Sunday, October 7, 2012

I'm afraid I have made a grave error.

Following my spring missteps in picking professors I seem to have struck out yet again. This time instead of picking a history professor who allows his political biases to color his attitudes, I picked a Literature professor who is obsessed with minutiae and trying to promulgate the idea that pederasty just isn't really all that bad.

I opted to take World Literature because British Literature didn't fit the time I had in my schedule.. I should have waited and taken the class I really wanted.. but unfortunately I didn't. Instead I am stuck with a professor who openly criticizes the bulk of western writing, disregards the entirety of non western or Islamic writing.. and fixates on greco-roman stories and poems which extol the virtues of man on boy love. If questioned about this, she will repeatedly state "It just was".

"It Just was" is of course an acceptable if not entirely fulfilling answer as to WHY it was practiced at all in greco-roman and islamic world.. but it doesn't even begin to explain WHY we need to read so damn many stories about it.

Which, the very fact that so many greco-roman writings deal with the subject is itself very telling. Either that the act was some what abhorrent and in need of defense in Rome and Greece itself.. or that the christian and islamic leaders who chose to save the stories were looking for historical justifications for acts which had become taboo by their times. This of course was an unacceptable question to pose in class, I was asked to stop speaking, and yet again told "It just was".

Plato, Ovid, perfumed garden.. the whole thing just keeps reminding me of a line from "The Perks of being a wallflower" when the main character Charlie is given a copy of the Fountainhead by his english teacher and told to be a Filter, not a Sponge, of the ideas presented within it..

I realize that these writers are vastly important to western culture, but so was the Jewish old testement and the Christian new testement and neither of them are being studied in class.. and in my opinion the choice of texts from the greco-roman world are far to fixated on works seeking to justify deviant behavior. To be honest, her class is making me miss the days of bowdlerization.

Simply put, my confusion is growing to preposterous levels due simply to the fact that, Plato, Ovid, and the Islamic caliphs have actual important and mind expanding things to speak of.. if the answer "It just was" is the be all end all answer.. then we need to swiftly move past the perniciously out of date material and stick to reading and discussing the works which are actually important to western culture as a whole today, rather than simply to perverts and child abusers.

I further more resent the idea that nothing of any value came out of the Middle Ages except for from the Islamic world.. unless you are Dante.

I really cannot wait till December 12th when I'm rid of this class.


David J. West said...

Sorry to hear that, I don't know that I could tolerate it at all.

Keith said...

I'm in complete agreement with you. I have a feeling I would have been kicked out of this class pretty quickly. Is there no way you can drop?

The problem with so many literature professors is that they seem to actively hate their culture and most things that culture is built upon. And most of them seem to be pretty out there in their views. And refuse to hear any others. This is called being "tolerant" in today's academic world.

Lagomorph Rex said...

Well she by no means hates her culture.. she just seems to have it in her head that Greece, Rome and the Italian Renaissance, are the only parts of that culture's foundation that matter and are worth studying.. Sorry to say that it wasn't the fault of the "Barbarians" that the classical world fell.. but the debauchery of the classical world and it's conversion to an apocalyptic savior cult (Why bother doing anything if the second coming is just around the corner) that caused the decline.. the poor dumb Barbarians just had to try and assemble some sort of meaning from the piles of rubble left over after the western Roman Empire imploded. And considering it took the Classical world about 5000 years to get to that point.. but only took those poor dumb barbarians about 1600 years to get to the Moon and master the Atom.. It kinda makes you wonder which group was ultimately more important to the culture that exists today..