Dickens and Contemporary Political Thought

When Dickens introduces politicians as characters, they are typically buffoons or villains. Think of James Harthouse, or Lord Boodle, Coodle, Sir Thomas Doodle, or even the Duke of Foodle. In this essay, I will focus on Dickens’s lampooning of Mr. Gregsbury from Nicholas Nickleby, who is an underrated example of this Dickensian character type. In these buffoonish or villainous characters, Dickens expresses his own well-documented personal hostility towards politicians. It is an antipathy that was gained early in life from his experience as a Parliamentary reporter, and that he carried with him throughout his life (Engel 948).

2022 Movie and Television Review

The best movies I watched this year The Batman Although a little heavy on the emo, I really enjoyed watching a non-superheroey super hero movie. The villains are all too real: crime bosses and Q-Anon types. And Batman is convincing as the type of rich disturbed loner who would spend his nights slumming it in Gotham City, beating up criminals. The only major complaint I have is that it was a bit on the long side, but the way it looked in IMAX made me more forgiving.

2022 Reading Review

This is my fifth year of fastidiously tracking my reading, and so it’s time to look back on what I have read in these last five years. My five favourite books of this half decade have been:1 The Mill on the Floss In my opinion, the best of George Eliot’s books apart from Middlemarch. She has such a gift for penetrating the human mind, but in a sympathetic rather than the caustic way favoured by more modern writers.

Do Rotten Tomato Scores Matter?

Have you ever checked the Rotten Tomato score of a movie before deciding to watch it? And then which one do you check–the critic or audience score? Will either matter in your enjoyment of the movie? I’ve decided to take a stab at answering these questions by examining the 2022 movie ratings of three roommates (one of them being my wife’s sister, hence my access (with permission) to their scores).

A Lofty View of Education

By far my least favourite thing about grading is having to endure the endless grade-grubbing. The wheedling, the pleading, the sense of entitlement; it’s all very distasteful to me. “I’m very surprised by this grade because I always get A’s in all my classes.” “I really can’t get a C on this paper otherwise…” “Show me why you thought this paper should get a 70.” What I dislike is not that students feel like their work is better than it us, but the fact that they care only about the grade and nothing about the material.