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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Archive for the day “May 8, 2017”

Spain Is Different

Turns out Spain was exceptionally mean towards Jews starting as early as the 7th century. Everywhere else in the post-Roman territories the secular Roman tradition of respecting the Jewish right to worship was being upheld even by Christian bishops. Except in Visigoth Spain where this Roman tradition was discarded.

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Why Do We Let Them?

Or take that horrible woman from Duke Divinity I linked to yesterday. It’s clear from her comment that she doesn’t give a fuck about diversity. All she wants is an opportunity to hound and bully somebody. Or take the people who are gleefully hounding Tuvel for publishing a scholarly article they don’t like. They simply enjoy her pain, that’s all. 

There are people like that in every society but the rest of us choose whether to tolerate them or shut them down. During Stalinism, crowds of such eager bullies adopted the rhetoric of the proletarian revolution to persecute and destroy people they didn’t like. Nobody could stop them because they had the world’s most powerful repressive apparatus on their side. 

What’s wrong with us, though? Why do we put up with this shit? If normal people – who are an enormous majority- started telling such bullies “What you are doing is horrible. I won’t speak to you or be in the same room with you until you stop”, the bullies would soon fold. Only a total sociopath can tolerate social exclusion, and they are not sociopath. They are simply bad people. And we have bought into the neoliberal alienation to the extent that we don’t see it as our collective responsibility to school bad people into good behavior. 

Hijacked Causes

I finally read Bret Stevens’s timid and mousy article on climate that is causing so much apoplexy and realized that the climate cause is absolutely doomed because it’s been hijacked by total hysterics. I’ve been seeing references to the article for a week, and from the way it was being discussed, I got the impression it was the ultimate in climate denialism. Turns out, there is not a whiff of that in the actual piece. 

As a long-time blogger, I know that there is a number of subjects you simply don’t write about if you don’t want to attract a bunch of unhinged fanatics. Breastfeeding, homeschooling, and sexual dysfunction are such subjects. Climate is another. I simply don’t engage and find the whole subject repellent because there’s no upside to talking about it. It’s become the sole purview of disturbed people who use it to soothe their psychological traumas. 

There can be no doubt that the climate cause is losing. One would think that after decades of abject failure those who care would at least consider trying to do something other than screeching maniacally at whoever departs half an inch from their orthodoxy. 

And it’s not just climate, either. Diversity was a great idea until it was overrun by crazy and vulgar people who destroyed the concept in the service of their dysfunction. 

This is all very sad. 

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