Monday, March 27, 2006

Snow Day

I'd like to think that this is winter's last gasp, but I fear that might be speaking too soon ... but at least I'm getting a half-day off (so far) out of it. I'm learning -- slowly, but I'm learning. DO NOT wander out of the apartment without checking all weather sources and notice boards! Yes, I have finally clued in to the fact that this university is actually quite resonable about shutting things down in the face of unreasonably inclement weather.

So here I sit, cozy with coffee, until the next notice to be posted at eleven o'clock, and thinking that I have been delinquent this past week with my blog. But without anything much on my mind this morning except the conflicting annoyance with weather / delight at a morning off, I figured this was an ideal time to do some blog housekeeping. I haven't been very good at updating my list of links, largely because it involves going into the template and mucking about with the code ... but I think I've hit critical mass, and it is necessary to make some changes.

All things being equal, it's not a monumental change or anything, but there are a few things I want to draw everyone's attention to. The first is my colleague Brad Clissold's site -- Brad is doing some very cool research on the postcard as a uniquely modernist form of communication, and has a blog in which he invites people to contribute their own ideas/anecdotes/etc involving postcards.

I've also put up my new favourite blog, which my friend Matt turned me onto -- that of Michael Berube, a professor of English and Cultural studies at Penn State. Berube is a very prominent and well-published scholar, whose blog is both prolific and entertaining. He's listed under "The Liberal Media" as opposed to the academic links because much of what he writes is about the so-called "culture wars," in which the American academy is under fairly consistent attack from right-wing elements who believe universities to be hotbeds of anti-American Marxist terrorism sympathizers. Berube's principal opponent on this front is the somewhat hysterical self-styled defender of academic freedom David Horowitz, whose recent book The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America has been making the rounds of late. The Professors is an extended screed against the supposed "leftist indocrtrination" to which the balance of academics ostensibly subject their students in the classroom. The book is composed of 101 profiles of liberal, left-leaning, leftist and Marxist professors ranging from Noam Chomsky (of course), Fredric Jameson, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Berube himself.

I'll post at greater length on Horowitz and his hysteria at a later date -- suffice it to say, Berube (who has frequently gone head-to-head with Horowitz) deals with all this with intelligence and, more importantly, a great sense of humour ... something Horowitz entirely lacks, and further cannot take even the slightest criticism without getting his back up. Very amusing to follow, in fact.

On that front, I've also posted some of my favourite websites that respond to the conservative domination of the American airwaves (liberal media, my ass). Most notable is Media Matters for America, aka Bill O'Reilly's nemesis. This is a great website that takes the various misrepresentations surfacing in the news on a daily basis and debunks them. It is a very carefully done, fair bit of reporting -- more often than eschewing commentary altogether and just providing the full transcripts for the readers' benefit.

That's all for now.


Lesley said...

That is just so wrong. I take back everything that I said about Newfoundland being awesome because they get so much snow. They're just awesome because of the other things (time difference being a HALF hour not an hour, the sun rising over Cape Spear, the know what I mean). Although, snow days are so awesome especially when organizations actually RECOGNIZE that you need a snow day. Good on you for reorganizing your links. It's something I have to get to. I always envy those who understand how to do something like that and then ACTUALLY do it.

Enjoy the morning!

FanglyFish said...

Sorry it is to hot in Toronto to write at any lenght. Oh that sunshine is bright. HA!

star*mora said...

i tried to explain what snow was like to the northern thai couple i stayed with in january...and they just couldn't imagine it. they also couldn't conceive of being able to turn on the tap, pour a glass of water and drink it.

what a strange and amazing country that we get to call home!

and...if you don't have snow tires by can borrow mine!