Not a good night for the shows I watch: Girls, Real Time With Bill Maher, Doc Martin. I watched VEEP once and thought it so implausibly unrealistic that I was sure it wouldn't last a season. Modern Family is not so politically correct that it doesn't stoop to the hoary stereotype of Latinas. (You would think it was made in Fargo, not Los Angeles.) Jimmy Kimmel was funnier in his five minutes as a presenter than Seth Myers was in three hours as host. Though perhaps I just got tired of being shouted at.
The question the New York Times Book Review posed to its dueling essayists yesterday was: "Can writing be taught?" The question was assumed to be about creative writing - in an age of proliferating MFA programs - but Zoe Heller aptly pointed out that, long before post-grad work, schools fail to teach structure and style, i.e., those aspects of writing that can be taught. (Not to mention, in some schools' cases, grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.) As a result (my conclusion, not hers) we have become a nation that teaches to become writers people who have not been taught how to write properly.