Yet another interlude
While you’re breathlessly waiting for Theory Tuesday (Wednesday edition) V (part two), this dispatch from the Tehran office of the David Horowitz Freedom and Savings Center:
Iran head wants liberal teachers ousted
By NASSER KARIMI
Associated Press Writer
TEHRAN, Iran (AP)—Iran’s hard-line president urged students Tuesday to push for a purge of liberal and secular university teachers, another sign of his determination to strengthen Islamic fundamentalism in the country. . . .
Speaking to a group of students Tuesday, Ahmadinejad called on them to pressure his administration to keep driving out moderate instructors, a process that began earlier this year.
Dozens of liberal university professors and teachers were sent into retirement this year after Ahmadinejad’s administration, sparking strong protests from students, named the first cleric to head Tehran University.
The country’s oldest institution of higher education remains home to dozens more professors and instructors who outspokenly oppose policies that restrict freedom of expression.
“Today, students should shout at the president and ask why liberal and secular university lecturers are present in the universities,” the official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying during a meeting with students.
Well, the man certainly doesn’t keep up with WingNut Daily, does he? Here in the U.S. of A., we already know why liberal and secular university lecturers are present in the universities. Because we got tenure and then closed the door behind us! Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah!
Ahmadinejad’s new book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Professors in Iran, is now available for a low low price at FrontPage.com, along with his groundbreaking study, Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Right.
Oh, and speaking of books! It occurs to me that I’m not doing enough to promote my new one. So I’ve added another fabulous dust-jacket blurb to my right sidebar. Hope you like it! (9/9: I took it back down. It wasn’t moving books fast enough.)
- Posted by ebw on 09/06 at 09:03 AM
Whew! For a second there, I was thinking that someone was going to reveal that Ahmadinejad was Horowitz’s sock puppet, or vice versa. But now, I can relax in the knowledge that there really are two of them (even if you never see them in public together), and that neither of them faces being fired shortly by the New Republic.
And if I hadn’t stayed up far too late at a celebration for <a href="http://www.jimdavis2006.com">this guy</em>, I’d probably have something more witty to say.Posted by Sherman Dorn on 09/06 at 09:23 AM
Dang! Getting up early and we still can’t beat the prof to the punch. I was going to point this story out today after I heard on the overnight BBC but got beaten to it.
Of course, the irony in it is that they won’t see the irony in it.
Can I suggest that Adam Curtis films your latest blockbuster?Posted by Saltydog on 09/06 at 10:38 AM
Ahmadinejad and Horowitz could do the lecture circuit together. Better yet, they could do an updated version of “Bridget Loves Bernie”, they could call it something like “Shlomo Loves Achmed” and make it a boon to interethnic harmony.Posted by on 09/06 at 11:26 AM
ebw, I can’t believe you used that picture of me.Posted by Michael on 09/06 at 11:38 AM
Memo to Prof. Riley:
Michael’s not a businessman; he’s a business, man. Let him handle his business, damn!Posted by on 09/06 at 11:59 AM
At the present time,
MB’s Amazon rank for What’s Liberal? = 63,823
DH’s Amazon rank for The Professors = 1,050
As your marketing consultant, Michael, I advise you to ingratiate yourself with a millionaire right wing sugar daddy who will set up a shell company to buy thousands of copies of your book to inflate the sales numbers. I hear Richard Mellon Scaife is right down the road in Pittsburgh. Let me see if I can find his number. Must be around here somewhere ...Posted by John Protevi on 09/06 at 12:22 PM
But at least The Notorious Riley gives you props for representin’. Ain’t no frontin’ goin’ on up in here, f’shizzle.Posted by John Protevi on 09/06 at 12:26 PM
Michael’s not a businessman; he’s a business, man. Let him handle his business, damn!
Yeah! After all, I didn’t register this blog as an .org, you know.
MB’s Amazon rank for What’s Liberal? = 63,823
DH’s Amazon rank for The Professors = 1,050
Fie! Fie, I say! This is what I get for not charting my Amazon sales assiduously enough. I knew I should have stuck with the original title, For Your Information, This is Why I Hate America.Posted by Michael on 09/06 at 12:55 PM
Sure sounds like the poor, poor oppressed conservative students and professors will find Tehran U. more open to their gifts and insights. Perhaps even the Left’s most brilliant and articulate nemesis himself will go there and find the respect he longs for but is unjustly denied by the secular liberal conspiracy. We can only hope.Posted by on 09/06 at 01:26 PM
Well, those oppressed students and professors will certainly appreciate Tehran State’s 100-percent Vagina Monologues-free campus atmosphere!Posted by on 09/06 at 01:36 PM
Although mildly phallic already, there’s much you can do to improve the cover art, and thus the POS value, on this anti-Stalinist tome of yours.Posted by Roxanne on 09/06 at 01:51 PM
Maybe, teheran will give Horowitz what he has always wanted a University position as Comisar of Political Correctness?
I had to check the links and had to meake sure that this is real? but with Horowits and his Iranian think alikes, How can we tell? I used to think that they were mirior images of each other, but now we know they say the same things?Posted by on 09/06 at 01:54 PM
Wouldn’t you love to know what You Know Who thought when he heard of this - you know, when he’s lying there alone in the dark with his thoughts..
And on another note, I do agree that you should cease your entrepreneurial activities (they’re so beneath a professor), and start posting more scholarly intellectual content - y’know, more like this.Posted by on 09/06 at 01:58 PM
I wonder how many times, over how many centuries, some determined leader of some group has ordered the dismissal, removal, torture, and killing of “those damned liberal” teachers??? Purges after purges, one would think that there is something in the very process of generating a curricula (i am reminded of the roles of akicitas in punishing those who favored changing the “rules” of the buffalo hunts) that informs a perspective at odds with the fundamentalist principles espoused by those in charge.Posted by on 09/06 at 02:09 PM
Brian, I did read that post at some point in the past few (bewildering) days, and all I can say is, when it comes down to a struggle between Prof R and Candace de Russy, a plague on both your houses.Posted by on 09/06 at 02:12 PM
On no Michael, you can’t do that. You have to support Ahmadinejad because he opposses Imperialism. Don’t you understand?Posted by Central Content Publisher on 09/06 at 02:33 PM
This appears to be upside down. In Iran during the Revolution almost all university professors who were known to be non-Muslim were executed as were their families, including children. A nice fictional take on this that gets you inside the revolution is in Farnoosh Moshiri’s novel The Bathhouse. Her dad was a Marxist professor at the University of Tehran in the 1970s. He was shot, as were other left-leaning family members.
Since then there has apparently been a liberalization. None of the news articles have given us much of a sense of actual percentages of liberal professors (meaning non-Muslim) who have crept back into their universities to spout their communist beliefs.
Let’s say it’s 5%.
Even that would be greater than the percentage of conservative professors at Duke University, according to reports that have been made available in which only three of some 500 professors were reportedly Republican. The others were either Democrats or further to the left.
Meanwhile, Horowitz is not the president of America. He’s a private citizen with no elected office. He has no legislative power. He has simply asked liberal American faculties to self-correct in favor of a diversity of opinions.
Leftists for decades have been saying that academia should look more like America. But where is resemblance? Is it in skin color or in beliefs?
If 80% of America is Christian according to polls, why are there so few Christian professors? I mean, are there any practicing Christians at Penn State in the Humanities? At LSU? There are a handful of Christian universities, but since public universities are paid for by the public, they should represent the public.
It’s only a matter of time before the left gets hoisted on its own petard. What’s amazing is that David Horowitz has been able to achieve this almost single-handedly: at least in terms of raising the issue.
But the upside-down and topsy turvy feeling I had while reading this post was quite striking. Religious conservatives have been voted into power in Iran. Now they are asking for a purge at their country’s universities of what must be less than 5% of their professoriat.
Horowitz on the other hand is asking why there aren’t five percent conservatives on American campuses, and he’s being compared to the president of Iran who’s asking for a totalitarian takeover of the universities.
Meanwhile, there’s been nothing like a totalitarian take over in American politics. The Democrats ran a stiff in the last election and still got 47% of the vote.
Democrats have had almost no ideas since the death of Senator Paul Simon (a Lutheran) and they still have almost half the house and almost half of the Senate and will soon have more no doubt.
Fox News is the only conservative station, and only one hour is primarily conservative: O’Reilly.
Hannity (a loud-mouth who nobody likes) is balanced on his show by the much better spoken and smarter Colmes.
I just don’t see that all institutions belong to the right.
Since we only have two major parties and it’s a winner take-all system, we tend to get pools of zombies who influence events too much. The tie-dyed crowd to the left who are the people without kids who can run around and help candidates at these little events in New Hampshire, and the squeaky people to the right with their crazy Baptist notions.
What works in Scandinavia is that there are fifty parties or more who take part in the elections and the percentage of their vote allows them seating.
So a middle can emerge that matters.
We need MORE FACTIONS, just as Madison indicated in Federalist ten.
We need them on campuses, and in government.
It’s the multiplicity of factions that makes for a balanced representation, but that representation has to be within EACH institution.Posted by Kirby Olson on 09/06 at 03:22 PM
Regarding the Albertus MT Professor of Weird Fonts at Bucknell, let me just say this: Don’t go within a mile of that URI with a graphics-capable browser! Black on gray—gah! And I already needed glasses.
Captcha: “lost”Posted by jre on 09/06 at 03:32 PM
Kirby, all this Lutheran Surrealism of yours is breaking the Internets.
And CCP, it is indeed time to salute the world-historical revolutionary Ahmadinejad, our very own Persian Chavez! At least according to the editor of the online Monthly Review.Posted by Michael on 09/06 at 03:40 PM
Wow Kirby, that’s an excellent argument - you are so right!Posted by on 09/06 at 03:43 PM
While i may not have any clue about what reality monsieur surréaliste lutheran is describing above in post 18, i do know that he can produce some great belly laughs when reading his blog posts:
although I think Ginsberg’s judgments are deeply marred by his having been a chester and a member of a useless generation of matriarchal birdbrainsPosted by on 09/06 at 04:11 PM
I mean, are there any practicing Christians at Penn State in the Humanities? - Kirby
Are there actually people trained to recognize fiction, who still believe in fairy tales?
I just had a great idea. Penn State should give God tenure, and he can teach all those important republican classes that students are so missing out on. In fact, every university could. I’m imagining a silent lecture hall, filled with students staring at a spirit manned podium, learning all that God has to teach them. And of course, a final exam that asks simply: do you believe?
(note to administration: I hear God will teach for next to nothing)Posted by Central Content Publisher on 09/06 at 04:23 PM
Don’t make me trot out the hoary academic joke about how God has only published one book.Posted by Michael on 09/06 at 04:33 PM
I heard he had it ghost written.Posted by Central Content Publisher on 09/06 at 04:47 PM
"intersection homology and perverse sheaves,” by God.
read it. meh. Too sketchy, and (s?)he refuses to use the ‘+’ symbol for addition, which makes it all very confusing.
At Duke, there are exactly 487.2 practicing Christians on the permanent factory, by my calculation. Take that number on faith. If we divide that by the total number of faculty, that makes 212% Christians on the faculty, none of whom are liberal except Frederic Jameson, who is the very definition of a liberal. I am not on the permanent facutly (far from it!), so my worship of the Dark Lord doesn’t figure in here.
Hope that helps and good luck with everything.Posted by on 09/06 at 04:50 PM
—Alexander Tristan Riley, Distinguished Professor of Boldface and Italics, Bucknell University
You forgot Parentheses and Irony-Deficiency.Posted by Dr. Virago on 09/06 at 05:24 PM
Meanwhile, Horowitz is not the president of America.
Stop it, you’re killing me.
Captcha: “play.” As in “on words.” I kid you not. And don’t forget, in this case a kid is not the offspring of a goatPosted by John Protevi on 09/06 at 05:53 PM
I heard he had it ghost written.
But you have to admit, he had one hell of a good sockpuppet.
... Sprezzatura wept.Posted by on 09/06 at 06:07 PM
Michael, I think that Riley guy doesn’t like you.Posted by on 09/06 at 06:08 PM
JP, we are all God’s sockpuppets.
Dr. V., Parenthesis and Irony-Deficiency is not an academic department. It is a program, and does not have its own tenure lines. Faculty can “affiliate” with it voluntarily, however.
And Buffalo Gal, I’ve decided not to take this stuff personally after all. You know, it takes all kinds to make a blogosphere! And we’re all God’s sockpuppets in the end, like I say. Those of you who believe that there is a Demiurge, and that his name is (for example) Sprezzatura, are guilty of the Gnostic heresy, which this meek and humble blog believes should be punishable by drawing and quartering.Posted by on 09/06 at 06:25 PM
And that’s why I like you, Michael - I make one simple comment and you immediately dive waaay past my intellectual depth, making me laugh heartily in the process.Posted by on 09/06 at 06:34 PM
Ol’ David “Duke” Horowitz?
Izzat the Church of the Revealed Dickhead?Posted by on 09/06 at 06:49 PM
Brian, thanks, (I think). I followed your links to fabulous documents including what looks like Ward Churchill’s walking papers. It’s interesting to see the legal language. And thanks again.
I am not always so popular!Posted by Kirby Olson on 09/06 at 07:14 PM
Also, quick question for Central Content Publisher:
Could you tell me of something that in your opinion is not fictional?
Just curious. And besides, I love to laugh, too.Posted by Kirby Olson on 09/06 at 07:26 PM
You missed some potentially book-selling titles, Michael:
Please Make Me One of the 101 Most Dangerous Professors in Iran So That I Can Hate America
Why I Hate America AND I Hate Iran
Unsafe At Any Speed
Faster, Pussycat, Kill, Kill (taken, sadly)Posted by Timothy Burke on 09/06 at 07:53 PM
"Gnostic heresy, which this meek and humble blog believes should be punishable by drawing and quartering.”
If gnosticism is heretical, is orthodoxy agnostic? And isn’t that the best possible proof of the Lutheran surrealist’s point, above? This is so confusing . . . :(Posted by on 09/06 at 08:07 PM
Could you tell me of something that in your opinion is not fictional? - Kirby
My foot.Posted by Central Content Publisher on 09/06 at 08:26 PM
Maybe I should have said elbow… the above sounds like a threat (it’s not).Posted by Central Content Publisher on 09/06 at 08:27 PM
Stop the presses! After reading Riley’s blog a bit and following his sockpuppetry here, noting his vast reserves of pomposity, his irony deficiency, his propensity for pseudonyms, and his clear lack of experience in both the theory and the practice of the blog (orange on grey?! black on grey?! what was he thinking?!), I think one thing is perfectly clear:
Alexander Tristan Riley IS Ivan Tribble!!Posted by Dr. Virago on 09/06 at 08:29 PM
Don’t stop the presses! Stopping the presses will break the Internets just like that Olson guy did. Besides, one of the curious things about the Very Irate Professor is that he has four blogs—and still made the mistake of thinking that “Jesus’ General” was my “other” blog, compounding this by blaming me for guest-posting on the General’s blog (back in May) because it had the term “religious fascists” . . . in one of its blogads. In September.
But I really don’t think he’s Ivan Tribble. My money says “Ivan Tribble” is also “Thomas H. Benton.” Whose real name is. . . .Posted by on 09/06 at 08:51 PM
I’m certain that I wouldn’t have had so much trouble with differential geometry if my professor had been a godly conservative. How did I know he wasn’t? He had a German accent.
If my first Russian instructor had been a middle-aged midwestern Republican instead of a beautiful young Yugoslavian woman, I wouldn’t have been so distracted that ... wait, I got an “A” anyway. Never mind.Posted by on 09/06 at 10:31 PM
… are guilty of the Gnostic heresy, which this meek and humble blog believes should be punishable by drawing and quartering
And well it should be. The case against it is scientifically open and shut. Per the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia article on Gnosticism: [emphasis added]
It is striking that the two earliest champions of Christianity against Gnosticism—Hegesippus and Irenaeus—brought out so clearly the method of warfare which alone was possible, but which also alone sufficed to secure the victory in the conflict, a method which Tertullian some years later scientifically explained in his “De Praescriptione”. Both Hegesippus and Irenaeus proved that Gnostic doctrines did not belong to that deposit of faith which was taught by the true succession of bishops in the primary sees of Christendom; both in triumphant conclusion drew up a list of the Bishops of Rome, from Peter to the Roman bishop of their day; as Gnosticism was not taught by that Church with which the Christians everywhere must agree, it stood self-condemned.
They hate us for our freedoms.Posted by on 09/06 at 11:45 PM
Kirby, Horowitz and other aren’t taking into account all of the adjuncts teaching surveys and other basic classes. These slave-lecturers are rarely monitored for content so there is no way to be sure they aren’t contaminating receptive young minds. It is easy for people to complain about the tenured professors in their ivory towers, but what about this hidden threat? What about concentrating on recruiting conservative minds to teach, say, 5 sections of ENG 101 or HIST 101 or ARTH 101 back to back, MWF from 8 to 2:30. I think a good practicing Christian just out of grad school would jump at the opportunity, especially since the pay is so gratifying and the student feedback ROCKS. Kind of like penance/missionary work all at the same time.Posted by on 09/07 at 12:17 PM
5 sections of ENG 101 or HIST 101 or ARTH 101 back to back, MWF from 8 to 2:30.
What, no TTh classes? Do these pampered intellectuals not have the get-up-and-go to work 5 days a week? Or will Kirby’s committed Christians currently unfairly locked out of such work use TTh for volunteering in faith-based initiatives?Posted by John Protevi on 09/07 at 12:37 PM
Scusate! Of course, John, the faith-based initiatives are slated for TTh, along with flying lessons for the anti-abortion plane. Don’t forget adjuncts need to work on their own research too. Their afternoons will likely be spent “fact-checking” and scouring the Internets for full-time positions.Posted by on 09/07 at 12:49 PM
The reason I came to this blog in the first place is I was leafing through Horowitz’ tome and went through the four English profs in it, and I was surprised to read that the host of this particular blog had actually backed the invasion of Afghanistan. Talk about divergent thinking. I don’t think Horowitz appreciates enough how any kind of divergent thinking is punished in the academy. It’s just as if someone were to show up at a punk concert not wearing the mandatory uniform.
So I thought there was hope for a conversation. Miraculously, I’m finding that hope.
Geez, I’ve been treated to a round, there’s been talk of Scandinavian democracies as the model of social transformation, and so on, and now, a foot has become an elbow.
Even though I’ve started off on the wrong foot, I haven’t quite been given the elbow.
So, thanks. I guess.
I’ve enjoyed the Williams talks. He’s more or less a blank in my education. I did study all the postmodernists from France, but you know Williams was on the other side of the Channel, and lacked the accent of what was cool as I streaked through grad school, I suppose. Only one teacher was interested in him, and he was busy getting the heave ho for having slept with a student.
Not that that’s a reason to dismiss Williams!
Geez, I even enjoyed the humor regarding Christian missionaries among the adjuncts! Talk about the Heart of Darkness! Going among today’s students is much like whatever that Kurtz fellow went through—I’m following the humor, and will attempt a few more intrusions, but not at this juncture. I have to think of tactics, not strategy.Posted by Kirby Olson on 09/07 at 02:36 PM
I don’t think Horowitz appreciates enough how any kind of divergent thinking is punished in the academy.
Well, Kirby, old man, not that I’m the official historian of Le Blog or anything, but I think you’ll find that when you finally get around to submitting some thoughtful conservative comments here, you’ll find them well-received. But when you treat us to stuff on how the superior Cushiness Quotient (CQ) of “capitalist societies” proves that we’re better than North Korea (what a great slogan for the new USA: “Come and visit, you’ll love us. We’re much better than North Korea, you know!") then I think the gentle mockery you’re getting around here hardly qualifies as “punishment of divergent thought.” It’s the quality of the thought I’ve found lacking in your comments, not the quantity of divergence. But it’s Michael’s blog, and I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable here. So I’m sorry if any of my comments contributed to making you feel “punished.”Posted by John Protevi on 09/07 at 04:41 PM
John, I wasn’t being ironic when I said that I felt welcomed here.
Not by you. But I’ve written you off.
I’m not saying that to be mean, but I don’t see any possibility for play with you.
You’re convinced of your position, and that’s fine with me.
But there are many other people here!!
And many of them are visiting my blague.
You see, it’s a kind of raid.
But it’s also meant to establish contact with a few people I might like, even if they happen to be leftists. Most of the readers of my blague are leftists.
I was once, too.
But I left the left because too many people had lost their sense of play.
But I haven’t yet joined the right. I’m not a “conservative.”
I’m a muddling, middle-aged, misfit.
And I’m enjoying myself very much here, thankyou.Posted by Kirby Olson on 09/07 at 05:04 PM
But Kirby, don’t you want it both ways? You come in here when Le Blog is in a playful mood and go all North Korea on our asses, and when we mock you for it, you act all serious and say we’re punishing you for your “divergent thought.” So what is it, do you want mocking play, or do you want serious discussion?
Captcha, “process” as in, “what a long strange trip it’s been.”Posted by John Protevi on 09/07 at 05:18 PM
It’s hard to tell because I can’t feel the mood. I’m a bit of a Viking berserker you might say underneath the Lutheranism. That’s what we do, we raid.
But I really didn’t say you were punishing me for going divergent. I was paying a tip to the blogmeister for going divergent for wanting the raid on the Taliban. I mean, that’s really divergent in Academia.
I know. so I thought there might be kooky academics and slightly divergent readers here who might want something just a little more ... ahem Lutheran, or berserk. Whatever.
But you’re right, John. I left a foot across the hallway to give you that long strange trip you experienced, in terms of ... the punishment for divergence. I know you like that as a principle, the divergence. You like Deleuze. So you have to buy it, and hence, I made you trip, so to speak.
It was meant to slow the retaliation for my raid.
I want a serious conversation, but I don’t also want to clog the airwaves here. The idea was to get a quick raid in, and divert a few readers to my blog, and then become a minor lurker here, with only occasional comments. It’s what successful berserk bloggers do to collect readers.
I’m not a success exactly, but then the trick does work. Check the stats. 40 of my last hundred readers came from this blog, and probably 40 or more of my next hundred readers will, too. Now let’s say that two of those become my actual friend. That’s a decent percentage. And what did I do to get it. Just write a few blog posts. Hee hee.
Besides, I think I earned a real compliment from one person who said that I had written an excellent argument yesterday. His name was Brian. Now that guy might become a real friend. You see. Or he might disappear into the internet. You have to play the percentages.
And the blogmeister himself treated me to a round, and seemed to open the way to talking about the rationale behind Lutheran democracies (there are five)—and in fact I tried to leave a monster comment here earlier, but it got blinked.
Darn it. I think he would have really liked it, because it was absolutely tailor made for Michael, and I even flattered him like crazy to get him to read through it. But then it said 5000 words, and my comment had been 5003 words, and the whole thing blinked.
A pale imitation of that thing of beauty is over at Lutheran Surrealism. Just click on my name at the bottom of this mad bit of self-justification and read it. I really think I have something to offer to critical theory. Actually, it’s not mine. I stole it. That’s what Vikings do. They plunder. And I ripped this thing off from Augustine, Luther, and a whole host of contemporary Lutherans (there are sixty millions of us, and it’s an amazing discourse community—Hegel, Kierkegaard, even for Christ’s sake Marx was raised as a Lutheran and he’s constantly citing Luther because heck Luther had three or four more points of IQ, Tillich, Niebuhr, Benne, the list is endless—beginning with the only major religion started by an academic).
So tip in, if you like, to my blague.
The problem is that there aren’t many Lutherans interested in the arts. So I can’t talk to them about the things I love.
So I’m trying to create a conduit.
And quite unsuccessfully, I might add. I mean I have ten devoted readers, but Jesus, I would like twelve.
But I’m only raiding the blogs of leftist geniuses. I’m not at all interested in talking with rightists. I am out to reroute the left. The right always thinks it’s right.
But the left…
Ha ha. There’s an opening there for me, since they believe in divergent thinking, and occasionally I do manage it. Hee hee.
And now of course, I am going to have to open the door to you, too, John. Come to the last supper of Lutheran Surrealism. It will go on for at least another decade.
And meanwhile, I will try to send some of my readers here. They are few, but little geniuses every one.Posted by Kirby Olson on 09/07 at 05:37 PM