Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thank-heavens-winter's-end-is-in-sight links

Tomorrow, March 4, is the National Day of Actions to Defend Education. Mobilizations should draw lots of students especially in California, where the battle to defend the state university system has been going on for several months, and New York City, where CUNY students are fighting to save working-class students' access to higher education. On both coasts and in many places in between, there will also be events demanding an end to the attacks on the public education system, on public-school funding, on teachers and teachers' unions, and on the essential right to a free, equal public education for all. Which has never existed in reality in this country, but now is under open assault from Washington on down.

Later this month at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn: the National Black Writers' Conference has an "amazing line-up" according to Tayari Jones, who is herself on the program.

An interesting review of Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction, in the Monthly Review. Sadly, I've tried several times to read the work of China Mieville, who is one of the book's editors and one of today's hot SF writers, but have yet to be able to get very far into any of his novels, finding them uninteresting, boring. Which is what almost always happens to me with SF, though I will keep trying.

One more arena for my old-fartness: for the young and cool, appparently, blogs are passé.

The New York Times chief book reviewer, Michiko Kakutani, likes Lionel Shriver's new novel So Much for That because it's not didactic! and it shows the problems of the health-care system for "regular middle-class families"!!! Oh goody. Because a novel that forthrightly addressed the issue and, ye gods, how it affects the vast majority, the working class and oppressed, those who don't qualify, apparently, as "regular," well gee who would want to read a novel like that?