Posts tagged with ‘cultural stuff’

Intellectuals, science, and the English Channel

Something Todd Swift said pointed me to an article in the Guardian about the lack of public intellectuals in Britain, written by Agn├Ęs Poirier, a French journalist working in London. It’s worth reading just for the culture-clash exhibited in the comments. I noticed that the unspoken assumption, from both sides of the argument, was inevitably […]


One of the things that seems odd to me about Ron Silliman’s legendary (post)Avant/SoQ dichotomy is that trying to claim ownership of a country’s cultural heritage, trying to shape a national canon, feels like an essentially conservative impulse. The idea of a national tradition of radical poetics seems self-contradictory, like the Maoist idea of continuous […]

Bob Denver & Americana

Bob Denver, the star of Gilligan’s Island, has died. Gilligan’s Island is one of those bits of Americana which feel familiar but I actually know entirely via hearsay. It’s one of the most frequently used pop culture references in other US pop culture – they mentioned it on House just last night – but I’ve […]

more middlebrow

Perhaps the difference between the US and the UK is simply that, over here, being an intellectual has never had any social cachet.

middlebrow again

A post at Whimsy Speaks alerted me to some more web chatter on the middle-brow, including a NY Times column on the subject. What startles me is that so much of the commentary (in, for example, the post and comments at Pandagon), is quite clearly aimed at the idea of a socially aspirational category, not […]

Jonathan Mayhew on ‘middlebrow’

Jonathan has been commenting on the middlebrow. But his blog doesn’t allow anonymous comments and I don’t have a blogger account. I found Starbucks and the designer teapot peculiar examples (not that I know the teapot or teapot shop in question). For me, low/middle/highbrow implies a specifically intellectual judgement. The relationship between your taste in […]