News has broken today of groundbreaking for a town to be called Doggy Sparrow in South Carolina. Doggy Sparrow will be located near Love Angel Valley where in 2002 the obscure Wrong Sisters established a cemetery for deniers of global warming. Wilma Wrong, (Olive Wrong’s sister) was quoted as saying “This here cemetery is for them folks who like us who don’t believe in progress. Damnit, we like to be backwards. Here in Doggy Sparrow everyone will go underground head first! ‘Cause that’s the part they used most in life.”
The tabloids may test the limits of the ethically or legally acceptable, but they are often doing so in the service of a popular desire to see behind the facade of public life. They rely on the appeal (a very human one) of seeing elements of our societies that are often shamefully hidden away from view.The tabloids are the newspapers most dutifully dedicated to ideas of exposure, and are willing to take risks in the service of that goal. It may be the case that much of what they expose is perhaps of little social import, but this is more a matter of taste, and the tabloids certainly never claimed to be tasteful. Certainly the fact that the American tabloids first broke important news stories, like the extramarital affair ofJohn Edwards, the former United States senator and Democratic vice-presidential nominee, suggests that they are not merely peddling insignificant gossip.Watching the painfully choreographed, and highly policed, red-carpet arrival of Prince William and Kate Middleton at a recentLos Angeles polo matchreminded me why intrusive journalistic tactics are often called upon. They exist to break down the barriers of access that keep social elites at a remove from ordinary people. The tabloids, throughout history, on both sides of the Atlantic, have been predicated on chipping away at that division. They play a fundamental role in democratic cultures, especially in societies characterized by the pull between the demands of a mass society and the persistence of social and economic inequality.
Agreed. The problem lies not in the nature of the tabloids themselves but in the corresponding failure of the broadsheet media (e.g. The London Times) to hold business to the same standard the tabloids hold individuals. Finding out about John Edwards’ extramarital affairs is good for democracy, but so too is bringing down Murdoch/News International for failing to investigate the wrongdoings of large businesses such as News International itself. What this scandal really reveals is the way in which economics and the power of business impedes democracy.
To criticize movie violence is the surest way to be branded a scold, a moralist, a worrywart who refuses to understand that movies are not real. As someone who often revels in the visceral thrills of cinematic action and the bloodthirsty satisfactions of dramatic vengeance, I’m not inclined to fit that stereotype. But I also think that the uncritical defense of brutality on film, especially of the unimaginative, half-jokey sadism that drives this latest superhero movie, can be evasive and irresponsible. It also disturbs me that, unlike naughty language or sexuality, violence is rarely seen as scandalous these days.
Indeed. Your children would be far better off watching pornography than in watching the gruesome violence of this film.
My article on Willougbhy’s Apology in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility has been published.
Jane Austen is My Home Girl had this to say:
The most recent edition of Persuasions On-Line (the journal published by the Jane Austen Society of North America) features a very interesting article about Willoughby’s apology in Sense & Sensibility….
check it out.
What is your favorite pun in the works of Jane Austen? My own has got to be in Chapter 19 of Sense and Sensibility when Sir John Middleton says of Marianne “her instrument is open.” How many puns can you find in Jane Austen’s works? Which ones are the best?
Today is a great day for word and literature lovers the world over. George the “misunderestimated” is leaving office. The man who more than any other has made a virtue of stupidity will be gone forever, hopefully never to be heard from again.