September 29, 2006

Distinguished Lecture Series?

Laurie David? It's nice to tell people to use reuseable shopping bags and drive hybrid cars and things like that, but why is the university presenting this as a distinguished lecture? Are there no scholars around to do lectures anymore? Or is Hollywood the source of distinction these days?

67 comments:

George said...

She's a branded entity, as is the university. Both need to heighten their marketplace awareness to boost profits and expand their reach. And both have mutually compatible belief systems, so that their temporary union will be unlikely to engender unfavorable PR and will doubtless strengthen their mutual alliances in state and national politics.

She's also listed in one Google entry as an "eco-crusader." Is she like Batwoman or something?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Next lecture: Wed., Oct. 11
Speaker: IƱigo Montoya
Topic: "You keep using this word 'distinguished'..."

Too Many Jims said...

Hell 9/11 denial counts as scholarship at UW, maybe we should be happy she is talking rather than some other possibilities.

(Though I do think that 9/11 denial could be handled in an appropriate academic manner, I think a course on Intro to Islam is a horrid way to approach it.)

ignacio said...

Will she be arriving by private jet?

JohnK said...

I am kind of proud of the fact that I honestly had to Google this woman to figure out who she was. When I first read the post my eyes skipped over "Laurie" and read it as "Larry" and I assumed it was Larry David the guy who does Curb Your Enthusiasm. Apparently that is her husband.

"Distinguished Lecture Series"? Hmm. She seems to have a nice face and great pairs of tits and legs. That seems pretty distinguished.

What is amazing about this is that she is not even a real actress or a talented artist like her husband. For sake of argument, lets say for the moment that someone who is a celebrity and famous in the entertainment field is a legitimate lecturer. After all, professors don't have a monopoly on knowledge. But, she is not even that. She is some "D" list arm candy who happened to latch on to a successful Hollywood figure. Not only has the world run out of professors, it has apparently run out of celebrities to.

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Doyle said...

I can't believe they'd apply the term "distinguished" to this Hollywood tree-hugger!

John K also helpfully points out that she has "a great pair of tits", so she's probably just engaging in breast-environmental-activism.

In closing, we should treat the threat of global warming as blithely as possible, and marginalize its wholly under-educated advocates.

Ann Althouse said...

If they want to bring in a speaker on global warming for the distinguished lecture series at a university, it should be a scientist! Bringing in the wife of a comedian is not the way to deal with it. I realize she's an activist, and it's fine for an activist to pump people up about an issue, but it's not a distinguished lecture of the university type.

Dave said...

Clearly, Ann, universities have no interest in being known for the intellectual depth.

Aren't you glad about what the university has become?

The idiocy of academia continues apace.

Anonymous said...

Actors who could also be distinguished lecturers, two off the top of my head.

Terry Jones, of Monty Python fame, is well respected as a medievalist, written scholarly works on the subject.

Peter Weller, of Robocop fame, is an occaisonal lecturer on the Roman Empire and Hollywood at Syracuse University.

Laurie David . . .

(I'd rather see Cheryl Hines as Larry David's wife give these lectures, that might be interesting)

Doyle said...

That's a fair point, but even though being Larry David's wife and having produced "An Inconvenient Truth" don't qualify her as an expert, they do make her a bigger draw.

No one is expecting her to present original research. They're going to hear a presentation, presumably along the line of Gore's, which is in turn backed by actual scientific research.

The real-life scientists are probably boring to listen to (as Gore may be, I suppose).

JohnK said...

Ann,

What do you think the chances of the global warming skeptic like Bill Grey (a distinguished scientist) or a really important writer and skeptic like Lumborg would be invited to lecture at Wisconsin? I guess about the same chance as Pat Robertson getting a tenured track job in the Religion department. In Madison you are only "distinguished" if you say exactly what they want to hear. All other qualifications like a degree or any real knowledge of the subject are purely optional.

David said...

I would be interested in hearing what Ms. David has to say about the pros of nuclear power production as opposed to emissions from coal fired generators?

She is just another prop in the street theater that is the democratic attempt to take back the House and Senate.

The volcanic eruptions of Pinatuba in the Philippines, Mt. St. Helens in Washington, and the list goes back for aeons, has dwarfed the meagre attempts by humans to duplicate greenhouse emissions on a grand natural scale.

Only Gore and Ms. David have such a lofty opinion of themselves that they link a hundred years of pitiful observation into climatic conditions that go back 2.5 billion years.

paul a'barge said...

She seems to have a nice face and great pairs

I think you're confusing her with Laurie Dhue.

At least Dhue has a career that could qualify as distinguished.

DRJ said...

Distinguished has become synonymous with celebrity in American culture.

Doyle said...

Only Gore and Ms. David have such a lofty opinion of themselves that they link a hundred years of pitiful observation into climatic conditions that go back 2.5 billion years.

You might want to tighten up your argument for skepticism.

Volcanic eruptions would have to be a recent phenomenon to explain the "hockey stick" chart of global warming. They would have to be getting more frequent each year.

And the hundred years of "pitiful observation" is only direct observation. Using nifty science tricks, they can actually figure out what temperatures were going back thousands of years.

Guess how many periods enjoyed balmier weather?

Donald Douglas said...

Well, during my undergraduate days, one of my university's "distinguished" lecturers was Howard Zinn. I leaned more to left back then, but not that much. Zinn, in any case, is not so distinguished nowadays, though I imagine he gets called for a few lectures here and there.

Burkean Reflections

dave said...

Considering the University of Madison employs you, I'm surprised they're not bringing in Paris Hilton.

Who probably knows more about the Constitution than you.

Fenrisulven said...

Ann: it should be a scientist! Bringing in the wife of a comedian is not the way to deal with it. I realize she's an activist

There's not much separation these days between a Global Warming scientist and the wife of comedian. Selecting her to speak was appropriate.

Doyle: Volcanic eruptions would have to be a recent phenomenon to explain the "hockey stick" chart of global warming.

The "hockey stick" is a result of combining disparate data sets into one model.

Global warming is over-hyped. Its nothing more than Global Socialism - regulating energy consumption and material production to redistribute wealth.

Static solutions are not the answer. Technology [growth] and innovation [growth] are.

Doyle said...

Fenris -

This is great stuff. Could you flesh out the "disparate data sets" idea a little bit?

Global warming is not "Global Socialism." It's a phenomenon, not a political philosophy.

As for what is to be done, the most obvious is regulation of CO2 emissions, which is meaningfully different than regulating energy consumption.

The reason that you and Larry Kudlow are wrong to trust the market to do this is because global warming carries no tangible economic cost to firms, so they are (rightly) unwilling to pay more for cleaner energy.

That's why government has to force them to. Not in order to redistribute income, but in order to keep our planet inhabitable.

AJ Lynch said...

I see some good news here- the window of opportunity to forestall global warming is now ten years - used to be twenty.

So hopefully, in 2016, this upcoming calamity will go away quietly sorta like that disastrous Y2K.

Elizabeth said...

I'm terribly disappointed to see the comments on Laurie David's tits and legs go unanswered by Ann. What's up, Ann? Why put up with this in your comments section when you don't hesitate to call out--deservedly, I agree--the liberal boys who claim to use sexist comments ironically, or on feminist bloggers who appear with Clinton?

knoxgirl said...

Anytime I hear about Laurie David I think of that story where tshe and Larry gave away a Prius. Their old, used one, that is. That's devotion to the cause!

Can't get worked up about Global Warming because I remember being told with similar urgency that there would be no forests left by this time because of Acid Rain. I remember as a kid trying to comprehend that, thinking "We're killing all the fish and the animals!"

It seems self-evident that climate would be one of, if not THE, hardest phenomena to measure accurately in terms of cause-and-effect. And the fact that we had things like the Ice Age before humans could wreak their dastardly effects on the climate make me a little hesitant to surrender to the hysteria.

Plus I don't see too many people out there on bikes. If all the people who ostensibly cared really did--I think we'd see a bit more action. As usual, they just want programs and taxes to force their "cause" on everyone else.

stephenb said...

In closing, we should treat the threat of global warming as blithely as possible, and marginalize its wholly under-educated advocates.

Wholly under-educated advocates, indeed. Why hasn't anybody with any weight gotten behind this? (No pun intended, so forget about the Al Gore's weight jokes.) I'm always hearing about how "the vast majority of scientists agree...," but I've never once seen a real scientist give a good argument about global warming...atleast not a real scientist that wasn't paid by the Sierra Club.

And Hollywood-types are notorious for flying around in these huge jets. It's like having O.J. Simpson lecture about domestic violence.

tcd said...

Hey Elizabeth, where were you when Ann was attacked by the liberal hordes?

panther33 said...

Doyle said:

"Guess how many periods enjoyed balmier weather?"

I seem to recall reading about vineyards in Greenland about 800 years ago. Does that count?

Ann Althouse said...

Elizabeth: I didn't like the use of the word but in the context of the whole comment I didn't want to delete the whole thing.

Fenrisulven said...

Dolye - by disparate data sets, I mean using different methods for one model. For example: ring data for the first 300 years, satelite readings for the next 300 years.

stephen: I'm always hearing about how "the vast majority of scientists agree...," but I've never once seen a real scientist give a good argument about global warming...atleast not a real scientist that wasn't paid by the Sierra Club.

Scientists who disagree with Gore et al are censored & ostricized, esp if they are academics. If you want that grant, you have to be PC.

Remember how Ann was hoodwinked after signing the statement re Impeachment? Gore's crowd pulled a similar stunt - they had several hundred experts sign on to a global warming study, and then switched out the summary page.

Truly said...

XWL: One of my college profs, a real medievalist, once mentioned Terry Jones in class and said that he (Jones) had published some perfectly wretched article about feudalism or something like that. Apparently at scholarly conferences all the other medievalists would sit around and make fun of it.

Doesn't David Duchovny, late of the X-Files, have a PhD in English?

Elizabeth said...

Well, I can disagree with your reasoning, Ann, but I appreciate the reply. I'm not encouraging you to delete posts. From what I've seen, your thoughts on feminism, second and third wave, are similar, though not identical, to my own, and I was suprised to see those comments go by without at least a response.

tcd, I hated that fray and so I kept out of it. I found it ugly in just about every aspect. Where are you every day when comments like the one above are made about women?

Elizabeth said...

truly, I don't think Duchovny holds a PhD. I do know he did some of his study with Harold Bloom. I too have heard medievalists chuckle about Terry Jones' academic work, but they've also invited him to their conferences. I guess it brings in the paying customers?

JohnK said...

Elizibeth,

Since I made the comment, I will defend it. I made it because I can't see what on earth Laurie David has ever done than be an attractive woman who caught a rich husband. Yeah, she is an activist, but who couldn't be given the time and money her husband's position allows. Yes it was snarky, but I assure you I would have made the same type of comment about some bubble headed pretty boy that had married a successful woman and decided to save the world. Basically, my point is there is nothing impressive about David beyond her looks and it is an embarrassment that she is a "distinguished lecturer."

Anonymous said...

Truly, one of my College Profs attended Oxford at the same time as Terry Jones and considered him one of the better Chaucer scholars he knew (but then, those school ties may have had influence).

Plus whenever Terry was in the LA area he'd ask him to come and recite Chaucer to his class (the threatened performance didn't happen the quarter I attended, although ten weeks where the only text is the Riverside Chaucer is a very good class in my book).

One professor's wretched writer is another professor's intriguing iconoclast.

As far as Duchovny goes, his Wiki mentions he graduated from Princeton, has a Masters in English from Yale, and almost completed his PhD but quit before his dissertation

Dave said...

"I can't see what on earth Laurie David has ever done than be an attractive woman who caught a rich husband"

Uh, she's saving the world!

Hello?

Clearly, you must be a Bush fan.

knoxgirl said...

She needs to get in line behind Sean Penn! *he'll* be doing any and all World Saving that needs to get done, thankyouverymuch.

tcd said...

Elizabeth, I asked you about a specific time and place (weekend of 09/15/06 at Althouse.blogspot.com) and your comeback is to ask me where I am everyday when sexist comments are made about women? Sorry that I'm not omnipresent and double sorry that you're so disingenuous.

P. Froward said...

Doyle,

Last I remember, Mann finally did crack and, after stonewalling for years, released the source code he used to generate the "Hockey Stick". Turns out it generates the same plot from other data sets, too. White noise, for example. It was never peer-reviewed and Mann himself never properly sanity-checked it (or did, and that's why he stonewalled for so long). It's garbage. Was it a deliberate fraud? Who cares? Science isn't about personalities.

MadisonMan said...

A most excellent site on observations of global warming, with the bonus that it's paid for by your tax dollars:

Right here. I particularly like the Roads link.

There are also interesting posts on the hockey stick here.
pfroward, I'd be interested to see where you got your information.

Anonymous said...

As far as Ms. David's qualifications, from her Lauriedavid.com bio.

Before working full time on environmental and political issues, Ms. David had a distinguished career in entertainment spanning two coasts. She began her career in New York City as a talent coordinator for the David Letterman show. Four years later she left to start her own management company, representing many of today's top comedians as well as comedy writers. She also produced several comedy specials for HBO, Showtime, MTV, and Fox Television. Upon moving to Los Angeles, Ms. David became vice president of comedy development for a division of Fox Broadcasting and developed sitcoms for Twentieth Century Television."

Clearly, she's as qualified as anyone to talk about the environment, and she owes her soapbox to more than just who she is married to.

Anonymous said...

Also, real environmentalist advocate for the construction of nuclear power plants.

That's why long ago I suggested we need more folks creating an IMBY movement demanding that nuclear power plants be built in their own communitites.

(and there is an Imby.org, but they propose a geothermal, rather than nuclear solution to clean energy)

If Laurie David really wants to be the change she desires, she'll join me in demanding a nuclear power plant in the city where she lives.

The greenest green is the green glow of fission.

(what do you mean fissile material and nuclear waste doesn't glow green like on The Simpson's?)

JodyTresidder said...

Clearly, she's as qualified as anyone to talk about the environment, and she owes her soapbox to more than just who she is married to .

Good catch, xwl!

I had assumed "distinguished" commenter johnk had done a halfway decent bit of googling to back up his scathing comments. Apparently not.
(Far worse than johnk's "tits" crack was, frankly, the "D list arm candy" bit. I don't think johnk would have the faintest idea what to do with "D list arm candy" in the remote circumstances that it was ever offered to him).

knoxgirl said...

I don't think working in the entertainment industry makes one "as qualified as anyone to talk about the environment"

As qualified as other non-scientist types, maybe...

XWL, agree with you on the nuclear stuff.

Hayek said...

Robert Vaughn earned a Ph.D. in communications at USC.

Elizabeth said...

tcd, I make a comment about this specific thread and your response is to ask me about a thread I wasn't involved in? Skip disengenuous; you're just full of shit.

Elizabeth said...

johnk,

Sure, now I understand. When women do things they aren't qualified for, it's smart and witty to talk about their legs and breasts. Brilliant! And I'm sure, very sure, you'll be measuring penis length and pecs the next time we discuss some guy who's unqualified. Wow, this has been educational. And so very, very different from actual sexism. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

Elizabeth said...

knoxgirl, I'm as happy to laugh at Sean Penn as anyone, but I'll have to defend him from any attacks on his post-Katrina days in New Orleans. He didn't just jump onto a PR opportunity. He'd spent a good bit of time in NOLA right before the storm, shooting "All the President's Men." He had the ability to get in, and he did help people. I don't care if it fed his ego or was videotaped. There are people who can thank him for pulling them from out of the water and taking them to safety. Good for him. It's more than the rest of us were able to do.

There are many things to needle him about, though, so don't hesitate on my account.

Fenrisulven said...

He had the ability to get in, and he did help people

Seriously? He had the ability to bring in 100 boats manned by trained rescue personnel. He brought in one, filled with his PR crew, and promptly sank.

Did he actually rescue anyone later on?

JodyTresidder said...

Elizabeth,

You mean "All the King's Men", I think?

Not that the reviews are going to help Penn! Ouch. I'd feel sorry for him if I didn't find him one of the most satisfying H'wood hate figures ever:)

Elizabeth said...

jody, yes! What a fun slip to make. I think that belongs on the other thread, about films and Bush and whatnot. I haven't seen "All the King's Men" yet, since the reviews are so bad. And I have a little irritation about it. The movie used my university's film students, and our film production and post-production facilities. But the grand opening was at Tulane U., which had nothing to do with it. Those TooLame rats stole our fanfare.

Elizabeth said...

fen, neither Fema nor the National Guard was able to easily get in boats and trained personnel. No individual, no matter how well known or wealthy, could have done that. The roads weren't clear. It was very difficult to get any heavy equipment, including trucks and boats, into the city after the levees broke. The Guard unit a few miles from downtown lost its equipment, including boats and heavy trucks, in the floodwaters. All over the country, trained personnel were being mobilized to get here.

Some Hollywood mogul managed to get a large, medical-equipped plane in to help with evacuation of patients from the airport. That single achievement took a lot of money and strategy.

Yes, Penn's boat took on some water, which he bailed out. Yes, he did indeed go on to rescue people. I'm grateful for that.

tcd said...

Elizabeth, You're the one that is chastising Ann for not pulling a "tit" comment. Yet you remained silent when your liberal fellow travelers called Ann much worse for like 4 post threads with comments numbering in the 600's. Talk about full of shit, you're a hypocritical bag of shit!

tcd said...

I'm sorry, make that "hypocritical windbag of shit".

Dave said...

Wow, feel the LOVE on this comment thread!

Elizabeth said...

tcd, I disagreed with Ann's take on the blogger (don't remember her name), was disgusted by much of the commentary by people who came into the discussion from the left, and likewise almost all of the comments from the ranks of mainly conservative men who frequent this blog. There wasn't a place for me in the discussion. You can call that what you want. Calling me names is childish. I wouldn't expect anything else from you, however.

tcd said...

Elizabeth, I believe it was you who started the shit-flinging. Did you not write that I am "just full of shit"? Of course, I would never expect anything more than disingenuity from you.

Johnny Nucleo said...

I'm going to defend JohnK's ungentlemanly remark.

Laurie David is a nobody. If she were not physically attractive, Larry David, a somebody, would never have married her. I'm sure she is a sweet and loving person with a beautiful soul. I think she cares deeply about stuff and wants to feel important. I think she does not have the chops.

The only reason we know who the hell she is is that she is physically attractive and married a great artist.

People like Laurie David - people who think their proximity to greatness makes them great - should be mocked, relentlessly, gloves off and bloody.

(Off-point question: Why is it that the prime concerns of so many beautiful people are the Enviroment and Animal Stuff? You think it's because they are really smart?)

Elizabeth said...

tcd, you need to come up with something better than "I know you are but what am I?" for an argument.

Mr. Forward said...

"Even as she cricizes the purchases of American consumers (of SUVs), David defends her right to keep her prized material possessions, not least her Tudor mansion home in the Pacific Palisades, a ritzy suburb of Los Angeles. Says David: "My philosophy about this stuff is, it's not all-or-nothing. A lot of people have that attitude: So you drive a fuel-efficient car, what about your giant house? What about this, what about that? I just got asked that on [the] Paula Zahn [TV program] and I was like, I'm not looking for perfection in any of this. We're an imperfect people." Similarly, David defends her house on the grounds that she uses it "to gather hundreds of people for eco-salons," and it is therefore conducive to the "greater environmental good." Of the considerable amounts of energy required by her massive residence, David makes no mention.

As author Bernard Goldberg reports in his 2005 book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, David is no slouch with regard to energy consumption: While hectoring SUV drivers, David, who dislikes traveling on commercial airlines, is ferried about in private Gulfstream jets that operate on some 2,100 gallons of jet fuel. Queried about her travel preferences by the New York Times, David, typically anxious for media attention, declined to comment."
http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2115

Dave said...

The point I think Elizabeth is trying to make is that, rather than engaging with Laurie David's hypocrisy in a substantive way, as Goldberg does in the quote given above, referring to her as a big-titted beauty does nothing to refute the vacuousness of her cause.

The purpose here should be to destroy Hollywood vanity not make comments on physical appearance. I don't necessarily agree with that sentiment--a bimbo is a bimbo--but it is nonetheless fair to argue that insidious evil like Laurie David should be dealth with substantively.

knoxgirl said...

I wonder if she'll be asked any tough questions about her mansion or her private jet at her lecture? I somehow doubt it.

jakemanjack said...

Laurie David is the wife of a very wealthy man who happens to be a hollywood progressive/lefty. That's all it takes.

Worship Al Gore!

JohnK said...

Elizbeth I did google Laurie David her main accomplishment in life seems to have been being the talent coordinator for David Letterman. She is D list arm candy. Good for her. But that doesn't make her distinguished. When you get ahead on your looks you forfeit the right to complain when people comment on that fact and your looks. Perhaps you should use some of your women's studies skills to explain why it is that old unattractive rich men like Larry David always have young attractive wives and old unattractive poor men not so much. The day I see someone like Larry David with a plus sized or homely wife or someone like Laurie David married to a old unattractive poor man is the day I will stop judging women like Laurie David by their looks.

tcd said...

"I disagreed with Ann's take on the blogger"
Now I understand why you didn't feel the need to speak up when Ann was attacked with anti-feminist slurs. Because you didn't agree with her argument, you thought she deserved the name-calling. Is that it? But now, you're all over Ann b/c Laurie David is a lefty like you. Thank you for that honesty, even if unintended. You've shown your principles are as flexible as a Russian gymnast.

tcd said...

Elizabeth, BTW, I would never claim to know what you are b/c I'm sure you don't know what you are either. How could you possibly know since your position shifts to accommodate every turn in your flexible principles?

Fenrisulven said...

My philosophy about this stuff is, it's not all-or-nothing. A lot of people have that attitude: So you drive a fuel-efficient car, what about your giant house? What about this, what about that? I just got asked that on [the] Paula Zahn [TV program] and I was like, I'm not looking for perfection in any of this. We're an imperfect people." Similarly, David defends her house on the grounds that she uses it "to gather hundreds of people for eco-salons," and it is therefore conducive to the "greater environmental good."

Enviro-socialism. Muscovites burning their furniture to survive the winter, because the Elite requisitioned their hardwood to build Dachas on the shores of the Black Sea.

David knows what's best for the rest of us. Do as she says, not as she does.

Elizabeth said...

Perhaps you should use some of your women's studies skills to explain why it is that old unattractive rich men like Larry David always have young attractive wives and old unattractive poor men not so much.

Johnk, I don't need to use anything more than freshman psych to see what drives your sexism.

Joe Baby said...

I always thought the uncredentialed, inexperienced ones at universities were the students, not those at the mic during Distinguished Lecture Series.

I know that our academies believe in affirmative action, but this is ridiculous.