Chris Bing on that elite education you could be paying for:
Skidmore College, ranked as one of the nation’s most expensive private colleges in the country, is now officially offering a course on Miley Cyrus: “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender, and Media.” The 2014 summer course will be taught by assistant visiting professor of sociology Carolyn Chernoff. “I am interested in cities, arts, and social change, particularly on the level of social interaction and the production of ‘community,’” Chernoff’s professional bio reads on the school’s website. “I investigate the role of culture in reproducing and transforming social inequality, and research conflict around diversity and difference.”
Tim Blair goes undercover, unsuccessfully, at a Green activist training day:
Next we were called upon to mingle with each other. “Try to find the person in the room who looks as though they hold completely different views to yours,” [anti-capitalist activist Bruce] Knobloch urged, which was an optimistic call, given that everyone at the event was of like mind. A laughing Asian woman turned to me and said: “Everyone should just line up to meet you.”
Do read Tim’s adventure in full. You’ll learn about “non-linear change strategies” and the looming “fascism” of people who aren’t anti-capitalist activists.
According to conference founder Eddie Moore, Jr., “White supremacy, white privilege, racism and other forms of oppression are designed for your destruction - designed to kill you.” If that’s the case, privileged whites are doing a piss-poor job, seeing as how the 400,000 or so Africans who were transported to the New World in slave ships have - through the noxious evils of white privilege, white technology, and living amid a predominantly white culture - blossomed into around 40 million modern black Americans. That’s an increase of 100-1 and truly the most inept genocide in world history.
To me, [Britain] now seems a strange, immoral place. For example, I read articles in the Guardian and the Times this week about the abolition of inherited wealth. The Economist also recently wrote about it. It did not even occur to any of these columnists that they were talking about the property of others. They did not create it. They did not inherit it. They have no just claim to it. Yet they have no moral concerns about proposing its seizure.
As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments.
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Peter Risdon slaps Chris Dillow’s testicles. Metaphorically, I mean:
It’s more appropriate to talk of Marxists being indoctrinated than it is most people, who take less doctrinal, more experience-based and pragmatic approaches to issues. Marxism belongs with traditional religions to a bracket of improbable, dogma-based belief systems that require faith to maintain, in the teeth of what could politely be called conflicting data. As with traditional religions, you get ‘Why I am still a Marxist’ and ‘Why I am no longer a Marxist’ essays and columns – Chris himself wrote one – which are very similar to ‘Why I am still/no longer a Christian’ type pieces.
You don’t get ‘Why I am still a slightly conservative pragmatist’ essays in the same way.
Dr Miller-Young is a typical specimen of homo academicus (or perhaps I should say, mulier academica), circa 2014. The non-stop racial grievance mongering. The anaphrodisiac obsession with gutter sex. The bad prose. The cutesy nods to pop culture. The reflexive left-wing politics. The angry, intellectually nugatory posturing… Dr Miller-Young is as dreary and predictable a representative of the low-wattage, affirmative-action branch of that enterprise as any cultural pathologist could wish for. Would you let her loose on your delicately brought-up daughter? While you ponder that question, let me repeat that there is nothing out of the ordinary about Dr Miller-Young. She is exactly what you can expect when you sign up for a course in the “humanities” these days.
Worth reading in full. And note Dr Miller-Young’s progressive approach to debate: “I’m stronger so I was able to take [and destroy] the poster.” More on the story at Ed Driscoll’s place. And somewhat related is FIRE’s latest video, in which a Dartmouth College student recounts how a fellow student destroyed his organisation’s pro-life display with a car. A car with a “Coexist” bumper sticker on the back.
KC Johnson probes the latest fashion in campus psychodrama:
That little, if any, evidence exists to sustain either of these beliefs has not deterred the “rape culture” believers; if anything, the lack of evidence for their claims appears to have emboldened them… “Rape culture” activists generally steer clear of law enforcement, since police might demand evidence to substantiate their claims.
Her paucity of ideas and her unwillingness to do actual research led Mary Daly to the crucial insight that consumers of radical feminist books didn’t really care about facts or logic or coherent argument. No, the feminist readership consists of disgruntled misfits who want someone to give voice to their inchoate rage. My theory, then, is that Daly discovered she could spend a few hours a week sitting in front of a word-processor, probably with a supply of whiskey and ice near at hand, typing any kind of stream-of-consciousness nonsense that popped into her head. So long as her rants were aimed at the phallocratic patriarchy, and invoked the celebration of radical liberated womanhood, the incoherent nature of Daly’s prose was actually a feature, not a bug. No one could refute her “arguments,” because no one could make sense of them.
I was alarmed but not altogether surprised to read that Marie… did not want [her assailant] to be locked up but rather that they should receive a punishment “so that they understand.” Understand what, precisely? That hitting a defenceless woman in the face ten times with a knuckleduster isn’t a nice thing to do? But they understood this already, only too well: It was precisely their understanding that impelled them to do it… Presumably Marie had in mind something such as psychoanalysis, perhaps mixed with a little compulsory social work or planting flowers in municipal flowerbeds. This is like trying to talk reason to Pol Pot at the apogee of his power, to get him to stand down by persuading him that what he was doing was wrong.
If Miss A suddenly finds herself being beaten by Thug B – repeatedly, ostentatiously, with premeditation and knuckledusters – and then insists her assailant should face only the most mild and inconsequential punishment, this looks an awful lot like moral preening. “See how lenient and saintly I am.” The next victim of thug B – and there usually is a next victim – may not appreciate this display of moral (self-)elevation.
As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments.
From Monday the Guardian is handing over control of its features content to 10 young trainee journalists… Here they describe the topics they want to explore and debate – the media, sex, food, employment, globalisation and more.
Thrilling, isn’t it? All that exploring and debating by the titans of tomorrow as they probe “the issues that matter to us and why.” They have a mission statement and everything:
We are all members of Generation Y – those born between the early 80s and early 00s.
And this, in itself, is somehow fascinating and a basis for applause.
Like every generation, we think we see things differently from the ones that came before us. Also like every generation, we face rapid change that we don’t fully understand – for instance, are we really digital natives, or just magpies collecting shiny things? Are we doomed? Is our future a dystopian IRL news feed of being screwed over by landlords/elected officials/ill-judged sexts?
With such pressing questions in mind,
For one week, we will share our perspectives on the media, globalisation, sex and pop culture,
Media, globalisation, sex and pop culture. Wooh, yeah. Can the system cope with this avalanche of intellectual boldness?
These are some of the pieces we will be bringing you:
Buzzfeed’s Beastmaster explains the cat thing.
Everything you wanted to know about trans sex lives and were rude enough to ask.
Why Clueless defines Gen Y better than any other single cultural artefact.
As you can see, it’s “a week for everyone,” brought to you by an “eclectic mix of voices that have yet to be heard.” And so let’s meet some of these eclectic debaters and explorers, this hot and sassy new Guardian team.