The Left's Cultural Jenga
City Journal's Heather Mac Donald is one of the best reporters in the country, one of our most courageous writers and a consistently moral voice. Last year, she gave the Manhattan Institute's prestigious Wriston Lecture and last Saturday, the Wall Street Journal published an adaptation of that lecture under the headline "The Humanities Have Forgotten Their Humanity." A fuller version of this brilliant piece will be in CJ's Winter number. Get your hands on it. Read it.
Heather Mac begins by noting that the leftist academic buffoons at UCLA no longer require that the university's English majors read Shakespeare, Chaucer or Milton. They do, however, require these students take courses in leftist theories on gender, race, ethnicity and other meaningless subjects whose names I slept through.
In other words, the UCLA faculty was now officially indifferent to whether an English major had ever read a word of Chaucer, Milton or Shakespeare, but the department was determined to expose students, according to the course catalog, to "alternative rubrics of gender, sexuality, race, and class."
In still other words, the people tasked with teaching our young about the past have drowned out the voices of the past with their own voices. Their own whiny, unwise, small-minded and bitter voices.
Heather's article goes on to defend the study of humanities against these Philistines — or, to use the modern term, Palestinians — with a beautiful description of how the recovery of the works of the past sparked the Renaissance and more.