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June 16, 2018

Thread before the Gardening Thread: Brave People [KT]

Serving your mid-day open thread needs

Today, in considering Father's Day Weekend, I have been impressed by a couple of items I've run across concerning some brave people. One is a long-time advocate of fatherhood. I think fatherhood takes some kinds of bravery today that it might not have taken in the past. Fatherhood certainly is not celebrated in the same ways it once was.

Heather MacDonald bravely faces hostile crowds on college campuses, and sometimes loses her platform. But where did this determination to stand up to the Left come from? The Barrister at Maggie's Farm picks up a quote from a recent interview:

I think one major impetus for my change was the fact that, despite being in default liberal environments all of my life, I nevertheless always adored the works of the Western literary tradition. And when I saw the 1980s' multiculturalism taking over university campuses, and ignorant students who had never read the works of the Western canon feeling empowered to reject those works on the basis of the gonads and melanin of their authors, that to me was appalling.

Ironically, people I don't think understand this distinction, in the 1970s, which was the height of this very abstruse literary theory known as deconstruction, that you mentioned, and that I was an uncritical acolyte of. However odd the theories of language were, holding that meaning is impossible, that the human self is just a fiction, a trope of language, we read the canon without ever once thinking to say, if I'm a female, "Oh, gee, I can't read Milton because he's a dead white male." It never came up. So, I fortunately had a strong grounding in greatness, in beauty, in eloquence, in sublimity. And when that came under attack, that started to turn me away from the broader trends that were going on in academia.

The March Through the Institutions was slow. Didn't catch everybody. I want to think of ways to re-introduce young people to some of the beauty she describes above. Any ideas?

Coleman Hughes, a young black Julliard-trained musician and philosophy major has stood up to the rhetoric of Michael Eric Dyson and Ta-Nehisi-Coates. He has made quite an impressions among many of the more cultured bloggers on the right. I think I read about him here at AoSHQ, too. From Powerline:

Progressives ought not dodge the question: Why are blacks the only ethnic group routinely and openly encouraged to nurse stale grievances back to life? . . .

There is more, all equally sensible. And this guy is an undergraduate! Someone, please get him a bodyguard.

The Assistant Village Idiot got in on the conversation about Hughes, too. But this led to a discussion of Why Art Became Ugly. Worth reading. A good case is made that modernism in art has run its course. Here's one of the money quotes (Stephen Hicks) via from Neo-neocon:

The contemporary Enlightenment world prides itself on its commitment to equality and justice, its open-mindedness, its making opportunity available to all, and its achievements in science and technology. The Enlightenment world is proud, confident, and knows it is the wave of the future. This is unbearable to someone who is totally invested in an opposed and failed outlook. That pride is what such a person wants to destroy. The best target to attack is the Enlightenment's sense of its own moral worth. Attack it as sexist and racist, intolerantly dogmatic, and cruelly exploitative. Undermine its confidence in its reason, its science and technology. The words do not even have to be true or consistent to do the necessary damage. And like Iago, postmodernism does not have to get the girl in the end. Destroying Othello is enough.

This brings me back to the feisty Heather MacDonald. Can we get the Liberal Arts back?

Hope you have something nice planned this weekend. Let us know.

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:30 AM

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