Has pop culture forsaken the liberal arts?

Wherefore art thou, Indiana Jones?  By Kevin Craft, writing in The Atlantic.

Pop Culture Has Turned Against the Liberal Arts

What gives? Why are so many works perpetuating the stereotype that liberal arts programs cater to Peter Pan boys and girls and sad-sack professors, none of whom have the emotional intelligence to deal with life's problems? Part of it could be recession-era scapegoating. And part of it is that the cultural heroes of the moment are largely start-up kings like Mark Zuckerbergs and Steve Jobses who dropped out of college to pursue fortune. You can see similar strains of thought in Scott Gerber's recent Atlantic piece critiquing the liberal arts curriculum for inadequately preparing entrepreneurs. 
It, of course, wasn't always this way. Remember Indiana Jones? The title character, played by Harrison Ford in the prime of his alpha-male A-star days, is a professor of archeology. He got his love of academics from his father Henry Jones, a professor of medieval literature. It is these two men's fluency in liberal arts—that and the younger's proficiency with a bull-whip, a revolver, and his fists—that qualify them to travel the globe and battle Nazis while searching for long-lost archeological treasures. If those films were released today, I wonder if some Hollywood producer would insist that the Jones boys be changed from professors to executives at a private treasure-salvaging company. The idea that liberal-arts lovers can be heroes seems even more antiquated than the artifacts the Jones' are after.


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