Dirty Secret
Friday Ephemera

Elsewhere (281)

Further to recent rumblings in the comments, Helen Dale on the massive oversupply of negligibly-talented artists and writers: 

There are too many artists, too many people who want to be artists, and most of them aren’t very good… Meanwhile, universities (yes, you can go to university, rack up student debt, and ‘learn’ to be a writer) tell some people – depending on skin tone, sex, orientation, or something else – that as a matter of routine they have an important and luminous story to tell because of what they are… These people are everywhere in the economy, living hand-to-mouth and doing idiot things like demanding “luxury communism now.”  

Via Tim, James Delingpole and David Craig on low standards in higher education: 

When we were at university, probably one out of six school-leavers went to university. Now it’s about one out of every two. The number of people going to university has gone up from about 700,000 thirty years ago to over 2.3 million now… The way we’ve achieved that is not by increasing the intellectual capacity of British youth. For example, now, around 51% of all people going to university are getting in on three ‘D’s at A-level, or worse. Leeds Metropolitan University during one year had 97 courses for which you only needed two ‘E’s at A-level… We’ve increased the number of students with a huge drop in the bar you need to get over to get a place at university, and to be able to borrow up to £50,000 of taxpayers’ money.

There are currently around £100bn in outstanding student loans, of which, according to some estimates, 83% are expected to be in default to varying degrees.

Somewhat related, this

“Teaching is proving to be one viable way for socialists to get into the labour movement and wage class struggle in a key industry that is under attack by capital,” the pamphlet declares. “Teachers across the country and indeed the world have shown us that if we organise in the schools, we can not only win concessions from the millionaire and billionaire class, but can also set a powerful example for the entire working class to follow.”

And Dave Huber on fixated academics and racist hair colouring:  

Award-winning poet Claudia Rankine is back, this time dissecting what it “means” when people decide to — wait for it — bleach their hair blonde. Given her monumental racial imagination, it shouldn’t be all that difficult to guess where the Yale professor took the significance of being light-maned. 

Apparently, it’s an “unconscious, ubiquitous metaphor” for “whiteness,” and therefore deeply worrying to professors of poetry.

As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.