for Singh when he said that pen names in blogging did not reduce ownership or validity; indeed, he said, a pen name is a system as genuine as a legal name, so “Bitch Ph.D. is the same as Foucault.” That is, there can still be “a commitment to textual authenticity.” (You’d better believe it.)