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Dear friends,

My friend Nick put this video on twitter. It did my heart, my soul good. Revel in it:

Sean Taylor: Stand Up

Thousands and thousands of people, read their signs, imbibe their hope and spirit.

I had allowed myself to be roped into attempting to make a series of assignments for my students which would teach them sophisticated cynicism: what are the socializing, networking trends of a discipline, how one gets published for real and why is one way of interpreting what the GMU Powers that be are asking be done in required courses in order to make it look like college scholar-teachers are not only published, but their students are looking to do the same.

So decided to extend my assignments out of Bobbie Ann Mason's Girl Sleuth where she shows how corporate conglomerates have for decades produced reactionary anti-feminist, racist prurient texts for older children, adolescents, teenagers: now we are going to see how hierarchical militarist, fascist class, money, religion, colonialist otherings of huge portions of people around the globe (mostly non-white) is inculcated in books because it's to the advantage of the elite and military in the later 19th early 20th century (when one could still control distribution)..

I discovered on Friday that someone had put the whole of Bob Dixon's books on what is published as children's literature, Catching Them Young on the Net. I've written a blog-essay on it at Ellen and Jim have a blog, two.

For my part I did not before see the direct connections between Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and popular respected (in schools) fantasies for childen (Le Guin, L'Engle, Lord of the Rings. It's so cheering to read this sane book, from healthily social and cant-free man. In the perverted universe of these book, Mrs Sherwood's (excruciatingly bad) Little Henry and his Bearer Boosy. Little Boosy is brow-beaten, stigmatized and made to separate himself from his closest relatives and friends through prejudiced ideas about who gets into Heaven (white, conservative types) and he converts to Christianity and proceeds to abase and despise himself ever after; of course there's nothing he will not do for his white masters..

His sections on how women are mis-formed, pressured, given perversely self-abasing models are impeccable.

I did note how there is no life of him in the ODNB, how his books are not in print, how there are no scholarly or academic articles on him. Everyone keeps away from the genuinely good man.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Feb. 20th, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
Brilliant Ellen. Thanks. Gwyn
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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