Another silly professor alert
Diana Abu-Jaber comes forth on the pages of the Washington Post to bravely urge Americans not to be cowed by the Bush administration in Police State Amerika.
Our government appears to be disturbingly free of dissent at this volatile moment; even our media frequently seem docile and one-note; opposition voices are rare and marginalized.Yeah, marginalized to the pages of the Washington Post. But she is brave, and she is confident that everyone is with her.
I have not met a single person who is confident about waging war on Iraq. A noted novelist recently asked me, "Do you know anyone who's in favor of this war? I don't!"Wasn't it Pauline Kael who said she didn't understand how Nixon won in 1972. No one she knew had voted for him. Why do left-wing professor types, so many of the literary types who make such a big deal over imagination, have so much difficulty imagining that people not like them don't agree with them?
She wants freedom of expression, alright. She simply cannot imagine that anyone not under George Bush's jackboot would actually disagree with her.
But in voting to end the debate and give the president authority to use force against Iraq, the Senate's top Democrat, Tom Daschle, told colleagues, "I believe it is important for America to speak with one voice." After a decade of teaching writing workshops, the only times I have seen a class speak with "one voice" are the times when people feel frightened or pressured into going along with the loudest or pushiest voices in the room.So if the class unites and stands up to the class bully, this is a bad thing? What makes it so annoying is the smugness of it all. She begins and ends her piece with a tale of painting her father's VW with a peace sign when she was in high school, and her father's decision to consequently get rid of the car (she doesn't explain why he didn't just repaint it).
He swapped his Beetle for a Lincoln and car payments, and he discovered some other, trickier all-American values -- luxury and comfort.Perhaps the smug little twit will tell us how much Portland State University, where she is an associate professor of English, pays her, so that she can offer us assurances that she does indulge in crass luxuries and comforts.
By the way, she has an earlier piece, posted at Common Dreams, that reminds me why professors so frequently annoy me. It is a condescending little bit of advice to Bush about how to tell a consistent Iraq story, by someone who thinks waging war is as simple as a few clever lines.