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It’s Just Lunch!

Something really big is coming to this blog!  But not today.  Later this week, probably.

Besides, I haven’t got time for the post I was planning today, because I’ve got to haul my sorry butt to New York tonight and I’ve got two or three bizarrely important things to do this afternoon before I hop in the car and drive frantically to Morristown, NJ in the hopes of catching the last train to New York so that I don’t have to drive all the way to Brooklyn.  Remember, my one and only NYC appearance in support of What’s Liberal? is tomorrow night at The Tank, at 7:30 with Bill Scher and Eric Boehlert!  And after the panel is over, I’ll be happy to hang out and have a few I’ll be heading back up to Penn Station to catch a New Jersey Transit train that might get me back out to Morristown by 11:45 so that I can pick up the car and drive another three and a half hours to State College so that I can teach my Thursday morning class.  What I won’t do for publicity these days!  And to meet Bill Scher and Eric Boehlert and everyone, too.

So if you’re in the metro area and have nothing to do tomorrow evening, stop by and say hello.

In the meantime, I suppose I should post something on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s version of My Lunch with Horowitz. Look!  It’s free!  The Chronicle took it out from behind the subscription wall! But that’s not to say that they got everything exactly right.

For one thing, about that caricature:  I was not drinking grape juice with my eyes closed the whole time.  Nor do I have crinkly withered ears.  Otherwise it’s pretty accurate.

For another thing, the transcript makes it look as if I was interrupting poor He. Who. at every turn.  And sometimes, dear readers, I did interrupt him.  It had to be done, I tell you!  There’s only so much nonsense that a man should be allowed to spew at any one time, and when someone tries to blame tuition increases on Cornel West’s speaking fees, that person needs to be interrupted and given a double minor for unsportsmanlike bullshit.  But the funny thing is that if you listen to the Chronicle‘s audio excerpt from the interview [UPDATE:  that’s free too!], you’ll find that Horowitz jumps in every time I pause for breath, without fail.  I can barely finish a clause, let alone a sentence.  And it’s not like I talk slowly or anything.

For a third thing, although the Chronicle very helpfully provided footnotes for some of my more telegraphic allusions, like my hailing the imminent election of President Hillary Clinton as a glorious triumph for The Shadow Party, they failed to note that when Horowitz said, “I spoke at Bowling Green, where professors came with the revolutionary communist party,” and I said, “Who is the revolutionary communist party now?”, I was of course referring to Life of Brian, scene seven:

LORETTA:  The People’s Front of Judea. Splitters.

REG: We’re the People’s Front of Judea!

LORETTA:  Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.

REG:  People’s Front!

FRANCIS:  Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?

REG:  He’s over there.

P.F.J.:  Splitter!

For a fourth thing, Chronicle reporter Tom Bartlett writes:

Mr. Bérubé is a bit of a fidgeter. He places his chin on his hands, pinches at his eyebrows, leans back then lurches forward suddenly, crosses and uncrosses his legs, fiddles with the sugar packets.

I think this requires an apology.  First of all, I did not do all these things at the same time—placing my chin on my hands, pinching my eyebrows, and playing with the sugar packets.  That would require three or four hands right there.  Rather, I did all these things over the course of ninety minutes.  Second, the term “fidgeter” is demeaning and dehumanizing to those of us who are often mocked as mere “fidgets.” We prefer “Dexterous-Americans.”

Bartlett also sneaks an editorial aside into a footnote:

Mr. Horowitz is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity’s Fox television show. Mr. Hannity is the author of Deliver Us From Evil, which seems to equate terrorism and liberalism. Mr. Bérubé expressed his desire to appear on the show, but, as is often the case with the Penn State professor, it was not entirely clear that he was serious.

Not entirely clear that I was serious? Good lord, when in my life have I ever been facetious or ironic?  Look, let’s get this much straight right now: I would be happy to appear on Sean Hannity’s show.  Why, this Thursday (after I get back to State College to teach my class) I’m scheduled for an hour-long interview on Dennis Prager’s radio show!  2 to 3 pm, Eastern!  (Don’t worry—I’ll have my right hand on a Koran for divine protection the entire time!) Please.  Does anyone seriously think I would turn down an actual guest spot on National Tele-Vision, where I have never been (very possibly because TV Land is, for reasons that escape me, infinitely more welcoming to David Horowitz than to me)?  Just tell me what I have to do to get myself and my damn book on TV, folks.  As long as it doesn’t involve eating bugs.

Besides, I would so love the chance to sing the auto-da-fé song to Sean Hannity.

Last but not least, one word about an exchange that wound up on the cutting-room floor.  As Horowitz was nattering on about women’s studies and feminism and indoctrination, I got kind of impatient.  So I noted that back in 2000, a year before I came to Penn State, the campus got into all kinds of trouble with the local wingnuts because the students had themselves a “Sex Faire” which included, among other things, a (shudder) Tent of Consent.  Indeed, in some quarters around here, they still haven’t gotten over the damn Tent of Consent.  “You would think,” I said, with some heat, “that people were doin’ it like mammals in there from the way these wingnuts talk.  But what the hell was the issue with the Tent of Consent?  What’s really going on with exhibits like that?  It’s about goddamn date rape, for Chrissake.  It’s a wild ‘n’ wacky way of addressing something that’s really quite serious on practically every damn campus in the country, and every wingnut who goes after things like that ought to be ashamed of himself.  Tell me, David, that you have a problem with programs that try to educate people about date rape.”

“OK, calm down, Michael,” David said. 

“No, really,” I replied.  “I am sick and tired of this shit.”

“Very well,” he said, “I can be your ally on this.  I have nothing against date-rape education programs.”

“Great,” I shot back.  “We can have a Tent of Consent.”

So, then.  To those of you who want to accuse me of getting into bed with Horowitz, all I have to say is, you don’t know the half of it.

Posted by on 12/05 at 12:30 PM
  1. Let us celebrate this historic accord with the adding of chocolate to milk!

    Posted by norbizness  on  12/05  at  01:47 PM
  2. I enjoyed that Chronicles lunch argument very much, vicariously.  I see strong parallels not only with “Life of Brian” but also with “My Dinner with Andre.”

    Would be good to see onstage.  Or on video.  Whom do you see playing the lead roles?

    “His gourd! He left His butternut squash next to his steak!”

    “His sandal!”

    Of course, I don’t know WHICH of the 8 or 9 michaelberubes I’m posting this to…

    Best,

    Professor Jonathan Vos Post

    Posted by Jonathan Vos Post  on  12/05  at  01:57 PM
  3. Mr. Bérubé tears through his hanger steak like he hasn’t eaten in weeks. (In fact, he complains that his breakfast was below par.) Mr. Horowitz picks judiciously at his halibut.

    Apologies for picking out the most inane thing in the article, but it certainly plays against the right wing/left wing stereotype. I guess it kind of goes with the portrayal of you as hyperbolic aggressor and He-Who as quiet and deliberative. For a minute there I thought it was you who had written a book entitled The 100 Most Dangerous Right-Wing Nutjobs Influencing College Students through Outrageously High-Paying Speaking Engagements.

    Posted by  on  12/05  at  02:19 PM
  4. The mind reels from visages of Reg, Incontinentia, Biggus, Judith, and the declination of Latin grammar.  However, the name of the very naughty boy is Bwian, wight?  It would be pronounced that way by Senator Joe the redux of Connecticut i am sure. 

    The Ministry of Offense and Defense is a bit concerned with the consecutive posting of threads that discuss two of the WAAGNFNP’s most wanted and heinous criminals.  In preparation for the showtrial, we must not dilute, nor dilate, the degree to which teh Clarke may be viewed sympathetically, given this proximity to these two, most vile and despicable creatures, spawned as they have been in Mordor.  Showing that Clarke is equally guilty for crimes against the party is paramount to our overall victory when Gojira unleashes the GNF with maximum fury, though one might correctly conclude that Chris doesn’t talk with his mouth full.

    spyder
    Minister of Offense and Defense
    WAAGNFNP Ministry Offices

    Posted by  on  12/05  at  02:30 PM
  5. DH claims to have talked to students who say: “This professor is a left wing.”

    But none of mine would ever say that! I’m a point guard.

    Badda-bing! Thenkyewverymuch. I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

    Posted by John Protevi  on  12/05  at  02:38 PM
  6. Three things leaps out at me from that interview:

    a) Horowitz admits (grudgingly? cheerfully?) that valid, accurate, and nuanced arguments must make way for whatever can get him publicity. So why should we trust him?

    b) Of course he’s going to be pleasant with you at this dinner. He suits his demeanor to the audience, capturing their benevolence and all that. His audience isn’t the dingdongs who watch Hannity, but the people--a higher grade of dingdongs--who read the Chronicle. If you’d had this dinner on Fox’s dime, I can only imagine D. Ho would be a bit nastier.

    c) The nostalgia kick. “It’s the standards that are gone; they’ve just been eroded” &c. I suppose the burden is on D.Ho, then, to do a bit of research into institutional history to determine what kinds of standards there were ‘back in the day,’ whatever day that was. So far as I can determine--at least from the interview--the only evidence D. Ho offers for decayed standards is that professors didn’t persecute him for his beliefs when he was an undergrad. Er. Data isn’t plural of anecdote, &c., and maybe, just maybe, the difference isn’t the institution, but the person. Maybe D. Ho wasn’t such a jerk back then.

    Posted by  on  12/05  at  02:50 PM
  7. ... drive frantically to Morristown, NJ in the hopes of catching the last train to New York so that I don’t have to drive all the way to Brooklyn.

    Brooklyn? Morristown? Okay, I live in Brooklyn and I know the Morristown area pretty well ... is this the easiest way for you to get into NYC from where you are?

    Posted by  on  12/05  at  02:52 PM
  8. Let us celebrate this historic accord with the adding of chocolate to milk!

    Oh, come on.  That will never work!  The milk will explode.

    Would be good to see onstage.  Or on video.  Whom do you see playing the lead roles?

    Paul Giamatti and Russell Crowe?  At least the caricature gives some idea of our relative height.

    Apologies for picking out the most inane thing in the article, but it certainly plays against the right wing/left wing stereotype. I guess it kind of goes with the portrayal of you as hyperbolic aggressor and He-Who as quiet and deliberative.

    I think it’s hyperkinetic more than hyperbolic, but then again, even I have to admit that I did have the steak.  Besides, as far as right-wing stereotypes go, I do play right wing, as John Protevi well knows.

    And I did not complain that my breakfast was below par!  Damn, I forgot to point that out.  All I said was that I grabbed me a sausage - egg - bagel thing from Dunkin’ Donuts while I was out getting Gatorade for my ailing wife.  For the record, I consider the DD sausage - egg - bagel thing vastly superior to the Palmer House’s $35 breakfast, as I believe I’ve said right here on this hungry humble blog.

    Posted by Michael  on  12/05  at  02:52 PM
  9. Three things leaps

    Dammit! It started as one thing, and then I thought of another thing, and then a third thing—Dr. Seuss?—leapt out at me as I wrapped up the comment. Conjugating is for jerks.

    Posted by  on  12/05  at  02:53 PM
  10. Speaking as someone who drives regularly from Brooklyn to Central Pennsylvania and back again, let me tell you, Michael, you are missing out on the fun by stopping in Morristown.

    Now, you probably take Rt. 80 and go across either the GW Bridge (were you to drive the whole way) or take the Lincoln Tunnel.  Boring!

    What you need to do, these days, is go down 322 to 81 to 78 and then the Holland Tunnel.  That way, you get plenty of construction to get you in the right humor for NYC traffic and--on coming out of the tunnel, you’ll awaken fond memories of bumper cars as you jostle your way around towards Canal St.

    Next, on the streets of Manhattan, you’ll be in fine fettle to deal with the people for whom traffic laws weren’t made.  That is, the people who have the right to do whatever they want (which includes the police--some of the worst drivers in NYC)--or think they do.

    You’ll be right there at Canal St., not far from The Tank… so it should be easy to get there…

    ...if you have an extra hour or two.

    Finally, you arrive!

    And panic: what do I do with the damned car?  (Seen the prices for parking in Manhattan recently?)

    So, whatzamattachew?  Drive into town!  Have a coronary!

    Captcha: “get” As in, “Get outa da road, ya crumb!”

    Posted by Aaron Barlow  on  12/05  at  03:01 PM
  11. “We had a really good time,” Mr. Horowitz says. “I would lunch with him again if that Michael showed up.”

    To my ear Mr Horowitz offers that most sincere flattery re: the two-Horowitzes theory.

    WLatLA introduced me to “incommensurable”, a concept I’m still working on. (I’m up to—it’s like relatively prime integers except with people’s lives.) Mr Horowitz often deployed a non-conceding concession (…not against A, I’m against subset B) to gain a clinch and still remain in opposition.

    Effective: “You’re punching above your weight, man.”

    Captcha: fear. No loathing here.
    Second captcha: chance. The gardener.

    Posted by black dog barking  on  12/05  at  03:11 PM
  12. Aaron, thanks so much.  If I leave right now, your route will get me to New York sometime early Friday afternoon.

    My usual route by car is 80 to 280 through Newark, thence to the Holland Tunnel via surface streets (getting off 280 just before the Turnpike).  Once, at midnight, I broke the 4-hour-to-NYC barrier this way, which they said could never be done.

    But Wendy, there’s simply no better way for me to come into town if I need (as I do) to escape Wednesday night in time to get back to teach Thursday morning.  I also need the hour on the train to read student papers.  Actually, I’d prefer having four hours to read—on the Amtrak from Harrisburg, itself 90 minutes from my house—but that’s not an option either.

    When I came to Penn State I was told that State College is equally inaccessible from all directions.  I didn’t realize then that for some people around here, this is not a lament but a point of pride.

    Posted by Michael  on  12/05  at  03:12 PM
  13. "Paul Giamatti and Russell Crowe”—great casting! Sidebar on the academic significance of Paul Giamatti’s father, and the history of the Commissioner of Baseball, and how much better it would have been if George W. Bush had ended up in his originally declared dream job (Commissioner of Baseball) rather thasn the one he is now demolishing.

    Better to take the Brooklyn Ferry about which Walt Whitman wrote so movingly, then take the Montague Street bridge from the dock.  Oh.  Right.  That bridge has long since vanished and what remains is a children’s playground adjoining (but separated by hedge and fence) from The Promenade.

    I remember the first great power failure/Citywide blackout in New York.  I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn Heights to Manhattan, and then walked to Stuyvesant High School.

    It was a cold, clear, sunny morning.  I was so happy to have the Red Cross there, handing out coffee and doughnuts to the huge bridge-pedestrian crowd.  Would have been nice if they could have done so after Katrina.

    Posted by Jonathan Vos Post  on  12/05  at  03:13 PM
  14. That was really unedifying.  I expected that you would have at least once leapt across the table thrusting a buttered roll into DH’s eye yelling “You rat Trotskyite bastard, but for the responsibility that I owe my legions to lead them into the flash of the GNF I’d finish the job here and now!”

    I’m envisioning a George C. Scott as Patton presentation.

    I only assume that they had buttered rolls available.

    Posted by  on  12/05  at  03:41 PM
  15. Oh, and let’s not forget when Mr. Horowitz more or less accused Mr. Bérubé of being in league with terrorists.

    Terrorists, no. But Irish tricertops? Yes:

    dino_train_872

    Bonus point: What’s green and orange, has three horns, quotes Yeats, and is more powerful than a locomotive?

    Bill Benzon
    Minister of Visual Propaganda
    WAAGNFNP

    P.S. Michael, I was unable to get Cosell for The Upcoming Event. Seem he’s got a prior engagement.

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/05  at  03:47 PM
  16. Oh right, you’re coming from Penn State. Route 80 and Mo’Town it is. The Brooklyn reference threw me off.

    And Jonathan, I loved seeing the reference to Montague Street and the Promenade. I live in Cobble Hill, and I long for a revival of the South Ferry to Atlantic Avenue. Walking home over The Bridge with a mass of people during the most recent blackout was incredible (until the walkway started to sway, that is).

    And I work one block from the (new) Stuyvesant.

    Posted by  on  12/05  at  03:51 PM
  17. I remember mental snapshots of my first home, through age 9 months, on the Upper West Side, being pushed in a stroller on Riverside Drive.  I am deeply affected by growing up in Brooklyn Heights, at 62 Montague Street (the “first skyscraper in Brooklyn” [1888, 10 stories] in which Arthur Miller once lived.  But when I visit that area now, from my Southern California home, I always also visit Cobble Hill, which is a splendid, vibrant neighborhood with fantastic restaurants, ambience, culture, and location shooting by Spike Lee (who also used the Promenade). And the muzzein calling from the big mosque at dawn, adding a multicultural message. Not going to go into arrests of people tied to that mosque, though.  Bad apples from a beautiful tree.  As Pope Benedikt said, in his recent trip to Turkey…

    Posted by Jonathan Vos Post  on  12/05  at  04:01 PM
  18. Dennis Prager??  Good lord, I trust you’ll fortify yourself with...something.

    Posted by mark  on  12/05  at  04:13 PM
  19. Heh, the inaccessible from all directions line is pretty good.  Someone should tell the folks at Reconstruction (who did the blogging special issue a little while ago) that State Park is different from Philadelphia.

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  12/05  at  04:26 PM
  20. Help me god, for I hate Horowitz. He’s a cynical tool of the right wing.
    I hate the way good people like you, Prof. Berube, are working themselves to death trying to beat back well-financed assaults on higher education.
    This is just part of the war of the rich on the rest of us.
    Well, gotta get back to pushing my pernicious feminist agenda!

    Posted by Hattie  on  12/05  at  04:33 PM
  21. A copy-editor friend of mine (who lives in Hawaii) emailed me a link to this lunch conversation.  B-be and D-ho have blown up in the meme-o-sphere and apparently the fireworks are better than a sunset in Maui.

    For the record, I used to teach at Bowling Green State University when the alleged “alliance” occurred.  He was shouted down by a supposedly-oppressed student.  There were very few faculty members who were even aware that he was coming to “speak.” I’m not even sure one faculty member showed up to the event. I suspected he hired his own hoax-a-witzes to stir the pot a bit when I read the story the next day in the local student paper, but I didn’t care enough to inquire.

    Posted by DocMara  on  12/05  at  04:34 PM
  22. State Park is different from Philadelphia

    And State College is different from State Park, too.

    Dennis Prager??  Good lord, I trust you’ll fortify yourself with...something.

    You mean besides the Koran?  Suggestions are welcome!  I’ll make a formal appeal in tomorrow’s post.

    There were very few faculty members who were even aware that he was coming to “speak.” I’m not even sure one faculty member showed up to the event.

    Ah, but maybe one faculty member did show up—and he was the Revolutionary Communist Party (Bowling Green Cadre).

    Posted by  on  12/05  at  04:47 PM
  23. Wendy, if you live in Cobble Hill, you may know my store, Shakespeare’s Sister.  It’s across from the Cobble Hill Cinema on Court St.

    Stop in!

    Posted by Aaron Barlow  on  12/05  at  04:56 PM
  24. Love that bookstore, and miss Sam & Sylvia Colton’s used and rare bookstore on Montague, which had the best collection of Brooklyn History available.

    Aaron’s short posting managing to simulatenously prove the social networking and collaborationware value of blogs, and (to crin from wikipedia) make an oblique meta-textual chain of references:

    “Shakespears Sister were a band formed by Irish born former Bananarama singer/songwriter Siobhan Fahey and American musician Marcella Detroit. The band formed in 1988, the same year that Fahey left Bananarama. The name is taken from the title of the song ‘Shakespeare’s Sister’ by The Smiths, which in turn refers to a section of Virginia Woolf’s feminist essay A Room of One’s Own in which Woolf argues that had William Shakespeare a sister of equal genius, as a woman she would not have had the opportunity to make use of it....”

    Posted by Jonathan Vos Post  on  12/05  at  05:15 PM
  25. ... although I’m not sure how that connects to Fiji’s military commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama. Something Gilbert-and-Sullivan-y, from a short story by G&S fanatic Isaac Asimov, with music by Shakespears Sister and Bananarama. Kind of Pirates of Penzance meets The Road to Fiji jukebox musical. With Russell Crowe as the Minister of Defense of Australia, who refuses to intervene in Suva.  Adapted to a film produced by Mel Gibson, of course, who releases the film, with all dialogue in Aramaic, Mayan, and Melanesian, and costars Michael Richards as Kramer.

    Posted by Jonathan Vos Post  on  12/05  at  05:25 PM
  26. Thanks Jonathan… I often forget to give that background.

    Our Shakespeare’s Sister is less a bookstore (though we once did sell books, both new and used--though never primarily) than a gift store and gallery.  We used to have a cafe, but I decided to return to teaching and just couldn’t manage both store and cafe--as well as all that academia entails.  Our thing, taking it from Virginia Woolf, is that creativity is everywhere--and we try to promote creativity of all sorts.

    We sell lots of crafts (as well as cards, lotions, soaps--anti-Bush paraphenalia, whatever) and, in the gallery, sponsor occasional poetry readings, sometimes music (though not recently), and show old movies on Friday nights.

    Posted by Aaron Barlow  on  12/05  at  05:40 PM
  27. About that caricature, Michael: I can’t be absolutely certain, because of the tiny repro at the link, but that looks like Steve Brodner’s work, and when Steve has done you, you have arrived, weird ears or not. Just so you know.

    Posted by  on  12/05  at  05:57 PM
  28. DH: I’d like the halibut, broiled, and a fruit cobbler desert, no ice cream, no whipped topping, no nuts. And a cup of coffee.

    Waitress: A #2, fruit cobbler. Hold the butter, the ice cream, the nuts, and a cup of coffee. Anything else?

    DH: Yeah. Now all you have to do is hold the cobbler, bring me the fruit, give me a check for the fruit cobbler, and you haven’t broken any rules.

    Waitress: You want me to hold the cobbler, huh?

    DH: I want you to hold it between your knees.

    Posted by  on  12/05  at  06:17 PM
  29. Those caricatures give me the impression that Horowitz skipped the cobblerless fruit cobbler and instead engulfed your elongated cranium for dessert.

    You know, back in my college days, I took Paul Wellstone’s Introduction to Poli Sci: Social Democracy class. Would you believe the syllabus included a couple books by conservatives? It’s absolutely true. But I bet Horowitz would’ve found something to kvetch about anyway.

    Posted by Orange  on  12/05  at  07:18 PM
  30. Danger Prof: Fantastic that you could figure that all out and lay that down on her so you could come up with a way to get your fruit. Fantastic!
    DH: Yeah, well, I didn’t get it, did I? [JP: Did he?]
    Danger Prof: No, but it was very clever. I would have just punched her out

    And State College is different from State Park, too.
    And University Park is different from them both.

    Posted by  on  12/05  at  07:20 PM
  31. Just tell me what I have to do to get myself and my damn book on TV, folks.  As long as it doesn’t involve eating bugs.

    Careful what you wish for.  You could end up on “Wife Swap” sharing your home and life with someone like Margaret the God Warrior.

    Posted by Dr. Virago  on  12/05  at  07:53 PM
  32. There’s a much better Auto-da-fe song, from Candide:  “What a day, what a day, for an auto-da-fe!” Lyrics by Sondheim, music by Leonard Bernstein.

    Or so I am led (captcha) to believe.

    Posted by Jonquil  on  12/05  at  08:05 PM
  33. So are we speculating about what this big surprise is yet?

    *Major redesign of mb.com?
    *A Feature Length Film version of What’s Liberal?
    *A WAAGNFNP press conference in which Bolton admits that he is leaving the UN after falling victim to the Dangeral Tour while dining in proximity of Michael in New Haven?

    Posted by  on  12/05  at  08:41 PM
  34. I’m scheduled for an hour-long interview on Dennis Prager’s radio show!  2 to 3 pm, Eastern!

    For those of us who can’t listen then, is that show on the net?  Or transcripts, or something?  I’ve never tried to listen online before, but I just gotta find out how that little encounter goes…

    Posted by Stephen Frug  on  12/05  at  09:06 PM
  35. Ouch - Shakespeare’s Sister, Cobble Hill, et al. Until I got a proper job a year and a half ago, I lived on Tompkins Place, right behind your shop, Aaron. We bought xmas presents there once in awhile.

    (BTW - was there after Thanksgiving and what happened to the pet store a couple of doors down? Gone! Another freaking realtor? I liked the proprietor of the pet shop...)

    Oh do I miss it, Cobble Hill. Maybe the nicest neighborhood in the world, imho.

    Posted by CR  on  12/06  at  12:08 AM
  36. Horowitz: Wait a second. Joan Wallach Scott, whom you do have something to do with, has said that Al-Arian and Tariq Ramadan are the two main persecuted professors. You can’t escape that. If you would deal with that, you would find an ally in me.

    Bérubé: Well, I’ll put in a brief that Tariq Ramadan should be allowed into the country.

    I’m glad it’s cars and trains to Brooklyn, Michael.  You might find yourself on a no-fly list soon.  (The WAAGNFNP will be meeeting in the airport bar.)

    Posted by Tracy  on  12/06  at  12:18 AM
  37. I heard a little of Dennis Prager’s show today.  From the snippet I caught, it appears that he was claiming to be misunderstood and that he wasn’t making a legal argument about which sacred text upon which to make an oath. He did say that he thought Ellison should use the Bible in addition to the Koran.  It would somehow show that he respects the majority of the country’s values, and that this would be good for all of America’s Muslims.

    I look forward to hearing you on his show. I assume you’ll be the guy with the Queen’s accent.

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  12:53 AM
  38. CR, Vinne-the-younger, the mainstay of the pet store, is now working for the real estate firm that replaced the store!  His father and his uncle, who were also often in the store, haven’t been around since they closed--and I miss them.

    The neighborhood is changing.  Your old street, Tompkins Place, is becoming quite the stylish address!

    Posted by Aaron Barlow  on  12/06  at  04:22 AM
  39. University Park, State Park, State College, State Farm, Animal Farm, Animal House, Bleak House, House Party VII (was there one?)--I’m sure he of the order of the halibut would find a creative way to link them all as part of the left-wing conspiracy to poison the minds of American youth!

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  12/06  at  07:34 AM
  40. I’m just curious about the halibut. Seeing as this is the second “Bérubé eats meal with scurrilous net antagonist” involving said species of fish. One instance is an event, two is a trend!

    captcha: “straight,” as in the line connecting Ward Churchill and HWSNBDBHFIaaDToHS.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  12/06  at  11:36 AM
  41. Does D.Ho have a license for that halibut?  Does picking at it constitute animal abuse? Are there grounds for a show trial here?

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  12:00 PM
  42. First of all, I did not do all these things at the same time—placing my chin on my hands, pinching my eyebrows, and playing with the sugar packets.

    Well, if the sugar packets were taped to your eyebrows, it would be quite possible with less than three or four hands.  Although your fingers would have to be very long, given how elongated your head is.

    I also need the hour on the train to read student papers.

    In that case, let me offer you a car ride instead.

    So, it seems that Professor Bérubé knew what was at steak in this interview, while Mr. Horowitz played along just for the halibut.

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  12:23 PM
  43. The WAAGNFNP Ministry of Defense and Offense has discovered that other halibut eaters are a threat to, well, quite frankly, reality.  This may of course be the longterm affects of eating halibut: a strange ugly species with eyeballs that migrate across its body, live flat on oean bottoms covered with polluted toxic sand, and have a propensity to become extremely violent when captured (unlike cows).  But these revelations, sucked from the most recent writings of the minions of the neo-conservative pantheon, reveal an intense distrust on their part for reality and realism. 

    – “Surrender as ‘Realism’” by Robert Kagan and William Kristol, “realism has come to be a kind of code word for surrendering”

    – “From Metternich to Jim Baker” by Ralph Peters, “Baker is the dean emeritus of a reactionary school of diplomats… It was the “realist” elevation of stability above all other strategic factors…gave us not only the radical regime in Iran, but, ultimately, al Qaeda and 9/11.”

    spyder
    Minister of Offense and Defense
    WAAGNFNP Command Central

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  12:42 PM
  44. So his next book is entitled ‘Indoctrination U’.  Gee, any idea what THAT will be about?

    And thanks for the reminder that I need to watch Life of Brian again sometime soon.  They don’t make ‘em like that any more, do they?

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  12:50 PM
  45. Time out for a Jamie thought.  Only in Australia do they actually care enough to include in their national swimming championships finals (arguably THE national sport) title events for those with disabilities.  But they go even further, and make the results of those events part of the major newspaper story as well.  From today/last night’s (whenever today is tomorrow then yesterday) report in the Age-- (400 meters is a damn long way too- eight laps of the 50 m pool--and something i know i can not accomplish right now at all).

    Tamleh Wilson won the 10-year-old and over 100 breaststroke multi-disability event in 1:27.20 from Brittany Mathie and Teiga van Roosmalen.

    Richard Elliason won the men’s 10 and over 100 breaststroke multi-disability event from Patrick Donachie and James Sewell.

    Jacqueline Freney won the women’s 10 and over 400 freestyle multi-disability event from Sian Lucas and Teneale Houghton.

    You keep swimming Jamie, and someday Dad or Mom will take a visiting prof gig downunder, where you can be swimming in the same pool and same meet as the very best in the world.  The captcha word is “children”

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  01:27 PM
  46. off topic, but congrats to you, michael, for being nominated as a finalist in the 2006 weblog awards.

    it’s an honor to be singled out, and any blog that gets to the finals should be very, very proud.

    we know that skippy sure is!

    .

    .

    Posted by skippy  on  12/06  at  01:57 PM
  47. Hoo, that’s a pretty funny presentation by the folks at the CHRONICLE! I loved the aside about once pointing “with a morsel of bread.” But fidget? I thought Michael was simply an energetic tester of local gravity levels.

    Kudos for trying to blow the lid off of DH’s red herring about superstar salaries. Please. If he wants to pin the problem on an employee demographic, then surely even he’s heard about rapidly-expanding university overhead due to explosive growth in middle management administrators. One of the bleaker sides to the continued corporatization of the university.

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  02:12 PM
  48. I’m just curious about the halibut.

    Chris, I think we’re all curious about the halibut.  How does it feel be ordered around and eaten by David Horowitz?  His small staff won’t say.

    About that caricature, Michael: I can’t be absolutely certain, because of the tiny repro at the link, but that looks like Steve Brodner’s work, and when Steve has done you, you have arrived, weird ears or not. Just so you know.

    Thanks, M. Patterson.  It is indeed Steve Brodner’s work.  But I won’t think of myself as having arrived until I can be photographed in a seven-star (yes, seven-star WAAGNFNP cap in front of a triceratops graffito.  It’s a personal thing.

    And there’s no such thing as a halibut license.

    I also need the hour on the train to read student papers.

    In that case, let me offer you a car ride instead.

    Oh, great.  Do I get to go ten hours without eating and then hallucinate about John Bolton?

    Kudos for trying to blow the lid off of DH’s red herring about superstar salaries.

    Well, had I my wits about me, instead of throwing purple wine into my enormous mouth I would have noted that all these tuition increases have tracked pretty evenly with the explosive growth of adjunct faculty.  But anyone who’s read What’s Liberal, like David has, would know that. . . .

    And the 2006 Weblog Awards!  Woo hoo!  Just in time for the thing at The Tank!

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  02:35 PM
  49. t’s an honor to be singled out, and any blog that gets to the finals should be very, very proud.

    Well, skippy, that might not be entirely off-topic, given the way you managed to indulge in blog-horowitzing in your comment.

    Whoops, wait, that’s the inappropriate use of his last name, right?  Feel free to remove this comment, which I will not self-censor even though I haven’t posted it yet.  Then I will complain to Mr. Horowitz about this blog’s political correctness.

    One instance is an event, two is a trend!

    Three times is enemy action, Mr. Clarke.

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  02:35 PM
  50. I thought if you fiddled with sugar packets you were a “Dextrose-American.”

    D

    Posted by Derryl Murphy  on  12/06  at  02:48 PM
  51. Three times is enemy action, , Mr. Clarke.

    All the hot one-on-many enemy action you can watch for free if you log in to the Michael Bérubé Premium Members-Only Site!

    captcha: inside.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  12/06  at  02:49 PM
  52. [Attempts to high-five Derryl Murphy over the Internet, and loudly and painfully misses]

    Oh, great.  Do I get to go ten hours without eating and then hallucinate about John Bolton?

    Hey, yeah, what is it with Professor Bérubé’s inability to eat a decent breakfast?  One instance is an event, etc.

    captcha: reached.  As in, “The sugar packets reached clear to his hairline.”

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  03:14 PM
  53. Interesting interview, weird packaging.  The Chronicle really is the academic equivalent of the DLC, isn’t it?  They just can’t let the interview roll along without all the coy little digs, can they?  (I think you worry them in a way that Horowitz does not.  Him, they can smile indulgently at.  You, you are threatening, though they’d rather not admit it.)

    I do have to admit to chuckling at this, though:

    Let me swallow my bread.[a pause while Mr. Bérubé swallows his bread]

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  03:56 PM
  54. And there’s no such thing as a halibut license.

    Is too!

    I won’t think of myself as having arrived until I can be photographed in a seven-star (yes, seven-star WAAGNFNP cap in front of a triceratops graffito.

    Something tells me we’ll all have a change to witness your arrival. I’m certainly looking forward to it.

    Captcha: I suppose that’s quite enough about the halibut.

    Posted by  on  12/06  at  07:09 PM
  55. I’m one of the “higher-grades of ding-dongs” (see above) who favors Horowitz over Berube.  And I read the Chronicle.  But really, it’s not much of choice, is it?  A pox on both of them.

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  09:22 AM
  56. Well, given that your feelings were hurt by Karl Steel’s “ding-dongs” comment, M. Squidlow, perhaps you can take to heart other passages from his remarks:

    Horowitz admits (grudgingly? cheerfully?) that valid, accurate, and nuanced arguments must make way for whatever can get him publicity.

    Horowitz is also such a vigorous mover of goalposts that said goalposts display noticeable Doppler shift.  But when weighing deliberate mendacity as a tool of jihad against academic freedom vs. smug liberal snark, I agree that any rational person would find both equally abhorrent.  Pucks on both their houses!  No, wait, Professor Bérubé would enjoy that.

    Oh dear, does this count as providing food to someone fishing from a low-speed motorboat?

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  09:47 AM
  57. Mmmmmm, ding-dongs.  What can’t they do?

    Posted by Michael  on  12/07  at  12:35 PM
  58. Well, ding-dongs can’t ski through a revolving door… Wait, was that rhetorical?

    This has the potential to take this thread in strange new directions, touching on the Great Snack Cake Schism, King Dons vs. Ding Dongs.  We still haven’t fully recovered out east.

    Or we could, of course, just pretend I never brought it up.

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  02:47 PM
  59. "Bérubé: You’re punching above your weight, man.”

    Did you actually mean that compliment?

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  09:58 PM
  60. There are some contexts in which that phrase is a compliment, Emmelaich.  But this isn’t one of ‘em, now, is it.

    mds, I’ll see you a King Don and raise you a Yankee Doodle.

    Posted by  on  12/07  at  11:51 PM
  61. "I’m a ding dong daddy from Dumas, I’m gonna’ do my stuff.”

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  12/08  at  06:29 AM
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