Forever Thirteen: Sigmund Fred Analyzes America

Oh, help. It seems that at Columbia University a ratpack of nursery feminists have got their skivvies in a knot because the library, Butler, is named for an, ugh!, man. Yes. It cannot be denied. In protest, these girls, apparently having nothing more important to do, have filmed “feminist pornography” in the library. A scandal arose. What feminist porn might be is not clear. Since feminism has more dykes than the Zuiderzee, presumably they will show it to each other.

Anyway, one of these drab libertines, a Sara Grace Powell, says, “Butler is an extremely charged space — the names emblazoned on the stone facade are, for me, a stimulant for resistance.”

Twitler, the face of the declining birth rate, chilly, prissy, sexless, prudish, censorious, and adolescent. A likely spinster librarian.

A stimulant to grow up might be more to the point. She means “stimulus,” of course, but why would a child at an Ivy university be expected to know English?

What droning boilerplate. If her thoughts were any shallower I would suspect her brain pan of being a cookie sheet. It is a case of Darwinian reversal. We regress to cephalopody.

To an extent I have to sympathize with Sara. I grant that seeing a horrible male name “emblazoned” (the pretentious verbiage of a high-school newspaper) would send me into a decline also. Wouldn’t it you? Never mind that if the man thus emblazoned had not made the money to donate the library, Sara wouldn’t have one in which to make pornography, presumably the purpose of libraries. Nor, if it weren’t for men, would she have anything to study except, I suppose, her fascinating angsts. (I will guess without evidence that her presence at a pricey finishing school like Columbia depends on a parasitic relationship to her father’s bank account.)

The adage that children should be seen and not heard gets half of it right.

More from Miss Powell, again writing with more Sara than Grace:

“I work in Butler but sometimes feel suffocated by it … The point was to transgress the relative conservatism (and its history) of the space with this hysterical intervention.” What godawful pedestrian self-important prose. Couldn’t she, you know, like, go do her homework or something? If I had in my beginnings written that mysteriously or badly, I would not have been permitted on the obit desk. Perhaps she means “histrionic,” or merely that the participants are hysterics, which hardly needs emphasis. With Sara Grace, one is never sure.

The silly self-admiring solemnity of it all! I’m not sure whether to be amused or annoyed. Hers is dishwater academese of the hormonally unfinished that says ”look at me I’m all grown up really, really, see the really neat words I use.” It is the language of a federal report improved by narcissism.

One expects pubescent behavior from the pubescent. Yet this pseudo-literate pretentiousness is standard at hundreds of Women’s Studies departments everywhere: priggish, self-righteous, moralizing. But aren’t universities places where teenagers grow up instead of avoiding doing so? (No.) Today in America adulthood seems to flow upward like sap in a tree, reaching the genitals at age twelve or so, and the head at twenty-eight. We approach perpetual juvenility.

One expects middle-school behavior in middle school. One expects students in high-school infallibly to know everything about everything, to be sure how to correct an erring world that has puzzled adults for at least several thousand years. But shouldn’t they get over it? How did our universities and graduate schools turn into intellectual litter boxes?

Let us return to the work of feminist pornographers:

“It begins with a group of girls sitting around a library table taking their shirts off. As the film progresses, the girls engage in activities including kissing, rubbing eggs on their bodies and twerking around a chicken carcass.”

I consulted the Wikipedia to see what “twerking” might be. “Twerking is a type of dancing in which an individual dances to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low squatting stance.”

Ah, I though, enlightened. It sounds like SueBob’s Red Rooster Lounge and Poon Pit in Wheeling. It takes place In the library at Columbia, thank God. If these painfully asexual co-eds took their show on the road to SueBob’s, the customers would give up sex and become stylite monks in the Syrian desert. It is interesting, though, that that their approach to attacking men involves taking their shirts off. Merchandising seems a female instinct. I remember when feminists burned their bras, thinking that this was a blow at males. Being a boy myself at the time, I encouraged them in this political action.

But I promised psychoanalysis. My diagnosis is that Sara-kind suffer from a Fredipus Complex, which consists in a failure to separate emotionally from their parents, with whom they confuse the university. Thus the desperate desire to outrage. They could get the same effect by dying their hair green or going to a secluded glen and rolling in anchovy oil, thus allowing others to study. That isn’t the spirit of the thing somehow.

What I particularly like, being a connoisseur of all forms of cultural collapse, is that the grown-ups at Columbia, if any, let this stuff go on. A reasonable course would be to tell these excessively serious gal-chillun that a university is not the place for acting like stupid, self-indulgent little twits, and suspend them for a semester. Apparently this doesn’t happen, in part because the faculty are little better than the children. At the high end of the age distribution are professors who came out of the Sixties and their aftermath. These (I know: I was there) had little interest is scholarship, which they regarded as irrelevant, racist, sexist, agist, elitist, capitalist, and male—which latter, thank God, it is. Add to this the spinelessness of academics, and the conversion of universities into profit-making corporations, and…voila! Hail Columbia.

Per force, I yield to reality. Twerk until you drop. However, I demand democracy. It is elitist that only Columbia girls can embarrass themselves in the library, dancing around a dead chicken like ditz-rabbit Twerpsichores. I too want squat and make thrusting movements with my pelvis at Columbia. (I worry about the chicken, though. Isn’t there an animal-rights issue here?) Yes, I know. These pole-dancers without a pole are merely expressing their deepest political conceptions. (I am prepared to believe this.) No doubt it is their right. All I ask is that I have an equal right to make an ass of myself.

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