Friday Ephemera
Friday Ephemera

Elsewhere (152)

Heather Mac Donald on pretentious students and their enablers: 

This proliferation of in-your-face sexual identities [among students] is all posturing, just part of the dance between students desperate to find one last means of being transgressive and college bureaucrats eager to show their sensitivity and to justify their six-figure salaries. Students who should be studying European history and the roots of the novel — would that such subjects were still taught — are instead combing the farthest reaches of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Manual for ways to distinguish themselves. By posing what they hope will be rejected demands on their administrations, they seek only to prove that they are living a life of oppression.

And on the remarkable elasticity of “queer theory”: 

Today’s identity-based theorising represents a worldview and righteous self-definition that precede facts and analysis.

Not entirely unrelated, Kevin D Williamson on the misplaced moral glamour of defaulting on student loans: 

The students… took out loans and used their credit to purchase a defective product, no different from putting a bucket of magic beans on a MasterCard. They made poor decisions with other people’s money, which is not entirely surprising: Access to other people’s money is an invitation to making poor decisions… But just as MasterCard is not responsible if you put a lemon on your credit card (you’d be shocked how many people purchase cars with credit cards), Bank of McNasty and Uncle Stupid are not responsible for legal adults who borrow money to buy sub-par educational services.

Somewhat related

And don’t forget the self-described “bacon-eating vegan” who was left shocked and tearful upon discovering that her degrees in “social justice studies” and “gender studies” have zero value in the job market. “My degrees mean NOTHING,” tweeted she. “I don’t even know how to process the reality that is my life now.” 

And K C Johnson beholds the mental prowess of student protestors: 

After spending the talk itself furiously texting, several [protestors] posed questions once the talk concluded, often reading from their phones. Some of these questions were simply bizarre — one student suggested that my standing up for due process vindicated her fight against rape apologists, while another cited a non-existent FBI report alleging that the odds of being falsely accused of rape are “2.7 million to one.” (This would mean that the Duke lacrosse players might have been the only people falsely accused of rape in American history.)

Video of the event can be found here.

Readers will note that the protestors try to disrupt the lecture before Johnson can even speak, declaring it “bullshit,” without even knowing what, exactly, he’s going to say, or what factual examples he’s going to provide to support his arguments. The protestors then spend the Q&A session reading out dogmatic, pre-prepared statements from their phones – and calling Johnson a “rape apologist” and various other names - before largely ignoring his replies to their pronouncements. They’re too busy applauding each other and looking for the next pile of boilerplate to read out from their phones. He addresses their points, often at length. They don’t address his. And remember, these students - the ones who can’t be bothered to listen and who, based on nothing, dismiss those who disagree with them as “rape apologists” - they think they’re intellectuals. They think they know better, indeed know everything, at the age of 21. 

Professor Johnson had initially assumed that, while abusive, incoherent and wildly misinformed, the protestors were at least sincere. Subsequent events have prompted some doubts

As always, feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments. It’s what these posts are for.