Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Intellectual Thugs

Laura Kipnis (photo Will2037)

You may have grown up fearful of thugs. Bullies terrorized you in the schoolyard. Political bullies are ubiquitous in a divided nation with the Alt Right claiming more than its fair share. Margerie Taylor Greene famously stalked Parkland survivor David Hogg on the Capitol steps, but then there are intellectual thugs. “Thug” is usually a pejorative term, but in the context of political correctness, when freedom of speech is under fire, and the “thought police” ticket sentences that don’t pass muster, such "tough" guys are not afraid to cut to the chase. Remember the Salamander in Fahrenheit 451, the fire trucks that carried kerosene rather than water. You have to be streetwise to open the fire hydrants, when the latest generation of censors grow trigger happy and begin to ban the canon of Greek myths, whose Gods exercise droit de seigneur. An intellectual thug isn’t afraid to mince his or her words. The administration of the University of Chicago is one of the biggest and most dangerous intellectual thugs around since they won’t allow small groups of students to tell others what to do. Bill Maher, another intellectual thug, brandishes his bullshit barometer. Laura Kipnis, the author of  Unwanted AdvancesSexual Paranoia Comes to Campus is one of the most dangerous intellectual thugs in town, arguing in a New York Review of Books piece ("Kick Against the Pricks, December 21, 2017") that “There’s a built-in weirdness to possessing a sexuality, whatever your gender. It reminds us that we’re animals; it’s bendable into perverse configurations, which is maybe what we also like about it. We’re afflicted with bizarre amoral dreams on a nightly basis." Watch out for Kipnis! She's armed with ideas and dangerous!

read "More Pricks Than Kicks" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "Sympathy For the Devil" by The Rolling Stones

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