At the command of professors aligned with the movement, no less. How they shall avoid immediate termination for directly requesting that students physically assault other students is beyond me. That this is being done on behalf of a movement ostensibly dedicated to being polite, inclusive, and generating “safe spaces” is quite the irony. So ironic is it, in fact, that I honestly didn’t think it would ever happen in spite of the predictive critiques of others.
Get a load of the students advancing into the photographer, mindlessly and absurdly demanding that he “respect” their “space.” Note the preposterous declarations of their right not to be filmed…on public ground…at a public university. Check out the older man standing behind them saying calmly “They were here first,” as they walk into the photographer. Check out the other older man telling the photographer upon hearing his complaint that the students were moving into him “Hey, don’t complain to me, it’s not my problem.” Observe the insistence that these nonsensical orders be immediately heeded and the use of a mindless mass of humans to forcibly gain their way.
Those worries about Orwellianism among the Neo-PC which seemed to me previously to have been a bit hyperbolic are being entirely justified by this insanity. These people are so outlandishly foolish, it’s hard to believe they’re real. Check out their smirks, their laughter as they bully the photographer out of the area, saying things like “It’s ok to walk forward, right?” as they shove him back further and further. They are actively making use of their insanity, long critiqued by others, to avoid any need to justify their behavior. They’re simply a mob of crazy people, doing whatever they want under the guise of victimhood.
And check out the professors (or administrators, perhaps, with some sort of university affiliation, no doubt) standing behind them, issuing orders to them and on their behalf, but avoiding any physical contact, themselves. Is it surprising to anyone that the professor most obviously responsible for this behavior in the video [Update: She has apologized for her actions which were recorded in the video linked above] is in the department of “media studies”? The description of her “work” is ridiculous:
Her research interests center on popular culture texts and audiences, particularly texts and audiences disdained in mainstream culture. Her work in this area is guided by audience studies, theories of gender and sexuality, and media literacy. Current research projects involve 50 Shades of Grey readers, the impact of social media in fans’ relationship with Lady Gaga, masculinity and male fans, messages about class and food in reality television programming, and messages about work in children’s television programs. Melissa is Vice-Chair of ICA’s Popular Communication Division and is Chair of the committee hosting the Console-ing Passions conference at the University of Missouri in April 2014.
Seriously. This is what academia is becoming. Students are growing up in an environment where the title of “Professor” is a label that means little more than “I spent (often read: “wasted”) a lot of time and paid a lot of money to have a piece of paper that forcibly identifies me as a scholar.” Such a piece of paper can be used to legitimize downright near any pet project or pursuit, no matter how utterly imbecilic. It reminds me of a religious studies professor I once had who wrote a huge (800 page) dissertation on a crazed pedophile who called himself a Daoist. When I asked him why he would ever waste his life studying a disgusting cretin in such depth, he responded “Well, no one else has studied him. I’m the expert.”
It is not much wonder to me that this is what’s happening to impressionable freshmen at the hands of these people. As I remarked in a previous post, these people aren’t interested in the truth. They aren’t interested in actual study,
opting instead for modern commentaries on commentaries which present increasingly ludicrous positions as their authors churn out senseless books in the pursuit of academic prestige. Arguments that reality is “socially constructed” or that “interpretation is meaning” run rampant through the academy, their continued support gladly given by intellectual lightweights seeking a playground of incoherence in which everyone’s a winner and none assailable. Careers are furthered, pay is provided for nothing in return, and the corrupt make their gains.
Academia is becoming a lunatics’ sandbox.
And this, this is some creepy, cultish behavior right here. Reason and coherence are gone, leaving only mindless obedience in their wake. These students almost certainly have no idea why they’re even doing this. Any of the common interpretations of their aims render their behavior utterly incoherent.
I really didn’t think the Neo-PC would ascend to this level. Just imagine what life would be like if these people were in charge of actual governmental force. That should be enough to incite us into confrontation with them now, before such a thing becomes a reality. If the Twitter account of this movement is any indication, they would be a lot like the Chinese government if they had the power:
We ask for no media in the parameters so the place where people live, fellowship, & sleep can be protected from twisted insincere narratives
— ConcernedStudent1950 (@CS_1950) Nov. 10, 2015
Yes, grammatical inadequacy notwithstanding, documentation is prohibited so that the truth can be kept safe from “twisted, insincere narratives.” Incredible.
If it somehow remains unclear to anyone, this sort of thing is not about inclusion, but exclusion. The point is to banish uncomfortable thoughts, valuable or not, correct or not, from one’s midst, freeing oneself from the burden of rational justification and creating for oneself a space in which to wallow in unchallenged ignorance. It is every bit the coddling of the American student, and it is every bit as dangerous as critics such as Chait have asserted. I was reluctant to assent to such a diagnosis before, but I don’t know how anyone can watch those videos and resist the conclusion any longer.