Monday, April 8, 2013

Tidying up

Over the weekend, we all 
had the opportunity to see 
in The New York Times --

everyone who’s come up through Ivy League culture knows intuitively — that elite universities are about connecting more than learning, that the social world matters far more than the classroom to undergraduates ..

Ignoring the vulgarity of the thought of 'coming up,' much less through a culture, if it exists, with which all are inspired and enabled to contend at these ostensibly elite institutions (and why is it, do we suppose, that this adjec-tive always draws a pass when its relevance is being assert-ed?), we reach the defining vulgarity of the argument, a canard without substantiation because it is so universally accepted, that an X undefined, when a fixation of the critic, is more material than a Y his claim repudiates by prejudice. With rhetoric like this, a man doesn't need a brown shirt.

Anti-intellectualism in professional scribes is nothing new, but in Conservatives, to the odour of envy there is something intolerable added. Betrayal of duty. Douthats grow on trees; these tiresome jests have the timeliness of Iago and the blindness of Othello; their telltale bitterness excites the earnest prayer for fresh air. But in this column Ross Douthat has surmised a hypocrisy in others that would do credit to his own. 

I doubt this can be done.

Hurricane photo, 57th Street
The New York Times


  1. The thought is expressed as "It's not what you know, but who you know." This is a half-truth as I understand. Who you know might get you in the door, but long-term? You have to be able to do something, know something, have something to offer. It's not all smoke and mirrors- that's how it goes in my field at least. Either you have a voice or you don't.

    1. "Have something to offer," as you say; have something to develop, have something to share, have something to conserve; and educate each other. In the sidebar under "Matter" these experiences are referenced, "Enfants du paradis." They take risks, they do not nest in cushions.

      Thank you for lending the vocal example. You should feel free to cite your photographic surveys of your neighborhood!