Entries Tagged as 'Culture'

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Best Buy against New Guy

Back in the 1980s and 90s, I usually brought my home-electronics custom to Circuit City, a Richmond, Virginia, based company, a regional big-box discount retailer. The prices were right, the selection was good, and the staff were skilled. Then in a stupendously stupid move earlier in the current century, they began to lay off their […]

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Trump Discloses Source of Hair Design

Donald Trump, frontrunner for the Republicon presidential nomination, revealed today that his hair was designed by American architect Frank Gehry. This revelation came on the heals of Trump’s victory in forcing the hand of President Obama to make available his alleged Hawaiian birth certificate. Since then critics and bloggers had begun to question the national […]

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Desultory Philippic on Trite Farragoes of Heterosexual Privilege

This is my first and last comment on The Wedding. Like any queen, I am Anglophile. And I wish anyone well who makes public promises, especially given the recent connubial track record of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (as they were known before tidily Anglicizing the name of “the firm” to “Windsor” during World War […]

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Snooki at Rutgers

This news item comes under the “kulcha” category. Reported today, Rutgers University (chartered in 1766 as Queens College, opening in 1771) is bringing to its campus this week Nicole Polizzi, someone who is otherwise known as “Snooki.” No maven of pop kulcha, I even know that “Snooki” is a celebrity du jour  on one of […]

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Dressler and Harlow on the Singularity

Much in the news au courant, the “singularity” when wetware merges with hardware and software. Not exactly a new preoccupation, as Jean Harlow and Marie Dressler in the final scene of Dinner at Eight will attest.

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

It’s All About Me-moir

Several years ago at a gay writers conference, Dorothy Allison suggested that no one under 35 should publish a memoir, to which Jim Grimsley added: “Yeah, and only then if they’ve actually done something.” I found that amusing because a young acquaintance of mine had recently published a memoir of his early queer years, and […]

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

So You Want to Get a PhD in English?

Reminds me of the numerous times an eager undergraduate English major has sat in front of me (though on those occasions I was not nearly so jaundiced in my perspective as the professor avatar here).

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

A Real Communist Dictatorship

If the US were really a Communist dictatorship, as the Teabaggers and Republicons claim, President Obama would’ve put them all in jail. Case in point: The Communist dictatorship of China, the place of manufacture of the computer on which you are reading this and the computer on which I am writing this. China’s dictators imprisoned […]

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Lie or Die? Either Way, the Culture of Homophobia is Killing Us

What do Minister George Rekers; Pastor Ted Haggard, WA Legislator Richard Curtis, former congressman, Mark Foley, and Alabama Attorney General Troy King, and most recently Rev. Eddie Long (no relation to me!)  have in common? Each one of them took rabid anti-gay positions in their public lives. Each one of them has been accused of […]

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Carmen Miranda–All Aboard!

Carmen Miranda was camp before camp. In this scene from an otherwise undistinguished World War II era comedy, Springtime in the Rockies, Miss Miranda, playing “Rosita Murph” (don’t ask . . . the plot contrivances are ne plus ultra) sings “Chattanooga Choochoo,” in Portugese. She was recruited by the ever prissy Edward Everett Horton (seen briefly at […]

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Obama’s Religion

Widely reported recently, including this excerpt from the New York Times: Since October 2008, the percentage of Americans who say the president is a Muslim has risen from 12 percent to 18 percent. The percentage of people who think he is a Christian has fallen from 51 percent to 34 percent. The polling data indicated […]

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Blood Gadgets

Nicholas D. Kristof, writing in last Sunday’s New York Times, “Death By Gadget,” describes how “[a]n ugly paradox of the 21st century is that some of our elegant symbols of modernity — smartphones, laptops and digital cameras — are built from minerals that seem to be fueling mass slaughter and rape in Congo.” Our digital […]

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Facebook and Your “Privacy”

Attention Facebook Customers: This may come as a shock to some of you–Facebook is a commercial business. Facebook is not a nation state. It does not have a constitution or a supreme court that guarantees you a “right to privacy.” In exchange for allowing us to dance around the Bonfire of the Banalities, Facebook uses data […]

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Scholars Suthrin Style

At a conference of scholars (mostly historians) on the Oldest State of the South. . . Uniformity. Unlike MLA meetings where blue jeans or black on black on black (with black Euro eyewear) prevails, the uniform of the day is the blue blazer and khaki pants (mostly men, but sometimes unisex). Depicted below, my uniformity: […]

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Mummy Dearest

One of the things that I enjoy about attending scholarly conferences is hearing about scholars’ passions, their intellectual passions, that is. So last night at a reception, I learned from S. J. Wolfe about the robust trade in linen mummy wrappings to feed America’s hunger for fine rag-content paper in the 19th and early 20th […]

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Another Thing White People Like

I’m at a scholarly conference at a small college with big pretensions, where Christian Lander could add to his list of Stuff White People Like: strip-mall neo-Colonial or convention hotel neo-Georgian architecture. In this case, this college started out as a junior college extension of Oldest Southern College, declared its independence, got a makeover with […]

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Google Discovers Testicular Fortitude, Threatens Chinese Coitus Interruptus

Google, the online data monopoly that drew ire of human rights activists when it decided several years ago to agree to filter Chinese searches in order to strike a deal with the government of the Republic of China (a totalitarian political system), has now threatened to withdraw from China after Google’s email systems were hacked […]

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Blogging MLA: Day Four

The last day of MLA’s annual convention. The conference has appeared in local and national news media, as always at this time of year, though this year the headlines have seemed less preoccupied with presenters’ clever or controversial paper titles and more on the deleterious effects of the grim economy and the challenges of digital […]

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Blogging MLA: Day Three

Reunions Many spontaneous reunions occur at MLA, some planned, most serendipitous. I bump into Bob and Sylvia Scholnick (College of William & Mary) on the train. Attending Bob’s session that night, I catch up with John Miller (Longwood University) whose dissertation director was Bob Scholnick. I stop to say “Hi” to Richard Dellamora outside the […]

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Blogging MLA: Day Two

Council of Editors of Learned Journals Meetings At the conclusion of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) awards ceremony today, outgoing (in both senses of that term) CELJ president, Bonnie Wheeler (editor of Arthuriana), addressed several recurring questions of journal editors in recent years, particularly related to ownership and credentialing. What constitutes a […]

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Blogging MLA: Day One

TheLongView began two years ago this week (thanks to my brother Jim Long‘s birthday gift to me of the domain name and a  Christmas gift later in the year of the Web server and blog design and setup) with my blogging on the Modern Language Association‘s annual meeting in Chicago in 2007. So like salmon […]

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Turn Off TV, Read an Essay: Brooks’s Sidney Awards

David Brooks invites us to turn off the TV (or turn off the iPhone, the Wii, the iPod, YouTube, &c.) in order to read a long-form published essay, in his annual Sidney Awards. Among the topics healthcare leads the list, but also American (in)justice, local DC politics (in the person of Marion Barry) and Afghanistan.

Monday, December 21st, 2009

In Media Res: Browsing, Grazing, and Googleizing Scholarly Knowledge

(A paper to be presented at a panel of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, Modern Language Association Annual Convention, 30 December 2009) As a professor of English appointed to a school of nursing and its Center for Nursing Scholarship, I wear several hats. A writing coach and editor, I support faculty members’ writing […]

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

New Old Media (or Is It the Other Way Around?)

The Times announces that Comcast has purchased NBC Universal from General Electronic (“We Bring Good Things to Life” . . . including parts for nuclear bombs), thus  “Reshaping the TV Industry.”  Whatever that means. Before G.E. could sell its controlling stake in the media company, it had to buy out the stake of Vivendi, the French […]

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Whatever the Traffic Will Bear

One of early twentieth-century America’s literary critiques of capitalism (hard to believe nowadays, isn’t it, that serious authors and readers might critique our economic system), Frank Norris’s The Octopus, has as its ironic tag line, “whatever the traffic will bear.” The invisible hand of the market, we are told with mind-numbing repetition and diminishing credibility, […]