Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Some grudges just won't die

The New Republic has a book review of Michael Eric Dyson's latest, which--according to the review--relentlessly skewers Bill Cosby. This paragraph gives you an idea of Dyson's claims:

Dyson betrays his elitism most blatantly in his obvious disdain for Cosby. Though he scrupulously avoids characterizing Cosby as a traitor to his race, Dyson all but characterizes Cosby as, well, a traitor to his race. Dyson traces Cosby's fuddy-duddy criticisms of African American Vernacular English to ignorance and discomfort. Rather than engage Cosby's arguments on these matters, Dyson psychoanalyzes Cosby. It is a classic elitist move, executed elegantly and artfully. Why should Dyson, a tenured academic, engage the arguments of the obviously undereducated Cosby (armed with a doctoral degree, yes, but no endowed chair)? Cosby doesn't even know that Hooked on Phonics has been criticized as ineffective! The fool! As for the notion that smart black youth are criticized as "acting white," Dyson, a scholar with a research budget, has managed to locate like-minded ethnographers who disagree! (If only Dyson subjected his own claims to the same scrutiny.)

Ah, the cooler-than-thou genius that is Michael Eric Dyson… a man who used the words "fuck" and "nigger" in the commencement "speech" he delivered at my undergraduate institution. And, almost as unforgivably in my opinion, made reference to the then-popular song "You Oughta Know" by stating that Alanis Morissette "performed fellatio" in the backseat of a car.

It was a theater, not a car, you asswipe. And thanks again for ruining my graduation all those years ago. I believe you have the honor of having been the first person to say the word "fuck" (oh, and "nigger," too) in front of my then-four-year-old cousin. You must be so proud--I'll bet Cosby has never used the "f"-word in a commencement speech.


Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

You have GOT to be kidding me! Who thought he would make a good commencement speaker??? I bet the university was kicking themselves in the head after that speech.

4:40 AM, May 04, 2005  
Blogger Blonde Justice said...

I got halfway through that sentence and was about to google the lyrics because I was thinking "The backseat of a car? I always thought it was the back of a theater." =)

10:20 PM, May 04, 2005  
Blogger kenju said...

That was probably just as interesting a commencement speech as the one Ted Turner gave to my child's graduating class at UNC a few years back. It was a total waste of our time and an embarassment to boot.

11:50 PM, May 06, 2005  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

In the "small world" department:

Kenju, I am pretty sure--no, positive--I am good friends with that daughter!

3:18 PM, May 07, 2005  

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