Friday, 21 September 2007

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Update on the Jena Six David Duke David Duke's released a statement attacking the media for its coverage of the Jena Six. (Did I mention Kevin's mensch-work before? I did? It bears mentioning again.) Duke likes to paint himself not as a white supremacist, but as an advocate of white pride. Whites aren't better, by this logic, merely different in a way that should be celebrated. His complaint is that the media is focused on how much Jena celebrates their white heritage, when, in fact, the entire state of Louisiana does: Much has been made of the fact that I won an overwhelming majority of votes in Jena Louisiana in my election bids for U.S. Senator and for Governor. Such is said to falsely label the people in Jena as “racists.” In fact, I won the overwhelming majority of the White vote in the entire state of Louisiana, not just in Jena. He's understandably upset by how the white population in Jena has been portrayed as racist. The prosecutor who charged black kids while letting white adults walk for the same crime was supporting his race. After all, White people in America have lost our basic civil rights. Whites are now deprived of human rights by racial discrimination in jobs, promotions, scholarships, college admissions and in many other programs. But why harp on commonplace hypocrisy when you can expose virulent racism to the light? On the same board to which I wouldn't link previously, David Duke posted his statement. The comments it elicits are ... telling: The blacks all believe that if they show up in mass numbers they can get their ways. And up to now they have been right. Hopefully the people of Jena will wake up and help turn the tide of the plague that has invaded their once peaceful community. Thank you Dr. Duke for standing up for the people of Jena. Thank you for all you have done for all of us of White European Heritage! Not that it's all positive: Why doesn't Duke do what Sharpton does ... Be Active instead of recapping the whole incident for us. We need a white Sharpton, not someone else who sits back and complains. He surely has the recognition, and support to organize big protests, yet seems think he's doing us a valuable service by telling us what we already know. Gee, thanks. Duke himself responds: You younger guys reading this, it is time you stepped up to the plate. My focus today is on getting a lot of David Duke's [sic] going hot and heavy! Getting a lot of David Duke's [sic] motivated and knowledgeable! Getting a lot of David Duke's [sic] elected! I have been more successful at that in Europe than the US, but hopefully that will soon change. So, if you like what I say and think I should do more what you say I should, then please be my guest, do what you think I should! I urge every White activist who reads these words to do the same....
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Fantasies of the New Class (x-posted to the Valve ) I know how John feels about PMLA, but as David Bergeron wrote in Shakespeare Quarterly some years back, it is “the most prestigious unread journal in our profession.” Being published in it is cause for celebration. So put your hands together for my friend Stephen Schryer, whose “Fantasies of the New Class: The New Criticism, Harvard Sociology, and the Idea of the University” [.pdf] appears in the latest issue. (In what is quickly becoming a refrain, I can’t recommend the acknowledgments highly enough.) If you fancy the abstract, read the article and, if so inclined, comment on it [over there]. Stephen will be [there] to answer any questions you might have. This essay examines the professionalization of United States literary studies and sociology between the 1930s and 1950s under the aegis of John Crowe Ransom’s New Criticism and Talcott Parsons’s structural functionalism. These paradigms pulled the disciplines to opposite poles of the professional class: Ransom argued for a less sociological literary criticism, while Parsons distanced sociology from the literary tendencies of the Chicago school. However, both implemented similar professional ideologies that synthesized their disciplines’ technical and moral claims, and both paradigms involved fantasies that specialized, disciplinary work within the academy can have a broader, moral significance. These ideas remained fantasies, which contradicted the actual effects of the New Criticism and structural functionalism; professionalism became reflexively oriented toward disciplinary self-perpetuation, isolating literature and sociology from the public they were supposed to reform. Ransom and Parsons thus exemplify the disintegration of publicly responsible professionalism—an event with broad implications for the “new class” of postwar knowledge workers.

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