Saturday, August 15, 2009

Prophet And Man At Yale

William F. Buckley didn't stay with us long enough to write the sequel to God And Man At Yale. So the Yale University Press is doing it for him. The university publishers are releasing a book about the Mohammed cartoons entitled The Cartoons That Shook The World. The only catch is that they aren't printing the cartoons themselves.

In its long history of the pursuit of a free press, Yale University has boldly taken on the topic of how the religion of peace handles any deviation from Muslim doctrine. Not peacefully. Yale has fearlessly taken on the violation of Islamic sensibilities which sparked fires and riots and an occasional murder worldwide. Depiction of any living thing, particularly the prophet Mohammed, is strictly forbidden. And those cartoons published in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten not only pictured Mohammed, but also pictured him in rather, shall we say, unflattering ways.

So why is Yale being so fearless? Well, if you don't print any of the cartoons, you haven't violated the rule, and the Muslim Students Association won't burn down your publishing office along with the adjacent city of New Haven, Connecticut. As a side note, I should add that after the reversal of Sonia Sotomayor's decision in the "Ricci" case, New Haven at least has an effective fire department to put out the fires. Just the idea that the university would even consider printing the cartoons is enough to trigger the outrage of many Islamic peace warriors.

Now if you remember your childhood lessons, you know that a picture is worth a thousand words. The book is very lengthy, because without the cartoons to look at, the university has to print a thousand words to describe each of them. Hoping that the jihadis will get bored with all the words and forget about beheading the publisher, Yale has served both the interests of peace and the incomes of paper and ink manufacturers.

So, in a book about cartoons, there are no cartoons. Only a great university could pull that one off. John Donatich, the director of Yale University Press told the New York Times that "the decision not to include the cartoons was difficult. Yeah, I can imagine the ivy-surrounded conference room right now. "We are going to do a book on the Mohammed Cartoons." "All right, which ones are we going to print?" "Well, none." "What kind of cartoon book doesn't have any cartoons?" "It's not a cartoon book, it's a book about cartoons." "With no illustrations?" "No illustrations." "Ah, very Zen. Now I understand."

For a school whose motto is "Light and Truth," there seems to be very little of either. The university attempted to explain why they excluded the cartoons. They said that they consulted many experts in theology, diplomacy, and counter-terrorism, and they agreed unanimously to recommend that the cartoons not be printed. They also added that the cartoons had been printed so universally previously that to do so again would be redundant. I might have had some respect for their omission if they had simply told the truth and admitted that they were afraid that if they printed the cartoons, their ivory tower would likely go up in flames. Fear is a great motivator for liberals and university academics. But it takes a real man to admit he's scared spitless.

Surprisingly, the American Association of University Professors issued a statement condemning Yale for its cowardice. The AAUP statement said: "We are committed to academic freedom. We do not negotiate with terrorists." They were particularly appalled by Yale's excuse that they were warned that publication of the cartoons had brought on violence in the past. The Association was also distressed by Yale's attempt to shift the blame for the cowardice to "experts."

PJM quoted British comedian Pat Condell as asking: "How much more of your freedom needs to be whittled away to defend this intolerant, misogynistic, homophobic, antisemitic ideology from the frank and robust and open criticism it so richly deserves?" Yale's answer is: "A whole bunch more."

Note: In order to avoid having our luxurious offices torched, I have printed the Gustave Dore painting of Mohammed in Hell with Dante looking down on the condemned souls. Since Mohammed, like all the others in the Inferno, is pictured naked, I figured no jihadists would come after us since they can't imagine that Mohammed was ever naked, and therefore would not recognize him.


Primer said...

Lawhawk, Very nice as usual. I only have one question. Without the actual cartoons, what is the point of the book?
It appears to me to just be a book that liberal intellectuals can point to and say "Look how thoughtfully and compassionately we have handled this subject". Aren't we special...
Cowardice apparently was a Yale Man..

AndrewPrice said...

It takes 1000 words to describe a picture, I like that. That makes my Bloom County collect the longest books ever written!

Of course, Yale could write about those without fear that peace activists would kill us all.

Unknown said...

Primer: Ya gotta know that these Yale professors and staff are just sniveling cowards. Their arts department must be a mess. Imagine writing a book about the Mona Lisa without actually showing the painting. People have been fighting over the meaning of the painting for five hundred years. A painting (or a cartoon) cannot possibly be described adequately in words, and those cowards at Yale know it. One cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb on his turban is worth considerable comment. Unfortuntely, the yellowstreaks at Yale know exactly how jihadis comment.

Unknown said...

Andrew: My "Far Side" collection challenges your "Bloom County" selection to a war of words. LOL

ScottDS said...

I was looking forward to Yale's book on supermodels but I guess I'll pass on it now. :-)

(ducks flying objects)

StanH said...

What do you expect from our fearless academics, perched in their the Ivory Tower that is Yale. Just think this is where our future leaders are made, God help us.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Ducks are indeed flying objects. Swimming objects too.

Unknown said...

ScottDS: Don't hold your breath for the next SI swimsuit book either.

StanH: I'm not so worried about our future leaders, but the ivory tower produces hordes of followers, aka sheeple. Academia (even at my alma mater UC Berkeley) used to teach students how to think and how to question. Now they just teach them how to spout leftist talking-points by rote. A nation of independent thinkers can handle crazy leaders, but a nation of followers can only take orders.

CrispyRice said...

Wow, LawHawk, that's just crazy. I mean, I've seen universities do stupid things before, but this is a new level of PC-ness. Or maybe, as you say - CYA-ness in not wanting to have the student union bombed.

StlDan said...

"that the cartoons had been printed so universally previously that to do so again would be redundant."

So why have an Art Museum or why print art books? I could have saved these people a lot of money on an education.

Skinners 2 Cents said...

In the back of my head every time I read one of these articles I've got Harold Crick from Stranger Than Fiction yelling "Have I taken crazy pills!"

At least stories like this bring to light exactly how dark most Universities have become.

Free thought; not on your life.

You might run into one brave soul in a class room, who's an actual free thinker. It'll be the person who makes people gasp when they ask questions. Stunned by such audacity as to question some poor logic on the Professor's part.

I love irony, it's natures comedy on a grand scale.

The whole idea of going to college is about forming your own independent identity and "higher education" (which is another topic entirely). At least for those students coming out of high school.

They are all so proud to be on their own and they don't have to conform to anything. Yet inside the first semester of college most have already become conformists on a grand scale.

"I don't eat animals"
"I don't walk on the grass"
"I don't wear shoe's made by little slave kids"
And on and on, there are far to many to list.

Most arguments you will hear between conformists is who can conform the most and how dedicated they are to conforming.

The most dedicated are not afraid to help keep you informed on how you should be changing your life to better facilitate their pipe dream of happiness.

It actually makes me chuckle every time I think about.... Then it makes me want to beat them senseless in hopes that they suffer amnesia. I'd be doing them and the rest of the world a favor.. =)

We can print, sculpt, build, paint, celebrate, and fund every vile form of "Art" under the sun. Deities from all religions have been artistically rendered in every negative light possible. Except one, now we need to be sensible about offending people, to bad you didn't grow a conscience until recently. Will you be taking down all offensive depictions of Christ from you art galleries and out of all text books?

Somehow I don't think the Professors at Yale have become sensible I think they are just trying to keep the glass bubble from bursting around the pretend world they talk about living in.

Unknown said...

CrispyRice: Just when I think the universities can't get any more foolish, they come up with something like this. They're like parents who are afraid of their own children. So they cave in, and produce monsters.

StlDan: Think of all the money we could save by closing all the museums and simply describing what used to be in them in words, online.

Unknown said...

Skinners2Cents: In the 60s, we fought for academic freedom. Unfortunately, many of my compatriots went on to teach at those same universities. And they thought "academic freedom" meant the freedom to miseducate, undereducate, and fail to educate. Only an ivory tower pseudointellectual could use unnamed experts to determine what ought to be printed and what shouldn't. And only people suffering from pure cognitive dissidence could believe that describing a cartoon is preferable to simply showing it. They didn't fool anybody but their fellow leftists. They're cowards, pure and simple.

AndrewPrice said...

Skinner, You make some great points about academia today. When I went to college, all I heard about was the wonderful, free-spirited academic environment in which everything could and would be said in the ultimate search for truth. What I found instead was a group-think machine that stamped out mindless little followers. Sad.

Unknown said...

Andrew: Is is a very sad state of affairs. Despite their revisionism, today's lockstep lefty professors forget that the universities in the 60s really were hotbeds of political thought--at all points on the spectrum. Many of the conservative values I've embraced as I've gotten older I first heard coming from Berkeley professors in the 60s.

I particularly remember a history professor (who later went on to become the chair of the history department at San Francisco State) who thought one-world government was a foolish denial of human nature calling Woodrow Wilson the "deaf, dumb and blind Don Quixote of the Twentieth Century" for botching the peace after WWI by insisting on a League of Nations. How refreshing. Today the only criticism you'll hear of Wilson is that he was a racist. But in pursuit of destroying American exceptionalism, they forgive him.

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