An Artistic Triumph
First Beam


Feeling rough today, thanks to throbbing temples, a temperature and fits of explosive sneezing. But this is too good to miss.

Jeff Goldstein on Juan Cole on Sarah Palin: 

Rhetorically, Cole’s trick is to ascribe to Palin motives that he knows his readership, who’ve been conditioned to believe that Christian boogymen are out to replace the Constitution with the New Testament, will believe uncritically; from there, it is but a small step to suggesting a sinister cause/effect relationship - the suggestion being all that matters, else the facts would have received a place of prominence in Cole’s “investigation”. But then, because the facts undercut the suggestion, and because the suggestion is what Cole hopes will have lasting power, Cole merely omits the facts. Academic rigor at its finest!

What Cole also fails to acknowledge is that, when it comes to book banning or bowdlerization, the real problem lies with PC progressives, who have, in recent years, had problems with the “ageist” Old Man and the Sea, the “racist” works of Faulkner and Twain, the “insensitive to the differently abled” title, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and on and on and on - to the point where textbooks themselves are being “cleaned” of anything that might give “offense” or be construed as “hate speech” - foregoing historical context and intent for a more sanitized and “diversity-friendly” world of literature and learning.

The whole thing.

Update: Anna points out that Cole is no stranger to censorious urges himself. From the Detroit Metro Times, February 2006:

I think it is outrageous that Fox Cable News is allowed to run that operation the way it runs it. It is a highly ideological, explicitly ideological operation, and it is polluting the information environment… Frankly, I think in the 1960s the FCC would have closed it down. It’s an index of how corrupt our governmental institutions have become, that the FCC lets this go on.

“Polluting the information environment”? Not at all like our esteemed academic, whose disregard for facts is a much loftier endeavour.

Update 2: The academic language police have issued new euphemisms. “Civilised” and “immigrant” are now racist words. And “seminal” is sexist. Please update your records and comply.