October 17, 2005

The October Academic of the

The October Academic of the Month

One of the more popular features on this humble “weblog,” dear reader, is our Official Academic of the Month. Inaugurated months ago, this campaign to laud the acumen, drive, and selflessness of sundry professors has become a particular favorite amongst the literally dozens of readers we receive each day.

It is with great aplomb, then, that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” announce the winner of our October Academic of the Month: Elizabeth Gorman, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Virginia.

From an examination of her curriculum vitae, one may think that Ms. Gorman is a fairly ho-hum choice. Her academic work appears chiefly to pertain to gender and the workplace. Not, we daresay, a novel subject, but pretty much par for the course amongst female practitioners of the intellectual slum known as sociology.

Apparently, Ms. Gorman cares a great deal about “the impact of gender stereotypes on hiring.” If such is truly the case, perhaps she may want to examine how she immediately snatched up a tenure-track gig at a fancy university without spending any time in purgatory as a sabbatical replacement. Perhaps that had something to do with this nasty little thing called “Affirmative Action” (a.k.a. Preferential Treatment for Rich White Women)?

To be honest, though, Ms. Gorman’s research may seem banal, but does not appear to be stridently ideological. So why, you may be asking yourself, does this paragon of academic dullness deserve our prestigious title?

The Good Professor’s feculent missive in the October 14 number of The New York Times should answer that question. In response to David Brooks’ critique of Harriet Miers, Ms. Gorman wrote the following:

To the Editor:

David Brooks claims that Harriet E. Miers’s statements as president of the Texas Bar Association presented “no arguments or ideas, except the repetition of the bromide that bad things can be eliminated if people of good will come together to eliminate bad things.” But isn’t this “bromide” the core of conservative philosophy?

According to conservatives, collective problems (health care, environmental degradation, crime) should not be dealt with by collective solutions administered through government. Instead, they should be left to individual action of right-thinking people (corporate executives, gun owners). For this approach to work, government has to ensure that people hold the right views (capitalism, certain forms of Christianity).

Thus, Ms. Miers was actually expressing the central “big idea” of political conservatism.

Oh, dear. Now, we realize that Ms. Gorman does not claim political sociology as one of her specialties, but we were taken aback by this pathetic and snide attempt to misrepresent conservative philosophy. In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” feel as if this moronic professor of sociology (if we may be redundant) has offered us a perfect example of the kind of noxious animus to conservative thought that animates the academy.

First, we should point out that Brook's parsing of Ms. Miers’ sentiments does not speak to government’s role in society at all. The connection between the statement and the basics of American conservatism is, then, Ms. Gorman’s own. Why couldn’t “people of good will come together to eliminate” rape by joining a rape awareness group? We hope that a hatred for rape is not only confined to self-professed conservatives.

But to offer this retort is to treat this Affirmative-Action Baby’s obnoxious rant as if it were actually an argument. Rather, it is a childish taunt.

Just look at how she ridiculously denigrates conservatives. For some reason, Ms. Gorman believes that a concern for individual responsibility puts the world in the hands of “corporate executives,” “gun owners,” and those who believe in—horror of horrors!—“capitalism” and “certain forms of Christianity.” Why she would offer such an argument to David Brooks isn’t entirely clear: Doesn’t she realize that he’s Jewish and not exactly a gun-toting NRA member?

One could easily turn the tables on the producer of such sneering drivel. Does Ms. Gorman believe that the “big idea” of political liberalism is state control of everything, because Americans are too stupid to think for themselves, and require the services of right-thinking people (atheists, Marxists, college professors)? We certainly hope not, but we’re willing to admit that this is a snide caricature of American liberalism.

That this chucklehead does not seem to realize that her portrait of conservatism is equally obtuse demonstrates her self-advertised idiocy, blanketed in intolerance for those with whom she disagrees. Who would have thought that a sociology professor would be such a bad example of “respect for diversity”?

For this reason, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are pleased as petulant pigs to name the idiotic, bigoted Elizabeth Gorman our Official October Academic of the Month.

Do you, dear reader, know of a particularly obnoxious professor? If so, send us a tip by clicking on the “Contact Us” link at the top right-hand corner of your computer screen. There are so many academic chuckleheads, and we’re taking them on one month at a time.

Posted at October 17, 2005 12:01 AM | TrackBack