Friday, May 19, 2006


Stephen Colbert Is Right

University of Georgia professor James Cobb shares with us a freshman's perspective on history:

After 34 years of college teaching, I thought I had heard just about every imaginable student complaint. Last week, however, a freshman in my 300-seat US History Since 1865 course came in to discuss her exam with one of the graders and proceeded to work herself into a semi-hissy over the fact that we had spent four class periods (one of them consisting of a visit from Taylor Branch) discussing the civil rights movement. "I don't know where he's getting all of this," she complained,"we never discussed any of this in high school." One might have let the matter rest here as simply an example of a high school history teacher's sins of omission being visited on the hapless old history prof. had the student not informed the TA in an indignant postcript, " I'm not a Democrat! I don't think I should have to listen to this stuff!"
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias."
If you like Stephen Colbert, you'll love:

Stephen Colbert: The balls report.

It's at
" I'm not a Democrat! I don't think I should have to listen to this stuff!"

Oh, so this is how they're saying, "But that's haarrrrd!" now days.

The teaching of history in American high schools is almost as big a fraud as the teaching of foreign languages in American high schools. Once, in a blue moon, a student learns how to order a simple meal in a foreign language, it's much rarer for someone to learn any real history.

I'd guess this dim bulb didn't do so well in plane geometry either.
Don't listen to Richard Quick. He has apparently designated himself as the one-person Colbert bear-baiter. He is spending his time posting on sites mentioning Colbert to add his own smarmy brand of right-wing truthiness. Richard, get a life, spend your millions, make more, show us what true blue lift yourself up by your own bootstraps American entrepreneurship really means!
Generally, I don't follow comment spam links, but the anonymous comment above inspired me to visit Mr. Quick's site.

It was so cramped and venal that I felt obliged to respond to him. Since he has enabled comment moderation, I don't know whether it will ever be seen by the public.

First of all, I have to grant his point, that if all of the comments about the size of Colbert's genitalia are gathered into one place, the effect is faintly ridiculous.

But, since Mr. Quick claims to have become a millionaire by age 12, I asked him whether he could ever remember a time when he didn't feel invulnerable, yet chose to speak truth to power. What people admired about Colbert was not the legendary size of genitalia they ascribed to him. It was that as a young comedian on a minor cable channel, as someone as vulnerable as a typical American, he did speak truth to power.

I guess I was most appalled by this comment on Mr. Quick's site: "And while the guests are arriving for the lavish debauchery I host each night, I feel so utterly alone... with only my wealth and twin supermodels to console me. Alas..."

A man has this much money, but no wife who loves him? He has to resort to what would be, I suppose, called "prostitutes" if we spoke plainly?

What it is about great wealth that blinds people to the fact that money only has meaning to the extent that it is used for more than short-term gratification?

At any rate, I told Mr. Quick that rather than envy him for what he has, I feel sadness in a life that seems to be but partially-lived.

Why I chose to do this, I have no idea. I suppose those who are sick in their souls reach out to find healing. But this case seems far beyond any minor capacity I might have.
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