“May you live in interesting times,” says an apocryphal Chinese curse. And for a Romanticist writing about Byron, boxing, and the celebrity culture of Regency England, the news that AI can now fake even more human creations is “interesting” indeed. Now AI has made a “song” by Drake and The Weeknd that neither artist authorized […]Read more
Almost too easy.
Teaching can be a challenge. But then life hands you an event that banishes questions about the “relevance” of multiple texts you’re teaching, all at once. Come for the Frankenstein, stay for the Half-Earth, Our Malady, and Nineteen Eighty-four. (With a side of Mrs. Dalloway – what IS that thing in the sky everyone’s looking […]Read more
An Awful Rainbow: possible introduction, part 2.
Possible introduction, continued, to An Awful Rainbow: Reading the Romantics in a World on Fire. Read Part One here. *** We Frankenstein pilgrims came home to a year that only got scarier. First, there was barely-averted war with Iran. The presidential caucus – Iowa’s pride and joy – came apart in our hands. Then the […]Read more
Fighting the fight, right here.
“[We] never turn sentimental about something of real value — wilderness, wild animals, small towns, baseball, mountain music, our privacy — until the way we live and do business has pressed it to the edge of extinction. Then we administer affectionate last rites to everything we failed to love enough.” – Hal Crowther My boxing […]Read more
When you’re a woman, you try to live in hope, and you try to teach others (especially younger women) the same. Because, after all, the world doesn’t accommodate itself to you and never has. You are the one who must make way, yield the floor, decline to give way to professionally discrediting anger, sit incredulously […]Read more
Facebook: What’s the word for this?
“Is Facebook a monopoly?” is and is not the right question to ask. Here’s why.Read more
Greed, hubris, and cramming-through.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren sits at her desk, coffee cup and phone nearby, holding a 500-page chunk of paper — the Republican tax bill — she was given an hour to read before the vote. “So,” she begins, “here it is Friday night, and I just want to give you an idea of how the Republican […]Read more
Ownlife vs. Internet?
“…at the same time I felt so strongly the pull of another thing, a thing having to do with music, freedom, the future, individuality. This is an important reason why I became a writer, I think, for in everything I write, I am seeking freedom, which to me is a state that is inaccessible to […]Read more
It’s that time again: the latest round of the anti-weed, lawn-spraying wars. In our town, this plays out not only in individual lawns but on the campus of our college, which routinely comes under fire from lots in the community and some on the faculty for its annual spraying (usually around Memorial Day.) I am […]Read more
The second disruptor: an open letter to our college’s president on the “digitization of learning.”
September 30, 2013 An Open Letter to Our College President on the Digitization of Learning From The Cheapskate Intellectual Dear President, Thank you for being a thoughtful leader and serious colleague who has invited us to wrestle with the challenges and opportunities facing us and all other colleges these days. At your State of the […]Read more