Ivy Academia Makes Celibacy an Attractive Option

Lecturer Frank McLellan...Professors in the Ivy League apparently are somewhat aware of the problems facing academia. You usually don’t see them doing anything about it other than whining at conferences and writing editorial columns in the New York Times. Tenure is a great thing, sort of like being emperor of Rome while it burns down. No one’s gonna stop your fiddling (or publishing).

Francis McLellan, a Brown Ph.D. and Princeton’s former head Russian language instructor, evidently had a different experience as a senior lecturer than the professors did. Lecturers are to Princeton what migrant laborers are to, well, Princeton. And it seems as if four years of teaching elementary language made giving up women, possessions, and meat an attractive option for McLellan. In January he was tonsured Iosaf, a hieromonk in the Russian Orthodox Church. Now he’s archimandrite of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, a city just slightly less dangerous than Cambridge. Sexy monk results after the jump.
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Cornell Law Prof Upset with Our Condiment-Elitist President

w_jacobson_story1Harvard Law graduate and Cornell professor William Jacobson is a member of an exclusive club, as he is one of the few arch-conservatives to make a home in Ithaca. Before this week, Jacobson was one of the lesser-known members of this group that also consists of Ann Coulter and the blind guy staunchly opposed to anal sex, even though his initials spell “A.S.S.” But this week, Jacobson catapulted himself through the ranks of the Big Red Staters, thanks to his shocking expose of liberal media bias in MSNBC’s coverage of President Obama’s trip to an Arlington burger joint on Tuesday.

Mitchell even noted that Obama left a $5 tip in the tip jar. But she didn’t mention one arugula-like fact, and you couldn’t hear it on the MSNBC video because Andrea and her correspondent Kelly O’Donnel (they needed two people to cover this story) were talking so much.

NBC’s regular news reported Obama’s order as follows: “”I’m going to have a basic cheddar cheese burger, medium well, with mustard,” Obama said. “Do you have spicy mustard? I’ll take that.”

Actually, the quote was “you got a spicy mustard or something like that, or a Dijon mustard, something like that” (at 0.55 of the unedited video below without Mitchell’s talkover).

Obama ordered his burger with DIJON MUSTARD! Bet he had to seek John Kerry’s counsel on that.

If anyone knows elitism, it’s a Harvard Law-educated Cornell professor who worked for many years as a lawyer in Rhode Island.

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Harvard Economist Says Legalize, Students Listen Attentively

Economics professor Jeffrey Miron wants to buy black tar heroin, legally. Now. In a powerfully argued CNN editorial, Dr. Miron breaks down how making drugs–all drugs–legal and regulated would solve war, cancer, taxes, government corruption, racial profiling, AIDS and, presumably, difficult-to-open jars.

The last time we checked in with Crimson druglust it was just blow for the good of science. This time, the good Harvard prof is reading the blood on the wall, and he does not mince words: legalization is “the only way to reduce violence.” Miron’s hook is the horrifying Mexican drug wars–our thank-you gift for taking the bad jobs we need back now, please–but his real target is the U.S. government’s “puritanical policies” and “draconian [...] enforcement.”

Miron may be gilding your stoner ex-roommate’s opinions with vocabulary and rhetoric, but he’s still completely right, right? If we’d lost the war on drugs any more emphatically we’d call it Vietnam Cubed, but Congress is dedicated to bogarting our chemical fun. That said, considerable evidence suggests that, eventually, all the lame Americans who vote for lame Americans who hate weed will die (and even now, there may be hope).

After all, drugs are a personal, almost philosophical choice, and they feel totally great at the time–like cutting. The professor calls it the “victimless nature of this so-called crime.” Who’s worse off if The Man condones methadone Mondays, other than everyone who cares about you?

Dr. Miron says it best: “Obeying the law is for suckers.”

Oh Yes She Did: Madonna Constantine Sues Columbia University For Firing Her Sorry Ass

Oh, Madonna Constantine.  When will you learn?  Columbia does not want you.  They do not like you.  And most of all, they want you to go away.  For reals.  And, like, not appeal shit and sue them and stuff.

That’s right, Columbia University Teacher’s College Professor Madonna Constantine, she of the noose-beribboned door and plagiarism scandals, she of the appeals to reverse Columbia’s firing her sorry ass (and revoking her tenure) has decided that, since she’s done everything else, she might as well sue the school.

According to the Associated Press, Ms. Constantine filed papers today with the state Supreme Court.  She contends that her dismissal from the faculty of Teachers College was “arbitrary, irrational and unauthorized.”  Columbia University spokespeople have so far declined to comment.

Our only comment is to roll our eyes, snigger, and wonder why she’s still trying.  But, you know, maybe she felt she had nothing left to lose?

Professor Summers Thinks You Fail At Life

Seriously, Harvard? Seriously? You have this guy as a professor for six years and not one of you has anything to say about it on ratemyprofessors.com? My disappointment is only rivaled by Associate Professor Summers’ disappointment in the “post-pubescent children of notables� (i.e. bitterness toward his self-chosen path of academic poverty—the non-tenure track).

In a ridiculously self-masturbatory opinion piece for the Times Higher Education, John H. Summers, Harvard history professor, whines about how his wealthy students “worked exceptionally long hours, [and] were aggressive in exercising their talents.� Wait, there’s more! Summers moans, “I had to grade the students, and I had to grade them well. Everyone expected a recommendation letter.�

Wow, really? Hardworking and talented Harvard students expect good grades and recommendation letters? Madness, I tell you. Don’t do it, Professor Summers! Don’t give in to the temptation.

Well, he didn’t. Summers goes on to criticize Harvard’s grade inflation as taking away the “one instrument of power [he] wielded,â€? calling the “tacitâ€? expectation that students earn no lower than a B “a sign of corruptionâ€? that “abridges the academic freedom of the teacher.â€? Read the rest of this entry »

The Ivy League Does Not Torture

If you torture a dog with random electric shocks, will the dog become sad?

Such was the question millions of Americans were once frantically asking, until Penn professor and psychologist Martin Seligman decided to find out once and for all. (The answer: Yes.) However, Seligman’s results, after they were first published 40 years ago, had a perhaps unintended effect. As it happened some time later, CIA torture aficionados became very interested in Seligman’s work and wanted to examine the implications of this revelation for human torture. Seligman’s dog studies, it turns out, were instrumental in developing techniques used at Guantanamo Bay. So say the muckraking journalists, at least. The Daily Pennsylvanian reports:

[Writer Jane} Mayer’s book [The Dark Side] alleges that Seligman’s research heavily influenced the psychologists that developped [sic] CIA interrogation techniques at the Guantanamo Bay military prison. But in a pre-publication review of the book’s content, Harper’s Magazine writer Scott Horton writes that Seligman “assisted” in the development of their interrogation techniques. This statement has since circulated on several psychology-related blogs and is a claim that Seligman unequivocally denies.

At last, the truth comes out: everything is the Ivy League’s fault. Read the rest of this entry »

The Times They Are A-Changin’

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that, with the exception of, like, Bob Jones University, institutions of higher education are generally more progressive than the world outside their gates. But all the idealistic hippie students who came of age in the ’60s and later became idealistic hippie professors are now retiring. The younger professors replacing them still disproportionately vote Democratic, but they are “less ideologically polarized and more politically moderate”: 17.2% of the 50-64 age group define themselves as “liberal activists,” versus 1.3% of professors 35 and younger. Sara Goldrick-Rab, a 31-year-old professor, told the New York Times, “My generation is not so ideologically driven” and the article credits the rise of civil discourse over fractious infighting. Read the rest of this entry »

The World’s Least Likely Path To Inner Peace

Last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine featured an interview with Columbia religion professor, Dalai Lama friend, and famous person spawner Robert Thurman. Thurman, who was the first American ordained as a Tibetan monk (and a Harvard man himself), is on university leave this year but normally teaches classes on Buddhism.

At first, the interview seems to be standard fare — thank you, New York Times, for hard-hitting journalism along the lines of:

As a Buddhist, how do you reconcile your pacifism with the roles your daughter Uma has played in films like Quentin Tarantino’s bloody “Kill Bill”?

But then something really fascinating and bizarre emerges. Follow the jump for an image that will sear itself into your brain.

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Ivy League Profs’ Zillions of Dollars of Academic Blood-Money Going to Democrats

A recent Huffington Post article has uncovered a piece of truly startling news: your professors are giving crazy amounts of money to Democrats, and just about none to Republicans (it’s 86%-14%, to be exact). Most people will shrug it off, but we’re hoping this will galvanize the like 27 Ivy League celebrants of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week to go on a hunger strike.

Ivy League professors have given $470,000 this election cycle, which is significantly less than just about every special interest group ever. Obama has taken in $205K from this very important lobby; Hillary has received $147,000. Even Mitt has got in the game, amassing $33,000. If only BYU was in the Ivy League!

Poor conservatives! They’re really struggling these days, what with control of the White House, the Supreme Court, and until recently, Congress. At least the liberals still have their Ivory Tower.

After the jump: the HuffPo’s article in full.

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Brilliant, Attractive, Polymath Yale Law Prof Also Kinda Pervy

Brilliant, Attractive, Polymath Yale Law Prof Also Kinda PervyThere’s nothing we love more than professorial flirtations with pop culture, be they as straight-faced as Margo Jefferson’s On Michael Jackson or as laughable as Cornel West’s LP. Now comes Jed Rubenfeld: Yale law prof, Freud enthusiast, and, we hear, the next next Dan Brown.

His new book, The Interpretation of Murder, has the makings of a hit. Historical backdrop (turn-of-the-century New York), controversial figures (Freud, Jung), and some of the freakiest sex scenes to drip from an Ivy Leaguer’s pen since that adjunct got desperate for cash. Here’s a quickie from the NYT Book Review:

“[T]here’s a hot girl strung up from the ceiling, being suffocated with a silk tie and cut with a razor while she’s coached by her abuser to moan in pleasure. Her torture is shamelessly eroticized: ‘She cried out, her back curved in exactly the same arch as the great windows, her raven hair flowing down her back …’ “

Later:

“‘From above, Nora watched him light a cigarette in the flame of her bedside candle, place a knee against her supine form, and extinguish the glowing cigarette directly on her skin, down there, only an inch or two from her most private part.’”

Yowza! All that privacy law making you antsy, Jed? If this slobbering review is any indication, Rubenfeld can soon trade his crappy day job for the glamorous life of a Hollywood screenwriter. (Or at least the kind whose stuff airs at 10 p.m. on channel 512.)