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The old saying that academic politics are so vicious because the stakes are so low is a little misleading: the stakes can be very high for individual academics, determining whether they have a job or are out on the street.

For example, as I pointed out in my new review of Jared Diamond’s latest book, Upheaval, cultural anthropologists routinely rage against Diamond because people like Bill Gates read Diamond’s books but not their own. In the days of Margaret Mead and Levi-Strauss, cultural anthropologists were celebrities, but few pay them attention anymore.

Similarly, the higher brow public once paid attention to English professors, roughly from 1945-1990.

The Chronicles of Higher Education commissioned a fellow who got a Ph.D. in English Literature but wasn’t able to then get a job as an English professor to wander around the annual Modern Language Association convention and reflect on the decline of the humanities as a career path:

Academe’s Extinction Event: Failure, Whiskey, and Professional Collapse at the MLA

By ANDREW KAY

May 10, 2019

Kay uses the metaphor of the viral picture of golfers playing in front of a forest fire to describe academia today.

But that just outraged his critics to assume that he might me a … golfer too.

Kay is a witty writer, but I didn’t get all that much out of his conceit of what if instead of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas being set at a cop convention, it was set at an English professor’s convention, as if Hunter S. Thompson wrote David Lodge’s 1970s comic novels about English professors, including Morris Zapp (Stanley Fish) who intends to be the first English professor ever to make six figures? Lodge wrote:

“As is perhaps obvious, Morris Zapp had no great esteem for his fellow-labourers in the vineyards of literature. They seemed to him vague, fickle, irresponsible creatures, who wallowed in relativism like hippopotami in mud, with their nostrils barely protruding into the air of common-sense. They happily tolerated the existence of opinions contrary to their own — they even, for God’s sake, sometimes changed their minds. Their pathetic attempts at profundity were qualified out of existence and largely interrogative in mode. They liked to begin a paper with some formula like, ‘I want to raise some questions about so-and-so’, and seemed to think they had done their intellectual duty by merely raising them. This manoeuvre drove Morris Zapp insane. Any damn fool, he maintained, could think of questions; it was answers that separated the men from the boys.”

Kay looks back nostalgically on the era of Peak English when literature professors like Lionel Trilling, Harold Bloom, and Stanley Fish could be mildly famous figures in America. But as Morris Zapp suggested, Peak English was an era of men trying to separate themselves from boys.

More entertaining is the official response in the Chronicles to Kay’s essay by four fulminating young women professors of English:

The Humanities Without Nostalgia
Harking back to an era of ‘peak English’ betrays marginalized scholars

By Devin M. Garofalo, Anna Hinton, Kari Nixon, and Jessie Reeder MAY 17, 2019

Unlike Kay, these four have professor jobs, but that’s irrelevant: he, being a White Male is still Punching Down so they are entitled to Punch Up at him:

Devin M. Garofalo and Anna Hinton will both be assistant professors of English at the University of North Texas in the fall. Kari Nixon is an assistant professor of English at Whitworth University. Jessie Reeder is an assistant professor of English at Binghamton University.

… But it is also worryingly anti-intellectual — and damningly uninterested in women and scholars of color. At the nexus of those two problems lies the essay’s greatest danger: By characterizing the profession as sadly diminished since its white male heyday, it winds up eulogizing precisely the worst aspects of academia, the ones many of us are trying to eradicate….

More concerning to us than the essay’s anti-intellectualism is its investment in a certain kind of white male fantasy. One early vignette is a case in point. Searching “for victims,” Kay interrupts two older men in conversation, ignoring their lack of interest in his company (the luxuries of male privilege!). As Kay listens, the two wax nostalgic for the 1960s and 1970s, when literary studies was an “old boys’ club” populated by gentlemen who knew how to be “civil,” when the profession was raining down “solicitations” for white men, and when, by implication, the Peggys of the world knew their place and the Dawns were kept out of sight. A disciplinary moment that flourished not in spite of but because of its exclusionary politics — a moment in which white men possessed the power to determine the worthiness of the things around them.

Kay’s position in relation to this episode is disturbingly ambiguous. He calls this version of the field “deeply flawed,” but that description is immediately undercut by the qualifier “and more civil.” If this episode is meant to be satirical, it fails to achieve any tone of derision. Equally unsettling are Kay’s remarks that “the increased inclusion of women” and the rise of cultural studies “coincided with the shrinking of the field itself,” the verb “coincide” blurring the boundaries between correlation and causation. The paean to gentlemanly whiteness stands uninterrogated, with the author either sharing — or not caring whether he appears to share — the view that, golly, it sure would be nice to return to the halcyon days of overabundant employment for white men whose purported civility wasn’t, as it turns out, so civil. It is Kay’s choice to call this era “Peak English.” Peak for whom is obvious.

There is no denying the humanities have dwindled catastrophically. But as Kay laments this loss, he also suggests — winkingly or unwittingly, and, honestly, does it matter which? — that such attrition is the product not only of the devaluation of literary studies from without, but also the opening up of the field from within to historically excluded voices and conversations. In other words, some of what Kay figures as disciplinary attrition looks from our vantage point like the very necessary unsettling of white male dominance.

… But at no point does Kay appear to reflect upon how the inequities of this profession are magnified for those who are not white, straight, and male: people of color, women, queer and trans folks, the nonnormatively bodied, first-generation-college grad students and scholars, single parents, the economic precariat — the list goes on….

Kay’s essay perpetuates those exclusions. There are many MLAs, but the one he depicts is painfully whitewashed. Indeed, the 2019 meeting featured well-attended panels like “Critical Race Theory and New Directions for Victorian Studies.” It seems no coincidence that proper names in Kay’s essay tend to have something in common: Keats, Pepys, Hopkins, Coleridge, and Crane feature in his portrait of the profession, while Toni Morrison is cast quite strangely alongside John Milton as a canonical heavyweight pushing out the “exotic” likes of Victorian poetry. Such positioning smacks of nostalgia for the colonial purity of “Peak English.”

And of course, being young women, the four professors can’t help digressing at vast length about clothes and how Society views the looks of lady English professors:

Not only does Kay’s essay indulge in white male fantasy, it also subjects women to cruel mockery. Take, for instance, the moment when Kay sneers at a “dozen women” who “unwittingly wore the same suit from Ann Taylor, while myriad others went full flight attendant.” This was a real kick in the teeth. The fact is, these women aren’t “unwitting” (so much ignorance and disdain packed into that one word!). The charming dishevelment prized by so many male academics is not a posture available to women. Most every woman reading this essay knows what we mean, but let’s just go there, shall we?

To go “full flight attendant” is to do as you, a woman, have been repeatedly advised, in nuggets of professional “guidance” that wreak havoc on your sense of self long after the “market” has chewed you up and spit you out, on or off the tenure track. The act of dressing, let alone of sitting — whether on a bed or in a chair — is a gauntlet for those who are not men.

Quagmires abound. Do you wear a pant- or skirt-suit? Do you go with panty­hose (opaque or sheer? flesh-toned or black?) or do you rock bare legs (ballsy! — shave that shit, wear lotion, and pray you’re spared the creepers)? Should you wear heels (potentially too sexy or femme) or flats (comfortable, but might read grandma, plus you’ll have to shell out the money to hem pants you couldn’t afford in the first place)? Do express your interest and enthusiasm by leaning forward, ladies. But don’t lean too far forward or speak too confidently, because the committee might think you’ll eat them for lunch. (And because you couldn’t pump in the hotel lobby and you wouldn’t want to secrete breast milk down the front of your blouse while answering a question about mothering, er, mentoring.) Be “emotionally available,” ladies. But not too “available.” Your voice is annoying — you should work on that. Communicate openness! Passion! Energy! Enthusiasm! If you’ve never received such advice, you’re MLAing while white, straight, and male.

Oh, and have you thought about your face? Here’s the thing: Fix it. Don’t look washed out, or tired, or like you’ve been up all night for weeks rehearsing answers to interview questions while grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw to the point where it starts clicking again and you have to see your dentist — again (if you’re lucky enough to have dental insurance, that is). On second thought, though, you’d better avoid cosmetics altogether. That cat-eye is too much, the lipstick is whorish, and those glasses have an off-putting amount of personality. Please also consider changing your hair color and texture (but take pains to look “natural”). Take off that ring. Put on a ring. Now you’ve overaccessorized. Those pearls are too Audrey, the skirt too young. Don’t wear all black, but also avoid bright colors, quirky patterns, frills, and gaudy jewelry. A navy pantsuit might be best. If you’re tall, consider shrinking. If you’re short, there’s always Willy Wonka’s taffy puller. If you’re “old” (by some unspecified and yet ubiquitous standard), dump yourself in a vat of eye cream and cross your fingers. If you’re “young,” they’ll say you’re destined for “authority problems” in the classroom. We couldn’t imagine why.

And whatever you do, don’t buy a suit at Ann Freaking Taylor: You’ll look like a lemming. (Not to mention that on your current “salary” the Ann Taylor suit is aspirational at best.) On the other hand, since your personality is a liability, looking like a lemming is probably safer than looking like yourself — until you become a punchline in an article critiquing the exclusivity of academe. Ouch.

It’s almost as if young women are really, really obsessed with their looks and the looks of other women.

Last Real Calvinist sums up this lengthy response:

But it’s pretty long and incoherent, so for those of you who may not want to wade through the whole thing, I’ll provide a summary here:

Dear Andrew Kay;

THAT’S NOT FUNNY!!!

We all hate you.

XXXOOO,

The Hot Grrrlz

 
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  1. Nothing these cat fanciers raised or complained about had anything to do with English, literature, or getting a young person to read a book.

    • Replies: @Lot
    My advice to Don:

    Executive order to stop all federal loans for colleges that don’t have at least a 95% on-time repayment rate.

    That will cut off most colleges completely. And then there will be a scramble to dump humanities programs and bloated Big Ed staff (97% of whom hate Trump) and replace them with programs that are of value to the job market.

    Also, when the next Wall funding fight comes up, don’t shut down the government. Just shut down HUD and the Dept of Education.

    Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.

  2. Equally unsettling are Kay’s remarks that “the increased inclusion of women” and the rise of cultural studies “coincided with the shrinking of the field itself,” the verb “coincide” blurring the boundaries between correlation and causation.

    I’d say the annoying and muddled counter-essay by these three (!) exemplars of the new brand of scholar is Exhibit A in settling the correlation-causation question.

  3. That was a very confusing essay. My eyes wandered a lot. Hard to believe an English professor wrote it.

    Personally I don’t get the resistance of anyone, man or woman, to trying their hardest to look their best. Men have ratty beards, women refuse to wear makeup (only teens can get away with it really) and both sexes get fat. Being schlubby is at least in part by intent. Even ugly people can look good when they are in shape and present themselves well.

    • Replies: @SFG
    Think of it as bilateral disarmament. If *nobody* tries to look their best, nobody has to invest any time or effort into it. It's a problem when you go outside the disheveled group, but otherwise you can save yourself a lot of trouble on something you don't care about.

    I mean, most men wouldn't want to spend the amount of time and effort on our appearances women do...
    , @another fred

    Personally I don’t get the resistance of anyone, man or woman, to trying their hardest to look their best.
     
    Looking good takes time, money, attention, and energy. Plus it has diminishing returns. Looking your "best", like having a perfectly clean environment, can break you.
  4. Lot says:
    @J.Ross
    Nothing these cat fanciers raised or complained about had anything to do with English, literature, or getting a young person to read a book.

    My advice to Don:

    Executive order to stop all federal loans for colleges that don’t have at least a 95% on-time repayment rate.

    That will cut off most colleges completely. And then there will be a scramble to dump humanities programs and bloated Big Ed staff (97% of whom hate Trump) and replace them with programs that are of value to the job market.

    Also, when the next Wall funding fight comes up, don’t shut down the government. Just shut down HUD and the Dept of Education.

    Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.

    Exactly. écrasez l'infâme
    , @J.Ross
    That's brilliant, which is why he won't do it. Michael Hudson is very eloquent in his latest book on how societies need to cancel unpayable debts (this does not mean all debts). We will all pay for lost growth and churn because colleges and banks were allowed to kneecap people who otherwise would have been consumers. There's gotta be some finance wizards who actually understand that a sandwich artist with a $75,000 art loan is not paying that back. There must be occasional awkward admissions that they would lose nothing by doing so.
    Also, Trump is bizarrely tolerant of his enemies, many of whom make themselves defenseless and legitimate targets. Colleges get a pass for being leftist hives, NGOs get coddled and their terrorist variants get out of jail free, big tech isn't worrying about anti-trust, the explicitly and near-homogeneously partisan mass media gets a little bit of namecalling but no ethics investigations, judges are still legislating from the bench, and in Cannes "artists" are still making jokes about assassination.
    , @J.Ross
    I have submitted this to a White House internet contact page.
    President Trump will now contact me and ask me for money.
    But there's a tiny chance one of his aides will actually see it.
    , @Anonymous
    QUOTE: Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.

    Ann Coulter once noted that the standard greeting at Democratic Party conventions is "Where do you teach?"

    , @Redneck farmer
    The cries of cultural appropriation will be glorious!
    , @AnotherDad

    Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.
     
    Very well said Lot--spot on.

    While i'm fine with your student loan proposal, as i've written in several comments here before ...

    the critical path to destroying the big ed monster is to have a set of certification exams that young (and old) people can pass to demonstrate competence and then have government hire based on--and make any of their regulations based on--these exams rather than "degrees".

    This gives kids something concrete to target, that doesn't bankrupt (or indebt) them, that doesn't require all this useless hoop jumping to get into a "good school" and that they can go after themselves, right away.


    Just economically sticking with our old education system built on a Fordist model is stupid. Education is specifically not a product that requires a bunch of people to come together. The actual "product" is knowledge and skill imparted into the brain of individual people. At root, it's an individual product. No one can actually jam knowledge--other than of the most base kind--into someone else's thick skull.

    We now have the technology to easily impart whatever educational material--books, articles, lectures, drawings, problems, tests--right to an individual in whatever mix, at whatever pace works best for him. The only real exception is laboratory and studio (art, music, drama) work, which the existing ed infrastructure can supply at a tiny fraction of the existing cost.

    There's no need for a Stalingrad style death struggle with Big Ed. The way to slay this beast is simply to bypass this beast. It will starve.
  5. Having these people being paid to occupy our cultural institutions does far more damage than having no humanities departments at all. In fact, we should close the non-STEM departments of our universities for a generation and then gradually bring them back online if we feel the need and I say this as someone who strongly prefers the humanities to the sciences.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    The non-STEM depts have become brazenly inhumane.
    , @Chrisnonymous
    It's not a bad idea. We should encourage humanities to regrow in private schools, like ateliers.
    , @SFG
    It would be interesting to hear what people would like to do to preserve Western Civ in the absence of the departments that used to teach it. I mean, you can read Plato yourself, but a lot of it's likely to be fairly obscure. Pick some cutoff date and get the last commentary before that?
    , @The Anti-Gnostic
    At this point, I say remove the government footprint from tertiary education entirely. Democracy means you can't have nice things.
  6. @Cagey Beast
    Having these people being paid to occupy our cultural institutions does far more damage than having no humanities departments at all. In fact, we should close the non-STEM departments of our universities for a generation and then gradually bring them back online if we feel the need and I say this as someone who strongly prefers the humanities to the sciences.

    The non-STEM depts have become brazenly inhumane.

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    Yes, they commit malpractice on a mass scale. Their task is to preserve and grow our culture but they explicitly do the opposite. From the article above:

    By characterizing the profession as sadly diminished since its white male heyday, it winds up eulogizing precisely the worst aspects of academia, the ones many of us are trying to eradicate….
     
    Doctors and nurses who try to kill their patients go to jail. Cooks who spit in the food get fired, if not arrested. These people get rewarded.
  7. wasn’t able to then get a job as an English professor

    A direct result of the frenzy for affirmative action and social justicity in hiring, as exemplified by the extraordinarily marginal professors attacking him.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    The disconnection of our elites means we live in a wind tunnel of continuous Streisand effect which never quite extinguishes itself.
    , @HammerJack
    Must admit I couldn't read much of their screed. From what I did see, their familiarity with the English language is casual at best, and their substitution of cant for argument fairly consistent. Moreover, I've never even heard of the colleges where they teach.

    Daresay the graduation and loan-repayment rates at these third-rate diploma mills are substandard at best. If your English professor doesn't know the difference between an adjective and a preposition, how will you learn it? Night school maybe, to augment your day school?

    , @South Texas Guy

    wasn’t able to then get a job as an English professor
     
    I dropped out of graduate school about 15 years ago (yes, English) because I saw the writing on the wall. Even then, at my best second-tier school, it wasn't uncommon for professors who finally landed a tenure track job to have worked at a few different places, often as an adjunct with no benefits, teaching as many classes as possible to pay the rent.

    As far as the political side of it goes, I remember nearly all of the professors being lefties to at least some degree, but you weren't treated unfairly (for the most part) for having a differing opinion. I wonder how common this batshit crazy professor stuff is nowadays.
  8. @Desiderius
    The non-STEM depts have become brazenly inhumane.

    Yes, they commit malpractice on a mass scale. Their task is to preserve and grow our culture but they explicitly do the opposite. From the article above:

    By characterizing the profession as sadly diminished since its white male heyday, it winds up eulogizing precisely the worst aspects of academia, the ones many of us are trying to eradicate….

    Doctors and nurses who try to kill their patients go to jail. Cooks who spit in the food get fired, if not arrested. These people get rewarded.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Got to look at who is scratching their paychecks and why.
  9. ‘For example, as I pointed out in my new review of Jared Diamond’s latest book, Upheaval, cultural anthropologists routinely rage against Diamond because…’

    I can’t speak for cultural anthropologists, but speaking for myself, I rage against Jared Diamond’s books because they’re pretty bad.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
    Why SS thinks that Jared is worthy of any respect is a mystery to me
  10. This story was at the bottom of the other one written by the angry ladies:

    Are Women Invisible to Economists? One Scholar Is Stripping Down to Make Them Look
    By Alexander C. Kafka
    Victoria Bateman’s naked protests challenge what she sees as the field’s gender problem.
    https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/20190516-bateman?cid=wcontentgrid_article_bottom

    White women be crazy! Maybe Black Americans are right about the Becky Question? Were the Suffragettes the original Beckys? I think so.

    • Replies: @Sextus Empiricus
    Why is it always the ones that shouldn’t strip that do??
    , @El Dato
    Definitely not Victoria Bateman's secrets.

    > Could write a paper.
    > Nah, I'll just strip down, that will make my opinion a matter of urgency.

    More rational discourse is expected from 12 year olds.
  11. @Lot
    My advice to Don:

    Executive order to stop all federal loans for colleges that don’t have at least a 95% on-time repayment rate.

    That will cut off most colleges completely. And then there will be a scramble to dump humanities programs and bloated Big Ed staff (97% of whom hate Trump) and replace them with programs that are of value to the job market.

    Also, when the next Wall funding fight comes up, don’t shut down the government. Just shut down HUD and the Dept of Education.

    Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.

    Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.

    Exactly. écrasez l’infâme

  12. @Cagey Beast
    Having these people being paid to occupy our cultural institutions does far more damage than having no humanities departments at all. In fact, we should close the non-STEM departments of our universities for a generation and then gradually bring them back online if we feel the need and I say this as someone who strongly prefers the humanities to the sciences.

    It’s not a bad idea. We should encourage humanities to regrow in private schools, like ateliers.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    This is something like that. They have an excellent online museum, give lessons, and have this short but thorough denunciation of the "rebel artist" received wisdom:
    https://www.artrenewal.org/Article/Title/art-scam
  13. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Lot
    My advice to Don:

    Executive order to stop all federal loans for colleges that don’t have at least a 95% on-time repayment rate.

    That will cut off most colleges completely. And then there will be a scramble to dump humanities programs and bloated Big Ed staff (97% of whom hate Trump) and replace them with programs that are of value to the job market.

    Also, when the next Wall funding fight comes up, don’t shut down the government. Just shut down HUD and the Dept of Education.

    Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.

    That’s brilliant, which is why he won’t do it. Michael Hudson is very eloquent in his latest book on how societies need to cancel unpayable debts (this does not mean all debts). We will all pay for lost growth and churn because colleges and banks were allowed to kneecap people who otherwise would have been consumers. There’s gotta be some finance wizards who actually understand that a sandwich artist with a $75,000 art loan is not paying that back. There must be occasional awkward admissions that they would lose nothing by doing so.
    Also, Trump is bizarrely tolerant of his enemies, many of whom make themselves defenseless and legitimate targets. Colleges get a pass for being leftist hives, NGOs get coddled and their terrorist variants get out of jail free, big tech isn’t worrying about anti-trust, the explicitly and near-homogeneously partisan mass media gets a little bit of namecalling but no ethics investigations, judges are still legislating from the bench, and in Cannes “artists” are still making jokes about assassination.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Trump has no power to go after any of them. That’s why the media is constantly rubbing his nose in it.

    See Moldbug on our media-run state.
    , @Lot
    “societies need to cancel unpayable debts”

    Obama’s income based repayment plan already has done this. Not the worst idea as a one time jubilee. The problem is that it never ends. In fact, if you already have a $80,000 college debt for a humanities degree, you won’t pay a penny more under IBR if you take out another $80,000 for a master’s degree. Or why not two? Then maybe a law degree on top. Stay in the big ed bubble until you are 34, then get a job inside of it and never leave and never pay a penny in loan repayments.

    Colleges then can freely raise their tuition and tell their students not to worry, they’ll either make tons of money or else just IBR the debt.

    A variant of this scam, which Pablo “they” Gomez the trannie killer was doing, is to take the full federal loan each year, plus a pell grant, and use it for a cheap community college, and use the large amount left over after tuition for your “living experience.”

    It isn’t a great life for us, but $15,000 in free cash a year for 6 years for maintaining a C average at Berkeley community college is an attractive proposition compared to working for a living for many people. Even without IBR, it isn’t like the They Gomezes of the world could make payments even if They wanted to.
    , @BenKenobi

    Trump is bizarrely tolerant of his enemies
     
    "For such crimes there must be justice. Starting with [the deep state] and [its] abominations. But only starting. I mean to scour that court clean. As [Trump] should have done after the [election]."

    Where is the true king?
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    I agree completely with a plan (probably only out of an imaginary, smart/hardworking Donald Trump) to hit the Universities hard. This loan forgiveness thing is a really terrible idea. It will encourage even more abuse.
  14. There’s not much discussion of literature or even literary theory in all of that non-work-related chatter, but there’s plenty of discussion of the women’s social lives, including their motherhood without broaching the subject of their workplace womb privilege.

    The women don’t get into the details of their above-firing status and how they can miss a lot of work for issues related to womb productivity, even in a field like college teaching where many don’t teach summer classes, while the non womb privileged would be fired for it.

    The female professors even go back in time, revisiting the non-academic sphere of high school social preoccupations, fretting about physical appearance while projecting their resentments over things unrelated to literature onto the men in their profession.

    With so many overlaps between today’s English professors and call center mommas in voted-best-for-moms jobs that pay $10 per hour, why go to all of the effort to get a PhD in English, especially when—just like the $10-per-hour employees—you can be dismally underemployed, but still listening to all that stuff?

  15. @Desiderius

    wasn’t able to then get a job as an English professor
     
    A direct result of the frenzy for affirmative action and social justicity in hiring, as exemplified by the extraordinarily marginal professors attacking him.

    The disconnection of our elites means we live in a wind tunnel of continuous Streisand effect which never quite extinguishes itself.

  16. @Desiderius

    wasn’t able to then get a job as an English professor
     
    A direct result of the frenzy for affirmative action and social justicity in hiring, as exemplified by the extraordinarily marginal professors attacking him.

    Must admit I couldn’t read much of their screed. From what I did see, their familiarity with the English language is casual at best, and their substitution of cant for argument fairly consistent. Moreover, I’ve never even heard of the colleges where they teach.

    Daresay the graduation and loan-repayment rates at these third-rate diploma mills are substandard at best. If your English professor doesn’t know the difference between an adjective and a preposition, how will you learn it? Night school maybe, to augment your day school?

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber

    I’ve never even heard of the colleges where they teach... third-rate diploma mills
     
    UNT is most famous for being the alma mater of Mean Joe Greene, but they also claim Roy Orbison, Dr. Phil, Pat Boone, Meat Loaf, Don Henley, and Tom "Bones" Malone & "Blue" Lou Marini of the Blues Brothers.

    Binghamton is one of the 4 flagship campuses of SUNY. It's most famous alumni are Tony Kornheiser and Paul Reiser.

    You got me on Whitworth, but the other 2 are hardly third-rate diploma mills.
  17. @Lot
    My advice to Don:

    Executive order to stop all federal loans for colleges that don’t have at least a 95% on-time repayment rate.

    That will cut off most colleges completely. And then there will be a scramble to dump humanities programs and bloated Big Ed staff (97% of whom hate Trump) and replace them with programs that are of value to the job market.

    Also, when the next Wall funding fight comes up, don’t shut down the government. Just shut down HUD and the Dept of Education.

    Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.

    I have submitted this to a White House internet contact page.
    President Trump will now contact me and ask me for money.
    But there’s a tiny chance one of his aides will actually see it.

  18. SFG says:
    @Cagey Beast
    Having these people being paid to occupy our cultural institutions does far more damage than having no humanities departments at all. In fact, we should close the non-STEM departments of our universities for a generation and then gradually bring them back online if we feel the need and I say this as someone who strongly prefers the humanities to the sciences.

    It would be interesting to hear what people would like to do to preserve Western Civ in the absence of the departments that used to teach it. I mean, you can read Plato yourself, but a lot of it’s likely to be fairly obscure. Pick some cutoff date and get the last commentary before that?

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    Pick some cutoff date and get the last commentary before that?

    Yes this would work as a rule of thumb. I would put the cut-off date farther forward than some might because I like the Silent Generation generally.

    , @Lot
    I think more Americans learn about Western Civ from their own reading and watching Discovery/History Channel than anything in college.

    Self directed reading and commercial TV isn’t ideal, but even with conservative teachers, 18-22 isn’t the age when interest in humanities is particularly high.

    My anecdotal experience is that for the big 45-70 age and 100-120 IQ demographic, History and Discovery channels are huge. And cooking shows. Both are respites from degenerate prole culture and degenerate SJW lecturing.
  19. nonnormatively bodied

    Well, I haven’t seen that one before. And why are these basic Beckys always trying to wrap themselves in the moral authority of women of color? As a nonnormatively bodied white male, I say enough already.

  20. @SFG
    It would be interesting to hear what people would like to do to preserve Western Civ in the absence of the departments that used to teach it. I mean, you can read Plato yourself, but a lot of it's likely to be fairly obscure. Pick some cutoff date and get the last commentary before that?

    Pick some cutoff date and get the last commentary before that?

    Yes this would work as a rule of thumb. I would put the cut-off date farther forward than some might because I like the Silent Generation generally.

    • Replies: @SFG
    I always figured you'd stop at 1960 to avoid, well, the Sixties. I got a book of Anthony Burgess's old columns at a used bookstore a few months ago. It's funny to read him joking about getting a marzipan pig from feminists--they weren't quite so powerful in those days. It's also kind of weird to realize there was an intellectual tradition that wasn't totally obsessed with left-wing politics...I guess those were the last of the Christian writers before the sexual revolution killed them? I mean, they're still out there, but I can't really compare Jenkins and LaHaye to Lewis and Tolkien.

    One alt-history premise I always wondered about was, what if the *left* won the economic war and the *right* won the culture war? The Sixties never happened, but we still have union jobs for blue-collar workers and heavy regulation of business. I guess you have to get rid of the Pill somehow.

    , @Desiderius
    The 11th edition Encyclopedia Brittanica is famously good. As a one-time Mancunion, perhaps I can be forgiven one Guardian link:

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2012/apr/10/encyclopedia-britannica-11th-edition

    Moral of the story: newer isn’t always better. Once you dive in you’ll usually get a feel for the best places to look.
  21. @J.Ross
    That's brilliant, which is why he won't do it. Michael Hudson is very eloquent in his latest book on how societies need to cancel unpayable debts (this does not mean all debts). We will all pay for lost growth and churn because colleges and banks were allowed to kneecap people who otherwise would have been consumers. There's gotta be some finance wizards who actually understand that a sandwich artist with a $75,000 art loan is not paying that back. There must be occasional awkward admissions that they would lose nothing by doing so.
    Also, Trump is bizarrely tolerant of his enemies, many of whom make themselves defenseless and legitimate targets. Colleges get a pass for being leftist hives, NGOs get coddled and their terrorist variants get out of jail free, big tech isn't worrying about anti-trust, the explicitly and near-homogeneously partisan mass media gets a little bit of namecalling but no ethics investigations, judges are still legislating from the bench, and in Cannes "artists" are still making jokes about assassination.

    Trump has no power to go after any of them. That’s why the media is constantly rubbing his nose in it.

    See Moldbug on our media-run state.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Let Trump tap into the students who will never own a home, and the techies who hate the big untaxed unregulated trusts, and the legal types who don't like out of control judges, the way he has tapped into people who don't like CNN, and then see what power he has.
  22. Moreover, I’ve never even heard of the colleges where they teach.

    I have heard of the University of North Texas for music and jazz educations. Seriously, with no sarcasm. Lots of worn out black musician guys kinda retiring to teach there, if they can score this remunerative eternal gig in the sky. Taxpayer and bs student loans subsidized of course. As blacks like to say, it’s all about “gettin’ paid”.

    “The University of North Texas College of Music is one of the finest comprehensive music schools in the nation.”

  23. Lot says:
    @J.Ross
    That's brilliant, which is why he won't do it. Michael Hudson is very eloquent in his latest book on how societies need to cancel unpayable debts (this does not mean all debts). We will all pay for lost growth and churn because colleges and banks were allowed to kneecap people who otherwise would have been consumers. There's gotta be some finance wizards who actually understand that a sandwich artist with a $75,000 art loan is not paying that back. There must be occasional awkward admissions that they would lose nothing by doing so.
    Also, Trump is bizarrely tolerant of his enemies, many of whom make themselves defenseless and legitimate targets. Colleges get a pass for being leftist hives, NGOs get coddled and their terrorist variants get out of jail free, big tech isn't worrying about anti-trust, the explicitly and near-homogeneously partisan mass media gets a little bit of namecalling but no ethics investigations, judges are still legislating from the bench, and in Cannes "artists" are still making jokes about assassination.

    “societies need to cancel unpayable debts”

    Obama’s income based repayment plan already has done this. Not the worst idea as a one time jubilee. The problem is that it never ends. In fact, if you already have a $80,000 college debt for a humanities degree, you won’t pay a penny more under IBR if you take out another $80,000 for a master’s degree. Or why not two? Then maybe a law degree on top. Stay in the big ed bubble until you are 34, then get a job inside of it and never leave and never pay a penny in loan repayments.

    Colleges then can freely raise their tuition and tell their students not to worry, they’ll either make tons of money or else just IBR the debt.

    A variant of this scam, which Pablo “they” Gomez the trannie killer was doing, is to take the full federal loan each year, plus a pell grant, and use it for a cheap community college, and use the large amount left over after tuition for your “living experience.”

    It isn’t a great life for us, but $15,000 in free cash a year for 6 years for maintaining a C average at Berkeley community college is an attractive proposition compared to working for a living for many people. Even without IBR, it isn’t like the They Gomezes of the world could make payments even if They wanted to.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Obama cancelled debts? When did that happen? The local news went wild for a proposal to forgive a pittance which would be less than one semester's tuition, and all the proposals from officeholders are in the ballpark of forgiving half of the last payment provided of course that you've paid for years and never been late.
    , @HammerJack
    Wow, that's mind-blowing. I just may go back to school. There's a couple degrees I've yet to earn, though I note that none of the largesse actually requires anyone to complete a degree course.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Someone's been reading comments by Achmed E. Newman or the Peak Stupidity blog, or it sure looks that way. Thank you, Lot, for coming around on this and seeing that Socialism just DOES NOT WORK.

    Indeed, any kind of loan forgiveness would be the best thing for the Universities, including these 4 feminist broads, Professor (want-to-be) Kay, and all the rest that you all rightfully decry. That's not how you fix a problem, by looking at a symptom (oh, these poor suckers owe a lot of money they can't pay back) and "fixing" it (OK, the taxpayers and their children will be on the hook. You're fine, Even-Steven, see ya!).

    You've gotta get to the root, which is damn simple in this case: It's a moral hazard to have the US Gov't backing bank loans, PERIOD. You stop that, and you fix the problem.

    The problem is that it never ends. In fact, if you already have a $80,000 college debt for a humanities degree, you won’t pay a penny more under IBR if you take out another $80,000 for a master’s degree. Or why not two? Then maybe a law degree on top. Stay in the big ed bubble until you are 34, then get a job inside of it and never leave and never pay a penny in loan repayments.
     
    Right on. Where have I read this before? Oh, on my own blog and my comments here. Again, thanks for coming around!
  24. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Desiderius
    Trump has no power to go after any of them. That’s why the media is constantly rubbing his nose in it.

    See Moldbug on our media-run state.

    Let Trump tap into the students who will never own a home, and the techies who hate the big untaxed unregulated trusts, and the legal types who don’t like out of control judges, the way he has tapped into people who don’t like CNN, and then see what power he has.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  25. Steve… Diamond’s an idiot and a fool.

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/guns-germs-and-steel-revisited/

    “We could use more serious work on macrohistory and the rise of civilization: it’s an interesting and important subject. In particular I’d like to see a really smart and detailed comparison of the two totally independent births of civilization in the Old and New Worlds. But this book isn’t serious. The thesis is a joke, and most of the supporting arguments are forced ( i.e. wrong). Perhaps the most important thing we can learn from Guns, Germs, and Steel is that most people are suckers, eager to sign on to ridiculous theories as long as they have the right political implications.”

  26. Lot says:
    @SFG
    It would be interesting to hear what people would like to do to preserve Western Civ in the absence of the departments that used to teach it. I mean, you can read Plato yourself, but a lot of it's likely to be fairly obscure. Pick some cutoff date and get the last commentary before that?

    I think more Americans learn about Western Civ from their own reading and watching Discovery/History Channel than anything in college.

    Self directed reading and commercial TV isn’t ideal, but even with conservative teachers, 18-22 isn’t the age when interest in humanities is particularly high.

    My anecdotal experience is that for the big 45-70 age and 100-120 IQ demographic, History and Discovery channels are huge. And cooking shows. Both are respites from degenerate prole culture and degenerate SJW lecturing.

    • Replies: @SFG
    Good points both. Though you know the old joke about the first one being the Hitler channel.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    You guys are about 10 years behind. I have written on here that I don't HAVE TV, but I'll flip through to try to find Seinfeld and The Office re-runs when I'm out of town once in a while. The History Channel has not been the Nazi Channel for something like a decade, Lot. It is now the one that features non-stop Pawn Stars - that one may be very interesting for those antiquing types, but it is so damn boring to me to watch these guys try not to get ripped off, or try to rip off the next guy, or whatever.

    Believe it or not, The Weather Channel may or may not show any weather forecasts, but damn if they don't have the most interesting shows about airplane crashes. That's their thing now. I'm sure you'd run into re-runs after a week or less, but I could see myself watching nonstop crash after crash if I got stuck inside for half a day.
  27. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Lot
    “societies need to cancel unpayable debts”

    Obama’s income based repayment plan already has done this. Not the worst idea as a one time jubilee. The problem is that it never ends. In fact, if you already have a $80,000 college debt for a humanities degree, you won’t pay a penny more under IBR if you take out another $80,000 for a master’s degree. Or why not two? Then maybe a law degree on top. Stay in the big ed bubble until you are 34, then get a job inside of it and never leave and never pay a penny in loan repayments.

    Colleges then can freely raise their tuition and tell their students not to worry, they’ll either make tons of money or else just IBR the debt.

    A variant of this scam, which Pablo “they” Gomez the trannie killer was doing, is to take the full federal loan each year, plus a pell grant, and use it for a cheap community college, and use the large amount left over after tuition for your “living experience.”

    It isn’t a great life for us, but $15,000 in free cash a year for 6 years for maintaining a C average at Berkeley community college is an attractive proposition compared to working for a living for many people. Even without IBR, it isn’t like the They Gomezes of the world could make payments even if They wanted to.

    Obama cancelled debts? When did that happen? The local news went wild for a proposal to forgive a pittance which would be less than one semester’s tuition, and all the proposals from officeholders are in the ballpark of forgiving half of the last payment provided of course that you’ve paid for years and never been late.

    • Replies: @Lot
    2012.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income-based_repayment
    , @HammerJack
    FWIW, please also remember tens of billions of dollars in "mortgage writedowns" in the years after 2008, which were aptly characterized as "a sharp slap in the face" for the millions of us fools who bothered to take on only those debts we could actually repay--and who then actually spent our lives repaying them.
  28. @Chrisnonymous
    It's not a bad idea. We should encourage humanities to regrow in private schools, like ateliers.

    This is something like that. They have an excellent online museum, give lessons, and have this short but thorough denunciation of the “rebel artist” received wisdom:
    https://www.artrenewal.org/Article/Title/art-scam

  29. @Cagey Beast
    This story was at the bottom of the other one written by the angry ladies:

    Are Women Invisible to Economists? One Scholar Is Stripping Down to Make Them Look
    By Alexander C. Kafka
    Victoria Bateman’s naked protests challenge what she sees as the field’s gender problem.
    https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/20190516-bateman?cid=wcontentgrid_article_bottom

    White women be crazy! Maybe Black Americans are right about the Becky Question? Were the Suffragettes the original Beckys? I think so.

    Why is it always the ones that shouldn’t strip that do??

    • Agree: Cagey Beast
  30. Ugh, the humorlessness of these box wine cat ladies.

  31. SFG says:
    @S. Anonyia
    That was a very confusing essay. My eyes wandered a lot. Hard to believe an English professor wrote it.

    Personally I don’t get the resistance of anyone, man or woman, to trying their hardest to look their best. Men have ratty beards, women refuse to wear makeup (only teens can get away with it really) and both sexes get fat. Being schlubby is at least in part by intent. Even ugly people can look good when they are in shape and present themselves well.

    Think of it as bilateral disarmament. If *nobody* tries to look their best, nobody has to invest any time or effort into it. It’s a problem when you go outside the disheveled group, but otherwise you can save yourself a lot of trouble on something you don’t care about.

    I mean, most men wouldn’t want to spend the amount of time and effort on our appearances women do…

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber

    I mean, most men wouldn’t want to spend the amount of time and effort on our appearances women do…
     
    Heterosexual men
  32. @Lot
    I think more Americans learn about Western Civ from their own reading and watching Discovery/History Channel than anything in college.

    Self directed reading and commercial TV isn’t ideal, but even with conservative teachers, 18-22 isn’t the age when interest in humanities is particularly high.

    My anecdotal experience is that for the big 45-70 age and 100-120 IQ demographic, History and Discovery channels are huge. And cooking shows. Both are respites from degenerate prole culture and degenerate SJW lecturing.

    Good points both. Though you know the old joke about the first one being the Hitler channel.

  33. SFG says:
    @Cagey Beast
    Pick some cutoff date and get the last commentary before that?

    Yes this would work as a rule of thumb. I would put the cut-off date farther forward than some might because I like the Silent Generation generally.

    I always figured you’d stop at 1960 to avoid, well, the Sixties. I got a book of Anthony Burgess’s old columns at a used bookstore a few months ago. It’s funny to read him joking about getting a marzipan pig from feminists–they weren’t quite so powerful in those days. It’s also kind of weird to realize there was an intellectual tradition that wasn’t totally obsessed with left-wing politics…I guess those were the last of the Christian writers before the sexual revolution killed them? I mean, they’re still out there, but I can’t really compare Jenkins and LaHaye to Lewis and Tolkien.

    One alt-history premise I always wondered about was, what if the *left* won the economic war and the *right* won the culture war? The Sixties never happened, but we still have union jobs for blue-collar workers and heavy regulation of business. I guess you have to get rid of the Pill somehow.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    There was still great writing all through the Sixties and after. That’s why so many felt confident enough that the culture would carry on without them that they went off and did their own thing. We live in the aftermath of (way) too many making that decision. There were too few left to defend against the wave of resentment.
    , @Cagey Beast
    I always figured you’d stop at 1960 to avoid, well, the Sixties.

    No I really like a lot of the work they were doing in the Sixties. Maybe the cutoff point should be when Yukio Mishima killed himself in 1970?

    If I were running a modern-day hedge school* for adults, I'd even draw from a few things published in the Eighties, even though that's obviously when the Great Smothering began.

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedge_school
    , @HammerJack

    I always figured you’d stop at 1960 to avoid, well, the Sixties.
     
    FWIW, the Sixties didn't really start until 1964.
  34. If you want to see women cat fighting I’d suggest you follow the various “Megxit” threads on Twitter. Here you can find women ( including women of color) saying the most vicious things about Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, the wives of Princes Harry and William. Acolytes of Meghan are called ‘sugars’ while her critics tend to be much better informed ( and witty) and might be dubbed ‘The Resistance” since Markle is presumed to be woke and Kate traditional.

    Jack Dorsey has suspended me for a week so it will be a couple of more days before I rejoin this most interesting controversy but as to English Lit. In high school I recall our female teacher after consigning the male students of her class to wade through ‘Tess of the D’urbervilles”, Wurthering Heights and Great Expectations realized she had to toss the boys a bone and made ‘Tom Brown’s School Days” her last required reading.

  35. I read both essays. Andrew Kay’s is very good; it’s funny, and it makes me feel pretty good about having escaped grad school in the humanities back in the day.

    As for the response piece from the ladies: Steve’s right; it’s hilarious, and way, way beyond parody.

    But it’s pretty long and incoherent, so for those of you who may not want to wade through the whole thing, I’ll provide a summary here:

    Dear Andrew Kay;

    THAT’S NOT FUNNY!!!

    We all hate you.

    XXXOOO,

    The Hot Grrrlz

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Just so.

    (On Wednesdays they wear pink.)
  36. I’m thinking that their problem is that after years of grad school, the brass ring lands them in Denton Texas. Driving Uber in a decent city might be more desirable. Perhaps they are jealous of the unemployed Mr. Kay.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    There are a whole lot worse places one could live than Denton. My sis lives the high life in Frisco, but I think I’d prefer Denton.
    , @South Texas Guy

    I’m thinking that their problem is that after years of grad school, the brass ring lands them in Denton Texas
     
    There are a great many, and I'd even say the majority of tenured/tenure track professors who resent like Hell that they landed in a college town in the sticks.

    A great many smaller and/or remote campuses (like the place I went to) have quite a few professors from the ivies or tier one universities whose academic careers never quite took off. Imagine their disappointment at finally getting the 'I can't be fired from it' job, only to have it be in Alpine, Tex., Laramie, Wyo., or Greeley, Colo.

    The thought makes my heart skip a beat, actually.
    , @Tex

    I’m thinking that their problem is that after years of grad school, the brass ring lands them in Denton Texas. Driving Uber in a decent city might be more desirable. Perhaps they are jealous of the unemployed Mr. Kay.
     
    I've actually heard similar from a professor, literally wanting to give up teaching to be an Uber driver in a hip city. I thought it was just weird, but maybe you're on to something.
  37. I had a weird deja vu reading that article, but realized that it was because just a couple of years ago he wrote another MLA conference article … but comparing it to his adventures on Tinder (oh man, am I glad I’m not in the dating market!).

  38. Anonymous[249] • Disclaimer says:
    @Lot
    My advice to Don:

    Executive order to stop all federal loans for colleges that don’t have at least a 95% on-time repayment rate.

    That will cut off most colleges completely. And then there will be a scramble to dump humanities programs and bloated Big Ed staff (97% of whom hate Trump) and replace them with programs that are of value to the job market.

    Also, when the next Wall funding fight comes up, don’t shut down the government. Just shut down HUD and the Dept of Education.

    Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.

    QUOTE: Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.

    Ann Coulter once noted that the standard greeting at Democratic Party conventions is “Where do you teach?”

  39. @Cagey Beast
    Pick some cutoff date and get the last commentary before that?

    Yes this would work as a rule of thumb. I would put the cut-off date farther forward than some might because I like the Silent Generation generally.

    The 11th edition Encyclopedia Brittanica is famously good. As a one-time Mancunion, perhaps I can be forgiven one Guardian link:

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2012/apr/10/encyclopedia-britannica-11th-edition

    Moral of the story: newer isn’t always better. Once you dive in you’ll usually get a feel for the best places to look.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Right, there are certain editions that are desirable and later ones worthless. Ed Romney, the camera repair guy was an expert on this but he's been dead ten or more years now so I can't ask him.
  40. @anon
    I'm thinking that their problem is that after years of grad school, the brass ring lands them in Denton Texas. Driving Uber in a decent city might be more desirable. Perhaps they are jealous of the unemployed Mr. Kay.

    There are a whole lot worse places one could live than Denton. My sis lives the high life in Frisco, but I think I’d prefer Denton.

    • Replies: @anon
    For normal people, yea.

    Kay still lives in Madison, and seems to be making a buck or two. Devin M. Garofalo got her PhD there.

    For the politically correct, I can imagine it as frightening.
  41. I thought Andrew Kay’s piece was sort of funny, in a “trying too hard to be funny” way. He drew on Hunter Thompson, as you pointed out, but there was the ghost of David Foster Wallace hovering around as well. However, in 1991 the New York Times Magazine Section published a much more amusing account of the MLA Convention, called “Deciphering Victorian Underwear, And Other Seminars.” It’s behind their pay wall, but if you’re s subscriber and interested in this stuff, it might be worth your time. (Yes, once upon a time the New York Times managed to be funny on purpose, and not through sheer ineptness.)

    I still remember a line from that article, in which one of the hotel workers at the convention observes, “These MLA people just talk and talk and talk — and then they sit in their rooms and cry.” Now that rings true to life.
    a
    In fact, one of the things that I found wearying about Kay’s article was the shattering disappointment, in both his field and himself, which colors the entire piece. The realities of the job market for PhD’s in literature have been well known to anyone who bothered to look since Kay was in grade school. Most people who attend film school don’t go on to direct feature films. Most people who go to art school don’t see their work hanging in the Tate, and most people who get a PhD in literature don’t go on to become tenured professors. This has been the case for decades, and it isn’t going to change, regardless of who occupies the White House or how much you try to cultivate among the kiddies an enthusiasm for Derrida and Foucault, or whoever their contemporary equivalents are. The students — with a few weird-ass exceptions — aren’t interested, because nobody in their right mind would be.

    Over the past half century, the study of literature would have declined regardless of how it was taught, simply because we’ve been steadily moving toward a post-literate culture, and no English department or high school program could reverse that. However, when you deliberately choose to approach a work of literature through a maze of discredited social theories, totalitarian mind control techniques, and voodoo-like semiotic incantations, you can’t expect the world to beat a path to your door. To return to the title of Kay’s article, literary studies are undergoing a mass extinction event largely because they have become grossly maladapted to the environment of a functioning mind.

    • Replies: @anon
    It goes without saying, but....

    Peak English was built on substantial graduate programs, sure.

    But the real demand was that it used to be a non negotiable required course. Large, postwar State Universities made everyone take it. Soft coercion, sure. But just how unpopular it must have been can be inferred by the numbers avoiding it by fulfilling requirements through other courses.

    Students fulfill the First-Year Writing Requirement (FYWR) by taking an approved 4 credit course. .

    Students complete the Upper-level Writing Requirement (ULWR) by taking one approved course. Most students fulfill ULWR with a course for their major.

     

    There is more to it than that, but the academy has always been a total institution.
  42. @SFG
    I always figured you'd stop at 1960 to avoid, well, the Sixties. I got a book of Anthony Burgess's old columns at a used bookstore a few months ago. It's funny to read him joking about getting a marzipan pig from feminists--they weren't quite so powerful in those days. It's also kind of weird to realize there was an intellectual tradition that wasn't totally obsessed with left-wing politics...I guess those were the last of the Christian writers before the sexual revolution killed them? I mean, they're still out there, but I can't really compare Jenkins and LaHaye to Lewis and Tolkien.

    One alt-history premise I always wondered about was, what if the *left* won the economic war and the *right* won the culture war? The Sixties never happened, but we still have union jobs for blue-collar workers and heavy regulation of business. I guess you have to get rid of the Pill somehow.

    There was still great writing all through the Sixties and after. That’s why so many felt confident enough that the culture would carry on without them that they went off and did their own thing. We live in the aftermath of (way) too many making that decision. There were too few left to defend against the wave of resentment.

  43. @Colin Wright
    'For example, as I pointed out in my new review of Jared Diamond’s latest book, Upheaval, cultural anthropologists routinely rage against Diamond because...'

    I can't speak for cultural anthropologists, but speaking for myself, I rage against Jared Diamond's books because they're pretty bad.

    Why SS thinks that Jared is worthy of any respect is a mystery to me

  44. The parts about silk stockings, shaving, sitting on a bed etc would have been exciting if not for the fact that in my mind I had the picture of a dowdy female (worse, “trans female”) English professor.

    • LOL: Dtbb
  45. @The Last Real Calvinist
    I read both essays. Andrew Kay's is very good; it's funny, and it makes me feel pretty good about having escaped grad school in the humanities back in the day.

    As for the response piece from the ladies: Steve's right; it's hilarious, and way, way beyond parody.

    But it's pretty long and incoherent, so for those of you who may not want to wade through the whole thing, I'll provide a summary here:


    Dear Andrew Kay;

    THAT'S NOT FUNNY!!!

    We all hate you.

    XXXOOO,

    The Hot Grrrlz
     

    Just so.

    (On Wednesdays they wear pink.)

  46. Professors ‘Conservatives’ Punching Down at the Jobless

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Never Trump Con media keeps hitting new lows. At least they’ve got Dreher who has seen the light.
    , @Redneck farmer
    I like how it's inferred there's no reason to live in the Midwest except employment opportunities.
    , @Bernie
    Isnt it time TAC combine with NRO? They can pool their resources, cut overhead and provide a happy home for their 3,000 readers (in their 80s to a man).
  47. “…while myriad others went full flight attendant.”

    Works for me.


    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    Those are the creepiest pictures I have seen in quite some time.
    , @Redneck farmer
    Might want to clean out some of your files for legal reasons. Just saying.
  48. Why does it take four history professors to write one essay?

    I note they did not mention the possibility that they landed the jobs because they benefit from affirmative action.

  49. @eah
    Professors 'Conservatives' Punching Down at the Jobless

    https://twitter.com/amconmag/status/1131359085679529993

    Never Trump Con media keeps hitting new lows. At least they’ve got Dreher who has seen the light.

  50. @Desiderius
    There are a whole lot worse places one could live than Denton. My sis lives the high life in Frisco, but I think I’d prefer Denton.

    For normal people, yea.

    Kay still lives in Madison, and seems to be making a buck or two. Devin M. Garofalo got her PhD there.

    For the politically correct, I can imagine it as frightening.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    For once, someone actually types "yea" who might actually mean "yea" (as opposed to "yeah") but I have my doubts.
  51. jon says:

    the nonnormatively bodied, first-generation-college grad students and scholars, single parents, the economic precariat — the list goes on

    Let’s unpack:

    the nonnormatively bodied

    Fat people are a protected class now?

    first-generation-college grad students and scholars

    It’s a little ambiguous, but is she really talking about people who are the first in their families to go to grad school and become scholars?Wouldn’t that cover most academics? My parents were but humble medical doctors, yet somehow I persevered and became that other kind of doctor!

    single parents

    Divorced people are a protected class now, too?

    the economic precariat

    Who the f—- talks like that? It has to be a little embarrassing to actually type that into your screed.

    the list goes on

    No, I don’t think it does. I mean, how could it, what’s left?

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    '...the list goes on

    No, I don’t think it does. I mean, how could it, what’s left?'


    People usually say things like that when actually the list has ended.

    I stop myself from doing that all the time. If you can't think of three or four things you can't be bothered to list, don't imply that you could. It's lying.
  52. anon[217] • Disclaimer says:
    @black sea
    I thought Andrew Kay's piece was sort of funny, in a "trying too hard to be funny" way. He drew on Hunter Thompson, as you pointed out, but there was the ghost of David Foster Wallace hovering around as well. However, in 1991 the New York Times Magazine Section published a much more amusing account of the MLA Convention, called "Deciphering Victorian Underwear, And Other Seminars." It's behind their pay wall, but if you're s subscriber and interested in this stuff, it might be worth your time. (Yes, once upon a time the New York Times managed to be funny on purpose, and not through sheer ineptness.)

    I still remember a line from that article, in which one of the hotel workers at the convention observes, "These MLA people just talk and talk and talk -- and then they sit in their rooms and cry." Now that rings true to life.
    a
    In fact, one of the things that I found wearying about Kay's article was the shattering disappointment, in both his field and himself, which colors the entire piece. The realities of the job market for PhD's in literature have been well known to anyone who bothered to look since Kay was in grade school. Most people who attend film school don't go on to direct feature films. Most people who go to art school don't see their work hanging in the Tate, and most people who get a PhD in literature don't go on to become tenured professors. This has been the case for decades, and it isn't going to change, regardless of who occupies the White House or how much you try to cultivate among the kiddies an enthusiasm for Derrida and Foucault, or whoever their contemporary equivalents are. The students -- with a few weird-ass exceptions -- aren't interested, because nobody in their right mind would be.

    Over the past half century, the study of literature would have declined regardless of how it was taught, simply because we've been steadily moving toward a post-literate culture, and no English department or high school program could reverse that. However, when you deliberately choose to approach a work of literature through a maze of discredited social theories, totalitarian mind control techniques, and voodoo-like semiotic incantations, you can't expect the world to beat a path to your door. To return to the title of Kay's article, literary studies are undergoing a mass extinction event largely because they have become grossly maladapted to the environment of a functioning mind.

    It goes without saying, but….

    Peak English was built on substantial graduate programs, sure.

    But the real demand was that it used to be a non negotiable required course. Large, postwar State Universities made everyone take it. Soft coercion, sure. But just how unpopular it must have been can be inferred by the numbers avoiding it by fulfilling requirements through other courses.

    Students fulfill the First-Year Writing Requirement (FYWR) by taking an approved 4 credit course. .

    Students complete the Upper-level Writing Requirement (ULWR) by taking one approved course. Most students fulfill ULWR with a course for their major.

    There is more to it than that, but the academy has always been a total institution.

  53. @Cagey Beast
    This story was at the bottom of the other one written by the angry ladies:

    Are Women Invisible to Economists? One Scholar Is Stripping Down to Make Them Look
    By Alexander C. Kafka
    Victoria Bateman’s naked protests challenge what she sees as the field’s gender problem.
    https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/20190516-bateman?cid=wcontentgrid_article_bottom

    White women be crazy! Maybe Black Americans are right about the Becky Question? Were the Suffragettes the original Beckys? I think so.

    Definitely not Victoria Bateman’s secrets.

    > Could write a paper.
    > Nah, I’ll just strip down, that will make my opinion a matter of urgency.

    More rational discourse is expected from 12 year olds.

  54. @HammerJack
    Must admit I couldn't read much of their screed. From what I did see, their familiarity with the English language is casual at best, and their substitution of cant for argument fairly consistent. Moreover, I've never even heard of the colleges where they teach.

    Daresay the graduation and loan-repayment rates at these third-rate diploma mills are substandard at best. If your English professor doesn't know the difference between an adjective and a preposition, how will you learn it? Night school maybe, to augment your day school?

    I’ve never even heard of the colleges where they teach… third-rate diploma mills

    UNT is most famous for being the alma mater of Mean Joe Greene, but they also claim Roy Orbison, Dr. Phil, Pat Boone, Meat Loaf, Don Henley, and Tom “Bones” Malone & “Blue” Lou Marini of the Blues Brothers.

    Binghamton is one of the 4 flagship campuses of SUNY. It’s most famous alumni are Tony Kornheiser and Paul Reiser.

    You got me on Whitworth, but the other 2 are hardly third-rate diploma mills.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    Pat Boone, Meat Loaf, and SUNY huh. Sounds like I pegged 'em pretty well.
  55. @SFG
    Think of it as bilateral disarmament. If *nobody* tries to look their best, nobody has to invest any time or effort into it. It's a problem when you go outside the disheveled group, but otherwise you can save yourself a lot of trouble on something you don't care about.

    I mean, most men wouldn't want to spend the amount of time and effort on our appearances women do...

    I mean, most men wouldn’t want to spend the amount of time and effort on our appearances women do…

    Heterosexual men

  56. @Reg Cæsar

    "...while myriad others went full flight attendant.”
     
    Works for me.


    https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB130eZOXXXXXX8XXXXq6xXFXXXt/dance-dress-for-girls-Stewardess-clothing-Pilot-uniformed-boy-Child-Aircraft-long-photography-service-kids-dance.jpg_q50.jpg


    https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1.0CMKuuSBuNjSsziq6zq8pXal/New-2018-High-quality-Girls-Stewardess-clothing-Pilot-uniformed-boy-Child-Aircraft-long-photography-service-kids.jpg_640x640.jpg

    https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1RjSrKv5TBuNjSspmq6yDRVXa1/Masquerade-girls-Stewardess-clothing-Pilot-uniformed-boy-Child-Aircraft-long-photography-service-kids-dance-costume-AMBESTPARTY.jpg_q50.jpg

    Those are the creepiest pictures I have seen in quite some time.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    I saw a kid's dance school program recently. The best costumes in the fifty or sixty performances were those of a half-dozen eight-year-olds dressed as 1960s stewardesses. All the girls were white, and the uniforms robin's egg blue. It looked fantastic, not creepy in the least.

    Sorry if those pics were disturbing, but the school didn't post their own, or I would have linked to that.

  57. @ScarletNumber
    Those are the creepiest pictures I have seen in quite some time.

    I saw a kid’s dance school program recently. The best costumes in the fifty or sixty performances were those of a half-dozen eight-year-olds dressed as 1960s stewardesses. All the girls were white, and the uniforms robin’s egg blue. It looked fantastic, not creepy in the least.

    Sorry if those pics were disturbing, but the school didn’t post their own, or I would have linked to that.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber

    All the girls were white
     
    That's the difference, I'm sure.
    , @International Jew
    We pulled our daughter (then 5 or 6) out of her dance classes after seeing her first recital and finding the sexualization of those little girls quite repulsive.
  58. @Reg Cæsar
    I saw a kid's dance school program recently. The best costumes in the fifty or sixty performances were those of a half-dozen eight-year-olds dressed as 1960s stewardesses. All the girls were white, and the uniforms robin's egg blue. It looked fantastic, not creepy in the least.

    Sorry if those pics were disturbing, but the school didn't post their own, or I would have linked to that.

    All the girls were white

    That’s the difference, I’m sure.

  59. @J.Ross
    Obama cancelled debts? When did that happen? The local news went wild for a proposal to forgive a pittance which would be less than one semester's tuition, and all the proposals from officeholders are in the ballpark of forgiving half of the last payment provided of course that you've paid for years and never been late.
    • Replies: @J.Ross
    That's not debt cancellation, if anything that's protecting bad banks (which was Obama's signature).
  60. Blue masquerade
    Strangers look on
    When will they learn
    This loneliness?

    Temptation heat
    Beats like a drum
    Deep in your veins
    I will not lie

    Little sister! (Thou shalt not fall)
    Come, come to your brother! (Thou shalt not die)
    Unchain me, sister! (Thou shalt not fear)
    Love is with your brother! (Thou shalt not kill)

  61. @J.Ross
    That's brilliant, which is why he won't do it. Michael Hudson is very eloquent in his latest book on how societies need to cancel unpayable debts (this does not mean all debts). We will all pay for lost growth and churn because colleges and banks were allowed to kneecap people who otherwise would have been consumers. There's gotta be some finance wizards who actually understand that a sandwich artist with a $75,000 art loan is not paying that back. There must be occasional awkward admissions that they would lose nothing by doing so.
    Also, Trump is bizarrely tolerant of his enemies, many of whom make themselves defenseless and legitimate targets. Colleges get a pass for being leftist hives, NGOs get coddled and their terrorist variants get out of jail free, big tech isn't worrying about anti-trust, the explicitly and near-homogeneously partisan mass media gets a little bit of namecalling but no ethics investigations, judges are still legislating from the bench, and in Cannes "artists" are still making jokes about assassination.

    Trump is bizarrely tolerant of his enemies

    “For such crimes there must be justice. Starting with [the deep state] and [its] abominations. But only starting. I mean to scour that court clean. As [Trump] should have done after the [election].”

    Where is the true king?

  62. For people bitching about white male dominance, they sure use the word discipline quite often. Maybe a shot of whiskey would put some hair on their chests.

  63. If they come to a fight looking to punch up, then we have to kick them while they are still down.

  64. @Lot
    My advice to Don:

    Executive order to stop all federal loans for colleges that don’t have at least a 95% on-time repayment rate.

    That will cut off most colleges completely. And then there will be a scramble to dump humanities programs and bloated Big Ed staff (97% of whom hate Trump) and replace them with programs that are of value to the job market.

    Also, when the next Wall funding fight comes up, don’t shut down the government. Just shut down HUD and the Dept of Education.

    Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.

    The cries of cultural appropriation will be glorious!

  65. @S. Anonyia
    That was a very confusing essay. My eyes wandered a lot. Hard to believe an English professor wrote it.

    Personally I don’t get the resistance of anyone, man or woman, to trying their hardest to look their best. Men have ratty beards, women refuse to wear makeup (only teens can get away with it really) and both sexes get fat. Being schlubby is at least in part by intent. Even ugly people can look good when they are in shape and present themselves well.

    Personally I don’t get the resistance of anyone, man or woman, to trying their hardest to look their best.

    Looking good takes time, money, attention, and energy. Plus it has diminishing returns. Looking your “best”, like having a perfectly clean environment, can break you.

    • Replies: @Jmaie
    As women age, the more effort they put into looking good the less good they look. The lines that make women’s faces look old give men’s faces character. This is, I suspect, the source of much of the anger coming from the distaff side. As in so many other ways, life truly is unfair.
  66. @eah
    Professors 'Conservatives' Punching Down at the Jobless

    https://twitter.com/amconmag/status/1131359085679529993

    I like how it’s inferred there’s no reason to live in the Midwest except employment opportunities.

  67. @Reg Cæsar

    "...while myriad others went full flight attendant.”
     
    Works for me.


    https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB130eZOXXXXXX8XXXXq6xXFXXXt/dance-dress-for-girls-Stewardess-clothing-Pilot-uniformed-boy-Child-Aircraft-long-photography-service-kids-dance.jpg_q50.jpg


    https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1.0CMKuuSBuNjSsziq6zq8pXal/New-2018-High-quality-Girls-Stewardess-clothing-Pilot-uniformed-boy-Child-Aircraft-long-photography-service-kids.jpg_640x640.jpg

    https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1RjSrKv5TBuNjSspmq6yDRVXa1/Masquerade-girls-Stewardess-clothing-Pilot-uniformed-boy-Child-Aircraft-long-photography-service-kids-dance-costume-AMBESTPARTY.jpg_q50.jpg

    Might want to clean out some of your files for legal reasons. Just saying.

    • LOL: jim jones
  68. @Desiderius

    wasn’t able to then get a job as an English professor
     
    A direct result of the frenzy for affirmative action and social justicity in hiring, as exemplified by the extraordinarily marginal professors attacking him.

    wasn’t able to then get a job as an English professor

    I dropped out of graduate school about 15 years ago (yes, English) because I saw the writing on the wall. Even then, at my best second-tier school, it wasn’t uncommon for professors who finally landed a tenure track job to have worked at a few different places, often as an adjunct with no benefits, teaching as many classes as possible to pay the rent.

    As far as the political side of it goes, I remember nearly all of the professors being lefties to at least some degree, but you weren’t treated unfairly (for the most part) for having a differing opinion. I wonder how common this batshit crazy professor stuff is nowadays.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Those easygoing lefties still made sure that no one to their right got hired, with predictable results.
  69. @anon
    I'm thinking that their problem is that after years of grad school, the brass ring lands them in Denton Texas. Driving Uber in a decent city might be more desirable. Perhaps they are jealous of the unemployed Mr. Kay.

    I’m thinking that their problem is that after years of grad school, the brass ring lands them in Denton Texas

    There are a great many, and I’d even say the majority of tenured/tenure track professors who resent like Hell that they landed in a college town in the sticks.

    A great many smaller and/or remote campuses (like the place I went to) have quite a few professors from the ivies or tier one universities whose academic careers never quite took off. Imagine their disappointment at finally getting the ‘I can’t be fired from it’ job, only to have it be in Alpine, Tex., Laramie, Wyo., or Greeley, Colo.

    The thought makes my heart skip a beat, actually.

  70. @ScarletNumber

    I’ve never even heard of the colleges where they teach... third-rate diploma mills
     
    UNT is most famous for being the alma mater of Mean Joe Greene, but they also claim Roy Orbison, Dr. Phil, Pat Boone, Meat Loaf, Don Henley, and Tom "Bones" Malone & "Blue" Lou Marini of the Blues Brothers.

    Binghamton is one of the 4 flagship campuses of SUNY. It's most famous alumni are Tony Kornheiser and Paul Reiser.

    You got me on Whitworth, but the other 2 are hardly third-rate diploma mills.

    Pat Boone, Meat Loaf, and SUNY huh. Sounds like I pegged ’em pretty well.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    Sounds like your name should be HammerJackass.
  71. @SFG
    I always figured you'd stop at 1960 to avoid, well, the Sixties. I got a book of Anthony Burgess's old columns at a used bookstore a few months ago. It's funny to read him joking about getting a marzipan pig from feminists--they weren't quite so powerful in those days. It's also kind of weird to realize there was an intellectual tradition that wasn't totally obsessed with left-wing politics...I guess those were the last of the Christian writers before the sexual revolution killed them? I mean, they're still out there, but I can't really compare Jenkins and LaHaye to Lewis and Tolkien.

    One alt-history premise I always wondered about was, what if the *left* won the economic war and the *right* won the culture war? The Sixties never happened, but we still have union jobs for blue-collar workers and heavy regulation of business. I guess you have to get rid of the Pill somehow.

    I always figured you’d stop at 1960 to avoid, well, the Sixties.

    No I really like a lot of the work they were doing in the Sixties. Maybe the cutoff point should be when Yukio Mishima killed himself in 1970?

    If I were running a modern-day hedge school* for adults, I’d even draw from a few things published in the Eighties, even though that’s obviously when the Great Smothering began.

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedge_school

    • Replies: @SFG
    Someone should try that. I have no idea how you'd set it up though.
  72. @HammerJack
    Pat Boone, Meat Loaf, and SUNY huh. Sounds like I pegged 'em pretty well.

    Sounds like your name should be HammerJackass.

  73. @Lot
    “societies need to cancel unpayable debts”

    Obama’s income based repayment plan already has done this. Not the worst idea as a one time jubilee. The problem is that it never ends. In fact, if you already have a $80,000 college debt for a humanities degree, you won’t pay a penny more under IBR if you take out another $80,000 for a master’s degree. Or why not two? Then maybe a law degree on top. Stay in the big ed bubble until you are 34, then get a job inside of it and never leave and never pay a penny in loan repayments.

    Colleges then can freely raise their tuition and tell their students not to worry, they’ll either make tons of money or else just IBR the debt.

    A variant of this scam, which Pablo “they” Gomez the trannie killer was doing, is to take the full federal loan each year, plus a pell grant, and use it for a cheap community college, and use the large amount left over after tuition for your “living experience.”

    It isn’t a great life for us, but $15,000 in free cash a year for 6 years for maintaining a C average at Berkeley community college is an attractive proposition compared to working for a living for many people. Even without IBR, it isn’t like the They Gomezes of the world could make payments even if They wanted to.

    Wow, that’s mind-blowing. I just may go back to school. There’s a couple degrees I’ve yet to earn, though I note that none of the largesse actually requires anyone to complete a degree course.

  74. @J.Ross
    Obama cancelled debts? When did that happen? The local news went wild for a proposal to forgive a pittance which would be less than one semester's tuition, and all the proposals from officeholders are in the ballpark of forgiving half of the last payment provided of course that you've paid for years and never been late.

    FWIW, please also remember tens of billions of dollars in “mortgage writedowns” in the years after 2008, which were aptly characterized as “a sharp slap in the face” for the millions of us fools who bothered to take on only those debts we could actually repay–and who then actually spent our lives repaying them.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    As I'm reading it, a person starting too late has no reason whatsoever to do this, because the forgiveness will happen after they're dead and provided they never miss a payment and can make any payments in the first place and have already made ten consecutive on-time payments under a less forgiving system. This is totally dodging the question of the loans themselves being bad. If neither non-payment nor "forgiveness" will enable you to build credit and own property, then you should go with non-payment.
  75. @SFG
    I always figured you'd stop at 1960 to avoid, well, the Sixties. I got a book of Anthony Burgess's old columns at a used bookstore a few months ago. It's funny to read him joking about getting a marzipan pig from feminists--they weren't quite so powerful in those days. It's also kind of weird to realize there was an intellectual tradition that wasn't totally obsessed with left-wing politics...I guess those were the last of the Christian writers before the sexual revolution killed them? I mean, they're still out there, but I can't really compare Jenkins and LaHaye to Lewis and Tolkien.

    One alt-history premise I always wondered about was, what if the *left* won the economic war and the *right* won the culture war? The Sixties never happened, but we still have union jobs for blue-collar workers and heavy regulation of business. I guess you have to get rid of the Pill somehow.

    I always figured you’d stop at 1960 to avoid, well, the Sixties.

    FWIW, the Sixties didn’t really start until 1964.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    FWIW, the Sixties didn’t really start until 1964.
     
    Yes they did. The Sixties was from August 8, 1962-the funeral of Marilyn Monroe and the subsequent cemetery riot-to August 8, 1974-the resignation of Nixon.

    Then The Seventies started. The Seventies were the Sixties for middle class Middle America and all hell really broke loose.
    , @Cagey Beast
    My father often said the Sixties didn't begin until 1968. Most of what's called the Sixties really happened in the early Seventies. Look at Sean Connery's filmography as one quick and easy indicator of when the Sixties got traction.
  76. @anon
    For normal people, yea.

    Kay still lives in Madison, and seems to be making a buck or two. Devin M. Garofalo got her PhD there.

    For the politically correct, I can imagine it as frightening.

    For once, someone actually types “yea” who might actually mean “yea” (as opposed to “yeah”) but I have my doubts.

  77. @eah
    Professors 'Conservatives' Punching Down at the Jobless

    https://twitter.com/amconmag/status/1131359085679529993

    Isnt it time TAC combine with NRO? They can pool their resources, cut overhead and provide a happy home for their 3,000 readers (in their 80s to a man).

    • Agree: Desiderius
  78. @Cagey Beast
    Yes, they commit malpractice on a mass scale. Their task is to preserve and grow our culture but they explicitly do the opposite. From the article above:

    By characterizing the profession as sadly diminished since its white male heyday, it winds up eulogizing precisely the worst aspects of academia, the ones many of us are trying to eradicate….
     
    Doctors and nurses who try to kill their patients go to jail. Cooks who spit in the food get fired, if not arrested. These people get rewarded.

    Got to look at who is scratching their paychecks and why.

    • Agree: Cagey Beast
  79. @South Texas Guy

    wasn’t able to then get a job as an English professor
     
    I dropped out of graduate school about 15 years ago (yes, English) because I saw the writing on the wall. Even then, at my best second-tier school, it wasn't uncommon for professors who finally landed a tenure track job to have worked at a few different places, often as an adjunct with no benefits, teaching as many classes as possible to pay the rent.

    As far as the political side of it goes, I remember nearly all of the professors being lefties to at least some degree, but you weren't treated unfairly (for the most part) for having a differing opinion. I wonder how common this batshit crazy professor stuff is nowadays.

    Those easygoing lefties still made sure that no one to their right got hired, with predictable results.

    • Agree: South Texas Guy
  80. I got to Andrew Kay’s essay (not paywalled!) after seeing Lot’s excellent comment #4, “Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.” Kay scored the ic1000 grade of B, which translates to “I read all 7,000 words, barely.” The Garofalo, Hinton, Nixon, Reeder group book essay report earned 1.67 quality points for “tl;dr, skimmed”.

    Since Kay was arrogantly strutting his white male privilege as a piecework writer who wasted years on a worthless PhD, GHNR spend most of their 2,600 words attacking him. They are too dim to recognize that all five are thrust together in the same side’s trenches. For instance, Kay laments the outcome of Wisconson governor Scott Walker’s Budget Repair Bill:

    The intent behind the bill was to decimate the public sector, the university system included, by breaking its unions and thereby preventing its workers from staging any unified opposition to the mandates of the state.

    At least 60,000 demonstrators descended on Madison at one point, deluging the Capitol — beating drums, playing bagpipes, chanting. There were all-night sit-ins in the Capitol itself. One night I walked through the building’s marble corridors in the small hours, taking it all in. I slalomed through sleeping bags, past protesters working on signs, strumming guitars. I saw Wes, Gary, and another peer huddled together reading The Faerie Queene by the rotunda, discussing it quietly and grading. The stakes of reading Spenser had never seemed so great, nor the power of poetry to magnetize.

    The bill passed despite all the resistance. Hard on its heels, Walker enacted a series of budget cuts that resulted in a loss of $362 million for the UW system from 2012 to 2017. And in 2015 he sought furtively to edit the system’s mission statement, deleting phrases like “search for truth” and replacing them with “meet the state’s workforce needs.”

    In the wider context of the extinction event, this stands out as an especially grievous disaster.

    The real enemies of Nixon and Reeder (feeding at the trough at Whitworth University and SUNY, respectively) and Garofalo and Hinton (about to belly up at the University of North Texas) are Lot. And me.

    Kay’s essay matches GHNR’s group report in imagining that literary Jeopardy! answers questions are, actually cultural treasures of great value.

    There are no cancer cures here. No solutions to global warming (Kay’s dopey “extinction event” metaphor). No Closing The Gap insights that top Sailer’s “hit high-performing white and Asian students on the head with hammers” in either wit or insight. Lower the bar to “something worth reading about William Carlos Williams’s poetry” and they still can’t make it over.

    Go, Gov. Walker, Go!

    I dunno about the University of North Texas, but the median Assistant Professor of English salary for the 71 positions listed in that state’s public university system is $60,000 plus benefits.

    Four gals making about that much each, and with a shot at a guaranteed income that would put Andrew Yang to shame. Punching up at their unemployed white guy comrade-in-arms. If their hatred for Kay burns this hot, I wonder how they feel about me.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Whiskey
    They are women. Most women want the 90% if White men not Alpha extermi nated. That's how women are. Ruthless in culling the beta male.
  81. @Lot
    I think more Americans learn about Western Civ from their own reading and watching Discovery/History Channel than anything in college.

    Self directed reading and commercial TV isn’t ideal, but even with conservative teachers, 18-22 isn’t the age when interest in humanities is particularly high.

    My anecdotal experience is that for the big 45-70 age and 100-120 IQ demographic, History and Discovery channels are huge. And cooking shows. Both are respites from degenerate prole culture and degenerate SJW lecturing.

    You guys are about 10 years behind. I have written on here that I don’t HAVE TV, but I’ll flip through to try to find Seinfeld and The Office re-runs when I’m out of town once in a while. The History Channel has not been the Nazi Channel for something like a decade, Lot. It is now the one that features non-stop Pawn Stars – that one may be very interesting for those antiquing types, but it is so damn boring to me to watch these guys try not to get ripped off, or try to rip off the next guy, or whatever.

    Believe it or not, The Weather Channel may or may not show any weather forecasts, but damn if they don’t have the most interesting shows about airplane crashes. That’s their thing now. I’m sure you’d run into re-runs after a week or less, but I could see myself watching nonstop crash after crash if I got stuck inside for half a day.

  82. @Lot
    “societies need to cancel unpayable debts”

    Obama’s income based repayment plan already has done this. Not the worst idea as a one time jubilee. The problem is that it never ends. In fact, if you already have a $80,000 college debt for a humanities degree, you won’t pay a penny more under IBR if you take out another $80,000 for a master’s degree. Or why not two? Then maybe a law degree on top. Stay in the big ed bubble until you are 34, then get a job inside of it and never leave and never pay a penny in loan repayments.

    Colleges then can freely raise their tuition and tell their students not to worry, they’ll either make tons of money or else just IBR the debt.

    A variant of this scam, which Pablo “they” Gomez the trannie killer was doing, is to take the full federal loan each year, plus a pell grant, and use it for a cheap community college, and use the large amount left over after tuition for your “living experience.”

    It isn’t a great life for us, but $15,000 in free cash a year for 6 years for maintaining a C average at Berkeley community college is an attractive proposition compared to working for a living for many people. Even without IBR, it isn’t like the They Gomezes of the world could make payments even if They wanted to.

    Someone’s been reading comments by Achmed E. Newman or the Peak Stupidity blog, or it sure looks that way. Thank you, Lot, for coming around on this and seeing that Socialism just DOES NOT WORK.

    Indeed, any kind of loan forgiveness would be the best thing for the Universities, including these 4 feminist broads, Professor (want-to-be) Kay, and all the rest that you all rightfully decry. That’s not how you fix a problem, by looking at a symptom (oh, these poor suckers owe a lot of money they can’t pay back) and “fixing” it (OK, the taxpayers and their children will be on the hook. You’re fine, Even-Steven, see ya!).

    You’ve gotta get to the root, which is damn simple in this case: It’s a moral hazard to have the US Gov’t backing bank loans, PERIOD. You stop that, and you fix the problem.

    The problem is that it never ends. In fact, if you already have a $80,000 college debt for a humanities degree, you won’t pay a penny more under IBR if you take out another $80,000 for a master’s degree. Or why not two? Then maybe a law degree on top. Stay in the big ed bubble until you are 34, then get a job inside of it and never leave and never pay a penny in loan repayments.

    Right on. Where have I read this before? Oh, on my own blog and my comments here. Again, thanks for coming around!

  83. @Lot
    My advice to Don:

    Executive order to stop all federal loans for colleges that don’t have at least a 95% on-time repayment rate.

    That will cut off most colleges completely. And then there will be a scramble to dump humanities programs and bloated Big Ed staff (97% of whom hate Trump) and replace them with programs that are of value to the job market.

    Also, when the next Wall funding fight comes up, don’t shut down the government. Just shut down HUD and the Dept of Education.

    Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.

    Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.

    Very well said Lot–spot on.

    While i’m fine with your student loan proposal, as i’ve written in several comments here before …

    the critical path to destroying the big ed monster is to have a set of certification exams that young (and old) people can pass to demonstrate competence and then have government hire based on–and make any of their regulations based on–these exams rather than “degrees”.

    This gives kids something concrete to target, that doesn’t bankrupt (or indebt) them, that doesn’t require all this useless hoop jumping to get into a “good school” and that they can go after themselves, right away.

    Just economically sticking with our old education system built on a Fordist model is stupid. Education is specifically not a product that requires a bunch of people to come together. The actual “product” is knowledge and skill imparted into the brain of individual people. At root, it’s an individual product. No one can actually jam knowledge–other than of the most base kind–into someone else’s thick skull.

    We now have the technology to easily impart whatever educational material–books, articles, lectures, drawings, problems, tests–right to an individual in whatever mix, at whatever pace works best for him. The only real exception is laboratory and studio (art, music, drama) work, which the existing ed infrastructure can supply at a tiny fraction of the existing cost.

    There’s no need for a Stalingrad style death struggle with Big Ed. The way to slay this beast is simply to bypass this beast. It will starve.

    • Replies: @Lot
    The first step Trump can take toward that is an EO barring any federal agency from requiring a college degree in hiring.
  84. @J.Ross
    That's brilliant, which is why he won't do it. Michael Hudson is very eloquent in his latest book on how societies need to cancel unpayable debts (this does not mean all debts). We will all pay for lost growth and churn because colleges and banks were allowed to kneecap people who otherwise would have been consumers. There's gotta be some finance wizards who actually understand that a sandwich artist with a $75,000 art loan is not paying that back. There must be occasional awkward admissions that they would lose nothing by doing so.
    Also, Trump is bizarrely tolerant of his enemies, many of whom make themselves defenseless and legitimate targets. Colleges get a pass for being leftist hives, NGOs get coddled and their terrorist variants get out of jail free, big tech isn't worrying about anti-trust, the explicitly and near-homogeneously partisan mass media gets a little bit of namecalling but no ethics investigations, judges are still legislating from the bench, and in Cannes "artists" are still making jokes about assassination.

    I agree completely with a plan (probably only out of an imaginary, smart/hardworking Donald Trump) to hit the Universities hard. This loan forgiveness thing is a really terrible idea. It will encourage even more abuse.

  85. @another fred

    Personally I don’t get the resistance of anyone, man or woman, to trying their hardest to look their best.
     
    Looking good takes time, money, attention, and energy. Plus it has diminishing returns. Looking your "best", like having a perfectly clean environment, can break you.

    As women age, the more effort they put into looking good the less good they look. The lines that make women’s faces look old give men’s faces character. This is, I suspect, the source of much of the anger coming from the distaff side. As in so many other ways, life truly is unfair.

  86. These gals are so typical of the “angry studies“ environment in academia today. Kay relates his interaction with four different acclaimed women, describing their intellect in glowing terms. Meanwhile they focus on a throwaway line about how a random group of people are dressed, and spend several paragraphs in a diatribe about how angry it makes them that they weren’t nominated for homecoming queen. Sheesh.

  87. @jon

    the nonnormatively bodied, first-generation-college grad students and scholars, single parents, the economic precariat — the list goes on
     
    Let's unpack:

    the nonnormatively bodied
     
    Fat people are a protected class now?

    first-generation-college grad students and scholars
     
    It's a little ambiguous, but is she really talking about people who are the first in their families to go to grad school and become scholars?Wouldn't that cover most academics? My parents were but humble medical doctors, yet somehow I persevered and became that other kind of doctor!

    single parents
     
    Divorced people are a protected class now, too?

    the economic precariat
     
    Who the f---- talks like that? It has to be a little embarrassing to actually type that into your screed.

    the list goes on
     
    No, I don't think it does. I mean, how could it, what's left?

    ‘…the list goes on

    No, I don’t think it does. I mean, how could it, what’s left?’

    People usually say things like that when actually the list has ended.

    I stop myself from doing that all the time. If you can’t think of three or four things you can’t be bothered to list, don’t imply that you could. It’s lying.

  88. @AnotherDad

    Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice.
     
    Very well said Lot--spot on.

    While i'm fine with your student loan proposal, as i've written in several comments here before ...

    the critical path to destroying the big ed monster is to have a set of certification exams that young (and old) people can pass to demonstrate competence and then have government hire based on--and make any of their regulations based on--these exams rather than "degrees".

    This gives kids something concrete to target, that doesn't bankrupt (or indebt) them, that doesn't require all this useless hoop jumping to get into a "good school" and that they can go after themselves, right away.


    Just economically sticking with our old education system built on a Fordist model is stupid. Education is specifically not a product that requires a bunch of people to come together. The actual "product" is knowledge and skill imparted into the brain of individual people. At root, it's an individual product. No one can actually jam knowledge--other than of the most base kind--into someone else's thick skull.

    We now have the technology to easily impart whatever educational material--books, articles, lectures, drawings, problems, tests--right to an individual in whatever mix, at whatever pace works best for him. The only real exception is laboratory and studio (art, music, drama) work, which the existing ed infrastructure can supply at a tiny fraction of the existing cost.

    There's no need for a Stalingrad style death struggle with Big Ed. The way to slay this beast is simply to bypass this beast. It will starve.

    The first step Trump can take toward that is an EO barring any federal agency from requiring a college degree in hiring.

  89. Tex says:
    @anon
    I'm thinking that their problem is that after years of grad school, the brass ring lands them in Denton Texas. Driving Uber in a decent city might be more desirable. Perhaps they are jealous of the unemployed Mr. Kay.

    I’m thinking that their problem is that after years of grad school, the brass ring lands them in Denton Texas. Driving Uber in a decent city might be more desirable. Perhaps they are jealous of the unemployed Mr. Kay.

    I’ve actually heard similar from a professor, literally wanting to give up teaching to be an Uber driver in a hip city. I thought it was just weird, but maybe you’re on to something.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Any profession will have a certain number of people who quit for casual or blue collar employment for any number of reasons. The railroads have a relatively small but noticeable number of former lawyers, CPAs, pharmacists, veterinarians (but I never met an actual MD or DDS) and whatnot on the boards as conductors or engineers. I had a flight instructor who was a former NYC BigLaw attorney once. One local college reported recently that a full professor of something or other quit to be an arborist.

    So I suspect there are full time Uber drivers (as there were fulltime cab drivers years ago on occasion) who left prestigious and well paying jobs that took a lot of training. Reasons vary.

    Screwing a spouse out of alimony is one, professional embarrassment another, some people just aren't happy where they are at. I had to go for a piss test and DOT physical for a part time gig I do , at a local corporate health office. The doctor who examined me was a former gastric surgeon who was quite esteemed in a major city to our east. Still working a a MD, but greatly reduced hours and pay, minimal responsibility. He said he quit surgery because his trophy wife left him because of the hours and his father passed, leaving him serious money. So now he works as a part time urgent care/drug test doc and makes high end fly fishing rods, has a house paid for, and is happy as can be. He's younger than me by at least five years, maybe ten.
  90. @ic1000
    I got to Andrew Kay's essay (not paywalled!) after seeing Lot's excellent comment #4, "Big Ed is the beating heart of the left. Cut it out like an Aztec sacrifice." Kay scored the ic1000 grade of B, which translates to "I read all 7,000 words, barely." The Garofalo, Hinton, Nixon, Reeder group book essay report earned 1.67 quality points for "tl;dr, skimmed".

    Since Kay was arrogantly strutting his white male privilege as a piecework writer who wasted years on a worthless PhD, GHNR spend most of their 2,600 words attacking him. They are too dim to recognize that all five are thrust together in the same side's trenches. For instance, Kay laments the outcome of Wisconson governor Scott Walker's Budget Repair Bill:

    The intent behind the bill was to decimate the public sector, the university system included, by breaking its unions and thereby preventing its workers from staging any unified opposition to the mandates of the state.

    At least 60,000 demonstrators descended on Madison at one point, deluging the Capitol — beating drums, playing bagpipes, chanting. There were all-night sit-ins in the Capitol itself. One night I walked through the building’s marble corridors in the small hours, taking it all in. I slalomed through sleeping bags, past protesters working on signs, strumming guitars. I saw Wes, Gary, and another peer huddled together reading The Faerie Queene by the rotunda, discussing it quietly and grading. The stakes of reading Spenser had never seemed so great, nor the power of poetry to magnetize.

    The bill passed despite all the resistance. Hard on its heels, Walker enacted a series of budget cuts that resulted in a loss of $362 million for the UW system from 2012 to 2017. And in 2015 he sought furtively to edit the system’s mission statement, deleting phrases like “search for truth” and replacing them with “meet the state’s workforce needs.”

    In the wider context of the extinction event, this stands out as an especially grievous disaster.
     
    The real enemies of Nixon and Reeder (feeding at the trough at Whitworth University and SUNY, respectively) and Garofalo and Hinton (about to belly up at the University of North Texas) are Lot. And me.

    Kay's essay matches GHNR's group report in imagining that literary Jeopardy! answers questions are, actually cultural treasures of great value.

    There are no cancer cures here. No solutions to global warming (Kay's dopey "extinction event" metaphor). No Closing The Gap insights that top Sailer's "hit high-performing white and Asian students on the head with hammers" in either wit or insight. Lower the bar to "something worth reading about William Carlos Williams's poetry" and they still can't make it over.

    Go, Gov. Walker, Go!

    I dunno about the University of North Texas, but the median Assistant Professor of English salary for the 71 positions listed in that state's public university system is $60,000 plus benefits.

    Four gals making about that much each, and with a shot at a guaranteed income that would put Andrew Yang to shame. Punching up at their unemployed white guy comrade-in-arms. If their hatred for Kay burns this hot, I wonder how they feel about me.

    They are women. Most women want the 90% if White men not Alpha extermi nated. That’s how women are. Ruthless in culling the beta male.

  91. @Lot
    2012.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income-based_repayment

    That’s not debt cancellation, if anything that’s protecting bad banks (which was Obama’s signature).

    • Replies: @Lot
    After being in IBR for 25 years, all remaining debt is forgiven.

    Most of the time all of the debt is forgiven because the IBR payments are either 0, or below the interest of the debt, causing the balance to increase.

    This is direct loans from the federal government being forgiven.
    , @Jmaie
    I’ve never understood why the Jubilee Hoffman keeps bringing up would be applicable to today. The debts which were forgiven were owed to the king. Taxes and such. Nothing to do with private debts, such as student loans out to banks.
  92. It would be interesting to hear what people would like to do to preserve Western Civ in the absence of the departments that used to teach it. I mean, you can read Plato yourself, but a lot of it’s likely to be fairly obscure. Pick some cutoff date and get the last commentary before that?

    I’ve homeschooled and what my now no-longer-in-high-schooler and I did was:

    1) For the foreign literature, try to find a “good” translation. This is very catch-as-catch-can, but Robert Fagles is always good for Greek (Homer, Sophocles, …). Peter Arnott has good translations of other Greek plays. His translations are intended to be performed and thus can’t depend on footnotes …

    Ormsby’s translation of Don Quixote is good.

    I like Simon Armitage’s “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.”

    2) Somerset Maughm has a nice long essay on books/literature titled “Books and You” that is worth reading. It has more suggestions.

    3) Shakespeare’s plays should be *watched*. You can read them later if you want, but very few people have felt a pressing need to read the script for “Star Wars”. Start with Ian McKellen’s “Acting Shakespeare.” Then I’d go on to Henry IV parts 1&2 from the BBC’s 1960 An Age of Kings, ITV’s 1970 12th Night, Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 Romeo and Juliet, then Richard III from An Age of Kings. Then go read W. H. Auden’s “Lectures on Shakespeare”. You should be oriented enough at this point to search out more stuff on your own.

    4) There are a number of good lectures on various books from the canon. The Great Courses has some (anything by J Rufus Fears is good). Catholic Courses has a *great* 8-episode DVD on Dante’s Inferno by Anthony Esolen.

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    Catholic Courses has a *great* 8-episode DVD on Dante’s Inferno by Anthony Esolen.
     
    Thx.
  93. I took a look at the first of our outraged females, one Devin M. Garofalo. Ummm. Tranny? In any case, a hella man-jaw.

    But worse, from her faculty page description:

    She considers how nineteenth-century thinkers were acutely aware of the formal and scalar variety of material life: of how the human body might function, from the perspective of an insect, as an entire world, even as the category of “world” also comprises the luminous bodies glimmering in the night sky. In this context, to inhabit a world is not to exist in a bounded, harmonically arranged, self-enclosed sphere. On the contrary, for nineteenth-century poets and scientists, to inhabit a world is to shuttle fluidly and unsystematically across a plenum of overlapping, intersecting, and colliding forms. This plenum reconfigures conventional oppositions between subject and object, human and nonhuman, individual and collective, conveying experimental models for the organization of material and political life. Ultimately, Interworlds shows how the category of “world” affords a lens for navigating the changing scales of space and time at stake in the nineteenth-century cosmopolitan imaginary.

    After that I really didn’t have the strength left to look up the others.

  94. @J.Ross
    That's not debt cancellation, if anything that's protecting bad banks (which was Obama's signature).

    After being in IBR for 25 years, all remaining debt is forgiven.

    Most of the time all of the debt is forgiven because the IBR payments are either 0, or below the interest of the debt, causing the balance to increase.

    This is direct loans from the federal government being forgiven.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    It's twenty-five years of indenture and hoop-jumping from the guy who thought Ezekiel Immanuel would be good for America. I'm guessing zero people have had their debts forgiven under this and that number won't have changed after a quarter century. This is a way for Obama's bankster masters to pretend that student loans aren't obviously fraud.
  95. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Lot
    After being in IBR for 25 years, all remaining debt is forgiven.

    Most of the time all of the debt is forgiven because the IBR payments are either 0, or below the interest of the debt, causing the balance to increase.

    This is direct loans from the federal government being forgiven.

    It’s twenty-five years of indenture and hoop-jumping from the guy who thought Ezekiel Immanuel would be good for America. I’m guessing zero people have had their debts forgiven under this and that number won’t have changed after a quarter century. This is a way for Obama’s bankster masters to pretend that student loans aren’t obviously fraud.

  96. J.Ross says: • Website
    @HammerJack
    FWIW, please also remember tens of billions of dollars in "mortgage writedowns" in the years after 2008, which were aptly characterized as "a sharp slap in the face" for the millions of us fools who bothered to take on only those debts we could actually repay--and who then actually spent our lives repaying them.

    As I’m reading it, a person starting too late has no reason whatsoever to do this, because the forgiveness will happen after they’re dead and provided they never miss a payment and can make any payments in the first place and have already made ten consecutive on-time payments under a less forgiving system. This is totally dodging the question of the loans themselves being bad. If neither non-payment nor “forgiveness” will enable you to build credit and own property, then you should go with non-payment.

  97. @Cagey Beast
    Having these people being paid to occupy our cultural institutions does far more damage than having no humanities departments at all. In fact, we should close the non-STEM departments of our universities for a generation and then gradually bring them back online if we feel the need and I say this as someone who strongly prefers the humanities to the sciences.

    At this point, I say remove the government footprint from tertiary education entirely. Democracy means you can’t have nice things.

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    Local democracy and direct democracy can work for many things but mass democracy is proving not to. This is especially true for complex and arcane domains like foreign policy making or the governance of universities.

    I want to repeat the saying that "when everybody's in charge, nobody's in charge" but that's not the whole story here. What really happened in our mass democracies is the managerial class made comfortable nests for themselves inside our institutions and we mere voters can't dislodge them from below.

  98. @Mark Roulo

    It would be interesting to hear what people would like to do to preserve Western Civ in the absence of the departments that used to teach it. I mean, you can read Plato yourself, but a lot of it’s likely to be fairly obscure. Pick some cutoff date and get the last commentary before that?
     
    I've homeschooled and what my now no-longer-in-high-schooler and I did was:

    1) For the foreign literature, try to find a "good" translation. This is very catch-as-catch-can, but Robert Fagles is always good for Greek (Homer, Sophocles, ...). Peter Arnott has good translations of other Greek plays. His translations are intended to be performed and thus can't depend on footnotes ...

    Ormsby's translation of Don Quixote is good.

    I like Simon Armitage's "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight."

    2) Somerset Maughm has a nice long essay on books/literature titled "Books and You" that is worth reading. It has more suggestions.

    3) Shakespeare's plays should be *watched*. You can read them later if you want, but very few people have felt a pressing need to read the script for "Star Wars". Start with Ian McKellen's "Acting Shakespeare." Then I'd go on to Henry IV parts 1&2 from the BBC's 1960 An Age of Kings, ITV's 1970 12th Night, Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 Romeo and Juliet, then Richard III from An Age of Kings. Then go read W. H. Auden's "Lectures on Shakespeare". You should be oriented enough at this point to search out more stuff on your own.

    4) There are a number of good lectures on various books from the canon. The Great Courses has some (anything by J Rufus Fears is good). Catholic Courses has a *great* 8-episode DVD on Dante's Inferno by Anthony Esolen.

    Catholic Courses has a *great* 8-episode DVD on Dante’s Inferno by Anthony Esolen.

    Thx.

  99. @Reg Cæsar
    I saw a kid's dance school program recently. The best costumes in the fifty or sixty performances were those of a half-dozen eight-year-olds dressed as 1960s stewardesses. All the girls were white, and the uniforms robin's egg blue. It looked fantastic, not creepy in the least.

    Sorry if those pics were disturbing, but the school didn't post their own, or I would have linked to that.

    We pulled our daughter (then 5 or 6) out of her dance classes after seeing her first recital and finding the sexualization of those little girls quite repulsive.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    We pulled our daughter (then 5 or 6) out of her dance classes after seeing her first recital and finding the sexualization of those little girls quite repulsive.
     
    This particular school avoided that kind of thing. Upper Midwest propriety, perhaps? These girls looked smart and professional, not salacious. You forget how innocent the Sixties looked, on the surface.

    The dance schools up here are still run mostly by normal people. Are they a gay, or black, domain on the coasts?
  100. Anonymous[193] • Disclaimer says:
    @HammerJack

    I always figured you’d stop at 1960 to avoid, well, the Sixties.
     
    FWIW, the Sixties didn't really start until 1964.

    FWIW, the Sixties didn’t really start until 1964.

    Yes they did. The Sixties was from August 8, 1962-the funeral of Marilyn Monroe and the subsequent cemetery riot-to August 8, 1974-the resignation of Nixon.

    Then The Seventies started. The Seventies were the Sixties for middle class Middle America and all hell really broke loose.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Who rioted at Marilyn Monroe's cemetery?

    Stonewall was a post-Judy Garland funeral riot.

    I'd date the start of The Seventies as January 22, 1973: Roe v. Wade. I suspect it had a direct causal impact on people's behavior.

  101. @Anonymous

    FWIW, the Sixties didn’t really start until 1964.
     
    Yes they did. The Sixties was from August 8, 1962-the funeral of Marilyn Monroe and the subsequent cemetery riot-to August 8, 1974-the resignation of Nixon.

    Then The Seventies started. The Seventies were the Sixties for middle class Middle America and all hell really broke loose.

    Who rioted at Marilyn Monroe’s cemetery?

    Stonewall was a post-Judy Garland funeral riot.

    I’d date the start of The Seventies as January 22, 1973: Roe v. Wade. I suspect it had a direct causal impact on people’s behavior.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The public was locked out per Joe D's wishes and there was what was called a riot as people pushed and shoved to see what was going on. It wasn't much of a riot by later sixties standards at all but it was shocking at the time. There are books on the funeral of Monroe that go into detail but it made the papers.

    The significant aspect was that Monroe was the quintessential Fifties female figure of, well, femininity and one of the last people to come out new from the studio system style of movie star creation. Obviously, others who were earlier worked a lot later because they lived longer. But later stars typically didn't have the studio financed training Monroe got in on the tail end of.

    However, did Monroe's main rival Liz Taylor do anything that significant after Cleopatra? That film started before Monroe's last film in production but wasn't released until 1963. I'd argue from there it was all downhill for Liz. She was famous for being famous more than as a working actress, she got fat, and absolutely no one my age thought of her as a sex symbol (whereas we'd all have lined up single file to nail Angie Dickinson after Dressed to Kill or Barbara Eden after seeing her in whatever that show she did after Jeannie was). (Taylor was younger than either).
    , @Anonymous

    I’d date the start of The Seventies as January 22, 1973: Roe v. Wade. I suspect it had a direct causal impact on people’s behavior.
     
    A little, but by '73 in most cities abortion was available to those in the know, always has been. Frank Sinatra's mother Dolly was an abortionist and got busted for it more than once. And it was considered a bad thing by most girls then, legal abortion patients tended to be the people they tend to be now, but more so: hookers, crazies, dope addicts, and nonwhites of various descriptions. Whites tend to use birth control properly.

    If you want abortion (largely) stopped get the stupid, criminal, and irresponsible unable to conceive offspring in the first place. Pay them to get fixed, or make their getting out of prison contingent on it.
  102. Anonymous[193] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tex

    I’m thinking that their problem is that after years of grad school, the brass ring lands them in Denton Texas. Driving Uber in a decent city might be more desirable. Perhaps they are jealous of the unemployed Mr. Kay.
     
    I've actually heard similar from a professor, literally wanting to give up teaching to be an Uber driver in a hip city. I thought it was just weird, but maybe you're on to something.

    Any profession will have a certain number of people who quit for casual or blue collar employment for any number of reasons. The railroads have a relatively small but noticeable number of former lawyers, CPAs, pharmacists, veterinarians (but I never met an actual MD or DDS) and whatnot on the boards as conductors or engineers. I had a flight instructor who was a former NYC BigLaw attorney once. One local college reported recently that a full professor of something or other quit to be an arborist.

    So I suspect there are full time Uber drivers (as there were fulltime cab drivers years ago on occasion) who left prestigious and well paying jobs that took a lot of training. Reasons vary.

    Screwing a spouse out of alimony is one, professional embarrassment another, some people just aren’t happy where they are at. I had to go for a piss test and DOT physical for a part time gig I do , at a local corporate health office. The doctor who examined me was a former gastric surgeon who was quite esteemed in a major city to our east. Still working a a MD, but greatly reduced hours and pay, minimal responsibility. He said he quit surgery because his trophy wife left him because of the hours and his father passed, leaving him serious money. So now he works as a part time urgent care/drug test doc and makes high end fly fishing rods, has a house paid for, and is happy as can be. He’s younger than me by at least five years, maybe ten.

  103. @Cagey Beast
    I always figured you’d stop at 1960 to avoid, well, the Sixties.

    No I really like a lot of the work they were doing in the Sixties. Maybe the cutoff point should be when Yukio Mishima killed himself in 1970?

    If I were running a modern-day hedge school* for adults, I'd even draw from a few things published in the Eighties, even though that's obviously when the Great Smothering began.

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedge_school

    Someone should try that. I have no idea how you’d set it up though.

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    It would have to happen organically and at the grassroots for it to work.
  104. Anonymous[193] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Who rioted at Marilyn Monroe's cemetery?

    Stonewall was a post-Judy Garland funeral riot.

    I'd date the start of The Seventies as January 22, 1973: Roe v. Wade. I suspect it had a direct causal impact on people's behavior.

    The public was locked out per Joe D’s wishes and there was what was called a riot as people pushed and shoved to see what was going on. It wasn’t much of a riot by later sixties standards at all but it was shocking at the time. There are books on the funeral of Monroe that go into detail but it made the papers.

    The significant aspect was that Monroe was the quintessential Fifties female figure of, well, femininity and one of the last people to come out new from the studio system style of movie star creation. Obviously, others who were earlier worked a lot later because they lived longer. But later stars typically didn’t have the studio financed training Monroe got in on the tail end of.

    However, did Monroe’s main rival Liz Taylor do anything that significant after Cleopatra? That film started before Monroe’s last film in production but wasn’t released until 1963. I’d argue from there it was all downhill for Liz. She was famous for being famous more than as a working actress, she got fat, and absolutely no one my age thought of her as a sex symbol (whereas we’d all have lined up single file to nail Angie Dickinson after Dressed to Kill or Barbara Eden after seeing her in whatever that show she did after Jeannie was). (Taylor was younger than either).

  105. Anonymous[193] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Who rioted at Marilyn Monroe's cemetery?

    Stonewall was a post-Judy Garland funeral riot.

    I'd date the start of The Seventies as January 22, 1973: Roe v. Wade. I suspect it had a direct causal impact on people's behavior.

    I’d date the start of The Seventies as January 22, 1973: Roe v. Wade. I suspect it had a direct causal impact on people’s behavior.

    A little, but by ’73 in most cities abortion was available to those in the know, always has been. Frank Sinatra’s mother Dolly was an abortionist and got busted for it more than once. And it was considered a bad thing by most girls then, legal abortion patients tended to be the people they tend to be now, but more so: hookers, crazies, dope addicts, and nonwhites of various descriptions. Whites tend to use birth control properly.

    If you want abortion (largely) stopped get the stupid, criminal, and irresponsible unable to conceive offspring in the first place. Pay them to get fixed, or make their getting out of prison contingent on it.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    But it's a big difference when the Supreme Court announces, in effect: Party hearty, dudes and dudettes!
    , @Reg Cæsar

    legal abortion patients tended to be the people they tend to be now, but more so: hookers, crazies, dope addicts...
     
    ...upper-middle-class girls knocked up by the help, but unable to swing the airfare to San Juan.

    MLK's mistress and her husband adopted the love child of a Hudson Valley girl and her family's black chauffeur.
  106. @Anonymous

    I’d date the start of The Seventies as January 22, 1973: Roe v. Wade. I suspect it had a direct causal impact on people’s behavior.
     
    A little, but by '73 in most cities abortion was available to those in the know, always has been. Frank Sinatra's mother Dolly was an abortionist and got busted for it more than once. And it was considered a bad thing by most girls then, legal abortion patients tended to be the people they tend to be now, but more so: hookers, crazies, dope addicts, and nonwhites of various descriptions. Whites tend to use birth control properly.

    If you want abortion (largely) stopped get the stupid, criminal, and irresponsible unable to conceive offspring in the first place. Pay them to get fixed, or make their getting out of prison contingent on it.

    But it’s a big difference when the Supreme Court announces, in effect: Party hearty, dudes and dudettes!

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Exactly.

    And Obergefell's "animus" legitimization of ruling class ignorance and snobbery unleashed whatever fresh hell we're living through now.

    Heckuva job, Anthony!
    , @Reg Cæsar
    "The Court is ready to knell
    in the case of Obergefell:
    'Penetrate the undercarriage,
    Consummate a legal marriage.'
    Now, go home and party like hell!"
  107. @Steve Sailer
    But it's a big difference when the Supreme Court announces, in effect: Party hearty, dudes and dudettes!

    Exactly.

    And Obergefell’s “animus” legitimization of ruling class ignorance and snobbery unleashed whatever fresh hell we’re living through now.

    Heckuva job, Anthony!

  108. @SFG
    Someone should try that. I have no idea how you'd set it up though.

    It would have to happen organically and at the grassroots for it to work.

  109. @HammerJack

    I always figured you’d stop at 1960 to avoid, well, the Sixties.
     
    FWIW, the Sixties didn't really start until 1964.

    My father often said the Sixties didn’t begin until 1968. Most of what’s called the Sixties really happened in the early Seventies. Look at Sean Connery’s filmography as one quick and easy indicator of when the Sixties got traction.

  110. @The Anti-Gnostic
    At this point, I say remove the government footprint from tertiary education entirely. Democracy means you can't have nice things.

    Local democracy and direct democracy can work for many things but mass democracy is proving not to. This is especially true for complex and arcane domains like foreign policy making or the governance of universities.

    I want to repeat the saying that “when everybody’s in charge, nobody’s in charge” but that’s not the whole story here. What really happened in our mass democracies is the managerial class made comfortable nests for themselves inside our institutions and we mere voters can’t dislodge them from below.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  111. @J.Ross
    That's not debt cancellation, if anything that's protecting bad banks (which was Obama's signature).

    I’ve never understood why the Jubilee Hoffman keeps bringing up would be applicable to today. The debts which were forgiven were owed to the king. Taxes and such. Nothing to do with private debts, such as student loans out to banks.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Incorrect, the debts were owed to the landowners or the temple or the state (not the same thing as the head of state), and were distinct from normal business debt. Some of these societies had no kings. The point (and the applicability) is to distinguish brainless, infinitely expanding, economy-destroying unpayable debt from routine business debt which will likely be paid and which are essential to the economy.
  112. @International Jew
    We pulled our daughter (then 5 or 6) out of her dance classes after seeing her first recital and finding the sexualization of those little girls quite repulsive.

    We pulled our daughter (then 5 or 6) out of her dance classes after seeing her first recital and finding the sexualization of those little girls quite repulsive.

    This particular school avoided that kind of thing. Upper Midwest propriety, perhaps? These girls looked smart and professional, not salacious. You forget how innocent the Sixties looked, on the surface.

    The dance schools up here are still run mostly by normal people. Are they a gay, or black, domain on the coasts?

    • Replies: @International Jew
    Nope, the school was run by some white ladies. Slut culture is everywhere (and this happened in about 2001).
  113. @Anonymous

    I’d date the start of The Seventies as January 22, 1973: Roe v. Wade. I suspect it had a direct causal impact on people’s behavior.
     
    A little, but by '73 in most cities abortion was available to those in the know, always has been. Frank Sinatra's mother Dolly was an abortionist and got busted for it more than once. And it was considered a bad thing by most girls then, legal abortion patients tended to be the people they tend to be now, but more so: hookers, crazies, dope addicts, and nonwhites of various descriptions. Whites tend to use birth control properly.

    If you want abortion (largely) stopped get the stupid, criminal, and irresponsible unable to conceive offspring in the first place. Pay them to get fixed, or make their getting out of prison contingent on it.

    legal abortion patients tended to be the people they tend to be now, but more so: hookers, crazies, dope addicts…

    …upper-middle-class girls knocked up by the help, but unable to swing the airfare to San Juan.

    MLK’s mistress and her husband adopted the love child of a Hudson Valley girl and her family’s black chauffeur.

  114. @Steve Sailer
    But it's a big difference when the Supreme Court announces, in effect: Party hearty, dudes and dudettes!

    “The Court is ready to knell
    in the case of Obergefell:
    ‘Penetrate the undercarriage,
    Consummate a legal marriage.’
    Now, go home and party like hell!”

  115. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Jmaie
    I’ve never understood why the Jubilee Hoffman keeps bringing up would be applicable to today. The debts which were forgiven were owed to the king. Taxes and such. Nothing to do with private debts, such as student loans out to banks.

    Incorrect, the debts were owed to the landowners or the temple or the state (not the same thing as the head of state), and were distinct from normal business debt. Some of these societies had no kings. The point (and the applicability) is to distinguish brainless, infinitely expanding, economy-destroying unpayable debt from routine business debt which will likely be paid and which are essential to the economy.

  116. @Reg Cæsar

    We pulled our daughter (then 5 or 6) out of her dance classes after seeing her first recital and finding the sexualization of those little girls quite repulsive.
     
    This particular school avoided that kind of thing. Upper Midwest propriety, perhaps? These girls looked smart and professional, not salacious. You forget how innocent the Sixties looked, on the surface.

    The dance schools up here are still run mostly by normal people. Are they a gay, or black, domain on the coasts?

    Nope, the school was run by some white ladies. Slut culture is everywhere (and this happened in about 2001).

  117. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Desiderius
    The 11th edition Encyclopedia Brittanica is famously good. As a one-time Mancunion, perhaps I can be forgiven one Guardian link:

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2012/apr/10/encyclopedia-britannica-11th-edition

    Moral of the story: newer isn’t always better. Once you dive in you’ll usually get a feel for the best places to look.

    Right, there are certain editions that are desirable and later ones worthless. Ed Romney, the camera repair guy was an expert on this but he’s been dead ten or more years now so I can’t ask him.

  118. You’re right, Steve. Kay is a witty writer. And he’s good right up until the end, when he blames Gov. Scott Walker for his (and so, so many others) not getting sinecures in academe. Please. Those of us who were English majors back in the days of Peak English (1963, to be exact) found ways to deal with having a useless degree. No regrets.

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