Friday, October 14, 2005

Michael McCanles: Former Marquette English Professor Now Blogger

We never knew Michael McCanles very well when he was teaching in Marquette’s English Department. We sat on one committee with him, and had another short exchange or two.

Since his retirement in 2001, he has gotten quite active on the Internet, posting on several blogs, particularly one called Belmont Club.

McCanles isn’t at all impressed with academics. Indeed, he views them (or at least the politically correct among them) with considerable contempt. And he has the gift of invective that an English professor ought to have.

For example, in a post dealing with the fact that the Marquette administration shut down a College Republican fundraiser for American snipers in combat in Iraq and Afganistan, he observes:
I taught at Marquette between 1964 and 2001 (English Dept. among all the obnoxious academic feminists), at which point I retired. It’s not a place that’s used to dealing with the kind of fast-burn fuse that the student Republican org lit under it.


What I detect among the student Republicans was a kind of political theater aimed precisely at the AgitProp result they got. Its origin is more probably the Republican orgs on other campuses in the U.S. where they sold cookies at different prices to people of different skin colors: lower prices to minorities, higher prices to white males, all in the interest of demostrating the discrimination manifest in anti-discrimination entrance and hiring practices on U. S. campuses as mandated by federal anti-discrimination regs. As in those cases, likewise, they generated some very outraged and in a few examples violent responses.

What this incident produced was an outing of the fundamentally anti-war attitude of a campuse like Marquette, which has been going — quite belatedly — more “liberal” in the past decade. Witness the fact that at the opening of a major library addition they had as a main speaker Martin Sheen, who plays the American President on the liberal-slanted TV series “The West Wing.” Mr. Sheen, who is just another liberal activist Hollywood actor, delivered a speech that criticized the Bush administration’s foreign policy in the middle-east.

Actors who shill for the Democratic party, yes; arrogant American soldiers who actually shoot to kill decapitators, no.
If he’s unimpressed with the current Marquette Administration, he’s equally unimpressed with academics who hate George Bush:
After having spent nearly a half-century in the academic biz (English literary studies, where the academic feminists first hatched) I have a quicky on the subject of why academics hate G. Bush. Academics can be vain, arrogant, narcissistic, and infantile beyond belief. What particularly annoys them is when someone whom they view as stupid, ignorant, inferior gets the start of them and succeeds. Whether this happens when someone else publishes a higly-praised piece of scholarship, or gets elected to the U. S. Presidency while still being a Republican from Texas who cuts brush for a pastime: they are a darkly envious lot, full of spleen and anger. They hate Geo. Bush because he’s Geo. Bush and also has All That Power. You’d hate him too if your whole sense of personal worth was bound up in the notion that intellectual prowess is what makes you superior to everyone else.

Finally, his trenchant critique of the “social justice” crowd — at Marquette and elsewhere:
As I suggested in a comment earlier on one of the Ward Churchill posts, utopian visions of social justice for the masses have never been the real goal of marxist-inspired revolution. Saying such is merely cover (and as cover tells something about what these people tacitly know about themselves, else why the cover?) for hatred directed at others motivated by envy.

Redistribution likewise is not the goal, but striking at those who “have” is. Max Scheler in his book “Ressentiment,” and the early 20th-century anthropologist Svend Ranulf in his studies of “moral indignation” and its relation to envy say essentially the same thing from their different perspectives: commitment to social justice has precious little to do with social justice and much to do with malice, envy, spite, and revenge.

You have to have lived day-to-day for the last quarter of the 20th century in academe with all the “do-gooders” — marxoid as well as feminist (little difference) — to get a feel for the fundamentally infantile rage that drives them. “Power,” which is their obsession doesn’t in fact mean “strength,” “control,” “discipline” but simply sadism. This is why they abuse their students in the classroom where they have a bully’s control over them.

The frightening thing here is how many there are of them: academe is simply crawling with them in the social sciences and humanities departments, showing that the universities and colleges, run now by “administrators” who have no professional intellectual commitments of any sort, have made themselves havens for just this sort of people. Because the administrators must perforce take the recommendations of these types already ensconced in these departments, and because they have no intellectual knowledge or insight whatsoever, the hiring of Ward Churchills is absolutely inevitable.
This, folks, is polemic the way polemic ought to be done.


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