Further on Authenticity, Race, and Music

I’ve blogged before about the problems relative to un-nuanced judgments relative to race and music, most recently in relation to my search for the “Young Caucasians” clip from Saturday Night Live. At the time, I didn’t think to link this to Michelle Shocked’s long, tireless devotion to the problem of race and music. She’s spent…

Authenticity and Sincerity

Once upon a time, in the days when they ran the Internet on an engine salvaged from a defunct 1967 VW Beetle, a number of us got into a running brouhaha about “authenticity.” I was an “authenticity skeptic,” reluctant to allow more than ideological content this usage. The topic comes up frequently enough that our…

Authenticity Redux

Frank questions my interrogation of the positive value of “authenticity”: “Mark Woods has linked to this post, giving it more substance and weight than I think it deserves. The Hermenaut link is as much piffle as the Fishko presentation. Either can be criticized or enjoyed for the superficial mind candy that each of them is.”…

Imperfection, Authenticity, and Excellence

I was in a cranky mood yesterday afternoon at about 4:45, so when NPR commentator Sara Fishko started expatiating about her recent hunger for “authenticity” in recorded music, my buttons didn’t even need pushing; she merely brushed them, and set off my temper. This is not a new topic; others have treated it with wisdom…

Desire and Interpretation

As the Sturm und Drang about the (apparently forged) Jesus’ Wife Fragment waxes and wanes (the Sturm waxes, the Drang wanes?), my predictably eccentric interest concerns the role of evidence and of non-evidential factors in shaping positive or negative assessments of the fragment. Let’s start again by noticing that, even at its very earliest plausible…

Great Moments in Popular Music 2

I have some of the ambivalence about Graceland that many politically-concerned listeners have expressed. I admire Paul Simon’s New York craftsmanship in composing infectious, compelling pop melodies, arrangements, and lyrics; his work isn’t always to my taste, but it’s always well done. And I don’t begrudge him the brilliant contribution that his African colleagues made…

Four Things, Two Pairs

Relative to teaching: Thought-provoking blog (as usual) from George Siemens and chat transcript over at weblogg (ed) moderated by Will Richardson. (Unnumerated bonus, but this would make it “Five Things, Three Plus Two”: Blog from the University about undergraduate teaching.)   And Suw points to an HBR entry by Roger Martin that discusses the problem…

Plus, It’s Raining

I remember back in the halcyon days of blogging, when we participated in lengthy back-and-forths about the unique transparency of the blog genre, about letting it all hang out in full view of the thousands of readers, and about how authentic a blog had to be. I always hewed to the line that blogging can…

Do I Read an “Amen”?

From Stephen Downes, a post from Michael Umphrey that emphasizes the importance of actually improving students’ writing (at the high school level — but gosh darn golly, maybe something like that would even help college and graduate students). Some of the standout points include Stephen’s comment that “I do believe that there are good reasons…

Missing

I was going to celebrate the walls tumbling down on the New York Times archive by pointing to my favorite article, Henry Louis Gates’s “Authenticity, or The Lesson of Little Tree” (November 24, 1991), but for some reason it doesn’t show up in the archive. Several letters in response to the essay, but not the…

Convergence

I was pushing the sash of the window back up yesterday, and the windowshade fell down squarely on the bridge of my nose. I now have an angry red bruise on my nose, and it hurts. I’m just saying. Now, to the point. This week has drawn together a variety of my interests. I’ll be…