Archive for the ‘Academia’ Category
Which is not a criticism of people who got Master’s degrees that qualify them for jobs that are not there, and overqualify them for jobs they need to pay the bills and rent.
Apparently the person who made him carry this sign also cannot spell. I’d be like, “Actually, none of you can smoke weed until you’ve convinced me you can spell the relevant terms.”
He does get points for the apostrophe.
Regular readers of this blog know that I am into two things: spoofs of Gangnam Style and cute geeks.
Finally, a spoof that combines these things into one adorkable parody, from the men and women of MIT, geek central in these parts.
Extra points for including the famed MIT linguist Noam Chomsky.
Our country’s sad slide into scientific illiteracy continues.
This is my column for this week, and be forewarned: it’s a very strongly worded remembrance of John Silber, the former president of Boston University who died last week.
Now, before any of you write to me or the newspaper about what a giant meany I am for writing this, you need to know this: I heard from a great many students while he was president who were in utter despair over the things that the president of a major university was saying about their lives. He said the most vile things about homsexuality, especially for someone who ran BU and wanted to be governor of Massachusetts.
Normally I don’t see much utility in attacking the recently deceased because the worst thing that can happen to them just did. But Boston newspapers were full of stories that made it sound as if all John Silber did was expand Boston University to its present size, and isn’t that great.
The other side had to be told. And so I did:
When John Silber’s gay son died of AIDS in 1996 while I was editor of this publication, I had several people ask me whether I was going to go after arch-homophobe Silber in an editorial now that one of his only two sons had died of the disease most often associated with the gay men he hated so much.
I chose to stay silent primarily because I didn’t know much about Mrs. Silber, and it seemed poor form to kick a father, even one like John Silber, when one of his kids had just died.
Sixteen years later, Mrs. Silber is gone after dying in 2005. And now that John Silber has died — on Sept. 25 of kidney failure at age 86 — let me state unequivocally in the face of much post-mortem whitewashing of Silber and his record that has taken place in the mainstream press: he was the nastiest, most unrelentingly unempathetic man I’ve ever run across. You meet a lot of horrid people in this line of work, many of which are unhappy to hear from a reporter or editor of any publication. To this day he is the meanest asshole with whom I’ve ever dealt.
To be clear: I have spoken to two people who had enough exposure to Silber and his son, David, to be able to say anything even marginally informed about their relationship. Father and son apparently had a relationship that was complex and, at times, difficult. But the same can be said of many fathers and sons, and I never learned anything about Silber that gave me suspicions or proof that he was cruel in-person toward his gay son before or after he developed full-blown AIDS.
Did David suffer in silence? Did he ever call out his father for uttering in public things so ridiculous we usually associate them with undereducated religious fundamentalists?
Unless one of David’s remaining siblings decides to inform us, we may never know the answers to those questions. But this must be asked: What kind of demented person has a gay son at home, but then uses his considerable public pulpit to say the most vile things about homosexuality as his gay son lay dying at home? Again, this was not some crazy high school-educated right-wing preacher; it was the president of a major American university.
But we don’t need a smoking gun in the form of familial revelations to ascertain the kind of person that was John Silber. We need only look at his controversial tenure as president and then chancellor at Boston University to see what kind of man he was. It’s not pretty.
You can read the rest of it here.