“Shut up!”, they explained.
~ ONE MIGHT SUPPOSE that evil infidel philosophy prof Mark Mercer (seen above) would be politically acceptable to the tinpot Marxists in charge of St. Mary U’s (Halifax, NS) ‘Student Association‘. Nope, it turns out. President Alwyn Gomez and the other SMUSA directors are not fans of the infidel prof like Teh Binky is, no, not at all.
While he may be a godless atheist (+15 cool), he’s not politically correct when it comes to mini mob-rule tactics (-20), silencing the incorrect (-30), or squashing free speech on campus or in society more generally (-500). Plus, he’s a supporter of known Jews & Islamophobes like Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn (-2381)… and even– ewwww!– Geert Wilders. Cooties, by association.
More worser, this Mercer character doesn’t merely express his views in devastatingly clever cartoons buried somewhere on his office door bulletin board, but proudly. In newspapers and meetings and academic settings. Over and over. Bad academic! Bad!
“Shut up!”, They Explained
Now, it’s one thing if the editor of a public newspaper– for whatever various reasons– might decline to print a contributed article. It’s entirely another thing if the
little rich Robespierre wannabees members of the SMU Pravda & Correct Thinking Cadre Student Association (who took over the student paper this past Summer) not only indicate they really don’t want Dr. Mercer speaking his thoughts aloud in the party organ, but that his column ‘The Cranky Professor’ is cancelled, and he fired from association with the paper.
One Thought Only
Your taxes at work, folks. Much of academia become the decaying and mummified haunt of One (Radical) Thought Only.
Across the West, the educational revolution of the 60s has necrotized and metastasized into re-education and de-education camp in too many places. Bury yourself in 50K of debt so you can be stuffed with fact-lite mock ‘studies’, and not what Marx thought, but what your careerist comfy tenured radical prof says Marx thought (regurgitate exactly, or else)– without any of the debate going into or coming out of his ideas, and their consequences for the world. You only get to know why the West & dead white males and capitalism and Christianity suck– there’s no critiquing the criticism of those things. One Thought Only.
Undiversities like SMU, or York, or the countless others across North America and Europe are dumbing themselves out of a job. Soon, kids will be figuring out that they can party and hook up for a lot less at a community or trade college, and actually have fungible, useful skills out the other end in hopes of a job in the draining pool of employment that awaits them in this darkening 21st century.
Evil Mercer Of Evil
Sadly, professors like Dr. Mark– raised in a time when asking questions, critical thinking, and interesting stuff written before and since Marx could actually be studied–are obstacles to Progress. The geezer student radicals of the 60’s are now the cranky old men and women of the past, trying to ossify the institutions they helped mutate into a permanent memorial to their greatness, and super-amazing ideas.
Thus, their grand-children 50 years later are now telling one of the more thoughtful and publicly engaged professors in their midst to shut up and go away. Too public.. too talkative.. too dangerous?
See How They Run
To be fair, the SMU-SA is a tiny group who represent an apathetic student electorate (and no wonder). However, expect no rush of colleagues or students protesting loud and proud for free speech, academic tolerance, the virtues of learning, and the blinkered bullying of such treatment of Dr. Mercer.
It’s not done these days. Most university higher-ups are timid managerial types who like things to run smoothly– except when it comes to silencing uppity profs or students who wander off the plantation– and most students are worried about jobs, debts, downloading free music & movies, and getting through their courses without making a ripple.
The Cult Of Expertism
There’s the problem– in our expert-ridden civilization, a very few busy-bodies excite a tiny majority to cause the kind of crazy changes & improvements they think fit for the rest of us.. it’s been going on in fits and starts for 200 years and more. The St. Mary’s SA radicals are practicing for their future of being professional busy bodies, do-gooding experts, rabble-rousers, and experimenters on the laboratory of society. All we rats in their cage.
If the rest of the good people of radical bent at SMU don’t want to stand idly by, and have this laid to their record by default, they had bloody well stop texting and iPodding and boozing and kick their fellow radicals in the arse and tell them to stop playing silly bugger with school politics. Don’t hold your breath.. but I’m willing to be surprised.
After all, Dr. Mercer was just a bit of uppity deadwood trying to trip up What Comes Next, you see. Sacrifices must be made. ~
UPDATE: The Prof Replies & Adds…
…. the change in direction of the paper (from journalism– news and commentary– to information and publicity) has had bad repercussions for student writers and the university community as well as for me personally. (Though it really hasn’t had seriously bad repercussions for me, as I decided over the summer to take on a couple other projects and let the opinion writing wind down. And, in any case, I’m free to post on the CCEPA website whenever I want to.)
Students are having their submissions rejected as not in line with the new policy; last year’s editor, Adam Faber, for instance, had a couple pieces turned down. Adam now writes occasionally for the Dalhousie student newspaper, a loss for Saint Mary’s, but really a step up for Adam.
For the university as a whole, the loss is certainly substantial, as The Journal was the only source of reporting and communicating on campus. Now there is no reporting and the only fora for public communication are the meetings the administration calls and controls. Had it not been for the Journal last year, no one would have known that the students’ association ordered a campus group to remove a sign from its table display, for instance. And the paper was instrumental in mustering support for the women’s hockey team when the university threatened to suspend the programme (I don’t mean to say the paper was right and the university wrong, only that the paper was a central part of a grassroots movement that forced the administration to explain itself).