Academic Self-governance

Professors left campus for 18+ months and now they are stunned that academic self-governance has been eroded into utter insignificance. They keep trying to offer their opinions and I’m tired of saying, “Look, I’m sorry, but nobody is soliciting our input. We are being issued directives that we must follow. We’ve been completely removed from the decision-making process.”

“Yes, but we always decided these things ourselves!”

You relinquished your power for 1,5 years and what did you expect? That nobody would pick up what you dropped? That it would be waiting here for you whenever you deigned to come back? Sorry, my friend. It’s gone.

I’ve been on campus full-time since July 1, 2020. I’ve been wailing and screaming about this since then. But nobody was there to hear me. And now it’s too late.

There’s a very work-intensive committee I’ve been on since 2019. I don’t choose busy-work committees, and this one did a lot of very practical stuff. It hasn’t met once in any format since March 2020. Somebody is doing the work of this committee. Somebody is making the decisions that it used to make. Professors have been excluded.


I’m going to teach translation next semester. I ordered a textbook and then discovered that in the middle of it there’s some stupid dig at Trump. Honestly, can one get a break from Trump? What on Earth does he have to do with translation?

Obviously, I’m not assigning this part of the textbook but by God, don’t these people ever get bored? Why can’t there be one topic – translation, pickles, cement, something – that’s free of virtue signaling about Trump? There’s a whole psychopathology going on here and people are indulging it gleefully.

Suspicious of Abigail Shrier

I truly hate this piece by Abigail Shrier on Bari Weiss’s Substack. I can’t figure Shrier out. She’s either an extraordinarily stupid person or a provocateur who normalizes terrible things under the guise of opposing them.

In the linked piece, she has some “trans doctor” explain that the main problem with giving 9-year-olds puberty blockers and then cutting off their genitals a bit later is that these children mightn’t have had time to experience an orgasm, which may thwart their sex lives later. From which it can only follow that sexual molestation of these children is a great thing done for their own good.

The usefulness of puberty blockers is questioned in the article but only because it makes the eventual cutting of children’s genitals inconvenient. Essentially, the whole article is an illustration of a spat within the child mutilation industry on the most convenient way of pursuing this goal.

Shier gives complete credence to the idea that a two-year-old can have “gender dysphoria” and that Jazz Jennings is a woman. Readers go to her for an alternative point of view and get treated to several dozen repetitions, fired off at a rapid clip, that men who say they are women are actually women. This is precisely how the most effective propaganda works. It affirms some of your concerns while asking you to accept the terms that inform its belief system. After you have accepted that a he is a she and repeated it many times as payment for a crumb of approval and solidarity, you find yourself arguing whether it’s best to mutilate a child before or after you’ve sexually abused him because you’ve already conceded everything else.

Particularly upsetting is the excited whelping of the conservative crowd that “these are trans doctors who are saying it! This makes it so much more valuable and true!” We’ve already seen this in the aftermath of the last election (and every election before it) where a vote from every identity group that the left claims is superior was hailed as, indeed, superior.

You can never win a fight conducted entirely on somebody else’s terms. You can’t submit rhetorically and expect to dominate eventually. For human beings, submitting to the opponent’s rhetorical regimen is the equivalent of an animal lying on its back and waving its paws in the air. The moment you say “BIPOC people” or “Jazz Jennings is a woman,” that’s it, you have signaled your defeat. Everything that comes after that is you begging for mercy.