About C. Ryan Knight

C. Ryan Knight teaches English at Randolph Community College in Asheboro, NC, and he lives with his wife outside Greensboro, NC.
Email: knight.cr@gmail.com

How Has Social Media Changed Customer Service?

Writing for Forbes, Dan Bigman described his frustration over not having the flowers he ordered delivered on time last Thursday: If you’re like me and you didn’t get the flowers you ordered for your wife on Valentines Day, and then you felt like a complete idiot for wasting a hunk of your day or so on the phone with no result, that’s because you are an idiot. If you want customer service these days, use Twitter. Period. Bigman encourages readers to switch from now-obsolete calls to help desks a … [Read more...]

In Praise of Memorizing Poetry

It's refreshing to see someone stress the importance of memorizing poetry these days, as Brad Leithauser recently did in The New Yorker. He recounts the great Russian poet Joseph Brodsky, who made his students memorize roughly 1,000 lines of poetry in a semester (much to their dismay). In that vein, Leithauser describes the push-back he gets from his own students when he makes them memorize a single sonnet by Shakespeare.So why even bother memorizing poetry these days? Here's Leithauser's ba … [Read more...]

A Dubious Review of Matt Damon’s New Film about Fracking

Washington Times writer Joy Overbeck lambasted Matt Damon's new film, The Promised Land, as little more than ill-founded propaganda meant to turn public opinion against hydraulic fracturing (better known as fracking). The problems with her review are numerous.Here is Overbeck's central criticism against the film: The funniest thing about the movie is, all the evidence Mr. Damon planned to use against fracking imploded. First Hollywood celebrities trooped to little Dimock, Pa., to bring fre … [Read more...]

Can We Solve the Unemployment Crisis by Working Less?

Yesterday I came across an article by Juliet Schor that was published in Yes! last year. In it she argues for the importance of reducing hours at work and increasing time for self-provisioning (doing things yourself rather than taking shortcuts, like preparing dinner at home rather than eating out). She is most compelling when she argues that working less improves the unemployment crisis and makes sustainable living more feasible.Schor’s argument is true in a sense, but it nonetheless feels d … [Read more...]

Revamping the Republican Message

Writing for Fox News, Dr. Manny Alvarez wrote an open letter to his fellow Republicans calling for his party to "go back to basics." He admits his party failed to pitch its message successfully, and recognizes that it's "not listening" to increasingly important demographic groups in America like Latinos: I think that if the Republican Party wants to change, the way that we transmit our message has to be fundamentally recalculated. You literally have to go out and identify with the real problems … [Read more...]

Time to Reject Legislative Obstructionism

Both parties agreed that yesterday's presidential election would determine more than just which candidate won. It would more importantly decide which vision for America citizens wish to pursue. By a fairly narrow popular vote and a landslide in the electoral college, the Democratic vision, with its roots in the New Deal and the Great Society, prevailed.After the election, however, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell pushed back against President Obama, saying: The voters have not … [Read more...]

On the Eve of the 2012 Presidential Election

As far as I can tell, Tuesday's presidential election is still a toss-up. Republican nominee Mitt Romney has enjoyed a surge in polls in recent weeks due to his generally strong performances in last month's presidential debates. Yet the latest Pew Research Poll indicates the incumbent President has a 50%-47% lead over Romney.Whatever the outcome of Tuesday's election will be, I'm relieved the election race is nearly over. I've heard a number of people say this race has been the most vicious … [Read more...]

Iran’s Cyber-Retaliation

Most of our attention to Iran has been on an amateur sketch of a nuclear bomb and talk of red lines during Presidential debates. Many are worried America will soon take military action against Iran over the issue of nuclear proliferation.Military action is dangerously close – and not because of nuclear weapons. U.S. banks have experienced cyber-attacks recently. Back in August, the Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco suffered a cyber-attack. Here’s a description of the attack from Nicole Perl … [Read more...]

A Qualified Endorsement for Romney

It’s not often you hear about a group making a qualified endorsement. But Log Cabin Republicans, a pro-equality group in support of LGBT rights, issued a qualified endorsement for Mitt Romney yesterday: If LGBT issues are a voter's highest or only priority, then Gov. Romney may not be that voter's choice. … We believe Gov. Romney will make cutting spending and job creation his priorities, and, as his record as governor of Massachusetts suggests, will not waste his precious time in office with le … [Read more...]

The Hyped-up Claims over China

During Tuesday night’s presidential debate, Mitt Romney brought up economic issues related to China multiple times. Writing for The New Republic, John B. Judis looked into the seriousness of Romney’s claims. Judis concluded that “not only is Romney exaggerating the China threat, but he’s doing so at the expense of more, or equally, pressing economic and social issues.”According to Judis, a number of other issues affect China’s economic advantages over America. Cost of production is much lower … [Read more...]