Thursday, March 02, 2006

"a kind of chic nihilism and a certain kind of pretentious discourse..."

Camille Paglia on Open Source Radio (H/T Althouse)...

The humanities have destroyed themselves over the past 30 years…Through an obsession with European jargon and a shallow politicization of discourse, the humanities have imploded…There’s hardly a campus you can name where the most exciting things that are happening on campus are coming from the humanities departments…I think the entire profession is in withdrawal at the moment. This is a national problem. It’s not just a Harvard problem.

The humanities have imploded, she says. And I agree. Too many parents have turned the character development and education of their children over to others at a time when parents as influential role models are at a competetive disadvantage for our children's attention and affections. Paglia complains that "there is a passivity on the part of parents...and the entire educational system of America is deranged..." She refers to the "hamster wheel" aproach to what passes for learning and has harsh words for all levels of academia. And I do not think, incidentally, that good private schools are necessarily a proper remedy to ameliorate the problem. Home schooling, perhaps, because it is a more wholesome method to bond education and character development with the family. The problem with home-schooling is the proliferation of disfunctional families and the notion that single parent "families" snapped off from an extended family tree are the qualitative equal of traditional two-parent, multi-generational models. Moreover, I have the impression - and this may well be an uninformed bias on my part - that parents who home school are more apt to produce children whose academic gifts may be impressive but with a view of the world that is too narrow.

(Long listen, by the way, with little content. She seems to be illustrating the good point she made. Skip this one if you are pressed for time.)

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