Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurs: Rick Scott’s letter to Florida’s University Faculty

In a recent 320-word letter to Florida's university faculty (14 of which were variants on "jobs" or "entrepreneur") Governor Rick Scott thanked professors for "helping Florida’s students earn degrees that prepare them for jobs and"--lest you think he is some kinda philistine--"the opportunity to lead fulfilling lives." The major point of the letter, though, was to … Continue reading Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurs: Rick Scott’s letter to Florida’s University Faculty

Pudd’nhead Wilson meets Jose Bautista

He was writing about the F.F.V.--the First Families of Virginia, the elite caste of slave-owning aristocracy--but Mark Twain might have been channeling a lousy sportswriter, a old-school bench coach, or Sam Dyson, the Texas Rangers’ relief pitcher who last week gave up a series-clinching home run to José Bautista and then told him to “respect … Continue reading Pudd’nhead Wilson meets Jose Bautista

“Sold down the river”

I'm teaching Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson, a farce about biological definitions of race written in 1894, in the depths of the post-Reconstruction era. It is a comic genre story about slavery that mocks the racial definitions and distinctions upon which so many of American society's other values--family, generosity, motherhood, "gentlemanliness," the law, etc.--rested. Its setting is a Mississippi River town … Continue reading “Sold down the river”