2. No other nation or people outside of our own limited sphere seems to matter ("art" with no wider political or sociological context).
But, also yesterday, my brother shared with me an address that his former dissertation adviser recently gave. This quote (among several others) stands out as a breath of fresh air: "If you're sitting in a class where every student present has spent hours on an intellectually demanding assignment, and where the professor is then able to pose questions that bring out implications no student had so far seen, you're in college. Anything else is not college but an empty charade."