whatever you do, there's likely to be a camera running. Whether you're acting like a hero, or like an asshat.
I can't read the whole of this, but the part that's available here is pretty good on the subject of 'What the hell happened to college?' One bit:
GELERNTER: Well, I think you saw these two processes just during the
generation in which the Yale’s and Harvard’s and Stanford’s became
vastly more important than every before, because now everybody has got
to get a BA. And journalists have to go to journalist school, and
businessmen and teachers and all these guys. Law’s a bigger profession
than ever before. Medicine, suddenly doctors are making much more than
anybody else – there was a period during which going to medical school
was a frenzy.
And during this same period, universities were being taken over by
intellectuals and moving hard to the Left. Intellectuals have also been
Leftist, have always been hard to the Left. So the dramatic steer to the
Left coincides with a huge jump in the influence of American
universities. We have a cultural revolution. And the cultural revolution
is that we no longer love this country. We no longer have a high regard
for this country or for the culture that produced it. We no longer have
any particular feelings for Western Civilization.
KRISTOL: All traditions are called into question, to say the least, you know.
GELERNTER: Exactly. The Judeo-Christian tradition means nothing to
us, except in terms of hostility. And we have a generational shift so
that when we start in the 1970s and 80s, suddenly public schools’ and
college teaching went way down. Deteriorating. There was that famous
report in the 1980s, mediocrity, saying mediocrity in the schools. In
1983 or something like that.
So the schools were failing to teach but at least the parents had
been educated before the cultural revolution. You know, they’d been
educated in the 60s and the 50s, some by the 40s or the 30s. So they –
When their children were taught garbage, when their children were taught
nonsense, when their children were taught outright lies, at least the
parents could say, “Hold on, not so fast, are you really sure about
that?” Or “You know, there are Republicans in this country, too.” Or,
“You know, we’ve tried those policies, and they created catastrophes.
Are you sure we should do this all again?”
But what happened in – as we move out of the 90s and into the new
century – the children educated in the first generation of the cultural
revolution in the 70s, in the 80s, in the 90s, those children are now
the young teachers. And then the not-so-young teachers. And they’re the
And so the children who were being taught nonsense and garbage and
lies in school, instead of going home and having the parents say, “Well,
wait a minute, this is really idiotic, by the way.” The parents say,
“Yeah, that’s what I was taught, too.” You know, the same.
KRISTOL: The second generation.
GELERNTER: So we have second-generation ignorance is much more potent
than first-generation ignorance. It’s not just a matter of one
generation, of incremental change. It’s more like multiplicative change.
A curve going up very fast. And swamping us. Taking us by surprise.
Gee, kind of like it was planned....