Tuesday, May 05, 2009

On saving the modern university

AlanABQ writes:
Any dissent will [be] tolerated with all the restraint of a Taliban troop coming across a girl wearing a bikini & makeup while eating a pork chop.

...but, when you think about it, a pretty, fertile, not readily shared or kept girl might have as much of a powerfully sacred charge among some randy Taliban as a "right-wing dissenter" in intra-lefty faculty politics. Who gets to be the chief denouncer? What disappointed lesser denouncer might accuse his rival of being herself just a little too McCarthyite, once all the potential thought crimes are professorially parsed... of course, if the dissenter is a pretty girl, which is something one could never quite say, amidst the false irony and feminized sacrality of the contemporary quadrangle, the silence might just become interesting... how shall our universities ever know who should be head Talib? Quarreling over one's Mohammedan lineage is maybe like asking whether you can go full bore in expelling a black woman who just happens to be a notable Bushbot.

The impossibility of any or all Taliban ever being long satisfied with any answer to this question - by what right is she head? - opens the door to those who will remember why the human world has evolved covenants whose peace is the deferral of impossible solutions, a deferral that ultimately require real intellectual freedom, and ethical innovation, and not just "LitCrit jargon" (as one PJ commenter puts it: “Jane Austin and the Deterritorialized Gaze: Possession, Feminism, and the Other in 19th Century England”). I refer to the freedom which the covenant exists to guarantee as the only alternative to the full-scale Talibanization of the universities. As much as I'd like to see the ninja sociologists and the Haida anthropologists going after each other in the ivy halls when the easy cultural blackmail money really dries up, I expect a starving Talib can learn to love a pork chop. Some can't, mind you, their minds too far gone; but reality ultimately masters most, to some degree, i hope. Freedom's job is to constantly ask how to bring human reality on without it being easy prey for the periodically unrestrained.

Pajamas Media » A Huge Serving of Academia Nuts

1 comment:

Eowyn said...

You must leave behind the formerly believed "Christian" concepts.

They have been pre-empted by agenda-holders. Alas. It's true.

But, at the same time, I ask you to pay attention to the original Christian concepts, which (no accident) marry up nicely with humanitarian concepts:

Those by which we all live:

1) We must respect each other.

2) We must derive a working order that allows for differences -- but still allows for basic principles.


The way life is, anymore, vision-wise, is, perhaps, nostalgic.

But right.