Author Topic: Cancelling Dr. Seuss  (Read 7090 times)

marshwiggle

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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #240 on: September 13, 2021, 10:45:01 AM »
I don't think "but Black folks use the n-word in their rappings and hip-hoppings" is an answer to any hate speech question. (I'm also pretty sure that's common knowledge.) As for awards, it's not much of a puzzle:
a) awards are splashy, rock-star things that many people look upon favorably, however:
b) are the awards a recognition of the kind of work you would want a teacher in that field to excel in?

That's it. I mean, if the answer to "b" is yes, and if everyone's amenable, then it's a win all around.

(I had to extrapolate some of the argument, as I ignore one of the participants.)

Is tenure purely an "award"? Presumably, a tenured professor is expected to engage in the academic life of an institution. If someone who has not risen through the ranks in academia is expected to fulfil the duties of a tenured professor,
  • How will someone supervise graduate students, having never even been one?
  • How will someone evaluate an applicant's academic background for a faculty position, if the person hasn't had to meet those same requirements?
  • How will the person read a dissertation or participate in a candidate's defense when the person has never written a dissertation or defended one?

This list could go on and on. Are all of those trivial things that someone can pick up on the fly? I recall lots of times on here people have complained about people from business being appointed as university presidents, the argument being that running a business is no preparation for running an academic institution. Why then is success in some non-academic endeavour sufficient to grant someone status as fully qualified professor?

Hiring non-academics to academic positions is marketing; it has nothing to do with academic excellence.
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Parasaurolophus

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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #241 on: September 13, 2021, 10:50:13 AM »
Perhaps we should look around at journalism programs and see who teaches there and what their outputs and qualifications are like.

If we do that for Boghossian, we get the result that he was a shoo-in for tenure denial (and that it's hard to see how he got hired in the first place, but whatever).
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mahagonny

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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #242 on: September 13, 2021, 11:04:57 AM »
I don't think "but Black folks use the n-word in their rappings and hip-hoppings" is an answer to any hate speech question. (I'm also pretty sure that's common knowledge.) As for awards, it's not much of a puzzle:
a) awards are splashy, rock-star things that many people look upon favorably, however:
b) are the awards a recognition of the kind of work you would want a teacher in that field to excel in?

That's it. I mean, if the answer to "b" is yes, and if everyone's amenable, then it's a win all around.

(I had to extrapolate some of the argument, as I ignore one of the participants.)

There wasn't an argument as far as that part of the discussion goes. I never claimed Carl Benjamin wasn't doing hate speech. i simply asked Wahoo for example of the speech, because I didn't know anything about him yet. Thanks for the reply, Wahoo.
The fact remains, the glorification of black American criminal sub-culture has not done black Americans any good and has done them plenty of harm, but for that matter it was never clear to me that white Americans who assisted in that glorification had in mind to benefit black people, or maybe had just not thought about the situation seriously.
Even Richard Prior said late in his career, very seriously, that he would never use the word again in performance, because it's bad for us. There are of course still plenty of people who don't get it yet, and probably more than a few making a darn good living not getting it.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 11:07:19 AM by mahagonny »
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mahagonny

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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #243 on: September 13, 2021, 03:44:50 PM »
con't

Liberals have kept the word in circulation by elevating trash and criminal culture to the level of mainstream culture and even creative art. Thus George Floyd, dead beat dad and serial armed home invader, became the gentle giant family man. It's magic!
I don't know anything about Carl Benjamin, don't care a lot. If he's promoting hate, he would be on my bad side, but I'm not part of the reason people like him are saying what they are saying.
What does this mean about Boghossian? Whatever. I'm less bothered by anything about him than I am about Boston University promoting totalitarian government rule and the end of democracy and other nifty stuff liberal academia's been coming up with.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 04:39:39 PM by mahagonny »
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little bongo

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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #244 on: September 15, 2021, 07:51:27 AM »
con't

Liberals have kept the word in circulation by elevating trash and criminal culture to the level of mainstream culture and even creative art. Thus George Floyd, dead beat dad and serial armed home invader, became the gentle giant family man. It's magic!
I don't know anything about Carl Benjamin, don't care a lot. If he's promoting hate, he would be on my bad side, but I'm not part of the reason people like him are saying what they are saying.
What does this mean about Boghossian? Whatever. I'm less bothered by anything about him than I am about Boston University promoting totalitarian government rule and the end of democracy and other nifty stuff liberal academia's been coming up with.

As one of my favorite professors never said, there's a lot to unpack here. You're blaming liberals for... making a genre of music popular that you don't care for very much? And then connecting that to the George Floyd case? That just doesn't fly. For something to become popular as creative art, well, it has to be... popular. That's not something liberals or conservatives cause by virtue of being liberals or conservatives. I mean, we can go into a whole music theory dive about how R&B now pretty much means hip-hop, but if you like the music, find some earbuds and go to town. You don't like it, find a station that replays Prairie Home Companion or something. (I was always a little sad that I couldn't share my Dad's great love of Prairie Home Companion.)

As for somehow linking that with Floyd, well, it's sometimes true that we overlook or blip past elements of guilt when we're looking at the big picture--either Sacco or Vanzetti probably killed that paymaster; there really were some communists in D.C. irrespective of McCarthy's bogus list. But whether that's a liberal tendency or not, there really is a big picture to keep in mind--Sacco and Vanzetti were railroaded; McCarthy was a demagogue; Floyd didn't deserve death. If there are hints of the end of democracy as we know it in the wind, such hints weren't born in "liberal academia."

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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #245 on: September 15, 2021, 08:05:25 AM »
If we do that for Boghossian, we get the result that he was a shoo-in for tenure denial (and that it's hard to see how he got hired in the first place, but whatever).

Turns out he wasn't in a tenure track line and would have probably been renewed indefnitely if he had not resigned. And he has an EdD, not a PhD. It's on Leiter blog. Seems like there were no research expectations for him.
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mahagonny

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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #246 on: September 15, 2021, 09:27:13 AM »
con't

Liberals have kept the word in circulation by elevating trash and criminal culture to the level of mainstream culture and even creative art. Thus George Floyd, dead beat dad and serial armed home invader, became the gentle giant family man. It's magic!
I don't know anything about Carl Benjamin, don't care a lot. If he's promoting hate, he would be on my bad side, but I'm not part of the reason people like him are saying what they are saying.
What does this mean about Boghossian? Whatever. I'm less bothered by anything about him than I am about Boston University promoting totalitarian government rule and the end of democracy and other nifty stuff liberal academia's been coming up with.

As one of my favorite professors never said, there's a lot to unpack here. You're blaming liberals for... making a genre of music popular that you don't care for very much?

Nope. I am blaming them for having so much white guilt they don't even have even a modicum of moral confidence left to say 'I'm not going to consume to a type of entertainment that is full of the n-word, misogyny, glorification of crime, violence against cops, free-floating hostility, mindless obscenity, infantile narcissism and pretend that somehow it has to be considered acceptable rather than deeply unhealthy, merely because it comes from some other group's 'lived experience.' And I'm certainly not going to make college courses about how cool it is."  Sowell talks about the Americans who believe that the dregs of black American culture, as opposed to the middle America of black America, is the 'real' black culture and it mustn't be tampered with. It's called 'White liberals and black rednecks.' Quite interesting. Much of it came from Southern white culture and its European roots that held them back as well.
Floyd is another example of a menace becoming a hero for that very reason.
There is absolutely no conclusive evidence that racial animus played a role in Derek Chauvin's performance that day, BTW. You don't need racism to explain police brutality, either. There's plenty of police brutality and in order to assess whether racism is at play one would certainly have to do more than look at the skin color of the two parties. Critical thinking, remember?
Floyd is on T-shirts worn by white people because he is black and they feel guilty being white. It's really not hard to understand.
Quote
If there are hints of the end of democracy as we know it in the wind, such hints weren't born in "liberal academia."

They absolutely do. Your friend Henry Rogers, I mean Ibram X. Kendi will explain it to you:

Quote
https://www.politico.com/interactives/2019/how-to-fix-politics-in-america/inequality/pass-an-anti-racist-constitutional-amendment/

This is literal takeover of the government by non-elected, hired for life bureaucrats who can control everything according to an ideological dogma that will have then become the state religion. Uhm, freedom of speech issue? I think so. Not to mention the man is obviously a sinister character who needs to be stopped.

If we do that for Boghossian, we get the result that he was a shoo-in for tenure denial (and that it's hard to see how he got hired in the first place, but whatever).

Turns out he wasn't in a tenure track line and would have probably been renewed indefnitely if he had not resigned. And he has an EdD, not a PhD. It's on Leiter blog. Seems like there were no research expectations for him.


OOPS!!
« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 09:45:02 AM by mahagonny »
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Parasaurolophus

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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #247 on: September 15, 2021, 10:43:33 AM »

If we do that for Boghossian, we get the result that he was a shoo-in for tenure denial (and that it's hard to see how he got hired in the first place, but whatever).

Turns out he wasn't in a tenure track line and would have probably been renewed indefnitely if he had not resigned. And he has an EdD, not a PhD. It's on Leiter blog. Seems like there were no research expectations for him.


OOPS!!

Actually, it looks much for him. From Leiter:

Quote
UPDATE (9/14/21):  A faculty member at Portland State writes with some useful context and perspective:

Peter was not a tenure-line faculty at PSU. PSU has an unusual status for non- t-t faculty that they can apply for the same titles as tenure-line faculty. I believe it was 2014 that he got that title (after having been an Instructor for I believe six years before that), but because he is not on the tenure track, he could have kept it indefinitely. In fact, he did decide to apply for promotion to "Associate Professor" last year, but was denied.

The level of the University's mistreatment of him as reported in his letter might be weighed against the fact that he was re-hired every year for the past dozen years, and that he was promoted as far as he was. (It might be noted that Peter does not have a Ph.D. in philosophy; his Ed.D. is in education from PSU itself.) In the words of a colleague of mine, he had long been hoping that the University would fire him so that he could make a martyr of himself, but seeing that that was not going to happen, he had to fire himself.

Peter was in fact harassed by one particular student who filed a Title IX complaint, but I am not in a position to evaluate whether the University's response was reasonable. (As you can probably tell, I am skeptical of Peter's own interpretations of these situations.) My own overall sense is that the free-speech situation at PSU is not much different than that at most other universities. But because we are Portland, FoxNews loves to amplify any whiff of impropriety, and Peter is aware that his letter would be an effective form of self-promotion

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.
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marshwiggle

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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #248 on: September 15, 2021, 11:08:41 AM »

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.

How do his qualifications compare to Nikole Hannah-Jones?
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Parasaurolophus

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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #249 on: September 15, 2021, 11:13:36 AM »

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.

How do his qualifications compare to Nikole Hannah-Jones?

Unfavourably, I would imagine, since it turns out he has basically no qualifications whatsoever to be teaching in a philosophy department.

But I don't know what's normal in journalism programs. Which is why I suggested, upthread, that perhaps we ought to inform ourselves about that before rushing to judgement.
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mahagonny

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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #250 on: September 15, 2021, 11:48:32 AM »
Quote
My own overall sense is that the free-speech situation at PSU is not much different than that at most other universities.

In other words, 29 out of 30 academics in these kinds of departments are politically left, so teaching there when you are not politically left feels weird.

Quote
In the words of a colleague of mine, he had long been hoping that the University would fire him so that he could make a martyr of himself, but seeing that that was not going to happen, he had to fire himself.

So what.
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little bongo

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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #251 on: September 16, 2021, 06:21:25 AM »
con't

Liberals have kept the word in circulation by elevating trash and criminal culture to the level of mainstream culture and even creative art. Thus George Floyd, dead beat dad and serial armed home invader, became the gentle giant family man. It's magic!
I don't know anything about Carl Benjamin, don't care a lot. If he's promoting hate, he would be on my bad side, but I'm not part of the reason people like him are saying what they are saying.
What does this mean about Boghossian? Whatever. I'm less bothered by anything about him than I am about Boston University promoting totalitarian government rule and the end of democracy and other nifty stuff liberal academia's been coming up with.

As one of my favorite professors never said, there's a lot to unpack here. You're blaming liberals for... making a genre of music popular that you don't care for very much?

Nope. I am blaming them for having so much white guilt they don't even have even a modicum of moral confidence left to say 'I'm not going to consume to a type of entertainment that is full of the n-word, misogyny, glorification of crime, violence against cops, free-floating hostility, mindless obscenity, infantile narcissism and pretend that somehow it has to be considered acceptable rather than deeply unhealthy, merely because it comes from some other group's 'lived experience.' And I'm certainly not going to make college courses about how cool it is."  Sowell talks about the Americans who believe that the dregs of black American culture, as opposed to the middle America of black America, is the 'real' black culture and it mustn't be tampered with. It's called 'White liberals and black rednecks.' Quite interesting. Much of it came from Southern white culture and its European roots that held them back as well.
Floyd is another example of a menace becoming a hero for that very reason.
There is absolutely no conclusive evidence that racial animus played a role in Derek Chauvin's performance that day, BTW. You don't need racism to explain police brutality, either. There's plenty of police brutality and in order to assess whether racism is at play one would certainly have to do more than look at the skin color of the two parties. Critical thinking, remember?
Floyd is on T-shirts worn by white people because he is black and they feel guilty being white. It's really not hard to understand.
Quote
If there are hints of the end of democracy as we know it in the wind, such hints weren't born in "liberal academia."

They absolutely do. Your friend Henry Rogers, I mean Ibram X. Kendi will explain it to you:

Quote
https://www.politico.com/interactives/2019/how-to-fix-politics-in-america/inequality/pass-an-anti-racist-constitutional-amendment/

This is literal takeover of the government by non-elected, hired for life bureaucrats who can control everything according to an ideological dogma that will have then become the state religion. Uhm, freedom of speech issue? I think so. Not to mention the man is obviously a sinister character who needs to be stopped.

Well, no. He's proposing a watchdog organization--pretty standard, anodyne stuff. Not my friend, but he seems a good fellow. I do disagree strongly with him in one crucial area, though. Clearly, the Department of Anti-Racism should be called DOAR.

As for liberals and consuming entertainment due to while guilt, well, bushwa. Again, you're talking about personal preferences and individual taste. Unless you really do feel pressured to like or dislike something because you're "supposed" to. That makes you neither a liberal nor a conservative, it makes you a ninnyhammer.

little bongo

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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #252 on: September 16, 2021, 10:59:19 AM »
"As for liberals and consuming entertainment due to while guilt"

I'm sorry--obviously, that should be "As for liberals and consuming entertainment due to white guilt."

mahagonny

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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #253 on: September 16, 2021, 12:06:28 PM »
It's not whether you're pressured to like something so much as that it is taboo to called it what it is, trash and criminal culture glorified. Although there are many whites, again, predominantly liberal, who think everything that ever came from any part of black culture, excepting maybe Bill Cosby or Clarence Thomas, is by definition divine and must be regarded with the highest praise. This is no doubt quite embarrassing to many black Americans.

Quote
Well, no. He's proposing a watchdog organization--pretty standard, anodyne stuff.

Almost standard among boneheads who look to the government to legislate on how Americans should love and respect each other., or something that works under a pretense like that.

Oh well, maybe his cancer will come back.
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Re: Cancelling Dr. Seuss
« Reply #254 on: September 16, 2021, 12:21:01 PM »

So: he's blatantly unqualified to teach the subject and in that department (and clearly does a bad job of it, given what he describes of his own pedagogy); despite that, his contract kept getting renewed every year and he was promoted. He just quit because his university was so committed to employing him that it wouldn't fire him. What a whiner.

How do his qualifications compare to Nikole Hannah-Jones?

Marshy, you understand that Hannah-Jones is a practitioner who teaches what she practices, right?

I honestly can't remember the name of the novelist (Katherine Anne-Porter or Doris Lessing maybe?) who found academics funny because we are so concerned with credentialism over achievement. 

Someone like Hannah-Jones (a fav target of the reactionary Rightwing right now) works in the field at the top of the game.  Do we not think she is competent to stand in a classroom because she lacks a doctorate or some other credential?

Reading your posts I often feel like you are comparing your discipline and your experience in academia to other disciplines not your own, and things are not the same in every field.  What might be true in the sciences is not necessarily true in other academic spheres.