Back in the MLA

As the humanities decline in the United States, the country is losing the craft of understanding, losing its capacity for citizenship. Even educated people are increasingly unable and unwilling to distinguish between fake and real information, becoming a community that cannot understand itself as anything more than a circulation of figures. Self-righteousness takes the place of substantive discussion. Narcissism and outrage become the dominant techniques of self-definition. And the cure…

Skin of Evil (TNG Rewatch, Season 1 Episode 23)

My rewatch reflection on the Star Trek:TNG episode “Skin of Evil,” in which the crew encounters a malignant oil slick. Some good character moments with Worf and Yar, and some good solo acting from Marina Sirtis as Troi psychoanalyzes a disembodied voice. While I appreciate the Roddenberrian argument against playing along with a power-mad enemy’s sick games, dramatizing a that philosophical concept is not enough to carry a full episode. If you’re a fan the final holodeck send-off scene is worth watching but overall it’s a weak episode.

Furious Trump orders officials to boycott correspondents’ dinner

Trump spent the morning insulting the news media on Twitter, calling MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough a “Psycho” and musing about New York Times reporters getting “down on their knees” to apologize to him after his 2020 re-election victory. Around the same time the president was tapping out those tweets, White House Cabinet Secretary Bill McGinley, who oversees the various cabinet agencies, assembled the chiefs of staff of those agencies and issued…

Elmo? Yes, I do mind. I learned far more from Bert.

Like plenty of people my age, I grew up watching Sesame Street. As a parent of kids born in 1998 and 2002, the dominance of Elmo was notable. We purchased a handful of videos and games, and regularly cycled through the videos and games at our library. I remember being disappointed that the other characters were getting sidelined to make room for more and more Elmo, whose stories skewed young. When…