Saturday, August 26, 2006

For the Money: #10 of Top Ten Worst Reasons For Going To Graduate School In The Humanities

Harrogate realizes that this one's so obvious to everyone considering entering the field, that it probably merits no elaboration whatever. Yet, because humanities professors tend to own houses, as well as cars made within five years, and they for the most part seem to know their way around airports, and the like, Harrogate could see how a cautionary word or two might be in order.

Simply remember this. Consider those who enjoy the most material success as a result of being a humanities professor at a major institution. Take their work ethic, their talent, intellect, and ingenuity, and factor this in with their willingness to put up with b.s. generally, and then enter those elements into a business endeavor of almost any kind, and you wind up with so much more material reward, and so much less loan burden along the way, that it's infinitely more mind boggling than the fact that Pluto has suddenly been stripped of planetary status (it has been stripped, that is, at least untl the steroids allegations are cleared up--Pluto continues to maintain it is not, nor has ever been, juiced, but whatever).

In forthcoming posts Harrogate will elaborate on the nine other, far more seductive and thus pervasive worst reasons for getting a doctorate in the humanities. Until then, gentle humans, take care. Take care.

Friday, August 25, 2006

For Solon: Bret Hull Was In The Crease

OK, one more and then Harrogate will refrain from YouTube for a bit. But this one's been bothering Harrogate for more than seven years, now. Indeed, it is something Harrogate the only moderately enthusiastic hockey fan will take to his grave. That, of course, and one smokin' body.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Triple H Entrance Backyard

Harrogate is breaking back into the blogging business slowly, after a week off whilst visiting with family. So, to follow in the tradition of the already-controversial _Basic Instinct_ parody he posted earlier, here is a great parodic/tributary treatment of the great Triple H, one that foregrounds the concept rhetoricians refer to as Register. Enjoy, fellow humans. Enjoy.
Heh, heh

Two Thumbs Up?

As I was watching the Colbert Report last night, the new 9/11 movie, WORLD TRADE CENTER, was advertised during a commercial break. As is typical for such spots, the studio acknowledges critics who praise the movie: "The best film of the summer," "A Masterpiece," blah, blah, blah. Even though I haven't seen the movie or heard too much about it, I began to wonder if less-than-positive reviews are possible. I mean, it is about 9/11. And even if the film is nothing more than a trite and mawkish story of American heroism, it's still about 9/11. Accordingly, will it receive anything but praise? Given the subject matter of the movie, it might prove too difficult for critics and moviegoers to berate the movie for fear of seeming unpatriotic or unsympathetic to the events of 9/11.

In a lot of ways, it might be similar to PASSION OF THE CHRIST. While I did not think it was a particularly good movie, nearly everyone I talked to loved it. (I don't recall how the critics weighed in.) I tend to believe, however, that most of these people were responding to subject matter over artistry. As good Christians, perhaps they *had* to be moved by the film, for to criticize the movie was to criticize their religion. Similarly, those who watch WORLD TRADE CENTER will most likely love it, for conservative rhetoric today will have them feeling un-American if they don't.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

College Football May Be Exciting But...

The New York Timesdiscusses the growing trend in College Football: weak teams play strong teams for the money. The University of Buffalo, will play Auburn and Wisconsin this year. The probability of UB beating either team is smaller than the probability of GWB admitting a mistake or the Conservative Congress controlling spending. Yet, even though UB will suffer total humiliation and AUburn and Wisconsin will receive a bump in the polls due to the blow-outs, UB still schedules the game. Why? There are $750,000 reasons why.

The NCAA allow schools to schedule 12 games, which will enable schools to make more money on home games. But rather than schedule a decent opponent that will offer a competitive game, Auburn students will have the luxury of watching UB play. This seems to be the growing trend around the league. Texas will play Sam Houston State on 9/30; Penn State plays Youngstown State (I-AA ) on 9/16. Miami (FL) plays Florida A&M (I-AA team) on 9/9.

Rather than purchase textbooks or other items related to education, students will pay for sports passes, which at some schools seem insanely high for quality or product and quality of experience but are necessary for the social coercion in the culture of the university. Student athletes (or just athletes) spend more time at practices, etc., rather than in the classroom or working (how is it that student atheltes do not need to work though almost every other student needs to work to afford a college education?) to earn some cash for the semester. At some point, will any University admit that football or basketball players are not students idurng the semester in which their sport plays and let them (1) be athletes in season and students in the off-season or (2) just pay the atheletes a fraction of what it makes from "using" them to make money or (3) just admit that the university is just a business and no longer in the business of education but rather just a farm system for major sports teams.

But, on the bright side, my school has a brand new scoreboard, on top of their brand new practice facilities, and on top of their coach, whom earns $2,000,000 or so for leading a average team, to an average record, in a BCS division. The last "major" victory the school won was back in 2002. Yet- I always have something to talk about with my class when they do not read their assigned work.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Spinnin' the Vinyl

As some of you already know from offline discussions, I recently purchased a turntable and re-entered the world of vinyl music. There are many vinyl enthusiasts out there who would say that my choice is a good one, as analog technology reproduces music more naturally, accurately, and musically than the CD. Those in the digital camp would argue just the opposite, claiming that CD technology is superior to vinyl because it eliminates the "pops" and "clicks" of analog records and because CDs are ultimately more convenient. Both arguments seem accurate to me.

While I don't want this post to turn into another "Analog vs. Digital" debate, I do want to point out one advantage of vinyl, a point that is rarely discussed in such arguments: the value that vinyl presents to music lovers. I drove down to campus today for a training seminar. On my way out of town, I swung by Half Price Books to check out their used record collection. Nearly every record was $1.99. And there were some good ones. I walked away with some really great albums, including Rod Steward's Foot Loose & Fancy Free, which I'm listening to right now. It’s sexy!

Half Price isn't the only place selling records at these prices. There are many more, especially if you head into Austin. I tend to purchase a lot of music, so my turntable will likely pay for itself in no time. What’s more, I already seem more apt to consider new and different music. Instead of buying the stuff with which I’m most familiar, I now find myself taking some risks. Heck, I can’t go wrong at $1.99. And if I do, I could always sell the album back to the store. Apparently these places also buy used records.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday Night Raw Open Thread

Harrogate's family is in town visiting this week, so, slightly unhappily, but not surprisingly, but perhaps not too predictably, he will not be live blogging tonight's installment Monday Night Raw. Depicted here, Harrogate here preserves his current refrain of homaging great wrestlers from the past, again via the four horsemen, albeit during the mid 90s. From right to left, we have Arn Anderson (at this point relegated to managerial and shit-talking duties), Chris Benoit, Steve Mongo McMichael, Ric Flair, and Dean Malenko.

Next Monday The Rhetorical Situation will continue live blogging Raws, and will provide an abbreviated discussion of all that has transpired, so that all readers are up to speed.

Meanwhile, here is a place for readers to ventilate themselves upon the mythological cacophony that is professional wrestling.

Take care, gentle souls. Take care.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I hate Bluetooth technology

Intellectual property for sale

I heard on the radio the other day that the intellectual property rights for the entire Jimi Hendrix music catalog (including a lost and never-before-released single) is going up for auction in the fall. Hearing this didn't sit well with me. The idea that someone can sell off these rights for tons of money just sort of seems wrong to me.

Jimi's music was Jimi's property. And upon his death, he should be able to pass those rights down to his family. The family should be the only people who are allowed to own those rights. They shouldn't be able to sell them to the highest bidder. Something here just seems wrong to me. And I don't know why. Maybe it's because of what happened to part of the Beatle's catalog. That Michael Jackson now owns part of Paul McCartney's intellectual achievements is just plain wrong. All because Jacko had more money.

Once the rights leave the family, they should go into the public domain. Again, I have no good argument for this. It just sits better in my gut.

On the other hand, I read yesterday that the seller of Jimi's catalog has named fourteen charities as beneficiaries of his estate. This means that all the money from the auction will eventually go to the Asthma Research Council, the Leukemia Research Fund, The Salvation Army, and the eleven other charities. After hearing this, the auction now somehow seems okay.