Allen Barra, arts and sports writer for the Wall Street Journal, argues that Harper Lee’s novel should be treated as what Flannery O’Connor called “a children’s book.” Why? Because it’s so simplistic.
(To be sure, the opinions expressed are Barra’s own. I only saw the film.)
— Via Ideas, from SF.
The BBC World Service had a wonderful program about language last night. Two things impressed me:
Stanford social psychology professor Claude Steele spoke about how to minimize the effect of stereotypes. In an experiment, he told a group of female math majors about to take a math test that women are generally considered inferior to men at math. As a result, their performance suffered because they were forced to multi-task: solve the math problem and think about the stereotype. But, he said, thinking about women who do really well in math helped their performance.
Guy Deutscher, a linguist, talked about how gender in languages can create strong associations. In German, the word ‘bridge’ is feminine. When asked what words they associate with ‘bridge’, people with German as their mother tongue mentioned female attributes such as slender, elegant and beautiful. People whose mother tongue was Spanish, where ‘bridge’ is masculine, came up with male attributes like sturdy, strong and powerful.
— From London.
— From SF.
Barrett Brown rips into Rich Lowry of the National Review after the conservative editor lamented McChrystal’s poor judgement in granting wonder boy Michael Hastings access, thus permitting for the game-changing piece to be written and then run by Rolling Stone (“Rolling Stone???”). Deeelicious (and probably full of trans fats).
— In Vanity Fair, from SF.