October 31, 2003

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?

I was all set to do a meaningless pop culture post about pumpkin carving, a fastidious Boy, and my burning need to see 28 Days Later, but reader Christine sent me this link, and it's much scarier than some maneating zombie movie could ever be.

Thrill to the sanctimonious, yet nostalgic tone of the radical alliance's mission statement, with its invocation of empire, imperialism and lies, oh my!:

We are radical scholars and intellectuals. Many of us are activist-academics who work in, around, and in spite of institutions of higher education. Many of us are activist-scholars and activist-intellectuals who work in non-academic settings. Some of us are veterans of the sixties, and some of us are younger; all of us are active participants in today's new movements. In 2002-2003, we came together in the streets, the teach-ins, the academic associations and elsewhere in opposition to the war in Iraq; we oppose the governmental lies that brought the U.S. into the war, and we oppose U.S. imperialism and the emerging U.S. empire. We are deeply concerned about growing repression and, in particular, its impact on critical thought and expression.

Gasp at the hysterical tone of every. single. thing. on. the. site!

Reel in horror as the dead come to life!

Finally, leave screaming at the irony of conspiracy theorists complaining about misinformation, half-truths, and mind rot!

The horror, the horror!

Posted by Big Arm Woman at October 31, 2003 09:13 AM

Yeah . . . that radical group thing? Guess where McCarthy will look first . . .

Posted by: Academy Girl at November 1, 2003 11:08 AM

I have never trusted anyone who claims to be an intellectual. Don't get me wrong, I work with those who do, usually they are full of hot air or something else.

Posted by: jim at November 1, 2003 05:07 PM

Poking fun at so-called intellectuals seems fine on this site, but surely it remains obvious that there is a definite political process involved in this. This sort of academic-bashing is not merely arbritary or immaterial, it necessarily involves a political choice, of what to bash and what to leave un-bashed; which issues can be discussed sensibly and quasi-intelligently here and elsewhere and which will leave you open to anti-itellectual ridicule. Yes, De Geneva probably went too far in calling for the death of US servicemen in Iraq, though on a material level this seems to be occurrring without the influence of his dubious politics. Perhaps the anti-intellectual clientelle here could take heart from this at least: people are dying in Iraq, on both sides, and the revisionist-leftist politics of an obscure intellectual will not alter this fact. Therefore, the academics maintain their position as immaterial weirdos with no understanding of the 'real' world, which would no doubt bring a pang of pleasure to those who picture intellectuals as bearded pinko-commie guardian readers. As far as I can tell, either the anti-war intelligensia are irrelevant and out of touch with reality, you may say, or what they say actually is important, in which case it is necessary to attack them and ridicule academics in general to attack their underlying politica positions. In either case, we can agree that attacking inellectuals for the sake of it is counter-productive, and may do nothing to alter the poltical views of the populous or of academics. Underpinning all this, of course, are the harsh truths of war, which we can formulate in either anti-intellectual or academic fashions: people die, children lose parents, whether Iraqi or American, and hideous, world-altering things occur. Perhaps intellectuals and popularists can unite in the understanding that, whichever way we direct our gaze, Iraq has got us seriously in the shit, and neither US bashing nor academic-bashing will help anyone het out of it.

Posted by: Phil Mark at March 29, 2004 11:55 AM