Monday, April 07, 2008


I recently saw Wendy Wasserstein's final play, performed by the Philadelphia Theater Company. I'm a bad critic so I don't do much criticism, but this play was seriously disturbing. It was basically a giant conservative fantasy about politics, internalized and regurgitated by someone with liberal sentiments. Shorter Third: Shrill intolerant elitist northeastern liberal arts college feminist professor treats hot brilliant white male student unfairly, and that's why the Iraq war happened.

There were elements that ring true - there's a cloistered elitism in some faculty at high ranking colleges which is somewhat at odds with their expressed politics - but overall the idea that there was some giant political backlash against imaginary English professors which few in the country have any exposure to is, outside of David Horowitz's fantasy world, just stupid. "The Left" in American popular political discourse isn't represented by these people or caricatures of them, it's represented by, you know, whichever "Democratic strategist" CNN puts on the teevee that day. I spent some time in academia and I never met this archetypal shrill elitist northeastern liberal arts college feminist professor, but even if I accept that somewhere she must exist she has approximately zero influence on the political discourse 99.999999999% of the country have access to.