Tag Archives: A Commonplace Blog

It’s hard to leave Texas

D.G. Meyers, the online editor of Commentary Magazine, who once taught English lit at Texas A&M, but now lives and works in Ohio:

“My four kids are Texans. For twenty years I was an interloper in Texas—an Orthodox Jew who lived without benefit of barbecue. I’ve only been gone nine months now, and I miss the hell out of the place. None of my exes live in Texas, but I left my heart there.”

His A Commonplace Blog is a great stop for new (and old) book advice.

Try as they may, A&M can’t change the Ags

One of my old girlfriends is an Aggie, one of the first, in fact, to co-educate the place, and I’ve always admired her pluck.

D.G. Myers’s farewell to all that, in leaving teaching at Texas A&M, files includes this regret:

“But what I will miss, far more than anything else, are the Aggies. They endure many jokes at their expense as if they were the Polacks of the academic world. Even Larry McMurtry, in ‘Moving On,’ could not resist a crack about an Aggie and his tractor.

Aggies are badly misunderstood, however. It is true they are not sophisticated, and it is true they are overwhelmingly Evangelical Christian and politically conservative, although the administration has done everything in its power to alter the makeup of the student body and bring A&M into conformity with every other unexceptionally Leftist university in the country. Aggies remain unique, proudly different.”

Don’t miss his funny story of the Ag-with-toothpick who discovers—to his horror—that he actually understands sophisticated literary ideas.

(I neglected to post about it at the time, but I was delighted when the Ags beat the Longhorns this year. The Horns stunk up the state this season and they deserved to be put in their place for it. And nobody is better at that than A&M.)

The disappearance of military service

I would not especially care to see the return of the Draft, which was inequitable before and likely would be again, but it would at least spread the burden among more of the educated than volunteering does now, to the detriment of all:

“The loss of the martial virtues weakens an entire culture. Whole generations begin to rate themselves too special, ‘with a special kind of hide to be saved,’ as Gen. Savage puts it in Twelve O’Clock High, to risk their careers, let alone their lives, for their country.”

Insight from an academic blogger who burned his draft card back in the day and now regrets his youthful arrogance. At least he’s not a wannabee lying about serving when he didn’t.

Why literary fiction is following the legacy media in decline

Because reading it:

“means that I don’t mind listening to people yapping incessantly about how terrible America is, and how terrible Bush is, and did you know America was once a slave-holding nation, and O what about the Native Americans, don’t forget them….

“and it means that I ought to covet urban apartments filled with fine objects and cool gadgets and unusual cookbooks that I won’t find on Amazon and no children, and it means that the best people know nothing whatever about cars or guns or tools or how to fix anything….”

Heh.

NeoCon Love

I(Heart)NeoConsHey, Iraq, after all, was their finest hour. Afghanistan, not so much.

Via A Commonplace Blog.