Steinbecks ‘Of Mice and Men’ Used as Legal Standard

Steinbecks ‘Of Mice and Men’ Used as Legal Standard

It’s been said that one of the most powerful functions of art is it’s ability to shine light on the most challenging questions of humanity. Constantly we struggle with our purpose, with the nature of love and hate, and with our ideas of right and wrong. Wrestling with these enigmas often produces art that helps to navigate murky grey areas. In the case of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, the idea of art as a moral reference point may have been taken too far. In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that execution of mentally disabled criminals was unconstitutional, but left vague the …

Revisiting Hip-Hop History

Revisiting Hip-Hop History

I remember taking the train back from the Bronx one afternoon, where I’d been visiting family, trying to imagine what it must’ve been like to see it all ablaze. It’s a scary thought; you’d be silly not to be afraid of fire. The fires that consumed the Bronx in the 1970’s were the embodiment of oppressive destructive forces that are just as scary. Poverty, exploitation, and neglect riddled the growing African-American and Latino communities. Fueled by racism and greed, these vulnerable communities were pawns in the games played by powerful politicians and businessmen, but from the fire that seemed impossible …

Study Finds that Literary Fiction Helps with Emotional Recognition

Study Finds that Literary Fiction Helps with Emotional Recognition

Reading a good book often feels like getting lost in someone else’s thoughts. Their words bounce around your head, and their imagination colors your own. It’s hard to imagine that such a connection wouldn’t promote empathy; nothing puts you in someone else’s shoes quite like seeing the world through their eyes. A recent New School study has concluded that not all books, however, are as effective in developing one’s ability to understand emotion. According to the study, literary fiction (as opposed to genre fiction) is exactly what we need to become better more sensitive people. There’s a lot of disagreement …