What I’m thinking about

Loyal reader edeast writes in the comments, “What are you thinking about? The plebs would like to know.”

I have never let the plebs down, so here’s the inside scoop:

Scholarship-wise, I’m thinking about the Pseudo-Plutarch‘s treatise De Homero, in which the pseudo-author praises Homer every which-way, and especially for his command of all branches of learning and of rhetoric in particular.  This work is usually seen as a rather lame piece of flattery, but I am rereading it in terms of ancient Imperial education, in which Greek-speaking schoolboys would progress from the performance of Homer (and other canonical authors) to the acquisition of the oratorical art.  Perhaps this is the ordinary way of reading the treatise at this point; the bibliography will tell.  But it’s a work I’ve been meaning to integrate into my book on school performance, and it’s never too early to start planning (and rereading).

Literature-wise, I wrote my third Young Adult novel this summer and am still working on my Riel tragedy, when I have a moment.

Politics-wise, it all passes me by at a remote distance, as I have been too caught up in a wonderfully hectic summer to bother much about truly crazy sh*t like the Census Debacle.  Why do the Conservatives even keep StatsCan open at this point?  They can just invent their own statistics, or denounce the very idea of empirical proof, and their base will love them all the more.  Meanwhile, Canadians apparently don’t care if the democratically elected component of our government — the policy-making component — is simply out to lunch for five years at a stretch.  Tony Clement is the Minister of Industry.  That is how little Canadians care about Canadian politics.  The one thing they care about is that nobody else should tell them to care more: that really riles them.  So, like a good little democrat, I am obeying the deafening command of a mute nation and not caring at all as this country slowly but surely goes down the drain.  It’s all relative, in the end: we have so far to go before we become a lively, interesting nation that it hardly matters if what our forefathers achieved is smashed to smithereens — we’ll have to start fresh anyway.  It’s irresponsible to be a Canadian patriot and not be a radical of one sort or another.  The status quo is intellectually untenable.  My heart goes out to the pundits and journalists who are forced, if they would eat, to witness and bear witness to the coke’d-up hillbilly dwarf-tossing competition that is our res publica.  It’s nice that guys like Michael Chong are in there fighting the good fight, but let’s be serious for once, as opposed to moralistic: the subject who is truly loyal withdraws entirely from political life.

Personally, I spend most of my time thinking about how wonderful is the woman I married on the 5th of June, 2010.



  1. “Coke’d up hillbilly dwarf-tossing competition…” That’s an excellent summary Jack. Glad you’re enjoying your summer and your newlywed life. Just thought I’d drop by and see what you had to say about the latest Con stinker. Take care.

  2. Thanks. I get riled up and then I get busy. I can’t believe the quality of our ministers.

  3. Hey Professor Mitchell,
    It’s pretty neat to find out that your history teacher feels the same as you about our wonderful government!
    Time to get back to my paper.

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