Hot Air

Go With The Flow

FlowMotion Fest is nearing, babies. Gotchyer tix yet?

The brainchild of fearless ringleader, Paula Chambers (known to her pals as PJ) and her Kinetic Arts Academy cohorts, FM Fest will feature workshops on:

  • Hula hooping
  • Poi
  • Beat-boxing
  • Juggling & contact juggling
  • Fire arts
  • Yoga
  • Aerial silks
  • Contact staff
  • Belly dancing
  • Flower sticks
  • Rope darts
  • Diabolo

It’s all a pastiche of rhythmic, flowing time-arts, some of which you may have seen at the Bloomington Fourth of July parade, for instance, and others that are completely new to you, as they are to me. Take aerial silks. Here’s the Wikipedia def. of the art:

Wikipedia

The various flow arts incorporate the entire body in the performance thereof and can be considered as much an exercise regimen as a creative endeavor. FlowMotion Fest rolls around in a week and a half, August 22-24. PJ and crew will be at the Green Stock Music Fest in Nashville (IN) this weekend selling discount ducats for their big shindig.

It’s a good bet FM Fest will challenge you and your body, so don’t sign up and expect to sit in a lawn chair and ogle the action. As an example, let’s take a look at PJ herself performing with her hoop:

PJ founded the FMF and the Kinetic Arts Academy along with Stephanie Poppe and Scott Myers. They’ve set up an Indiegogo account to raise dough not only for the Fest but as seed capital for the KAA. They hope the Academy will become a permanent facilitator for events like the Fest as well as local center for practitioners and lovers of the various flow arts.

So, move!

Bosses

Do you have a woman boss? I do.

Acc’d’g to the Pew Research Center this week, citizens of this holy land prefer male bosses to females by a margin of 35 percent to 23 percent. The remaining 42 percent don’t care about the gender of the tyrant who demands they come to work on time and — Gasp! — stay awake while on the clock.

Bosses

Bosses: Hogg, Daley, Stewart, Corleone

The Pew report also points out that there are now 24 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. That’s still not even a full five percent of the total but it’s better than, say, 1995 when there were — get ready for it — zero female Fortune 500 heads. Harrumph!

In any case, I’ve always felt a profound affection for bosses when they sign my paychecks but, really, can’t stomach their overbearing ways when they demand that I actually do things for them, the Nazis. Neither of these feelings has in any way been affected by the genitalia of said bwanas.

Opinions Are Like….

Voltaire famously said, “I do not agree with what you have to say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

That line has come to define the squishy, democratic, all-inclusive, kumbaya philosophy that encourages anyone to say whatever they’d like because it’s their truth.

Not, I should point out, the truth. Their truth.

I’ll cite three good arguments for and against such thinking.

1) I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth. — Molly Ivins

Ivins

Molly Ivins

2) Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means the “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” — Isaac Asimov

and, finally:

3) The problem with “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned. It becomes shorthand for “I can say or think whatever I like” — and by extension, continuing to argue is somehow disrespectful. And this attitude feeds, I suggest, into the false equivalence between experts and non-experts that is an increasingly pernicious feature of our public discourse.Patrick Stokes

Stokes is a philosophy lecturer at Deakin University in Australia. He wrote an op-ed for The Conversation, an online Aussie mag for walking brains, a couple of years ago revealing that he tells his students, “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for.” Read it and tell me what your opinion is.

[via IFLS.]

Endangered

A piece in New Geography, a site covering urban issues large and small for city planners, warns that college towns are fast becoming a thing of the past.

By this, author Richard Reep refers to those small, bucolic towns that long ago sprang up around private, liberal arts colleges. Think Oberlin, Ohio, or Grinnell, Iowa. Each town essentially owes its existence to its respective eponymous college.

Grinnell

They are, by and large, cloistered, isolated, insulated communities populated by white intellectuals. Reep makes no mention of that particular demographic datum; it’s a stereotype of my own making. He does argue that the places will begin disappearing because their colleges are in profound financial trouble. Reep writes:

Reinvention of the liberal arts college itself has been a cottage industry for the last several years. Student body diversification into “lifelong learning” (read: the lucrative retiree demographic), extensions, outreach campuses, and summer programs for primary and secondary schools has surged, as colleges try to open new markets. Bloated administrative costs have given rise to urgent fundraising and athletic programs, while an army of poorly paid adjunct professors shoulder an increasing burden of responsibility for the actual work of teaching. But, as Moody’s analyst Susan Fitzgerald has said about small, tuition-dependent colleges, they are in “a death spiral — this continuing downward momentum for some institutions [means] we’ll see more closures than in the past.”

Athletic programs? Will the big Oberlin vs. Grinnell football game be featured on some future Saturday afternoon of ESPN programming?

More fodder for my argument that colleges and universities more and more are really sports operation that dabble in academics on the side.

[via Real Clear Policy; h/t to Janis Starcs.]

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