So I got sent a link to this.
I suspect this will be quite rambly, one’s hypomania is…….yeah. Loose associations. My mood is about here, especially as I’m hoping to see BM tonight.
To be honest I’m quite glad that Angelina Jolie Pitt has been made a professor because, in my opinion, academia has sunk so low that bringing in someone that, “has been on more than fifty field missions” adds more empiricism to academia and knowledge than would adding fifty more academics to the payroll so they can bore us all to death with Foucauldian banalities under the rubric of “theory”.
For one thing Angelina’s English is usually lucid and so I expect that she’ll be able to communicate her experience much better than the average academic whose English is an exercise in obscurantism, sesquipedalianism and the use of meaningless noun phrases usually because what they have to say is utterly trivial. If people could actually understand what was being said, they wouldn’t rack up huge debts for a, “university education”. Unless it was in STEM or classics. Not that I’m biased.
Compare the language use in Nature to the language use in an equally prestigious journal of the arts, humanities or social sciences. It’s interesting how the fundamental nature of the universe can be described in clear English; the reports of the latest experiments in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, all these can be elucidated in such a way that anyone can understand them with a scientific dictionary and some background reading, but nothing in the social sciences, or humanities, can be talked about without producing a word salad…….the thinking is that disordered.
Mind you, it’s not like postmodernism or poststructuralism, especially the later with it’s absurd notion that reality is created by language, rather like God speaking the universe into existence, particularly lends itself to rational thinking. If the language is inherently meaningless because it doesn’t draw on and describe an exterior reality, then your thoughts are as meaningless as the language in which you are having them. It’s rather like trying to program a computer with a broken programming language so it’s little wonder that the end result is a word salad.
It’s why academia is so disjointed: People using Lacan who uses Freud decades after Freud’s own discipline largely moved on from him. Feminists talking about gender being a social construct decades after biologists and geneticists demonstrated the opposite and still talking about the wage gap decades after economists debunked it. That’s the trouble with so much of this stuff in the social sciences: it requires a person to be well read and current in many different areas that they hold no qualifications in.
If they went and talked to the philosophy department about epistemology they’d get ripped apart, if they talked to economists about the bits of their work that touch on economics they’d get trashed and if they talked to the psychologists about their psychological insights they’d get laughed at.
I suspect that this is why it’s rapidly degenerating into race baiting. If you want to be the cool kid in the academy it’s simple: you attack white males. Chuck around buzzwords, blame the failures of others on the pale males whose gender identity matches their genitals and off you go. It’s so bourgeois, so boring, so utterly done to death and it’s backfiring massively.
It’s successfully racialised a whole generation of white guys that would otherwise would never have seen race as being an important part of their identity and are changing the dominant standpoint on race from colour blindness being a good thing, to thinking of everyone and everything in terms of race and privilege. So basically academia has achieved what the Neo-Nazis and American Renaissance couldn’t. I think the idea was that white males are basically just like everyone else and would have a revaluation of morals, adopt the same victim mentality/slave morality as all other groups in the oppression olympics and begin working to deconstruct the system that we’ve built.
Actually what’s happening is the Alt-Right and white identity politics and the concomitant rise of parties ludicrously called “far right”. You wanted white males to be race conscious……..you got it. We’re not checking our privilege; we built the system, we earned the privilege. What’s our highest value? Don’t be a cuck….telling us that we need to cuck ourselves really isn’t going to work, trying to guilt trip us into cucking ourselves isn’t going to work either.
They’re all, “The system doesn’t work, the system is collapsing, the education system has gone to shit!” and we’re like, “Don’t look at us; you lot have been running things for fifty years and been running it in a way consciously designed to remove white male influence.” I say running, really since the 70’s they’ve all been obsessed with deconstructionism; so they can produce graduates who know how to pull things apart but not graduates who know how to maintain and build. There’s more slave morality: they can subvert what the master creates, but not create anything themselves.
Look how we responded to Gamergate: Why don’t you make your own games? Our response to everything that we make that everyone else criticises is: make your own. Make your own films, make your own music, make your own games, whatever it is that you do not like, make your own. Make your own system that privileges you. Show us this better thing that you keep nagging us to make for you. Thing is, they can’t. If you gave them a sheet of paper and told them to make a paper aeroplane they’d be too busy ranting about the whiteness of the paper to actually make the damn thing. The best that they can do is look at other people’s paper aeroplanes and complain that their pointiness makes them phallic and therefore a symbol of patriarchal oppression and off they go into “dominant discourses” rarara.
Not even a thought is given to maybe the reason why the dominant thing is dominant; you would think that if you’re going to bash white males it would lead to a socio-economic analysis of Europe in relation to other cultures, like Jones does in The European Miracle or Pomeranz does in The Great Divergence or maybe touch on sociological issues as Siedentop does in Inventing the Individual . You’d think that, like white males do, other people would be like, “How the fuck does 7% of the global population so totally dominate the other 93%?”. We can talk about slavery, we can talk about imperialism and colonialism, by we I mean white males, and the level of debate is much higher between us than it is from groups who are actively hating on us. Instead the starting point of this “discussion” is right bang in the middle with “the social construction of whiteness” sometime in the seventeenth or eighteenth century.
Almost the first two millennia of the history and development of white males is totally ignored, it’s just taken for granted that through pure evilness white males came to dominate the planet: it’s taken as a moral difference between white males and everyone else who never had slaves or wars, committed genocide. The world implied by their analysis was a utopian garden of Eden and the noble savages of the world, because of their innate goodness and innocence, had no means to resist the evil white males.
If you’re going to say “White males must be stopped” then to my mind you need to know everything about how white males operate: how did we get to this point, what is it that they’re doing that’s kicking our arse? Have they always been kicking our arses? Is there something we can learn from them so that they can’t kick our arse? How exactly is this tiny little group of people so able to overcome such overwhelming odds and do it so overwhelmingly? This is an analysis that white males are attempting. As a rule though, academia isn’t interested because it means doing hard work; it means trawling through documents from different fields of study: all of the books above are meta-analyses and presentations of the state of current scholarship across disparate fields but none of it will leak through to people ranting at white males because they’re not interested in learning and understanding, they’re only capable of criticising and subverting.
Their intellectualism is a very second order intellectualism: they pat themselves on the back for critiquing what other people make and then demand leadership in society because they’re “intellectuals” and “experts”. As R always says, “Everyone is a fucking critic”.
This is the state academia is in and so if Angelina Jolie Pitt, or anyone else, is brought in from outside it can only be an improvement.
Off out drinking.