Blogs > Cliopatria > wtf?!

May 15, 2006 7:11 am


I promise you that Jaroslav Pelikan is dead. He died two days ago. You may have heard it here first. And he'd better be dead, because the Orthodox intend to bury him tomorrow. But tell me: what other former president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences would be two days dead and not have an obit in the New York Times? What other Jefferson Lecturer would die and not have it noticed in the Washington Post? What other Gifford Lecturer would die without a notice in the London Times? What other Kluge Prize winning historian would be dead and not have it acknowledged at History News Network? (Clue: there are no other Kluge Prize winning historians.) Profanely speaking: wtf?!

I suppose, if you begin with David Horowitz, ending in some sort of madness is inevitable. You take Stetson University's"Associate Professor of Management", Robert W. Boozer, for example. The fellow's got himself a"D.B.A." from Mississippi State. Anyway, Boozer proposed to do a psychological profile of David Horowitz's 101 (really, it's 100, 102, or 103, but not 101)"most dangerous academics in America." Put aside the fact that D'Ho has yet to offer a coherent rationale for who's included and who's excluded; and, lacking that, it's impossible to say what significance a psychological profile of them would have. And Boozer's finally abandoned his proposed study, anyway. But, get this: in the back and forth over it with Peter Kirstein (2nd or 3rd loon alert), Boozer asks the question:"How can history be patriarchal when it has periods?" So, Peter and Robert discuss the matter. wtf?!

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Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006

May I ask whether the Cliopatria blog is really the appropriate place for publicly questioning peoples' sanity, as in the "loon alert" for Peter Kirstein, and the other gratuitious references here to insanity? Do any discursive norms prevail here beyond the nepotistic, the sarcastic and the presumptuous?

I grant that Kirstein's arguments at HNN have repeatedly been bad ones--even immoral ones--but he's hardly unique in that respect, and if the promulgation of culpably bad/immoral arguments were a sufficient condition for ascriptions of insanity, plenty of people here would qualify for the straitjacket and the asylum.

Psychiatric judgments are best left to trained psychiatrists operating under conditions of confidentiality. They're not something a non-psychiatrist ought to be asserting in public. Amazing that one has to spell out the ABC's of something so elementary in company so august, but evidently one does.

Jonathan Dresner - 5/16/2006

McLemee has used it, I know. Though it strikes me more like a Berube line....

Ralph E. Luker - 5/16/2006

I can't claim any originality there, Sam. The honor for that goes to Michael Berube, I think.

S J - 5/16/2006

I could have sworn you called him "D'Ho". . . I just laughed out loud. Hard. Thanks.

Jonathan W. Wilson - 5/16/2006

You of little faith. WaPo is on the case.

Caleb McDaniel - 5/15/2006

Actually, you may be right and I may have been hasty. There were some disagreements among obituaries on McLean about the year of his birth, and I think the NYT was one of the few that got it right. Mea culpa ...

Jonathan Dresner - 5/15/2006


Nah.... never mind.

chris l pettit - 5/15/2006

someone who does not believe in law, rights, ethics, or morals talking about "immoral" arguments...

Irfan...from your philosophical position (I should say ideological...but you don't seem to even acknowledge that anymore) have readily admitted that it is based on power positions, what you feel to be right, and imposing your "rightness" on others because you have the power to enforce your rules. Morality has nothing to do with it. What should have been stated is that Kirsten engages in ideological ramblings that are unable to be critically defended...and that disagree with your ideological arguments (or those of Clios) that also cannot be critically defended and exist only within your own philosophical framework.


Caleb McDaniel - 5/15/2006

The NYT has been culpably slow on a lot of obituaries lately. When the great jazz saxophonist Jackie McLean died recently, the Times was a few days behind the Post, for no apparent reason.

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