September 03, 2010

Clippings: August 30 to September 3

Lets start off with a video. Dancing the Charleston to Daft Punk.  Oh yeah.  via First Things.

+ Darryl Hart is one of my favorite people ever.  So, needless to say, I loved his FPR article about being carless in a big city (as I am, as well!):
So instead of driving, my wife and I walk – a lot. I even walk to purchase beer, which is something of a nuisance in Pennsylvania where cases are much cheaper (per bottle) than six-packs from the local package store. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board – a Prohibition-Era agency – still controls the sale and distribution of wine and hard liquor. Beer distributors sell cases. Bars and some delicatessens sell six packs. This means I need to walk a little more than a mile each way to buy a case from one of the city’s very good micro-breweries. (The Hart favorite these days is Yard’s IPA.) But a two-wheeled shopping cart makes this a fairly easy outing as long as the weather cooperates.
+ And speaking of being carless in the big city... DC drivers are the worst.  Actually. (DCist)

+ Napa isn't known only for wine.  We have and amazing (no, really, AMAZING) vodka distillery, and, as the New York Times reports, a fine brandy distillery.  Read more.
+ Camille Paglia has an intriguing proposition in the 10th Anniversary edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education:
Vanishing of jobs will plague the rest of this decade and more. Meaningful employment is no longer guaranteed to dutiful, studious members of the middle class in the Western world. College education, which was hugely expanded after World War II and sold as a basic right, is doing a poor job of preparing young people for life outside of a narrow band of the professional class.

Yes, an elite education at stratospheric prices will smooth the way into law or medical school and supply a network of useful future contacts. But what if a student wants a different, less remunerative or status-oriented but more personally fulfilling career? There is little flexibility in American higher education to allow for alternative career tracks.
It's part of their series discussing the new "big idea" to form education for the coming decade. 
+ Following up on yesterday's post, Carlin Romano (also the the Chronicle of Higher Education) writes about the disappearance of the book--from the classroom:
My own peculiar worry about Academe 2020, offered with less than 20/20 foresight, may seem less catastrophic: the death of the book as object of study, the disappearance of "whole" books as assigned reading. Does that count as a preposterous figment of extreme academe, or is it closer than we think?

I don't mean the already overwrought debate over the crisis of the book as codex... The issue isn't the decline in book sales, though it, too, remains an element of the big picture. I am talking about the growing feeling among humanities professors—intuitive and anecdotal, shared over lunch like an embarrassing tale about a colleague—that for too many of today's undergraduates, reading a whole book, from A to Z, feels like a marathon unfairly imposed on a jogger.

+ An interesting review of Fifth Avenue, 5 a.m., which I mentioned earlier this summer, in The New Republic.  Oddly, I always get the hankering to read Breakfast at Tiffany's in the late summer, when everything is still hot and humid, but you regret all the things you didn't do (go to the shore, eat outside every day, play bocce ball every night), and look forward to the fresh start of the Fall.  It's true. None of these things really have anything to do with either the movie or book Breakfast at Tiffany's.   But, I always seem to be reading it about now.

+ It's my favorite of Russel Kirk's books too.

+ You know one of the oldest working democratic institutions in the world?  The Order of Preachers.

+ The FugGirls have been doing their best on the worst of the Emmy fashions.  My favorites were Maura Tierney and Keri Russel. Worst?  Oh, there are so many to chose from. Vote for your favorites here.

+ Deep Fried Butter.  I clearly cannot follow that up with anything else, so, ciao!

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