Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Can Add a Dummy?

The U.S., in its effort to establish free trade in all things, has a brand new import on its way to Canada. It seems our great neighbor to the north (ok, our only neighbor to the north) is now trying to stop this at the border, a serious case of loving the stupid. The Chronicle of Higher Ed reports today (sorry, you have to register for the link so I'll excerpt freely):

Is "professor" a political insult? The Conservative Party in Canada seems to think so. It is portraying its main opponent in next month's early election, Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, as a nerdy, out-of-touch professor.

"I think they've spent too much time reading the U.S. Republican playbook," said James Turk, executor director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers.

[...]

In various animated advertisements on its Web site, the Conservative Party has mocked Mr. Dion, a former political-science professor at the University of Montreal, by showing him standing and shrugging in front of a blackboard. On Tuesday a new ad featured a puffin pooping on Mr. Dion's shoulder. Uproar over the ad forced Mr. Harper to apologize, saying the caricature was in poor taste.

[...]

Mr. Dion went on the offensive to counter the "prejudice that an intellectual is not a human being," pointing out that while he liked to read books and enjoyed the outdoors, he wasn't a wealthy man and shared the same concerns as other Canadians, including worrying about paying the bills at the end of the month.

He of course added that as a professor he could actually balance his checkbook, unlike most of his fellow hockey-loving, doughnut-scarfing countrymen and women.

Seriously, it's not that in the U.S.--and I'm sure there's research somewhere showing only 47% of Americans can spell U.S.--we think "an intellectual is not a human being." We just don't trust them intellectuals, with their learning and big words and ability to figure and sense of context and history and everything. Gets in the way of Good Ole Merican Doing.

And the Republicans have been "doing" the U.S. for a long long seven years and currently have a bridge to nowhere to sell us.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

Always comforting to see the anti-intellectual movement flourishing outside of America's proud borders...

5:27 AM  
Blogger Smitty said...

Matt Damon, for what it's worth, had some great lines in his peice about why Palin is fucking frightening. One of the best was about how Ms. Folsky Hockey Mom is going to have to stare-down someone like Vladimir Putin, using all of the skills she learned in the hockey rink.

God, please, deliver us.

6:26 AM  
Blogger M.C. Confrontation said...

Let's see... Existing in academia as a professor of whatever is certainly not inhuman, but it does shield such a person from the horrors of the real world. Just because they can spell doesn't qualify them for any extra respect from the rest of us working folk. Now back to your bubble.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Smitty said...

but it does shield such a person from the horrors of the real world

What???

Your idea has no basis in fact at all. Prove it. Define it. Show it. Just saying it doesn't make iot true at all. I would contend that anyone teaching college is extremely aware of the world around them, especially if they teach social sciences, political science and the like.

I'll give you philosophy professors, though, McC. They're weird.

Just because someone on Fox News once said college priofs are out of touch doesn't make that any more than an opinion. Opinions are not facts.

10:43 AM  
Blogger M.C. Confrontation said...

I'm speaking from first-hand knowledge my man. That's all the evidence I need.

And don't you remember the snooty econ professor in the movie "Back to School?" I know ten guys like that guy, and they are all, to a man, jackasses with their heads in the sand.

I definitely agree with you about the philosophy guys.... weirdos.

Why is it that when a liberal is faced with contrarian opinion they go straight to the fox.rush.sean card, as if these are the only media outlets that conservatives expose themselves to? I understand that you folks are diametrically opposed to giving any credit to someone of my political persuasion, as if I constitute some kind of threat to you, but trust me when I say that if you should ever evolve to that level of human understanding it is truly an exilirating feeling.

2:55 PM  
Blogger George said...

MC, you're absolutely right: you don't just turn to fox.rush.sean, you cite fictional films as evidence.

And I know you're not a religious wacko, so you actually do believe in evolution, but if you think evolution has something to do with one's political beliefs you need to go back to school and study up.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I'm speaking from first-hand knowledge my man. That's all the evidence I need

That's just it, McC. That sums up the whole problem. Speaking from 1 narrow experiential point of view. Your experience may show that college profs are generally egg-heads, just like someone else's experince may show that people who work at a certain chain are idiots, or people from a certain town are mouth-breathers, or whatever.

But to sum up thousands of people in a profession based on your own individual experience with a narrow subset of them is exactly what happens when we draw conclusions withut knowing more.

As for FoxRushSean...I know lots of republicans. I just went door-to-door with a conservative who is a good friend of mine and a candidate with his shit absolutely together. Dude does a good job for his constituents. He, and many other conservatives that I have come to know, are not sumed up by FoxRushSean. But Fox, Rush, and Sean are total fuck heads without a shred of decent honesty. Especially that squirrely fuck Hannity. He can fuck himself, and probably does.

6:43 PM  
Blogger M.C. Confrontation said...

I used to love to listen to Sean, and I have read all of his books and would still encourage everyone to read them. I just can't listen to him anymore. He's as shrill as Hillary on the campaign trail and it's not fun anymore.

And way to twist it G. The only evidence I cited was my own experience. I merely threw in the film reference for context.

J: my one narrow set of experiences is all I need, but that's not all I have. I concur with the mass media talking heads who generalize that those employed in the world of academia tend to be liberal wackos. So take the assumed stereotype, add it to my personal experience, and presto! it's true. if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a freaking duck.

the author of this blog is an example we could all use to promote that stereotype. what else do you need?

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler provided two groups of volunteers with the Bush administration's prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. One group was given a refutation -- the comprehensive 2004 Duelfer report that concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction before the United States invaded in 2003. Thirty-four percent of conservatives told only about the Bush administration's claims thought Iraq had hidden or destroyed its weapons before the U.S. invasion, but 64 percent of conservatives who heard both claim and refutation thought that Iraq really did have the weapons. The refutation, in other words, made the misinformation worse.

A similar "backfire effect" also influenced conservatives told about Bush administration assertions that tax cuts increase federal revenue. One group was offered a refutation by prominent economists that included current and former Bush administration officials. About 35 percent of conservatives told about the Bush claim believed it; 67 percent of those provided with both assertion and refutation believed that tax cuts increase revenue."

go here to read the whole thing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ wp...8091402375.html

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:43 PM  

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