Repost-From Slate: ‘MFA vs. NYC’

Full post here.

Of the MFA (Master Of Fine Arts):

‘Staffed by writer-professors preoccupied with their own work or their failure to produce any; freed from pedagogical urgency by the tenuousness of the link between fiction writing and employment; and populated by ever younger, often immediately postcollegiate students, MFA programs today serve less as hotbeds of fierce stylistic inculcation, or finishing schools for almost-ready writers (in the way of, say, Iowa in the ’70s), and more as an ingenious partial solution to an eminent American problem: how to extend our already protracted adolescence past 22 and toward 30, in order to cope with an oversupplied labor market.’

There are of course still storytellers, geniuses honing their craft that will hold up a mirror and lens for humanity within their creative imaginations.  Maybe they can be found at MFA programs, but I’m guessing they’re more likely doing other things:  getting crippled on a naval campaign, spending their days in an attic, learning to navigate the Mississippi by steamboat, or acting and writing for a theater troupe.

Addition:  And as a reader points out:  learning how to communicate during the current technological revolution.

How much good are all these museums, foundations, and institutions actually doing for the arts and humanities?

Related On This SiteFrom Poemshape Via Andrew Sullivan: ‘Let Poetry Die’…Here’s a suggestion to keep aesthetic and political judgements apart-Roger Scruton In The American Spectator Via A & L Daily: Farewell To Judgment…English departments can’t just copy “(S)cience”…From Bloggingheads: Shakespeare and The Second Law Of ThermodynamicsRepost-How To Study Literature: M.H. Abrams In The Chronicle Of Higher Ed

Wednesday Poem: Wallace Stevens-Anecdote of The JarWednesday Poem: A Postcard From The Volcano..-Review of Denis Dutton’s ‘The Art Instinct’

From The Arnoldian Project: ‘Architecture, Campus, And Learning To Become’

From NPR: Grants To The NEA To Stimulate The Economy?From 2 Blowhards-We Need The Arts: A Sob Story

Arts and Foundations and Institutions-MOMA is private, so perhaps it’s not as decadent if they display Tilda Swinton in a box:

Tilda Swinton At MOMA-From Arma Virumque: ‘Nightmare In A Box’

From The City Journal Via Arts And Letters Daily: Andre Glucksman On “The Postmodern Financial Crisis”

Roger Scruton says keep politics out of the arts, and political judgment apart from aesthetic judgment…this includes race studies/feminist departments/gay studies etc.:  Roger Scruton In The American Spectator Via A & L Daily: Farewell To Judgment

Repost-From Slate: ‘MFA vs. NYC’

Full post here.

Of the MFA (Master Of Fine Arts):

‘Staffed by writer-professors preoccupied with their own work or their failure to produce any; freed from pedagogical urgency by the tenuousness of the link between fiction writing and employment; and populated by ever younger, often immediately postcollegiate students, MFA programs today serve less as hotbeds of fierce stylistic inculcation, or finishing schools for almost-ready writers (in the way of, say, Iowa in the ’70s), and more as an ingenious partial solution to an eminent American problem: how to extend our already protracted adolescence past 22 and toward 30, in order to cope with an oversupplied labor market.’

There are of course still storytellers, geniuses honing their craft that will hold up a mirror and lens for humanity within their creative imaginations.  Maybe they can be found at MFA programs, but I’m guessing they’re more likely doing other things:  getting crippled on a naval campaign, spending their days in an attic, learning to navigate the Mississippi by steamboat, or acting and writing for a theater troupe.

Addition:  And as a reader points out:  learning how to communicate during the current technological revolution.

How much good are all these museums, foundations, and institutions actually doing for the arts and humanities?

Related On This SiteFrom Poemshape Via Andrew Sullivan: ‘Let Poetry Die’…Here’s a suggestion to keep aesthetic and political judgements apart-Roger Scruton In The American Spectator Via A & L Daily: Farewell To Judgment…English departments can’t just copy “(S)cience”…From Bloggingheads: Shakespeare and The Second Law Of ThermodynamicsRepost-How To Study Literature: M.H. Abrams In The Chronicle Of Higher Ed

Wednesday Poem: Wallace Stevens-Anecdote of The JarWednesday Poem: A Postcard From The Volcano..-Review of Denis Dutton’s ‘The Art Instinct’

From The Arnoldian Project: ‘Architecture, Campus, And Learning To Become’

From NPR: Grants To The NEA To Stimulate The Economy?From 2 Blowhards-We Need The Arts: A Sob Story

Arts and Foundations and Institutions-MOMA is private, so perhaps it’s not as decadent if they display Tilda Swinton in a box:

Tilda Swinton At MOMA-From Arma Virumque: ‘Nightmare In A Box’

From The City Journal Via Arts And Letters Daily: Andre Glucksman On “The Postmodern Financial Crisis”

Roger Scruton says keep politics out of the arts, and political judgment apart from aesthetic judgment…this includes race studies/feminist departments/gay studies etc.:  Roger Scruton In The American Spectator Via A & L Daily: Farewell To Judgment

Megan McArdle At Bloomberg: ‘The Truth About Truthiness’

Full post here.

‘Longtime readers know that I tend to get my back up when I see journalists and academics opining that our national political divide exists because liberalism is smart and conservatism is dumb.’

Well-written and considered. There’s plenty of confirmation bias in political matters, and you could’ve easily envisioned how this research, whatever its merits, would end-up as clickbait for fellow-travelers and group-think for political/tribal/ideological advantage.

From Boston.Com Via The A & L Daily: ‘The Surprising Moral Force Of Disgust’..Roger Scruton At The New Atlantis: ‘Scientism In The Arts & Humanities’John Gray Reviews Jonathan Haidt’s New Book At The New Republic: ‘The Knowns And The Unknowns’

Two Tuesday Links-Check Out This Pure Science And One More Revolution

It’d be so boring to talk about the popularization of the sciences and also keep politics and ideology out of the title of your piece: Dahlia Lithwick at Slate: ‘How Can You Explain ‘Color’ To An 11 Yr Old?:’

Alan Alda, boomer establishment voice of reason and secular humanitarian of M.A.S.H. fame, is involved in an interesting project:

‘I ask whether he has to translate himself when he talks to a roomful of scientists. He replies: “I love science. But I am very aware that I am not a scientist. So I make it clear that my contribution is to ask questions rather than translate. One of the things I am working on in the center is to help scientists communicate in their own voice and not have to be translated at all. I know something about communicating; I spent my life communicating. So this is what we do.”

This blog appreciates the time and effort put-in to helping inspire young minds and possibly changing the the course of lives for the better. That could be good work.  As for Slate, however, more political pissing-matches ensue in the comment section, hardly surprising when the ‘personal is political‘ is likely a starting point for discussion.

It’s almost like some people have formed a Cargo Cult, still looking for their ‘Big Man.’  As has been my experience, it doesn’t seem very ‘scientific’ to signal the feelings one has or ought to have, in order to reinforce the beliefs one has or ought to have, in order to show loyalty to the ideology and worldview one is hoping to share and push upon everyone else.

Science, indeed.

Walter Russell Mead: ‘Lefty Meltdown Leads Latin Revival

One more revolution?:

‘Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina are languishing in differing shades of turmoil, steadily losing ground to regional underdogs. The Pacific Alliance, an historic trade agreement between Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Colombia (and coming soon: Costa Rica), has the potential to recolor Latin America’s economic map and introduce some new regional powerhouses to the world stage. As The Atlantic points out, not all the credit goes to the underdogs’

It’s way too early to make those kinds of predictions, mind you, but more trade, market liberalization and neo-liberal strains willing to stand up against further Left strains are good signs.  The Economist had a piece on Argentina’s troubles.

Some light humor:

Michael Moynihan reviewed Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko’ which praised the Cuban Health Care System.

Christopher Hitchens took a helicopter ride with Sean Penn, and that tracksuit-wearing strongman of the people, Hugo Chavez-Hugo Boss:

It’s a long way out of socialist and revolutionary solidarity, which continually occupies the South American mind. One more revolution: Adam Kirsch takes a look at Mario Vargas Llosa. The Dream Of The Peruvian.

How’s that Russian reset going?:

——————

What about value pluralism…positive and negative liberty?: The classical liberal tradition…looking for classical liberals in the postmodern wilderness: Isaiah Berlin’s negative liberty: A Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty”

Classical Liberalism Via Friesian.Com-’Exchange with Tomaz Castello Branco on John Gray’

The End Of History? –Update And Repost- From YouTube: Leo Strauss On The Meno-More On The Fact/Value Distinction?’

Related On This Site:  What Will De Blasio’s New York Look Like?-Some LinksSandinistas At The NY Times: ‘A Mayoral Hopeful Now, de Blasio Was Once a Young Leftist’Two Links On Diane Ravitch & School Reform

Christopher Hitchens At Slate: ‘Reflections on Political Violence’

Full piece here.

On the murderer of Salman Taseer in Pakistan:

“As “a slave of the Prophet,” he had the natural right to murder Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, not even for committing “blasphemy” but for criticizing a law that forbade it for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. And this sweeping new extension of the divine right to murder not only was not condemned by the country’s spiritual authorities; it was largely approved by them.”

At least Hitchens has the courage to stand up for his ideals where they conflict with the Muslim world, and try and define them.  This fault-line will be at work for some time.

Also On This Site:  …Alvaro Vargas Llosa At Real Clear Politics: “Pakistan’s Crooked Roots”From Foreign Policy: ‘Taseer’s Murder Another Sign Of The Dysfunctional Pakistani State’

From Beautiful Horizons: ‘Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan at the 92nd Street Y’Repost-Ayan Hirsi Ali At The CSM: ‘Swiss Ban On Minarets Was A Vote For Tolerance And Inclusion’… Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’

A former Marxist materialist and still quite anti-religious:  Via Youtube: “UC Television-Conversations With History: Christopher Hitchens”

A British Muslim tells his story, suggesting that classical liberalism wouldn’t be a bad idea: From Kenanmalik.com: ‘Introduction: How Salman Rushdie Changed My Life’ From Foreign Policy: ‘Germany’s Age Of Anxiety’

Repost-From Slate: ‘MFA vs. NYC’

Full post here.

Of the MFA (Master Of Fine Arts):

‘Staffed by writer-professors preoccupied with their own work or their failure to produce any; freed from pedagogical urgency by the tenuousness of the link between fiction writing and employment; and populated by ever younger, often immediately postcollegiate students, MFA programs today serve less as hotbeds of fierce stylistic inculcation, or finishing schools for almost-ready writers (in the way of, say, Iowa in the ’70s), and more as an ingenious partial solution to an eminent American problem: how to extend our already protracted adolescence past 22 and toward 30, in order to cope with an oversupplied labor market.’

There are of course still storytellers, geniuses honing their craft that will hold up a mirror and lens for humanity within their creative imaginations.  Maybe they can be found at MFA programs, but I’m guessing they’re more likely doing other things:  getting crippled on a naval campaign, spending their days in an attic, learning to navigate the Mississippi by steamboat, or acting and writing for a theater troupe.

Addition:  And as a reader points out:  learning how to communicate during the current technological revolution.

How much good are all these museums, foundations, and institutions actually doing for the arts and humanities?

Related On This SiteFrom Poemshape Via Andrew Sullivan: ‘Let Poetry Die’…Here’s a suggestion to keep aesthetic and political judgements apart-Roger Scruton In The American Spectator Via A & L Daily: Farewell To Judgment…English departments can’t just copy “(S)cience”…From Bloggingheads: Shakespeare and The Second Law Of ThermodynamicsRepost-How To Study Literature: M.H. Abrams In The Chronicle Of Higher Ed

Wednesday Poem: Wallace Stevens-Anecdote of The JarWednesday Poem: A Postcard From The Volcano..-Review of Denis Dutton’s ‘The Art Instinct’

From The Arnoldian Project: ‘Architecture, Campus, And Learning To Become’

From NPR: Grants To The NEA To Stimulate The Economy?From 2 Blowhards-We Need The Arts: A Sob Story

Arts and Foundations and Institutions-MOMA is private, so perhaps it’s not as decadent if they display Tilda Swinton in a box:

Tilda Swinton At MOMA-From Arma Virumque: ‘Nightmare In A Box’

From The City Journal Via Arts And Letters Daily: Andre Glucksman On “The Postmodern Financial Crisis”

Roger Scruton says keep politics out of the arts, and political judgment apart from aesthetic judgment…this includes race studies/feminist departments/gay studies etc.:  Roger Scruton In The American Spectator Via A & L Daily: Farewell To Judgment

Marathon Bombing-A Few Thoughts On Censorship And A Link To Christopher Hitchens At Slate: ‘Yale Surrenders’

Full post here.

Reason post here.

NY Times piece here.

Some people are letting imagined Muslim youths from the other side of the world live rent-free in their heads as they take pen to paper, imagining such youths will be inspired by newspaper headlines, blog-posts, cartoons and T.V. shows from America.  This is a propaganda war, they say, and we don’t want to give the jihadis recruiting material.

Naturally, they fear terrorism like all of us do to some extent, plain and simple, and they fear that any loss of innocent life will be at their hands (not at the hands of those who choose to kill).  Many self-censor as a result.  We’re a global village now, I’ve heard, and in a few huts in the global village huts are some really angry, irrational people, engaged in constant warfare in defense of their religion, willing to kill, die and terrorize for any scraps of glory.  You don’t want to make them any angrier, do you?

Add to this an increasing raft of self-censorship in our own culture from the pc police, some aiming to absolve us the sins of slavery, and to unite the pluralistic and multi-ethnic strands of American life under the banners of multiculturalism and diversity, and you can see why some news outlets are reluctant to point out certain facts.

As I see it, there is a very small percentage of Muslims who radicalize, and nearly all other Muslims in America are not radicalizing.  But, as immigrants go,  Muslims pose unique problems, those few of them leaping off from the mosque into the radical night.  Many Muslims, in following their faith, will put themselves at odds with many freedoms and facets of American life, including separation of church and state, and women’s freedoms.  Statistically, there may be thousands more young Muslim men out there across the fruited plain, in danger of radicalization.  While it’s a low probability occurrence, it only takes one to deal us the high consequences of an attack (as it does for any act of terrorism, from McVeigh to The Weather Underground).

In my view, this is partly where the logic of multiculturalism leads:  Some people want you to want to self-censor.  They’d rather have you be more worried about how other people are going to react to your thoughts and speech than your actual thoughts and speech, and the freedom you have to think and speak.  You may be wrong of course, or have incomplete information, but some folks simply want to shut down debate.  While you’re concerned about upsetting the next round of poor, impressionable terrorists on the other side of the globe, the Tsarnaevs might live down the road.  This is a glaring inconsistency.

I believe we should aim for honesty in public speech, much like when there’s a robbery in the local paper.  I’d like the newspaper to simply report the age, description and race of the suspect for the sake of public safety, especially if he’s still on the loose.  That’s important information to know.

I’d like to see outlets simply reporting the religion, the path to radicalization, the associations and beliefs of the Tsarnaevs, which we seem to be getting from some sources.

Here’s Christopher Hitchens (nearly a free speech absolutist, railing against many of his former friends on the Left) discussing the Yale Press, which was genuinely afraid that publishing this book could lead to violence in the Muslim street:

“…Yale had consulted a range of experts before making its decision and that “[a]ll confirmed that the republication of the cartoons by the Yale University Press ran a serious risk of instigating violence.”

Cartoons here.  The cartoonist is still in some danger.

Food for thought.

We don’t apologize to terrorists.

Addition:  But we also will maintain an open, healthy society.

1.  Broad definitions of free speech don’t need to belabor the point of religion nor even seek enemy combatant status for the remaining Tsarnaev, as there are many other components to the Marathon bombing.  However, I’d prefer to see his religion stated clearly as more information is made available.  There are many people I don’t trust in the media to be able to do this as they roll ahead with the multiculturalist message.

2.  In some ways, we’ve got to stay ahead of enterprising Al Qaeda online and in the marketplace.  They have Inspire magazine.  It’s like The Anarchist Cookbook for radical Islamists.

3. Unlike China, Russia, and even France, we have less of a top-down State and authoritarian apparatus which can swiftly crack down on security threats, or one group of immigrants, even if it was so desired, for any reason.  Such is the cost of an open, Anglo-American society, apparently.

Another Addition:  Eli Lake at The Daily Beast on that NYC to Toronto bombing.  Al Qaeda in Iran.

Who influenced Tamerlan?

Adam Garfinkle says to think of the event more like the D.C. sniper attacks, more lone-wolf act of domestic terrorism than foreign policy or immigration changing event-The Real Boston Story.

See Also:  If you thought the cartoons were bad, more on the Fitna movie here.  From The NY Times: Review Of Christopher Caldwell’s Book “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West”  Libertarians love this issue:  Repost-A Canadian Libertarian Making Noise: Ezra Levant  

Add to Technorati Favorites

Via Slate: ‘The First Martians’

Brief interview here.

Spitballing ideas for the next phase of human exploration:

‘However, after learning more about the research they had carried out, I became convinced that human flights to Mars could become a reality within 10 years. So in the end, I said yes.’

There was a fresh-water, habitable environment on Mars long ago, at least according to drilling in the John Klein rock area.  There were lakes, and there was an atmosphere, but we’re talking a long-time ago.

More here.

————

Related On This Site:  Via The Mars Science Laboratory At NASA: ”Mount Sharp’ On Mars Links Geology’s Past And Future’Via Youtube: ‘The Challenges Of Getting To Mars: Selecting A Landing Site

NASA Via Youtube: December 21st, 2012 Mars Curiosity Rover Report

NASA Via Youtube: ‘The Martians: Launching Curiosity To Mars’NASA Via Youtube: ‘Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity Rover) Mission Animation

Greg Lukianoff At FIRE.Org: ‘Emily Bazelon And The Danger Of Bringing “Anti-Bullying” Laws To Campus’

Full review here.

FIRE: The Foundation For Individual Rights In Education.  Lukianoff is the founder.

‘If those of us who defend civil liberties had to name our greatest historical adversary, the leading candidate could be summed up in two words: moral panic. Moral panic is a sudden, powerful, and often highly exaggerated perception within a society that people or their values are facing a dire threat.’

Bullying was the cause celebre for a while, especially amongst those looking for another group of victims to rally around.  Bazelon seems to have taken a more sober and reasoned approach.  This blog is generally supportive of those who aim to protect our civil liberties by battling swells of sentiment which can surge into bad law.

That’s right, gun control advocates, give your politicians better signals, please. 

‘Bazelon emphasizes “bullying, wherever it takes place, isn’t on the rise. It feels more pervasive only because the Web is pervasive,” and that “Though bullying is a problem that cuts across lines of class, race, and geography, the reality is that most kids aren’t directly involved — either as perpetrators or as targets.” She also repeats that punishing bullying often is not the best answer. I was pleasantly surprised to see her acknowledge that there “is truth in the old sticks-and-stones chant,” for which the book is named.’

***Apparently, according to an email, it’s not ‘conservative’ enough to support libertarians in their fight against progressivism, or to support liberals who use J.S. Mill’s harm principle to challenge further Left rationalist totalitarian-types

Nor to give Glenn Greenwald’s civil libertarian tendencies a hearing when it comes to drones and the rule of law, or support Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa’s libertarian and slow change tendecies which blossomed out of the Leftism of his youth, all too standard in Bolivar’s South America.

Admit it, even if you came to learn that Christopher Hitchens started out a Marxist materialist, and ended up a contrarian, eventually tethering himself to the New Atheists, you probably enjoyed it when he defended freedom of speech against its erosion by the politically correct multiculturalists, or perhaps when he wrote his polemics supporting the Iraq war.

Keep the back flap of the tent open, and let people come have a look around.  Civil libertarians are a lot better to have around than intolerant Leftists.

Related On This Site: On Mario Vargas Llosa-Adam Kirsch At The City Journal: ‘The Dream Of The Peruvian’

Christopher Hitchens At Slate: ‘Reflections on Political Violence’

Richard Epstein At Defining Ideas: ‘Drone Wars’

Monday Quotation From Charles Kesler And A Few Thoughts on ConservatismFrom Becker And Posner: Posner On The Future Of ConservatismFrom Darwinian Conservatism: ‘The Evolution of Mind and Mathematics: Dehaene Versus Plantinga and Nagel’

A Few Thoughts On Foreign Policy-Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘Conservative Principles Of World Order’A Few Quotations From F.A. Hayek’s: ‘Why I Am Not A Conservative’From Volokh: ‘Conservatives, Libertarians, and Civil Rights History’