The Decline and Fall of the English Major

Writing well used to be a fundamental principle of the humanities, as essential as the knowledge of mathematics and statistics in the sciences. But writing well isn’t merely a utilitarian skill. It is about developing a rational grace and energy in your conversation with the world around you.

The Decline and Fall of the English Major

Timothy Egan: Checking Out | NY Times

Among the 100 million people in this country who hold full-time jobs, about 70 percent of them either hate going to work or have mentally checked out to the point of costing their companies money — “roaming the halls spreading discontent,” as Gallup reported. Only 30 percent of workers are “engaged and inspired” at work.

At first glance, this sad survey is further proof of two truisms. One, the timeless line from Thoreau that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” The other, less known, came from Homer Simpson by way of fatherly advice, after being asked about a labor dispute by his daughter Lisa. “If you don’t like your job,” he said, “you don’t strike, you just go in there every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American way.”

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Timothy Egan: Checking Out | NY Times

The Idiotic Cleanse Craze and the Modern Theology of Juice Fasts | New Republic

“I think that people who use cleanses may have had rough anal periods (see Freud, Sigmund).” Cleanses and their cousins, colonics, have about as much medical merit, declared Gershon, as the acts of penance done by monks who’d “walk across Europe and hit themselves on the back to purge themselves of the plague.”

Juice Cleansing

The Idiotic Cleanse Craze and the Modern Theology of Juice Fasts | New Republic