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June 12, 2007

Laughing at the Disabled

Draining the cesspool that academia has become is a big job — too big for just two people, as Queensland University of Technology senior lecturers John Hookham and Gary MacLennan discovered when they objected to an appalling thesis by PhD candidate Michael Noonan entitled "Laughing at the Disabled: Creating Comedy That Confronts, Offends and Entertains," which consists in part of filming the public ridicule of two men with mental disabilities.

Noonan's vulgar and sadistic project was excused by the prevailing academic ideology of "poststructuralist theory," according to which anything goes, so long as it has no redeeming social value whatsoever.

Unfortunately for Hookham and MacLennan, they assigned the blame for this latest outrage not to the obnoxious and juvenile Noonan, but to academia, which has become so debased by moonbattery as to regard humiliating the disabled for laughs to be scholarship:

After all, ultimate responsibility for this research rests with the candidate's supervisory team, which included associate professor Alan McKee, the faculty ethics committee, which apparently gave his project total approval, and the expert panel, which confirmed his candidacy.

Going beyond the specific fools who approved Noonan's farce of a thesis, the authors challenged the rotting system itself:

[C]ultural studies is in the grip of a powerful movement that we call the radical philistine push.
It is this same movement that has seen the collapse of English studies and the consequent production of graduates who have only the scantiest acquaintance with our literary heritage. It is also undermining the moral fabric of the university.
Let us be clear: we are not blaming students.
In our line of fire are the academics who have led the assault against notions of aesthetic and moral quality in cultural studies.

They give an indication of just how unworthy today's academics are to serve as the custodians of our culture by quoting their colleague McKee:

Teaching school students that Shakespeare is more worthy than reality television is actively evil.

Once academics impressed themselves by boldly rebelling against high culture. But now:

[T]he radical philistines have taken the high culture v low culture distinction and inverted it. Low culture is the tops and anyone who so much as refers to high culture becomes the enemy and is subjected to the politics of abuse and exclusion.

The university's response was to teach Hookham and MacLennan all about the politics of abuse and exclusion. They have been suspended without pay, which will cost them tens of thousands of dollars. Their work emails have been disconnected, and they are barred from university premises. In the ultimate irony, the two were chided for using their supposed academic freedom to "denigrate and ridicule" the poor Noonan by objecting to Noonan's denigration and ridicule of disabled people.

The corrosive sickness known as moonbattery has reduced academia to a lunatic asylum run by the inmates. It is doing the same to our culture at large and must be arrested at any cost.

Now a word from Hookham and MacLennan:

Hat tip: Stop the ACLU, on a tip from Steve.

Posted by Van Helsing at June 12, 2007 8:14 AM


Gee, Van H, I wouldn't have thought a thesis about making fun of people who are mentally ill or retarded would bother you. I mean, how many times have you made fun of Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, or Nancy Pelosi?

Posted by: V the K at June 12, 2007 8:38 AM

V the K, LOL!

But this really doesn't surprise me. For all of their talk about academic freedom and freedom of speech, universities are quick to shut down anyone who dares to criticize the goings-on in "higher" education.

Posted by: Pam at June 12, 2007 11:13 AM

Speaking of laughing at the disabled, enjoy these scenes from a Dennis Kucinich fundraiser:

At 8 p.m., exactly $300 had been bid in the silent auction, which included massage gift certificates, gem necklaces and a consultation in "Business Voodoo," the flier for which advises, "as we transition from the age of Pisces to the age of Aquarius, people will transition individually to live in the reality of the future to bring it to life today," and that Kucinich will be president in the dawning age of Aquarius.
Kucinich followed, saying that the world is interconnected and humanity is "a light of wholeness going through a prism." America yearns for peace, which is why he would establish a Department of Peace. It would not only concern itself with not having wars, but also domestic violence, child abuse and violence in the schools. He'd close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. He'd get rid of all the nukes.
"I speak to you as a practical politician," he said.
Then someone asked if he would reinvestigate 9/11. About a third of the heads in the room nodded in sympathy.
Kucinich temporized. "The American people have doubts about the 9/11 investigation," he said. He vowed to use his House subcommittee to explore some of those questions, "and then we can use those answers to explore other questions."
He was out by 9, driving off to the airport with takeout tofu.

Posted by: V the K at June 12, 2007 12:19 PM