David Thompson
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February 11, 2015

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Joan

Nor is it likely that there will be any punishment of those who put their own desires above the rights of others.

Expel them with no tuition refund.

svh

Expel them with no tuition refund.

And then watch while they explain that to mum and dad.

David

Expel them with no tuition refund.

You’d think it would be an obvious option for more serious or repeated infractions. But compared with the number of thuggish disruptions, it’s a vanishingly rare event. It’s one of those things that can make a person feel fusty and out of touch. When I was in my late teens it wouldn’t have occurred to me, for instance, that I could put on a balaclava and lay siege to a university building, “occupy” it, vandalise it, threaten people, disrupt their classes and work for days on end while issuing absurd demands, and face no serious consequence, or any consequence, for such behaviour.

And yet that happens.

Watcher In The Dark

I presume (always dangerous, but one has to start somewhere) that “Queering Agriculture” is merely the start of a whole new range of topics for study and discussion. I look forward to thoughtful academic treatises on “Queering Welding,” “Queering Cod Fishing” and of course, “Queering Querying.” It should keep academia gainfully occupied for ages.

Watcher In The Dark

Completely off-topic, but of more than passing interest in these peaceful times, there's this:

http://news.artnet.com/art-world/street-artist-combo-brutally-attacked-for-pacifist-tag-post-charlie-hebdo-244569

Maybe this co-existence thing isn;t working out as planned...

Lancastrian Oik

Unfortunately, some graduates of the Clown Quarter of Academia™ somehow manage to attain prominence in the mainstream media.

If you ever needed proof that Mason (a) has been promoted well beyond his pay grade and (b) is batshit crazy, then do have a read of that piece.

For someone who is supposed to be the economics editor of Channel 4 News, actual economics plays no part in his frankly bizarre analysis of the Euro crisis. Instead, it's all about bubblegum cards which depicted "....the depredations of the SS and the Luftwaffe’s dastardly behaviour at Dunkirk", the good guys these days being the ones who don't wear ties, and Greece's moral and cultural standing in Europe- "If nations were measured by the salience of their culture – its bite, its saltiness, its addiction to beauty* – Hellenic culture would stand equal to its Teutonic counterpart".

*As exemplified by the loving care and attention lavished upon by the Parthenon over these many centuries.

Watcher In The Dark

"its bite, its saltiness, its addiction to beauty"

Yes, I like Ritz Crackers too.

Charlie Suet

"But, being trained in classical music, I was also lucky to be exposed to the best of German culture: to Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Brahms. So, when I say what follows, it is not out of hostility or ignorance."

"I'm no racist - some of my best friends are cabbage eating squareheads"

Jacob

Alice McLachlan, a professor of philosophy, insists that censorious mobs who shriek personal abuse and shut down discussion are in fact the very model of progressive debate.

Holy crap. Let me get this straight, she gets paid to teach philosophy…?

David

Let me get this straight, she gets paid to teach philosophy…?

I think the unconvincing smile is the icing on the cake. Just watch her little face as she tells her little lies. And as noted in the comments, you can’t help but wonder how quickly Professor McLachlan would change her tune if her lectures and events were being disrupted, if she were the one being thwarted by that kind of delinquent pretension.

But then, one mustn’t expect logic and consistency from a professor of philosophy. How terribly old fashioned that would be.

TDK

Ooh I kinda like Queering agriculture.

The smug grauniad reader currently preens his moral superiority as he goes to a farmer's market. He is better than the morons who buy from Asda or Tesco. Oblivious to the arguments of those in the pay of Big-Agri he knows he is being sustainable, eco-friendly, supportive of Fair Trade, organic, anti-GM, and tastier.

Now we learn that wholefoods risk reinforcing "normative standards". Smugness gone. Result!

The Lurker on the Threshold

...that censorious mobs who shriek personal abuse and shut down discussion are in fact the very model of progressive debate

Well, from the examples I've seen and read about this does sadly seem to be true.

R. Sherman

The talk’s presenter, a Ph.D. candidate in American studies at the University of Maryland. . .

Nothing says agricultural expertise like someone who's most likely never taken an agronomy class and probably keeps a plastic palm tree in his office.

Arty

Interesting post David. I'd leave a longer comment but I don't want to be late for my 'Queering Jihad' lecture.

Maureen

The interesting thing about queering agriculture is that in most farm communities there are already gays/lesbians who are active and productive farmers and have been for decades. And guess what? NO ONE IN THE COMMUNITY CARES. The criteria for acceptance is not who you have sex with (unless it is someone else's partner then you might be in for a world of hurt) but rather are you are good farmer, good steward of the land (something that again farmers have been doing for decades/centuries), willing to help your neighbour and pitch in to make the load lighter, do you contribute to the community bake sale or street festival, help coach the football team etc. etc. You know things that ANY community values.

Ten
Let me get this straight, she gets paid to teach philosophy…?

It's remarkable that phil profs don't need to submit to any apparent proof of suitability. If said prof had the reason to grasp that progressivism has at its philosophical root the compunction to rather involuntarily stem the full human experience - to frame, precondition, and coerce everything for a presumed external effect so as to prevent the individual his internal responsibility to choose, act, and experience humanity himself, they being what we're here for by any valid, formidable philosophy - then said prof wouldn't be progressive.

Or maybe it's like inverted Buddhism (which holds that consciously possess any fragment of even Buddhism itself is to not be Buddhist). Surely McLachlan does us the great service of not projecting any semblance of enlightened objectivity. Her inverted philosophy is therefore its own performance art. Instructing by negative example.

Or something. You slobs.

A recent film exploration of the premise of anti-humanism in the individual sense was The Giver, from Lois Lowry's book of the same name. Preconditioning Utopias cannot but prevent individuality in all ways and means. (How the film adaptation came to star Meryl Streep is anybody's guess.)

Ten
I think the unconvincing smile is the icing on the cake. Just watch her little face as she tells her little lies. And as noted in the comments, you can’t help but wonder how quickly Professor McLachlan would change her tune if her lectures and events were being disrupted, if she were the one being thwarted by that kind of delinquent pretension.

It appears that phil profs don't need to submit to any apparent proof of psychological suitability, either.

Tim Newman

I was also lucky to be exposed to the best of German culture: to Beethoven, Mozart,

That's nice, but Mozart was Austrian.

David

Expel them with no tuition refund.
And then watch while they explain that to mum and dad.

It would, I think, make for an, um, interesting exchange of views. I do like the idea of a fly-on-the-wall TV series in which self-styled “social justice” warriors occupy something or other, fight with staff and police, get expelled, and then have to explain what’s happened to their non-revolutionary parents. Hey, I’d tune in.

As I’ve said before, what occurs to me about these delusional poseurs - besides their mental conformity, their vanity, and their belief that the campus is theirs to disrupt – is that their places could have been taken by students who don’t strive to sabotage debate and who, thanks to a little humility, actually want to learn something. Perhaps even a skill that’s of value to others and will thereby earn them a living. There must be thousands of much smarter, more honest people – people, for instance, who don’t imagine themselves as Maoist “revolutionaries” or communist ninjas – and who would eagerly use the opportunity that these obnoxious little parasites are squandering.

sackcloth and ashes

'I can only guess that the reason you don’t hear much about black-versus-Hispanic violence in America is that you’re not supposed to hear much about it'.

You also don't hear much about black v South Asian violence in the UK. For much the same reason.

Smudger

There must be thousands of much smarter, more honest people – people, for instance, who don’t imagine themselves as Maoist “revolutionaries” or communist ninjas – and who would eagerly use the opportunity that these obnoxious little parasites are squandering.

This. This is the real crime, the real insult, the real cost. And the worst of it is that the parasites in question think of themselves as righteous.

cf. Laurie Penny's 'journalism'.

DH

You also don't hear much about black v South Asian violence in the UK. For much the same reason.

My brother teaches in a school where only one in five pupils are white. He tells me that he has to navigate a complex web of resentment between Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Bengalis, Afghans, West Indians and Africans that would cause most Guardian readers' brains to short circuit.

R. Sherman

Regarding "Queering" agriculture, I believe we're very close to some sort of singularity.

Time to repair to the bunker, I think.

David

I believe we’re very close to some sort of singularity.

I prefer blueberry yoghurt myself, partly because it doesn’t have quite so much vaginal bacteria, but there you are.

Jeff Wood

"delinquent pretension"

Very good indeed, David.

I must add that I feel good about coming to a place where there is a Watcher in the Dark and a Lurker on the Threshold.

wtp

Let me get this straight, she gets paid to teach philosophy…?

Actually, she's not all that atypical of the bat-**** crazy that most philosophy profs espouse. It's what they do for their kibble.

wtp

Also...
It's remarkable that phil profs don't need to submit to any apparent proof of suitability.

Dean, to the physics department. "Why do I always have to give you guys so much money, for laboratories and expensive equipment and stuff. Why couldn't you be like the math department - all they need is money for pencils, paper and waste-paper baskets. Or even better, like the philosophy department. All they need are pencils and paper."

wtp

Forgive me...(See what happens when you turn of Captcha?)

It appears that phil profs don't need to submit to any apparent proof of psychological suitability, either.

You might want to look into what goes on in the heads of psychology profs...It's a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel.

David

It’s a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel.

Well, we have reached the point where some Marxoid philosophy lecturers are telling us that they needn’t be knowledgeable or competent in any conventional sense – competence being unfair, you see. And that therefore – yes, therefore - we should spend more money on their salaries.

Theophrastus

"Mozart was Austrian"

No. He was born in the ecclesiastical principality of the Archbishopric of Salzburg, and as such was a subject of the Holy Roman Empire - which had german-speaking core. Mozart is as Austrian as Immanuel Kant is Russian.

Elrond Hubbard

After numerous failures in "Marxing" agriculture during the 20th century it became inevitable 21st century progressives would decide farming needed "queering".

Mkelley

These lefty creeps will get their reward when they graduate from college with massive debt and worthless Gender Studies degrees.

R. Sherman

@Theophrastus

Quite. And BTW, I solved the "Seven Bridges of Koenigsburg" problem, but I'm just not going to tell anyone.

So there.

wtp

These lefty creeps will get their reward when they graduate from college with massive debt and worthless Gender Studies degrees.

No they won't. They'll do as David says above, demand more money from us to support them in make-believe jobs or on the dole. That is what an Occupier looks like. Doubt me? It has already been happening for decades. The volume of worthless lefties increases relative to the rate at which the rest of us generate the wealth that fills the government's coffers which they then spend on creating more worthless lefties who vote for them. It's like a law or something. Akin to Boyle's, perhaps.

sackcloth and ashes

'My brother teaches in a school where only one in five pupils are white. He tells me that he has to navigate a complex web of resentment between Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Bengalis, Afghans, West Indians and Africans that would cause most Guardian readers' brains to short circuit'.

The most vitriolic comments I have heard about West Indians and Africans have come (respectively) from Africans and West Indians.

AC1

wtp, it's more like Ricardo's Law of Rent, and for similar reasons.

james

'My brother teaches in a school where only one in five pupils are white. He tells me that he has to navigate a complex web of resentment between Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Bengalis, Afghans, West Indians and Africans that would cause most Guardian readers' brains to short circuit'.

One of my most formative years was when I came to London from Dublin in 1988.

Most of my knowledge of London prior to that came from watching the BBC and from British media generally, as well as their clones in the Irish media.

Among the things that I found out for myself, which I had not expected, were-

- the White Sarf Londoners that I worked with were among the friendliest, most tolerant, generous people that I have ever met

- the West Indians from Barbados disliked the West Indians from Jamaica, while Jamaicans from outside Kingston disliked those from Kingston. However they all hated the Nigerians

- in spite of the bien pensant wishes of Brent Council to characterise the Irish as an oppressed ethnic minority, most Irish people that I knew resented this.

- local papers carried reports of youth gang feuds involving people from various parts of the globe, none of which ever seemed to be carried in national newspapers or TV news

- White skin-head/ NF racists were actually very hard to encounter (not that I went looking).

The Phantom

“it is absolutely crucial queer and transgender studies begin to deal more seriously with the subject of agriculture.”

I see that one of them finally looked at a map and figured out that the straights can starve 'em out any time. Because all the food comes from Straightland.

Remarkable level of insight for a gender studies major.

Jeff Guinn

From my daughter, a student at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan:

---

Dad, GVSU just sent me an email: “Last year, a day-long Teach-in entitled Power, Privilege, and Difficult Dialogues was held for the purpose of mutual education among students, faculty and staff of the GVSU community on topics related to inequality and systems of oppression, as well as social justice and liberation.”

Pretty sure this is the day-long seminar for me!

I would learn about things like #BlackLivesMatter, Campus Rape Culture, Title IX, ableism, “working within new systems of power in higher education”, and, last but not least, “addressing heteronormative and gender-normative practices in campus communities.”

My headache is now even worse.

But wait, there's more: “We especially encourage contributions with an intersectional framework (considering interconnections of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, xenophobia, etc.)…”)

*cries*

---

GVSU isn't known for its football team, but it is known for nasty racist incident.

The next day, the entire school stood down so the white students could learn how they were at fault for inequality and systems of oppression, and were encouraged to shut up because how could they expect to be re-educated otherwise.

And then the the day after that, this.

I know this is a real shocker, but there were no apologies forthcoming.

David

No they won’t. They'll do as David says above

Well, it’s a question we’ve touched on before. As when a self-described “bottle blonde bacon-eating vegan” discovered – much to her shock and dismay – that her degrees in “social justice and peace studies” and (naturally) “gender studies” have zero value in the job market. The realities of which she didn’t “know how to process.” “My degrees mean NOTHING,” she tweeted in disbelief.

And so, having wasted $50,000 on degrees of negligible value, both vocationally and intellectually, and having spent years imbibing the standard “radical” boilerplate and question-begging, and all that pretentious resentment, what will our “social justice” warrior do? Will she reflect on her own poor choices and the ways in which the young and credulous are exploited by academia’s Clown Quarter? Will she register how her comedy qualifications may have negative value and may signal to potential employers things that aren’t at all enticing, about the kind of person she is?

How will she “process the reality” of her self-inflicted woes? Will she rethink her own priorities - and vanities - and learn from her mistakes, which is most likely a painful and embarrassing process? Or will she spare herself that indignity and revert to type, turning that resentment against the world and, as she puts it, “privileged people,” “conservatives” and “heteropatriarchal crap,” as encouraged by her studies? And will that misdirected resentment, however flattering and familiar, improve her situation in any way at all?

SteveGW

I seem to recall that a few years ago, when there seemed to be an unusual number of protests where the right-on sorts were whistling down their enemies, that there was a TV 'interview' with one of the right-on leaders in which the interviewer invited her to explain the point of the protests - and then proceeded to blow a whistle every time she tried to speak. I treasure the memory of her expression of puzzlement and confusion.

Is there anyone, perhaps with a black belt in google-fu, who can find that video? I'd like to put it on my favourites list.

David

SteveGW,

This one here?

Rob

"Queer theory has taken over student life on many campuses"

And the incredible part is, they are literally paying for it. People are getting into debts of six figure sums for this crap. Truly, the young are stupid.

Rob

"My brother teaches in a school where only one in five pupils are white. He tells me that he has to navigate a complex web of resentment between Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Bengalis, Afghans, West Indians and Africans that would cause most Guardian readers' brains to short circuit."

No, not really, no short circuit. They will blame the five white pupils. It's easy if you try, and especially if you surround yourself with equally deranged people.

Joan

Alice McLachlan, a professor of philosophy, insists that censorious mobs who shriek personal abuse and shut down discussion are in fact the very model of progressive debate.

Institutions of higher indoctrination. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jEQYHAFfjg

David

Institutions of higher indoctrination.

Thanks, Joan. I think that one deserves a post of its own.

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