When Legos Become Part of Our Public Discourse (Never Mind When They Become Art)


Sometimes a small news item encapsulates the rhetorical excess in the reporting and commentary on more profound issues.

Over this past year, no topic has received more attention than the deaths of young men of color at the hands of the police and then the subsequent, retaliatory but random murders of policemen after one grand jury after another has failed to indict the police officers involved in the killings for use of excessive force, never mind for murder.

The rhetoric on both sides has become very politically and culturally charged—and sometimes astonishingly hyperbolic, even given that these are literally life-and-death issues.

Indeed, even the editorial cartoons on these issues have been somber—provoking not even the laughter of shock that, for instance, many of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons have provoked in many readers.

So it was almost inevitable that these issues would result in something that would serve as a pointed…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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