“The study authors argue that the academic values exemplified by No Child Left Behind, in which “young people’s ‘numbers’ are understood to reflect their personal worth and value” have bled over into the way they think about sex.”—
Freeman: When I was a kid, I saw a pirate movie with Burt Lancaster, who wore an earring. I thought that was sexy. Then I learned that sailors wore gold earrings to pay for funerals if they died in foreign lands. I’m a sailor, so that nailed it.
“Ultimately Joan Didion’s crime—artistic and personal—is the one of which all of us will eventually be convicted: she got old. Her writing got old, her perspective got old, her bag of tricks didn’t work anymore. Where was the Didion who was a Goldwater girl and a Nixon voter, the Republican at Berkeley, the woman who didn’t care at all about the prevailing literary and political fashions, who went to the supermarket in an old bikini and boarded first-class compartments of international flights in bare feet, and who therefore—because she thought about things always on her own terms—could see things in front of us that we’d been missing all along? How could someone that original turn into another tired espouser of the most doctrinaire New York Review of Books political opinions? How could the woman who crafted sentences so original they made us fall in love with her have turned out decades of prose about which Katie Roiphe can rightly say, ‘Her words are clichés—her sentences and her rhythms and her tics are clichés because we know them so well’? It’s because she got old.”—The Autumn of Joan Didion - Magazine - The Atlantic (via ayjay)
Liberals essentially seem to be saying that hey, they don’t all get together in the tenure committee and agree to deny any conservatives tenure. I believe them! But I’m not sure why they think this means that the disparity is therefore not a problem. As I wrote years ago, somewhere, I doubt many bank hiring committees in the fifties got together and voted not to hire any negro bank managers. Yet, somehow, they didn’t hire any negro bank managers. Why not? Because things like social networks, subtle bias, and tacit norms about what constituted the boundaries of acceptable traits in bank managers did all the work for them. And I doubt they got many black applicants, because after all, why on earth would you bother?
That’s why you have black newspapers, and Jewish magazines, and Irish arts centers, but no “Bland: The Magazine of the American White Middle Class.” The dominant group doesn’t enforce its group identity the way the out-group does. It doesn’t have to. It gets to decide what constitute the acceptable modes of behavior, sources of authority, and ways of knowing. The privileged group doesn’t need its own institution specifically devoted to advancing its interests. All it needs is a sigh, and a sneer.
“Over the past few years, courts and parliaments in countries like France and Estonia have pronounced Internet access a human right. But that argument, however well meaning, misses a larger point: technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself. There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right. Loosely put, it must be among the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture or freedom of conscience. It is a mistake to place any particular technology in this exalted category, since over time we will end up valuing the wrong things. For example, at one time if you didn’t have a horse it was hard to make a living. But the important right in that case was the right to make a living, not the right to a horse. Today, if I were granted a right to have a horse, I’m not sure where I would put it.”—Vint Cerf (via ayjay)
I understand that many people find the notion of a world in which Nobel Laureates and ECB presidents declare that 2+2=5 very unappealing, and that they wish we lived in a different and better world. But we don’t — and it’s not my job to create the illusion that we do.
My wife and I (late 40s, kids out of college) haven’t been to the “big chain” theaters for at least five years now - it’s the teenagers talking, laughing, cell phone calls, etc. We’ve been spoiled by the pristine conditions at home.
The exception is the “over 21” theaters we have in Portland, Oregon. They run movies that are just about to come out on DVD for a very low price, have great pizza, and a beer or glass of wine. No one under 21 allowed, and the 21-29 crowd seems very reasonable. We just saw the movie “Drive”, ate two giant slices of pizza, drank two hefeweizen beers, for $20 (yes, really) at the Laurelhurst theater. No distractions, great place to set our drinks and pizza, it was awesome as usual.
First-run mega-theaters: let the kids have ‘em. I’ll never go back.
Roger Ebert started this convo w/ a great post on why domestic box office revenue declined in 2011. Sullivan highlighted the increased competition that theaters faced from home theaters, streaming media, etc.
I’ve always been very skeptical of those (especially on the internet) who argue that we’re on the precipice of a paradigm shift in the way entertainment is produced and consumed. I feel like we’re making the mistake of treating our village (of internet savvy, gatekeeper phobic, network agnostic consumers) as the world (lots of people looove mainstream pap produced in the standard way by broadcast networks/major studios/record labels).
But…. I’m one of those people. I went to see a film in a theater about three or four times this year, and it wasn’t because there weren’t a ton of great movies this year. For me, it comes down to the cost and the experience. It’s hard to justify spending 26 - 30 dollars (matinees are vanishing…) for two tickets, sans refreshments/snacks to a movie screening in a loud, crowded theater with terrible sight lines. And don’t get me started on the commercials that precede the previews that precede the movie…
On the other hand, there’s just something magic about going to the theater that can’t be replicated by any home theater. I just want better theaters. In short, can someone bring “over 21” theaters to New York? I’d love to pay 20 to see a flick toward the end of the DVD window w/ two slices and beers.
You know those nights, when you’re sleeping, and it’s totally dark, and absolutely silent, and you don’t dream, and there’s only blackness, and this is the reason, it’s because on those nights you’ve gone away. On those nights you’re in someone else’s dream, you’re busy in someone else’s dream. Some things are just pictures, they’re scenes before your eyes. Don’t look now! I’m right behind you.
while the rest of life is still capitalistic, culture will become a slum. In fact, online culture increasingly resembles a slum in disturbing ways. Slums have more advertising than wealthy neighborhoods, for instance. People are meaner in slums; mob rule and vigilantism are commonplace. If there is a trace of “slumming” in the way that many privileged young people embrace current online culture, it is perhaps an echo of 1960s counterculture.