Monday, June 20, 2011

Is It Time . . .

I was already pretty well irritated by the time I had finished reading the title of a piece in Salon, the online general interest magazine (best thing about it, btw, is that it carries Glenn Greenwald's regular column). "Is it time to kill the liberal arts degree?" the author, one Kim Brooks, asks. Well, I have to confess, I was prepared to go into full what-the-hell-kind-of-idiot-question-is-this mode, but by the time I got to the end of the article, I couldn't really be angry with her because I found myself agreeing with her, at least the stuff she said near the end of the piece.

Which followed a long, dreary lament that 1) liberal arts degrees are worthless in the marketplace; 2) the poor graduates owe thousands of dollars and the poor dears can't find a job; 3) the recession is real bad and it makes finding jobs harder; 4) liberal arts professors have no answers for these observations--she knows because she talked to several of them. She also thinks the universities should be more helpful to students in these employment matters, if only, I gather, telling them all the reasons they should not be studying liberal arts.

Well, okay. Not that employment is not a concern. It's a great concern. But my question is while we're rooting around in the crass realities of how we're going to handle our lifelong enslavement to the Almighty Marketplace, the only God the U.S. recognizes and worships unconditionally, what about the rest of us, the rest of ourselves, the part that makes us something other than economic units worth only the weight we register on the marketplace scales?

Stay tuned . . .
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