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shrinkykitten

"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.

4.21.2007

Go read this,

come back, and let's discuss it.

4 Comments:

At 12:44 AM, Blogger StyleyGeek said...

I don't know anything about the content of any of those courses or books, but from what I know of other, similarly titled courses/books by other academics, I imagine that any student who actually confronted and engaged with these sorts of ideas would be LESS likely to go off on a weird-ass violence-filled rampage against society. If people learn anything from social science and humanities classes, it generally includes ways of processing problematic aspects of society intellectually, and even tolerance and new respect for other people.

 
At 10:08 AM, Blogger Anastasia said...

my first thought is this is a tired old rant.

it also strikes me that the author can't really address what's going on in the classroom(s), only what he (thinks he) can tell from the website.

The latter seems important to me since I teach a class on death and we do talk at length about violence, war, obsession with guns and lots of other disturbing things. But it's done in a way that has the effect Styley points out: students are more sensitive to the issues and have new tools to process what they see around them. none of that is about to spur a violent rampage.

honestly, why don't we look into the idea that the stress of being a college student, a minority and immigrant of a lower socio-economic class than his peers was overwhelming to this obviously already unstable person? That makes more sense to me than "nasty liberal academia did this to the sad little asian boy."

 
At 12:49 PM, Blogger Clio Bluestocking said...

To be totally glib: What a dumbass. I've seen this tactic before. The critic grabs a syllabus from online, and deduces the entire content of the course, including the attitutde of the professor, from one or two sentences.

I do like his original question, "Was Cho taught to hate?" Except, I thought that he was going to go into a serious, analysis of our culture and the ways in which hate-speech, self-interest at the expense of others, and very un-friendly competition are encouraged; or maybe the subtle cues of racism against Asian-Americans or against immigrants (Cho has lived here since he was a kid, and the blogger still calls the US his "host country" -- and that could lead me into another rant about how Americans treat their "host countries" abroad).

But, no, same ole same ole.

 
At 8:42 AM, Anonymous wolfa said...

OMG! Like, university professors aren't being *parents* anymore! Sky falling! Sky falling! Help!

If he was in fact taught to hate, so were all the people who took those classes. Somehow, none of them went on a rampage. Also, self-justifying is possibly the most common human personality trait -- it's not like no one would think of it without taking a course.

He may well have been taught to hate, though not as unsubtly as this post suggests, or maybe the problems of being a poor immigrant, a minority, someone with untreated mental health issues (probably), or all of the above, or none, or something else. But we are not going to know the answers a few days later.

 

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