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Overnight Open Thread | Main | Top Headline Comments 6-Flag Day-11
June 14, 2011

John McWhorter and Glenn Loury Try To Avoid Criticizing Cornell West Too Harshly; Fail

Cornell West is a jackass. He postures as a "prophet" with his haute Hipster Doofus clothes (and he reads deep philosophical import into his sartorial choices; no kidding, I've read him blathering on about his vests) but really has nothing to say except cheap Black Power applause lines so musty it sounds like he's in a Laugh-In skit with Cassius Clay.

We all know this.

Okay, so McWhorter and Loury are black intellectuals. So here's what's going on here: in one way, because they're black, they feel they should sort of support West, or at least not trash-talk him too much.

On the other hand, they are also intellectuals, and are kind of embarrassed by him, and have been waiting for the excuse to say so.

On the third hand, they both realize that some of this is just Ivory Tower jealousy and sniping, and so try to restrain themselves so as not to appear petty, but then they decide, Eh, the hell with it, we're right, he sucks, whether we're jealous or not.

It's just kind of amusing, if you don't like West. It's a funny little dance as they both feel each other out to decide how critical they're going to be.

It starts here, as they discuss West's recent comments about Obama (that Obama isn't comfortable around "free black men," and is a "mascot" for the plutocratic oligarchy, or whatever nonsense he said). Skip this cut if you don't have the time, and don't feel like hearing some (mild) apologetics for Obama.

Then, later, Loury decides he wants to talk about it some more. He revisits the Summers/West showdown, in which then-Harvard-President Larry Summers asked then-Harvard-Professor Cornell West if he had any plans to do any actual academic work or just appear on talk shows and put together bad rap albums.

No, seriously, bad rap albums. Check out "Stolen King." Then check out "3Ms," which sounds like Mike Myers' beat poetry from So I Married An Axe Murderer, except not good.

Anyway, rather than agreeing to update Summers on his coming work, West immediately ran away to Princeton, getting even more money for the new gig, and, we have to assume, based upon his total lack of any real academic output since then, without any demands on his time as a "professor."

So, after a little time, Loury's like, "Oh I want to talk about West some more," and McWhorter pretends he doesn't want to but he so does.

That's the fun cut, where it's just goofing on his "schtick" of dressing up like a rodeo clown's dweebie cousin, and posturing like Shaft's "street" informant Shaky-J, as a substitute for any actual, real contribution to anything.


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posted by Ace at 03:34 AM

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