Friday, December 24, 2004
And happy holidays, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, Boxing day and Feast of St. Stephen (how many people out there are aware "Good King Wencelas" is not a Christmas tune, but is a St. Stephen's day tune?)
See you in the new year. School is out and when not spending time with my family, I'm working on splitting my master's thesis up into some publishable articles. I probably won't blog until the New Year. I may, but no promises.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Comic books actually provide proof that many journalists are slaves to political correctness. Why? In every report I've ever read that deals with the following two comic book characters, they get "labeled" incorrectly" Blade, the Vampire Hunter and the Black Panther. What are they labeled as? "African-American."
Well, their skin is black. Isn't that what we now, in our enlightened age, call those with black skin?
Well - considering that the Black Panther is the King of an African nation and only visits America occasionally - well, he's "African" - but not "African-American."
Blade? Well, I admit in the movies his background is unclear enough - his movie version may be an African-American. But most reports call him "one of the most prominent African-American characters in comic books" or something along those lines.
I find it hard that a character born and raised in England (not to mention living most of his adult life there) could be an "African-American."
Yep, Blade is "African-English" or whatever the PC term is for British citizens of African descent. Now, when he was last seen in comics, Blade had set up shop in New Orleans, but that was because the vampire that killed his mother was trying to take over the New Orleans mob.
Sunday, December 12, 2004
I asked for an example, and he gave me a few. They revolved around some (occasionally bizarre) laws in several "red states" revolving around alcohol consumption, adultery, or public funding of religious charities.
I told him that, generally I agreed. But then I asked him what the moral difference was between zoning bars and strip joints, and requiring any business that wanted to bid for a government contract to have a certain percentage of minorities on its staff.
He replied that there was a huge difference. Racism had to be combated. Drinking alcohol did not. I asked if alcoholism or drunk driving should be combated. He replied that alcoholism was a right-wing bogeyman.
I asked why it was okay to have use the laws to enforce morality in regards to race, but not in regards to sex or entertainment.
He replied, "because affirmative action doesn't have a religious motivation."
So, I asked: "In other words, it's okay to make law based on leftist, secular morality - but not if your motivations are religious in nature."
His answer? "Exactly."
And this man will get his PhD and teach college. All with the base philosophy that it's okay to enforce your morality on others as long as you aren't religious.
Do I even have to explain the problems with this philosophy? Apparently, I do, since everyone else in my department seems to share this same basic philosophy. (There are a few liberal Christians in my department - a very few - and they still hold thus same basic idea about the morality behind the law).
The funny thing is, I went into that conversation hoping to have an engaging conversation. My own ideas weren't totally set, and I hoped that perhaps I could gain some insight. I even recognized some flaws in my own reasoning. BUT - my fellow student went into the conversation wanting to complain about religion. It never even crossed his mind that I might be religious. He even expressed shock that I attended church. Religious people aren't supposed to be smart enough to go to graduate school, apparently.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
We won't get into the debate over whether comics are worthwhile literature (I think they are), but this entry at Power Line intrigued me:
Karl Zinsmeister is the editor of American Enterprise magazine, one of the best political publications in America. Karl has been an embedded journalist in Iraq, and has written two excellent books, Boots on the Ground and Dawn Over Baghdad, about his experiences. Now, as reader Michael Turner notes, Karl has branched out into a new medium: comic books. He has authored a series of Marvel comic books called Combat Zone: True Tales of GIs in Iraq . . . I like it--this is a medium in which the liberals will have a hard time competing. By the way, wasn't "Combat Zone" the name of a '60s television series about World War II?
Of course, here Ed Driscoll says that:
I haven't bought a comic book in 25 years, but since around the 1980s I'd guess, it seems like the left has increasingly been ensconced there, making changes subtle
He really should read comics. Liberals have generally taken over. There are a few conservatives working in comics (John Byrne, for example) but the "hot" writers right now are Mark Millar (an anti-American Scotsman), Alan Moore (great writer, but so left wing he's off the charts), Frank Miller (who makes fun of Ronald Reagan in his "The Dark Night Returns"), Peter David (go see his blog and scroll on down - he hates Bush with a passion) - etc. etc. I could go on and on, but comics are, by and large, written by liberals.
I still enjoy them, because for the most part they stay away from overt moralizing and didactic diatribes. But liberals haven't just made "inroads" into comics. For the most part, they control the creative side of the industry.
Basically, I have some hope for the future of English, though not a whole lot.
In class we were discussing our seminar papers, and several students were writing papers on "post-colonial" topics. One of them was looking at a school set up by a Western government in one of its conquered provinces.
This fellow student of mine mentioned that the "party line" in post-colonial studies is that these schools were horrid, imperialist enterprises that the native students hated and that, in the end, damaged the natives rather than helping them. This was something she believed as well, going into her project.
But, she said, as she examined the evidence - letters written by the students, journal entries and even the school assignments completed by the students, she was coming to the conclusion that in fact, the native students benefited from this schooling and rather enjoyed the opportunities it provided for them.
So, this gives me hope - because some students (and future faculty) are still, despite their liberalism, willing to look past the "party line" and form their own conclusions.
But my hope is tempered by her later comments: "There are so many theorists invested in this idea of imperialism, that if I try to violate the party line, I will never get published and/or receive tenure." Our professor agreed. He added that the important theorists in the field have "good, solid political reasons" for making the arguments they do, and they won't take kindly to someone who says they are all wrong.
[Maybe conservatives are scare in English departments because the gatekeepers won't let them in?]