David Thompson
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May 22, 2017

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John D

Harvard senior submits rap album as thesis, gets an A.

Isn't a doctoral thesis supposed to be based on -you know- research?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Harvard senior submits rap album as thesis, gets an A.

To be fair to Harvard, it was an A- which is the median grade at Harvard. The mode, however, is an A, so young Mr. Shaw is an underachiever, but nonetheless will graduate Cum Laude (which had to be translated for him) along with the entire rest of his class except for those who graduated Magna or Summa.

Young Mr. Shaw and Harvard, however, are both pikers, a grad student at Clemson got a PhD for a 34 track rap album.

David

Isn’t a doctoral thesis supposed to be based on -you know- research?

Apparently, Harvard’s English department also allows students to turn in “an artistic work as a creative thesis.” Though again, quite how much original research and cogent argument has been produced, and then set unimaginatively to unremarkable loops, is something I’ll leave to others. Having endured most of the album, which is supposedly the result of a year’s intense creativity, I will, however, venture that it’s possibly not a colossal milestone of the genre. And it’s perhaps worth noting that much of the instrumental backing, such as it is, wasn’t even done by Mr Shaw, but by his friends. He will, however, graduate with honours.

Charlie Suet

It's undoubtedly true that the usual race hustlers and charlatans have attached themselves to Black Lives Matter, to its detriment. But personally I think that adding one word - Black Live Matter too - makes the campaign itself significantly more reasonable.

I'm not American and indeed have never even been there, but to quote, er, Enoch Powell: "it is a fearful doctrine, which must recoil upon the heads of those who pronounce it, to stand in judgement on a fellow human being and to say, "Because he was such-and-such, therefore the consequences which would otherwise flow from his death shall not flow.""

Failing to recognise the difficulty of the job the police do is one thing. Insisting that a different sort of standard applies to black neighbourhoods is quite another. The fact that BLM itself makes no distinction between Trayvon Martin and more innocent parties doesn't change that.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...“a dark and moody take on what it means to be black in America… tackling topics ranging from police violence to slavery.” But of course.

There is some heavy stuff there, "Born Browner", for instance, wherein we learn, "...the kindergarten teacher wouldn't cut him no slack...". I have heard that Georgia kindergarten teachers are indistinguishable from antebellum plantation owners.

Curiously, among the various tracks that are a testament to "Band in a Box", there is nothing that describes the utter horror of being a student at Harvard which, like the Georgia kindergartens, also treats Students of Color as if they were on a veritable antebellum plantation.

fnord

BLM was nothing more than the Democrats 'Get out the ghetto Vote' operation for the election.

fnord

I was going to write a rap about my mother, but I couldn't decide whether to refer to her as a 'bitch' or a 'ho' so I gave up.

David

“Born Browner”, for instance, wherein we learn, “...the kindergarten teacher wouldn’t cut him no slack...”

I think we can safely say that quite a bit of slack is being cut at Harvard.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I was going to write a rap about my mother, but I couldn't decide whether to refer to her as a 'bitch' or a 'ho' so I gave up.

I was reading a Yale PhD thesis about this just the other day, and apparently the two terms are not mutually exclusive, so give it another go.

R. Sherman

Isn't a doctoral thesis supposed to be based on -you know- research?

Traditionally, one's doctorate necessitates the writing of a dissertation. Masters degree candidates write a thesis. The Harvard student in question was an undergraduate. Final written works in those circumstances have a variety of names. At my daughter's uni, it was called a "capstone," and could be a project or longer research paper.

Daniel Ream

The thrillingly original opus in question – which can be savoured here - is “a dark and moody take on what it means to be black in America… tackling topics ranging from police violence to slavery.”

Because certainly no one's ever produced a rap album on that theme before.

WTP

The fact that BLM itself makes no distinction between Trayvon Martin and more innocent parties doesn't change that.

BLM was founded in response to the Zimmerman verdict. They is all about the Trayvon.

R. Sherman

Regarding the rap-thesis, I wonder how many of Shakespeare's works the author read during his undergraduate career?

beau brix

Someday a Black leader will realize what a tremendous insult this is to the race....and it's being done by quintessentially privileged white men. As time passes, and they don't, i guess I will be rethinking my whole perspective on race. Make of that that you will.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Regarding the rap-thesis, I wonder how many of Shakespeare's works the author read during his undergraduate career?

Harvard was one of a few that actually required it of their English majors during young Mr. Shaw's stay there.

The four exceptions, among the 52 schools analyzed, were Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley, the U.S. Naval Academy and Wellesley College. All four require English majors to take a Shakespeare class.

Given that he was going to get somewhere between and A- and A+ anyway, whether he actually read during the course may never be known.

David

“a dark and moody take on what it means to be black in America…”

Says the student at Harvard, an elite institution that indulges in systemic racial favouritism for people such as himself, and which hails said student’s really bad hip-hop demos as the measure of intellectual and literary excellence, and where annual board and tuition is north of sixty grand a year.

The word parody comes to mind.

PiperPaul

Went to the web page hoping that Obasi Shaw was white.

Got disappointed.

Sporkatus

@WTP: Indeed - any truthfulness behind the rage be hanged. And it is primarily a mobilization movement *only* to stoke animus, inspire white guilt and (as fnord mentions) inspire the black vote. One of its central conceits seems to be that legitimate avenues of political involvement have failed, so one should Get Active by aimlessly marching (nothing like Selma Envy to get the blood flowing), screaming, maybe even rioting... or at the minimum, just vote. That vote of course to be for the machine-selected district mascot of the Democratic party du jour - because this time it'll work, for sure.

Dismantle the machine? Elect someone other than the most recently selected pliable peacock? What are you, crazy? It's a twisted reversal of the "most exotic and therefore most genuine" representative idiom documented in Tom Wolfe's Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, in which the Most Exotic person receiving the full support of local party heads then mau-maus the constituency into granting support.

Insofar as BLM has attempted to do anything meaningful, it has been activism with the result of reducing *policing*, not effective to improve real police behavior. Lawsuits against all possible targets regardless of legitimacy, increased "training", etc. The more-training-to-perfect-the-man wheeze that is so popular - anyone un-molded by the "sensitivity" process is not Of The Body, and the rest are cowed.

David

In case anyone missed it: “Black lives matter... You filthy white fucks.

JuliaM

Beau Brix: "Someday a Black leader will realize what a tremendous insult this is to the race..."

MLK did. Remember his 'content of his character, not colour of his skin' speech?

jabrwok

I'm reminded of this essay from last year. Miss. MacDonald is hardly the first to note that black lives don't appear to matter to black people.

David in Michigan

I wonder if I can find this rap "thesis" on WorldStar? I'll go look.

MC

If I was a Japanese American student at an elite university, I would be kicking back and looking forward to submitting a haiku for my dissertation.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I'm reminded of this essay from last year.

Speaking of BLM (not the Bureau of Land Management) and essays, a student of color (but not "black") got accepted to Stanford with an admission essay consisting of “#BlackLivesMatter” repeated 100 times.

#"elite"universitiesaren't

David

Apparently, the word “triggered” is itself triggering - to such an extent that the person using it should lose their job as punishment.

#BecauseTheyCareSoVeryMuch

PiperPaul

"haiku for my dissertation"

Why would you do that
These people are not that bright
They're being coddled

dearieme

"Harvard senior submits rap album as thesis, gets an A." John F Kennedy submitted a senior dissertation written for him by a hired hand. Edward Kennedy sent a 'ringer' to take a Spanish exam for him; Harvard first expelled Teddy and then re-admitted him.

Corruption at Harvard is nothing new.

R. Sherman

"haiku for my dissertation"

I started, but I got to "sit on a pickle" and then writer's block kicked in.

cm

Summer-lofted caps
Our great adventure over
Time to get a job

I can't resist a haiku. :-)

Hopp Singg

As an academic project, let's take rap lyrics about women and set them to a country and western beat, sung by a white boy with a twang. Surely that too would earn an "A."

neal

Well, to be fair, shaking down a university with a menacing stare to really hating to see it burn down has been working for awhile.

I guess that is how one obtains tenure, and letters, and such.

Not really thug rap. More like a limerick.

Burn, baby. Burn.

Kill Whitey, Kill Whitey, Kill Whitey.

Best to save the tradesmen. Someone has to replace the lightbulbs.

Chester Draws
If I was a Japanese American student at an elite university, I would be kicking back and looking forward to submitting a haiku for my dissertation.

If you were a Japanese American you would be working hard and studying. Then you would have the letters after your name and would have learned something. Racist bastards!

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

I can't resist a haiku. :-)

Summer-lofted caps
Our great adventure over
Hired by Starbucks.

R. Sherman

As an academic project, let's take rap lyrics about women and set them to a country and western beat. . .

Will this do?. (The costume is apropos, since we're discussing the Clown Quarter.)

Sam Duncan

Word of the day: baizuo:

Although the emphasis varies, baizuo is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”.

I say we make this a Thing in the Anglosphere. It's so much more culturally appropriative than “SJW”.

PiperPaul

Oooh - baizuo. That's pretty good.

Saw this at WattsUpWithThat:

"An availability cascade is a self-reinforcing process of collective belief formation by which an expressed perception triggers a chain reaction that gives the perception of increasing plausibility through its rising availability in public discourse."

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

I started, but I got to "sit on a pickle" and then writer's block kicked in.

Sit on a pickle
My fetish with Raquel Welch
The best sex ever.

Hal

at Harvard . . .

The word parody comes to mind.

Classic Harvard parody.

Black Ball

Studying teaching in Australia so this will give me some time to thrill the masses with hip hop maybe with a didgeridoo as background.

PiperPaul

"didgeridoo"

Cultural appropriationist!

Watcher

Whilst we're on the subject of didgeridoos and cultural appropriation: http://eyecrazy.blogspot.com.au/2017/05/today-in-cultural-appropriation-gay.html

Black Ball

Whilst we're on the subject of didgeridoos and cultural appropriation

David, we have performance art afoot.

Vince N

Apparently, the word “triggered” is itself triggering - to such an extent that the person using it should lose their job as punishment.

Last week the SJWs were using the word themselves. Now they hate it? It's hard to keep up when the rules are continually changing.

Or are they mad because someone appropriated SJW culture?

David

Christina Hoff Sommers on the pseudoscience of microaggression “theory,” and the “spies, busybodies and scolds” who are drawn to it.

jic

I wonder what would have happened if he was studying across town at Berklee, and had submitted a paper comparing the writings of James Baldwin to those of Geoffrey Chaucer?

Actually, I wonder what would have happened if he was studying across town at Berklee, and had submitted that same lazy, mediocre hip hop album?

Burnsie

Summer-lofted caps
Our great adventure over
Time to get a job

Qualifications?
Listen to my rap album
No job for me? Why?

Microbillionaire


From here.

jic

"Qualifications?
Listen to my rap album
No job for me? Why?"

He's probably no more screwed on the job font than any other English graduate.

Geezer

Will this do?

Thanks for that. I'd never seen him before. He's right good.

David

From here.

Heh. I was looking at it for at least a second before I realised.

PiperPaul

Is Christina Hoff Sommers is identifying as Derald Wing Sue in that video?

Hal

A Chinese student speaks of freedom.

The Chinese government, and therefore a lot of sock puppets as well, demands that she shut up.

Hal

Marvel Comics is apparently having definite business issues, possibly more than comic book issues with bad plot writing . . .


Unbeatable Squirrel Girl??!?!

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