May 24, 2004

Would Someone Please Stop the Sociology Professors Before They Speak Again?

You know the wrongest (most wrong, wronger, wrongishest) thing about this whole EL Doctorow commencement speech booing article?

This quote:

Some Hofstra professors said Doctorow was on target in discussing the war. "I thought this was a totally appropriate place to talk about politics because that's the world our students are entering," said sociology professor Cynthia Bogard. "I only wish their parents had provided them a better role model."

Of course, it does come from a sociology professor, but it's a lovely combination of arrogance, disdain and inaccurate perception nonetheless. I had no idea that every single graduate of Hofstra was entering the world of politics. Or that the entire world is just politics. Let's dip our toes into the icy water of reality, okay? Machiavelli to the contrary, life isn't just politics. I mean, that sounds really deep at 2 a.m. when the beer is flowing and you're discussing Big Ideas, but a lot of things that aren't remotely true sound good when you add beer to the conversation. Like flying cars. Then you sober up and hope no one else remembers the drivel you were spouting.

Unless you're a sociology professor, in which case you will be compelled to repeat your stupidity to a member of the press. Hopefully the majority of those graduates have been spared that fate.

And that's not even mentioning her ideas about the poor role models these benighted students had in parents who loved and raised them. Those parents failed because they didn't teach their kids to lay down and take it when a commencement address was turned into a party platform! The horror! Beasts and infidels, the lot of them. Thank God the ivory tower keeps their ilk out of the sainted halls of academe...oh, forget it.

Professor, you're a tool. A female tool. A toolette, if you will.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at May 24, 2004 02:17 PM

It does seem like a stupid speech in that context. However, upon close inspection of the linked article, your interpretation of the sociologist's comments is slightly off the mark. She was talking about the parents behavior during the commencement ceremony when she said they weren't acting as proper role models. (According to the article you linkd, most of the disruption came from the crowd not the students, who, in fact, did seem to lay down and take it. Hofstra's president's comment from the podium implies this as well.)

The speech was out of place, but it may not be role-model-like to shout down public speakers, even if they are annoying.

Anyway, thanks for putting so much effort into your website! You really seem to have a refreshing perspective on life!

Posted by: hermit at May 25, 2004 09:27 AM

The best thing to have done would be to have walked out, or quietly turned one's back on the speaker. However, the attendees probably weren't informed in advance of the content of the speech and reacted in spur-of-the-moment fashion.

Posted by: David Foster at May 25, 2004 10:06 AM

Thank G*d! A voice of reason in acadamia. Keep up the good fight! Best, Terry

Posted by: Terry Reynolds at May 25, 2004 10:18 AM

It's a bit reminiscent of last year's debacle here at State, actually, where all of the above (booing, quietly walking out, just sitting there fuming or agreeing)took place.

Of course, we didn't have the added extra crunchy goodness of a professor heaping calumny upon the parents' heads. I do wonder if she would have been so quick to condemn them if the speaker had been someone with whom SHE disagreed?

I've seen enough professorial behavior which aped that of the "poor role models'" to think that the answer might well be "no."

Sigh. Is it too much to ask that a commencement speech be about ways to succeed in the real world after graduation, and not about some hack's politics?

Apparently so, when even Bill Cosby's gettin' all controversial.

Posted by: BAW at May 25, 2004 10:22 AM

Finding all of this (articles cited here and those read elsewhere) quite ironic...

Five years ago, a conservative speaker who would point out that Clinton committed a felony by lying under oath would have been given the same treatment.

So, now that conservatives are treating the liberals to their own medicine the liberals feel that they should be calling "foul" about censorship and hurt feelings.

Hello, people who talk into microphones, all of you need to GROW UP!

Part of that involves accepting that different opinions exist. The other part involves actually exhibiting tolerance instead of just talking about it. How 'bout trying to honor that First Ammendment that y'all are so fond of using.

My question....when did it become a laudable goal to immitate the behavior of junior high students as acceptable grown up behavior?

Posted by: di at May 25, 2004 11:13 AM

So what you people are saying is that the speaker was totally right in saying what he did and the professor was totally right in saying that the parents were bad role models for speaking out against what they disagreed with in the only manner they could and that we who think that Doctorow was a total asshat for speaking on that subject for pay at a college commencement should just sit down and shut up. Evidently we need to have asshat Doctorow tell us what we need to hear whether we need to hear it or not and we need a sociology professor, of all things probably the least useful, to tell us how to be role models so our kids will not become hated conservatives and not good little socialist leftists. Thank you but I think the parents were totally justified. I am tired of having events and celebrations hijacked so another leftist can tell me how to believe and how to behave and what a jerk I am not to understand just how wonderful the leftist socialist future really is when I will not have to decide what to do but will be told what to do. Let them bloviate at their next celebration and let me and mine enjoy our blessings.

Posted by: dick at May 29, 2004 04:59 PM