Tag Archives: Jon Stewart

Weekend Reading

Here’s another edition of weekly reading! I hope you find something worth clicking.

Rachel Strohm has a series of Hipstamatic photos from Ghana, replete with advertising, nationalism, education, and more. Feel free to click the stadium to see the whole series.

A funny and witty critique of the aid dollar naysayers – why you shouldn’t donate your bras.

This is a few weeks old, but it’s worth linking to. The World Trade Center as portrayed in comic books.

A course in U.S. military history reveals the challenges of military life – and the need for better programs and policies for returning veterans.

What these students needed was personal catharsis, but I am not a trained psychologist. What these students craved was the opportunity to express their anger or pain, but my class was not the place to do it.

Student veterans are not a homogeneous lot, and I would never use a broad brush to paint them all as unstable or troubled, but any reasonably observant person could see that beneath their quiet demeanor, politeness, and deference, some were visibly scarred. Students find me accessible, and I listened sympathetically to each one. I feel for these young people and what they have endured. Many shared photos and stories with me, and some showed me their physical scars. My heart goes out to them, but a course in military history is not an appropriate place for a therapy session. Since I foresee no diminution of this problem, and indeed believe it will intensify significantly over the next decade, I have decided that I can no longer teach the course.

My classroom experience suggests that universities must intensify their search for ways to help our student veterans and their loved ones confront their emotional distress rather than leave those tasks to academics who lack the appropriate professional training. I can’t imagine a more important university priority.

Did the native inhabitants of Easter Island really commit ecological suicide? Here’s a busted myth.

How Whole Foods “primes” you to shop (although just about every grocery store does a lot of this).

Mother Jones has a list of some of the gutsiest student newspapers, which has some interesting stories in it.

I’m assuming you’ve read at least one article about children growing up with autism. There’s a great read at NYT about adults with autism.

Esquire has a really interesting profile on Jon Stewart (you should read the whole thing) that has this to say:

Kids who couldn’t sleep at night worrying that their president was a bad guyand that their country was doing bad things could now rest easy knowing that their president was just a dick, and that their country, while stupid, was still essentially innocent. It was like you could get upset about what was going on but still live your life, because there was Jon Stewart right before bedtime, showing you how to get upset entertainingly, how to give a shit without having to do anything about it.

When he protests that he’s a comedian, he’s not escaping from the collective fantasy. He’s feeding it. The collective fantasy, you see, is not just about Jon Stewart, it’s about America, especially liberal America, and its need for redeemers to rise out of its ranks. Jon Stewart’s just a comedian the way gunslingers in old westerns are really peaceable sodbusters who hate all that bloodshed and all that killin’ but finally have to strap on them six-guns and march on into town.

What matters is that even when Stewart’s a dick, he is never the dick. It is Stewart’s unique talent for coming across as decent and well-meaning when he’s bullying and hectoring and self-righteous. And this is because his talent is not just for comedy and not just for media criticism or truth-telling; it’s for being — for remaining — likable.

Three days before a crucial election, Jon Stewart had stood in America’s most symbolic public space and given a speech to two hundred thousand people. The speech wasn’t about his need to be a player or his need for power or his need for influence. It wasn’t about getting out the vote or telling people to vote in a certain way. It was about Jon Stewart — about his need for another kind of out. For years, his out had been his comedy. Now it was his sincerity — his evenhandedness, his ability to rise above politics, his goodness.

In Somalia, al Shabab had a contest for kids with prizes including AK-47s and hand grenades. Thelatest scary fact about al Shabab.

An analysis of some the museums of Vilnius, Lithuania.

The Santa Cruz Police Department is using algorithms to predict crime. Could give a whole new meaning to “wrong place, wrong time.”

The recession and how it hits community colleges.

Charles Larson, on Right-Wing Terrorism in the U.S.:

Tax cuts, unfunded wars, lax oversight of banks and Wall Street, the massive redistribution of wealth in the country trickling upward (against gravity) from the middle class to the upper class (particularly the super elite)—all these events combined over several decades have done significantly more damage to the United States than the terrorism on 9/11.  Even the three thousand plus deaths on that day cannot equal the suicides of traumatized veterans and of the newly poor, the havoc brought to a generation of children living in broken homes, in families where jobs have been lost, and the tens of thousands of people now living in sub-standard housing or on the streets.

Apparently if you charge $1 for non-patrons to use the restroom,you’ll end up in a fight and getting arrested.

I’m glad somebody else noticed the utter lack of women writers at the Emmy’s.

And also why we should keep talking about why there aren’t more women in Silicon Valley.

One of Ten Myths about Affirmative Action:

As many as 15 percent of freshmen at America’s top schools are white students who failed to meet their university’s minimum standards for admission, according to Peter Schmidt, deputy editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education. These kids are “people with a long-standing relationship with the university,” or in other words, the children of faculty, wealthy alumni and politicians.

According to Schmidt, these unqualified but privileged kids are nearly twice as common on top campuses as Black and Latino students who had benefited from affirmative action.


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