Reproduction of a Charles Mills painting by the Detroit Publishing Company. Depicts W:Benjamin Franklin at work on a printing press. It is unlikely Franklin would have ever worn a paper hat (paper being expensive in his day), making that something of an anachronism.

Pieces of the Past as Prologue

BY AARON BARLOW When I first taught at New York City College of Technology fifteen years ago, I immediately noticed a glassed-in display of an old flatbed printing press with a dummy dressed as Ben Franklin next to it. Peering in, I saw that the press was in working condition—still is. In fact, it is…

By Leoboudv - Own work, GFDL,

The Remove to Representation

BY AARON BARLOW Sometime around 1970, when I told an aunt and uncle that the FBI was spying on American leftists, they turned to me in outrage and spoke in unison, “You don’t really believe that, do you?” This, from a couple who had just told me I should be willing to go fight in…

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The Age of the Crap Artist

Originally posted on One Flew East:
Some years ago, we arrived at the age of the “news clown.” It’s the age of realization of characters such as Philip K. Dick’s once fictional newscaster Jim-Jam Brisken, someone who runs for president in a flaming red wig. But we’re past that, now. No, not past Philip K.…

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Understanding and the Other

Originally posted on One Flew East:
There are over a quarter of a million students at the City University of New York. That’s twice as many as there are in the entire Ivy League. And they come from almost every country in the world and speak uncountable languages. They can’t be easily categorized except as…


About Our Collective Mood

Originally posted on APSCUF-WCU:
Those of you who know me won’t be surprised that I’m furious this morning about the turn of events in our negotiations with PASSHE. My mood isn’t improved by the press coverage (for example, see this story on PennLive from last night, which makes a couple of very misleading claims and…



BY AARON BARLOW From the Long Island University Faculty Federation website: We have won a victory. The administration will end their unprecedented lockout effective 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, September 14. We will be reunited with our students and can resume our professional lives. Our collective bargaining agreement is extended until May 31, 2017, and the administration…