Tuesday, August 30, 2005
On the road again
My apologies, folks, but I don’t have time to do a real blog entry today. I’ve been home for 48 hours now, and you know what that means—it’s time to hit the road again! This time I’m off to Washington, D.C. to meet the powerful and mysterious Rox Populi. John McGowan will be there, too. We should be able to settle this whole Butler-Nussbaum thing over dinner, while offering theories as to why the music of 1981 sucked with such a high degree of suckitude. Then tomorrow I’m in lovely northern Virginia to conduct some Secret Business. It’s making me very nervous and I can’t tell you what it is, so you’re free to assume that it involves national security matters and “safe houses,” as do all things in northern Virginia.
So I don’t have time to attempt a full-dress response to this recent essay by KC Johnson. Instead, I’m going to ask you all to give it a look, and offer your suggestions as to how it testifies to the Plight of the Modern Conservative Intellectual. Here’s a hint: think of the major conservative “intellectual” movement of our time. Now explain why KC Johnson doesn’t mention it.
Inside Higher Ed recently reported on four University of Pittsburgh professors critiquing the latest survey suggesting ideological one-sidedness in the academy. According to the Pitt quartet, self-selection accounts for findings that the faculty of elite disproportionately tilts to the Left. “Many conservatives,” the Pitt professors mused, “may deliberately choose not to seek employment at top-tier research universities because they object, on philosophical grounds, to one of the fundamental tenets undergirding such institutions: the scientific method.”
Imagine the appropriate outrage that would have occurred had the above critique referred to feminists, minorities, or Socialists.
Um, OK, I’ll try, but I’m not convinced that, say, the Intelligent Design movement has all that much to do with feminists or minorities or Socialists. I tend to think that the scandal of ID is pretty well confined to the conservative end of the ideological spectrum. The intelligently designed ball is in your court, folks. The ravings of people like Grover Furr and the fringes of the Monty Python Left may be my problem, sure enough, but the ravings of the ID crowd are your problem, as is the recent endorsement of those ravings by your President.
Hendrik Hertzberg was divinely inspired on the subject of ID a few weeks ago, by the way. Hey, I wonder what he thinks about the plight of conservatives in academe.