Slavery in Britain (today!), Odysseus’s Palace Discovered (?), and More

After the Bible, the most important works of literature in the Western tradition are the Homeric epics. Every now and then archeologists find something that could plausibly be tied to the Trojan War or one of Homer’s principal characters. Case in point: a three-story structure some think could be Odysseus’s palace on Ithaca. Of course, it didn’t take long for the naysayers to come out of the woodwork.

If you have any doubts whatsoever about the continuing relevance of the classics, allow me to point you to this adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which took home the gold from the ultra-hip and trendy Edinburgh Festival Fringe. (OK, so maybe that’s not the best example to defend the continuing relevance of the classics, but humor me.)

Mozart’s death: the mystery endures.

One important feature of the decline of the West is the phenomenon, first prominent in the nineteenth century, of artists self-consciously positioning themselves as outside critics of their own society. Today many artists revel in their “anti-Establishment” credentials while they apply for government grants. I had to laugh at this description of an artist who was horrified when he learned recently that one of his paintings was hanging on the wall of a Tory minister.

More people are opting for 15-year mortgages on their homes. Have they been listening to Dave Ramsey?

Speaking of debt, I recently linked to an article questioning the commonplace stories in the media saying that consumers are tightening their belts and paying off their credit cards. Here is a more detailed analysis of this alleged trend by an Ivy League strategic planner; he says it’s hokum.

The recent salmonella scare and egg recall has several important lessons for us. Unfortunately, some people are learning all the wrong ones. For example, in this New York Times article, it is alleged that this episode proves–wait for it!–that the federal government doesn’t have enough food regulations in place. How anyone who has ever seen the Federal Register could say with a straight face that there has been a “general deregulatory atmosphere” in this country at any time in the last twenty years is beyond me. In fact, it is the post-WWII regulatory regime that has all but driven small agricultural producers out of the marketplace and ensured that any food problem we have will be a huge one affecting several states at minimum.

Someone pinch me, but I think I’m agreeing with David Brooks (sort of) on something.

Are E-books the only way to go in the future? If you think so, you might want to check out this comparison of the Kindle and iPad. Consumer Reports says pretty much the same thing, if you’re interested.

Click here to see the fruits of multiculturalism in Britain.

Is nothing sacred? I’ve kept this secret for years!

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About Dr. J

I am Professor of Humanities at Faulkner University, where I chair the Department of Humanities and direct online M.A. and Ph.D. programs based on the Great Books of Western Civilization. I am also Associate Editor of the Journal of Faith and the Academy and a member of the faculty at Liberty Classroom.
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