Trendwatch: hugs, Great Books

May 28, 2009

Either I’m paying attention to more trend pieces, or some serious trends are underway.

For Teenagers, Hello Means ‘How About a Hug?’

Girls embracing girls, girls embracing boys, boys embracing each other — the hug has become the favorite social greeting when teenagers meet or part these days. Teachers joke about “one hour” and “six hour” hugs, saying that students hug one another all day as if they were separated for the entire summer.

The Great Books are coming back?

I kept running into more and more students fed up with militant multiculturalism and squash-you-all-flat postmodernism. Although pomo’s demise has been widely reported, one can’t ignore how sclerotic academe is. […] But every orthodoxy, as they say, breeds its own apostasy, and I was getting the message that this might be the hour for recuperation, renaissance, resurrection, recovery, renewal, and revival of the Great Books’ perennial questions. Old ideas become stale — perennial questions do not.

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