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Title Excerpt Author Date Total Comments Recent Comment
In memory of Tom Buckley Well, it’s long past time to close down this blog, and I’ve been wondering for some time whether it would be a good idea to go out with my reminiscence of my dear friend Tom Buckley.  After months of dithering, I’ve decided that it might be just the thing to do.… Michael 10/15/10 37 11/01/10
Sick and tired So on Thursday night, after grading and returning my first batch of student papers, I decided it would be a really good time to get sick.  Accordingly, I woke up on Friday with a wicked sore throat and assorted other symptoms—shaking, chills, weariness, and so forth.  But no coughing or sneezing! … Michael 10/12/10 40 04/11/13
Bad Futures—one week from today! The .pdf of the program copy is available in an Intertube near you.  It is not true that I wrote the whole thing just to be able to use the phrase “zombie playoffs.” But it’s close enough. Michael 10/08/10 41 12/10/12
On loving queer kids Much, much too busy to blog these days.  You want to read stuff on the Internets, go read Richard Kim.  You’ll be glad you did. Michael 10/07/10 12 04/12/13
Finally, a Senate candidate worthy of Moloch’s endorsement Some of the YouTube comments are pretty good, too.  “Build a bridge out of her” ... yes, a bridge ... to nowhere!  Bwah hah hah, etc. Michael 10/06/10 16 04/17/13
And how did your team do this weekend? For a long time now I’ve been rooting for the Neoliberals.  I know, I don’t talk much about them on this blog, where my commentaries on sports have been confined to posts on hockey and the occasional stray comment on baseball or golf or Penn State women’s volleyball.  But I’ve been… Michael 10/04/10 32 01/03/13
ABF Friday:  Mimesis Edition! At the end of last Sunday’s episode of Mad Men, as Don is looking at the Beatles tickets on his desk, Janet said, “I don’t think those tickets had the Beatles’ pictures on them in 1965.” So, the next day, I gave her ... a ticket to the Beatles’ concert at… Michael 10/01/10 41 08/04/12
Funky Nassau As Sven notes in comment 29 of this most diverting thread, I’m on the road today.  I have to go to Hofstra and talk about stuff.  A train and a room and a car and a room and a room and a room, you know the drill.  But I wrote a… Michael 09/28/10 26 10/23/12
Counting down Hmmmm, ye olde hit counter on the right sidebar tells me we need only 60,000 more visits to reach ten million, at which point Sam Elliott will appear, just as he did in Up in the Air.  And since we did the whole GNF asploding thing last time we shut down… Michael 09/27/10 45 11/06/12
Enjoy the rest of your life … cereal! Janet and I were having a nice anniversary evening doing Old Couple things like watching The Book of Eli when it became clear that Jamie was sick.  He didn’t sleep well, nor did we, and things occasionally got messy.  He’s home with us now, and we’re sitting around watching Animal Planet. … Michael 09/22/10 28 04/15/13
The first 25 years are just practice It’s a special day around here.  You do the math. Michael 09/21/10 17 10/23/12
Mad Men and women After watching last night’s episode, I thought it would be a good time to unearth Larkspur’s comment on the whole entire show, from a thread on episode six: What it is, basically, is a horror story.  It’s set in New York in the 1960s, and is NOT ripped from any of… Michael 09/20/10 19 10/23/12
ABF Friday:  Crazy Ol’ Marty Peretz edition! This is a tough one*, folks.  How precisely should Harvard University honor Marty “Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims” Peretz next week?  Keep in mind that this is not a question about how Peretz should defend himself.  As Peretz told Benjamin Sarlin, “The notion that after teaching 45 years… Michael 09/17/10 40 10/23/12
Hard to believe Jamie is 19 today. It is very hard to believe.  Did I say that already? He’s on Facebook, you know.  Unlike his father, who suffers from acute social-media shyness.  Just saying. Happy birthday, Jamie!  You are now a high school senior and a senior teenager. Michael 09/16/10 24 12/14/12
Even worse than you thought The Islamification Mosque and Ground Zero Terrorist Recruitment Center will not only bring sharia law to the financial district of Manhattan.  It will also bring ... terrorist environmentalism!  An Ecofascist Crescent Moon Near Ground Zero By Mark Musser | September 15, 2010 Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, a U.S. environmental policy consultant and one… Michael 09/15/10 40 03/22/12
Dinesh redux Ah, it’s good to see that my old pal Dinesh D’Souza is driving public debate again.  It’s been far too long.  So now we have “Obama is a Mau-Mau, and I mean that in a totally non-racist way” to go long with “Al-Qaeda was right to attack America and its moral… Michael 09/14/10 19 09/16/10
ABF Friday:  Days of Future Past Edition! In our latest installment of Lazy My New Day Job Keeps Me Really Busy Blogging, we’re going to dust off an ABF exercise we did many years ago at Pandagon, because (a) it was F, and (b) Pandagon has the most broken archives in the Interwebs and nobody will ever remember… Michael 09/10/10 55 09/27/10
Pitching about “pitching” My contribution to the running Mad Men commentary at Kritik, the blog of the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is now up.  And somehow, spyder has already logged a comment.  How did he do that? Anyway, the pix are great.  That Joe Namath… Michael 09/07/10 16 04/27/13
Culture and anarchy Hey folks!  You remember The New Criterion, the very serious intellectual journal founded by Hilton Kramer and Samuel Lipman in 1982 as an antidote to the low moral and aesthetic standards associated with liberalism.  It is very serious: A monthly review of the arts and intellectual life, The New Criterion began… Michael 09/03/10 58 09/10/10
Cure for the common TV show I know I’m not due to post on Mad Men at this place until next week, but I might as well say now that I was thinking of doing something on the new “pathetic” Don.  Last night, I’m afraid, may have made the topic too obvious for words.  All I can… Michael 08/30/10 21 11/06/12
Arbitrary but Frantic Friday Wow, the past two weeks completely got away from me.  And no wonder!  Classes began this Monday, and I am doing 23 things at once—not just directing Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities, which involves holding meetings, making plans, holding more meetings, thinking up stuff, getting in touch with… Michael 08/27/10 34 06/30/12
It’s all over now Now that the public sphere has disintegrated, we have only two options. I leave the choice to you, the public. Michael 08/20/10 44 09/14/10
In the in box, part deux So here’s my response to my hate mail.  No, I did not alert the authorities; I did not (and do not) think letter-writers like Angry Guy pose any credible threat to me and my family. And no, I did not reply with snark.  Reader, I parried him.  Seriously, I tried to… Michael 08/16/10 62 07/23/12
In the in box You know, the Journolist “scandal” was pretty weird. Tom Tomorrow has a sane perspective on it all, but even for seasoned culture-war observers like me, it was surprising.  I mean, I can understand wingnuts getting all spittle-flecked about Michelle Obama going to Spain or feeding homeless people who happen to own… Michael 08/13/10 43 08/20/10
You gotta have a strong constitution It is becoming increasingly clear that the illegal al-Obama X Administration* is flouting the original intentions of the framers of the Constitution.  Moreover, as cutting-edge conservative legal scholarship has shown, many of the post-Reconstruction amendments to the Constitution contravene the intentions of the Founding Fathers.  Most alarming of all, however, Tea… Michael 08/09/10 34 08/20/10
Just once more, and just for Roy I used to be a Democrat, but thanks to 9/11, I’m outraged that Barack Hussein al-Obama X is trying to start a race war by slyly alluding to I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. Michael 08/06/10 21 08/08/10
Skeptics gather for scientific conference Washington, DC, Aug. 4, 2030 – Scientists and political analysts converged today for the First Annual Heartland Institute Conference on the Evolution of the Gulf of Mexico.  Building on the Heartland Institute’s groundbreaking work on climate change, the conference aims to challenge the widespread belief that recent changes in the ecosystem… Michael 08/04/10 18 08/07/10
It’ll stick to your ribs Corexit—it’s what’s for dinner! (H/t Bill Benzon.  And Jonathan Franzen, white courtesy phone!) Michael 08/01/10 10 09/10/10
Deception Inception: Daily Caller is a manic, needlessly complex, and ultimately trivial movie—good for a few hours’ entertainment in a sweltering summer, but mind-numbingly insubstantial.  The initial premise is promising: former Beltway star Tucker Carlson, anguished at having dropped to the Schlussel-Breitbart level of American punditry, assembles a team of accomplished sociopaths… Michael 07/26/10 23 09/10/10
Fuzzy Dice Mark C. Taylor, writing in a New York Times forum on tenure: Tenure is financially unsustainable and intellectually indefensible. The fundamental problem is liquidity – both financial and intellectual. If you take the current average salary of an associate professor and assume this tenured faculty member remains an associate professor for… Michael 07/21/10 29 06/30/12
Back by popular demand Looking deep in the thread of the previous post, I find that the people are one person is clamoring for new posts.  Well, Mr. Mike Roberts, your wish is my command!  But first I have to take care of some important post-ironic business.  In comment 47, Dave Maier writes, Okay, when… Michael 07/15/10 21 04/26/13
Arbitrary, because Wednesday Sorry for the very light blogging lately ... no, wait, scratch that, I’m not sorry at all.  Not at all!  I’m proud, proud of the very light blogging lately.  It has been some of the finest very light blogging this blog has ever seen, even if I do say so myself.… Michael 06/30/10 55 08/05/10
Suggestions welcome Even though today is Friday, this post is not ABF—neither arbitrary nor facetious (and certainly not fun).  I suppose it’s my own fault that I have to make this clear at the outset, since I have been known to make up “letters” from imaginary “readers” now and then.  But the following… Michael 06/25/10 26 03/10/11
Falling Back on Memorial Day weekend, in between my trips to Irvine and NYC (in May) and my crazed Philly-DC-home-DC-Providence trip (in June), I actually got to spend some time with my family.  Nick and his crew (Rachel, Shachar) drove from New Haven, and we all hung out and actually used our… Michael 06/20/10 50 07/27/10
Goal! Michael Leighton vs. Robert Green.  Which devastating, inexplicable goal is worse?  Discuss. As a forward, I should exult in such moments; goaltenders thwart us nine times out of ten, every damn day of the year.  But instead I come away with a dull sadness, a bone-deep ache, an intimation of the… Michael 06/15/10 30 09/10/10
Something about something So here are some of the things we’ve been doing over at the Modern Language Association lately. I know, there’s an enticing teaser.  But I’m blogging about this for two reasons.  One, these are examples of how the MLA addresses public issues that involve matters of concern to the profession.  Two,… Michael 06/11/10 13 01/26/11
Finals! Jamie takes part one of his French II final today.  Wish him luck! And as for those other finals: Three things about this clip are awesomely awesome.  One, “because of the excitement, the CBS television network pre-empted its prime-time regular programming to carry this game.” Two, there is no music in… Michael 06/09/10 32 06/30/12
Rambling Hockey is the only source of good news in the entire world. Litbrit sums it up nicely, i.e. terribly, as do George Friedman and Rebecca Traister. And then there’s Gary Coleman. Really, I was going to try to write something this week about how the financial collapse of 2008 and the… Michael 06/02/10 74 03/14/11
ABF Friday:  Off Piste edition! Why do we call it the “off piste” edition?  Because, arbitrarily but funnily enough, today’s installment of Things I Write is over here, off piste.  Have an ABF weekend, everyone.  And sing! Sumer is icumen in, Lhude sing cuccu! Groweþ sed and bloweþ med And springþ þe wde nu, Sing cuccu!… Michael 05/28/10 25 09/10/10
Video Thursday My friend Chris Castiglia brought this to my attention the other night: [Warning:  the language gets a little spicy toward the end, with a vorhanden here and an aufgehoben there.  NSFW—not safe for wissenschaft.] It’s funny because it’s true!  I took Rorty’s Heidegger seminar in spring 1985 partly because I was… Michael 05/27/10 50 04/29/13
Civil rights OK, now back to some old business. Megan McArdle, you’ll recall, replied to this old post from April 13 later the very same day. Like so: Michael Berube’s response to my writing about the lack of conservatives in the cultural elite is, perhaps unsurprisingly, just a tad overwrought, and not very… Michael 05/24/10 88 05/28/10
Mister Answer Man:  Insane Clown Posse edition! Dear Mr. Answer Man:  I am beginning to suspect that the letters you receive are not really letters from readers at all.  In fact, I am beginning to suspect that you make them up yourself, and then give the “letter-writers” names that you think are “clever.” Am I right?  --Mary Rosh… Michael 05/21/10 46 06/03/10
Lost and found in the archives So I showed up at UC-Irvine a day early, because even though some of the Rorty archives were born digital, most of them were born analog, and I wanted to check them out.  (Note to distressed California taxpayers: there was no honorarium involved, and I paid for my extra night of… Michael 05/19/10 39 06/04/10
To put things in perspective In comments to the preceding post, JP Stormcrow writes, At this point I think I’ll root for whoever wins in the West. Just do not care for teams that barely qualify for the Playoffs winning it all. Let me put that another way:  the Flyers are here because they won a… Michael 05/17/10 27 04/15/11
And you thought my blog posts were too long Just finished typing up the last of my comments on the eleven seminar papers I received this semester, and learned to my surprise that the document “finalpapers.10” is fifteen thousand words long.  And now I have to write that paper on Rorty, without making the same damn mistake I always make. … Michael 05/10/10 29 05/17/10
Friday I’m in disguise When I shop for vintage clothes in New Haven, I shop at Fashionista.  And when I shop at Fashionista, I shop incognito: Photo credit:  the elusive J.L. This one is for you, mds.  And no, I’m not in town now—this was taken sometime back in April. Two or three things for… Michael 05/07/10 65 02/28/13
Round two:  the chastening Readers have begun to respond to my predictions for the first round of the NHL playoffs.  Here’s alkali, from yesterday (comment 20): Speaking of which, how much longer does New England have to wait before someone walks back the line, “Please, get these weak-sauce excuses for Bruins off my radar ...… Michael 05/05/10 20 05/15/10
Off their game? Here it is May 3 already, and still no glibertarian pundit has stepped up to argue that the disaster in the Gulf was caused by excessive regulation.  And I understand that Stanley Kurtz is hard at work uncovering the connections among ACORN, Frances Fox Piven, Obama’s senior thesis, and the sabotaging… Michael 05/03/10 37 02/08/11
ABF Friday* Arizona. Microchips in illegals. Spill, baby, spill.  Burn, baby, burn. Goldman Sachs. Meltdown in Europe spreading to Asia. Asploding volcanoes.  Devastating earthquakes. Lorena Ochoa’s retirement. And, almost forgot, the new fiscal responsibility: no extended unemployment benefits for lazy unproductive people. May Day.  May Day. _______ This time ABF does not stand… Michael 04/30/10 38 05/03/10
Sectionals blogging! Sometimes I wonder why I feel so world-weary, and then I remember: it’s because of stuff like the past few days. Saturday afternoon, after revisiting my old school, I headed to Penn Station to catch my train back to Harrisburg.  I had about 45 minutes to make a half-hour trip by… Michael 04/28/10 21 06/30/10
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