This Fortnight on the Internet (6/28-7/11)

I certainly haven’t been doing a good job of keeping up with the Internet, have I? What follows is a report of the web since my last installment, and after this I will try to stay more on top of things until the end of the month, when I’m taking off to foreign parts again.

Required Reading
The UK Home Office evinced disastrous hypocrisy last week, running a float in the London Pride parade but not caring enough about real human rights to heed asylum requests from gay people being persecuted in the Middle East. A Stonewall (UK LGBT rights) report tallied the homophobia in asylum decisions; it’s clear that both the UK and the US have been less than dedicated to the cause of LGBT human rights in foreign countries, as I blogged at Campus Progress. Last week, happily, the UK Supreme Court ruled in favor of two gay men previously denied asylum, but Alicia, Dave, and others suggested that it is very much worth calling your member of Congress or MP about these critical human rights issues, and I strongly recommend that you do so.

A.O. Scott’s Twilight: Eclipse review is my favorite thing of Scott’s I’ve ever read, and the headline of the fortnight is, from the Globe and Mail, “Sir John A. Macdonald, Duke of Wellington dragged into a street fight.”

Below the fold: American and world politics, LGBT issues, academia, books and literary criticism, history, culture and cultural criticism, Emily’s world and research.
Continue reading “This Fortnight on the Internet (6/28-7/11)”

Two Weeks on the Internet (6/14-6/27); or, What Happened While I Was in France

My resolution to do “This Week on the Internet” posts stopped rather abruptly after the first one, when I took off for France on June 19. Now that I’m back, here’s two weeks’ worth of catch-up, and I’ll continue with this week’s news on Sunday as planned.

Required Reading
Dahlia Lithwick on Maher Arar and the responsibility of the U.S. government to right its wrongs is so, so important.

In other news, Alice drew my attention to an old PAW article from January about race at Princeton, which is required reading for all Princeton folks.

Somewhat more lightheartedly, Sesame Street has a Twitter account, and it’s the best thing.

Below the fold: American and world politics, queer/LGBT issues, academia, books, history and literary criticism, culture, and observations of a more personal nature.
Continue reading “Two Weeks on the Internet (6/14-6/27); or, What Happened While I Was in France”

This Week on the Internet (6/7-13)

I’m a very active presence on Facebook, constantly clogging 650-odd people’s newsfeeds with links and commentary about politics, literature/history/culture, academia, queer issues, and miscellany. Since I have some time this summer, I’m going to try to collate the week’s postings in this space, in a regular feature I’ll be calling “This Week on the Internet.” It will start with some required reading (whose necessity I’m in earnest about), and go from there. There will also be a “Links from Others” section, in which I will credit those who send me items by first name. If you would prefer not to have your first name listed here, or if you would like a link to your blog/site with your credit, just let me know. I hope to make this feature into a bit of a clip-show periodical, and I hope you’ll follow along!

Required Reading
The author’s mother passed on to her Mark Slouka’s article in Harper’s on antagonism towards the humanities in modern U.S. culture and politics, which generated a fair amount of discussion in the comments. The consensus was that, while Slouka’s overall points about the way in which STEM fields are favored as “more useful” at the humanities’ expense are right on, he seemed to also unfairly suggest that STEM fields aren’t important to a well-functioning society in their own right. The enthusiastic conversation that we need both sides of the coin was heartening in terms of ensuring the humanities’ continued survival!

Dahlia Lithwick wrote in Slate about David Souter’s Harvard commencement speech and the necessity of judicious jurisprudence. It’s a must-read which is well-complemented by Martha Nussbaum’s Globe and Mail plea for the humanities: good justices need to be good close-readers!

Though entirely frivolous, the headline “William Shatner makes plea for B.C.’s wild salmon was the funniest thing I’ve read this week.

Below the fold: American and world politics, Queer/LGBT issues, academia, books, history and literary criticism, culture, links from others, observations on my own reading/research.

Continue reading “This Week on the Internet (6/7-13)”

New Feature: Links!

So I know we have the Quote of the Day that doesn’t happen every day. And the two-clause post titles. And the posts that have nothing to do with the link or book or song or whatever that supposedly inspired them. And your twice- or thrice-weekly dose of The Latest Random Fact Related to Gay Male Writers. And Princtoniana ad nauseam. But what we don’t have are links! And lots of them!

Those of you who are my Facebook friends probably get your news feeds inundated with the links I post to Facebook several times a day. But not all of you are my Facebook friends, not all of you use Facebook, some of you probably removed me from your news feeds long ago because of ALL THOSE LINKS, and so every week (or, okay, probably not every week, but when I remember) I’m going to post a round-up of all the links I thought interesting enough to point out over the course of the week, with their original comments included. Without further ado, I present this week’s links!

  • And people wonder why I love the Chronicle Review so very much. Reader, it’s because of things like this.
  • Oh Towleroad. You really know how to write an entertainment headline.
  • I feel like this article isn’t one of the Crimson‘s better products.
  • Yay Canada!
  • Lolz.
  • This is a rather funny article that I would be quite interested to hear thoughts on. I mean, bravo to the BBC for running it, but. Obviously gay men are prone to sexism and misogyny just like anyone is, and historically gay culture has often been quite sexist. But I’d argue that manifests itself in different ways than the ones this article suggests. This article is suggesting that the jokes Norton or the general public make are homophobic, not sexist—at least, that’s my reading. And anti-lesbian homophobia is not something I’ve ever experienced from gay men, so I’m rather surprised to see it raised here. I mean, Graham Norton is also rather ridiculous. Is it specious (my new favorite word) of the Beeb writer to insinuate that he speaks for all gay men?
  • Celebrate Banned Books!
  • This is a bizarre and rather troubling story.
  • YES.
  • I can’t wait for this book!
  • I think this is probably in the top five things I’ve ever read in the Prince. I don’t agree with every word of it, but it’s well-argued and the prose is good. The last sentence especially.
  • Any chance some professor could take up the cause and import this class to Princeton?
  • This is interesting, but I’d add that gender and gender roles play just as important a part as religion. I think there’s a pattern in conservative woman activists of inconsistency between the women’s gender roles they preach and the extent to which they themselves exemplify those gender roles. Phyllis Schlafly is another example that springs to mind.
  • … and at Princeton? This article calls Dartmouth “the conservative Ivy,” but everything about its campus culture suggests that it’s, if not sex-positive, at least much less sex-negative than Princeton’s. At Dartmouth, it seems like sexuality and sex-positivity has a visibility that it simply doesn’t have at Princeton. Happily, there are folks here working to change that. Bit by bit, folks. Bit by bit.
  • Hair is one of my favorite cultural phenomena ever. That said, I think it’s interesting how marriage equality is the new “radical chic.” Do we think that’s what it means to be a hippie or a radical leftist in 2009?
  • This doesn’t sound good…
  • The Princeton crime report is one of my favorite things ever.
  • Can I just say how much I love Big Bird? Also the FLOTUS, but mostly Big Bird.
  • Historiann does a good job of highlighting the interesting passages from the interview in question.
  • This is great—particularly the footnote—and the comments are just as good.
  • Whoa. Oh academic freedom, you are a cruel mistress.
  • Hey check it out: there might be jobs in Australia!
  • I didn’t have the head for numbers to do more than skim this, but maybe some of you do. Thoughts?