Over at Phi Beta Cons, a gaggle of third-string conservative buffoons continues to lock horns with the "crisis" in higher education. On this fine sparkling morning, George Leef applauds Larry Summers for "saying no" to a Harvard course in Latino Studies. Why is this worthy of admiration (beyond the fact that it's yet another miracle worked by this Christlike martyr)? Perhaps because unlike Neoplatonism, fracture mechanics or the polyphonic motets of Lassus, Latino Studies are of no conceivable interest to anyone but nonwhites and their pathetic courtiers.
But Summers can't be everywhere at once, sad to say. Leef notes that the University of North Carolina does have a minor in Latino Studies...only they call it "Latina/o Studies." More proof that political correctness is running amok! Are we to tolerate such crimes against typographical norms, simply in order to recognize the distinction between men and women in a language with gendered nouns?
Leef has a number of complaints with "Latina/o Studies." This one is particularly revealing:
Whatever generalizations a student might draw from having taken courses in the Latina/o minor are apt to be inapplicable to many individual Latinos they might encounter.Because after all, that's the purpose of courses like these, isn't it? To help white students make pat, facile generalizations and apply them to an entire culture? I must say, that's exactly the sort of nonsense I'd expect from the sort of patchouli-drenched, queer-coddling Marxists who teach at colleges.
I also like being lectured about higher education by someone who uses "they" to refer to "a student." If William F. Buckley Jr. saw this, he'd be spinning in his grave, if he were dead.
The subtext of all this, of course, is that college students are mere vessels to be filled with whatever flavor of Kool-Aid the teacher prefers. To be a vessel for the theories of F.A. Hayek is to be educated; to be a vessel for "Latino Studies" is to be indoctrinated. As usual, the same lack of character that makes the average conservative a hapless toady to authority makes him or her unable to imagine that other people aren't hapless toadies to authority.
But perhaps I'm being too theoretical here. The teachers I know may secretly long to indoctrinate their students, but most of them would settle for getting students to read assigned books and turn in homework. Or at the very least, to stop talking on cell phones during class. Even if participating in the Revolution earned students an automatic A+, I fear the barricades might be substantially underpersonned.
Meanwhile, Carol Iannone, stylishly decked out in a black ski mask and a camouflage jumpsuit, with her Kalishnikov slung over one shoulder, reads her manifesto to the world:
I would also want an acknowledgement that men and women are different.Something tells me that this "acknowledgement" of difference doesn't include making any distinction between Latinos and Latinas. But perhaps I'm making an unfair assumption about Iannone, based on nothing more concrete than the hardwired irrationalism of her sex.
Iannone has other earnest (if ungrammatical) ideas for fixing higher education:
I think a return to single sex dorms might be considered. I think a kind of coarsening toward the opposite sex occurs with that, making women too available and too ordinary....If you look back on old college rules, or just see some old movies, you get a lot of inspiration.Old movies, eh? Fair enough. Is Rope old enough? Or should we go all the way back to Horsefeathers?
And really...old movies give Iannone "a lot of inspiration" to do what, exactly? To write ahistorical, semiliterate gibberish on NRO? To prattle irresponsibly about the need to keep women from seeming "too ordinary," while wondering why on earth those pesky feminists would have concerns about issues of agency and representation?
Never mind that the punitive morality of these movies was, as often as not, the spoonful of medicine that helped the sugar of exploitative onscreen sexuality go down. To know-nothing hysterics like Iannone, yesterday's cynical, market-based pandering to hypocrisy is today's dewy-eyed innocence.
Iannone also wants to see an end to "interracial antagonism" at American colleges. It just may be that old college rules, and old movies, have a solution for that postmodern woe, too...if only we have the courage to heed them. Where's Larry Summers when you need him?