Showing posts from June 20, 2010

Choosing an Undergraduate College and Theatre Department

Over at Parabasis, 99 Seats has reconnected with Cortney Munna, whose issues with student loans was used by the NY Times to illustrate the problems with the college tuition and financial aid process across the nation. I weighed in during the discussion of the original post at a time when I was taking a break from blogging, but now I want to go on record more formally with a full post.

If you have been reading this blog, you know that I teach at a public liberal arts college in North Carolina -- the University of North Carolina at Asheville. I have been here since 1998, and prior to that I was Assistant to the Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University, a largish (17,000 students or so when I was there) comprehensive state university. My educational background has all been public: the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, a HUGE (50,000 + when I was there, bigger since) Research 1 university; masters degree from Illinois State; and a doctorate from City University o…

"When We Last Flew": Epic Fail

I just received an email from Sam Morris, Publicist who says he is a fan of my blog. However, the greeting on the email was"Dear Walt," so I guess he's one of those fans who, you know, doesn't actually read the blogs he's a fan of, or notice that at the end of each post there is a line that says "Posted by Scott Walters." (Note to other publicists who have been influenced by the drumbeat of social media marketing: you really piss bloggers off when you lie to them.)

Anyway, what Sam Morris wants to make me aware of is a production (or future production) called When Last We Flew, which is raising money online to do the show. Now, this is where not actually being a fan of this blog really leads to a lot of crap, because if Sam had read my blog he'd know that I am vocal proponent of rural and small town America, and that I get really annoyed by the condescending urban BS that passes for commentary. So Sam wouldn't know that the following descriptio…

Orson Scott Card and the Tony Awards

I was forwarded a link to this blog post by Orson Scott Card, who (in the second half of the post) is grumpy about the Tony Awards -- or at least, about the plays on Broadway.  The person who emailed me (and I'm not identifying him only because I didn't take the time to ask if it was OK to do so) wondered whether this is "another dimension to the narrow roots of much of what we see." The short answer: no. What follows is a longer answer.

Card, who is probably best known for his novel Ender's Game, claims that -- oh, hell, I'm not going to summarize it. Here are the paragraphs I want to address:
Broadway has firmly aligned itself with the extreme left in American politics, to the point where they feel free to ridicule the values of most of the rest of the country -- the very people they expect to fly to New York and buy the tickets to keep the money flowing in.

Once upon a time, the theatrical community was one of the most open-minded and accepting groups in Am…