I remember being an English major at a Big 12 school in the mid-’90s. This was an agriculture- and engineering-heavy school where liberal arts departments were isolated in a building that permanently smelled like paint thinner. Whenever I’d tell people I was an English major, they’d look incredulous and say “What are you going to do with that? Teach?” Like in the same tone you’d say, “What are you going to do with that? Trade blowjobs for meth?” Good times!
I was an English major at a pretty agriculture- and engineering-heavy school myself, so I know the feeling. Even my undergraduate advisor told me, “You know, you really can’t get a job with this degree.” (My advisor within the English department was a lot more encouraging, but I met with him all of once, the day I declared, and he left Penn State around the time I graduated. So take from that what you will.)
While the climate crisis gathers front-page attention on a regular basis, people–even those who profess great environmental consciousness–continue to eat fish as if it were a sustainable practice. But eating a tuna roll at a sushi restaurant should be considered no more environmentally benign than driving a Hummer or harpooning a manatee. In the past 50 years, we have reduced the populations of large commercial fish, such as bluefin tuna, cod, and other favorites, by a staggering 90 percent. One study, published in the prestigious journal Science, forecast that, by 2048, all commercial fish stocks will have “collapsed,” meaning that they will be generating 10 percent or less of their peak catches. Whether or not that particular year, or even decade, is correct, one thing is clear: Fish are in dire peril, and, if they are, then so are we.
Almost half of British consumers have lied to their friends about seeing a classic film to avoid the embarrassment of admitting ignorance of great movies.
I’m reminded — as it seems I often am, often enough that I should probably get around to reading the book — of the literary parlor game described here, where everybody one-ups each other with all the books they haven’t read. (The “winner is an American professor who, in a rousing display of one-downmanship, finally announces that he’s never read Hamlet.”)
For the record, of the “top ten classic films people most lie about seeing,” I’ve seen all but one of them. Can you guess which one I haven’t seen? [via]
As I’ve said a whole bunch of times, the “competition” for those of us in traditional media industries—book publishing, broadcasting, newspapers and magazines—is no longer other book publishers, broadcasters, or newspapers and magazines. Instead, our “competition” is now the plain fact that, even if you stipulate that 99.9% of the for-free internet is worthless nonsense, the remaining 0.1% is large enough to absorb anyone’s attention full-time for the rest of their life. For anyone with an internet connection, running out of interesting things to read is completely a thing of the past.