10 Comments

  1. Kelley

    When I was an undergraduate student at USL many years ago, the university brought to campus a great many speakers from the right, the left and the center … and no one protested what they had to say. Speakers were not shouted down. There was often vigorous debate in hallways and at receptions following their presentations, but I do not recall crowds of students losing their minds because a speak said something at some time or another that someone somewhere deemed unacceptable.

    The Union ballroom was usually packed with students, faculty, and many others who were interested to hear them. We did not have trigger warnings attached to books or essays or lectures. We did not have speech codes. No one had heard of political correctness, and I think that most would have objected to the strictures that such nonsense would have placed on instruction and discourse at that time. And unlike the pampered snowflakes at Oberlin, we all recognized that grades were justly earned and were indicators of the effort that we put into mastering our respective major fields.

    But this is a different time. Feeling has taken the place of thinking; and minds are now closed to anything that has been labeled “politically incorrect.” Outside of schools of engineering and physical science and business, universities function as centers of indoctrination, not education.

    The question, I think, is not whether universities are “too liberal.” It is, instead: How do universities today stack up against those of earlier decades? Are they teaching students to think for themselves or to be lemming-like adherents of a political agenda?

    From my perspective, it looks far more like the latter than the former.

    • Bookscrounger

      Are you aware of anything at UL that is different today? I think that one of the University’s strengths is the same as the local culture: tolerance. It seems to still be true today.

      Some years ago one of the white fraternities did a black-face skit for ‘Yell Like Hell.’ People were screaming for them to be thrown off campus. The Dean of Fraternities — now the Louisiana Secretary of Transportation — said, “No. This is an opportunity for conversation.” And that’s what happened, and the problem was resolved with a lot of (drum roll, please) learning on all sides.

      • Kelley

        You cite one example from one university. There are probably countless thousands of examples from universities around the US to counter that. Kudos to the UL Dean of Fraternities for his response. I also commend the President of Ohio State for telling students who wanted to occupy the administration building that they would hand-cuffed and hauled off to jail if they did not leave. Now, I wish that the Dean of Students at Dartmouth would have had the common sense to tell hypersensitive students protesting a sorority for their annual Kentucky Derby party to grow up. It seems that the snowflakes think the sorority sisters were celebrating racism. Or the President of Emory University, who rolled over when “students” complained that they felt unsafe on the Emory campus after someone used chalk to write “Trump 2016” on sidewalks and walls. Just two of a great many examples of universities caving into the demands of left-of-center lunatics.

  2. M

    “For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed.”

    Blaise Pascal, Pensées No. 72

    Which is to say, Will is no Pascal.

    In other words, he get’s on my nerves with his bow ties. As it just so happens I happen to love bow ties when they’re worn by extremely masculine men who can not only pull the look off but elevate it to something beyond the sum of its parts — a role he is ill suited for. His sartorial faux pas, carried forward proudly in ignorance, is really all I need to know about his deeper intellectual qualities.

    I’m guessing this is too “ad hominem” — except that it isn’t by Pascal’s standards.

    • Bookscrounger

      This is a grave concern of mine. I get angry with Fox, not because they’re conservative, but because they suffer from hypersplenism; there’s so much anger, so much smug, self-satisfied self-righteousness, that I can’t follow the reasoning. I am sincerely interested in different points of view. My conclusion is that Fox is only mildly conservative, because most of it is anger-mongering.

      Come to think of it, that might make a good post.

      • Kelley

        I guess the smug self-righteousness of CNN and MSNBC and now Katie Couric’s new masters is not a problem?

      • m

        Yes, the latest is the “apology” tour they’re accusing Obama of taking. It’s been seventy years. The Japanese are top level friends, indispensable to our own security. I read the full text of Obama’s speech in the NYT and didn’t see anything but a genuinely heartfelt speech delivered to our closest allies with zero mention of an apology — it’s always something with FOX. Some true, some made up, some insinuated.

        Prince’s manager once had to explain to a noted filmmaker that Prince lived in “Prince world” and that he’d have to work around that. Will strikes me as someone who’d like to live in “Will world” but isn’t nearly as talented as he thinks he is.

        I’d be failing if I didn’t mention how much, for it all, that I’ve enjoyed some of Megyn Kelly’s discipline, the way she shut down a blabbering Karl Rove on election night 2012 and the way she’s stood up to Trump. I tuned the rest of them out fifteen years ago.

        • Bookscrounger

          I suspect Kelly is the future of Fox. She is more objective, aided I would guess, by her law school background. But Murdoch’s sons have taken over Fox. They would be crazy to leave conservative views, but one of them is an ecologist. I would guess they will try to steer toward rational, thoughtful conservatism.

  3. Durl

    I strongly disagree with your focus, and strongly agree with Kelley’s first comment. Universities today are MUCH different. They have welcomed the President of Iran (Ahmadinejad), a leader who denied that the Holocaust existed. But, they have caused schools to cancel speeches by conservatives.

    They need “safe spaces” to avoid hearing ideas that scare them. Students demanded that their university president investigate hate speech, which turned out to be “Trump 2016” written in chalk in various locations around the campus.

    You stated: “They will never learn to deal with ideas objectively, to think for themselves, and to decide for themselves.” They certainly won’t, if they are not allowed to hear all sides objectively.

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