"It's easily one of the most-buzzed about (or should we say slammed?) shows in the history of TLC, so it's natural to assume that 'Sarah Palin's Alaska' could have a future on the cable network, right? Unfortunately for you caribou-hunting fans, there's only bummer news to report (for now).
"EW did its due diligence and discovered there are no plans to send uber-producer Mark Burnett back to Wasilla with Palin, who's lured an average of 3.2 million viewers to TLC with her show. So this Sunday's two-hour finale of 'Sarah Palin's Alaska' appears to be its last. …
"But it makes sense why Palin wouldn't want to commit to another season: If she and her family chose to shoot more episodes, it would surely be interpreted as a sign that she had no plans to run for office. By not doing a second round, Palin would spare TLC the trouble of having to provide her fellow candidates with equal-access time of their own in the event she did decide to run."
— Lynette Rice, writing on "Sarah Palin's Alaska': No second season. (Dang?)" on Jan. 7 at the Entertainment Weekly blog Inside TV
"When David Foster Wallace committed suicide, on September 12, 2008, at the age of 46, he put an abrupt and shocking end to what was already one of the most distinctive writing lives in contemporary America. Fans who knew his work tended to be passionate about it. If you weren't drawn to his epic, ironic, lonely-in-the-crowd, cri-de-coeur of a novel 'Infinite Jest,' you might have known him from 'Consider the Lobster,' or 'A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again,' or another of the wry, footnoted essays that turned up from time to time in magazines like Harper's.
"Readers outside academe caught on to Wallace before scholars did. When he died, academic interest in him had only begun to show real signs of life, with scholars starting to look closely at the ways in which Wallace responded to and reshaped for a new generation the postmodernism practiced by writers like Don DeLillo and Thomas Pynchon. Two years later, spurred in part by his death but even more by a rising generation of young scholars, the impending publication of a posthumous novel, and the opening of a major archive of the writer's papers, David Foster Wallace studies is on its way to becoming a robust scholarly enterprise."
— Jennifer Howard, writing on "The Afterlife of David Foster Wallace," on Jan. 6 at the Chronicle Review
Word, words, words
"When Antonin Scalia correctly pointed out that no one in 1870 thought that the Fourteenth Amendment applied to women (which is blatantly obvious to anyone who reads far enough into the document to get to the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments or heard of this thing called the 'Equal Rights Amendment'), liberal 'feminists' went crazy. The idea of examining the historical context of the Amendment was taken to be a misogynistic, cruel theory. …
"If you want to see progressives do a 180 and decide that words have a very specific, special meaning that cannot be used in any other context, ever, have Sarah Palin say them. Sarah correctly pointed out that the liberals' condemnation of conservatism after a communist atheist killed a conservative judge and wounded a moderate Democrat … is 'blood libel.' …
"So they resort to saying that 'blood libel' cannot be used against a non-Jewish group. Then they cite Wikipedia as to the idea that the definition of 'blood libel' has been static since the 1200s."
— Roxeanne de Luca, writing on "How to turn a liberal into a strict constructionist, or maybe a textualist," on Jan. 12 at her blog Haemet