RIP Roger Scruton

Sir Roger Scruton died! It’s really sad. He was a great friend to Eastern Europeans when we didn’t have many. Not that we’ve got crowds of them now, of course. But Scruton understood and supported Eastern Europe until his death.

Here’s a great recent piece that’s fairly short for those who don’t know him.

Pecha Kucha

What’s really annoying, too, is that there was a session of really famous scholars who had some fascinating material, real research, but the MLA forced them into some new-fangled Japanese format where the talk is supposed to be structured like an elevator pitch. These scholars (none of whom was extremely young, obviously) rose to the challenge and delivered their talks in 6 minutes 40 seconds each. But these were people who had real kick-ass material. The audience wanted to hear more!

Wouldn’t it have made more sense to get the Twitter-praising youngsters to cut their talks down to 6 minutes and let serious scholars who actually have something to say talk for the full 20 minutes?

I often get bored during talks and start getting distracted but these presentations were so interesting I heard every word. These are people who went into archives and found some really new, fascinating material. But they weren’t allowed to tell us much.

When the Spanish-speaking presenters first told me they were going to have to use the pechacucha format, I thought they were using some inventive swear word in Spanish.