Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It's a Good Thing Hilzoy - a.k.a. Hilary Bok - Is Retiring From Blogging ...

... Because she's lost her grip on reality:

I'm taking this opportunity to retire from blogging ...

The main reason I started blogging, besides the fact that I thought it would be fun, was that starting sometime in 2002, I thought that my country had gone insane. It wasn't just the insane policies, although that was part of it. It was the sheer level of invective: the way that people who held what seemed to me to be perfectly reasonable views, e.g. that invading Iraq might not be such a smart move, were routinely being described as al Qaeda sympathizers who hated America and all it stood for and wanted us all to die ...

That said, it seems to me that the madness is over. There are lots of people I disagree with, and lots of things I really care about, and even some people who seem to me to have misplaced their sanity, but the country as a whole does not seem to me to be crazy any more.

Perhaps Professor Bok needs to spend some time with her colleagues in
the Department of Psychology!

I mean, she recently excoriated Ed Whelan as a "petulant bully" for
outing Publius. That episode drove a whole weekend's worth of political blogging, and the moment pretty much refutes the idea that "the madness is over." (And of course the idea that "the "madness" has stopped makes more sense now that "The Lightworker" has been elected to the Oval Office.)

For such an accomplished blogger (she also writes at the Washington Monthy), her post demonstrates an extreme disconnect from the hyper-partisan political polarization we've seen since President Hussein was elected.

And her faux outrage in the Publius blow-up is something else!

It turns out that Bok is one to insist on being identified by her online handle. Yet, she published her picture at Obsidian Wings in 2005,
here. Her Wikipedia entry includes all of her blogging information. So it's kind of strange for folks to allege that she was "outed" in a blogging controvery earlier this year, see Linda Hirshman, "Sheltering Women: Linda Hirshman Responds to Hilzoy."

But really, it's not difficult to understand why she insists on pseudonymity.

She took her Ph.D. from Harvard University. In case you didn't think of it, Professor Bok's father is Derek Bok, a former president of Harvard University, and the author of a highly-influential book on affirmative action, The Shape of the River:Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions. Professor Bok's mother is Sissela Bok, a highly-regarded moral philospher and currently a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies.

That's some high powered left-wing creds! And you wouldn't want to sully them by getting down and dirty in the netroots fevers swamps. And remember what they say about that old pinnacle of the
Ivy League

“Harvard” is suspicious of patriotism, disdainful of small-town values and entertainments, enthusiastic about big government programs and transnational initiatives like the World Court and the EU. It is “homeopathic” at one remove: that is, it harbors a sentimental affection for the Third World, “traditional” medicine, native tribes (”native” anything, really, except “nativism” and “natality”) but only so long as it is filtered through the scrim of Western affluence and “progressive” values. (By the way, I keep putting the word “progressive” in scare quotes because progress suggests a movement forward towards a desirable goal whereas “progressive” in the Harvard sense embraces the rhetoric of progress while advocating policies that stymie it.)
Anyway, see John Hinderaker's comments on why reputation matters in blogging, "Leveling the Playing Field."

And here's an interesting piece of related trivia:
Conor Friedersdorf, the eminent "conservative" and now Atlantic blogger/Andrew Sullivan colleague, was a student of Professor Bok's at Pomona College in the 1990s. And being the idiot that Friedersdorf is, he refuses to address her by her real name after he found it published at Wikipedia.

Wait! Here's another piece of related trivia: The "conservative" Andrew 'Harvard Ph.D.' Sullivan confesses that out of thousands of bloggers, "
Hilzoy might be my favorite of the bunch" (via Memeorandum).

Well, there's your six-degrees of leftist separation for the day!

Photo Credit: The John Hopkins Newsletter, "Prof. Bok Goes Behind the Music: Bok Studied Both Economics and English Before Finally Settling On Her Love: Philosophy."


UPDATE: I love it! Personal attacks in place of argumentation or refutation! From the very first comment:

Your jealousy is showing, Mr. Long Beach City College.

As regular readers know, I've addressed the "I can't believe you're a professor" slur, and its corollary, "he's only a junior college professor," in recent entries. See, "You're a Professor, Really?", and "Political Science at LBCC: Training the Next Generation of Leaders."

Actually, that would be "Dr. Long Beach City College."

And I would be jealous, if Hilzoy was a Harvard Ph.D. AND a neocon!


sitnam said...

Your jealousy is showing, Mr. Long Beach City College.

Steven Givler said...

Are you sure about this picture? It looks like Dwight Schrute's sister to me.

I'm just askin'


Obi's Sister said...

Is that Pat from SNL?

david kilmer said...

"her post demonstrates an extreme disconnect from the hyper-partisan political polarization we've seen since President Hussein was elected"

Ow, my irony!

John Cunningham said...

She clearly exemplifies Rush Limbaugh
s comment that feminism is a method for ugly women to improve their status. To me, she looks like something that got eaten by a wolf and then shit down a cliff.

Dave said...

Funny that she thinks the "insanity" is actually waning, when, in all reality, it is only just beginning.


Rich Casebolt said...

sitnam ... who's jealous?

The Best and Brightest are being exposed as the dim bulbs they are ... for despite their erudition and academic pedigree, their performance in leadership positions (public- and private-sector) indicates that they are truly lacking in something you don't have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to attain ... wisdom.

Before this is all over, people might end up rewriting their resumes, to put their Harvard degree as a minor footnote so it doesn't attract unwanted attention.

Then again, maybe not ... but the return-on-investment of spending those tens of thousands at the Ivory Towers of the Ivy League is proving to be less than advertised, from what I see.

We the People are waking up and realizing that dependence upon Ivy League or other elite experts ... to the point we check our own brains and experience at the door in deference to theirs ... is corrosive to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

No jealousy here ... but, to borrow the words of Isoroku Yamamoto, what is here is the terrible resolve of a sleeping giant, to take control back from our "betters" and make things right in this nation again.

That is why, BTW, those Tea Parties have become so prevalent.

rea said...

Goodness, one can see while your female cooleagues won't eat lunch with you. But when you decicded to complain about her amazingly accomplished family, you forgot to mention her grandparents' two Nobel prizes . . .