Dispatches from Libertopia: College Edition

The abundance of bongs and the consequence-free collegiate bubble that repels the practical and harsh elements of reality often form the genesis of Libertarian sociopathy. Reality is a thought experiment; people and products are all numbers, and death, suffering, pain, neglect and contempt are just remainders that someone at George Mason or the University of Chicago with enough math degrees will eventually square away for good at no cost to the Libertarian explaining this. 

Campus conservatives don’t seem to do much better, if for nothing more than the loss of economic-policy distinctions between them and Von Mises drones. Take this story, “College Students in Favor of Wealth Distribution Are Asked to Pass Their Grade Points to Other Students,” about a recent conservative graduate named Oliver Darcy. He and his buddies are right-wing media darlings, appearing in Andrew Breitbart’s vomit journals, in The Blaze and Townhall, as well as on birther-rapper home planet, World Net Daily.

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OMG! Those Deadspin Guys Are TOTES Jelly

Nothing, it seems, about Deadspin or Grantland can be discussed without amateur dramatics. A refrain that grew in intensity over the last month reached a kind of crescendo on message boards and Twitter yesterday when Deadspin printed three pieces about Grantland: “The editors and contributors of Deadspin must be consumed with a mindless, soul-eating jealousy of Bill Simmons, working for ESPN and having footnotes.” Or something. Increasingly, blog and board posters seem to assume that, in sports journalism, Grantland is The One True Gig, and all who do not hold it within their grasp wither to sightless wraiths screaming in the void.

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C-List Critics Slapfight

Slate published an article last week titled, “Overrated: authors, critics and editors on ‘Great Books’ that aren’t all that great.” I don’t know the author, Juliet Lapidos, but there are two main problems with her list. First, her definition of “great books” seems at once misguided and charitable. Second, the “takedowns” are dreadfully limp and banal.

She takes issue with “several works” on the Modern Library’s Top 100 list. That list is chosen [on the basis of] publicity, sales and an insanely ridiculous voting system and absolutely nothing to do with greatness. So she’s underwhelmed by something underwhelming, which is basically saying less than nothing. If her goal is to ruffle some feathers, why attack a pigeon? Fucking go for it. Take on one of the great dead birds of literature: call Jane Austen the Judy Blume of the 19th century.

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