Need To Know with Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger
Episode 59: O’ The Humanities

Guest: Heather Mac Donald
Jan 11, 2014
Direct Link to MP3 File

Direct link to MP3 file

Jay and Mona welcome back the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald who discusses her Wall Street Journal op-ed about the self-sabotage of Western Civilization – that is, the decline of the study of Shakespeare, Milton, and Chaucer, and other DWEMs in favor of race, gender, disability and other “identity” writings. Mac Donald focuses on UCLA, but it’s a national phenomenon. 

Along the same lines, Jay and Mona note the presence of Castrophiles at the De Blasio inauguration, the establishment’s embrace of the hate-spewing (and late) Amiri Baraka, and other signs of our culture’s corruption. 

On the other hand, there’s a new movie out celebrating American heroes, and there are people – like Mac Donald – who hold the light of learning aloft! 

Music from this week’s episode: 

Overture to L’Etoile, by Emmanuel Chabrier

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  1. Butters

    looking forward to this, Heather is the best on immigration

  2. Jerry Carroll

    I read her fine WSJ article about the vandalism academe is wreaking by substituting grievance mongering and identity politics for the Western canon that has been the underpinning of Western civilization for centuries. It is apparent academic tenure has to be ended. It serves only to protect the left, the people who would be the first to do away with it if it were in their power.

  3. Rightfromthestart

    A measure of the left’s victory is that if during the campaign anyone had actually called DiBlasio a communist, it is that person who would have been totally discredited and written out of society.  The Emperor has wondrous garments!   

  4. Gaius

    I’ve noticed that Jay Nordlinger pronounces the word Nazism KNOTS-ISM instead of NOT-SEE-ISM. Do Michigan Nazis say it that way? If there are Illinois Nazis there must be Michigan Nazis.

  5. A Beleaguered Conservative

    Can we get the link to the long-form article by MacDonald?

  6. Midwestern Gal

    Fantastic podcast–Heather MacDonald is the best!  I have always felt indignant when it is suggested that Shakespeare, Dickens, Mark Twain, Henry James, et al. are less relevant (which is a meaningless criterion, anyway) to the lives of women than the works of female, especially feminist, authors.  Why do so many modern academics not understand how condescending and repressive that is?  

  7. Mona Charen
    C

    Thanks Blue Yeti. Highly recommend.

  8. Indaba
    Midwestern Gal: Fantastic podcast–Heather MacDonald is the best!  I have always felt indignant when it is suggested that Shakespeare, Dickens, Mark Twain, Henry James, et al. are less relevant (which is a meaningless criterion, anyway) to the lives of women than the works of female, especially feminist, authors.  Why do so many modern academics not understand how condescending and repressive that is?   · 14 hours ago

    Well said!

  9. lakelylane

    Heather is fascinating thanks for introducing her to me and  thanks to blue yeti for link!

  10. A Beleaguered Conservative
    Blue Yeti: Here’s a link to Heather’s long form piece (PDF). · 9 hours ago

    Edited 9 hours ago

    Thanks

  11. captainpower

    Heather mentioned a book in the podcast:

    Sister Carrie, by Theodore Dreiser.

    It’s available for free on Kindle.

    http://www.amazon.com/o/asin/B008472L5S

  12. captainpower

    The paraphraseable Jay Nordlinger:

    The problem with trying to crush inequality is you end up having to crush an awful lot of people in the process.

    around minute 42.

  13. Richard Fulmer

    I can’t imagine how UCLA and Columbia have held out this long.  If they hire young, “diverse” professors, they’re going to get people who have advanced degrees in English with a minority and women’s studies twist, and these professors will want to teach what they know.  They will not be competent to teach the classics.  On the other hand, if they keep these professors out, they will expose themselves to charges of racism and sexism.

  14. Hartmann von Aue

    An anecdote from the University of Illinois circa 2001: Tom Shippey was there to present on Lord of the Rings as part of a series of talks timed to exploit the release of the The Fellowship of the Ring on film. Some one- whether a graduate student or junior faculty I cannot remember- made a comment bemoaning the “lack of diversity” and “all-male world” of Tolkien’s books. Shippey responded by saying (approximately, it’s been twelve years) “Well, that’s the problem with all of this diversity talk is that people who say they cherish it really don’t know what to do with real difference when they actually encounter it. Tolkien’s world is quite different from ours, isn’t it? Tolkien’s world is dominated by men, and it’s a world that is monarchist, too. Instead of trying to understand it, the very people who claim to be so tolerant of diversity chide Tolkien for being…not them.” 

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