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Malcontents

Reader comment on item: Profs Who Hate America

Submitted by Tony Donovan (Saudi Arabia), Nov 12, 2002 at 13:39

Harold Bloom, the Yale University literary critic, said it all, or most of it, a few years ago when he categorized the leftist (read: incoherent) denizens of contemporary academia as belonging to "the school of resentment".

Briefly, Bloom and others suggest that these luminaries are largely psychological basket cases full of bitterness and resentment at having no power whatsoever in the political process in the US (despite their sterling "credentials"). In a word, no one listens to them and they are largely seen as pathetic buffons. Even their students secretly mock them. I have known many of them and an outsider would be amazed at the immaturity of many of these so-called academics. For many, social and emotional maturity was brutally stunted, for whatever reason, at age 16.

As to why they feel that they have something of import to say about the Middle East even though their specialties may not even be in the humanities, I think that's easily answered.

Americans and Westerners in general, know very little about the Middle East. The Middle East for many of them is kind of like the Land of Oz. Therefore, anyone can say anything about it and get away with it. Who is to contest them even if what is said is preposterous, as is usually the case. If the speaker comes along bearing an impressive (we know better) title such as Professor of Comparative Literature at XX University, why, who could possibly be a better authority on the Middle East than that? A Professor of Genetics and certainly a Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus is even better) are unfortunately viewed as out and out oracles.

It's all kind of funny, actually, if you know a little about the subject. But I agree that things may be getting out of control and a deconstruction of some sort is in order.


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