on February 8, 2014
Reading the reviews of two people who have the audacity and ignorance to denigrate the books that have guided, supported, informed, edified, educated all the way to entertainment - countless people, many straight - as in my case - through to Doctorates is a stark reminder of the aesthetic-less society in which we live.
on May 1, 2002
Four stars for what has been carried over from the 1980 version, zero stars for what has been appended to it. We can't entirely blame the dictionary for the poor quality of most of these additions. The dictionary depends on a large pool of contributors, most of whom hold academic positions, and our academies are beset with insufficiently acknowledged problems.
One problem is the graduate-school analogue of what in secondary schools has been called "grade inflation". We might call it "degree inflation". Unqualified candidates are routinely pushed through graduate school; mediocre minds are awarded doctorates and assume faculty positions. This is partly the result of a misguided egalitarianism and partly the result of a quid-pro-quo cronyism. In any case, it is self-perpetuating and self-proliferating. It manifests itself here most obviously in rambling pseudo-intellectual essays on such empty buzzwords as "postmodernism".
Another problem is commercialization. It manifests itself here most obviously in vacuous and clumsily written (and randomly strewn with rock journalism cliches) extended accounts of various pop music figures, such as, for example, Bob Dylan and David Bowie. (Both Bob Dylan and David Bowie have composed interesting song lyrics and are worthy subjects for popular culture historians, but neither have any particular MUSICAL significance.)