A Gift for Understatement

14 09 2009

Some fear GOP is being carried to the extreme:

“. . .you have to be aware that there’s a line where legitimate concerns begin to collapse into paranoid fantasy.”

Frum and other establishment Republicans have spoken out in recent days against the influence of what they view as their party’s fringe elements.

Some are pressuring the Republican National Committee and other mainstream GOP groups to cut ties with WorldNetDaily.com, which reports some of the allegations. Its articles are cited by websites and pundits on the right. More than any other group, critics say, WorldNetDaily sets the conservative fringe agenda.

It’s Not Just The Stupid, Stupid!

14 09 2009

English professor, author and renowned blogger Michael Bérubé in the Chronicle of Higher Education, writing about understanding culture instead of merely demagoguing it from either political wing:

The left’s task would actually be easier if all it had to do was expose lies as lies. Instead, you have to do a great deal of groundwork in civil society to try to forge an egalitarian response.

. . .I still have hope that the history of cultural studies might matter to the university—and to the world beyond it. My hopes aren’t quite as ambitious as they were 20 years ago. I no longer expect cultural studies to transform the disciplines. But I do think cultural studies can do a better job of complicating the political-economy model in media theory, a better job of complicating our accounts of neoliberalism, and a better job of convincing people inside and outside the university that cultural studies’ understanding of hegemony is a form of understanding with great explanatory power—that is to say, a form of understanding that actually works.