1. Well, I’ve been stuck grading a huge number of papers by the overachieving Berry College students yesterday and today. We in the sticks don’t have graders, and our students actually seem to both have fun with and take very seriously their assignments.
2. So I’m just taking a break and remembered that we haven’t had a battle with our friends, the Porchers, lately. I went over to their exceedingly sophisticated and high-tech website to find some outrage. Unfortunately, nothing jumped out. I did remember that I never wrote a post on the fact that RED TORY is a genuine oxymoron. Russell Kirk, we remember, was a BOHEMIAN TORY, and that makes a lot more sense. As the Canadians have shown us, there’s no way that RED policies or even RED exaggeration of our misery under “capitalism” can support TORY “values.” At Pomona College (very liberal, sophisticated and all that [and home of the wonderful Porcher Susan McWilliams]), a student finally asked me after my outrageous remarks if it’s really true that I’m not GREEN. And my response was that’s right, and I’m not RED either. Maybe BLUE. And I added that mixing RED and GREEN might produce a result uglier than either of those colors by itself.
3. I was reminded by one student’s paper of the Porchers’ ambivalent relationship to Marx, which to some extent flows from their tendency, sometimes, to confuse Marx’s polemics with actual fair-and-balanced description.
4. I offer two quotes from a paper analyzing (with a kind of astuteness and informal directness) Marx. They are both quite unfairly ripped out of context. The first explains why the Porchers are, in one way, hostile to Marx:
“Marx claims that as the world modernizes, it becomes more and more immune to rural idiocy. The global war against laziness and ignorance is a good thing.”
5. The other expresses my (and in some way Marx’s) Porcher sympathy: “Liberal societies are mch more heartless than the middle ages in that there’s no place for the fat middle-aged man who needs a chance to start over.”