The University of Georgia Needs to Disown its Most Notorious Living Graduate.

Rescind her degree; denounce her; make it clear you will have nothing to do with her. The University of Georgia – long designated on this blog The Worst University in America (not all posts at this link are about the University of Georgia; scroll around a bit) – has drawn attention to its worstness again by having spawned this vile nut. Without at least a statement expressing its embarrassment that it allowed itself to be sullied by her, the school will forever be known as the place that awarded a degree to one of the most squalid minds America has ever thrown up.

We have a very dangerously insane president.

Pressure is building from many directions – government, industry – to finally invoke the 25th Amendment. Too bad you can’t use it to bring down every disgusting country-killer in Congress who colluded in the madness. They also bear responsibility for one of the most hideous days in American history.

Joseph Epstein and Palinolatory

I can’t believe Doctorate Discourse has lasted a week. Here’s the deal: WSJ op ed & subsequent attacks are motivated by hatred of Joe Biden, with Jill Biden being used as a surrogate target. They should be dismissed as nasty & sexist, without arguments dignified as serious.

Jeet Heer’s tweet goes to why my Joseph Epstein commentary began with his unabashed praise of Sarah Palin [scroll down] during that election cycle. A hyper-scrupulous aesthete/critic who above all admires the writing of Henry James, Epstein claimed to find Sarah Palin more than intellectually and morally astute enough to assume the presidency.

Heet is correct that Epstein is best seen as a political hack, doing what hacks do — in his praise of Palin, a woman who embodies everything for which he actually has contempt, and in his attack on Jill Biden.

“[N]ote how the [Northwestern University English] department’s statement doesn’t even include [Joseph] Epstein’s name. Is he such a non-person now that even mentioning his name would be offensive?”

No. That’s not the reason NU’s English department (where UD was a student, and where she knew Epstein) quite consciously deleted Epstein’s name.

Turnabout is fair play. If Epstein is going to erase Jill Biden (not just her Dr. title, but anything other than the humiliating “First Lady,” for which he counsels her to settle), NU can do the same thing to Epstein. It’s all about (to use Jill Biden’s term for what Epstein tried to do) “diminishing.” You flatten another human being to nothingness; we’ll do the same to you. How does it feel to be diminished to some temporary nameless long-forgotten adjunct?

Epstein was strategic in his non-personing of Jill Biden; Northwestern will be equally strategic. Bruce Bawer unsurprisingly takes note of the diminishment. But he misreads its motive. Mentioning Epstein’s name would not be offensive; it would be unjust.

‘[Joseph Epstein complains that university] Presidents are no longer the towering intellects of yore,’ writes Tom Bartlett.

Epstein indeed has a long list of complaints about the falling off of moral and intellectual seriousness among university presidents. To which UD once again has to say: What a bald-faced hypocrite.

The university president who conferred Epstein’s one honorary degree – his crony, Peter Diamandopoulos of Adelphi University – was little more than a thief, who was made to reimburse the university for at least some of the money and perks to which he helped himself.

The sole university president in the country who considered Joseph Epstein worthy of an honorary degree was so corrupt that his tenure at Adelphi has a whole book about corruption devoted to it: SUNY Buffalo sociologist Lionel Lewis wrote, a few years after the ignominious fall of this greedy, amoral man, When Power Corrupts: Academic Governing Boards in the Shadow of the Adelphi Case.

If Epstein had a bit of decency, he’d return – or at least repudiate – this heavily soiled honor.

So by all means let us be lectured on university ethics by Diamandopoulos’s boy!

‘[The point is to control] who gets to be considered genuinely intellectually lofty…’

A writer in The Forward isolates a major motive behind Joseph Epstein’s notorious WSJ essay : Keeping certain categories of people out of the senior common room.

But when UD considers Epstein’s own number one intellectual exemplar, the room looks a bit dull-witted. The critic Hilton Kramer, for instance, “argued that Mikhail Gorbachev was a far bigger threat to the free world than Joseph Stalin had ever been,” notes Jeet Heer.

Kramer

stood in steadfast opposition to the idea that gays should be open and equal citizens in a democratic polity. He did this moreover not by making any rational arguments against gay equality but by constantly and snidely assuming that the very practice of gay sex was naturally repugnant to all right-thinking people.

Queers and women seemed to rub him the wrong way.

About one of America’s most prominent female intellectuals Kramer wrote, “In the end, Mary McCarthy’s politics were like her sex life—promiscuous and unprincipled, more a question of opportunity than of commitment or belief.” When writing about sexually active heterosexual male intellectuals (notably McCarthy’s ex-husband Edmund Wilson) Kramer somehow avoided the word promiscuous. Like a school yard bully, Kramer knew that slut-shaming is reserved for girls.

When you add to the common room the whole guy gang Epstein hung out with in those heady intellectual days, the place looks positively scummy. Kramer was a trustee at Adelphi University, an institution being run into the ground by Kramer’s buddy, the scandalous Peter Diamandopoulos. It took years of litigation for Adelphi to get rid of Diamandopoulos, who basically spent every moment of his presidency taking as much money as he could out of the school.

While president of Adelphi, Diamandopoulous arranged an honorary degree for Joseph Epstein. Given the vileness of this university-dismantler, it is in fact a dishonorary degree, and Epstein should have repudiated it.

A few scenes starring these stewards of the university:

[Diamandopoulos] entertaining his old friend on the board, John Silber, over dinner and drinks ended up costing Adelphi $546. Dr. Silber was president and is now chancellor of Boston University.

The next day, food and drinks with another trustee, Hilton Kramer, and a second guest cost the university $707. Mr. Kramer is The New York Observer’s art critic and a media critic for The New York Post.

The meal charges were actually modest; it was the bar tab that drove up the grand total. The bill was $454 for the 1982 Brion wine and Martell 100 cognac that Dr. Silber and Dr. Diamandopoulos drank. And the 1983 Chaval and Martell that he and Mr. Kramer sipped cost $552.

Promiscuous and unprincipled at the expense of the students for whom he was supposed to be acting as a trustee, Kramer seems a strange moral or intellectual exemplar for anyone – except, I guess, for Epstein.

It’s wild. It’s wild for UD to think about Jerzy Soltan, her father-in-law, interacting with Philip Johnson.

Both architects had a lifelong connection to the Harvard Graduate School of Design and must have had quite a number of encounters. Yet think of it:

1.) Jerzy fought with the Polish army against the Nazis and barely survived the battle; then he barely survived six years of prisoner of war camp.

2.) Philip was a fucking NAZI! A real live Nazi who tried to start an American fascist party and loved him some Hitler! He celebrated the destruction of Warsaw! He attended Nuremberg rallies and it’s clear from his descriptions of his response to them that they made him come! Come, reader. Like have an orgasm.

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UD actually kind of finds it hard to imagine a universe in which these two men exist together; she totally can’t create a clear picture in her head of Cambridge only fifteen or twenty years after the war and ANYTHING civilized being exchanged between these two. Did Jerzy know about Philip’s profound commitment to and delight in the violent destruction of everything Jerzy not only held dear but for which he practically gave his life? “We saw Warsaw burn and Modlin being bombed,” he wrote [in a letter during the war]. “It was a stirring spectacle.”

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I mean, Jerzy already disliked Johnson because of Johnson’s commitment to postmodernism, to be sure; but can he also have known he was talking to a degenerate, seemingly unregenerate, Hitlerian?? If so, how can he have agreed to be in the same room with him? I’m thinking he must not have known.

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But, well, fascinating fascism and all that. Most people who know about architecture have long known that Johnson was a brownshirted jackbooted antisemite… which is like SOOOO fascinating… SOOOO offbeat and edgy and out there… Oh, Philip, stop it!! (Giggle.)

[L]et us not forget his playbook (or his witticisms), so that we can recognize future versions when they arise: the nihilism and casual dismissal of the human that inspired his dark grids and glass-clad castles. I see traces of those qualities in certain architects who claim to be humanists, but whose work instead celebrates their own grandeur. Philip Johnson wasn’t just a racist and fascist: He was a cultured, rich cad who made us forget our own failings as a country and as a profession.

And it is fascinating to old UD, the way we extend a weird sort of – what’s the phrase everyone’s using these days? – preemptive pardon to people like Gore Vidal (UD loves Vidal and even made a pilgrimage to his DC gravesite, but there’s no denying his Johnsonian ugliness in old age) and Kingsley Amis. And maybe we should extend a pardon. But Philip Johnson was no garden variety bigot; he was a brilliant and principled Hitlerian. He laughed it all away years later and people let him. Look how long it’s taken for the civilized world to start erasing monuments to the fucker.

Mr RISE UP! rises down.

Now that he’s exposed millions of Americans to a fatal pathogen, embarrassed his home institution (Stanford), and called on the people of Michigan to rise up against their governor because she’s trying to arrest the spread of covid, Scott Atlas’s work for Mr Trump is done. He has resigned, trailing clouds of gory.

Hoover. Damn!

Bitter-Ender Trumpian Scott Atlas is on leave at the moment from Stanford’s Hoover Institutution, but his connection to the place still means that the university gets besmirched with each of his increasingly debauched statements about covid. His latest command to the citizens of Michigan that they “RISE UP” against their governor for her commitment to their health is so disgusting that Stanford has been moved to make a public statement against him.

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UD thanks a reader for correcting the first name of Atlas; with my literary sensibility I seem to have decided it was James Atlas. It is Scott.

Relax. There’s Plenty to Go Around for Everybody.

[The] leadership that we have … seems characterized by callousness and a level of cruelty that I think is really dangerous and then it infects the population…

‘At my university, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion offered three workshops… : one “for faculty of color,” another “for women of color” and a third “for white allies.” … [C]riticism forced them to back down.’

LOLOLOL. And the university is San Diego State! Feast your eyes! For years, it has consistently been one of the shittiest, drugs-guns-frats-and-jocks-choked scandals in America.

One of the more notorious drug raids in this country took place at SDSU’s well-armed Theta Chi fraternity. One of UD‘s colleagues left her university to last barely six years as SDSU’s president, his unflagging personal greed an insult to students, faculty, alumni, and of course the state legislature.

It’s such a bad school. UD‘s so not surprised it hired people to add segregation to its stupidities and misdeeds.

UD has for years tracked the decline and fall of Ocean City Maryland …

… a place where her family has roots starting in 1911. Like Myrtle Beach, OC has allowed itself (for stupid short-sighted commercial reasons) to be taken over by anarchic and/or criminal elements; and now that it’s a guns/booze/street fights/muscle car wasteland, there’s not much it can do about it. It’s hard to walk back the destruction of civic life.

The mayor, for instance, outlawed a major car rally for this year, after it spent last year trashing the city and “terrorizing” residents. But the rally guys said fuck you we’re coming anyway. They’re in OC right now, and will stay for a few more days.

In the language of a desperate, last-minute law the city got through the General Assembly, these are the actions that can trigger a $1,000 fine and/or sixty days in jail.

  • Excessive or abrupt acceleration or deceleration.
  • Skidding, squealing, burning or smoking tires.
  • Swerving or swaying a vehicle.
  • Producing an unreasonably loud engine noise.
  • Grinding gears.
  • Wheels losing contact with the ground.
  • Transporting a passenger on the hood or roof.

Weren’t you smart to buy a condo in Ocean City?

La Pasionaria

How dully predictable that the endpoint of Jessica Krug’s violent nihilism is murder. Here she is exciting herself and her audience by applauding the gang killing of a fifteen year old kid who wanted to be a policeman.

Wonder if the clip was part of her George Washington University tenure application.

Fifty percent off sale! Everything must go!

Owner selling because she “doesn’t need so much space.”

All this attorney couple …

lacks are two Presa Canarios.

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