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Monday, July 26, 2010

Video of 7-16-10 ASC meeting concerning reorganization plans

I've been informed that a playlist of 10-minute segments of the ASC meeting on 7-16-2010 has been posted to YouTube. To start the playlist, click on the "play" button on the graphic below. Each segment will automatically play in order, one after the other. Hovering your mouse cursor along the bottom of the embedded video should produce thumnails of all 12 parts which you can click to play that segment.



The embedded video worked fine for me, but if you are having trouble with it, or would just prefer to watch directly on YouTube, use this link to go to the playlist:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=0C7D5828815DA196
and click the "Play All Videos" button or select a particular segment from the list to watch.

25 comments:

Bloggie said...

Great contribution to the College, Horns n' Finns. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Excellent video. Richard Perry's remarks were particularly insightful.

zoroxyz10 said...

Yes, some very thoughtful and heartfelt insights from A&S faculty and students.

The eloquence, dedication and collegiality are inspiring.

A special thanks to Dr. Richard Perry for his long and continued fine service to UT.

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank all my colleagues of the College or Arts and Sciences for this constructive discussion. Unfortunately, I think that the lecturer in mathematics who spoke at the end is right: the unstated goal of this administration is to get a free hand in getting rid of faculty as it pleases them, in order to free resources for their friends and for programs they deem more lucrative or more important for the "21st century". Unfortunately this is a common trend across all American universities, just look at what is happening at the University of Minnesota:
(from www.margaretsoltan.com, the Blog of University Diaries):
Inside Higher Education interviews Eva von Dassow about her recent powerful statement to the University of Minnesota’s clueless, condescending regents.

… [W]hile cuts are being ordered, she said [in her filmed presentation to the university's leadership] that the new frugality “leaves undiminished the numbers of vice presidents not to mention the salaries of coaches. No, these highly paid positions are not to be reduced. Rather, the university must shed faculty,” she said.

Von Dassow is part of a new organization at the university – Faculty for the Renewal of Public Education. These people have figured out the contents of the strategic initiative.

1. Put the kiddies online.
2. Invest most of our money in sports.
3. Support only vocational, money-making programs.

America will go down the toilet pretty soon it continues like this, and it can not certainly be ascribed to liberals as someone on this blog would like to make you believe.

Anonymous said...

Why is it, that to my knowledge, none of the 12 strategic organization committee members attended the meeting or defended their report?

Embarrassment? Or perhaps it's indefensible?

zoroxyz10 said...

It was rightly noted by the ad hoc ASC meeting moderator that instructors, TA’s and adjuncts are an exploited class at UT (as they are more or less everywhere else).

This is very true. And the fact that it is true, in of all places the presumably hyper-socially conscious halls of academia, is the height of hypocrisy.

Two of the most eloquent and compelling speakers during the meeting were instructors (the woman from the composition department and the woman from mathematics).

Most academics at UT (or anywhere else) could easily name a dozen or more (sometimes many more) tenured faculty and/or grossly over-paid administrators who, in a true meritocracy, would be bounced out of position to provide additional resources and positions for clearly more talented and dedicated junior faculty and instructors (such as the two noted above) to move up in the ranks.

Far too often, however, tenure actively promotes and protects mediocrity at the expense of real excellence.

It was also duly noted by Sara Lundquist that, whereas a slash and burn mentality persists with respect to desperately needed resources and personnel in the departmental trenches, “every time we turn around we find that another assistant interim provost position of something or other has been created and funded.”

But nobody seems to want to even broach the subject of the actual relevance or viability of certain academic disciplines.

Though people often freely joke about degrees in certain fields, such as Social Work, Education, Women’s Studies, Philosophy, Art etc. (very often people within the disciplines themselves) – nobody seems to want to seriously discuss the fact that even allowing present day students to pursue studies in these areas (most especially in third-rate departments such as the departments in many of these disciplines at UT) is tantamount to giving these students not so much a college degree as a life sentence of poverty, debt, frustration, unemployment and disillusionment.

This may not quite yet be completely true for liberal arts graduates of top universities, but it has already been true for quite some time at institutions like UT.

At best these students are only delaying the inevitable. If they are sensible and lucky enough they will eventually realize they are wasting their time and money (hopefully in time to switch majors).

If not before graduation then sometime after graduation they will either find themselves doomed to lives of “educated” squalor (as, for example, exploited un-insured liberal arts instructors at UT – heaven forbid!) or relegated to various other low-end careers as food service managers etc. where their liberal arts degrees will at best irrelevant sources of resentment and at worst even an impediment to common sense and practical thinking.

This will almost certainly be their fate unless they ultimately return to college a second time to earn a degree in something real that can pay the bills.

But shouldn’t we be helping them get it right the first time around?

To my mind, allowing na├»ve students to blindly walk down the academic path to their own ruin by granting even a bachelor’s degree in pseudo-disciplines like Women’s Studies etc. (for no other real reason than the self-serving perpetuation of academic careers and departments) is nothing less than unethical.

For this reason, some if not all of the traditional liberal arts disciplines – like Art, English, Philosophy etc. also need to be somehow interfaced with broader practical academic training to give students the tangible and viable skill sets they will need to survive in the real, global world of the 21st century. When they graduate they need to be ready to earn a decent living doing something.

The old adage that a traditional liberal arts degree in English, Art or Philosophy is highly flexible and desirable in the real world is simply no longer true.

Nobody knows this better than academics themselves and few liberal arts professors would honestly wish a liberal arts degree on their own children today.

Anonymous said...

Z, many people have that attitude toward the liberal arts and social sciences. However, I think you must look to the roots of the disciplines that supposedly pay for themselves. It is the basis in the liberal arts and social sciences that made what we have today possible. Even though these areas are often written off as useless, it is a grave error. Technology is limited in solving and addressing many problems, especially the ones only social sciences can begin to address. Such thinking as is common today is a product of our materialistic culture and I believe many of the scientific and political leaders and even great innovators of yesterday would be aghast at the contempt our society now holds for these subjects for they knew how important they were to civilization. Perhaps we need to slip back into barbarism to remember this? Perhaps we already are?

Anonymous said...

zoroxyz10...YIKES....I would suggest your children attend Owens CC or Monroe CC then. Don't be so harsh or dismissive of integrative programs like Women's Studies and so on. Based on my real world experience hiring at the "professional level", folks who can communicate effectively (i.e., write well) and think criticaly are much better positioned to advance in the workplace than highly employable arc welders or highly technical IT specialists. Indeed, I previously hired a MFA in art history for a leadership position in my office...worked out great! Unfortunately, fewer and fewer students are graduating with the learning outcomes we think we are equipping them with...that's our fault as a collective community of educators and not "the major". I would agree the liberal arts can do a better job translating the skills developed as part of an undergraduate degree to the workplace. Yet, your critique is out of bounds as it relates to the standards of collegiality and a respect for diverse ideas.

Concerned Alum

Anonymous said...

The problem is liberal arts folks see translating those skills into language that makes sense to business folks as an affront to the liberal arts. Liberal arts would hold a much higher place in the minds of everyone across the country if they would just be willing to explain the career benefits that accrue from the critical thinking skills students learn.

But for many at UT and around the country, speaking of a liberal arts degree in such a way, translating it into business-speak, is selling out and a violation of the purity of liberal arts. STEM talks the business language extremely well; liberal arts refuses to be a part of that conversation; it's no wonder liberal arts is so easily dismissed.

I'm not saying change the content of the degree, but change the way you talk about the degree. Of course this requires marketing and branding efforts that are also seen as the enemy to liberal arts. For a degree that absolutely create outstanding communication skills, it is ironic those in these fields refuse to utilize those communications skills to connect these degrees to business, leadership and other fields.

It seems like to many it is better for the liberal arts to die than to develop a business-friendly jargon to use in select business-friendly audiences (like the Ohio General Assembly who pass pro-STEM laws).

Anonymous said...

Recognizing the transcendent nature of complex problems across many disciplines is more important than ever but few seem to recognize it. Take for example the problems we have of late concerning the economy and employment defined in terms of wealth and its distribution, productivity, and efficiency. What we have been hearing for decades is that the way to solve the employment and distribution of wealth problem is to develop greater efficiencies through technology and also through free trade. I agree to a point but technology and free trade were indeed ferociously and ruthlessly invoked, but what happened to the proceeds of the gains in efficiency and productivity? Those in charge used these gains to increase profit, not wealth, even more by firing and cutting the wages and benefits of workers. So, efficiency and technology alone do not solve our problems that we have, it goes beyond that. Already our society has a greater capacity to produce than to consume. The question becomes in a modern society how do you distribute wealth and goods in a highly technological society where the capacity to produce far outstrips the capacity to consume? Other questions: What is work? What is wealth? If you consider what Wall St. & big business is doing of late work and creating wealth then you wrong. Using created efficiencies to fire workers and lower wages and declaring the proceeds as real wealth is nonsense. Even the idea that the convenient paper and electronic IOUs we carry about are actually wealth is nonsense. Banks and brokers trade these IOUs and other papers amongst one another bidding up the price thinking they are actually somehow creating wealth! Utter nonsense! Yet, they say it is so and we for the most part, the uneducated and disinterested masses, accept what they say because we know no better. (continued)

Anonymous said...

(contd) Indeed if I try to tell most businessmen and most Working Joes that the dollar bill they are holding is really nothing more than an IOU, they will think I am the crazy one for they regard it as wealth incarnate! We are all barking up the wrong tree if we think our present problems are going to be solved merely in terms of more technology and more efficiency, for we have been gaining in these areas for years and are still only sliding backwards on all fronts. Why? Because to a large extent we have one dimensional thinkers across the spectrum of society who are unwilling and unable to articulate either the complex reasons for our troubles or a solution. Anyway, my point is that our modern problems are much more complex than we like to admit, and that if we really want a solution, the liberal arts and social sciences must be embraced, no matter how messy, dull, or confusing they may be. We as a people need to study even more history, philosophy, economics, sociology, political science, etc….not less. If we do not, we will only slip further into darkness, barbarism, and feudalism.

zoroxyz10 said...

Re: Anonymous 6:09 and 7:01 Part 1

Those who have read my posts know that, while I am generally conservative and strongly pro-science, technology, business and industry – I am also a staunch supporter of traditional liberal arts curriculum and intellectual values, but consider the “postmodern/politically correct turn” of recent decades in the humanities and social sciences and academia in general to represent the antithesis of these high-minded core intellectual, cultural and social values.

And being open to diverse ideas does not mean (as many relativist postmodernists seem to think) being open to and “tolerant” of any and all obviously bad and destructive ideas simply because they are “progressive,” and/or “diverse” and/or “multi-cultural” (i.e. non-white, non-male, non-western, non-scientific, non-rational, non-conservative, non-capitalist, non-Christian, etc.) – and conversely being opposed to many good ideas that have withstood the test of time simply because they are NOT “diverse” etc. (i.e. anything that is politically incorrect, conservative, white, male, scientific, etc.)

The real irony in all this is that virtually all significant PoMo/PC liberal/ progressive/ counter-cultural heroes, gurus, ideologues and leaders have themselves been western white Anglo/European males (or the followers of western white males) – Rousseau, Hegel, Lincoln, Thoreau, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Freud, Jung, John Stuart Mill, Woodrow Wilson, Adorno, Heidegger, Yeats, Aleister Crowley, Sartre, Roosevelt, Marcuse, Kuhn, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, Baudrillard, Bourdieu, Keynes, Rawls, Federico Fellini, Jimmy Hoffa, JFK, Abbie Hoffmann, Lyndon Johnson, John Lennon, Timothy Leary, John Cage, Andy Warhol, Noam Chomsky, Bill Clinton, Michael Moore, etc. etc.

And many if not most of these western white males would be classified as CLASSICAL liberals, which would make them more like contemporary conservatives than contemporary liberals. But plainly incoherent and illogical contradiction is the bread and butter of irrationalist, relativist postmodern progressivism.

So those liberal, “progressive” Marxist/Feminist/Postmodernist academics in the humanities and social sciences end up on the one hand championing liberal arts education (which incidentally includes their own pampered and fundamentally bourgeois academic lifestyles and brilliant careers and ideologies and guaranteed tenured jobs with full benefits for life) – while at the very same time they are themselves working overtime to undermine and decimate not only the traditional humanities and social sciences and academia itself from within, but also the broader “bourgeois” democratic, capitalist, western culture, society and economies that make something like established, civilized academia even possible.

zoroxyz10 said...

Re: Anonymous 6:09 and 7:01 Prt 2

Regarding the PoMo/PC pseudo-disciplines like Women’s Studies, Africana Studies, Law and Social Thought, Disablity Studies etc. – they belong back where they originated – in the traditional disciplines of English, Philosophy, History, Political Science, Medicine etc.

The reason these PoMo/PC disciplines broke away in the first place and do not want to return to the academic fold is that their true purpose is not academic but political – i.e. to promote divisive identity politics and emphasize us/them, female/male, black/white, liberal/conservative, handicapped/non-handicapped difference and conflict, rather than the essential humanity that binds us all together and represents the primary emphasis in traditional liberal arts education.

The traditional liberal arts sought to cultivate and teach refined intellectual skills, abilities and understanding and to emphasize intellectual human excellence, high moral standards, individual responsibility and common cultural literacy (as represented by the traditional liberal arts curriculum, the great books programs etc. – with admitted necessary updated acknowledgement of the best contributions from women, minorities and other cultures – i.e. comparative literature, cultural anthropology etc.).

The traditional liberal arts sought to minimize differences of sex, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status – whereas progressive academics want to do the precise opposite by making the identity politics of gender, race and politics trump everything else.

PoMo/PC academics have worked very hard to dumb things down and make elite cultural literacy irrelevant – and now they complain when anyone suggests the liberal arts have become increasingly irrelevant in academia or that nobody cares about Shakespeare, Rembrandt or Beethoven anymore in the general culture.

PoMo/PC represents the systematic reformation (or academic/cultural “CSO re-org chart”) of the traditional liberal arts curriculum and western culture. The 60’s in essence made everything that was once bad (drugs, degeneracy, etc.), good – and everything that was once good (patriotism, traditional education and culture, religion, nuclear family, marriage, monogamy etc.), bad.

Finally, even if we were to return to the pre-1960’s traditional liberal arts curriculum today – the 21st century still demands rigorous training in much broader skill sets and competencies that include not only fundamental liberal arts competencies and historical and cultural literacy, but also basic foreign languages and cultures, geo-politics, economics, math, science and technological literacy for ALL educated people.

Denying this is a disservice to the academy and the students and society the academy serves.

Anonymous said...

z, I agree with you very much.

Anonymous said...

zoroxyz10:

You should probably get your own blog. Basically what's going on at UT, and while it's still affected by some of the problems you name, is that a bunch of cronies are trying to exploit the university for their own financial and social good.

In fact you nmay otice that Jacobs and crew don't seem particularly interested in the content of the liberal arts education--and they are quite willing to put what you call PO/MO Pc nitwits, whatever, in charge of the College and its initiatives. They are not on a crusade to save anybody but themselves.

The idea is to make a low cost college that generates money which they can use for their own projects and cronies, to benefit their own careers.

They want to put it on line, herd people through while benefiting from the "financial aid" money flow, and they don't care if they leave a bunch of highly indebted flunk outs behind.

There is no quality in the Jacobs' vision--only $$$. They don't need many faculty, especially tenured faculty save a few for looks. The want the place to be a high school, run by their decree, with employees that jump when beckoned, and who lack independence. Jacobs runs an effective propaganda machine, but his ideas about a university are third hand cast offs and jargon.

Z, I don't see you as broadminded as you apparently see your self. Go teach in a trade school. I agree that the quality of this university needs to be improved--and the college, We need better hires and more rigorous tenure decisions. And we need to flunk out bad students and become leaner, but stronger. And we need administrators of good character, not confidence men.

zoroxyz10 said...

Brief Summation:

I want to briefly clarify and summarize my position since I have been something of a long-winded lone wolf agitator on this blog.

First, once again my most sincere thanks to Bloggie and others who have made the open forum of this blog possible.

I think many of the issues discussed here are VERY important – both locally and globally. The fact that they are being hashed out here on a relatively small and insignificant blog instead of in a much larger and more visible mainstream local media format and/or in formal open-forum campus debates is regrettable – but at least there is this blog.

Second, I appreciate everyone who has bothered to post here – whether regarding things directly related to my posts or not – and even including those who have expressed great hostility to some of the ideas I have expressed.

I have not made much if any effort to be diplomatic in my posts because it is not about me – or whether people like me or agree with me. The only thing that matters to me is getting the ideas out there in the hope that the truth may prevail. In any case, though some of you may strongly disagree with me, you nonetheless have my respect.

As to the major thrust of my On Bullshit and other posts – I stand behind everything I have said in criticizing the academy and in my opposition to Marxist/Feminist/Postmodern Theory and Political Correctness without apology. I remain confident in my understanding of these issues and in the positions I have staked out.

Go back and give my posts another read and see if maybe you don’t agree.

If anyone should present me with compelling evidence showing anything I have said is fundamentally erroneous, I would be very grateful and would be the first to admit my error. I am always interested first and foremost in knowing, understanding and speaking what is good and right and true to the best of my ability – even if that means eventually admitting some of my own errors and changing my position.

Regarding President Jacobs and ongoing local developments at UT, whatever they may actually be, I am far less certain of exactly where I stand because my intimate knowledge and understanding of exactly what is going on behind the scenes and exactly who is really doing what is not nearly as well informed as my understanding of the other broader academic and political issues I have discussed.

I will say I find it difficult to believe the actions of the UT President and Board of Trustees are truly as nefarious as they have been presented by some here on this blog – but if they indeed are, then I would most certainly stand in opposition to Jacobs.

I would also stand in respectful opposition to Jacobs and anyone else by definition insofar as they might oppose anything I have said regarding broader academic issues involving curriculum, PoMo/PC etc. – whether locally or otherwise.

I understand many people at UT have a lot at stake regarding these various issues and developments – their livelihoods, careers and deeply held and cherished beliefs and ideologies. It is understandable that passions can sometimes run hot when such sensitive issues and important personal interests are on the line.

I have no illusions about the significance of any of my postings here and I certainly don’t expect I have made many friends. But I hope I have at least been interesting and informative and have maybe even done a little good. If not, so be it.

Oldster said...

Z:

Believe me when I say that we had difficulty too in believing that Jacobs is as bad as he is, But we have seen multiple proofs.

zoroxyz10 said...

RE Oldster:

Really sorry to hear that about Jacobs.

Incidentally – regarding PoMo/PC – you know things are really pathetic when even Hollywood caricatures the liberal arts.

Go pick up a DVD of the recent film Art School Confidential, starring John Malkovich (available at local libraries and DVD rental stores).

This is a scathing and often hilarious critique of what is so very, very wrong with postmodern art and contemporary (liberal)
art(s) education.

See how many of your fellow academic colleagues and students you can recognize in the film.

zoroxyz10 said...

Oldster - and while you're at the video store - pick up a DVD of the TV show 30 Rock starring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin.

Brilliant, talented and hilarious longtime former Saturday Night Live writer and actor Tina Fey developed the multi-award-winning 30 Rock and she does much of the writing (and I believe directing and producing) plus she plays the leading role of Liz Lemmon.

Fey gained a lot of notoriety for her recent laugh out loud SNL impersonations of Sarah Palin - but she doesn't let a single episode of 30 Rock go by without gleefully sticking her thumb in the eye of political correctness in ways that are both very funny and devastatingly right on.

Fey is my total dream girl hero -- brilliant, funny, feminine, sexy, vulnerable, self-deprecating and not afraid to be politically incorrect (Tina - if you're reading this - call me).

Anonymous said...

It's a movie about pretentious blowhards; something of a mirror of yourself.

son-of-xorox said...

Ah, my dear Professor Z-
your complaints about postmodernism reflect the debate between Plato and his student Aristotle. Plato was, after all, the first postmodernist- which only goes to show that Western thought really hasn’t had an original idea since Ancient Greek times (they thought of all the good stuff already, including atoms and electromagnetism- only they called EM “love” and “hate” because they had a more natural perspective than we who have been divorced from reality by the non-existent principle of “objectivism” and the directive to use the editorial “we” and passive tense in science papers). I have two arguments for you:
1) In Western culture, art has evolved very rapidly due to the mantra that a successful artist must grow out of his master’s training. Surely you prefer that over the Eastern mantra that a successful artist must carry on the tradition of an ancient master? My father was a great educator of architecture and firmly rooted in the modern tradition, which I too grew to feel most comfortable. he could not abide the initial postmodern architecture (and surely most of that was atrocious, Gaudi excepted). However, those architects had no choice- modernism came to its rightful (and great) conclusion in the 1950s. Today’s postmodern architecture is beginning to find its true modality.
2) Which brings up argument 2. The very fact that you are disgusted with your so-called “PoMo/PC disciplines” argues for their existence. Again, referring to my father- once long ago at a family Thanksgiving dinner, he and my wife got into an argument over language. My father was probably the least sexist person you could imagine, yet he could not understand why a woman might be upset with the basic masculinity of the English language. Today, gender is being redefined, both biologically and culturally. Isn’t that worthy of a degree program?
3) Oh yah- argument 3. You seem taken by certain entertainers’ views of the world, using them as justification for your own ideas. Really now, is that academic proof? And finally, you are also taken by non-science literature on global climate change. Are you also a follower of intelligent design?
-yours in learning,

zoroxyz10 said...

Re Anonymous 7:12

So I gather John Malkovich played you in Art School Confidential?

And how long did it take YOU to learn how to post vacuous anonymous ad hominem attacks?

Let me guess.

“TWENTY-FIVE-YEARS.”

I rest my case.

son-of-xorox said...

Ah, my dear Professor Z-
your complaints about postmodernism reflect the debate between Plato and his student Aristotle. Plato was, after all, the first postmodernist- which only goes to show that Western thought really hasn’t had an original idea since Ancient Greek times (they thought of all the good stuff already, including atoms and electromagnetism- only they called EM “love” and “hate” because they had a more natural perspective than we who have been divorced from reality by the non-existent principle of “objectivism” and the directive to use the editorial “we” and passive tense in science papers). I have an argument for you:
1) In Western culture, art has evolved very rapidly due to the mantra that a successful artist must grow out of his master’s training. Surely you prefer that over the Eastern mantra that a successful artist must carry on the tradition of an ancient master? My father was a great educator of architecture and firmly rooted in the modern tradition, which I too grew to feel most comfortable. he could not abide the initial postmodern architecture (and surely most of that was atrocious, Gaudi excepted). However, those architects had no choice- modernism came to its rightful (and great) conclusion in the 1950s. Today’s postmodern architecture is beginning to find its true modality.
-yours in learning-

son-of-xorox said...

2) Which brings up argument 2. The very fact that you are disgusted with your so-called “PoMo/PC disciplines” argues for their existence. Again, referring to my father- once long ago at a family Thanksgiving dinner, he and my wife got into an argument over language. My father was probably the least sexist person you could imagine, yet he could not understand why a woman might be upset with the basic masculinity of the English language. Today, gender is being redefined, both biologically and culturally. Isn’t that worthy of a degree program?
3) Oh yah- argument 3. You seem taken by certain entertainers’ views of the world, using them as justification for your own ideas. Really now, is that academic proof? And finally, you are also taken by non-science literature on global climate change. Are you also a follower of intelligent design?
-again, yours in learning-

zoroxyz10 said...

Wow – looks like my casual reference to the film Art School Confidential really hit ‘em where it hurts and brought some of the very sorts of loons who are pilloried in the film scampering out on the stage to put on a show for us.

Son of Xorox is as good an example as any of the sort of incoherent pseudo-academic PoMo/PC raving I have been talking about at some length in my posts.

If Son of Xorox had actually read and digested my posts before criticizing them (they never do) he would know I specifically said postmodernism is largely a platonic/neo-platonic rehash (but to call Plato the “first postmodernist” is an example of the typically absurd and unfounded postmodern retroactive appropriation of Plato and anything and anyone else postmodernists want to claim as their own).

I have also specifically identified myself on this blog as a scientific materialist and I discuss this at some length (i.e. no, I do not ascribe to intelligent design).

Global warming? Don’t get me started.

There is no room here and no point in attempting a scientific debate with the likes of Son of Xorox (there is ample literature for anyone who cares to seek out the information. Hint: If you want to form a truly unbiased opinion seek out reliable information sources that disagree with your preconceived views and give them a fair hearing – otherwise you are just another kool-aid drinking intellectual fundamentalist).

But from a political perspective let’s just say global warming represents the apocalyptic fundamentalist left’s answer to the apocalyptic religious right. The only real difference is one group cites the Gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and the other cites the Gospel according to Al Gore, et al.

What extremists on both sides are saying in effect is: “Vote for us and give us absolute power and all your money, or else… IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD!”

I wish I could safely assume Son of Xorox merely represented the rambling gibberish of some clueless dope-smoking undergrad, but anyone familiar with the contemporary scene in the humanities and social sciences knows such apparently magic-mushroom-fueled pseudo-intellectual riffs as those coming from Son of Xorox can far too often be read in trendy academic journals and heard at trendy academic conferences.

I really hope I am wrong about this, but because the liberal arts have long served as outpatient occupational therapy for far too many sadly wayward and unbalanced students and professors alike, the frothings of Son of Xorox are just as likely to have come from somewhere in the nether regions of the UT liberal arts professoriate.

The whole point of my postings on this blog has been to insist that the many brilliant and dedicated students and academics out there deserve much, much better than this sort of deranged PoMo/PC garbage.