A-man Is Back, And Still Goes To Eleven
SEOTechGuy Warns You of the Tyranny of Google Search
dagblog Wears Your Grandpa's Clothes/It Looks Incredible
Last week the annual job list for college literature professors went live, in an annual ritual I've blogged about before. And it looks like the worst list for Shakespeareans in history.
Two years ago, I used this space to explain how the 2008 crash had killed the already far-too-small job market for new PhDs, and how poor the rebound was two years later: [Read more]
So yes, it has happened: I am 75 years old today. Don't worry, I feel fine. I'm still the same person, but one now saddled with the realization that I have lived three quarters of a century. My God. How does a thing like that happen?
I'm planning a big day in which I'll be pondering some burning questions: How the hell could three quarters of a century have sailed by so fast? If I had been paying attention, could I have done something to slow it down? And any chance I'm only half way to the end?
Hello friends. It’s been a while. I’m still plugging away in Malaysia, approaching the end of my second year here, which seems hardly possible. It seems even less possible that it’s been four years since I was walking all over my town knocking on strangers’ doors to talk about why I supported Barak Obama for president. Still do, but that’s not why I stopped by Dag. I thought I’d give you fine people a little break from the relentless political season and tell you why I do not support living in Malaysia. [Read more]
Well, it's that time of year. Fall classes are about to begin, or have begun, and I'm definitely sure I saw at least one batch of red leaves this week.
So, with that anticipatory autumn sadness in the air, my book recommendation this week is Paul Murray's novel Skippy Dies, set in an Irish high school. If the title hasn't spoiled it for you already, the title character meets his demise in the first few pages:
So, basically the whole staff of the Red and the Black, the University of Georgia's student newspaper, walked out after the newspaper's Board of Directors promoted the paper's non-student "editorial adviser" to "editorial director" and gave him complete veto power over the student staff. The Red and the Black has always been a student-run newspaper, independent of the University itself, where students have final say. So the walkout is predictable and even laudable.
Since the terrible and senseless murders in that Aurora movie theater, there's been a lot of talk about how to fight back against a mass shooter. It's become a standard talking point that more guns among the victims would have allowed someone to kill any mass shooter, basic tactical realities notwithstanding. And Houston's Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security has recently released an instructional video called "Run. Hide. [Read more]
Before politics, there was love.
Even the priggish old Bible that hurried God's busy hands into the dawn of time honored the proper order of the world. Before God admonished the first people to shun evil, he begged them to multiply. The old world's profession was the dating consultant.
I'm getting married on Saturday. [Read more]
East Liverpool, Ohio has long been known as the center of American dinner-and diner-ware. For well over a century, from the mid 19th century into the middle of the 1960s, it had been the home of some 300 potteries (partial list here), and included names like American Limoges, Homer Laughlin (across the river in W. Virginia but within shouting distance), Hall, Harker, Taylor Smith Taylor, Knowles, Pearl, Purinton, Royal, Sebring, Sterling, and Wellsville. [Read more]
Readers and friends,
I'm happy to announce that I've signed a deal for my second book, When the War Began: Teddy Roosevelt, Republican Progressives, and the Birth of Modern Politics.*
It will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in the Spring 2014. Palgrave is a great publisher, and I'm excited about the deal.
I haven't met with my editor yet, but I would like to ask her permission to publish excerpts of my work-in-progress in order to get feedback from all the clever folks at dagblog.
In the meantime, here's a brief description of the book: [Read more]
Ray Bradbury has died, the newspapers all say. I am grateful that he lived so long, and sorry that he's gone.
Ray Bradbury was most famous as a science fiction writer. He deserves to be famous as one of America's great short-story writers, period. I didn't say that he wasn't a science fiction writer, and he wouldn't have said that either. He was a gifted stylist. He could write like Poe in a better mood. What he chose to write about on a given day is beside the point. And when the mood was on him, he wrote 20th-century America's dreams about itself straight onto the page.
I spent most of Memorial Day weekend, all but the day itself, at my spouse's college reunion. It was a lovely weekend among pleasant people on a delightful campus. My spouse went to an extremely famous college very much like the one I went to. In fact, our old schools are traditional rivals, which means that they resemble each other so deeply and thoroughly that they need football to create the illusion that there's any difference.
This morning, as I was walking to the gym, I passed a small apartment building, nestled amongst the townhouses of West 10th street. From somewhere on the upper floors of the building I heard a woman shouting and finally screaming. First it was "Leave me alone!" Then it was "Get off of me! Get off of me!" This was punctuated by screams, but they sounding like shrieks of anger rather than terror or pain, though it takes a lot of assumptions to get to that judgment. [Read more]
I was actually a little embarassed for Talkingpointsmemo when I read its kind of breathless coverage of Obama stating the obvious fact that he "wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth." TPM's editors seemed to think this was some sort of Oscar Wildean bon mot or Mencken-style broadside worth repeating.
It's a fine thing for Obama to say, though I wish he'd avoid cliche when he does it. Everybody knows that Obama is self-made and that Romney's dad was a business executive and the former Governor of Michigan.  [Read more]
Today is Opening Day for most of Major League Baseball, including my beloved Red Sox. For most baseball fans, the experience of falling in love with the game is inextricably bound up with their relationship to the men in their family, to the father or uncle who took them to games and played catch with them in the yard. But my love of baseball grows out of my love for a woman: my aunt Ann, who was laid to rest this week. Today is the first time I have been in Boston for Opening Day since I left New England fifteen years ago. And today is my first Opening Day without Ann. I had expected her to have another, and another. I was not prepared for this day to come without her. [Read more]
Last week, New York City released Teacher Data Reports for every teacher in its system. This week, I got my own teaching numbers: last semester's teaching evaluation scores. Getting my numbers was a good thing for me personally; they were very high, and my bosses tend to reward that. [Read more]
Now that I’m officially not with you anymore, I miss you. Is that weird? I thought I’d share some pictures (down below) and thoughts about life away from the craziness of the United States during election season. I still read the political news and I still spout off about it on Facebook, in short rants. The nice thing is that I feel so detached. The political situation here is in some ways better and in some ways worse: Malaysia has its issues. But as a non-citizen and a temporary resident, I don’t care that much. [Read more]
Pssst. I'd like to be president of the United States but before you vote for me, there's something you need to know. I believe, literally, that Star Wars is a true story. I believe in both the Old Testament story of Luke and Vader (parts IV-VI) and the New Testament origin of Vader (Parts 1-3 and The Clone Wars cartoon series).
Does this make me an unfit leader? [Read more]
Hello, friends. It’s been a while. I’ve been meaning to write this post for months. A-man gently reminds me from time to time, but I think he’s given up hope. So, surprise, A-man!
I have loved blogging at Dagblog. It was a privilege to be one of the first bloggers outside of the core DAG and it was a privilege to take part in such interesting and meaningful discussions about wide-ranging topics--and I always loved the snark. Maybe it took me so long to say good-bye because don’t really want to say good-bye. Perhaps I’ll turn up occasionally with something to say. [Read more]
The brilliant Ramona and Destor have been especially brilliant this week on the Catholic bishops' outrage at having to pay for full employee health insurance. Destor is so smart about the church and state principles involved, and Ramona so good on the women's-health issues, that I have nothing left to add but my own personal experience. I am a former employee of the Catholic Church. I used to have a health-insurance card with the Archdiocese of Boston's seal printed on it. That wasn't an experience of religious liberty. [Read more]