February 11, 2011

"But what about Beck? Are his comments about Piven fairly characterized as having crossed some line into dangerous irresponsibility?"

Asks Peter Wood in the Chronicle of Higher Education:
What Beck does on the air is certainly not scholarship. He isn’t drawing careful distinctions, seeking nuance, or searching for contextual understanding. He is, rather, engaged in polemic. This is, however, a form that requires some mastery of the facts and considerable ability to frame a persuasive argument. He or his assistants have done their research. I doubt that he has factually misrepresented Piven’s statements. He has, however, offered a strong interpretation of what those mean, and his conclusion is that she is a deep source of intellectual mischief in American life.

Those who are culturally or politically more or less on Piven’s side resent this picture of themselves, and some have responded hyperbolically....

The left explodes in anger if you suggest it is the more rageful of the two [sides]. The right tends to laugh at the idea....

Higher education has no special immunity from the angri-culture. On the contrary, it is a privileged haunt for those who delight in scorn, derision, and wrathful dislike of mainstream American culture...

To claim academic freedom as a protection of one’s own diatribes while crying “no fair” when someone aims a diatribe back at you requires a clownish degree of self-regard.
Yes, and let's also question the assumption that what goes on in academia is certainly scholarship (and not polemic). Drawing careful distinctions, seeking nuance, or searching for contextual understanding...

80 comments:

Gordon Freece said...

"The left explodes in anger[.]"

I fixed the punctuation.

traditionalguy said...

Piven does provide an intellectual structure of ideas that intelligent men and women can use as their justification for doing extremely evil and destructive things... all to transform society into a Utopia of course. What she whines about is exposure for what she is and does. Beck has been bold enough to point her out, and she so wants Academia's walls to run to and hide inside of.

Lincolntf said...

Speaking of Academia, guess what found it's way into my hot little hands yesterday?
"Envisioning Real Utopias" by Erik Olin Wright.
The Preface alone is hilarious (apparently he was dodging the draft at some seminary in Berkeley when he conceived his ideas).
If I find any real gems in the body of the text I'll be sure to share.

Leather Daddy said...

I don't often expect Ann to be so blue. But thank you for your morning dose of peterwood.

lasckbounce said...
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virgil xenophon said...

The comments defending Piven/attacking Wood in the linked art are so "typical" of the left that they constitute a self-parody. Why am I not surprised?

gloogle said...

There is nothing quite so entertaining as to see a lefty academic squirm because they were accurately characterized as such.

No, you cannot have your cake and eat it, too....

DADvocate said...

it is a privileged haunt for those who delight in scorn, derision, and wrathful dislike of mainstream American culture...

I witnessed plenty of this during my days as a student and son of a college professor. I think academic freedom refers more to being relatively free from the threat of being fired for one's views than anything. That is an agreement between employer and employee, not a granting for more legal freedom than the rest of us.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

In a different world, Beck would have made one hell of a trial attorney. Can you imagine?

virgil xenophon said...

"In a different world Beck would have made one hell of a trial attorney."

What makes you think he isn't performing as one now?

Bruce Hayden said...

The left explodes in anger if you suggest it is the more rageful of the two [sides]. The right tends to laugh at the idea....

Of course the left is the more rageful of the two sides. They haven't grown up enough to learn to control their anger, and to discover what is really important to them in real life. Many academics seem to have never left this phase of their lives. (Ann, et al. - not a slam at all those working in academia - many, if not most, have grown up, but they aren't the ones disrupting society in the way that Beck is portraying Piven).

edutcher said...

What Beck does may not be scholarship, but he does a pretty good job of letting the world know what the Lefties are about.

And that's "dangerous irresponsibility".

Famous Original Mike said...

That is the best description of the whole situation I have read yet. Peter Wood seems like a smart guy.

Bruce Hayden said...

What is going on in particular with Beck is interesting.

The left would like you to believe that these people just talk like this because they have no accountability due to their tenure. But the reason that this has surfaced as an issue is that some of them actually do actively advocate violent overthrow of our government.

Of course, the poster boy for all this is Bill Ayers. Who avoided serious prison time for his Weather Underground work by having a very rich, well connected, father. And, then found himself in academia, working with the President-to-be. And, it turns out that there really is a fringe in academia who really should be in prison instead of in tenured positions.

The first problem is that actions have consequences, and up until now, academia has considered itself immune from the consequences of its actions. Now, they may end up paying for such, with greatly reduced tenure, for one thing.

Secondly, part of this is political. The President has been surrounded by radicals throughout his life time. Probably not surprisingly, since his father was an avowed communist, and his mother must have been at least somewhat sympathetic. So, he hangs around with people from the Weather Underground, attends a Black Liberation church, and then people are surprised that he appoints so many people of questionable politics, ethics, and/or morality to his Administration.

So, yes, some of the attacks on people like Piven are politically motivated.

Kirby Olson said...

Is this the Peter Wood who is a historian at Duke who wrote about Gullah, and the rice plantations?

There is no bio at the bottom of the article. I like that he stands up for Beck, whoever he is.

I hadn't heard of Piven before, had never heard of Motor Voter, or her wanting to scuttle the liberal policies and put into effect a hardcore socialist vision of things.

Those people are everywhere in academia, often mean well, are extremely angry.

He calls them the angri-culture.

The angri-culture will reap what it has sown.

Seems like a reasonable thesis.

Paul Zrimsek said...

While Beck has Piven dead to rights on the question of advocating violence, some of Wood's commenters have a partial point regarding whether that makes her an actual threat to anyone. If you're going to try to inflame the working class, best to do it in a publication no working-class person has read in half a century.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

Glenn Beck defines unadulterated, irrational, white trash ...Garbage. Anyone who defends him or his idiocies falls in that class as well

While one may or may not approve of Piven, Beck has more or less said people should commit violence against her. He should be charged with assault, if not attempted murder

PatCA said...

"Drawing careful distinctions, seeking nuance, or searching for contextual understanding... "

I guess that's what those faculty members openly mocking a Republican colleague (who wasn't there) at a meeting recently were doing.

Geoff Matthews said...

J,

Where has Beck called for violence against Piven?

A citation would be nice.

J said...

Maybe read the linked articles, Einstein--

""In recent weeks [Piven] has been subjected to an onslaught of denunciations, including death threats posted on theblaze.com, a website maintained by a company owned by radio and television commentator Glenn Beck."""

Beck owns The Blaze where the rightist yokels have posted death threats. He approves of them at least tacitly and should be held guilty (and also incited it...via his bully pulpit at Fox).
Same for any blog--as when the klansmen run loose on AA.com. That's......... AA's responsibility.

Phil 3:14 said...

If you're going to try to inflame the working class, best to do it in a publication no working-class person has read in half a century.

Spot on!

Michael said...

I spent a number of years teaching and was a member in good standing in the "academy." Ihave a very good understanding of how things work in that world. Among many observations I could make about academics as opposed to people met in the business world is that academics are very often not as bright. In fact, it is nearly always axiomatic. It is also true, I believe, that academics are aware of this and embittered by it.

Michael said...

J: No one has posted death threats against this pathetic school teacher.

Noah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nichevo said...

Don't be mad at J. After failing to kill Rep. Giffords, he has to take out his frustrations somehow.

Considering how little Internet time he can have in Arizona lockup I think he is doing rather well at getting his ya-yas out, if not making a point or anything.

- and he scored a head shot too! How unfair is that? Well, at least he killed some Republicans and children, so there's that.

Good luck at the trial, J. One suggestion: let your hair grow out. It can't hurt.

Lucien said...

Do clowns really have an abnormally high degree of self regard?

J said...

11: 26. Touched a nerve, eh, chandala?? So, time to lie,
teabagger. yr the terrorists, puto.

We'll see, won't we--as started in the AAUP article (a bit challenging for the AA terrorists), "Professor Piven has herself begun to receive threats of violence."

I suspect Prof. Piven will be moving on Beck, FoxCo, pronto. Buh bye to the fat Mormon queer.

J said...

Hey, Nichevo, touched a nerve eh hijo de puta???--yr Loughner imitation not so great though. Jared's rather f-ed up, but can at least write a bit

I've got yr number, too-- liar, satanist, human shit.

Buh bye Beckbots

Shanna said...

Whether it abides more on one side than the other is a ticklish question.

The left explodes in anger if you suggest it is the more rageful of the two. The right tends to laugh at the idea.


So...asked and answered, right?

roesch-voltaire said...

Oh my more drivel on who is bright or who is not: academic world or business world. I vote for the financial world; they were clever enough to nearly bankrupt our country, get TRAP funds to back up their losses, and received millions in bonus money for their questionable activities, while I and other academics can only post our thoughts in little read publications and continue to take salary cuts.

Marc said...

"The left explodes in anger if you suggest it is the more rageful of the two."

Gosh, J. You had me at "white trash." I guess all your other calm, reasoned logic -- "yokels," "klansmen," "teabagger," "garbage," "terrorist," "fat," "Mormon," "queer," "liar," "satanist," "human shit" -- are intended to be persuasive among more nuanced academic types than me. I can't see why you haven't been more effective in rebutting the idea that liberals are rage-filled man-boys. You're so complicated! Everyone else is wrong because shut up.

Brian O'Connell said...

Where has Beck called for violence against Piven?

Well, he did say "more or less," so it could just be less. Also: "He should be charged with assault, if not attempted murder." I can't wait until Beck is charged with less than assault.

Lincolntf said...

"I vote for the financial world;"

Gee whiz, I wonder where all the bankers and financiers got their ideas, principles and strategies. Couldn't have possibly have been in University lecture halls, could it?

rhhardin said...

Angricola, a community organizer.

J said...

12:40: You mean the Piven case , Marki? it is complicated, Marci, at least for like mormons, FoxBots, scientologists, etc. Im reasonable with other reasonable humans. Deranged cultists and ultra-conservative quacks and the usual teabagger morons--well they can, as it says in Scripture, eat sh*t and die.

But not so complicated, legally. Glenn Beck allowed death threats against Piven on a site he owns. Shyster IM not, but that looks actionable. He also--more or less-- incited violence against her on Fox. Plus he's just a tasteless fat, semi-educated mormon yahoo . Reason enough for like, say public execution via .....guillotine (at least after being found guilty by jury of his peers) .

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)



J is the Insult Troll, best to ignore its output….Just say’n , in Trooper’s Immortal Words…..

Michael said...

J: Also, please stop the kitchen Spanish, it is an insult to a beautiful language.

Michael said...

RV: Why don't you go on strike? Or, if you could, why don't you peddle your wares in the world of competition and see how you fare? Or, why not just put your IQ on some business cards and see where that gets you. I have been in the university environment and I call bullshit on you and your colleagues and I would challenge your abilities outside that cloister.

J said...

Note the factual claim, which your daily derailment has nothing to do with, Joe the Troll and Mikey. Yr hero Beck's about finito.

Chinga tu putamadre, basura.

JAL said...

@ Paul Z If you're going to try to inflame the working class, best to do it in a publication no working-class person has read in half a century.

Ahh ... but aspiring and practicing Community Organizers read her.

I don't object to ideas being published.

I object to them being enshrined as beyond reproach, taught to our "kids" (you know, the ones still included on mommy & daddy's insurance till they are long in the tooth), unexamined and unchallenged.

I especially dislike it if the ideas of violence are being funded by the public taxpayer.

Michael said...

J: Do you dishonor Spanish speaking people as a general rule? You do realize that the language is debased when shitheel gingos only use it to curse? You do realize that nice people, especially nice people from Spanish speaking counties, do not use the language you do, that would be offended by your vulgarity? You are aware that the majority of people whose first language is Spanish find the words and the phrases you find so charming utterly disgusting?

Brian O'Connell said...

Ha, cause insulting someone's mother in blog comments is ridiculous and childish, but not if you do it in Spanish! Then it's got the authenticity of the streets.

J said...
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J said...

Edit!

2:09 Shut yr byatch mouth, scumbag .Yr the racist here, Bloomberg-boy, neo-con, warbird, and don't know ser o estar from yr shofar.

Is that clear enoough Mikey molester? I piss on yr face, satanist

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)



Michael, J is an INSULT TROLL, that’s what it does…it doesn’t argue, it doesn’t reason…it just insults and hopes you acknowledge its existence by responding…It doesn’t care if you argue well, speak Spanish, it CARES that you noticed it, no more, no less.

Michael said...

J: The genius of language is that it is a marker that can easily be used to distinguish the educated from the semi-educated, the successful from the failed, the authentic from the pretender.

rocketeer67 said...

don't know ser o estar from yr shofar.

To whit:

J, you are and always will be ("ser" 3rd person sing.) an ignorant pseudo-intellectual striver, screaming for attention from your betters, accomplishing nothing and remaining mired in insignificance for your entire useless embittered life.

I am ("estar" 1st person sing.)laughing at you - not in a good way - but will quit laughing in a few minutes and forget you, consistent with your station in life and your total lack of any positive contribution to the progess of humanity.

J said...

2:33. Listen up, Mikey and Miss Joe the AIPAC gal. Just don't respond to my posts anymore, stalkers. Thats all. I have nothing to say to you, trash, anymore than I would to a Kissinger, except maybe buena suerte.... en Perdido.

Note to any rational commenters re the Piven issue---maybe start by reading Nelson's AAUP article before defending Beck, "free speech" etc.. There's another side to this--like Glenn Beck owns the site where threats were posted.

Nichevo said...

J: I don't understand what you just said. Are they forcing you to take your meds? Guess not. I don't know if you'll like the crazy house better than an honest prison, but it's up to you.

But other than that how do you like the Pima County lockups? Good service? (IYKWIM, AITYD.) Being it is Arizona I imagine there are plenty of Spanish speakers on hand; wonder if they understand you any better than we can.

Got my number? Chinga, you can't count that high.

J said...

You forget one, Mikey. Effective Language likes distiguishes the Human from..... the Swine, ie, you. Heh heh

J said...

Grazi for the evidence, Nichevo the liar.

My attorney will like it too, perp

Yr the perps here, swine.

roesch-voltaire said...

Mitchell I have worked in what you call the outside world in sales, in an ad agency, and in TV news winning awards, and earning a living in all three areas. Some of my acquaintances have been CEOs, and I presently work with an entrepreneur developing wind energy. These days I find many of my fellow academics have worked in the "outside" world before turning to research and teaching.
And I know a few who have left academia to work in the private sector. I do not know what part of the academic world you hung around with because it takes all kinds to make up a university from scholars of Greek and Latin, perhaps not a hot subject in the business world, to Mechanical Engineers who produce students demanded by NASA etc. To compare every academic profession to free market calibrations would, for example, eliminate the cancer researchers who have spent years working on projects to develop new systems of delivery as well as the years spent slowly translating a Greek tragedy into English-- both things that I admire and support.

J said...

Btw, Nicheva, Im in LA county. Like Cooley-land.

Got that, liar, neo-con garbage, NY mierda?

Heh heh

Lincolntf said...

Check out J's "blog" through his profile. I skimmed for a minute and found weeks worth of terribly crafted blog posts that garnered virtually zero comments. Talk about mental masturbation.
It was actually sadder than AlphaLibs blog.

holdfast said...

Piven is a cockroach.

Beck is a MagLite.

holdfast said...

"While one may or may not approve of Piven, Beck has more or less said people should commit violence against her"

Quotes or GTFO cunny

Of course, I could give you some quotes:

Obama: “They Bring a Knife…We Bring a Gun!”

Obama to His Followers: “Get in Their Faces!”

Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”

Obama to His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard!”

Obama on the private sector: “We talk to these folks… so I know whose ass to kick.“

Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat!”

Obama to lib supporters: “It’s time to Fight for it.”

Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish our enemies."

Obama to democrats: “I’m itching for a fight.”

All this violent rhetoric is making me feel quite faint, I think I'll go lie down.

Raul said...

The local teabaggers rush to defend one of their intellectual heroes...Glenn Beck.
YOu people get dumber by the day.

And as always, lead down the path of idiocy by the Queen herself.

former law student said...

I liked Piven in PCU

http://i.timeinc.net/time/
photoessays/2009/10q_jeremy_piven
/10q_jeremy_piven_04.jpg

Michael said...

RV: Generally I would agree with you. I do know a number of people, very successful people, in the business world who were majors in Latin or who were professional classical musicians or who majored in History or Philosophy or English. They have taken the benefits of a true liberal education and deployed them in the world outside the academy to great effect. Many who toil in finance are extremely well and liberally educated. Many are much smarter than their teachers.

former law student said...

My favorite Beck clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgSPaXgAdzE

Lincolntf said...

It's classic that the Libs have to use cable TV hosts as counterpoints to the hatred and violent imagery projected by the President.
When the Prez of the U.S. is reduced to battling (and losing to) a guy with a dinner time talk show, you know his goose is cooked.

Nichevo said...

You're in LA? OMG call the press, the Giffords shooter has escaped!!!!1!

Nice J, nice crazy person...nice doggy...where's that rock...

And what is Cooley-land? Never heard of it. Is that where you go to get away from the voices in your head?

I am interested to know what your lawyer would get out of this. As I think I said, I don't believe you'll like the crazy house better than prison...or are they going to execute you? Well I'm not sure you wouldn't prefer death to the crazy house...then again you are crazy...maybe you'll like it there...or maybe you already do.

Show of hands...who thinks J is Jared Loughner, and who thinks he's just a really, really good imitation, probably on the same meds and same diagnosis?

J, who do we reach out to in LA to get you in on a 5150 and ensure you can never own a gun? I'm pretty sure you are one sonofabitch (what is that in Spanish? Surely hijo de perra isn't colloquial. Hijo de puta is whoreson which is accurate but not what I intended. Como se dice "motherfucker?" That would do) who should be kept far from the steel and close to the stelazine.


P.S. Never watched Beck's show. In clips I've seen he doesn't make me want to watch his show. Doesn't mean I have any reason to crap on him. Certainly the Tides Foundation is evil.

Nichevo said...

BTW, J, in case you don't get it...it's harder for you to insult us, or at least for us to take offense, if we don't know Win The Future you're talking about.

Michael said...

Nichevo: J says he lives in LA but I suspect he lives up in the valley with his parents or a guardian. He is pathetic on stilts

Gahrie said...

some of Wood's commenters have a partial point regarding whether that makes her an actual threat to anyone. If you're going to try to inflame the working class, best to do it in a publication no working-class person has read in half a century.

Except history has shown us that most political violence, especially terrorism, is committed by well educated offspring of the rich and upper middle class.

orbicularioculi said...

95% of Sociology taught in academia is bull**it. Beck educates and states FACTS; the sociologiists supporting Piven are dissemblers, liars and unethical educator-quacks.

Dewave said...

What's ironic is that lefties like J have adovcated far more violence against Beck than he has ever advocated against Piven.

Pointing out Piven's words truthfully, as Beck did, is only an incitement to violence if you believe what Piven said was so awful violence is the only proper response...which is apparently what the Left really believes about their own views deep down...fascinating!

Fat Man said...

"Of course, the poster boy for all this is Bill Ayers."

Ayers should have charged with murder in the deaths of the people who died in the Greenwich Village town house explosion that killed 3 people including his lover. There is no statute of limitations for murder. Ayers has publicly admitted to all of the material facts.

Fat Man said...

"Glenn Beck defines unadulterated, irrational, white trash ...Garbage. Anyone who defends him or his idiocies falls in that class as well"

No racial or class stereotypes here. Better a thousand years with the white trash than five minutes with J and his friends.

Blue@9 said...

It's okay for her detractors to say she's no threat, but for her defenders to say so is to admit that her ideas are either not serious or that no one would take her ideas seriously.

This is what always pissed me off about American liberals who defended American Communists. I mean, fuck, these are people who call for the violent overthrow of the Constitution--do you think they're just joking about that part?

Fen said...

I hope Ezra Klein is looking over his shoulder everytime he approaches a plate glass window.

Fred said...

An idea taken directly from Charles Manson.

"The consistent theme of Piven’s work has been the desire to set Americans against one another in the hope that out of the resulting conflict will come a more organized and energized movement"

dicentra63 said...

Just to put y'all some useful facts:

At any given moment, there are 15 active threats against Glenn Beck's life: fifteen threats that law enforcement take seriously enough to investigate. The FBI makes him wear a flak jacket at book signings and live stage shows.

Glenn has to spend about $1 million annually just on security for himself, his family, and his staff, for the sake of Pete. Just answering the phones at Mercury can put you in danger.

And let's not forget the security detail that Ann Coulter and David Horowitz have to use when visiting university campuses, yet Piven can walk freely anywhere in academe, sans bodyguards and sans bullet-proofing.

It's like Palestinians vs. Israelis: the former lob dozens of bombs toward the latter, but when the latter lob a few the other way, suddenly it's war crimes and gulags and hysterics all around.

M. Simon said...

The local teabaggers rush to defend one of their intellectual heroes...Glenn Beck.

YOu people get dumber by the day.


And more powerful. Scary for you I'm sure. I love it.

====

Back in the times of the Duke LaCrosse Non-Rape case we had a name for the academic ghetto:

Angry Studies

Thankfully two of my kids are studying engineering and one of them was a humanities major who graduated with honors from my old school and is now teaching American culture to Russians. I raised him libertarian. The irony is delicious.

The Crack Emcee said...

Fred,

An idea taken directly from Charles Manson.

I keep trying to tell them but, as the saying goes, "my seed could find no purchase."

Of course, a lot of the reason for that is because of who I am - the Piven's, etc., want to lead a black man to freedom, they don't want me to get it, or even define it, for myself - so, you see, it would be better if I died a Left-wing martyr in a riot, leaving the hippies and post-hippie NewAgers to keep on with the work, and getting the spotlight.

That I - the person they're all trying to "help" - am on to them is quite disconcerting for everyone involved, including me. They see no reason in doing what I ask, because it differs from their vision and requires them to give. I, on the other hand, am left wondering why my "friends" are so unwilling to be of service, when what I gain will benefit all. Resentment is fueled all around, resulting in a no-win situation.

I don't think anything that ends with blacks becoming conservative - as most of the country is - is going to get funding from anyone. Is there even one organization set up for that? On the Left or Right? A lot of people talk about it, the need for it, but what is actually being done? (Leftists funding anything that could result in the loss of abortion rights isn't going to happen.) This is why the civil rights era had to be started by blacks alone, because whites, in many ways, are still as confused by us as ever. They just can't picture us being people in the same way they see themselves. The hippie era was the flip side to the racist shit of the past, yet, somehow, my freedom - our freedom - is still out there waiting for us to mature.

For the sake of our country, I hope it happens soon.

The Crack Emcee said...

BTW - I feel silly having to say this - but, of course, I don't mean "all" whites or "all" blacks. Just speaking generally, so don't jump all over me:

I was hoping to be thoughtful.

Skookum John said...

I was hoping to be thoughtful.

You are, Crack. You're one of the most consistently thoughtful and interesting folks who post here.

Teacher said...

Of course there's polemic as well as scholarship coming out of academia.

Why would it be only one thing?

I imagine law schools-- are they part of academia?-- have the same ratio of the wise to the knuckleheads.

What if we began with the assumption that law schools were there to teach lawyers how to keep mobsters out of jail and reduce corporate culpability for things like the Bhopal disaster?

What I wonder is if Althouse would tolerate the kind of flimsy reasoning and reliance on specious sources that Beck traffics in from a student, colleague, or article in a journal in her own field.

I've started to feel that Althouse has turned into the conservative opposite number of Leonard Bernstein in the sixties, inviting black panthers into his park avenue home to show he was down with the cause.

mc said...

"what goes on in academia is certainly scholarship (and not polemic)"--

Is oikophobia metastasizing into solipsism with hiding under your graffitied book leaves in the DSM?