The Whole World is Watching
Due to bad scheduling on my part, I'm not able to make it to Chicago, as planned, to take part in John Holbo's session on e-publishing, also featuring blogging mega-stars Adam Kotsko and Scott Eric Kaufman. I'm already far behind on a couple of things and travel would make it worse. Even if I would get to hang out with the blogging mega-stars.
(How I do love that expression. As the saying goes: In the blogosphere, everyone is famous to fifteen people.)
The session is part of the conference of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, which is sometimes called the cultural right's counter-institutional equivalent of the MLA. I'm not really sure this description is valid at any level.
A few years ago, I signed up for the ALSC listserv to get a feel for whatever the group might be offering as an alternative to the MLA. I then spent months trying to get unsubscribed. This had nothing to do with politics.
Discussion on the list consisted solely of personal feuds with no substantial content whatever. It was an endless, lackidasical, and utterly pointless round of exchanges in a pissing match between two or three guys who might have wanted to blame their problems on Marxist-feminist deconstructive nihilism, at some point, but seemed to hate each other at least as much as they did those Marxist-feminist deconstructive nihilists.
I had signed up expecting something like the conversation you could imagine between Russell Kirk and Hugh Kenner about T.S Eliot. Instead, it was pretty much Beavis and Butthead for people who'd read Dante.
At that point, I started entertaining the idea of joining ALSC to form a radical caucus. We could hold sessions on Lenin's essays on Tolstoy, maybe. The idea that the MLA is full of left wingers is, from what I have seen of things, a joke, unless you confuse certain forms of etiquette and demeanor with politics. And the notion that ALSC is some kind of right-wing alternative to it is not much more credible, since it has no power and, worse, no real program.
The only thing the group has going in its favor is that it has somehow turned into an appendage of The Valve. Frankly that blog does more for ALSC than ALSC could ever do for it.
Man, do I wish I were in Chicago.
AJ BlogsAJBlogCentral | rss
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog