Friday, November 13, 2015



•   The right-wing commentariat has gone absolutely bonkers over the college kids with their microaggressions and their safe spaces and whatnot -- especially since the Missouri crisis got a significant number of black people involved. It's like S.W.I.N.E. meets the Black Panthers! Hence, headlines like "The First Amendment is Dying" (National Review), "The Self-Destruction of the American University" (Weekly Standard), "A Generation that Hates Free Speech" (Commentary), etc. NR drama queen David French has a good one: Before inviting his fellow nuts to purge the universities of liberal taint ("Conservatives possess the power of the federal purse... It’s time for a cultural and political war against the intellectual and legal corruption of the university Left"), he tells this cautionary tale of the commie campus and what it did to a friend's kid:
Years ago, I left my law firm — where I worked as a commercial litigator — to defend free speech, religious liberty, and due process on campus, first as president of FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), then as director of the Center for Academic Freedom at the nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom. As I left, a friend asked why I’d give up my practice to take on higher-education reform. He was incredulous. His daughter had just been accepted to an elite college, he’d just visited, and he found the school to be everything he imagined — expensive, yes, but beautiful, prestigious, and fun.

In less than a year, he apologized. He understood my career choice. His daughter had come home for the holidays, transformed. The vibrant, joyful Christian girl who’d left for school had returned sullen and depressed. She hated her family’s values, she resented her parents, and she was obviously drinking too much. The school had stripped down her value system — all in the name of “critical thinking” — and replaced it with angry groupthink. Life and hope were replaced with fear and loathing. A social-justice warrior was born.
The kid went to college and rejected her family's values. Obviously they should have sent her to a Christian finishing school instead of an "elite college." Now it'll take a shitload of reprogramming to get her to sing hymns and hate paupers again! [shakes fist] Liberal academia, you have made a powerful enemy! We won't rest until Yale and all those radical hotbeds teach nothing but Reagan, God and Jesus!

•   I'll tell you the real problem with the kids today. Many years ago I lived at 174 Rivington Street in the Lower East Side. You'd think there'd be a plaque there, but no. Instead, according to the New Yorker, there is this:
Like its spiritual hero, Ron Burgundy, of “Anchorman,” this popular new Will Ferrell-themed bar on the Lower East Side is a loud, swinging, bad-taste good time. Fan art hangs on the walls; a nook in the back is decorated with lava lamps, cowbells, and a (jazz) flute. But, like Ferrell’s George W. Bush, the bar can be fuzzy on strategery. Where Ferrell’s characters joyfully mock obnoxiousness, Stay Classy celebrates it, serving sweet cocktails whose jokey names (Smelly Pirate Hooker, Dirty Mike and the Boys) are printed in all caps on a laminated menu...
I weep for this generation.

•   Real quick, for theater fans in New York: The Ivo van Hove production of A View from The Bridge is stateside now. I saw a simulcast of it from London some months back. I'm always nervous when a classic text gets the whoopee treatment from an ambitious director, and when the actors came out barefoot into what looked like an oversized bocce pit, I steeled for the worst. But it turns out turning the dial up one or two notches on the subtext, and even getting a little Grotowksi with it, actually helps this already-weird play a great deal, especially with brave actors like these embodying the furies. I bought it all, including the quasi-choral handling of the climax, and when it was over I felt like I'd been somewhere and I don't mean Red Hook. Recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment