Broadband, sports! go sports!, dirty writers, illiberalism, human flourishing, and more!

* “FCC on verge of killing state laws that harm municipal broadband,” file this under “great news.”

* What life is like for non-sports fans; a shockingly good metaphor.

* “American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn’t Exist.”

* Another unhappy University of East Anglia (UEA) Student opines.

* On Andrew Jefferson Offutt V, who you probably haven’t heard of and I hadn’t until this article, who was a writer of more than 400 books and is now headlined as “My Dad, the Pornographer.” Article goes to the NYTimes.

* Secret Confessions of the Anti-Anti-P.C. Movement, which contrary to the sound of the title is hilarious, and which demonstrates a massive inability to closely read and interpret an argument.

* “The internet is full of men who hate feminism. Here’s what they’re like in person,” a topic about which I’ve often wondered. See also “Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser — Clarisse Thorn.”

* Let’s Talk About Sex—in English Class.

* “Legal Weed Is Making Colorado So Much Money The State Has To Give Some Back;” all drugs should be next.

Nick Hornby in New York City for “Funny Girl”

Nick Hornby spoke at the Union Square Barnes and Noble on Wednesday, in support of his novel Funny Girl, parts of which he read and supported the claim to comedy in the title. Comedic writers may in general read more successfully than other sorts of writers, or perhaps Hornby is unusually engaging. His talk and the book suggested that perhaps obsession makes us interesting and shows who we are, though Sophie, the protagonist of the novel, has nothing in its beginning save what she wants to become.

Nick HornbyFunny Girl is well-observed (“He said that the bevy of beauties in front of him—and he was just the sort of man who’d use the expression ‘bevy of beauties’—made him even prouder of the town than he already was”) and a keen sense of absurdity shadows the opening of the novel (which is all I can comment on so far).

At one point Hornby said that “Acquiring a family of choice is the dream, isn’t it?” but the challenge of a family of choice may be that it is easier to choose to leave such a family than a genetically intertwined family. Some of his talk also implicitly asked why collaboration is simultaneously so hard yet so essential; the book explores that question on an interpersonal level but per Peter Watts it may also apply on a cellular level.

The audience questions were as usual mumbly democracy in action, but Hornby, like T. C. Boyle, seemed to like or fake liking them. Many, many of them took photos with their cellphones held up high, as depicted above; many saw Hornby through their phones as much as their eyes.

On a separate note, Hornby’s novel High Fidelity holds up well and among other things implies that lists are a way of eliding criticism, real knowledge, and rhetoric. This description however makes it sound boring when it is not.

Hornby Funny GirlHere is a Slate interview between Hornby and Dan Kois.

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