Tuesday, April 11, 2006

What is this Harvard mystique?

Why does Havard have this lofty reputation? The most prominent Harvard people I know are Laurence Summers, Steven Pinker and Harvey Mansfield. None of them are at all impressive.

The focus here is on Harvey Mansfield. If he has always been this confused and incosistent, it's incredible that he was paid to teach at Harvard. If he's only recently become a crazy they should fire his ass.

Tom Ashbrook was all over Mansfield's inconsistencies in the interview on WBUR. He questioned Mansfield's premise that educated women should endorse "irrational manliness" by reason. He also said that manliness was 50% good and 50% bad, but when Ashbrook pressed him on it, he changed it to "more than 50%."

Then Ashbrook brought analyst Jack Beatty on, and he observed that the "democratic revolution" has begun to erode male privilege.

Then Katha Pollitt delivered the coup de grace. She began by trashing John Wayne - one of Mansfield's heroes. She pointed out that Wayne was an actor, not a manly men. She pointed out the complete insanity of Mansfield's pretzel logic - in his book, Mansfield claims that women should do the housework because men have contempt for housework because that's something that women do.

Mansfield is an addle-brained old coot, and the ONLY reason that anybody takes him seriously is because he is surrounded by the Harvard mystique. I say to hell with it.