January 05, 2007

Hip-Hop Hooray

Reading a left-leaning newspaper can be an irksome experience for our conservative friends. Whilst scanning the pages of, say, The New York Times, one often comes across vestiges of liberal bias. And then, of course, there’s the op-ed page, which routinely offers enragingly obtuse lefty views of the “I Want Every Troop Out of Every Country in the World Because Occupation Is the Source of All the World’s Problems” variety.

Then there are the feculent letters to the editor. So many folks, from Monterey to Manchester, seem to write to their local papers merely to make some smug reference to their own mental and/or moral superiority. You know the kind of thing we’re talking about, dear reader: If David Brooks really wants to save the world, why doesn’t he stop supporting the fascist Bush administration? Blah, blah, blah. They aren’t arguments so much as examples of pseudo-intellectual hectoring.

Every once in a great while, however, someone writes into a lefty rag—say, The Los Angeles Times—and takes aim at the typical liberal palaver that besmirches it. For our right-wing friends, it’s a delicious experience: Someone finally bursts through the newspaper’s usual lefty diatribes and offers a dissenting opinion.

We mention this, dear reader, because a dedicated reader of this humble “weblog” recently wrote to us about a dynamite missive to the editors at The Boston Globe. To those unaware of it, allow us to tell you that the Globe is essentially the Gray Lady’s mildly retarded younger cousin. On all sorts of matters, it tilts leftward.

As a result, it was simply marvelous that the Globe staff decided to publish the following letter by Robert Coyne, which pertained to a short article detailing Harvard University’s recent efforts to offer a tenured faculty position to one Marcyliena Morgan:

I would like to applaud Harvard’s foresight in seeking to add a hip-hop scholar for a tenured position (“Harvard tries to woo old friend,” City & Region, Dec. 17). Is it any wonder Larry Summers lost his job as university president after failing to take this step two years ago? Free from the restraints placed on Harvard by Summers, I would like to encourage the pedagogues in Cambridge to consider expanding their moves in this direction. As a preeminent disco scholar, I would like to offer my services as a tenured professor. This genre should be studied by future generations of our best and brightest, for what could be more critical than learning the importance of “Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.”

Robert Coyne

It’s delightful, is it not? Alas, given the vicissitudes of modern academia, we fear that some of Harvard’s faculty may not understand the joke. When a good portion of your professors is currently working on topics like “sex and gender in 1980s sit-coms,” a Barry Gibb Distinguished Professor of Disco may not seem like such a bad idea.

Posted at January 5, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack