Taking a break from the book to point to a few links and things:
- First, the good news that the filmmakers behind Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed saw their rights to use the John Lennon song “Imagine” upheld in court under the doctrine of fair use. While I found the film’s depiction of intelligent design to be misleading at best, I also felt their use of Lennon’s song should have been defended. In the film, they use “Imagine” as a way of diagnosing what they believe to be a left-wing, Darwinist ideology, so while I find their reading of the song absurd, it is in some sense an interpretation. Further, given that it was a borderline case, I do think it’s worthwhile to err on the side of protecting fair use (link via Agnes).
- Second, while I am incredibly excited that Barack Obama has finally won the Democratic nomination, I have become increasingly frustrated by the degree to which the news media and Obama’s political rivals have increasingly identified him as either elitist or as condescending. At some point, I’d like to write something longer on the problems of the desire to tag Obama with the elitist label, but for now, I’ll point to Todd Gitlin’s TPM Cafe column and Susan Jacoby’s New York Times editorial.
- In my very limited spare time, I’ve been reading Mark Baurelein’s The Dumbest Generation. In the past, I’ve been somewhat skeptical about some of Bauerlein’s claims about declining readership rates and the potential effects on the future of democracy, but in many places, I think he makes a compelling case. I’ll try to write a longer blog post on the book if I have time, but I have a pretty long list of promised blog posts piling up, so we’ll see.