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May 14, 2009

both barrels: another incisive editorial in the T-J. Leaving aside the difficulty of dripping anything on a tower (“Protesters drip mud on the ivory tower,” Telegraph-Journal, May 14/09, A8), am I the only one getting sick of the same old litany of anti-intellectualism trotted out on these occasions? Academics are in “the ivory tower,” “out of touch,” “blind,” and “politically correct” in their “threadbare intellectual garb.”

Then there is the cosmic irony of being lectured on “critical thinking” by the Telegraph-Journal.

Of course, such a tone is hardly surprising given the political culture of not only the provincial Liberals, but the current regime in Ottawa: cuts to Arts, cuts to any research that is not applied. Let’s get with the programme. Beyond our borders, valuing education and those who offer it is not considered embarrassing. Academics are not viewed as irritating, but rather a social good. In the U.S. they have already turned that corner. Let’s catch up.

  1. Noel Baldwin permalink
    May 14, 2009 12:27 pm

    It’s not JUST the media who like to label universities “ivory towers.”

    Come on, it’s at least a little bit ironic, right?

  2. May 14, 2009 5:35 pm

    Noel, re. the “ivory tower,” here is an insightful review by Joe Galbo of the book you have linked (download PDF).

  3. Linda Hansen permalink
    May 15, 2009 6:22 am

    Okay — I sat down and read through the comments in the TJ. Largely, they made me queasy. Many of them reveal an strong and steadfast anti-education core — a real, live anti-education core that DEMANDS that I be ashamed that I have an education — any education — and further DEMANDS that I behave appropriately to that imposed shame. I should be hiding my face, ducking my head, not presuming to *meet the eyes of my betters*. Am I so stupid that I don’t understand the depth of the humiliation I should feel?

    How dare I presume to speak, to write, to think clearly? How dare I suggest that I receive a salary for my job? How dare I suggest I work for a living *in the real world*? How dare I admit to being educated?

    I went to University — it was an education of which I have never been ashamed.

    I am now receiving an education of a different type — and now I am ashamed.

  4. Cicciolino permalink
    May 15, 2009 7:52 am

    ‘Interesting’ letter to the editor in Today’s TJ from Erin Schryer, daughter of social development minister Mary Schryer. Oh that big bad Robert Whitney and those big bad profs! …

  5. Greg Marquis permalink
    May 19, 2009 9:49 pm

    Re: Not respecting political office.

    This was one of the high crimes supposedly committed by the ‘one hundred professors’ according to the Irving newspaper. Is this the same newspaper that covers municipal politics for Saint John? Of course that coverage is always respectful of holders of political office [not].

    Motto of the paper: “Do as i say, not at I do.”

    Greg Marquis

  6. May 20, 2009 11:18 am

    Exactly. Adolescent “projection,” it might be called.
    Everyone with an opion different than the T-J has too
    much passion, is without reason, a mob, critically blind,
    the cause of riots, without facts, etc., etc., but the
    T-J never calls anyone a name, or insinuate defamation,
    or sling mud.

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