Tuesday, February 7, 2012

shocking pens webs websites

So today is Charles Dickens' birthday, hence the Victorian Google banner and what I'm sure is no shortage of Facebook statuses complaining about how bad Great Expectations is. I hope that's the case, anyway. That book sucked.

But Channel 4 has a neat article up that takes some guesses at what Dickens would be writing about if he was alive now. Turns out all the problems he was exposing then are still issues today, which is kind of depressing, and some of them (like child poverty) are actually on the rise now because of austerity measures in the UK. I'm sure the same is true for America as well.

It's a good list, but I don't know why they left off things like the Occupy movement and the increased militarization of police, both of which would challenge Dickens' progressive-but-not-radical take on social issues. It would also be nice to see a Dickensian take on the modern entertainment industry, which has thus far almost entirely ignored his ideas about the "little people" being as interesting and attention-worthy as the rich and beautiful. Seriously, Fox should just call Bones something like Hot Rich Supergeniuses and drop the insulting pretense that theirs is still a show based in the same universe as its audience. The same could be said for most stuff on TV. Yes, I am bitter.

Oh, and the Artichoke Haircut reading went well. They've listed some other readings coming up this month on their blog, so you should look at that while I return to cleaning and writing and such. Or you can read yet another polemic about how there are too many MFA programs in the shadow of Penn State kiboshing their writing program due to lack of funds. Up to you.