Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A little bit of this...

Recent facebook stuff.

For a good background article, read this from POZ (a magazine for HIV+ people). There are a lot of issues involved, but Williams had sex with multiple partners while infected with HIV and apparently in some state of denial about his status. Being young, black, poor, and HIV positive, media spun the story as a "sex monster" who intentionally infected women. Now, the news:
A [NY] State Supreme Court Judge ruled this morning that Nushawn Williams will stay in jail as a dangerous sex offender even though he already served his 12-year prison term.
Thich Nhat Hanh:
Without suffering, you cannot grow. ... The Buddha called suffering a Holy Truth, because our suffering has the capacity of showing us the path to liberation. Embrace your suffering, and let it reveal to you the way to peace.
Good luck to some friends with this.
An Adjunct Associate Professor of Religion at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign has been fired for sending this email out to students. A friend comments:
At first I was dubious of the idea that he should be fired. You know, because academic freedom is sort of important for someone with a post-Marxist foundation for theory. But, OMG.
I note, however, that other professors have not been fired when behaving similarly. Kevin MacDonald, though never accused of teaching his beliefs to students is a white supremacist. His university removed him from teaching and his department distanced itself from him, but he kept his job. The university received support in not firing him from some perhaps-unlikely places. When William Robinson sent out emails to students comparing Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto and Israel to Nazi Germany, his university never got past a preliminay investigation. I guess tenure is a powerful thing.
This is kafka-esque.
This article on Mike Huckabee made me cringe in a few places. Especially at the word pharisaical and at the suggestion that there's no such thing as a Palestinian. But my friend is right, I think, that Huckabee's simply a better sort of Republican than many.
And a novelist comes forward:
Apropos of nothing, the author [that would be me - Matt] evokes Marx and the working class, who in all frankness, remain largely absent from my tale of fallen petite bourgeoisie. Unlike the brief morality play Ida and I enjoyed within the context of Leverage, the means of production here are not quite so quantifiable as tapes. Moreover, there is a merger of capital and worker that I daresay Marx might never have envisioned. The dilemma then is merely in methods of distribution. The media, like the tapes on that television morality play, becomes central to the conundrum.
There's a question of whether a writer is working class. It's a good question, and it think it can change depending on what the writer is writing --perhaps technical specs-- but I'm more sympathetic to it than this novelist, apparently. (Although I'm not sure I ever gave an answer to that, and I'm sure whatever answer was not apropros of nothing.) Perhaps I should say "allied to the working classes," but whenever someone is "selling out" to keep from losing their house, I think Marx's ghost is already present.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

About the professor who was fired - since he apparently didn't have tenure, it was much easier to fire him than it would be to fire MacDonald (who by the way is also a an absolutely vile antisemite).

I'm not sure he should have been fired on the basis of this email. I don't particularly like it, because for me he commits one of the cardinal sins a professor can do - shoving his personal political agenda on his students, who if they want to get a good grade have to curry favor with views they might find abhorrent. I think some kind of warning, and a discussion of what the correct boundaries of expressing one's personal opinion to students, would be sufficient, at least if this is the first time he acted this way.

About MacDonald, on the other hand, I have no doubt - he should be fired immediately. He is hiding behind academic freedom to spread vicious lies. (Which is another cardinal academic sin, in my eyes).