All entries by this author

Judgment Is Not Censorship *

Jun 11th, 2003 | Filed by

Student editors and Harvard English department not heroes but confused, says Stanley Fish.… Read the rest

The Tasaday *

Jun 10th, 2003 | Filed by

Feuds within anthroplogy, questions about authenticity, palm leaves versus T shirts.… Read the rest

Alan Wolfe on ‘Diversity’ *

Jun 10th, 2003 | Filed by

What Americans think diversity is and what they think it isn’t.… Read the rest

‘Watchdog’ versus Teachers’ Union *

Jun 9th, 2003 | Filed by

Is it discrimination to exclude disabled students who cause problems?… Read the rest

‘Watchdog’ versus Teachers’ Union *

Jun 9th, 2003 | Filed by

Is it discrimination to exclude disabled students who cause problems?… Read the rest

Hip, Relevant, In Your Face *

Jun 8th, 2003 | Filed by

Entertaining, short, punchy, fast – poetry on tv. Next up: quantum mechanics lite.… Read the rest

News Because I Only Just Now Found It *

Jun 7th, 2003 | Filed by

Francis Cornford’s Microcosmographia Academica.… Read the rest

Philosophers Useful After All? *

Jun 7th, 2003 | Filed by

They can serve as logical police, with non-contradiction for a nightstick.… Read the rest

The Arts on Television *

Jun 7th, 2003 | Filed by

Why is coverage of the arts not as good as it once was on UK television? … Read the rest

What is Elitism?

Jun 6th, 2003 | By

Fashionable Nonsense is a fabric of many threads, a sea fed by many rivers, a library with many volumes, a dog with many fleas. But there are also a few themes or core assumptions that play a role – that are ‘foundational’ – in most if not all of these many mansions: anti-essentialism, anti-realism, relativism, pretensions to transgression and rebellion and épater-ing; projects of unmasking, exposing, demystifying – every FNer a Toto pulling back the curtain that hides the Wizard; concern with hidden agendas and concealed power drives; and various kinds of make-believe anti-elitism.

The elitism question is a complicated matter, not least because of the widely-observed paradox that claims of anti-elitism emanate from academics who write a language of … Read the rest

The N.Y. Times on the N.Y. Times *

Jun 6th, 2003 | Filed by

Many reporters and editors were disaffected in wake of Blair and Bragg.… Read the rest

Two N.Y. Times Editors Resign *

Jun 6th, 2003 | Filed by

Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd fall on swords in aftermath of Jayson Blair fraud.… Read the rest

Problematizing the Dominant Narrative

Jun 6th, 2003 12:54 am | By

I do get to have fun, toiling and slaving here at the mills of B and W. I browse Google and sometimes I do find peculiar gems.
This one for example: a review of a book whose very title reeks of fashion: Dis/locating Cultures/Identitites, Traditions, and Third World Feminism. Got all that? You think the author stuffed enough Right On signposts in there for one title? The cute ‘Dis/locating,’ the buzzwords ‘cultures’ and ‘identities’ slammed together with that artful /, and finishing off with a flourish with Third World Feminism. There, that’s all the bases touched, Narayan must have thought in satisfaction. No one can say I don’t know the patois.

And that’s only the title, and only the … Read the rest

Guardians of the truth?

Jun 5th, 2003 5:35 pm | By

If you click on the Guardian story link in the ‘Post-Orientalism” entry below, you’ll find it doesn’t work. Here’s why – from the Guardian’s web site today:

A report which was posted on our website on June 4 under the heading “Wolfowitz: Iraq war was about oil” misconstrued remarks made by the US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, making it appear that he had said that oil was the main reason for going to war in Iraq. He did not say that. He said, “The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil.” The sense was that the US had no economic

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A Glaring Omission

Jun 5th, 2003 5:00 pm | By

I’ve been reading Richard Dawkins’ A Devil’s Chaplain lately. It’s not available in the States yet, but my colleague sent it to me from the UK. It’s great stuff, of course – Dawkins is a brilliant polemicist, essayist, explainer, persuader. His review of Sokal and Bricmont’s Intellectual Impostures/Fashionable Nonsense is hilarious (though of course it could hardly help it, having such rich material to work with). And Dawkins mentions one fact in passing which I feel compelled to make a fuss about.

Sokal was inspired to do this [his famous hoax] by Paul Gross and Norman Levitt’s Higher Superstition: the Academic Left and its Quarrels with Science, an important book which deserves to become as well known in Britain

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Review of A Devil’s Chaplain *

Jun 5th, 2003 | Filed by

Praise for Richard Dawkins’ “marvellously contemptuous dismissal of ‘postmodernism’” and more.… Read the rest

What Separation of Church and State? *

Jun 5th, 2003 | Filed by

What the Bush administration is doing to make religion even more intrusively mandatory in American life.… Read the rest


Jun 5th, 2003 12:05 am | By

My colleague and I have been discussing (or arguing about, if you like) the
Guardian story which reports that Paul Wolfowitz said the Iraq war was about oil. I have more doubts and qualms about the war than Jeremy does, but then as he concedes, I live in the US whereas he lives in the UK: the differences in our respective heads of state could account for our different views all by themselves. But one thing we do agree on is the irredeemable awfulness of Islamofascism, and that there is no proper opposition to it (with, as he points out, the honourable exception of Christopher Hitchens) on the Left.

Why is that? I think it has to do with the … Read the rest

Interview with Azar Nafisi *

Jun 4th, 2003 | Filed by

Ideology, politicization of every part of life, intimidation, the value of discourse.… Read the rest

Only ‘Faith’ Schools Allowed to Discriminate *

Jun 4th, 2003 | Filed by

Churches successfully lobbied UK government, won right to fire gays in religious schools.… Read the rest