Saturday, December 06, 2003

Short Readings For Snowy Days

Nice work from The Onion this week, almost missed in the haste of a new term's beginning. Especially recommended, and of possible interest to my usual and diverse readership: front page fake trendtracker sidebar What We Are Looking Up In The Encyclopedia; College Freshman Cycles Rapidly Through Identities; New Alternate-Reality Series Puts 12 Strangers On Island Where South Won Civil War. And fave weekly features Savage Love and Pathetic Geek Stories, as well as an excellent review of a new Johnny Cash release, from The Onion A.V. Club.

Still chuckling about Rejected Titles for Hymns from the lists list at McSweeneys. Hours of fun here, great for snowed-in reading.

Interested in something a bit more serious but no less engrossing? Try this debate about the role of the artist in society featuring Thom Yorke, bandleader of Radiohead, and people's historian Howard Zinn, recently republished at Utne. (Disclaimer: I went to high school with Leif Utne, current Utne editor and son of the original founders; we used to hang with some of the same crowd, though he was much taller.)

And, for those interested in the progress of my Modern American Culture class (hi, mom!), this weekend's homework includes some web-available reading, too: an overview of the fifties and sixties, and one of several assigned speeches from In Our Own Words: Extraordinary Speeches of the American Century, Nixon's "Checkers" speech (mp3), available online at speech supersite American Rhetoric. The students are expected to write a one to two page typed response to these readings which answers the question If we take these texts as protoypical or paradigmatic of the values of the American era we call "the fifites," what were the values of this era? What were these values defined in opposition to?, but snow makes me magnanimous; feel free to skip the essay if you're not enrolled.

posted by boyhowdy | 1:54 PM |

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