Thursday, May 10, 2007

What Cho Learned In The English Department

There has been no hint of what the "motive" for the horrific Virginia Tech shootings that happened last month might be. Neither the media nor the investigators have posed what they believe to be Cho's motive, only that he was "disturbed" and perhaps "insane". Sometimes, we have the "motive" or "cause" of an effect staring us directly in the face, but we deny it to ourselves and to others. Sometimes something is so blatantly obvious that we don't even see it, hiding in plain sight. Here is an interesting perspective posted at the Eagle Forum by Phyllis Schafly.

What was the motive behind 23-year-old Cho Seung-Hui's killing of 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech? Why was he consumed with hate, resentment and bitterness?

Cho was an English Department major and senior. As a frequent lecturer on college campuses, I have discovered that the English Departments are often the weirdest and/or the most leftwing.

A look at the websites of Virginia Tech's English Department and of its professors reveals their mindset. We don't yet know which courses Cho took, but it could have been any of these.

Did he take Professor Bernice L. Hausman's English 5454 called "Studies in Theory: Representing Female Bodies"? The titles of the assigned readings include "Black Bodies, White Bodies: Toward an Iconography of Female Sexuality in Late Nineteenth-Century Art, Medicine, and Literature," "The Comparative Anatomy of Hottentot Women in Europe, 1815-1817," "Selling Hot P****: Representations of Black Female Sexuality in the Cultural Marketplace," "The Anthropometry of Barbie: Unsettling Ideals of the Feminine Body in Popular Culture," and "Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power."

Although we can't say for certain that this was the motivation behind Cho's murderous rampage, we certainly can't overlook it. Until we start to take the repercussions of such filthy curriculum more seriously, we will continue to churn out deeply disturbed individuals from your secular school system. They may not all become mass murderers, but are we really comfortable settling for something just a little bit less?

My prayers for the families and friends of the victims of this tragedy.


Bing said...

Hi. I think you have been misled about the VaTech English Department. I followed her links in her article and she took a lot out of context: suggesting that Cho took graduate classes (the one you quote is a 5000-level course, a graduate course) and the class "foundations of literary theory" only spent about 1 day on postmodernism (pomo was not "the foundation" of the course by any means). The last distortion is the worst by far because it was the most deliberate. This is the one about the Marxist screed. Yes, there is a screed there, and yes, anyone should be doing backflips if they are taught that in class, but she did not check out the rest of the page: ""Whew, quite a mouthful! It is difficult for suburban bourgeois (weaned on MTV) to relate to the revolutionary attitude the Marxists (and their rebellious brethren) developed in the early and middle 19th century."

So, clearly not a Marxist screed.

I just thought you would want to know. There was nothing honest, heck, even accurate about that Schlafy post.


Sopater said...

Hi Bing,

I think that Schafly's comments were intended to be less about Cho and more about the curriculum that is being taught in colleges and universities. The Cho incident was only a catalyst used by Schafly to cause us to look at the material that is being presented as English Dept. curriculum.

As for Prof. Brizee's "screed", it's not so clear to me that isn't Marxist. It sounds more to me like he's saying that he doesn't expect the modern MTV culture to be able to relate to the revolutionary attitude of the Marxists.

Capitalism doesn't seem to be a "value added benefit" to the world system in the opinion of Prof. Brizee. See The Marxist Formula in Buchi Emecheta's The Joys of Motherhood, where Brizee uses many colorful words to describe capitalism, such as "exploitative" and "destructive". He says "Buchi Emecheta uses intimate and heartrending tales to successfully develop empathy for her characters; concurrently, she uses a Marxist analysis to deliver a powerful political message on colonial life - from the workersí viewpoint - during the British rule of Nigeria. Consequently, The Joys of Motherhood exposes the cruel and catastrophic effects of tribal culture and capitalism on modern African society, while revealing a subtle yet hopeful glimpse into the future of the African continent free from socio-economic hierarchies of any kind."

This review seems to clearly indicate a sympathetic view of Marxism and a distaste for exploitave capitalism.