Whew, that was a long sentence. Are y'all still with me ?
Anyways, I spent an evening rocking on the porch with a 40 year old unemployed man with a chip on his shoulder and a "why me" whine in his voice who kept telling little ole serene me that he just couldn't possibly understand how ANYONE could consider an English major, and subsequent unemployment, to be GOOD for anything. (But.. what's it GOOD for, he kept saying stubbornly..) And I obligingly repeated that an English major in the humanities was, in my book, the entrance to that select club of.. civilization.
You just can't EXPLAIN to some people why it's better to be civilized than it is to be... a barbarian. (Note : Do NOT presume that my definition of "barbarian" follows any predictable configuration... I had this discussion the other night with some bourgeois colleagues who seemed to think that cannibalism was that fine line that separated the barbarians from the civilized, and they did not seem particularly fazed when I pointed out that it was OUR "civilization" that had come up with industrialized death camps...)(Note 2 : Do NOT presume either that the syllogism English major= civilization morphs into.. -English major = -civilization...)
So... today I have been messing around on the Internet, and fell into the black hole of Amazon.com's literary criticism section. (Actually that's a euphemism for "client appreciation". Everybody knows that literary criticism died years ago.)
And discovered WHERE all of us English majors are hanging out these days...
WE are doing literary criticism (online reviews..) for FREE, for amazon.com !!!!
(Gratuity is the future for mankind, trust me on this one.)
I could spend hours reading some of those reviews which are really really excellent.
Sigh. As irony would have it, the most intelligent reviews, the ones REALLY written by all of us unemployed intellectuals often get one or two stars because "WE'RE" so intellectual, so passionate about what we're doing that the average reader gets bored and zaps.
Back to the drawing board, and my next Amazon review.
(Incidentally, the FRENCH are so much less generous on this subject. NO online reviews, or almost none, and don't hold your breath thinking that there are fewer unemployed lit majors over here, because that's a lie. They're just... less generous, that's all.)