08 January 2007

too bad I missed "phallus 101"

The LA Times informs us that the arch-conservative Young America Foundation (YAF) has released its list of "America’s Most Bizarre and Politically Correct College Courses". With classes titled Whiteness, The Phallus and Queer Musicology topping their list, one might roll his or her eyes at such frivolous subjects taught in college courses.

It's true that the humanities and social sciences are a bit obsessed with race/gender/sexual orientation theoretical approaches. But what's so wrong with exploring these avenues when the past 2,000+ years of scholarship has been viewed solely from the vantage of upper class males? What about the alternative? The YAF would have college students study the works of Jean "The Death Squad Queen" Kirkpatrick and Uncle Milt Friedman. If schools want to offer "bizarre" courses, fine. If you don't like the curriculum then find a school that fits your political persuasion - it's a market economy, remember? There are thousands of universities to choose from.

The YAF's ignorance shines in their explanation of the list. Regarding a class on Marx, YAF spokesperson Jason Mattera doesn't understand the "strong admiration for Karl Marx and his murderous ideology". He quips that "apparently the 100-plus million totalitarian regimes have murdered over the years is not enough!?". Among other things Marx offered a theory of history (dialectical materialism) and a program for the future (communism). Yet Marx was long dead by the time Lenin and Stalin morphed his political plans into the greatest genocidal social engineering project the world has ever known. Following Mattera's logic we should blame Jesus Christ for birthing the world's most deadly ideology, because Christianity is responsible for millions of more deaths than Marxism.

Yes higher education has a left-wing bias. But these academics are isolated into a world of their own. Their influence over American thought has been widely blown out of proportion by right-wing propagandists like David Horowitz and Pat Robertson. Noam Chomsky and Ward Churchill are not opinion makers. Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity have 100 times the influence over the average American. Hell, I doubt the average American even knows who Noam Chomsky is. Moreover, bizarre classes such as The Phallus are few and far between. Conservatives would have you believe that such a class is a prerequisite for every college freshman across the country.

The list, albeit laughable, is a poor attempt to paint all of academia with a broad brush.


I guess you could say this is the "Original Pime". I stopped blogging here regularly in May 2008 (if you don't count the B-Sides diversion - yes it gets confusing) when I joined the Tumblr revolution. Going forward bravely into 2009, this site will serve to house any large image work I produce.

Peace out.


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