Life is tough for white people in America. A few hundred years of presumed superiority have left many of them psychologically unable to deal with failure, trapped in a cycle of victimhood where their own shortcomings can only be understood as evidence of persecution against them. So we have Abigail Fisher, 23 years old, and the plaintiff in Fisher v. University of Texas, which is currently being weighed by the Supreme Court.
Claude Levi-Strauss is familiar to anyone who took Anthropology 101 as the most important anthropologist of the 20th century and a father of structuralism, the theoretical forebear to post-structuralism, post-modernism, deconstruction and all that weird subversive French philosophy your parents warned you about. Which may explain why the FBI spent close to a decade spying on him in the 1940s.
Biologist, philosopher, and atheist prophet Richard Dawkins really put his foot in it. The New Statesman says Dawkin's career as a public intellectual is kaput. The Atlantic Wire has him losing a flame-war against his very own fan base. In the blogosphere, the most devoted Dawkinsians—people who've spent their adult lives in adoration of his every utterance—are boycotting his books and calling him a buffoon. A classist, male chauvinistic, and potentially racist buffoon. And why?
Some academics claim that the words "pet" and "owner" are insulting to animals, and might even affect how they're treated. So from now on, please start using the term "companion animal," instead of the p-word, when referring to Binky/Mr. Winkles/whatever the fuck embarrassing name you gave the poor creature. You're not Andy Capp, after all—you're a "human carer."
Hunter College, the luxury brand Coach, fraudulent PR campaigns, and dishonest corporate collaboration with academia are the topics of the day today. Important topics! Adweek has just come out with a long investigative piece on a Coach-sponsored PR class at Hunter, which reeks of impropriety and dishonesty, and ended up tangling a bunch of college kids up in a fake online PR blog that makes them all look like a bunch of shady, dishonest undercover marketing hacks. "I knew a lot of hell would break loose about the class. And it did," said the teacher. Indeed. The condensed version of the whole sordid tale, after the jump.
"College students today enter a low hook-up culture when they leave the classroom," warns Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield in his WSJ review of the newest overwrought book about college kids fucking. "In case you don't know, a hook-up is a brief sexual encounter between two partners who don't necessarily know each other before and who don't necessarily want to know each other after." Sounds costly. "And it's free." Well, that's a bonus! "The sort of transient sex that once was available to men only for money can now be had, without paying, from college women - as long as the man is a fellow student and minimally artful about his approach." Good lord, is that new? I don't remember that. "If he is thwarted in one overture, he may try another with a reasonable prospect of success." That, sadly, is just the intro paragraph.
Last week, the NYT Book Review gave a page to MuggleNet's What Will Happen In Harry Potter 7. Today, as discussed, they reviewed the autobiography of Ron Jeremy. It is a fun little paper, the NYTBR. But the professors over at The New Republic's education blog are not amused. America, they say, is in urgent need of a new book review. Who will review Richard Rorty and Pascal Engel's What's the Use of Truth? Who will meditate on Dale Zacher's The Scripps Newspapers Go to War, 1914-18? Whoooo?