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Two Rather Extended Reads That Are Well Worth Your Time

This is another bit of the post that broke everything and made the little children cry. I'm hacking it into pieces and the breakage seems to be absent. I'll reluctantly call that a victory although I'm not certain what/who my antagonist actually is. Anyway:

First of all, go read this article about the craziness that surrounded an attempted implementation of Radical Athleticism at Oberlin College in Drexel's The Smart Set. It is on the long side but covers so much territory and (necessarily) bounces around during the course of telling the story that it sometimes confused me but proved in the end to be worth the rereading. If you're at all interested in how sports can become a topic of impassioned discussion at one of those damned hippie schools then this is worth your time:

Turns out that Oberlin athletics was once run by a man Spiro Agnew called an “enemy of sport.” Turns out that for two years, Oberlin College carried out an earnest and lunatic revolution in collegiate sports. They call it “The Oberlin Experiment,” the only college sports program that ever tried to implement a plan according to the tenets of radical athleticism.

The strange and terrible part is that the author of the article who both studied and taught at the school (including some involvement with the athletic curriculum) didn't know anything about any of this before digging around for information. I've become a huge fan of the Smart Set for consistently putting truly interesting writing and topics out there for public consumption.

If you survive that then take a stab at Roger Rudenstein's defense of classical music as something worth preserving and promoting. I agree with little of it but he presents a fascinating and incredibly frustrating argument and some ideas about how his advocacy might be acted upon. I had a hard time getting through this at times and a harder time swallowing some of his analogies and oft twisty logic but it was a fun sort of frustration. The twisty logic has a lot to with his defensive of classical music being a thing apart from the public perception of it being the music of elitist aristocrats (his term there) but still unable to take other kinds of music very seriously in either intent (intended to make money which is, other than exception of radio payola jockeys, laughably incorrect) or content (he's a big fan of melody and structure and seemingly little else). It was a struggle and pissed me off more than once but it is an opinion born of passion and deeply caring about the subject matter no matter how little anyone else does.

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