Campus Free Speech

Yearly Gathering of English Profs Is Light on Shakespeare, Heavy on Environmental Justice

Everything you wanted to know about 'the exclusion of vegans of color from food movement narratives.'

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Shakespeare
Nicku / Dreamstime

The Modern Language Association held its annual convention recently—but judging by the list of speakers and session topics, you would think the meeting had more to do with leftwing activism than literature.

The MLA "is a leading advocate for the study and teaching of languages and literatures," according to its website. Its convention provides a forum for teachers and researchers to discuss new scholarly work in the field.

But, as George Mason University historian Philip Magness points out, the MLA program lineup suggests that studying literature is now a distinctly secondary goal of the convention. The primary goal is social justice activism:

A few examples are illustrative of the content of these panels. One entire panel explored strategies for using Composition 101 – usually a mandatory skills course that all freshmen must take – to promote environmentalist political activism. Another session with practically no discernible connection to English or literature purports to "examine the aesthetic mediations and political challenges of production chains and commodity flows and of mobility and work" using Marxian analysis. A third, featuring four English professors, purports to offer commentary on multiple environmental science topics ranging from climate change to oil spill cleanups to pollination studies. There are also panels touting Naomi Klein's political tracts on inequality, panels on the connection between internet surveillance and globalization, panels purporting to investigate the history of slavery and capitalism, panels on confronting animal extinction, and even a panel on something called "New New Materialisms" with paper topics that shed no more light on their obscurantist content than the session title.

It's possible that some of these presentations have scholarly relevance, though their stated topics appear to veer far outside of the professional competencies of a holder of a PhD in English or another MLA discipline.

Magness did some rough tallying and found that there had been 22 sessions that included a presentation on environmental justice, 15 featuring a presentation about globalization, and 39 that tackled post-colonialism.

"Some of this is standard fare, especially in Critical Theory-infected disciplines," writes Magness, "but I was also curious how it stacked up against what most people think of as the scholarly domain of English professors, which is to say the standards of the literary canon."

For comparison:

13 sessions mentioning William Shakespeare

5 sessions mentioning Charles Dickens

1 session mentioning Mark Twain

2 sessions mentioning William Faulkner

2 sessions mentioning Ernest Hemingway

3 sessions mentioning Jane Austen

4 sessions mentioning Samuel Beckett

4 sessions mentioning James Joyce

4 sessions mentioning Virginia Woolf

1 sessions mentioning Leo Tolstoy

1 session mentioning Toni Morrison

3 sessions mentioning Edgar Allen Poe

3 sessions mentioning Langston Hughes

2 sessions mentioning Emily Dickinson

1 session mentioning Ralph Ellison

1 session mentioning Walt Whitman

2 sessions mentioning George Eliot

2 sessions mentioning one of the Bronte sisters

0 sessions mentioning George Orwell

"Many academics in these fields appear to be producing highly ideological research that (a) is often far afield of their scholarly competencies and (b) sometimes ventures into outright pseudoscholarly territory," Magness concludes.

I'm sure there are some valid reasons to include environmental justice on the syllabi for certain literature classes. But professors have a responsibility to approach these subjects as educators first, and advocates second. These panels blur the line between education and advocacy.

Consider this session on "Teaching Eco-Composition at the Community College." Presenters would essentially require students, not just to read works of literature relating to environmental justice, but to actually embrace the tenets of environmental justice. Presenter Courtney Ryan of the University at Albany-SUNY explains that her course "culminates in a highly personal research project, which asks students to apply their newfound environmental knowledge to their own experiences, investigating an environmental injustice in their own hometowns. In the past, students have written about chemical waste plants, fast-food chains, and pesticides to which they or people they know have been exposed. Through the project, students not only gain invaluable research skills but also engage with environmental issues in a personal, direct, and meaningful manner."

Ryan's students read A. Breeze Harper, an academic "who argues that vegans of color have been excluded from food movement narratives." Ryan brags that students' personal views "evolve" over the course of the semester.

If students wanted to learn about the food justice movement and whether it has or hasn't excluded vegans of color, presumably they would take a course on the history of obscure social justice movements, taught by a disapassionate observer of such things. In literature and composition classes, students should be learning how to interpret texts, how to do close readings, how to write persuasive essays, etc. But the MLA-version of literature appears to accept as a given that the purpose of a course is to brainwash students into supporting some left-wing view.

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  1. You know who else made people anxiously wait?

      1. I had to look that one up… *belatedly bursts into applause*

      1. Let’s face it, you can’t torguemada anything!

    1. Half-Virtue, Half-Vice?

    2. Frank Skeffington?

      1. +1 Spencer Tracy

    3. Anticipation?

    4. The P.M. links?

    5. The guy before Mussolini?

    6. Jesus?

    7. Gabe Newell?

      HL3 is going to be announced any day now.

      1. Did hell freeze over while I was doing paperwork; or are you being serious?

        1. Take a wild guess as to which is more likely. I’m just joking, or Valve learned to count to three.

    8. George R.R. Martin?

    9. Ralph Kramden?

    10. The Madi?

    11. Dr Frankenfurter?

  2. These people are beyond parody. Think long and hard about yourself if you’ve ever used “vegans of color” and it wasn’t satire

    1. It honestly makes me want to do double back somersault half twist off my desk head first into the floor.

      1. +1 Triple Sow Cow

        1. ‘Cause that’s what Brian Boitano’d do!

        2. so you’ve seen the female participants?

    2. seriously can someone explain the need to add “_____ of color” to everything in leftist circles.

      Also I wish they were honest about it and just said non-white, because that’s exactly what it means.

      1. Because they’re racist? On a very core level – they are racist in a primitive way. They actually believe that any work is only valid if it was written by someone of a particular race.

        There’s no way to do this without a Godwin, but it’s true: this is exactly what the Nazis thought.

        1. To a prog, if you have them read an argument and try to weigh in on it, they won’t be able to tell you what they feel. They need to know the race, ethnicity, gender, etc, before. Complete racism.

          1. They must just hate double-blind journal reviewing (don’t know if MLA journals have it).

          2. It’s a total obsession with demographics. Race, gender, sexual orientation, and even income levels all factor in to what leftists choose to think about a given article.

            When I’m trying to show a leftist the libertarian viewpoint on a certain issue, I never send them articles from Reason because I’m 100 percent sure that they would instantly disregard the entire article and website because one of the Koch brothers sits on the board. They would latch onto that one detail and declare that nothing on this website can possibly be true.

            1. When I’m trying to show a leftist the libertarian viewpoint on a certain issue

              When (and why) did you take up this hobby of casting pearls before swine?

              -jcr

            2. If this site had no legitimate Koch involvement or connection, the Regressives would just invent one.

        2. I hate Illinois vegans of color!

          1. + 1/2 pack of smokes

        3. Sometimes the jackboot fits.

      2. Because the “of color” is critical for calculating the right intersectionality score.

      3. The Progressive Left is primarily a movement of middle class caucasian intellectuals. They have co-opted a certain number of, carefully cultivated, persons of darker hue, but they remain a VERY white, VERY bourgeois clique. And they despreately, DESPERATELY want to pretend that they are not.

        1. they remain a VERY white, VERY bourgeois clique

          Yup. I had the pleasure of meeting a girl last summer during my legal internship in CA. She spent all summer bitching about the difficulties of being a “woman of color” in law despite putting in half the work of the other interns. Turns out that she’s Indian (dot, not feather) and comes from a rather wealthy family. While the rest of us were living in airbnb shacks in silicon valley, biking, walking, or Ubering everywhere we needed to go, she was in a $5k/month sublease in SF, driving her Merc or her Lexus to work every day.

          1. I’ll be she never even checked her privilege. Some people.

            -jcr

          2. Work sucks. Life sucks. 99% of your problems have nothing to do with your sex or your skin color.

            The less real oppression people face, the less aware they seem to be of these truths.

          3. There’s an easy way to prove that women can be just as good as men at a particular job … do as well or better than any of them.

            There was this one guy on a tear out job who thought, and regularly let everyone know, just how little he thought of women. He also fancied himself a good chess player. So I challenged him to a public game on lunch break … and won. He hid in the basement for the rest of the time we were on that location.

            Ah, the best revenge 😉

    3. Hello Toledo! We are Vegans of Color and we are here to annoy the shit out of you!

    4. I thought all vegans were the same color: pale.

    5. The imbeciles who first inroduced the term “relevance” to academia should have been pithed.

      1. I dunno…I’d settle for a nice three-stroke bastinado,m’self.

    6. …the exclusion of vegans of color from food movement narratives.

      N-n-nope.

      1. Them rabbits done dyed.

  3. My freshman English prof was a nutter. One day she brought her boyfriend whose talent was being able to take a kick in the nuts. We lined up like the people on Airplane!

    1. LoneWaco,

      Who was the “nutter” again?

    2. Her boyfriend was a character from Beavis and Butthead?

      Kick me in the Jimmy. Do it again. Hard.

    3. Probably meant he didn’t have any…

    4. He had no such talent. She was just punishing him for cheating.

  4. I’m sure there are some valid reasons to include environmental justice on the syllabi for certain literature classes.

    Of course you are, Robby. Of course you are.

    1. There’s always that one sentence in every Robby article. He never fails.

      1. It’s called “building a brand”. Though Hair is much, much stronger, impact-wise.

      2. To be sure, some colleges do offer classes like “Literature of the Ecological Movement” or crap like that.

        But I had to bust his balls because I’m jealous of his hair.

      3. There’s always that one sentence in every Robby article. He never fails.

        In latter Communist Hungary (Seventies and on) it used to be called the red tail. You could write anything in your novel or poem as long as you finished with a full-throated endorsement of the Party as the only true representative of the working classes.

    2. He does it to troll us.

      1. billy goat gruff?

    3. It’s true that Environmental Justice is an important topic.

      1. If you live in a biosphere, perhaps.

    4. Its beautifully ambiguous. Should we read it straight? Is it snarkasm? No way to know. Let your confirmation bias be your guide!

      1. “Let your confirmation bias be your guide!”

        Solid gold

  5. “I’m sure there are some valid reasons to include environmental justice on the syllabi for certain literature classes.”

    For instance, if you’re studying *The Lorax.*

  6. 0 sessions mentioning George Orwell

    1. For these people it’d be like Christians giving sermons on Muhammad.

      1. Instructional manual vs. cautionary tale.

  7. The MLA “is a leading advocate for the study and teaching of languages and literatures and serves,” according to its website.

    …hors d’oeuvres?

    Robby lacks the cut-paste skills they teach @ Columbia Journalism school

    MLA is a leading advocate for the study and teaching of languages and literatures and serves as a clearinghouse for professional resources for teachers and scholars

    1. Kinda like a Publisher’s Clearinghouse?

      You may already be a winner.

      1. my point was that he treated the verb ‘serves’ as a noun and cut off the rest of the sentence.

        Maybe it would have been clearer if I compared the MLA to tennis instructors

        1. –“my point was that he treated the verb ‘serves’ as a noun and cut off the rest of the sentence”

          You just publicly shamed someone on the internet.

          Chip Your Pets surely not pleased.

          1. I wouldn’t be pleased either if the only choices I had for snacks were desiccated cat turds out of a litter box and gelatinous cecotropes from sweet grass rabbit bedding that was out all night.

      2. In this case: “You may already be a whiner. If not, you will be one by the time we’re finished with you.”

    2. With hair like that he’s the male equivalent of the girl with huge jugs who no one ever corrects because they’re too busy staring. If he were speaking instead of writing, you wouldn’t notice things like this until Robby reminds you ‘my eyes are down here.’

    3. Their convention is mostly a job fair, from what I understand.

  8. The Modern Language Association held its annual convention recently

    Baiting Heroic Mulatto on this of all days, Robby? For shame – enact your own labour and find the damn twerking videos yourself!

    1. He’s only baiting half of Heroic Mulatto, maybe even a quarter, I can’t remember. But I guess ‘Heroic Quadroon’ has less of a ring to it.

      1. For an Archer fan, that is a superior handle.

        1. I still want a black poster with the handle “3/5ths of an opinion”.

          1. Interesting factoid: It is mathematically impossible to be 3/5 black.

            1. Unless your family tree looks a little unhealthy. E.g. if you have the same grandfather on both sides of your family (meaning your folks are half-siblings), you can start working outside of powers-of-two and come up with any fraction you want.

              /nitpick

              1. There are also 3-parent babies, etc.

                /still nitpicking

    2. It is spelled ‘bating’.

  9. If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
    To do our planet loss; and if to live,
    The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
    Gaia’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
    By Gaia, I am not covetous for gold,
    Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
    It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
    Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
    But if it be a sin to covet carbon,
    I am the most offending soul alive.

    1. *Awards John Titor the highest honor achievable in Academic Literature*

      1. Indulgence To Bang As Many Students As He Wants Without Impacting His Career? Let’s not go nuts here…

      2. Nineteen year old students with daddy issues? I regret abandoning academics…

    2. I can still hear Ted Cruz reading this during Rand Paul filibuster regarding drone executions. Happily, Cruz stuck to the original text.

  10. I didn’t know what to do without the P.M. links. *wanders aimlessly around internet and office without looking at workload

    1. I half-heartedly pressed F5 for half-an-hour, assuming this would be the day I usurp Fist. #cubicle-life

    1. Alt-text – “Check out this sweet earring.”

      1. Is it “talk like a pirate day” already?

          1. rodents that bake?

      2. alternate alt-text: “The first hipster”

  11. I have no links, and I must shitpost!

    Why a Canadian teen joined American youth in suing U.S. over climate change

    Lebel, 19, is passionate about preserving the environment and doing what is necessary to prevent climate change.

    “By the time you see the full effects, by the time we see the full catastrophic effects of the decisions that we’re making right now, it will be too late ? we won’t be able to do anything about it,” says Lebel, who has joined a group of 21 young Americans between ages nine and 20 who are suing the U.S. government.

    The group alleges the government is violating constitutional rights because it supports a fossil fuel industry that’s damaging the environment.

    Just in case anyone ever makes a case for state-run news service as less vapid, idiotic and empty of content than its commercial counterpart.

    1. harder for snowflakes to melt in Canada

    2. You know what I’m passionate about?

      1. I’m sure that Rule 34 gets a good firm stretching, whatever it is.

    3. Everyone complained about the weather, but nobody did anything about it…until ONE BRAVE CANADIAN said enough it enough…now playing, Weather or Not, based on the novel by John Grisham.

    4. Lebel, 19, is passionate about preserving the environment and doing what is necessary to prevent climate change.

      I would like to see his electricity bill, and I hope he doesn’t plan on breeding in the near future.

      1. Hope not. When you’re parents are so dumb they decided to name you ‘label’, but didn’t know how to spell it, you’re probably a loss for the gene pool.

        1. Lebel!

          Maybe they were fans of a revolutionary for its time rifle and wanted to celebrate the French sacrifice in WWI?

          1. I maintain they were going for ‘Label’ but misspelled on the birth fortifications.

            Now, when I legally changed my name to Marque it was intentional.

            1. *birth certificate.

              I don’t even want to know what birth fortifications are.

              1. It’s when you give birth in your prepper bunker.

    5. a nine year old? sure, that kid’s totally not programmed by the parents or school. Fourth-graders have a deep understanding of science, after all.

    6. Lebel is free to move to a country without fossil fuels. Several in Africa are close to this ideal. Tell us how that works for ya

      1. He has to walk there though, off road, barefoot.

  12. I say we boycott MLA-style citations. WHO’S WITH ME?

    1. fuck MLA. Chicago Style was the best, and that’s all I used in college

      1. Chicago style? Is that the one with lots of bullet points?

        /esoteric or just stupid? YOU DECIDE!

    2. Fuck yes, CHICAGO IS THE ONE TRUE CITATION METHOD, BURN THE HERETICS.

      1. Agree. Although CMOS is getting a little like the Mormons: they keep changing principles but act as if they’ve always been that way.

      2. I was born an APA man, and I’ll die an APA man.

  13. Heavy on Environmental Justice

    What is that?

    1. It’s what Smokey the Bear does to people who start forest fires.

      1. STEVE SMITH LIKES THIS STATEMENT

    2. Its what Steven Segal did in “On Deadly Ground

  14. Wikipedia asks: Did you know…

    … that BuzzFeed described Pat Loika as “the closest thing comics has to an Oprah”?

    😐

    1. I thought Amanda Waller was the closest thing comics had to an Oprah.

      1. Oprah controls a bigger army.

        1. And more criminals?

        2. By mass or by number?

    2. Never heard of Pat Loika.

    3. What’s the closest thing Oprah has to a comic?

      1. Robin Williams?

        As in Robin Williams imitating the voice of Harpo Marx and saying “Marxism – That’s the worst thing I ever heard.” (from Reality, What a concept if I am not mistaken)

        1. Doesn’t Harpo’s voice sound more like HONK HONK??

          1. –“Doesn’t Harpo’s voice sound more like HONK HONK??”

            I think it’s more like HONK”A”.

            SugarFree, little help here?

            /for some reason SF’s “Honka” post on Oct scary clown thread remains my favorite single H&R post of all time – I don’t know why

        2. imitating the voice of Harpo

          Hmmm. I think you’re looking for Groucho? Since Harpo never spoke.

          1. Mongo and Bobarian,

            You are both correct: Twas indeed Groucho Marx’s voice Williams mimicked.

            I was attempting to form my response to Paul in a manner which included both Oprah’s name spelled in reverse (See: Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions) and a reference to William’s joke, since I believed that this was the combination Paul intended when making his comment.

    4. Bil Keane is like, whatevs.

      1. the eyes have it…

  15. The government ought to formally recognize social justice as a religion, just so we can put a wall of separation between it and everything.

    1. I imagine a pantheon of river and forest spirits.

      1. That’s a pantheon of river and forest spirits of color, shitlord!

        1. If the Rs were clever (and they aren’t), they would use the anti-SJW bill in AZ as an excuse to pass something categorizing it and other totalitarian similar ideologies as religions, framing it as “protecting them from institutional discrimination”. Then the establishment clause could be deployed to great effect.

      2. Most SJWs have never been in a forest.

  16. Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of a bitch Trump and his climate-denialist cabinet.

    1. What you just said

  17. “Some of this is standard fare, especially in Critical Theory-infected disciplines,”

    PC 2.0 is strong with these people.

    1. Critical Theory was a pretty strong component of PC 1.0

      but it limited itself to a more-narrow range of grievances.

      1. That’s what I’m saying. Back in the 90s Critical Theory was all the rage. Now it’s back.

  18. OT: I see Andy Reid has joined the chorus criticizing the holding call on the 2 point conversion late in yesterday’s game. I’m a Chiefs fan but it seemed a pretty legit call to me. Thoughts?

    1. An obvious holding.

      1. It was an obvious holding, but only one of about 100 obvious holding calls that was actually called.

      2. He either holds or Smith gets sacked. Pick your poison

      3. It wasn’t a hold as much as it was a tackle.

    2. Sure “Chiefs Fan” RAVEN Nation.

      Kidding. It was a hold.

    3. I couldn’t watch anymore football after watching Aaron Rodgers lead his team to glory.

      Signed,
      Enslaved to MN sports

      1. Me either.

        Probably for a different reason though.

        1. Ticket prices on the scalpers market dropped by 20% after Cowboys loss.

    4. I am KC resident for 3 years now and I root for the Chiefs. It was a textbook pass blocking hold. But, what killed them was the dropped passes, and the lack of discipline in the secondary. And that they didn’t ever give that poor left tackle a back to help out against Harrison.

      1. Exactly. No game is won or lost on a single play. Not even another fucking miracle pass from fucking Rogers as time fucking runs out.

        If the Cowboys or the Chiefs had played the whole game better, they couldn’t have lost on a single play.

  19. PM LINKS OR WE RIOT COMPLAIN ABOUT IT SOME MORE IN OTHER THREADS.

    1. I personally don’t care about AM and PM links, but I do enjoy watching others go on about it when they’re late or missing.

      1. –“I personally don’t care about AM and PM links..”

        I *used* to enjoy reading your posts.

        “Boycott AlmightyJB” website to be up shortly.

        Will provide links.

        1. If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

          1. So powerful you can carve an NFL football out of a coconut?

  20. At this point, the humanities are effectively dead. There’s no point in studying them as intellectually enriching and they don’t even particularly make for useful vocational training.

    1. There’s plenty of good stuff in the humanities. You have to know where to look, and mainstream university curricula will tend to be light on it.

      The humanities are not intended to be vocational training, so that’s utterly irrelevant.

      1. The real takeaway is that universities are basically a social negative at this point, and government should avoid encouraging higher education other than vocational training.

      2. The humanities are not intended to be vocational training, so that’s utterly irrelevant.

        Yes and no. When college as a whole is treated as vocational training by society and the gov’t, then there’s a problem when humanities isn’t actually good at vocational training.

        It’s one thing for a wealthy trust fund baby to take 4 years to learn about the cultural impact of Monet. It’s completely different for a middle-class kid to take out massive student loans to study the same thing, graduating with no marketable job skills and no money to pay the taxpayers back.

        1. The problem is, if the government were transparent about funding of higher ed being dedicated purely to the vocational side of things, there would (maybe just should?) be great demand to reduce the required courseload. There’s really no reason to spend four years learning a trade – 18 months seems plenty of time. Then, there would still be a market for a traditional university education.

          1. there would (maybe just should?) be great demand to reduce the required courseload

            IMO, this should apply across the board. There’s nothing wrong with a broad-based liberal arts infused education. It’s a great way to broaden one’s horizons. However, I really would’ve loved to have gotten my engineering degree 3 semesters sooner by loading up on classes relevant to my major and avoided the $15k in debt I left undergrad with. I REALLY would’ve loved to have shaved a year off of law school by getting rid of the irrelevant classes and saved $50k in loans.

            There seems to be 3 paths of higher education that people want to take. 1) Traditional university education – broad based liberal arts learning. 2) High-vocational – STEM + Business and Econ (currently taught at universities). 3) Low-vocational – trade school.

            Currently taxpayers are funding a bunch of students to go route 1) and expecting results like they went route 2), then people complain that college is broken. It’s not broken, it’s just outmoded.

            1. And all that should start in the ninth grade.

      3. The humanities are not intended to be vocational training

        They have been sold as such for several decades, at least.

        My history and philosophy degrees actually turned out to be excellent preparation for law school and lawyering. But I had old-school profs.

        1. My history and philosophy degrees actually turned out to be excellent preparation for law school and lawyering

          This, in my opinion, is the difference between humanities being a bad investment v. a good investment. By doing well enough in UG and going to law school, you were able to take the skills you learned and mold them into highly sought after job skills.

          Two folks I know graduated with History degrees. One is currently working in the front office of an apartment complex, probably making $25k a year. The other passed the TX bar exam last summer and is working at a big firm in downtown Dallas making $180k a year. Humanities, as much as any other area of study, requires a career plan in order to be successful. You can’t just wing it and get a decent paying job.

        2. Hey those English majors made me a fine latte today.

      4. The humanities are not intended to be vocational training, so that’s utterly irrelevant.

        Yes and no. There’s two reasons to go to college – intellectual enrichment and vocational training. Both are legitimate reasons. If college isn’t giving you intellectual enrichment, you better at least be getting vocational training. At present, the humanities (at least in an academic setting) offers neither.

        1. ” There’s two reasons to go to college – intellectual enrichment and vocational training. ”

          No Animal House? No exposure to people of different backgrounds?

    2. Thanks for trashing the last 20 years of my life.

      1. *urinates on RV’s CV*\

        Any time, friendo!

        1. *Shrugs*

          Had to be done.

  21. Read the extreme-porno novel The Gas by Charles Platt from the 60s for environmental consequences, tough guy.

    1. Did he predict flatulance induced climate change?

      1. NO SPOILERS

      2. NO SOILERS

      3. NO TOILETS

  22. I hope he pulls us out of NATO. He’s right. It is obsolete.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/16/…..index.html

    1. That alone might be enough to get me to consider voting for him in 2020. Probably not, but it’d be a start.

    2. I mean, no one has even invoked Article 5 right? …Oh wait. The United States did. In 2001.

      If we’re writing a “how to completely destroy your diplomatic legitimacy” list, “abandon NATO” is pretty high up there.

      1. So…something George W. Bush did means that Americans must be tied to Europe via an alliance founded on opposition to a country which no longer exists?

        1. “Yeah, have your troops die for our non-existential conflict. LOL, we’re out, we don’t feel like helping you suckers.”

          Truly there has never been a more sound and solid diplomatic idea. Diplomatic relations are on the basis of the nation, not the whim of one man. Dropping out of an agreement despite being the sole nation to ever invoke its most important clause is basically screaming how your diplomacy is completely illegitimate and you shouldn’t be trusted. It shows that you’re willing to exploit other countries while entirely unwilling to back up your agreement when you just don’t feel like it. I’d prefer sucking up to China or Russia than renegotiating with an unreliable scumbag of a country. Mattis has the correct assessment of the situation, and that’s largely a product of his expertise and experience.

          1. I can only speak for the general mood of the CAF if that happened, but we would probably take it pretty rough after all the deaths and equipment destruction in Afghanistan, supporting an American conflict. And by ‘rough’ I more mean ‘completely furious, and would probably end up directing all their current rage at Ottawa (the people who deserve it) to the United States’.

            The other thing is that it means you abandon the TTIU and its successor organizations. So say up here in Canada some idiot fanatic opens up at a monitored mosque about wanting to blow himself up in a U.S. mall, and then he crosses the border and does it. “Oops, why would we share that information?” Says the pissed off intelligence workers. *Shrug* “if only you were part of some multinational intelligence sharing system or something”.

            1. If Canada didn’t consider the Afghanistan conflict worth fighting for on their own behalf and still send their boys over there to die, they have no one to blame but themselves. I never said anything about disbanding interpool, or not sharing intelligence, or not forming future temporary alliances if the situation calls for it.

              1. If Canada didn’t consider the Afghanistan conflict worth fighting for on their own behalf and still send their boys over there to die, they have no one to blame but themselves.

                We considered it worth fighting because we were obliged by a certain treaty we signed.

                or not sharing intelligence

                Why would we share intelligence with a nation we can’t trust? This is not action in a vacuum, other nations will respond diplomatically to American actions. We have no reason to supply intelligence in goodwill to a nation that absolutely refused to act in goodwill towards us. The question you should be asking is “Why on earth would the United States be considered trustworthy?”

                1. Don’t have a cow dood.

                  Trump is just trying to make the Free Riders spend up to their obligations.

                  Chillax baby. The US isnt leaving NATO.

                  1. See below, if it’s a way to get countries to up military funding it’s fine. I’m more arguing with the actual position some people here hold in regards to abandoning NATO. The time to do that was 1992, not after using it with glee for U.S. policy.

                    1. John Titor|1.16.17 @ 7:28PM|#
                      “See below, if it’s a way to get countries to up military funding it’s fine. I’m more arguing with the actual position some people here hold in regards to abandoning NATO. The time to do that was 1992, not after using it with glee for U.S. policy.”

                      So you are arguing that the US must be committed to Nato in perpetuity?

                    2. Nope, I’m arguing that NATO should stay, for now. But if you want to get out of NATO in a way that isn’t a total diplomatic disaster, the way to do is is not to use other nations’ resources for years, and then abandon your treaty obligations because “LOL it’s useless”. We’re willing to have our soldiers die for an ally’s cause, but not a nation who just wants to exploit us and then spit in our face.

                    3. ‘But if you want to get out of NATO in a way that isn’t a total diplomatic disaster, the way to do is is not to use other nations’ resources for years, and then abandon your treaty obligations because “LOL it’s useless”.’

                      Pretty sure that any distribution of resources used is heavily biased *from* the US *toward* the Euro partners, so that condition is pretty well covered.
                      Declaring it useless isn’t “LOL”, it’s a simple statement of fact.

                    4. How many American troops have died in European conflicts Sevo? Because I can tell you how many of my country’s troops have died in American conflicts.

                    5. “How many American troops have died in European conflicts Sevo? Because I can tell you how many of my country’s troops have died in American conflicts.”

                      Goody for you.
                      I don’t care; this is not a game of ‘we play until people die equally’, it’s diplomacy in the best interest of a country. EVERY country.
                      NATO’s raison d’etre ended in 1989; NATO needs to die

                    6. NATO’s raison d’etre ended in 1989; NATO needs to die

                      Except the United States decided this wasn’t the case, and expanded membership and reoriented its goals towards policy that benefited the United States (militarily speaking).

                      You want to get out of NATO? Stay in it, pull troops out of Europe, cut military spending dramatically, don’t use NATO resources for U.S. policy for a decade (difficult, I know), then drop out. Then it’s at least sane diplomatically. Dropping out of NATO after invoking Article 5 using your allies’ troops for your foreign policy problems for a decade and a half? Good job alienating all your allies and giving the middle finger to almost every Western military on the planet.

                    7. “You want to get out of NATO? Stay in it, pull troops out of Europe, cut military spending dramatically, don’t use NATO resources for U.S. policy for a decade (difficult, I know),…”

                      You seem to fantasize that diplomacy is some ‘feel-good’ arrangement. It’s not. EVERY country acts in its own best interest.
                      ———————————————-
                      “Good job alienating all your allies and giving the middle finger to almost every Western military on the planet.”

                      If you want to argue feelz, you’ll have to find someone else.
                      The same sort of hogwash was promoted to keep the Brits in the EU and keep Trump out of office; ‘we’ll be really mad at you if you…’.
                      Countries act in their own best interest, not in the hopes that people find us (or you) warm and cuddly. If the French get mad at us, fine; we’ll refuse to fill the tanks on their airplanes and they can walk to the next conflict they want to fight. We’ll change the passwords on the subs we provide the Brits and they’ll have to load those missiles on narrow boats and paddle ’em out to sea. And light ’em with some Lucas electric gizmo.
                      As a taxpayer, I’ve been covering French vacations and Brit medical care for far too long.
                      End NATO now.

                    8. I’m not arguing ‘feelz’, I’m arguing diplomacy Sevo. I get that you’ve got the whole ‘angry old man’ personality thing going, and that’s fine as an individual quirk. But it makes for poor diplomacy. Making the United States a diplomatic pariah is a brilliant plan, especially when you have a President fond of protectionism. As I state below, you can be as stupid as you like, but I’m explaining the diplomatic fallout to you.

                      As a taxpayer, I’ve been covering French vacations and Brit medical care for far too long.

                      And my tax dollars covered military action in American conflicts. For your nation’s interests.

                    9. You seem to fantasize that diplomacy is some ‘feel-good’ arrangement. It’s not. EVERY country acts in its own best interest.

                      Yes, which is why I’m explaining how it’s not in the United States’ best interest to alienate long standing allies after exploiting their treaty obligations. I’m not Tony or Amsoc Sevo, don’t construct nonsense strawmen that ignore what I’m actually saying.

                    10. John Titor|1.16.17 @ 9:43PM|#
                      “Yes, which is why I’m explaining how it’s not in the United States’ best interest to alienate long standing allies after exploiting their treaty obligations.”

                      So they’ll be angry with us?! After all the billions we’ve spent in their defense?! The HORROR!
                      If that ain’t feelz, I don’t know what is.

                    11. “I’m not arguing ‘feelz’, I’m arguing diplomacy Sevo. I get that you’ve got the whole ‘angry old man’ personality thing going, and that’s fine as an individual quirk. But it makes for poor diplomacy. Making the United States a diplomatic pariah is a brilliant plan, especially when you have a President fond of protectionism. As I state below, you can be as stupid as you like, but I’m explaining the diplomatic fallout to you.”

                      Tell me, specifically, who is going to their pants in a twist with Uncle Sam and what they’ll do.
                      Can the bullshit; ending NATO would make the US a pariah to you and others quaking in their boots. ‘Angry old man’ comes with a lot of experience watching your sort of crap unfold; ‘na?ve young twits’ applies quite often.
                      —————————————
                      “And my tax dollars covered military action in American conflicts. For your nation’s interests.”

                      Bullshit and if you believe that, get out of NATO.

                2. “absolutely refused to act in goodwill towards us”

                  Do you really think that the U.S. would allow an unprovoked attack on Canada just because we were no longer in NATO?

                  1. No, because that would be against your own interests. But you’d still be fundamentally unreliable as an ally, and it would be in our interest to somewhat court Russia and China as counterbalance.

                    1. “…it would be in our interest to somewhat court Russia and China as counterbalance.”

                      ‘If you’re not nice to us, we’ll cut off our nose to spite our face!’
                      Marshall fell for it, to the long-lasting disaster that Europe has become.
                      Go right ahead; we’ll keep an eye on things.

                3. but we have bought that crappy Tim Hortons coffee when we fly through Toronto, isn’t that enough

            2. Really? Canada would let terrorists attack the U.S. to punish Americans for some foreign policy decision?

              You realize that would put Canada in the same position as the Taliban, which sheltered Al Quaeda? And would justify the invasion of Canada itself?

              1. No, it wouldn’t, because you’d never hear about it, and if you did our response would be “OH, that guy, yeah we didn’t really think he was serious.” Welcome to the wonderful world of the intelligence community.

                Really? Canada would let terrorists attack the U.S. to punish Americans for some foreign policy decision?

                No, what would happen is Canada wouldn’t go out of their way to warn a nation that’s proven to be fundamentally unreliable and untrustworthy. Nowadays the response is “look deeper into it, and share the info with the Americans”. In this scenario, the response would be “not our problem or priority, focus on the guy who’s talking about killing Jews in Montreal.”

                1. Also, not providing intelligence is not a basis for a justified invasion. Assisting a terrorist strike would be, but if failing to provide intelligence is a casus belli for war than the United States might as well invade half of Europe for their vague 9/11 information they didn’t realize was relevant until after the fact.

                2. If you’re talking about an attack launched *from Canada,* then every country is responsible for not making itself a safe haven for those who would attack other countries. This means an affirmative obligation to go after people who use your soil to attack friendly countries. Never mind whether there was an intelligence agreement or not, I don’t think there was an intelligence agreement with the Taliban either, they still violated their responsibility not to let their territory be used for attacks on other countries.

                  1. Now if you’re saying that Canadian intelligence finds out about some terrorists who plan to launch an attack from Mexico, and the U.S. doesn’t have the same information…sure, go ahead and let the attack happen, and hope they don’t end up going further north.

                    1. Except it’s not making itself a safe haven, it’s treating situations on a case by case basis. This is regular activity in the intelligence community. Not every Muslim screaming “death to America” is a potential terrorism case, and so some are screened out or monitored less. It’s not like American intelligence agencies don’t do this either. The whole point is that we would obviously prioritize different situations outside of NATO than within.

                    2. I seem to recall a bit of fuss when Fenians attacked Canada from U.S. soil, and – even in the absence of an intelligence agreement – the U.S. had to crack down on the Fenians. And I recall come fuss when Confederate raiders attacked Vermont from Canada, and the Canadians felt called upon to deal with the situation – again, without an intelligence agreement.

                    3. In fact, in each case the invaded party complained that the other side didn’t do *enough* to repress the raiders.

                    4. Only due to pressure from the British and Americans respectively. And it’s also because of this wonderful thing called “trustworthy and reliable” diplomacy. You kept your word, we kept ours. You don’t keep your word, abandon your longstanding allies when it’s convenient, but claim that you’ll keep your word this time, seriously. Why should we assist you or prioritize your interests above ours?

                    5. “don’t keep your word”

                      The terms of the alliance are laid out in the NATO treaty, which in Article 13 allows denunciation after 20 years – so apparently there’s some “living constitution” analysis by which you can’t exercise a right specifically given by the treaty.

                    6. After 20 years – and it was ratified in 1949.

                    7. Yeah, all the United States has done is expand its membership and use its resources to further U.S. policy for decades. What’s untrustworthy about exploiting a system for years, and then abandoning it?

                    8. Exploiting Western Europe by paying her defense costs?

                      Maybe Western Europe could get in line go express gratitude to Uncle Sam in a very intimate way.

                    9. -Expansion of NATO membership to former Warsaw Pact countries was specifically a push to further American strategic policy against Russia.
                      -Use of resources and personnel in American foreign policy decisions, particularly after 9/11, that may or may not have been in the best long-term interest of their member nations.

                    10. “Use of resources and personnel in American foreign policy decisions, particularly after 9/11, that may or may not have been in the best long-term interest of their member nations.”

                      NATO member nations like the United States, perhaps?

                    11. As I asked above, can you tell me how many American soldiers have died in European conflicts? Because I can tell you how many of my country’s soldiers have died in American ones.

                    12. And for the record, I actually have a pretty harsh view on European freeloading, and I’m in favour of pulling out most American assets in Europe (how much depends if you still want to force project). I just recognize the greater diplomatic issues and the long standing history.

                      You want to do something actually smart? Reduce your military spending.

                    13. It’s my understanding that you’re Canadian.

                      I would presume that the U.S. and Canada could always have some kind of military alliance, with or without the Europeans.

                    14. Then you’re just being arbitrary because Ottawa has made us as fucking worthless as the Europeans. Defending the Arctic Circle is worse than defending Europe.

                    15. Now I’m confused, who are you mad at, perfidious Yanks like me, or other Canadians?

                    16. All of the above?

                      Ottawa fucks over the military. It is known. The CAF has always been first on the budget chopping block since the end of the Second World War. We need way more funding to even maintain what we have now, and ideally we’d actually have funding to triple our navy and expand the army (if we actually wanted to defend the Arctic Circle). But the asshole politicians will lick American boots and expect you to take care of it.

                      Americans making bad diplomatic discussions is obviously more damaging to you than us, so in the end if you want to make a stupid choice, go ahead.

                    17. I’m not the President – Trump will be, and I think he’s trying to pull some Art of the Deal stuff on NATO to get them to pay more.

                      People like me are the boogeymen he will use to threaten the NATO allies – “if I pulled out of your outfit Joe Six-Pack would cheer me on!”

                      That doesn’t mean he cares about the critiques of me or people like me.

                    18. To be clear – I think he intends to scare NATO so that he ends up walking away with a deal for them to increase their defense spending.

                    19. And no offense, your remark about being made at Americans like me as well as at other Canadians reminds me of Groundskeeper Willie.

                    20. Which is why I’m responding to the positions of people on Reason for pulling out of NATO, not Trump’s. I’ve openly said that if it’s all a gambit to get increased military funding it’s a good idea.

                      And it’s less “SCOTS AND OTHER SCOTS” and more the fundamental cultural divide between military personnel in this country and the political class. The political class thinks the CAF’s job is to be wonderful pure peacekeepers (while the Americans are carpet bombing monsters of course) who can work with shoestring budgets and fill gender and ethnic officer quotas. When General Hillier said that the CAF’s job is to kill people there was a great deal of fainting in Ottawa.

                    21. “Why should we assist you or prioritize your interests above ours?”

                      Are you suggesting that some country has been prioritizing U.S. interests above its own?

                    22. Fair enough, I meant that under NATO we have similar interests and priorities. After you completely alienate your allies, less so.

                    23. Our allies will still be our allies and temporary alliances cand and will no doubt still be formed. But every country ultimately is responsible for it’s own defense. Taking away NATO takes away the charade that that is not true. It also takes away the charade that all war is justified if it has a NATO banner. NATO’s greatest function is as a trigger for war.

          2. That, or Trump is using this aggressive starting position to bargain Europeans into increasing and sticking to their own NATO obligations. And maybe kicking Turkey out, since it seems like the right sort of powderkeg to set off WW3.

            1. And I’m totally ok with that if that’s the plan. Pan has the right idea, go Delian League and demand at least a military budget of 2% of GDP or you’re kicked out. NATO will go along with this because they’re the guys who are always bitching about lack of funding.

              Outright dropping out is diplomatic suicide.

          3. Of course, technically correct is the best kind of correct, so it’s true that Europe didn’t invoke Article 5 when it got the U.S. to lead a NATO action against Yugoslavia for the “humanitarian” purpose of bombing Serbs and totally liberating Kosovo.

            1. They invoked Article 4, and it was approved by all members. The United States could have absolutely refused to join as per treaty obligations. No sorry, you don’t get to claim that Europe magically made the United States intervene in Yugoslavia. That war is on Clinton’s head, not Europe.

              1. *I should say U.S. involvement is on Clinton’s head, war would have probably happened anyway.

              2. Mission creep – the NATO people had to justify their phony-baloney jobs, so they staged a “humanitarian” attack in Yugoslavia.

                1. It could, of course, have been a unilateral U.S. attack (or German attack I suppose), but the NATO logo made it look all cool and shit.

                2. NATO personnel are not the bad guys in this scenario, they’re the ones yelling at their governments to increase military funding.

                    1. So which is it, they’re justifying their phony baloney jobs or they’re the ones actually pushing for a Europe that defends itself? Make up your mind.

                    2. You think Europe was defending itself with the Yugoslavian adventure?

                    3. No, I’m saying that NATO personnel are currently the most important people within Europe pushing for a Europe that defends itself. You responded I assume sarcastically, because I’m sure your experience with NATO personnel is substantial and enlightening.

                    4. I talked about the Yugoslavian adventure and you began to talk as if I’d been discussing European self-defense.

                      So, again, how did the Yugoslavian adventure promote European self-defense?

                    5. (It seemed so obvious that government officials would ask for more money for their particular organization that I didn’t see how that was relevant to anything)

                    6. But if Europeans are going to act like aggressive panhandlers – no gratitude, “we’re doing *you* a favor by taking your money, now give us more money or we’ll stop being so helpful!”

                    7. I’ll go with not answering the stupid strawman question that ignores what I said, thanks. What I’m pointing out is that you’re ignorant as to NATO personnel’s actual views on the subject, and insulting them despite not understanding that they’re actually your best allies in this issue. But whatever, be as self-destructive as you like.

                    8. Some of them, I’m sure, are good people.

                      But if you’re going to act like an aggressive panhandler, insulting us while demanding more money, then no thanks.

                    9. insulting us while demanding more money

                      ???

                      They’re demanding more money from Europe. NATO’s made up of Germans, Frenchmen, Brits, Italians, etc. that are fully aware that their nations aren’t pulling their weight. They keep calling for the 2% over and over again for a reason.

                    10. “They keep calling for the 2% over and over again for a reason.”

                      So…Europeans arguing amongst themselves?

                      And let me guess…the U.S., bottom line, ends up subsidizing their defense?

                    11. I think you’re confusing military men for politicians. These guys want to be able to defend their own countries, and it’s less ‘Europeans arguing amongst themselves’ and ‘military personnel talking about how goddamn stupid civilian politicians are’.

                    12. If my analysis is correct (and why can’t it be – it’s as good as the analysis of any paid consultant) – Trump is the European military’s best friend because he doesn’t want out of NATO, he wants Europe spending more on defense.

                      If I’m wrong I’m wrong, but I don’t think Trump wants out of NATO like us Joe Sixpacks.

                  1. When did Germany’s military start to go downhill? In the 1960s, my ROTC captain said the Bundeswehr was, man for man, more capable than the U.S. Army. And in 1978 I remember being in some remote town, maybe Dinkelsbuhl, when two Luftwaffe jets roared over at about a thousand feet. The people in the town square reacted like the scene in Zhivago when Strelnikov’s train roared by.

                    1. Reunification and the end of the Cold War happened. Also, American and Soviet de-Nazification programs were completely different. The Americans framed it as the German people being manipulated by a collection of evil elites, while the Soviets framed it as Germans as a whole being to blame. Guess which side Merkel is from.

                      They’re starting to reverse their spending decline though, which is a good start.

                    2. My unit was paired with a Gebirgjaeger (Mountain Infantry) unit before the Cold War ended and I agree that the Bundeswehr units were very good with conventional warfare. One time while while trying to get on a German truck I asked the company first sergeant why it was so high. With a straight face he answered “So the mud won’t stop us next time.”

                      They still had a huge blind spot fighting UW which we exploited to the hilt.

    3. I can see why German leaders would be pissy. Without American soldiers to hide behind when dealing with actual non-elective threats like Russia, they’ll need a real military. That means that they’ll be increasing military spending, either raising taxes or cutting bullshit social programs, either of which will piss voters off.

      It also means they’ll be feeding military culture — either increasing the number of people who are willing to fight for their homeland against its enemies (say, rape-thirsty invaders and their collaborators in government), or taking the ones that already exist and giving them the means and training to kill. Either way, good for Germans, shitty for Progress-worshippers.

    4. It’s hilarious to me when I see leftards suddenly singing NATO’s praises. They seem to have warmed up to the CIA lately, too.

      -jcr

  23. This Magness guy bringing up how Orwell was left out is some grade A trolling. Fantastic

    I imagine the only takeaway the progs get from Animal Farm is that the wrong pigs were in charge, so I can see why they’d avoid discussing it

  24. A. Breeze Harper, an academic “who argues that vegans of color have been excluded from food movement narratives.”

    What an outrageous tool, excluding the transgendered from the exclusion of vegans of color. Shitlords like this need stomped down, I say we start a hashtag campaign against this A. Breeze Harper.

    1. “food movement narratives”–seriously, there is such a thing as a “food movement” and it has “narratives”? WTF?

      1. I have a mental flash of a novelist typing furiously while sitting on a bog…

  25. Listen to many, speak to few -W.S.

    Not a mystery why zealots would be reluctant to teach Shakespeare.

  26. Aren’t chemical waste plants good things? Would she rather we pour our chemical waste in the rivers or on the ground?

  27. The profs probably imagine that they are simply teaching the truth, but are in fact blatantly partisan and are essentially engaged in Democrat party indoctrination. Public schools and scholars are supposed to be nonpartisan. In fact, the tax break for colleges pretty much demands this.
    How did they get to this place?
    1) Hire people for a field with no right answers (Literature)
    2) Relax standards further
    3) Add a climate that seems to require “relevance” and “activism”
    4) Further add Marxism/critical theory
    5) Tada! Crazy town!

  28. Ryan brags that students’ personal views “evolve” over the course of the semester.

    I guess figuring out what the professor wants you to parrot back to them counts as personal evolution?

      1. Learning out that upper management just wants you to repeat back whatever nonsense they just said like it’s a good idea is a very important skill in today’s work environment!

    1. Naturally, no one questions whether getting students’ personal views to evolve should count as success for a professor.

      As opposed to actually teaching things, you know.

      1. Well, they are the primary sponsors.

  29. Some good alt-text there my boys

  30. “It’s possible that some of these presentations have scholarly relevance”

    No it fucking isnt anymore than presentations on astrology, water memory, the healing powers of crystals, the hollow earth, anti-vaxx arglebargle or anti-gmobullshit.

    No, it fucking isnt.

    1. I imagine going to this would be the political equivalent of listening to Coast to Coast on AM radio.

      1. Whoa there, buddy. Let’s just take it nice and easy with the C2C besmirchenings.

        1. You’ve had an out of body experience? Come into contact with aliens? Recovered memories from former lives? My apologies.

          *snicker*

  31. When future historians and observers alike look back tracing where it all went bad this will be an easy one to detect.

    Lefties claim the ‘Idiocracy’ is something borne from conservatism when in fact it’s plain to see it stems from the left. You don’t see the right abandoning corner pieces of Western civilization for….whatever.

  32. “…There are also panels touting Naomi Klein’s political tracts on inequality,”

    Jesus Me. Naomi Klein has been elevated to such a status?

    I guess it makes sense. If the people now running the show are of equal remedial mind, it’s only natural to flop back on their equals like Klein. Next up, ‘How to run a business’ with Bernie Sanders.

    1. Now just wait a minute, that commie restaurant did pretty well, didn’t it? Didn’t it?

      *searches for story on commie restaurant*

      Oh. Never mind. As you were.

  33. OK guys, I’m off to have a food movement, good night.

  34. Toni Morrison? Get the fuck out of here.

  35. Someone on this board has a law, that says that anything not specifically political (and non-progressive) in nature will inevitably end up as an extension of the progressive movement over time.

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  40. “No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style.” -Oscar Wilde

    Not sure if his name made any of MLA’s lectures either, but it’s plainly apparent they aren’t reading enough of him.

  41. This week’s Shakespeare news review includes crowdsourcing, Iambic Labs, and upcoming Romans. PLUS our usual recap of this week’s daily highlights in Shakespearean history. Story Links Crowdsourcing for Shakespeare Yearly gathering of English profs is light on Shakespeare, heavy on environmental justice Calling all artists. CC: History of English Literature

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