Tuesday, 21 November 2006

EDSBS interviews Michael Lewis

Orson Swindle at EDSBS has posted part one of a two-part interview with Moneyball author Michael Lewis, wherein he discusses his new book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game and the primary subject of that book, Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher.

The following passage of the interview warmed the cockles of my heart—by way of explanation for the warming, the Ole Miss political science department used to house the criminal justice program until it was spun off along with the rest of the programs that a four-year university (much less the College of Liberal Arts) had no business operating into a separate school:

[ML:] On behalf of [Oher’s] mind, I would say…I’e watched him over the past few years, and he’s become a much more verbal person. He is intelligent–he’s not stupid. He’s shrewd, and he’s sensitive. The way he’s impressed me is not with his grades in the classroom, though I’m sure he’s worked to get them and they’re not entirely fraudulent.

OS: We’re not talking about Auburn, here.

ML: Well, I do think we’re talking about that. All these schools have the smooth track for the football players–

OS: Sociology at Auburn, Criminal Justice…

ML: It’s funny. You watch the Saturday football games, and if it’s West Virginia playing, all the football players are “sports management” majors, but if it’s Ole Miss playing, all the football players are “criminal justice” majors. So you get the sense that every school has its major for the football team, and it’s different from school to school. All the Ole Miss football players aren’t majoring in criminal justice because they have a deep and sincere interest in criminal justice. It’s that that’s where you go to get the grades.

And Michael is majoring in criminal justice. That’s not a great sign, but he’s doing well. And this is what is true about him: he’s not just “not dumb,” he’s intelligent and sensitive. When he sits down to write something, it’s actually impressive. He’s got things to say. The mind he’s got is a good and interesting mind. That that is true despite his first sixteen years on the planet is amazing.

Incidentally my copy of Blindside was allegedly going to be shipped to my mom’s house in Memphis by Amazon.com today for delivery Wednesday, according to the checkout screens, but given the current delivery estimate of next Monday I doubt that actually happened. Regardless I promise a review soon.

Update: Never mind; I just got an email from Amazon.com that has a tracking number saying it will be delivered tomorrow. So, depending on how engaging a read it is, I may have a review up by the end of this weekend.


Iceweasel has (finally) replaced Firefox in Debian unstable, not that the differences—beyond the 1.5 → 2.0 transition, which happened at the same time—are all that noticeable.