Saturday, March 31, 2012
Via a very thoughtful piece on how academia is responsible for a good part of the incivility that has affected American political and social discourse in the last thirty or forty years, a side-splitting clip from The Daily Show.
He's a W&M grad so I keep trying to have a soft spot for him, yet he often irritates me.
But this video is amazing, isn't it? She's the sort of character Tom Wolfe puts in his books that liberals get uncomfortable with but grudgingly admit that there are a few people sot of like that (but much, much worse among their opponents, of course). Five years later, everyone admits that Wolfe was right all along, now that the template is spelled out for them.
Yes academia is overwhelmingly liberal, although in my experience STEM faculty are far less political and ideological than those in the humanities and arts. Still we are on average quite liberal, at least with regard to social issues, and certainly we tend to vote Democratic. I'd guess most executives at Fortune 500 companies vote Republican.
By the way, we academic scientists are also much less likely to be religious than the rest of the country. What does that tell you? I'm sure Dalrymple, who is an expert on "Christology", would not like it. I suspect the increasing irrelevance of Christianity among university faculty and students is also behind his antipathy to modern academia.
When Dalrymple says liberals "overtook the universities", I wonder how that can explain the preponderance of liberals among STEM faculty. Was this also part of the their nefarious society-shaping plans? Is my research on quantum entanglement and graphene somehow advancing the liberal agenda?
Truth be told. I share his exasperation with the antics of Literature, Ethnic Studies, and other department faculties which tend to be political and ideological to an extent which calls into question their scholarship. Our Ethnic Studies department, for example, is dogmatically anti-Israel and has even posted politically motivated attacks on Israel on its official departmental web page.
If only Dalrymple were more clever, and if he had more than a cartoonish view of what is happening inside American universities, he could have written something interesting here.
The Froma Harrop interview was brilliant and quite cathartic for all of us who are just tired of this partisan bullshit, whatever the source. I think about how they must have planned the questions and edited the interview to produce the final product - really amazing stuff.
This is somewhat old, but I will rehash. Last summer, the blogosphere picked up rather quickly that Froma Harrop, the director of a project on civility, had called the Tea Party people "terrorists."
She got a number of comments on her blog, especially on this article: Am I uncivil? While the comments disagreed with her, I did not detect any uncivil ones. They simply disagreed with her, which was apparently too much for Froma to endure.
Here was Froma's answer to "Am I uncivil?":
"I see incivility as not letting other people speak their piece."
She later wrote:
"Comments are closed." Comments disappeared from her blog. Froma has kept her blog closed to comments since then.
By her own definition, Froma is not civil.
If blind,self-righteous Froma ever wonders why I left the Libs, my reply is that her sthtick, which I found rather common among the libs, is among the reasons why I left the Libs.
Political correctness at University of California: click here