“So as to give them courage we must teach people to be shocked by themselves.”

Monthly Archives: March 2010


Happy Spring Break. Remember there’s no class on Thursday or Friday as I am taking strategic furlough days.

Coffeetime (AMS179, HUM470)

Kerouac reads from The Subterraneans to David Bowie while Jackson Pollock Paints:


Alex Chilton just died. He hit big as singer for the Box Tops, especially “The Letter”– recorded when he was 16

then went on to found Big Star, a band that had a powerful influence on subsequent alt/indy rock. Here’s “September Gurls”:

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Presentation (AMS 179)

Please specify who is in your group (first names only OK) and the nature of your topic. Remember topics should be fairly developed (i.e. “music” is not sufficient as a subject for a presentation). Those of you who weren’t in class on Thursday might use the comments section of this post to get in touch with your comrades.

Tuesday Apr. 6

1. Video games & virtual reality


Thursday Apr. 8

1. Stephen King

2. Childbirth

Tuesday Apr. 13

1. Marijuana in the Movies

2. Superheroes

Thursday Apr. 15

1. Music of the 1960s

2. Anti-war music of the 1960s.

Fess Parker (AMS179)

Fess Parker– possibly the only US actor to play both Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett– died recently.

Taking five from “defending the Alamo” (i.e. invading Mexico) for a sing along. That’s Buddy Ebsen (aka Jed Clampitt) singing with him.

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A Question (AMS179)

Somebody from AMS179 sent me an email. It seems like a fair question:

Why is it that everything that pertains to popular culture is negative. This is the most cynical class I’ve ever been in. There is nothing positive that comes out of popular culture. Have you ever noticed that?

Rather than responding immediately, I’d like to turn the question over to the rest of the class.

Odds and ends (HUM415)

Here’s a very brief interview with a Talib fighter on Al Jazeerah:

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Subterraneans (HUM470)

The commodification of Beatitude. Gap ad circa 1996 (?): “Kerouac wore khakis.” (But then so did Hitler).

Remember when we talked about the difference between Racism and Racialism? Though both of these ideologies link racial “essence” to the body, where Racism does so in order to place some races over others Racialism is not necessarily hierarchical. So, for instance, early in Du Bois’s career he posited the Racialist idea that “the Negro” possessed gifts unique to himself the exercise of which would ultimately benefit humanity as a whole. This, as opposed to, say, Thomas Dixon, whose novel The Clansman (part of the Ku Klux Klan trilogy which included The Leopard’s Spots and The Traitor) also locates race-based essences in both whites (“Anglo-Saxons”) and African Americans which clearly vindicate the cultural logic of White Supremacy.

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Pakistan (HUM415)

Students preparing for war in East Pakistan (Bangladesh).


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Neoliberalism as Water Balloon (HUM415)

For those interested, here’s a short video by Tim McCaskell on “Neoliberalism as Water Balloon


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