Will has a fine and fierce column up about college sports which is somewhat
out of, er, left field. He defends a lot of things which the Knight
Commission detests, and concludes by saying that on many campi, "the
culture of the athletic department is less harmful to higher education than the
culture of the English department."
Man. We wish that was our line.
What a great retort. Don't get us started on MLA issues. Every year
we look forward with great wonder to reading about the latest MLA conference
(Modern Language Assocation, for the virgins among us).
In recent years,
there was a serious academic paper about Emily Dickinson's predilection for the
solitary sin that dare not speak its name, and a truly incredible story about
how the women's caucus broke down into balkanized bickering over coffee creamers
(vegan or not), those who were, or were not, scent-friendly (perfume war),
and whether or not lesbians of color should date Caucasian lesbians. To
even try to recount the factions that sprang up over creamers is funny, but we
could never do it justice. It came down to vegan lesbians of color glaring
at coffee drinkers who dared used cream. Mix and match dilution of any kind - no
matter how you figure it, it's just ludicrous, and that's just the tip of the
That old rascal Herman Hesse had it about right in Magister Ludi.
The book is just about unreadable, but but once you get the idea that
intellectual life has become, well, a solitary sin that dare not speak its
name, you realize that a lot of wankers are in charge and that maybe kids being
disengaged is really a positive thing. Go play sports! But read some decent
books when you wear yourself out.