- How colleges sold their soul to the market: We have always been, in the United States, what Lionel Trilling called a business civilization. But we have also always had a range of counterbalancing institutions, countercultural institutions, to advance a different set of values: the churches, the arts, the democratic tradition itself. When the pendulum has swung too far in one direction (and it’s always the same direction), new institutions or movements have emerged, or old ones have renewed their mission. Education in general, and higher education in particular, has always been one of those institutions. But now the market has become so powerful that it’s swallowing the very things that are supposed to keep it in check. Artists are becoming “creatives.” Journalism has become “the media.” Government is bought and paid for. The prosperity gospel has arisen as one of the most prominent movements in American Christianity. And colleges and universities are acting like businesses, and in the service of businesses.
- Posted mostly because I agree with much of it (and witness daily here at Illhoptay) but also because I find I have been writing too much here about work, macro and micro, which is to say barely at all but more barely at all than I will going forward. I don't not want to write about work because I think it is being monitored by overlords (though I have been warned in general if not specifically) or because I know it's being read by friends and colleagues, and it's not because I am writing anything inflammatory much less incendiary (though I daydream, especially recently, of doing so). Here it is: fuck work - there are other fine metaphors abounding for the motherfucking Dark to need bring this fucking flavor of Dark here.
- The economic inequality in academia.
- Things I didn't know I loved.
- By 2100 everything you know about oceans will be wrong.
- Why are people so freaked out about Corbyn?
- Reasons to be please with Corbyn.
- Nobody is waiting for your masterpiece.
- Millions of us.
- One last thing about work (LOUD please):
The King saith, and his arm swept the landscape’s foliage into bloom
where he hath inscribed the secret mysteries of his love
before at last taking himself away. His head away. His
recording hand. So his worshipful subjects must imagine
themselves in his loving fulfillment, who were no more
than instruments of his creation. Pawns.
Apparati. Away, he took himself and left us
studying the smudged sky. Soft pencil lead.
Once he was not a king, only a pale boy staring down
from the high dive. The contest was seriousness
he decided, who shaped himself for genus genius
and nothing less. Among genii, whoever dies first wins.
Or so he thought. He wanted the web browsers to ping
his name in literary mention everywhere on the world wide web.
He wanted relief from his head, which acted as spider
and inner web weaver. The boy was a live thing tumbled in its thread
and tapped and fed off, siphoned from. His head kecked back
and howling from inside the bone castle from whence he came
to hate the court he held.
He was crowned with loneliness
and suffered for friendship, for fealty
of the noblest sort. The invisible crown
rounded his temples tighter than any turban,
more binding than a wedding band,
and he sat in his round tower
on the rounding earth.
saith the King, and put down his pen, hearing
himself inwardly holding forth on the dullest
aspects of the human heart
with the sharpest possible wit. Unreadable
as Pound on usury or Aquinas on sex.
I know the noose made an oval portrait frame for his face.
And duct tape around the base of the Ziploc
bag was an air-tight chamber
for the regal head—most serious relic,
breathlessly lecturing in the hall of silence.