This weekend, I made lemonade out of having no WiFi in a crowded airport terminal and indulged in reading whole articles published in physical magazines I don't work for. Find a way to swim to your own quiet, unwired island sometime this week and check out my favorites:
1. Louis Menand's essay in The New Yorker titled "Practical Cat." It's one man's take on how T.S. Eliot came to be the influential literary figure he is today, based on actual letters penned pre-Wasteland stardom. Most inspiring is the passage about the fact that Eliot felt he was most productive as a writer in the time he was employed at a bank. (You can't read the story in full online without a subscription. Guess you'll have to go get a job at a bank...)
2. In "The Shame of College Sports," civil-rights historian Taylor Branch dissects the inner-workings and sometimes bewildering motives of the NCAA. Ultimately (and reluctantly), he poses a tough question: are college sports akin to slavery? In the story he writes: "To survey the scene--corporations and universities enriching themselves on the backs of uncompensated young men, whose status as 'student athletes' deprives them of the right to due process guaranteed by the Constitution--is to catch an unmistakable whiff of the plantation." For those of us who don't follow sports at all, the litany of game summaries and legal scandals can be as dizzying as the play-by-play football minutiae that make up much of Michael Lewis' The Blind Side, but it's worth the mental workout in the end. Also - the discussion continues, as Branch defends criticism of his argument on the Atlantic website.
Bonus round: I downloaded Alice in Wonderland onto my phone for free. I must say, there is "much of a muchness" about always holding the classics in the palm of your hand...