“As a white male Baptist, it is my duty today to denounce the violence perpetrated by Patrick Gray Sharp, 29, who yesterday attacked the police headquarters in McKinney, Texas, in a heavily armed but ineffectual assault involving a high-powered rifle, road flares, “gasoline and ammonium nitrate fertilizer.”
I understand that this denunciation must be swift and unambiguous and that, in the absence of such denunciations made by and on behalf of every and all white male Baptists, others are entitled to assume that every white male Baptist is fully in agreement with the actions of Patrick Gray Sharp and to therefore deny white male Baptists the rights others enjoy.”
“If ten people are talking about urban fantasy, they’ll actually be talking about six different things. When I first started paying attention to things like sub-genre definitions (early 1990’s), the term urban fantasy usually labeled stories in a contemporary setting with traditionally fantastical elements–the modern folktale works of Charles de Lint, Emma Bull’s punk elf stories, the Bordertown series, and so on.
But the term is older than that, and I’ve also heard it used to describe traditional other-world fantasy set in a city, such as Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar stories. Vampire fiction (the books of Anne Rice, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and P.N. Elrod for example) was its own separate thing.
Lately I’ve been wondering–when did “urban fantasy” come to be used almost exclusively to describe anything remotely following in the footsteps of Buffy and Anita?”
“After a few years of watching the academic job market collapse into a seeming death spiral, I also started to wonder whether my “full disclosure” strategy of trying to scare off prospective graduate students was adequate. I started to entertain the possibility that if the problem was too many qualified applicants for too few jobs, then perhaps the responsible – even ethical – course of action would be for me to stop contributing to the oversupply of applicants.
So, a few weeks ago I revised my departmental web page to include the following statement: “Notice to prospective graduate students: I will not be accepting new students in my lab for the indefinite future.””
“The oppressed conservative student is a regular theme in the right’s critique of higher education. You know the stories — mocked for displaying the American flag or a Ronald Reagan bust, shouted down for suggesting that that Iraq war is just, always in fear of earning a low grade for criticizing affirmative action or some other widely held belief among the left-leaning campus majority.
Research presented here Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association affirmed that many conservative students feel that way, but also that many do not — and that the latter group in fact thrive on the very campuses that tend to be portrayed as hostile to them. “
“Which begs this question: what is the core audience of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World? Well, when I saw it this weekend, the members of the audience were mostly under 30 and (visually) equally distributed between stereotypical nerds and stereotypical hipsters. There were enough snarky T-shirts and chunky black-frame glasses to fill a coffee shop next to an Apple store.
But only enough of them to fill that one coffee shop — and this is the problem, commercially speaking. Nerds and hipsters love what they love, and, while they love it, they love it with the white-hot intensity of a thousand obsessive-compulsive suns (and when they stop loving it, they hate you for still loving it — but that’s another column entirely). But hipsters and nerds — and the occasional hipster nerds — aren’t in themselves a big enough audience to move the box-office needle any appreciable distance.”