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The cancel culture lifestyle


The Times has a very strange story about a dinner party thrown by Solveig Gold and Joshua Katz, the latter the professor fired for multiple instances of sexual misconduct and the former a former undergraduate advisee he slept with and then married. (Katz claims that his sexual misconduct, which he was first just suspended for, was just a pretext and that he was actually fired for writing anti-campus-PC screeds. Whether this is true or not I can’t say — although a current undergrad has a pretty convincing rebuttal to this — although I can say that having sex with undergraduates you have a supervisory relationship with is an excellent reason for getting fired, one of the very best in fact.) I don’t know where to start, but maybe here:

Her parents sent her to the all-girls Nightingale-Bamford school in Manhattan — the “Gossip Girl” school — where she wrote a column for the school paper called “Au Contraire,” on topics ranging from a defense of Sarah Palin (which she said she would probably not write today) to an endorsement of watching old black-and-white movies. She registered to vote Republican at age 18, mostly to be different on the liberal Upper West Side, she said.

On the night of the dinner, the couple had just returned from a brief decompression trip to Amsterdam and Cambridge, England, where Ms. Gold is completing her Ph.D. in classics. She just submitted her dissertation tracing “the metaphorical language of slavery across the Platonic corpus.” In her introduction, she writes, “the very use of slavery as a metaphor may be hideous to many (although the enduring popularity of Britney Spears’s 2001 hit song, ‘I’m a Slave 4 U,’ suggests that the metaphor has survived somewhat unscathed).” She relishes that it’s a “hot button” topic, but fears that “the woke people in classics won’t read it because it’s by me.”

Um, yeah. One can also notice some unexplored contradictions arising from the narrative here:

Yes indeed, ol’ “Natural Law is the most recent platform of the Mississippi Republican Party” showed up to the festivities:

There was Robert P. George, 66, a professor of jurisprudence, in the chair once held by the now ignominious Woodrow Wilson. The New York Times Magazine once called Professor George the country’s “most influential conservative Christian thinker,” for his role in laying the intellectual groundwork for the fights against marriage equality and abortion rights. He founded the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, where Ms. Gold is senior research assistant, and where another dinner guest, Bradford Wilson, 71, is executive director.

Professor George’s family — West Virginia coal miner stock — believed in Jesus, F.D.R., Democrats and the United Mine Workers of America, he said. He arrived in a natty three-piece off-white suit with a bottle of 1997 Meursault.

Again, I am beginning to see some contradictions in the “it is impossible to be a conservative at Princeton” narrative.

And now, the punchline:

They are going to start house-hunting in Washington, D.C., where Dr. Katz is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. “Somehow one thing led to another and he ended up in the position that I had imagined for myself,” his wife said.

In the Intellectual Horse Paste Web, getting “cancelled” seems to mean “getting paid similar or more money to do less work.” Nice sinecure if you can get it!

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