Friday, November 08, 2019

A somewhat funny Columbia resignation due to a trans-Juliet

Today, Sam Owen (via Jason Epstein) sent me a fun Romanian TV interview with a Romanian-born scholar:



You may turn on the English subtitles in this 4-minute-long segment – and the whole 47-minute-long interview is also available.

It's another example of the fact that the post-communist Europe is being increasingly entertained by the folks who return from America and report that everyone has lost his or her or xir mind over there. It's a black humor but it's funny because it's true.



OK, as also explained in The College Fix and Romania Insider, Andrei Serban (1943) is an award-winning producer and theater director who has also been a tenured professor of arts at Columbia University since 1992.

Serban has expressed admiration for the Czech filmmaker Miloš Forman and actor Jan Tříska – and he said that (interwar Czechoslovakia comedian) Jiří Voskovec was his best friend. All these three names were (already dead) Czech emigrants to North America.



Strangely enough, he only noticed these things in 2019 – but he did. So as he explains, they were hiring a new professor or department chair or something after one who has retired. The committee had 5-6 members and he was told that there were too many white straight men with families. They needed to hire someone else, a woman or a Latino or a gay – with lots of detailed descriptions about which combinations of these virtues are good enough.

"If the best candidate, by far, is a white male with a family, can't I hire him?" the guy who fled communism in 1969 has asked. "No, you can't," was the clear answer. But he still didn't resign. Instead, they were later admitting students for the theater school.

One applicant was a guy who markets himself as a girl ("trans"). To impress the committee, this guy prepared a monologue of Juliet from Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" in which she is a 14-year-old "purity incarnate". Serban was surprised and asked whether the applicant believed that he could convince Serban that he was Juliet. "Do you have a problem or are you irritated blah blah," the twisted student immediately started to whine. "No, I just can't believe that you believe that I will believe that you are Juliet." Can I start?

Once this applicant left the stage, the rest of the committee attacked Serban. "How dared you" to tell this wonderful persuasive trans-woman that she couldn't be Juliet. They made it clear that Serban was "obliged" to accept all applicants like that. That's when he resigned from his tenured professorship. It's a full-blown communism of the new kind by now, he says (Hot Air chose a similar title).

Been there. The Academia is already pretty much dominated by similar people who just don't belong there. And even if you are a member of admission committees etc., you are really not in charge of the decisions. The decisions are "actually" made elsewhere, in some secretariats of the new hardcore communist-like parties.

I think that even people who pretend to be on the right, non-PC side often completely misunderstand the logic of such events. They tell me that my resignation – and similarly Serban's resignation – was some act of courage etc. I have no idea what they are talking about. Courage may have been shining when we kept our spine. But the resignation itself isn't a sign of courage; it's a manifestation of the survival instinct.

Sane yet ethical people flee environments such as this "theater university of perverts" for the same reason why millions have fled communism. It's just a totally fudged up place to live where decent people are being constantly harassed and the system wants to break them and convert them to immoral, obedient individuals (like many others); it has become insufferably annoying and it is turning to an existentially unsafe experience.

When I wrote somewhere that I "emigrated from Harvard", it was an unusual combination of the words which is why some people found it funny. I admit it has a funny component. However, the irony is a reflection of the reality and the content is completely serious. If you don't understand why it was really sane for Serban to evacuate his tenured position at Columbia University, then you don't understand anything. The most likely reason is that you don't understand at all how some other people may have something like "morality" at all.

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