"West Bank Story: A musical comedy about competing Hummus restaurants in the West Bank. A must see."
-- from Kurt Nelson's missive to "the Dartmouth community."
Imagine you are Jacques Barzun. Imagine you are trying to explain what is wrong with the American university today, as part of a a newchapter to be appended to a re-issue of "Teacher in America."
You could do worse -- could you do better? -- than start with the sinister sentimentality -- captured in that repeated word "folks" -- of Kurt Nelson, and of his treacly reductionism, including that "West Bank Story" which he so highly recommends as a "must see" in which one learns nothing of what prompts the Lesser Jihad against Israel, but the viewing of which is, no doubt, a lot less taxing than becoming familiar with Qur'an and Hadith and Sira, or for that matter with the Hamas or PLO Charters, or a thousand relevant documents, including the League of Nations' Mandate for Palestine and such works as "Islam and Dhimmitude." No, stick with the tragicomic tale of "competing Hummus restaurants in the West Bank." According to Kurt Nelson, it's a "must see" -- for all the "folks" in what is not merely an institution of higher learning, but rather a "community."
Gush. Gush with a purpose. Sinister gush.
Posted on 10/29/2007 2:05 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald