Pullman can't really mean that he objects to narration in the present tense full stop. I'd take a more moderate view, which is that you need to think about the effects of different kinds of language and use them when they help you to do what you're trying to do. As Pullman says:
'...if every sound you emit is a scream, a scream has no expressive value'
Pullman's right that the more film-makers use hand-held shaky camerawork, the less impact particular shaky camerawork has. The problem writers have, of course, is that they can only affect what they themselves do and so they need to think about how their particular choices relate to everybody else's and what that will mean for the effects their writing has on readers.
A new academic year is beginning. Time to do some more with this blog. Here's a video we'll be discussing in more than one class this year. Mainly, it's something funny to look at that has to do with prescriptivism. it also gives one or two examples of the kinds of things that irritate people. And it says something about levels of awareness of issues around language use in general.
Will let you know if anything interesting comes up in class...