Sunday, February 02, 2014

CCOAs, art-vs.-artists, and grocery-guilt

-Flavia, who I understand has a new book out (congrats!), also has a blog post that I, unsurprisingly, endorse in full, and not just because of the h/t at the end. (I do remain proud of that template.) She gets at two key points regarding conservative critiques of academia: 1) the CCOA-perpetuated myth that academics no longer know or care about canonical texts, and 2) well, let's just quote Flavia:

[A[s someone who works on an earlier period, I've long noticed that conservative critics who inveigh against the teaching of pop culture, ephemera, women and minority writers (and so on) do not take quite the same position when it comes to very minor writers who happen to be part of the establishment. So, early modern ballads, sermons, and the works of fifth-rate playwrights are so interesting and so worthwhile and even an important work of recovery (because: OUR HERITAGE!), but Mary Wroth and Margaret Cavendish--nevermind Toni Morrison, August Wilson or The Sopranos--aren't important enough or central enough to the culture.
-While I probably covered all I needed to and then some (it's upsetting, so I babble) re: the Woody Allen debacle in the post below, I will nevertheless add this: there are no Brownie points for having never really liked the work of someone who turns out to be/to do something despicable. Having never much liked Galliano's clothing designs or Michael Richards's Kramer doesn't make you some kind of amazing judge of character who just knew all along, from their art, that these people had terribleness inside just waiting to get out. This is in response to all the people chiming in, 'well I never liked his movies,' as if that's somehow relevant. If there's a moral quandary here, it's what to do if you do like the artist's work.

-Whole Foods, I know, I know. If you don't want the liberal-guilt shopping experience, why go? But it was on the way home, and there's kind of a car-oil situation, and it's Sunday, so this wasn't the moment to try anything geographically inessential like Wegmans or, where I really wanted to go, H-Mart in Edison. And this is what gets to me: they ask you at Whole Foods if you want to donate your bag refund, and ask this without specifying to what entity. Now I promise I'm not a terrible person. I went to my usual Sunday volunteering despite not knowing what that would mean for the oiliness or lack thereof of whichever internal parts of the car. And my grievance here is obviously with the company policy, not this particular cashier. But my default response to a super-vague request for a donation is always going to be no. (I could take this in a Feelings Essay direction, and hold forth on how disappointed in me this cashier surely was, how she's no doubt still thinking about this, but will leave it there.)

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