There are several reasons that I am an attorney instead of an English professor (my original plan). A relatively minor reason that I don’t usually mention is the dominance of multiculturalism in the academy as a lens for talking about and judging literature and culture generally.
What I mean by “multiculturalism” is a particular kind of intense focus on race, gender, class, nationality, sexuality, and other categories that might make a person a minority, and the ways in which cultures construct and deploy these categories (generally in ways that disadvantage the minority). Anyone who has studied English literature at today’s universities should understand what I mean. But so should anybody familiar with the rhetoric of certain liberal politicians, some of whom (for instance) have recently assumed it unnecessary to make any substantial explanation of why they deem it deeply wrong for Joe Biden to have had collegial relationships with segregationist senators. Continue reading →
It had been a month now. An entire month of 60- to 70-hour work weeks, coming in on weekends, and I knew that until this project was finished, it would continue like this. Being fairly new in my career I felt I had to put in the hours to do my part, and so, after another long work day, my feet aching, I drove up to our apartment in the dusk, the following phrase ringing in my mind:
“By the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat thy bread, all the days of thy life.”
According to Genesis, these are the words God says to Adam and Eve, and to us as their collective children as He drives them out of the blissful Garden of Eden.
Even in a digital age, when automated machinery does a lion’s share of the ‘sweating,’ here we still are working long work hours at jobs that we don’t necessarily see as our lives (why else would we call it ‘work/life’ balance?). But how do we truly find a balance between the necessity of work and the necessity of giving to our family and friends? How do we remain diligent at work when our nine-to-five job is an odd formula that doesn’t always fit the needs of home? Continue reading →
After seeing the final iteration of The Hobbit saga, my wife joked with me that Peter Jackson must have called George Lucas for advice—think about it. Who else would you ask about how to make a second trilogy that was actually a prequel to the first trilogy but had a younger audience demographic in mind? I mean, imagine the conversation:
“The first thing you have to realize, Peter, is that your fan base in finicky and won’t want more of the same. To keep their interest you’ll have to add more spectacle, less plot, a few cartoony characters, and a contrived love story with horrendous dialogue developed between action sequences. Continue reading →