or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, July 30, 2010

Blow Up

From a recent Slate article on the Zeitgeistiness of American TV:

American television has long stood in for American education. TV "shows" us how to live, how to survive in an office and a family, how to train our dogs and cook our food. How to successfully date, marry, and disarm nuclear devices.

I don't watch much in the way of television, but I would absolutely watch a show that showed me how to go on dates with a nuclear device, marry it, and then disarm it. You know, just in case.

Wait. The US government won't let two men marry one another, but it will allow a citizen to marry a radioactive weapon?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Matters of Principle

After having ranted for the last five-plus years about the more or less complete lack of editorial oversight in the modern publishing industry, including online publishing, I guess my heart just isn't in it any more: I have come across dozens of examples in the last few weeks, and couldn't even be bothered to think about them any further, let alone mention them. But this Slate article about the firing of teachers shouldn't go uncommented-upon.

Some principles should blame themselves for their problems. Among schools that maintain binary evaluation systems—rating a teacher as either satisfactory or unsatisfactory—more than 99 percent of teachers receive the positive rating. Surveys have suggested that principles give good reviews to bad employees in the hope that they will find another job and leave voluntarily.

A writer who doesn't know the difference between "principle" and "principal". A writer who is writing an article about education. Excellent.