Monday, September 15, 2014

Quote of the Day

Everyone has their own version of everything that’s ever happened.--Essie on Masters of Sex ("Below the Belt")

Giles Gets Knocked Down: The Supercut


A slide show on HuffPo (three of my favorites below) had me thinking of some of my own personal favorite public typos over the years:

  • The street sign in front of our house when we moved to Murfreesboro read "Whiltshire."
  • A sign on a Shoney's marquee in Alabama read "Were the best."
  • A sign in a Perkins Restaurant in Minnesota read: "Shirts must be worn to be seated."
  • The electronic billboard at MTSU on graduation day a few years back proudly announced "Congratulation Graduate's."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Name Determinism

Bronko Nagurski
When I was teaching Edwin Arlington Robinson's "Miniver Cheevy" the other day in Modern American Poetry, I ended up laying out my theory of name determinism.

A man named "Miniver Cheevy" has little chance of growing up other than the way Robinson imagined him: an alcoholic, tubercular fantasist. Eliot's J. Alfred Prufrock was similarly destined to be J. Alfred Prufrock by his name.
Bruno Samartino

And neither Bronko Nagurski nor Bruno Samartino was ever going to be an opera singer or a college professor with such a name.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Eunice, LA

Been re-watching True Detective in preparation for the paper I am giving at PCAS: True Detective’s “Form and Void” and the Television Finale. (It's easily twice as good as I remembered it.)

Mention of Eunice, Louisiana (to the right is the Vulture True Detective glossary's entry on Eunice) brought back an early career memory.

During my five year search (1978-1983) for a tenure-track teaching job, I remember seeing an add for a position at the Louisiana State University at Eunice.

It was at that point I decided I would rather be a technical writer than teach there, and I did not apply.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

John Oliver Eviscerates Predatory Lending/College Recruiting

In a devastating segment last month on HBO's This Week Tonight, John Oliver dismantled the "predatory lending" of pay day/car title usurers, exposing the despicableness of capitalists who prey on the very poorest segment of society. Watch it below.

Then, in what is in essence a companion piece, Oliver took on student debt, with a particular focus on for-profit colleges (FPC), this time revealing to what degree FPCs engage in "predatory college recruiting," using fear and pain to woo future students--many of them vets--who will waste their money on the "education" they offer. Watch it below.

How on earth do these predators sleep at night?

Rubber Grading Stamps

When I was working on my MA back in the 1970s, a fellow TA had a set of rubber stamps for grading. An irate parent complained about his BS stamp, but Jack calmly responded that "BS" stood for "Bad Sentence."

Another stamp I want (a comment a British colleague once wrote on a student paper): "Your essay has made me give up the will to live."

Silent Spring

Such disturbing news.

Trump Dump

In internet comment sections, the Donald's two Atlantic City casinos are sometimes referred to as the "Trump Dumps," but Stephen Colbert observes that that name is already in use for another Trumpified product.

"True Detective" Lincoln

A must see for True Detective fans.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Baby Groot Dances

TV Books I Would Do If I Was Still Doing TV Books

As I have been saying for some time now, my days of doing collections like the books above on important television series--a scholarly genre I had a major hand in establishing--are pretty much over.

But I am still watching a lot of television and continue to be engaged with many of the excellent shows of the second decade of the 21st Century. America wants to know: if I were still doing books on TV series, which series might tempt me to send out a CFP. Here's my list:

Robin Whood

In his recap of the so-so "Robot of Sherwood," last night's Doctor Who episode, the Onion TV Club's Alasdair Wilkins writes:

In what may well be my favorite Easter egg in Doctor Who’s 50-year history, the computer databanks on Robin Hood include this image of the title character from 1953’s Robin Hood, the very first televised adaptation of the Robin Hood story. As classic Doctor Who fans might well be able to tell, the man who played TV’s very first Robin Hood was none other than Patrick Troughton, the 2nd Doctor, and so his inclusion here is about eight different flavors of wonderful.

Agreed: pretty cool.