Daily Archives: April 8, 2008



The passion for knowledge can be overwhelming.

Some folks have indicated they would like the opportunity to earn “extra credit”. (Others may yet express the same interest when papers are returned.) I have devised the following ONE TIME ONLY offer to meet that demand: 


Go to Marxists.org and find Theodore Adorno’s essay “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception.” You will need a hard copy of this article, so will likely have to cut/paste into a word document. Alternately, buy a copy of Dialectic of Enlightenment. Read the article, write a 1-2 page “take” on it, and be prepared to meet in a small group during my office hours for discussion.


Go to Marxists.org and find Louis Althusser’s essay “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses.” Same as above: you’ll need a hard copy (or you can buy Lenin and Philosophy). Read, write a 1-2 page “take”, and get ready to discuss.


More 300 (contcult)

On Monday I mentioned the notion that in the current “Clash of Civilizations” context the film version of Frank Miller’s 300 virtually begs to be taken as some sort of geopolitical allegory. Gary Leupp, a professor at Tufts,  has written on this issue, as have many, many others. Whether or not 300 represents the apotheosis of Hollywood homoeroticism has also been addressed in Nathan Lee’s “Man on Man Action” and elsewhere. Indeed, a keyword search of google using the terms “300” and “homoerotic” will get you over a quarter of a million hits not to mention gems like this:

After the hard work of unraveling Belsey and entering the dark chamber, we can, perhaps, luxuriate in the suds of Pop– never for a moment, however, allowing our critical faculties to go slack. To that end I highly recommend that you peruse the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on Iran. We’ll need that background as we move from the 5th century BCE to the 20th century CE.