"Cotswold kitchen-lingering Sunday Times columnists and violent internet sex-death fantasists unite, wolves and hyenas running against nature in a single bastard pack to hunt down the harmless Mary Beard. Her only crimes? Being clever, old and wearing a cardigan. Hilary Mantel is punished for daring to be a literary novelist in a world of celebrity autobiographies by having her words systematically decontextualised by the Daily Mail, and finding herself strapped into the stocks of public opinion and spattered by the overripe turnip of Twitter. And young critics, now educationally ill-equipped to process all but the most basic burlesques of human feeling, have been unable to give Stephen Poliakoff's new BBC4 drama, "A Dancer on the Edge of Time", the enthusiastic reviews it obviously deserves, preferring instead to spend their energies finding ways of tolerating Derek."
Stewart Lee on the demise of the public intellectual, hounded close to extinction while ITV morphs into "a Galápagos of McGuinnesses".
It's biting, beautifully written stuff, and also containing an attack on the modern rationale for university education: "Once you joined a university to service the global advancement of ideas.
Now you employ it to make you more employable. The notion that thinking
about abstract ideas like art and life might be an end in itself is
being priced out of existence and legislated into oblivion." Hear hear.