I Win I Win

Sometimes I find myself in an odd sort of competition with friends from other countries, specifically the UK: we argue over which of us lives in the more anti-intellectual culture. I say I do, they say they do, and so we improve the shining hour.

But I have a nice little piece of evidence here. Specifically this remark:

One reason people trained as philosophers press so hard for academic jobs is that the United States offers few other opportunities to use their training. Television here, unlike its counterparts in Europe and Asia, almost completely ignores university and intellectual life. So do radio and print journalism, devoting far more airtime and space to sports.

I rest my case. Who can deny it? Is there any equivalent of, say, Radio 4’s ‘Start the Week’ in the US? There is not. Are you kidding? A show on a mainstream (not even the more avowedly ‘highbrow’ Radio 3) radio station where five people talk about serious books and ideas, about books that all five of them have actually read, for a whole hour? I don’t think so! Do we see a lot of people starting their own philosophy magazines in the US and actually making a go of it? Not that I’m aware of!

No, I think I get to declare myself the winner in that particular game.

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