Michael Maiello's picture

    President Obama Has Been Ducking Me On Serious Issues

    As a citizen of the United States of America and employer of Barack Obama, I must protest that I have not yet once been invited to the White House, not even for a beer in the Rose Garden even though I a) like beer and b) am not allergic to roses.

    Clearly, President Obama is afraid that I might ask a tough or unpredictable question or simply level him with some sort of criticism that will leave him wondering, "do I really even want to finish this second term?"

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Why Should Professors Do Research?

    My high school physics teacher was a fraud. He claimed to have two PhDs, but had no graduate degree of any kind and as I understand it didn't even have a BA in physics. He left in a sudden flurry a couple of months before the end of my senior year.

    Ramona's picture

    An already belligerent 21st Century enters its Teens

     

    Just two weeks from today, on the 21th of January, 2013, Barack Obama will be inaugurated for the second time as president of these United States.

    Ramona's picture

    Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Make Joy, not War!

     

     Wishing you all a merry Christmas season, and all the joys it brings.  Happy holidays and peace to all, including those who wanted a war so badly they made one up.

    Will it spoil everything if I pass along this gentle reminder?  Christmas is a time of joy and good will for everyone; all ages, all regions, all religions.  Those scrooges who want to pretend there's a war going on over it, have, sadly, forgotten what it was like to be a child.

    Their loss.
     

    Topics: 
    Ramona's picture

    I don't need to know their names

     

    It's Saturday, the day after what will forever be known as the Sandy Hook School murders.  Yesterday Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old man, broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and shot to death six adults and 20 small children.

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Reading the Renaissance for Fun (and Profit)

    I stopped blogging for a while around Thanksgiving, partly because I was driving instead (I managed to log about 2500 highway miles in a week and a half), and partly because I needed to unplug both from national politics and from the unrelenting dailiness of office politics. (I go to more meetings at work than I used to, and answer a lot more e-mails.) The advent of winter holidays has always been a good time for me to step away from the noisy bustle and think more about what is durable.

    Topics: 
    Ramona's picture

    On Writing Free and Brave

     

    I had a bout with bronchial pneumonia this week, which left me breathless enough to now be able to cross "ambulance ride" off of my bucket list.  I spent two days in the hospital and, while I feel almost human again, a strange thing has happened.  When I sit down to write, I'm finding that the last thing I want to write about is the current political situation.

    Ramona's picture

    Fall Comes to the U.P.

     

    At the easternmost edge of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where I live, the land is low.  In the deep south it would be called the low country.  Here it's called the cedar swamp.  Where there isn't swamp there is rock, where thin sheaths of earth allow only the shallow-rooted trees to thrive--the quaking aspen, white birch and the Michigan cottonwood known as Balm-of-Gilead.  The weed trees.
     

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Do PhDs Expire?

    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:

    Ramona's picture

    On Waking Up to Seventy Five

     

    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?

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Weekend Reading, Labor Day Edition

    What better novel for Labor Day weekend than Joshua Ferris's brilliant debut, And Then We Came to the End? It's truly the Labor-Day read for our time. It's formally masterful its first-person-plural narration, with a collective officeplace "we" who does the narrating, like this:
     

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Weekend Reading, August 24: Back to School

    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:
     

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Teaching Journalism at the University of Georgia

    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.

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Stopping a Mass Shooter

    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.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Before Politics...

    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.

    Topics: 
    Ramona's picture

    A Happening in East Liverpool

     

    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.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    When the War Began

    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:

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Ray Bradbury Is Dead, Alas

    Ray Bradbury has died, the newspapers all say. I am grateful that he lived so long, and sorry that he's gone.

    Pages

    Latest Comments