I’m happy with the report of statistics and his mentioning a book about how English departments changed, but I feel like saying this: “Dude, shut up already and explain the relevance of literature instead of whining. Without an emphasis on reading good, old, thoughtful works thoroughly, we cannot conduct politics – we can only shout at each other and demand other’s opinions conform to our unmoderated, unchecked, only-in-name legitimate will. We are not out to appreciate or persuade, merely bully. Whining, btw, is a form of bullying: any little child can throw a tantrum.” Of course, the person in question is writing for The Nation, and might not be able to bring himself to admit that populism created the trendiness that has hollowed what he loved, and what the rest of us need if we’re going to ever make the most of republicanism. But I digress.