Tuesday, 7 February 2012


Teaching from 11-4 without a break today - exciting but very wearing, and I'll miss my daily hit of the Leveson Inquiry. Nothing will top yesterday's blustering, dishonest, pompous and arrogant appearance by the Daily Mail's editor Paul Dacre (virtually none of which makes it into his paper's account of the hero's singlehanded salvation of the newspaper industry), but the whole thing is a wonderful, tawdry exposure of the vainglories and pettiness of a trade rotten to the core.

What's on my agenda today? A 2 hour lecture on Derrida to media students, which I fully expect will go down like a bucket of cold sick, followed by three hours on Propp's Morphology of the Folktale applied to Joanna Davies' Freshers/Ffreshars. There's nothing like a dose of structuralism to make first-year students feel confident of their analytical abilities.

Meanwhile, I've found a new phrase to add to my marking repertoire. Given the fractured syntax and tangential logic, I'm convinced that many of them are in fact generated by automated systems. 'Are you a spambot?' will do nicely. The similarities are too strong to be coincidental.

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