Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Marlette and Gurganus

Even before he confronted the local intelligentsia’s rush to judgment in the lacrosse case, the late cartoonist Doug Marlette had already crossed swords with the Durham/Hillsborough “intellectual” community.

As his friend, Pat Conroy, noted in the memorial service, Marlette was especially dismissive of Allan Gurganus. On his personal webpage, Gurganus describes himself in the following fashion: “Allan Gurganus writes the funniest books possible about the worst things that can happen to people. Fearless in his treatment of sexuality, race relations, the lies of human history and the scope of human grief, he is still considered ‘one of our essential comic writers.’ Gurganus's fiction---as meditative as hilarious---goes on inspiring strong criticism and an even fiercer loyalty.”

It’s good to see that modesty is among Gurganus’ many personal traits.

In early April, the local author had published a substantial (more than 1500 words, twice the normal length) op-ed on the lacrosse case in the New York Times.

The piece—which was riddled with factual errors that the Times allowed to appear in print, most of which were never corrected—reads more like an application letter for a position with the Group of 88 than a serious piece of analysis. (Gurganus stated in the op-ed that he has occasionally taught at Duke.) Dripping with contempt at the presumption of innocence, Gurganus’ intellectually indefensible group-based assumptions raise serious questions of how the Times evaluated op-ed submissions in spring 2006.

Below is a summary of some of the worst of what Gurganus produced—which should, if nothing else, serve as a reminder that Marlette was on target in his criticisms.

“Lacrosse was our Eden’s first team sport. The Cherokees called it ‘the little brother of war.’ They swore it offered superb battle training. It bred loyalty among players, a solidarity demonstrated by the code of silence among Duke’s party attendees. These included the team’s one black member and only Durham native.”
  • In fact, there was no code of silence—and the false claim that the players had engaged in a code of silence formed one reason why Mike Nifong was disbarred.
“I know firsthand the good will of the Durham community . . . It is criminal that this sexual and racial accusation might seem typical.”
  • Gurganus left unclear to whom in the “Durham community” he referred. The local protesters who carried “castrate” signs or who distributed “wanted” posters would not strike most people as exemplars of “good will.”
“Lacrosse is a draw. Glamorous boarding-school sports are magnets for the attractive, competitive and wealthy young people that increasingly define Duke’s student body. Ivy League colleges do not, they assure us, give athletic scholarships per se. Here, there’s no such interdiction. To enlist—then hold onto—a major player, promises must be made.”
  • To what “promises” was Gurganus referring? Many of the lacrosse players received no scholarships at all; others received need-based financial aid.
“Talent has its privileges, especially in lacrosse, that bailiwick of Abercrombie allure.”
  • Especially in lacrosse? At Duke—as at its ACC competitors where lacrosse is played—a far smaller percentage of lacrosse players receive athletic scholarships than in other sports, such as basketball or football. That Gurganus was allowed to make such a claim raises questions as to whether the Times employs any fact-checkers.
“One perk of belonging to a sports team: preferred living quarters, close to campus but far from adult supervision.”
  • A few days later, the Times was forced to run a correction: “While Duke recently bought the house, its previous owner, not the university, had rented it to the players. The article also suggested that athletes get preferential treatment in obtaining desirable housing; Duke says that is not its policy.”
“The lacrosse team’s 610 North Buchanan house is, even among such Animal Houses, notorious.”
  • In fact, as the Coleman Committee report revealed, it wasn’t even in the top ten of off-campus houses. And since 610 Buchanan hadn’t been rented to lacrosse players in previous years, how did what occurred in it before September 2005 have any relevance to Gurganus’ op-ed?
“Friends in the neighborhood painstakingly restored an old home; they sold it the instant Duke planted a sports team next door.”
  • “Duke,” of course, didn’t “plant” a “sports team” anywhere, since before winter 2006, Duke didn’t own any houses in the neighborhood. Making such false claims is always a danger when writing an op-ed based on unsubstantiated second-hand gossip.
“Young male students are apt to take on the nature of their particular sport. One early explorer, after witnessing an Indian game involving hundreds of stick-wielding players, wrote, ‘Almost everything short of murder is allowable.’”
  • I hadn’t realized that Gurganus was also a sports psychologist. One wonders what sets of behavior he considers derived from the “nature” of tennis? Of water polo? Of track? Of fencing? Since the Duke lacrosse team had no record of violent behavior, in any case, it appears that its players didn’t “take on the nature of their particular sport” very well.
“The Duke team is known on campus as the Meatheads.”
  • “Known” by whom? In the thousands upon thousands of articles and op-eds published on the case, Gurganus’ piece is, to my knowledge, the only one to claim that the team was “known on campus as the Meatheads.” Again, does the Times employ fact-checkers?
“Nights before the dancer’s visit, complaints were lodged in a nearby restaurant as players chanted with the wit typical of such groups, ‘Duke La--crosse! Duke La--crosse!’ No one quite dared confront them. Though they pass as ordinary citizens—unlike the pituitary cases found among basketball stars—they’re still guys of serious, strenuous bulk.”
  • In fact, this event allegedly occurred more than two weeks after the party (again, where were the Times’ fact-checkers?); and the claims were strenuously denied by both employees of the bar and an assistant coach for the women’s lacrosse team who was present that evening.
“The ‘Don’t Tell’ part involved not snitching on one another.”
  • In fact, the three captains made voluntary, lengthy statements. Gurganus’ assertion makes sense only by presuming guilt. Since, according to AG Roy Cooper, nothing happened at the party, it’s hard to see how the players could have “not snitched.”
“Neighbors complained to the university to little avail. Middle-class white residents, come to ask for late-night noise reduction, were routinely cursed. The beer-can litter and the welter of S.U.V.’s suggested what went unmonitored inside the house.”
  • In fact, as Officer Ben Himan’s case notes recently revealed, the most serious complaint the “neighbors” had about the occupants of the house was that the three captains didn’t park their cars well. The Coleman Committee discovered that those neighbors wishing to personally “complain to the university” actually were referring to non-lacrosse houses.
“The police report did more than hint. Its allegations of rape and sodomy prove weirdly well written, more gripping reading than most detective novels.”
  • These two sentences are the most ironic of Gurganus’s screed: what he termed the “police report” (presumably, in fact, the non-testimonial order affidavit, since a “police report” hadn’t been released as of the time this op-ed appeared) should have read like a novel—since the “report” was pure fiction.
“Peter Wood, a history professor at Duke and himself a lacrosse player at Harvard, warned the administration two years ago that players were cutting class for morning practice.”
  • In fact, the players in Wood’s class had missed one class, because of travel requirements for a game the next day at the University of Virginia—and had, according to NCAA policies, obtained advance permission to miss the class. None of them had “cut” class.
“It would be far too easy to scapegoat one university for allowing boys to be brutes. But in the institution’s hurry to protect its students, right or wrong, it seemed to forget its role of educating and reassuring a community larger than itself.”
  • This statement is almost comical. Gurganus’ op-ed appeared four days after the Brodhead April 5 letter—which didn’t even mention the presumption of innocence and treated as a given the fact that a rape occurred. Could it be that, to those in Gurganus’ intellectual circles, the administration’s “timidity” was proven by its refusal to follow Houston Baker’s admonition that all 46 white lacrosse players be immediately expelled from school, without due process?
“The university once offered respite from our country’s most rabid competitive impulses. Once upon a time, there was even a core curriculum assuring that every student in every field had read the same great works, including sacred texts, Shakespeare, the Greeks. Once science reigned unchallenged by religious strictures. Once institutions of higher learning ranked higher.”
  • This statement is, in many ways, true. But the assault on the core curriculum—on teaching the great works of Shakespeare and the Greeks—came not from those associated with athletes but from people like Gurganus’ allies among the Group of 88, activist professors determined to redefine the curriculum along lines of race, class, and gender.
“When the children of privilege feel vividly alive only while victimizing, even torturing, we must all ask why.”
  • When so-called “intellectuals” feel “vividly alive” only while publishing op-eds that incorrectly presume guilt and ignore due process, we must all ask why.
“Boys 18 to 25 are natural warriors: bodies have wildly outgrown reason, the sexual imperative outranks everything. They are insurance risks. They need (and crave) true leadership, genuine order. But left alone, granted absolute power, their deeds can terrify. The imperative to win, and damn all collateral costs, is not peculiar to Durham—and it is killing us.”
  • These assertions are nothing short of absurd. That they appeared in the New York Times should raise serious questions (a) about how op-eds are accepted; and (b) the fact-checking process employed for accepted op-eds.
“Why is there no one to admire?”

That’s a difficult question to answer. But it’s not difficult to see that the answer to this question will not come from people like Gurganus or his allies in the Group of 88.

Hat tip: M.W.

210 comments:

1 – 200 of 210   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

This op-ed was full of factual errors. The New York Times and Mr. Sulzberger deserve the heavy criticism. It is the Times' responsibility to correct facts prior to publication. Like Duke and Mr. Brodhead, does The New York Times have no shame?

Anonymous said...

Professor,

Why was Gurganus asked to write an editorial? I realize he'a a minor celebrity in Durham, but he's not considered a talented writer. Christ, he had to get that race hustler at Harvard, Henry Gates, to write a blurb for his book.

Anonymous said...

Beyond words, KC. The NYT writers are liars. Who could believe a word they write. Will redouble my efforts to get my friends to stop reading this trite.

Anonymous said...

Gurganus was as accurate as Nifong was truthful. Was this in the "Fiction" section of the New York Times' op-ed page?

Excellent job of rebuttal, K.C.! Would the New York Times consider publishing it? Perhaps as a public service? Maybe as some form of "community service"?

I certainly hope the Duke boys sue the pants off the New York Times, and they should also sue Allan Gurganus. What a meathead.

___________

Note to Marlette haters: That man did an excellent job using humor to expose this Hoax for what it was -- a most vile and hideous joke.

If you wish to complain about his politics, perhaps you should take it to his graveside. Then, maybe you can strangle some puppies.

___________

K.C. Johnson is always right. Even when he is turning left. For him, that direction is referred to as "the other right." Trivial Pursuit, K.C. Johnson Edition (Milton Bradley). MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

The NYT , whether they realize it or not, will continue to slip in status and prestige with the current leadership and due to future trends.

How many people actually watch the evening news anymore on the big 3 networks?

The arrogance of the TIMES is amazing. However, it remains scary how many otherwise bright people read and believe the crap they print.

Anonymous said...

Gregory is always in a good mood. How's the Thorazine? my man

Anonymous said...

Thanks KC, another beam of light on the perverse idiocy that surrounded this whole affair.

I'd like to know if Gargantu-anus' assertions of fact constitute libel/slander. If it does, the whole men's lacrosse team ought to put a caption on your posting, and file it with the court.

-RD

Anonymous said...

The NYT still does not recognize its part in the World Trade Center's horror. The newspaper just isn't in the real world. It has resources that rival those of many governments, and it still cannot get a story right. As far as Gurganus is concerned, he too is a fraud. These people write for one another. The story has to fit into their politically correct culture, and if the story doesn't fit their preconceived notion of how it should be, they, the politically correct crowd, cannot register the reality. By the way, the first bombing of the World Trade Center, treated as a local crimnal act was really an opening salvo for militant, radical Islam, not Islam itself, but those who whould use Islam for their own purposes. As Sadat said, "This is not Islam." The NYT was asleep at the wheel. It produced a Jayson Blair. Its standards are not any better now, but then it's not about the truth.

Anonymous said...

Another home run, KC!

Nearly everything I read sends me back to disbelief as I reflect on the Duke administration's failure, followed by indifference.

But this week I had a chance to say something back. Perhaps more will do this. I'd gotten an alumn letter with a preprinted envelope to send in a contribution (HA!). I thought a good note about why I have no intention of supporting Duke would go much farther in that envelope.

Duke Alumns, that preprinted envelope might catch the attention of the university. If you don't want to compose a letter, you could always enclose a selection from DIW.

Joe T. said...

What a hateful sicko (and genuinely stupid man) Gurganus must be. (Thank goodness I never did buy that copy of -Confederate Widow-).

Joe T. said...

P.S. - The NY Times staff have turned into the Manhattan dummies who invite every other ignorant dummy from around the country to visit. It's like national dummy headquarters. (Even Nifong was visiting them!)

Gary Packwood said...

Gurganus' piece, the potbangers, the wanted posters, the castrate signs and the 'bad enough' comment from the boss.

Makes you wonder if these people were all working together and had their ducks lined up before the party actually took place.

All it took was one RN with her consistent with ... nonsense and one Dean with her no need to contact an attorney ... nonsense and ...we are off to the races.

Thanks to the NYTimes we even have the national mouthpiece that fired up the extreme left and right.

Doug Marlette's Duke Noose cartoon may have been spot on...as he knew the whole community better than we did in those early days of the hoax.

I suggest the defense attorneys start with the NYTimes and work backwards.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

"Doug and I hated what happened to the Duke lacrosse team and the lynch mob that pursued them because of the stupid group of 88," he said, referring to an alliance of Duke professors who denounced team members following unsubstantiated allegations of rape.

and we wonder why tyrants like CHAVEZ and CASTRO are favorites of dummies like the group of 88 and gargantus the oaf

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

It is really amazing in retrospect how many unrelated people tried to use this case to shore up their PC leftist "bona fides."

It is hard to be mad a guys like this. Unlike the 88 gangsters, he had no particular duty to Duke students. To me what this does is underline how much damage Mike Nifong did to all the 2006 Duke lacrosse team members by lying in the press about them.

Art Deco said...

I first recall being conscious of Gurganus when I saw him interviewed on the MacNeill-Lehrer News Hour in 1990. During the course of the interview, he repeatedly asserted that George Bush (a combat veteran and successful businessman who had been gainfully employed for 36 of the previous 48 years) and Dan Quayle (who had been gainfully employed, without interruption, for the previous 18 years) had "never worked a day in their lives". Facts do not matter to this guy.

Anonymous said...

QUESTION: What is more ridiculous than a prostitute with the DNA of at least 4 unidentified males in her panties, anus and vagina, and the DNA of at least 2 unidentified males in her mouth - who couldn't be more soaked in DNA if she had unscrewed the top off a semen hydrant and played under it all afternoon - claiming to have been raped by, variously, twenty, five, four, zero or three Duke Lacrosse players?

ANSWER: Watching bloated, white, liberal slobs like Allan Gurganus and The New York Times spending their last bit of credibility on her as greedily and wastefully as a couple of 95-year-old oxygen-machine-dependent gamblers jamming quarters into casino slot machines between drags on their unfiltered cigarettes.

__________

In an earlier post on this blog, I suggested that the Duke Boys sue Gurganus and the Times. I still think they should, but would Gurganus be protected by the simple fact that his trash appeared in the "opinon" section and not where it belonged, in a quality "Trash-Co" brand dumpster?

Does the newspaper include some type of disclaimer on the op-ed page about the opinions being that of the miscreant who typed it up and not the New York Times, its owners or editorial board?

On the other hand, Duff Wilson's stuff appeared to be straight journalism (e.g. took the general form of), so the NYT should be liable for that.

_______________

"The standard FBI copyright warning has been amended by Act of Congress to now read, "The unauthorized copying of this material (by anyone other than K.C. Johnson)...." 28 F.R.D. 923 (2007). MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

What a great dissection of Gurganus' op-ed piece! Somewhere the two articles should be printed side by side. Unfortunately, the NY Times would not have the courage to be self-critical and revisit Gurganus' literary diatribe.

I wonder what motivated him to write this hateful purple prose. Why the rush? I would think that a novelist would wait for the narrative to unfold. At least Duff could use the excuse of a deadline. Is Gurganus trying to ingratiate himself with some crowd by this attack, or does he simply viscerally and violently hate athletes, especially "privileged" ones.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

You know, if you remove the first four letters from "Gurganus", you're left with --- "anus".

Explains why his writing stinks!

Anonymous said...

Boy, I knew Doug. I am shocked to hear of his death. Screw this NY Times hack. Doug was a good guy.
Kemp

Alan Furman said...

Well fisked.

Anonymous said...

“Boys 18 to 25 are natural warriors: bodies have wildly outgrown reason, the sexual imperative outranks everything. They are insurance risks. They need (and crave) true leadership, genuine order. But left alone, granted absolute power, their deeds can terrify. The imperative to win, and damn all collateral costs, is not peculiar to Durham—and it is killing us.”
________________________________

Uh....? He just let one of his catamites out of the bag.

Anonymous said...

You would get a much better
story if you would look into
Trinity Properties - you know,
the landlord which sold all
the party houses to Duke.

Anonymous said...

Pathetic.

I stopped reading the NYT a long time ago. "All the news fit to print" is about as accurate as believing that Police exist to "Protect and Serve" (the public). The Times prints all it feels is fit, bundled as self-loathing for wealthy, guilty New Yorkers. The Police protect and serve themselves.

That the self-ordained intelligentsia rule Op-Eds, or that this clown would describe himself as you've outlined, is just laughable. I can picture being in CH or Durham and listening to some arse rant about the GOP, making up the facts as he goes along, so it's no surprise Gurganus made up the facts as he went along. And hell, apparently there was somewhat of a tradition in doing so ... Duke Law should made this case required coursework.

Anonymous said...

Is Gurganus a Communist?

Anonymous said...

He's a princess.

Anonymous said...

Naw, he's a Bushie Republican.

mac said...

Gurganus' chosen sport for lithe young college boys -
since he has such a HORROR of the AWFUL bloody sports
played by thavages and other brutes would likely be...?

a) synchronized swimming
b) competitive phishing
c) mirror gazing

"When the children of privilege feel vividly alive only when victimizing, even torturing, we must all ask why."
(Hey, Gurhighness, why don't you ask John Wayne Gacy? In-person?)


"And it is killing us!"
(What is? Whatever it is, it's not soon enough.)

Interpretation of Gurganis outrage that someone might not attend a class:
"Oh, how terrible! He cut a class! He cut a class! Whom do I call for backup?"
(What a silly bitch.)

Gurgleanus' obviously favors a world like Harrison Bergeron lived in, safe for maladroits and other non compos mentis types.

mac said...

I'm sorry, spelling error:
Gurglinganus is the correct
spelling.

KC, I've never seen so much hyperbole! A classic version
of Histrionic Personality Disorder.

Anonymous said...

6:28

I can't speak for the LAXers, but I had a baseball player who missed Friday classes for games, etc. I had an attendance policy. He knew it coming in. It matters if one attends class or not.

mac said...

"Why is there no one to admire?"
A.G.

Because they've seen you heading their way.
No one wants your admiration.

mac said...

6:35
Did you read KC's post?
"In fact, the players in Wood's class had missed one class..."

Yeah, it matters...not.
Depends upon the class.
Ask Inman.

mac said...

"The 'Don't Tell' part involved not snitching on one another."

I think Uranus is confusing the Lacrosse team with the official
Clinton policy of "don't ask don't tell."

You can see the guys now:

"Did you snitch?"
"No, not I!"
"You did too snitch!"
"No I diiiiiidn't!"

mac said...

Dammit, KC, you've sent too many skeet at once!

"Pull!"

mac said...

"The report did more than hint..."
(yup, there's your foreplay)

"Its allegations of rape and sodomy
proved weirdly well written..."
(like the stuff you write, Mr. Garrison?)

"More gripping reading..."
(or is it "groping" you mean?)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mac said...

"...most detective novels."

Ah, your favorite genre, Gurglinganus.

Bet you liked Billy Zane in his Phantom costume, too, all form-fitting and all that.
What an amazing script and story! And how he filled that costume out...!
Pure savage delight!

I think I remember you in the corner drug store,
drooling over those True Detective magazines...

mac said...

Histrionic Personality Disorder.

mac said...

Gotta go run a 10 miler:
my "natural warrior" body is
laughing too hard at Gurglinganus'
comments, and my obliques (yeth,
you can thee them!) are getting cramps.

Need to let someone else have a turn, anyway,
although this post has more material than the one with the animal-lover.

scott said...

Gurganus was telling the story the NYT wanted to hear, so why bother with fact-checking?

"All the news that's fit to print?" Don't make me laugh.

The NYT credo is why let facts get in the way of printing a "news" story or opinion piece (oops, where it concerns the NYT, please excuse my redundancy) that a follows the PC meta-narrative they love so well.

Maybe Polanski is right and the NYT is the best newspaper in America. I consider that to be akin to being the biggest turd in the toilet.

Anonymous said...

6:42

I DID read it. I was responding to another post. Guess what: if you want to play by the rules & the rules are go to class, then, buddy, I suggest going. You never know what you might learn.

That's not in response to KC's initial post, but a later one and yours as well.

While I'm at it: for international news, try the Manchester Guardian, Le Monde, or Die Zeit. There are plenty of others, but some of you might not like their versions of the "news."

bill anderson said...

As we have seen for the past 75 years, the NY Times never lets the truth get in the way of a good story. This is the Newspaper of Walter Duranty, Jayson Blair, Judith Miller, Duff Wilson, Selena Roberts, and, now, Allan Gurganus.

A year from now, there will be a new name to add, as this is a newspaper that insists on never letting truth get in the way of the news. Sulzberger and Company need to change to motto to "All the Lies that are Unfit to Print."

Anonymous said...

Unlike KC, Gurganus had the journalistic integrity to interview Victoria Peterson.

Anonymous said...

Hey, anonymous 5:35, don't you DARE lump that horrible person with us princesses!


gotc

mac said...

Gotc,

Actually, you gotta point;
he shouldn't be confused with
grown-up homosexuals: he sounds
like a 7th grade girl having a prissy-fit.

Gurglinganus's prose is so affected, it sounds infected.

He writes like Mr. Slave talks.

"Jethuth!"

Anonymous said...

gotc,

You do mean Bush?

mac said...

7:24
"I DID read it. I was responding to another post."

Funny, you mentioned my post: 6:28.
(Was there another 6:28?)
Which one? None of the other posters before mine mentioned
not going to class.

What do you teach? Synchronized swimming? I guess attendance would be imperative.

mac said...

Apologies to Synchronized Swimmers
everywhere.

Actually, it's a tougher sport than 7:24 (and Mr. Gurglinganus) could manage.
Those women are real athletes!
I doubt that 7:24 could teach a class in Synchro.

Mr. G would just be terrified at the spectacle
of all those muscular women, and would have to go refresh himself.

No justice, no peace said...

From his web site...this say so much about the malais of higher education.

"Gurganus’s novella, Blessed Assurance has become part of the Harvard Business School’s Ethics curriculum"

Anonymous said...

Well, what color are Paris's panties Gurganus? Inquiring minds want to know. If there are no panties do they, the panties, have a color anyway? Does the color of the unworn panties of which we are not sure whether they, the panties, are worn or not worn, reflect some deep underlying irrational thought process that only you, Gurganus, can adequately discuss? What afffect on the lacrosse team did this have and can all of this be adequately discussed in the light of radical Islam and the violence of elephant seals during mating? Are big buildings merely phallic symbols? I love your writing. You seem so strong in your opinions.

AMac said...

Anon 5:09am:

> Is Gurganus a Communist?

Is Gurganus a Useful Idiot?

Anonymous said...

The homo-erotic odes to the LAXers posted on this site today move some of the commentary from daytime TV to HBO. Some of them might be at home in the courses of the 88! Keep up the good work!

newly pseudo said...

JLS at 2:08:

I see your point about the damage done by Nifong's lies, but I don't agree that it's hard to be mad at people like Allan Gurganus. True, he had no particular duty to Duke students--but as a reasonably well-known writer living in the area and writing about the case in the Sunday New York Times (which is pretty widely read all over the country by those who still read at all), he had a duty to his readers and to the truth not to make such an utter hash of the facts. I well remember my dismay on reading the article when it first appeared--even then, the errors should have been obvious to anyone who knew the first thing about Duke University, its lacrosse team, or the case.

High profile pieces like this one helped to reinforce the public impression of the case and the lacrosse team and did a great deal of damage, even if they violated no direct duty to the university or its students.

Anonymous said...

Mac//

If you teach, you know that some classes require attendance precisely so students can benefit from interaction with both the teacher and the other students. Look at it this way//if you're willing to see another viewpoint//attendance provides safety for student and teacher in terms of final grade. The student knows what has gone on in class and what to expect. No surprises.

Anonymous said...

Darling Mac,

He of the insults to those with whom he disagrees, I can manage synchronized swimming. Any more questions, baby boy? You're so cute when you're trying to be offensive. Try harder!! ;P

Anonymous said...

3:09 - "Uh....? He just let one of his catamites out of the bag"

Wow. Disgustingly hilarious.

TombZ

Anonymous said...

"Apologies to Synchronized Swimmers"

As someone who played every sport available in school, and as someone who was a competitive swimmer for 18 years, I can assure you that the training and conditioning that Synchronized swimmers endure is a rigorous as any.

haskell said...

“Boys 18 to 25 are natural warriors: bodies have wildly outgrown reason, the sexual imperative outranks everything. They are insurance risks. They need (and crave) true leadership, genuine order. But left alone, granted absolute power, their deeds can terrify. The imperative to win, and damn all collateral costs, is not peculiar to Durham—and it is killing us.” -- Garganus

Could someone tell me why he dragged gangs and Black Panthers into this??

===================================
A true intellectual knows full well that Sincerity is not a Virtue.

Anonymous said...

When are the families going to sue the crap out of the NY Times? It is a trash rag whose so called journalists make things up. Fiction pieces are not news. Pat Conroy only gave Gurganus a small portion of the lambasting he deserves. But I'm glad he brought it to light, especially at Marlette's service. The comment at such a solemn event was a tip of the hat to Marlette that his friends will continue the battle against pompous, ignorant, self proclaimed intellects and point them out for everyone to see.

Anonymous said...

After reading the NY Times Gurganus piece, and checking out the way he presents himself on his website, I can picture him as a character invented by Tennessee Williams. I see him from an old old old Southern family, living in a house filled with an odd assortment of Civil War memorabilia and feminine touches like doilies, hating yet lusting after young Yankee athletes, and feeling like he's justified in lying if it represents the way he'd prefer the story to be. All he'd need is to be gulping straight gin to complete the Williams role.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Professor said...
I can't speak for the LAXers, but I had a baseball player who missed Friday classes for games, etc. I had an attendance policy. He knew it coming in. It matters if one attends class or not.

Jul 17, 2007 6:35:00 AM


When I was in law school, I had a 4-hour class that met for 1.5 hours each on Monday and Wednesday, and then for 1 hour on Friday. I got a clerkship at a law firm in a town 90 mins away. I told the professor that I would have to miss the Friday classes. He was kind of a jerk about it, and docked my grade. But I knew the penalty going in, and I knew that my time at the out-of-town law firm was worth the lowered grade.

"Never let college interfere with your education."

Ky Person said...

KC, I've been reading this blog for a long time but this is the first time I've commented. I tried to read The Oldest Confederate Widow when it was published, but it was so precious that I gave up. Sigh. People like Gurgaus and Jane Smiley are the reason why I've pretty much given up on literary fiction.

Anonymous said...

9:13--

Absolutely. Don't attend college at all. People like you should give their spots to those who will benefit!!!

Anonymous said...

The New York Times is a joke. A complete joke.

mac said...

8:33
Wonder if Kim Curtis graded by attendance?


8:39
I've been a competetive swimmer for about 32 years
(age-group, college, Masters) and you're right,
and that's why I added the point:
People like Guranus would faint if they had to attempt
a single synchro workout. Helps to have built-in pontoons,
but it isn't for weaklings...

Anonymous said...

Mac at 8:33,

What difference does it make if she did or did not? Just wondering.

I love how happy you seem to be to tell other people how to do their jobs!

Anonymous said...

8:39 & everybody else going on about synchonized swimming,

Some athletes--maybe, even you--might faint if you had to do what he did.

inman said...

Re: 6:35

Duke must have changed its policy regarding class attendance since I was there. Heck,...I probably skipped more classes than I attended. I can't even remember any of my professors' names. None were that memorable. I do recall that the professor who taught me greek art and architecture had a an Irish terrier that looked like exactly like himself. That's about it. (Wait...I also remember the face of instructor / arse / loser who taught freshman English. It comes back occassionaly in nightmares.)

But I did graduate in 3 years cum laude. And immediately went to business school at the age of 20.

"It matters if one attends class or not."

Tell that to the notorius college drop out -- Bill Gates.

Frankly, I think kids learn a heck of a lot more on the athletic field than they will ever -- I repeat -- ever learn in diversity agenda, AA or women's studies classes.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
9:13--

Absolutely. Don't attend college at all. People like you should give their spots to those who will benefit!!!

Jul 17, 2007 9:24:00 AM


Professors like you should give their spots to those who can benefit their students.

9:13

Anonymous said...

"When the children of privilege feel vividly alive only while victimizing, even torturing, we must all ask why.”

There clearly are some people who seem to feel alive only when torturing others, but they do not appear to be "children of privilege" -- not unless that phrase refers to children of certain overprotected minorities. Take a look at some recent crimes in the news, e.g., the torture and murder of two Univ. of Tenn. students in Knoxville (kidnapped, tortured, repeatedly raped, and murdered), or the Florida home invasion and gang rape case where the teenage perpetrators forced the male teenage victim to perform sex acts on his own mother. Crimes of such viciousness and depravity should be causing all of us to ask what is going on in the communities that spawn such violence. Could decades of promoting an attitude of victimization and lack of responsibility be to blame?

inman said...

This is the height of presumption. To wit:

" “Peter Wood, a history professor at Duke and himself a lacrosse player at Harvard, warned the administration two years ago that players were cutting class for morning practice.”

In fact, the players in Wood’s class had missed one class, because of travel requirements for a game the next day at the University of Virginia—and had, according to NCAA policies, obtained advance permission to miss the class. None of them had “cut” class. "

Who the heck is this guy? If true, that he "warned" the administration after a single incident, he needs to be taken to the woodshed for a "come-to-jesus meeting." (Is that a mixed metaphor? Even so, who cares.)

He must have thought that the pearls of wisdom to be plucked from his nacred narrative that day were so important that,...well how could anyone have the audacity to miss the class?

Side bar: Was this warning a hooded threat?

haskell said...

“Why is there no one to admire?”
-- Garganus

Well, Garg, I admire the Lax3 and Coach Pressler. I admire their families and the folks who stood by them. I admire their lawyers for a fantastic job. And I admire KC for demanding accountability and responsibility from the Duke administration, the G88, and the biased press. Garg, you did not do your job and you surely look foolish now.

Anonymous said...

Addendum to my 9:43 post.

I remember just about every one of my graduate school professors. Must have been something in the water.

Anonymous said...

Inman,

If you're so smart, how come you didn't go to Harvard?!!!

Dropping out = skipping class? Maybe not. Besides, Bill Gates seems to think a university education is helpful. And, the money his foundation pours into universities doesn't seem to be for athletics. Oh! Shocking! Some of it is for AA!

As for the next posting, why assume all people who support good attendance in any task undertaken are professors? I guess you think skipping your job, ie, calling in sick, is a good thing, too?

Anonymous said...

Inman,

Maybe you weren't cut out for a good liberal arts education. Maybe you are more the technical type. Drones are always useful!

duke09parent said...

Nice rebuttal, KC.

New York Times: "All the news that fits, we print."

Anonymous said...

"It matters if one attends class or not."

Tell that to the notorius college drop out -- Bill Gates.

------

Maybe Billy should have stuck around, long enough to take a course or 2 in Ethics. Then, maybe he wouldn't have needed to pour all that money into Republican Party contributions, to buy his way out of his multiple criminal convictions.

Anonymous said...

10:27

True that, but it doesn't fit in with the anti-intellectual/anti-university attitude of some of the posters today.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Inman,

If you're so smart, how come you didn't go to Harvard?!!!

Dropping out = skipping class? Maybe not. Besides, Bill Gates seems to think a university education is helpful. And, the money his foundation pours into universities doesn't seem to be for athletics. Oh! Shocking! Some of it is for AA!

As for the next posting, why assume all people who support good attendance in any task undertaken are professors? I guess you think skipping your job, ie, calling in sick, is a good thing, too?

Jul 17, 2007 10:09:00 AM

A Texans went to Harvard. On his first day there, he asked a professor, "Where's y'all's library at?" The prof sniffed that, "Here at Harvard, we don't end sentences with prepositions." "Oh", the Texan said, "then where's y'all's library at, asshole?" This guy sounds like that professor.

He thinks attending Harvard has much to do with intelligence. Harvard is more about who-can-afford-it than it is about intelligence. Ditto for Duke or for any school where a single person can't pay for his schooling without money from his parents or student loans.

Historical note: Bush went to grad school at Harvard after being rejected at The University of Texas. Good thing he had money for that fallback school.

And "dropping out" is not the same as "skipping classes"? Seems like the ultimate form of class-skipping to the rest of us.

I don't assume "all people" who "support good attendance" in "any tasks" are professors. I assume people who act like jerks about class attendance are professors.

Anonymous said...

Any chance that Gurganus suffered a war injury or trauma that might explain his palpable personality disorder? Hard to imagine anyone being born with the level of stupidity Gurganus convey.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, 10:34,

I'm saving your post as an example of a poorly articulated argument, one that lacks transititons, and needs an introduction and conclusion, for my kids.

They'll especially like the last paragraph. Does it work for grade school and junior high school, too?

Just so you know. Some of us go to Ivy League schools without money from our parents and without resort to too much in the way of loans. We get scholarships. Some of us got them because we attended class!

Anonymous said...

Is Duke a state school?

Anonymous said...

Don't you think Bush got into Harvard under AA?!!!

Anonymous said...

The presumption seems to be that you need to attend lectures in order to benefit from a class. My own experience in college and graduate school (Ivy League, top 10) was "mixed".

On another note... anyone have good links to Marlette Lacrosse cartoons? couldn't find any on the Marlette site or via Google.

Anonymous said...

Someone here asked why Gurganus rushed his concoction to print last Spring.

There are a multitude of reasons.

Gurganus is part of that whole Writers' Network clique which has taken place at Duke for years. He has a home in Hillsborough along with many of his little clique buddies.

Some of these people are from the South; however, just as many are transplants who readily soak up the many perks in the Chapel Hill area. Chapel Hill, in many ways, is like a small city without the hustle and bustle. You can easily live here and not know your next door neighbor. People leave you alone....not at all like the stereotypical borrow-a-cup-of-sugar-from-your-neighbor-town from days of yore.

This Gurganus clique fancies itself as a significant mouthpiece for the New South and every time something provocative comes along like the Duke lacrosse case these fools jump at the chance to weave their tales.

Most of their writings on the subject are silly, tattered versions of Gone With the Wind containing so many historical inaccuracies as to be total fiction.

Most of these people write well.....as run-of-the-mill writing goes; however, with the top hat of national recognition under their belts, they feel like celebrities on the homefront of guppies where a quaint university town such as Chapel Hill and nearby historical little Hillsborough---a place, IIRC, which was the original capital of the state all those centuries ago, and where none other than real celebrities from days gone by like Paul Newman used to walk its narrow sidewalks testing for movie locations---really do allow them to assume the perch of the intelligensia.

No matter that the idea is comical. It works for this clique of incestuous literary con artists.

Most of these Gurganus freaks are chummy with many of the Gritty Gang of 88. Consequently, they were all waiting in the wings, on some level, to beat to death such a worn-out topic as this antebellum fare.

This topic must have provoked enough excitement in Gurganus and company for a steady flow of multiple, frenzied orgasms---which had its upside. If Gurganus spent his time last Spring obsessing from afar over the virile "white boys" on the Duke lacrosse team, he, no doubt, spent less time actually cruising for young "white boys" for real.

Good news for the health department since, by Gruganus' own admission, most of his friends have died of AIDS.

Why and how could Gurganus write such a hyperbolic and inaccurate piece of work?

That's how he makes his living.....and people of his ilk at places like the NYTimes and the editorial staff at the N&O are just as excited with this whole narrative.

This kind of incendiary excrement will always be printed with lusty speed ahead by the MSM's ultra Liberal wing. Their existence depends upon a fantasy of beingrighteous saviors of the po' black race....and according to them....only they know the truth.

Shades of Scarlett Conquering

This type of bullshit also provides for them easy living.

Debrah

Anonymous said...

Some of the frequent, wordy commenters who run a conversation should exchange emails and spare the rest of us the boredom.

KC, another amazing post!

inman said...

Re: 10:09

First, I was not allowed north of them Mason Dixon line until I was twenty one. Otherwise, my plantation trust funds would revert to my cousin. Accordingly, Harvard was not an option. (This is tongue in cheek for those all too willing to suspend disbelief.)

Second, a university education is indeed helpful to some. So is an education at the local community college. And yes, I suspect that Bill Gates was not an athlete; I also wonder if anyone has pitched the notion that athletics is central to health -- one of his primary missions, as I understand it.

Finally, there are many whose attendance is required because they lack self-discipline. That is generally not the case with D1 lacrosse athletes, who (almost universally) have been goal oriented and consistently self-disciplined for YEARS. A lot of folks incorrectly assume that outstanding athletes are, in fact, oustanding because of natural gifts. Well...newsflash...even the Michael Jordans and Tiger Woods of the world work their proverbial arses off to get to where they want to go.

So, yes if someone is self-disciplined and can deliver outstanding work product without ever coming to the office / factory, etc., then fine with me...that's called "flex-time."

(Special note for the reading impaired ... this does not work for companaies such as Mickey D's)


Re: 10:11

Maybe yes, maybe no. But in either event, I didn't have a lot of use for professors at that time. This may have been mistake, one that could have been corrected if I had been able to interview the professors before signing up for a class. But major research universities don't operate like that.

Anonymous said...

10:11,
Maybe not, but it's not rocket science, to figure out what the assignments will be like & if the class will be good. One asks friends & colleagues...

There were always classes I wanted to take and didn't becauswe I was doing a double major. I'm still sorry. But, then, I liked school. And my teachers.

mac said...

9:41
"What difference does it make if she did or did not?"
(referring to my question about whether Kim Curtis graded by
attendance)

Interesting reply: Curtis is someone who cost Duke money
and cost herself respectability for grade retaliation.
Haven't you been keeping up?

Come out from under the bridge a little earlier
and you might know what happened in that particular case.

I would be happy to help Ms. Curtis understand her job responsibilities;
anyone with any knowledge of of ethics (or teaching) could help her.

Guess that's what some of you folks refer to as "anti-university/anti-intellectual?"

mac said...

10:58
I share your enthusiasm for KC's post, but I like to
read the Inmans and the Deborahs
and others.

I think your computer keyboard has a scroll feature.

Anonymous said...

KC will probably delete this, but when I read the oleaginous comment from Gurganus.....

Talent has its privileges, especially in lacrosse, that bailiwick of Abercrombie allure.

.....I got the heebie-jeebies.

We all remember the controversy concerning the Abercrombie Fitch ads...which showed the buff, fully-equipped, and pulsating bodies of young men....barely clothed.....soft porn catalogue fare.

I could imagine the 60-something Gurganus mastarbating while flipping through its pages.

Fantasies from Intelligentsia Land.

Debrah

inman said...

11:18

What if one has no friends and considers noone a colleague? You know, the true misanthrope...

I preferred reading books and doing my own research, allowing my mind to go anywhere it wanted and to make connections between otherwise disparate thoughts unecumbered by the organization of subject-matter disciplines.

I guess I am more interested in exploration than learning.

For example, has anyone studied the application of stochastic calculus and fractal geometry to the notion in the context that govermental regulation and philosphical constructs follow a geometric brownian motion process, with occassional bifurcations? huh?

That's just my way of going. And it could be other's way as well,... but back to the subject at hand,....

... for an elite university to sanction a blanket policy*** (such as attendance) and then penalize students who fail to adhere to that policy because they are participating in other university sanctioned events, as representatives of the university, is just not right. And that's my concern with Peter Wood's supposed comments or actions, especially because there are a lot of folks at Duke who know how to do "make up" work.



*** other than for health or security reasons

Gary Packwood said...

inman 9:58 said...

...This is the height of presumption. To wit:
...“Peter Wood, a history professor at Duke and himself a lacrosse player at Harvard, warned the administration two years ago that players were cutting class for morning practice.”
...In fact, the players in Wood’s class had missed one class, because of travel requirements for a game the next day at the University of Virginia—and had, according to NCAA policies, obtained advance permission to miss the class. None of them had “cut” class. "
...Who the heck is this guy? If true, that he "warned" the administration after a single incident, he needs to be taken to the woodshed for a "come-to-Jesus meeting." (Is that a mixed metaphor? Even so, who cares.)
::
There is always one or two goofs each semester who warn the administration usually by e-mail, about something going on in their class...with athletes; traveling singing groups or the Model UN students.

It is important to order up their syllabus and then ask what they intend to do about it as per university policy and their own syllabus!

Then...you schedule the 'come-to-Jesus' meeting replete with a list of consequences for the professor if they do it again ... followed by my sermonette on the relationship between pay checks and students along with a firm statement that 'this university' would NOT be a better place without the students.

Then you hold the same meeting with the goof's departmental chairperson.

Failure to hold these meetings results in a campus culture that can only be described as high theatre.

Part of the job. So it goes.
::
GP

mac said...

Debrah 11:33,
I was more offended by Gurganus' comment(s) than
anything you wrote about him.

Don't apologize. You were
speaking truth to a bloviator,
so-to-speak.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Inman,

Maybe you weren't cut out for a good liberal arts education. Maybe you are more the technical type. Drones are always useful!

Jul 17, 2007 10:11:00 AM


First, I'd match Inman's intelligence against anyone's here. Second, the technical types are more aptly described as the "worker bees" and the liberal arts types the "drones".

For Debrah, supporting your excellent post on the pretentious and self-delusional people who fancy themselves part of "the intelligentsia: "I'd rather live under a government composed of the first 200 names of the Boston phone directory than of the faculty of Harvard." -- William F. Buckley.

Anonymous said...

On another note... anyone have good links to Marlette Lacrosse cartoons? couldn't find any on the Marlette site or via Google.

--------

I have put them up, just temporarily, here:

http://tinyurl.com/2359u9
http://tinyurl.com/yudl6j
http://tinyurl.com/2dwo6d

mac said...

11:43,

I agree: Inman's got a great mind.
Great quote from Buckley, a genius who stands on his work,
not on his degree/pedigree (which are often one-and-the-same.)

I find myself in odd agreement with Grant Farred
on the notion of
home-bred, nativist intellect
("vernacular intellectuals"),
particularly in light of the
posters who continually denigrate
and scorn forms of knowledge
and scholarship other than what they hold in esteem.
I ridiculed his (GF's)ideas as
"nostalgie de la boue," but I take it back: he has a valid point.

People who think Harvard/Duke/Yale etc.
are the highest levels to which one can aspire
(intellectually and otherwise) are funny;
I remember the english majors,
diligently studying the works of
contemporary authors who dropped
out of college, or who hadn't attended at all.

Anonymous said...

TO 11:43AM--

Thanks for the William F. Buckley quote!

That one is an oldie, but goodie.

Debrah

Anonymous said...
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mac said...

Guess the attendance-first freaks who teach - and who've posted
in agreement with Grrranus on attendance issues have never heard
of long-distance degrees?

You can have whatever opinion you like on those
types of degrees, but they represent a new reality: information travels.

Unless, of course, you're teaching
studio art or gross anatomy (and even the latter is getting 3-D,
away from the old slice-'n-dice classes, unfortunately.)

Anonymous said...

TO "mac"--

:>) LIS!!!

mac said...

P,
All you've gotta do is read KC's post to see the guy is
a hack.

He writes like he's throwing a bucket of paint on the
canvas: all hyperbole, no balance or fairness.

Sort of like you when you're not in your middle, throwing off.

Grrrranus is to writing what an AK is to surgery.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

You know, if you remove the first four letters from "Gurganus", you're left with --- "anus".

Or, if you remove both G's, one gets: ur-anus

Ta Dah! (I know it's a planet, but too funny to pass up)

No disparagement of Carolyn intended - just trying to get away from the judgemental "non-professor" comments.

WTF about class attendance rules? Who cares? The point was that the LAX players missed one class for a game (probably good judgement)- and it was inaccurately reported to re-inforce the pre-existing bias of the "journalist."

Ed

Anonymous said...
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mac said...

12:20
Wanna start a new thread, do you?

Gary said...

I'd comment on Gurganus, but I can't seem to get past his website -- its an absolute masterpiece of self-important puffery, worthy of becoming parts of our vocabulary:

"Hey, your website is too gurganus".

"She talked gurganusly about herself."

"Don't pull a gurganus on me, you were lucky to make that shot."

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Marlette

Debrah

Anonymous said...

Marlette_II

Debrah

Anonymous said...

11:43--

Would that be perhaps because Buckley is a Yalie? Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Marlette_on_John-Boy

Debrah

haskell said...

anonymous 10:09

"Bill Gates seems to think a university education is helpful. And, the money his foundation pours into universities doesn't seem to be for athletics. Oh! Shocking! Some of it is for AA!"

Dude, don't hold it against him. Anybody can make a mistake.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Too_funny!!!

Debrah

Anonymous said...

mac said,

11:43,

I agree: Inman's got a great mind.
Great quote from Buckley, a genius who stands on his work,
not on his degree/pedigree (which are often one-and-the-same.)

I find myself in odd agreement with Grant Farred
on the notion of
home-bred, nativist intellect
("vernacular intellectuals"),
particularly in light of the
posters who continually denigrate
and scorn forms of knowledge
and scholarship other than what they hold in esteem.
I ridiculed his (GF's)ideas as
"nostalgie de la boue," but I take it back: he has a valid point.


In my experience, the pseudo-intellectuals usually proclaim either that there is a vast cognitive chasm between the truly erudite and the great-unwashed -- or that there is no difference at all. Some will even make both claims in the same lecture, if they find it advantageous.

11:43

Anonymous said...

¡Muy_Excellente!

Debrah

Anonymous said...

Inman

Considers noone a colleague? Peter Noone? Hermans Hermits are here? Yay!

After cancer of the spine I don't think, but don't know with any certainty, that Gurganus rubs it out any longer.

Now I shall go vomit.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
11:43--

Would that be perhaps because Buckley is a Yalie? Just a thought.

Jul 17, 2007 12:44:00 PM


I've considered that possibility. He could've said, "...the first 200 names in the New Haven phone directory than the faculty of Yale". However, I think the better view is that among the Ivys, Harvard is viewed as at least "first among equals" and Buckley was trying to make the strongest point possible about college faculties.

11:43

Anonymous said...

Plansky,

You have revealed your superior intellect once again, to which I can only add "Marlette sux!". But you wrote it better.

Anonymous said...

1:00

Or maybe, he was dumping in Harvard. BTW, it's not entirely clear to me that Harvard is considered the first among equals in the Ivies by everyone, including those who attended them.

Anonymous said...

correction: dumping on, although dumping in works, too...

1:00,

I'm suspecting that WFB doesn't regret his Ivy League degree for one minute.

Anonymous said...

Readers of this blog should take a look at the portrait of Nifong as victim at
http://www.leavethemanalone.com/search?q=

see the July 16 post. The man needs to be educated about this case. He seems to think poor mikey was disbarred because he called some lacrosse players a bad name.

Anonymous said...

Marlette_on_the_Times

Debrah

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Some faculty, administration, and students in academia have always hated college athletes for a wide variety of PC reasons. As the percentage of AA athletes has risen on football, basketball, and other main sports, their criticism has been muted by their own PC nature. The Duke Lacrosse hoax was a godsend for them because they could now engage in rampant stereotyping of athletes who were perceived to be all--or almost all--members of the hated "white privilege male" class.

inman said...

Thanks to all for defending my honor...

Honor is a good thing. When I was at Duke, I once got beat up fighting for a girl's honor.

She wanted to keep it.

(snare drum, rim shot)

But seriously, although I do know how to think, I do not have a "great" mind. B. Franklin -- great mind; J. Locke -- great mind; T. Jefferson -- great mind; T. Edison -- great mind; L. Brandeis -- great mind; A. Enstein -- great mind; you get the point....oh...I almost forgot ....

____________________________

KC Johnson -- great mind. BAA. inman pointing to 2 who deserve praise and emulation, all in the same word sequence without ever once mentioning the G88 ... (damn,... sorry...almost got there)by invoking the "Imitation" provisions of the course, Flattery 101, taken at Duke -- Department of Really Good Things, 1973. --- DIW (2007)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

New_Duke_Mascot

Debrah

Anonymous said...

Polanski--

Too rich that YOU would be highlighting the ostentation of someone else.

Does your little critique extend to your own LARGE roster of Sybils as well?

Debrah

Anonymous said...

Simply_the_Best!

Debrah

Anonymous said...
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mac said...

Ever hear of Grranimals?
Wonder if Grranus wears 'em?

Don't tell me; it was a rhetorical question, and a name-change.

Grranus. (Hope KC doesn't delete this.)

mac said...

Deborah,
Thanks for the Marlette links!

Anonymous said...

TO "mac"--

De nada.


DEBRAH

Anonymous said...

Durham has more than it's share of Marxists. Duke has too many

And Yes, it is that simple.

Anonymous said...
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mac said...

1:07
Yup, the man's a moron; he thinks Nifey lost his Bar because he called the Lacrossers "hooligans."
AT least he's ignorant: Grranus is informed enough to know better.

But then, I bet he likes all this attention.

A Rolphing joke I once heard:

What did the masochist say to the sadist?
M: "Hurt me, hurt me!"
S: "Naahhhh."

mac said...

1:53
That's very...informative.
Can we call you "Precious?"

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

TO 1:53PM--

Oh hi, Allan.

Nice of you to stop by.

Debrah

Ralph Phelan said...

Polanski-

"Peruse today's NY Times and report back any lies, BS, etc. you can spot."

Too much work. If you'll settle for previopus editions, go check some back issues of smartertimes.com.

It's also a very difficult test to do well: did the people who used the Times as their primary news source have any way to know that Duff Wilson was full of it? Unless I'm willing to become a KC-level expert on every single article I can't evaluate the whole paper. But I can easily evaluate the sample of their work that I happen to know something about, and it isn't good.

Once again I ask: Is any of this international writing you claim is so good about a subject you know well enough to know you're not getting the Duff Wilson treatment?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Correction: 1:56, not 1:53

Anonymous said...

TO 1:31PM--

Well.......

About Marlette, I don't care if you like his work. I was only commenting on your dissing session regarding his ostentatious signature.

Now........

I have eaten Little Debbie oatmeal cookies before. They are quite good...although lots of sugar.

As you have gleaned, Debbie is not my name. My own mother hasn't called me that since I was about 4 years old....and even then, it was spelled Deby.

And my name doesn't have an o in it. Just so you know.

Actually, I don't like the name Debrah really, no matter how it's spelled....but it wasn't my choice.

If I had been born a boy, my father was going to name me Sebastian. I love that name and perhaps need to change my name to Sebastianasia.

Like that one?

Also, I adore Sebastian Junger!

Debrah

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Ha!

I can't believe that some of you Wonderland brains have not corrected a Diva Debrah major faux pas.

There is no such word as ostentation which I used on Polanski.

The word is ostentatiousness.

You guys are slipping!

Debrah

Ralph Phelan said...

"Practically speaking, it is impossible to verify the accuracy of anyone's reporting unless you do the lewwork yourself."

In which case there's no point to reading the reporting.

But you can decide whether a given information source is trustworthy by checking up on it now and then, or by seeing what it says about subjects you know. For example, if you happen to have become obsessed by the Duke laCrosse Burning, and you read something by Beard in which he gets the parts you know about right, it's sensible to trust him on the parts you don't know about. On the other hand if you catch someone like Duff Wilson lying repeatedly, you stop paying any attention to what he says.

Now I've had many experiences of catching the Times in bias and lies on subjects where I happen to have multiple information sources (Duke, Israel, UN, John Kerry ...). Aside from their sci-tech section, I can't remember reading anything by them on a subject I knew well enough to evaluate that I thought was good. Sometimes the facts were all been true, but even then they were a they were a cherry-picked subset that gave an overall false impression.

Those are my reasons for distrusting the New York Times. What are your reasons for trusting them? Please give me an example of Times reporting on a subject you knew well and getting it right. Date & article title not needed, just a general idea.

Anonymous said...
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Ralph Phelan said...

Are you saying that what the Times says about Ireland matches what the Irish papers say about Ireland?

OK, that's worth something.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Polanski (2:31PM)--

Shut up.

Debrah

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Ralph Phelan said...

Haven't read it, but you're missing my point. Duff Wilson articles also appeared to be "sourced and credible."

I'm looking for something you can check independently.

If you follow Irish and Polish news in detail from multiple sources, and what the Times says about those places fits what you know from other sources, that's the sort of positive test I'm interested in.

inman said...
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One Spook said...

ralph phelan, @ 1:58 again asks Polanski about the New York Times, to wit:
"Once again I ask: Is any of this international writing you claim is so good about a subject you know well enough to know you're not getting the Duff Wilson treatment?"

BINGO, RALPH! That is precisely the point of why KC, and other longtime admirers of the Times, have now woken up to the fact that the Times is nothing more than agenda-driven journalism interspurced with the typical triumvirate de jour of race, gender, and class.

Because KC and others KNOW a subject well enough to recognize the outright lies and distortions on that subject as covered in the Times, they then understand the perfidy of the Times.

The lack of faith to its readers has nothing to do with good writing skill --- lies can be written with gerund and participial phrases set off by commas and still be lies.

This perfidy to their readers is remarkably similar to the same infidelity foisted upon students at most American universities, and the cause is the same --- the lack of ideological diversity and freedom in the academy.

If you go into a university faculty lounge (or a newsroom) today, you'll see folks in Birkenstocks munching on granola bars. You'll also see people of color, saris, Gay Pride colors, and folks with precious gems in their foreheads.

To paraphrase Jeff Jacoby: yes, they look different, but they all think the same.

Unless you believe in the Tooth Fairy, you cannot expect any writing or class presentation to be completely free of bias. You can and should expect same to be honest, accurate, and fair.

Newspapers are full of grandiose declarations of their committment to truth and accuracy in their "corporate objectives," and universities bombard the public and prospective students with the same promises in their pursuit of "education."

KC has parsed the writings of Wilson and Garganus, and the almost unbelievably comical "scholarship" and writing of certain members of the Klan of 88. It should be obvious to the most casual observer that the same problem that infects the academy and its administration also plagues most mainstream newsrooms and their managers.

"We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things." -- General Lewis "Chesty" Puller

One Spook

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no justice, no peace said...

12:20 Polanski, your on. Let's see how long it takes the NYT to pick up the following story published in today's Dallas Morning News. The DMN is trying very hard to emulate the NYT as this story was buried in Section B, page 8 (of 10).

One could argue given the times, the recurring behavior of the participants, and the fact that a major terror funding trail started to day in Dallas would lead this story to the top of the fold on page 1. It did not.

"...started as a routine domestic disturbance...except the pair ...under investigation by federal terrorism official.

...police negotiated a six hour stand-off...

...Al-Homsi called 911 after her friend ...Hamad threatened her with a knife...

...a few months ago they were seen at Dallas Love Field dressed in camouflage under traditional Muslim robes...conducting what appeared to be surveillance

(Where are my nitro-glycerin tablets, the DMN named names, and religion...will the NYT?)

...when officer came to the door, Ms. Hamad threatened to shoot him...

...negotiator persuaded her to come outside...once outside...Hamad fought with them...

...police searched the house and found four explosive devices, one of which was sitting on a bedroom table...


...the terrorist angle stems from Feb.25 when the two women were spotted at Love Field acting in a way authorities found suspicious. Surveillance videos showed one them walking back and forth, apparently pacing off distances...

Two days later the women were spotted at the airport again...sitting on the hood of a car looking through binoculars at airplanes...

The women also came under scrutiny after they were reported driving near the runways at D/FW Airport on July 4...

...the women have accused authorities of violating their rights and of religious and racial profiling...

In 2005 Ms. Al-Homsi was accused of waving a fake grenade at motorist on Central Expressway during a spasm of road rage...she was placed on probation...

She is said to have long-range assault rifle and explosives training, according to a Dallas police intelligence bulletin issued March 5."

SHOCKINGLY the article makes no mention of the Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial which started jury selection today in Dallas. Three prospective jurors were sent home after they said they were afraid the trial might place them or their families in danger. This story also did not make the front page or section. Instead we get several column inches of a very cool picture of a Japanese road destroyed in the earthquake.

Let's see who picks up these stories, NYT or otherwise, if they mention the women’s names, and their religion...

By the way this is why I will not renew my subscription to the DMN. Though the Internet has some impact on that decision, I’ll likely replace the paper with a subscription to the WSJ or Investor’s Business Daily.





Dallas Morning News 07-17-07

Anonymous said...

To "inman" (2:51PM)--

LIS!!!

GIS!!!

LOL!!!

GOL!!!

ROTFLM-T's-O !!!

Debrah

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Anonymous said...

Polanski--

Please, don't get carried away with your lecture series here today.

We all know the meaning of faux pas.

We endure you, don't we?

Debrah

Gary Packwood said...

“Lacrosse was our Eden’s first team sport. The Cherokees called it ‘the little brother of war.’ They swore it offered superb battle training. It bred loyalty among players a solidarity demonstrated by the code of silence among Duke’s party attendees.
::
Nonsense!

Lacrosse was created by the Cherokee Indian Elders which they called ...Stickball.

The game was created to demonstrate for the young 'braves' of the tribe that combat with other braves in other tribes was not nearly as simple as they might think.

Reference: Sequoyah Indian High School, Tahlequah (Capital of the Cherokee Nation), Oklahoma.
::
GP

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inman said...
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Anonymous said...

http://wcco.com/topstories/local_story_197225633.html


Black football players are treated ocmpletely differently. Where is the NYT now?

Anonymous said...

Actually GP I think lacrosse was practiced first by the Huron & Mohawk.

Hawkeye

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Anonymous said...

1:58

I lived in Germany and think I knew enough of German politics to know that Die Zeit was a generally trustworthy journal. But, there were plenty of other newspapers and journals to read.

Anonymous said...

3:12

But not all Women's Studies people consider themselves victims.

Anonymous said...

Debrah,

Thanks for the links to Marlette's cartoons.

Thanks also for your 10:57 response to my query on why Gurganus chose to write so soon on the lacrosse case, rather than wait until it unfolded. Although I have heard of the writers in the Hillsbourough group and have tried to read Gurganus, I did not realize that they had all congregated in that area and fashioned themselves to be the local Bloomsbury Group.

By chance, do you know if Reynolds Price has commented publicly on the lacrosse case. He was an undergraduate student at Duke and has been a professor in the English department since the l960's. I imagine that he was most unhappy by the decline of the English Department into postmodernism and political correctness. I vaguely recall his comment in an article a while back (most likely in the Duke alumni magazine) on the English department during Stanley Fish's reign, in which Price noted something to the that effect that fear seem to rule in the department. Publicly, he is quieter than Coach K. Not a peep.

Also, does Price mingle with the Hillsborough/Chapel Hill intelligensia and the Writers' Network at Duke?

Same question about Fred Chappell, who till teaches at UNC-Greensboro, I think.

Duke alum

inman said...
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Anonymous said...

"If you teach, you know that some classes require attendance precisely so students can benefit from interaction with both the teacher and the other students. Look at it this way//if you're willing to see another viewpoint//attendance provides safety for student and teacher in terms of final grade. The student knows what has gone on in class and what to expect. No surprises."

I think you may be missing the central point: Wood's accusations that the players were cutting class for morning practice were false. There was not a running pattern of lacrosse players being absent from class; there was one class that the lacrosse players missed. They did not miss that class for "morning practice," which could be made up by practicing at some other time of the day; they missed it because they had a game that they had committed to that was being held in another state. And they did not "cut" the class, since that implies simply not showing up for class in defiance of established procedure and courtesy; they asked for and obtained advance permission in accordance with NCAA regulations.

It is possible, of course, for some to still hold on to the righteous indignation they worked up based on a tissue of falsehoods, in the fashion of the "something happened" crowd, and affect high dudgeon that the lacrosse players missed even that one class. If that is you, then please tell us what you would have done in that situation? If your answer is "I wouldn't have played lacrosse in the first place" or "I would have abandoned the commitment I made to my sport" then that establishes where you stand.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article:

http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=4379

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No justice, no peace said...

Inman here is more on Peter Wood. It appears he has a propensity make things up...

Roger Kimball does an excellent job of exposing he and other art history professors in the book, The Rape of the Masters".

The Gulf Stream, Winslow Homer
Winslow Homer’s own words:
“You ask me for a full description of my Picture of the “Gulf Stream” – I regret very much that I have painted a picture that requires any description – The subject of this picture is comprised in its title…I have crossed the Gulf Stream ten times & I should know something about it. The boat & shark are outside matters of little consequence. They have been blown out to sea by a hurricane…” – Winslow Homer, a reply to a request to explain the painting “Gulf Stream”
Duke Professor’s book reviewed (Amazon):

“In “Waiting in Limbo; A Reconsideration of Winslow Homer’s The Gulf Steam” Peter Woods, ties the painting to race and slavery and colonialism. “Perhaps no other American painting is at once so familiar and so little understood as Winslow Homer’s The Gulf Stream (1899). For more than a century, scholars have praised the artist and yet puzzled over this harrowing scene of a black man adrift in the open sea, in a derelict boat surrounded by sharks. Critical commentary, when it has departed at all from the painting’s composition and coloring, has generally viewed The Gulf Stream as a universal parable on the human condition or as an anecdotal image of a coastal storm.

There is more to this stark masterpiece, says Peter Wood, a historian and an authority on images of blacks in Homer’s work. To understand the painting in less noticed but more meaningful ways, says Wood, we must dive more deeply into Homer’s past as an artist and our own past as a nation. Looking at The Gulf Stream and the development of Homer’s social conscience in ways that traditional art history and criticism do not allow, Wood places the picture within the tumultuous legacy of slavery and colonialism at the end of the nineteenth century."

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No justice, no peace said...

Citations for my previous post.

Kimball, Roger, “The RAPE of the MASTERS, How Political Correctness Sabotages Art”

Peter Wood, "Waiting in Limbo: A Reconsideration of Winslow Homer's 'The Gulf Stream'," in The Southern Enigma: Essays in Race, Class, and Folk Culture, ed. Walter J. Fraser Jr. and Winfred B. Moore Jr. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983): 75-94.

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Anonymous said...

TO Duke Alum (2:28PM)--

Those are interesting questions. I haven't read much about Reynolds Price lately, except that I heard somewhere he had been having lots of health problems lately.

Both men seem to have a more traditional approach to teaching, and I doubt they are a part of the Hillsborough clique; however I have no way of knowing for sure except for what one might glean from newspaper coverage.

It's no coincidence, however, that all local columnists who have written extremely scathing and erroneous diatribes about the Duke lacrosse players are a part of that same clique......who also have ties to Duke's Gritty Gang of 88.

Amazing what a hermetically sealed bubble in which these people live....full of innuendo and inaccurate information that none care to correct.

I suppose their livelihoods depend upon these fantasies.

Debrah

Anonymous said...

TO Duke Alum--

I had no idea that Price wrote the lyrics to two James Taylor songs:

Reynolds_Price

My senses tell me that since Chappell and Price were born in the '30s--Price a Rhodes Scholar, no less--both would have a more authentic and traditional approach to writing and teaching.

The real deals.

Debrah

inman said...

I just re-read KC's post:

The many egregious statements includes this whopper:

“Lacrosse is a draw. Glamorous boarding-school sports are magnets for the attractive, competitive and wealthy young people that increasingly define Duke’s student body. Ivy League colleges do not, they assure us, give athletic scholarships per se. Here, there’s no such interdiction. To enlist—then hold onto—a major player, promises must be made.”

Is this bonehead trying to assert that the notion of need-blind admissions AND financial aide policies at most elite colleges and universities is NOT true for athletes, in contrast to the overall student population? And oh...if I understand NCAA rules, anything beyond what an athlete needs is generally against the rules.

Gurganus's statements were enough to rise above even freshly-placed post-digestive chips, pockmarking grass-covered fields over which a bovine species roams. (i.e. transcends BS / they smelled)

Also, just to correct this pluperfect idiot's view of the recruiting process, ... yes, coaches legitimately pursue top athletes. But I know in my son's case and am certain that in MOST other cases, the choice of school is just as important. My son chose Lafayette College for the education first and the lacrosse second. Other schools really didn't get on the radar because there was not sufficient academic quality To illustrate this point, the coach at Salisbury College (perennial D3 lacrosse powerhouse) wanted my son at his school so much that he started bad-mouthing other school's programs. Well, he could have bad mouthed all he wanted and could have offered a new Masseratti in addition to a full tuition etc scholarship.

Salisbury didn't fit the bill.

Oh and by the way, even D3 schools that want a student/athlete find ways to fund a student's studies. Its just not "officially" called a scholarship.

Also, to further address this pissant mental midget's views, D1 schools are allowed only 12.3 scholarships for lacrosse rosters that often include 50 men. Other sources of funding come from other resources, resources that are available to any student that needs it.

newly pseudo said...

inman at 4:12--

Interesting comments. It's been clear from the beginning that there are a lot of people out there who think all college athletes get a full free ride, regardless of sport and regardless of need. It's easy to see why that kind of thinking might cause them to resent athletes, but it's flat-out wrong.

You are right, too, about D3 schools having their ways. A friend of my daughter's played football at Kenyon a few years ago. He was too well off to qualify for need-based aid, but he received a partial merit scholarship. This young man had pretty good test scores, but his grades (admittedly at a challenging private high school) were so-so. I have to think there were many students in his class at Kenyon whose academic records displayed as much or more merit.

newly pseudo said...

Duke Alum at 3:28 and Debrah--
I don't think Reynolds Price has made any public comments on the case. And I think your assumptions about Price's teaching are correct. My daughter took his Milton class in 2003 and found it fascinating. He could be intimidating (my daughter didn't go out of her way to disclose her sorority affiliation--not because he would have PC objections but because she feared he might think her insufficiently intellectual), and he did seem to have some significant health problems. But he was a brilliant teacher and scholar who did not try to impose any sort of post-modern or politicized viewpoint on the text.

haskell said...

Hey Inman, your florid prose will soon qualify you for honorary membership in the AA studies group. Congratulations or condolences, take your pick. For those who might be wondering, the 12.3 scholarships results most often from Title IX. USC (gamecock) soccer had 11 scholarships, one for each starter, but these were cut by 10% to fit Title IX requirements. Consequently, there are now 9.9. I don't know how many scholarships the Women's Soccer program has. Most guys have a partial scholarship and then some sort of additional work-study arrangement. Football, the engine that powers the athletic department bus, has 85 or so full scholarships, I oughta say grant-in-aid, most of the guys are hanging on by their fingernails academically despite 1:1 tutoring. One dude went to a prep school to qualify for admission to USC and as soon as he got the minimal ACT (or whatever) score bailed out of school, saying he had had enough of that kind of stuff. Man, that guy can play though. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Is Nancy Grace a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Is Nancy Grace a Communist?

Jul 17, 2007 5:38:00 PM

How did Five O'Clock Charlie get by the moderator?

Anonymous said...

Why Ah was sympathetic to those puny lacrosse players until Ah found out they was Yankees. Then Ah realized that this here young whipper-snipper Nifong was protectin' our precious . . . er, Precious womanhood from . . . er, . . . help me out here Gurganus . . . what the hell was he protectin' her from . . . an abused Abercrommie and Birch magazine . . . er, Fitch.

Anonymous said...

Yay me! I posted twice in this tread and neither was deleted. Makes me wonder what the heck was! Dang, my vile-bile-o-meter must be on the fritz.

Good comments people, at least the ones that remain. WFB was the man.

mac said...

"They need (and crave) true leadership."

Wonder why they canned the coach, when he (Pressler) was a fine example of true leadership.
Pressler was a role model, one that Grranus's friends in the 88
were quick to assail.

Grranus is basically a nasty gossip, the kind who spreads rumors
and says unfounded things about people. It's all there, in the
quotes.

Just an aging, nasty gossip.

Anonymous said...

TO 4:46PM--

Sounds as though you have a smart daughter.

:>)

Debrah

Anonymous said...

Allan Gurganus would like to have been the Kevin Spacey character in the film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; however, he's just not interesting or clever enough.


Midnight_in_the_Garden

Debrah

Anonymous said...

No mention of Gurganus' diatribes on the lacrosse case.

Bio

Debrah

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