What Was Your English Class Like?

3418685_orig When I was studying literature, in High School and at the University, we had a very clear line between was constituted classic confirmed quality literature and what was, as one of my professors called it, entertainments (his quote was “Moby Dick is a novel, the rest are entertainments”). I recall my junior and senior High School English classes have a California State Board required ciriculum and at the same time extensive lists of more entertaining but still acceptable works.

So as a Junior I read Moby Dick, but I also read Lord of the Flies for extra-credit. As a Senior I read Hamlet and Oedipus and The Vicar of Wakefield, but also Battle Cry and Tom Jones and The Prize. It might be characteristic of the college English classes I selected but I never had time allotted by the teachers to read entertainments (those were for school breaks and summers on the beach).

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Galt and God

Ayn Rand

Back when I left home and entered the university I saw a notice on a bulletin board (the real cork kind) about what I believe then was called the New Romanticism. Since I was intending to concentrate on studying the Romantic poets (especially John Keats) I was ready for my first meeting of the New Romantics. Unfortunately I soon discovered that this was all a front for what Ayn Rand called Objectivism. It didn’t take too long to realize that the crap being handed out by the followers of Any Rand was directed towards the gullible and stupid people who were the precursors of the ME-ME-ME generation.

I read a portion of Rand’s works—Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead—and was appalled at how poorly written they were and how obvious their silliness was to anyone with any critical thinking skills. I dumped Any Rand immediately.

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Ayn Rand and Paul Ryan

This seems like a good summary of the policies and opinions the GOP Vice-Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, will bring to the national debate. I’ll just itemize them hear:  read the full discussion at Truthout.

Twelve Things You Should Know About Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan

Saturday, 11 August 2012 09:24
By Igor Volsky, ThinkProgress | Report

Mitt Romney has picked as his running mate 42 year-old Republican Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), the architect of the GOP budget, which the New York Times has described as “the most extreme budget plan passed by a house of Congress in modern times.” Below are 12 things you should know about Ryan and his policies:

  1. Embraces extreme individualism
  2. Raises taxes on the middle class, cuts them for millionaires
  3. Dramatically increases Medicare costs for seniors, increases eligibility age
  4. Leaves Social Security to the whims of Wall Street
  5. Budget would result in 4.1 million lost jobs in 2 years
  6. Eliminates Pell Grants for more more than 1 million students
  7. Keeps $40 billion in subsidies for Big Oil
  8. Family stands to benefit from oil subsidies
  9. Claimed Romneycare has led to “rationing and benefit cuts”
  10. Believes that Romneycare is “not that dissimilar to Obamacare”
  11. Accused generals of lying about their support for Obama’s military budget
  12.  Co-sponsored a personhood amendment.

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