‘We hope this will give people—especially those who believe in liberalism, progress, modernity, open inquiry, and social justice—a clear reason to look at the identitarian madness coming out of the academic and activist left and say, “No, I will not go along with that. You do not speak for me.”’

Well, good luck with that; your Grievance Studies hoax (aka Daughter of Sokal), just now disclosed, will get plenty of attention, etc.

It might even help people understand how scandals like Avital Ronell happen.

But although the hoaxes keep coming, and although America’s best minds – Richard Rorty, for one – have for decades warned us about the deadly combination of hypertheory and political correctness —

When one of today’s academic leftists says that some topic has been ‘inadequately theorized,’ you can be pretty certain that he or she is going to drag in either philosophy of language, or Lacanian psychoanalysis, or some neo-Marxist version of economic determinism. Theorists of the Left think that dissolving political agents into plays of differential subjectivity, or political initiatives into pursuits of Lacan’s impossible object of desire, helps to subvert the established order. Such subversion, they say, is accomplished by ‘problematizing familiar concepts.’

Recent attempts to subvert social institutions by problematizing concepts have produced a few very good books. They have also produced many thousands of books which represent scholastic philosophizing at its worst. The authors of these purportedly ‘subversive’ books honestly believe that they are serving human liberty. But it is almost impossible to clamber back down from their books to a level of abstraction on which one might discuss the merits of a law, a treaty, a candidate, or a political strategy. Even though what these authors ‘theorize’ is often something very concrete and near at hand – a current TV show, a media celebrity, a recent scandal – they offer the most abstract and barren explanations imaginable.

— no one seems able to find their way out of the fog.

“It’s time for India to join the list.”

[T]he burqa has already been banned in some form or another in several countries of Western Europe, such as France, Belgium and Austria. The Netherlands and Denmark are the two latest countries to place a ban on the burqa. Bans in various forms, such as bans on burqas in schools and colleges, or other public places or in certain jurisdictions, are also in place in Germany and Norway.

All of these are democratic and technologically advanced countries as well as free societies with high levels of gender equality. The … Freedom House report ranks Norway as the freest country in the whole world, with a perfect score of 100/100. The Netherlands, with a score of 99/100, comes second.

Ban it in India.

When you get old enough to need to install…

… a bar in the shower.

‘I’ve spent my whole adult life in rarefied academic circles, where everyone has a good income and excellent working conditions. Yet I know many people in that world who are seething with resentment because they aren’t at Harvard or Yale, or who actually are at Harvard or Yale but are seething all the same because they haven’t received a Nobel Prize.’

SING IT.

Welcome to my world
Won’t you come on in?
Ivies and Nobels
Are there for me to win

Step into my heart
Leave your cares behind
Welcome to my world
Built with me in mind

Knock and all doors will open
Seek and I will find
Ask and I’ll be given
The key to this world of mine

*********************

Seething all the same
A hedgie lives next door
See how they rig the game
He makes ten million more

Krugman’s in the Times
Every week or two
I am far behind
In the Chronicle‘s The View

Ivy? Sure. Cornell.
But it’s rated last.
Life’s a living hell
My rage is unsurpassed

**************************

Related:

[T]he eliter-than-elite kids [at Ivy League schools] themselves help create a provisional inside-the-Ivy hierarchy that lets all the other privileged kids, the ones who are merely upper-upper middle class, feel the spur of resentment and ambition that keeps us running, keeps us competing, keeps us sharp and awful in all the ways that meritocracy requires.

Il était encore …

en vie??

*********

She.

Separated at Birth:

Kafka.

And Rooney Mara.

Notes Toward a Fictional Supreme

On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail.

*******************

My title comes from this poem.

Hell, that’s …

nothing. University of Maryland football killed a guy.

Catholic University attempts to rein in one of its more enthusiastic deans.

McCarrick, Wuerl, and … just… wow… So at least the Catholic church in DC has decided that one of its university’s deans shouldn’t get a pass when he writes this:

[Julie] Swetnick is 55 y/o. Kavanaugh is 52 y/o. Since when do senior girls hang with freshmen boys? If it happened when Kavanaugh was a senior, Swetnick was an adult drinking with&by her admission, having sex with underage boys. In another universe, he would be victim & she the perp!

In another universe, Chilean priests and monks wouldn’t “[create] their own sick sign language to command the deaf and mute boys to perform oral sex and be sodomized.” Maybe CU’s social justice dean should direct his attention to that.

Washington Post Endorses UD’s neighbor…

… for Montgomery County Executive.

When Nancy was merely the mayor of Garrett Park, Maryland, UD wrote about her for the town’s paper, The Bugle.

Latest GP news, by the way:

Eileen [Kelly’s] very large Japanese Zelkova tree … has now been certified as the largest one in the country.

Algeria, Morocco…

What’ll they think of next?

Life of the mind…

pussy ass muthafucka!

Why is everyone at LSU and Southern University …

“stunned”?

Beautiful weather, a low cost of living and gorgeous natural surroundings haven’t stopped Louisiana’s capital city from making it big in the world of crime and murder. Baton Rouge has outdone the rest of the state, which is [itself] 40 percent more violent than the nation as a whole. New Orleans is more popular, so Baton Rouge seized the opportunity to top the violent crime list. Baton Rouge isn’t a very large city, but it manages to attract attention by having 49 murders annually. If you have a death wish, it’s a great destination.

Why would you send your kid to school there?

Speaking of…

sex dolls, the composer of the immortal Plastic Fantastic Lover has died.

“Today everything that is wrong with our state has taken hold and shaken me. Senseless gun violence has once again taken another young soul from us. It’s crushing.”

Southern University homecoming event.

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UD REVIEWED

Dr. Bernard Carroll, known as the "conscience of psychiatry," contributed to various blogs, including Margaret Soltan's University Diaries, for which he sometimes wrote limericks under the name Adam.
New York Times

George Washington University English professor Margaret Soltan writes a blog called University Diaries, in which she decries the Twilight Zone-ish state our holy land’s institutes of higher ed find themselves in these days.
The Electron Pencil

It’s [UD's] intellectual honesty that makes her blog required reading.
Professor Mondo

There's always something delightful and thought intriguing to be found at Margaret Soltan's no-holds-barred, firebrand tinged blog about university life.
AcademicPub

You can get your RDA of academic liars, cheats, and greedy frauds at University Diaries. All disciplines, plus athletics.
truffula, commenting at Historiann

Margaret Soltan at University Diaries blogs superbly and tirelessly about [university sports] corruption.
Dagblog

University Diaries. Hosted by Margaret Soltan, professor of English at George Washington University. Boy is she pissed — mostly about athletics and funding, the usual scandals — but also about distance learning and diploma mills. She likes poems too. And she sings.
Dissent: The Blog

[UD belittles] Mrs. Palin's degree in communications from the University of Idaho...
The Wall Street Journal

Professor Margaret Soltan, blogging at University Diaries... provide[s] an important voice that challenges the status quo.
Lee Skallerup Bessette, Inside Higher Education

[University Diaries offers] the kind of attention to detail in the use of language that makes reading worthwhile.
Sean Dorrance Kelly, Harvard University

Margaret Soltan's ire is a national treasure.
Roland Greene, Stanford University

The irrepressibly to-the-point Margaret Soltan...
Carlat Psychiatry Blog

Margaret Soltan, whose blog lords it over the rest of ours like a benevolent tyrant...
Perplexed with Narrow Passages

Margaret Soltan is no fan of college sports and her diatribes on the subject can be condescending and annoying. But she makes a good point here...
Outside the Beltway

From Margaret Soltan's excellent coverage of the Bernard Madoff scandal comes this tip...
Money Law

University Diaries offers a long-running, focused, and extremely effective critique of the university as we know it.
Anthony Grafton, American Historical Association

The inimitable Margaret Soltan is, as usual, worth reading. ...
Medical Humanities Blog

I awake this morning to find that the excellent Margaret Soltan has linked here and thereby singlehandedly given [this blog] its heaviest traffic...
Ducks and Drakes

As Margaret Soltan, one of the best academic bloggers, points out, pressure is mounting ...
The Bitch Girls

Many of us bloggers worry that we don’t post enough to keep people’s interest: Margaret Soltan posts every day, and I more or less thought she was the gold standard.
Tenured Radical

University Diaries by Margaret Soltan is one of the best windows onto US university life that I know.
Mary Beard, A Don's Life

[University Diaries offers] a broad sense of what's going on in education today, framed by a passionate and knowledgeable reporter.
More magazine, Canada

If deity were an elected office, I would quit my job to get her on the ballot.
Notes of a Neophyte