Thursday, 1 June 2006

Oh inverted world

Things are clearly topsy-turvy when Michelle Branch has gone country while the Dixie Chicks have gone rock-and-roll. Not that the two genres are all that distinct these days, mind you (or, for that matter, historically).

I leave it to my readers to guess which album I purchased.


I just got back a response on the Damn R&R which asks me to further revise the paper by whittling it down to, as best as I can tell, about a paragraph once figures and references are accounted for, and which only promises publication if the authors I am responding to are willing to own up to their mistake in print by responding to the piece (I sense an incentivization problem here).

Oh, well, in a world where I have zero pubs to date, it’s not like I can say no…

Forms of address via email

Margaret Soltan provokes the latest professorial discussion of modes of address between students and faculty in email. I have taken to aping Frequent Commenter Scott by signing off emails to students with my initials (followed by the standard sig block), although if it’s 3 am and I am dispatching the latest email in a 17-round volley with a student I may slip up and use “Chris” like I would in correspondence with anyone else.

As for how to address students, I uniformly use the first name they have petitioned to go by (some schools like Duke are these days kind enough to include this on class rosters; at others, I have had to learn as I go). Alas, I am nowhere near being old and crusty enough to get away with “Mister” or “Miss” except in the most sarcastic of veins.

Update: Michelle Dion shares her thoughts on the matter.

Wilmington Race Riot commission issues recommendations

The AP has a story on the release of recommendations from the state commission investigating the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot, a chapter of the state’s political and social history reasonably well-known to those who study Southern politics but one that’s been rather obscure otherwise.

There is something of a strange passage in the story, however:

[State Rep. Thomas] Wright said the next step is to file a bill with the recommendations—which include that the parties responsible for the violence atone for their own involvement and that the true story of the incident be taught in North Carolina schools—in the Legislature. That won’t happen before 2007 because the deadline for filing new legislation has passed this session, he said.

My suspicion is that the “parties responsible for the violence” are, without exception, dead, so they probably won’t be doing a lot of atoning. I suppose the North Carolina Democratic Party could issue some resolution of apology, but I’m not sure it would reflect anything other than empty symbolism as the current party, other than organizational continuity, has nothing much in common with its century-old counterpart.