December 06, 2011
For newcomers, three more items from the archives.
Leftwing arts establishment claims to be “suppressed,” sneers at the little people, demands free money.
Note the word “suppressed.” Like “dissent,” it’s a tad grandiose. I’m not convinced that the reduction of taxpayer subsidy for loss-making plays qualifies as “suppression.” And reluctant taxpayers please take note: Despite all the years of providing hand-outs, you’re now on the side of the oppressor. That’s gratitude for you.
Professor Thomas Thibeault points out error in sexual harassment policy and is fired two days later.
And so “exposing faculty members” to a book about public figures said to deserve the appellation “asshole” – including Bill Clinton and George Bush - can now be construed as “sexual harassment” and grounds for dismissal. Indeed, mere visibility of the book’s title may be taken as evidence of “divisiveness” and intent to oppress.
Student protestors somehow, perhaps carefully, miss the larger issue.
Some view “free” higher education as an entitlement warranting violence. But who’s going to pay for this “free” service when its value is increasingly called into question, not least by employers, many of whom point to dramatically lowered standards and ill-prepared graduates? One complaint we hear is that many students will be left with large debt (or theoretical debt) and limited prospects of a suitable job. But if so, doesn’t that call into question the value of what’s being demanded? In the UK there are currently around 20,000 students of fine art, 10,000 philosophy students and 27,000 enthusiasts of media studies. But is there a corresponding economic need? If the investment of time, effort and (other people’s) money doesn’t pay off with a lucrative and fascinating career in the private sector and a return via taxation, then how is the process justified in its present form?
And by all means wade through the greatest hits.