I would like to thank the nice folks who sent me well wishes regarding my busted up leg. I am slowly getting better. My knee that was once the size of half a grapefruit, now has contours similar to a flattened out avocado. I am continuing to take my medication. I also made my first great foray...across the street to get a can of the healing ambrosia known as Coca-Cola and a bag of barbecue potato chips. The walk was epic.
The legendary professional wrestler Jake the Snake Roberts said that the definition of a "professional" is someone who can perform at a much higher level than anyone else regardless of their personal pain, sickness, hurt, or other distractions. I took a foray into a broader world a few hours ago; we shall see if a man with a damaged meniscus can still (relatively speaking) tear the house down.
Tomorrow we will know.
I will talking with friend of WARN Mr. Bill the Lizard later today about his thoughts on the great new movie Mad Max: Fury Road. Our conversation will be included on this week's edition of The Chauncey DeVega Show.
I am still getting my sea legs (or is that leg?) back, so I will be leaning on you good folks to carry the ball a bit as I reorient myself.
As such, here are two quick thoughts to begin the week.
Once more and again, the myth of liberal academia and higher education is exposed. Last week, Saida Grundy, an African-American professor at Boston University had to get on her knee, kiss the ring, and publicly apologize for daring to mutter a basic fact via Social Media: white male college students are a problem population.
By empirical measures of drug use, rape, violence, problem drinking, and other indicators, white male college students (and white men more generally) are in fact a "problem" population. Of course, white people can never be a problem--that is a category exclusively reserved for the Other because the White Racial Frame and the White Gaze dominate all.
America's colleges and universities are subjected to the same social, economic, and political forces as the rest of society. A racist society produces racist social institutions and practices. The university is not immune from that dynamic.
Unfortunately, such basic truth-telling is denied and deflected because of the myth of "liberal" higher education and how the university is a space which is supposed to be "cosmopolitan" and "forward thinking".
As someone who has basically been called a "nigger" to his face both by a former boss, and also by white male students while doing my time at a liberal arts college, this story in the Washington Post about an unapologetically white supremacist and racist professor does not surprise me:
Nearly three decades later, however, Hough’s contempt for conventional wisdom has gotten him into a serious controversy. During the past week, the Duke politics professor has come under attack from students, colleagues and school administrators over allegedly racially “noxious” comments he posted online. The enfant terrible has been accused of simply being terrible.
Reacting to a May 9 editorial in the New York Times titled “How Racism Doomed Baltimore,” Hough posted a six-paragraph comment that compared “the blacks” to “the Asians” and blamed African Americans for refusing to integrate by insisting on “strange new” names.Hough's comment in question:
This editorial is what is wrong. The Democrats are an alliance of Westchester and Harlem, of Montgomery County and intercity Baltimore. Westchester and Montgomery get a Citigroup asset stimulus policy that triples the market. The blacks get a decline in wages after inflation.
But the blacks get symbolic recognition in an utterly incompetent mayor who handled this so badly from beginning to end that her resignation would be demanded if she were white. The blacks get awful editorials like this that tell them to feel sorry for themselves.
In 1965 the Asians were discriminated against as least as badly as blacks. That was reflected in the word “colored.” The racism against what even Eleanor Roosevelt called the yellow races was at least as bad.
So where are the editorials that say racism doomed the Asian-Americans. They didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard.
I am a professor at Duke University. Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration. Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration. The amount of Asian-white dating is enormous and so surely will be the intermarriage. Black-white dating is almost non-existent because of the ostracism by blacks of anyone who dates a white.
It was appropriate that a Chinese design won the competition for the Martin Luther King state. King helped them overcome. The blacks followed Malcolm X.Despite Republican and culture warrior fantasies of their enemies in "liberal academia", the White Right has far more allies and friends in that social milieu than is widely known.
Mad Men aired its final episode last evening. I have a huge amount of respect for Mad Men as a project. I was however disappointed with how it abandoned all of the potentially exciting and ideologically disruptive moments that a more full exploration of race and the colorline in the context of its White imaginary could have provided the show. Mad Men also dropped the ball by evading the rich history of African-American ad agencies and how their "mad men" intersected with their fellow dream merchants on the other side of the colorline.
The show teased such a foray when Peter asked a black elevator attendant about the types of televisions that "negroes" like in an episode several years ago. Perhaps, the show's creator Matt Weiner felt that white folks do not want to have their Mad Men fantasies disrupted by too many black people--except when the latter are giant negroes robbing Joan and Roger--or being asked to navigate their structured semi-absence on the show (as in the idyllic lie that is 1950s and early 1960s "good old days" America).
Mad Men's finale, and Donald Sterling's character arc, are smart and insightful explorations of white masculinity, the rise of the neoliberal multicultural corporate state, racial capitalism, and the human livestock management provided by the State via such programs as the New Age movement and yoga.
I know that I am not the only person who will be writing an article on that topic. Thus, there is no harm in sharing it.
I wonder if the average viewer of Mad Men's finale (and the show more generally) understood that Matt Weiner's vision of a culture of illusion, consumerist fantasy, self-gratification, excess, and faux notions of "diversity" is largely an accurate historical account that is only pretending to be fiction?