camille_paglia creative intelligence picFor their 10th-anniversary issue The Chronicle Review, the US higher-education journal, asked scholars and illustrators to answer  this  question: What will be the defining idea of the coming decade, and why?

Here’s an excerpt from the response by Camille Paglia, taking the words out of my mouth, while spicing them up and spitting them at her colleagues and students in true Paglia style:

“…The humanities have been gutted by four decades of pretentious postmodernist theory and insular identity politics.

“Having taught in art schools for most of my four decades in the classroom, I am [also] used to having students who work with their hands—ceramicists, weavers, woodworkers, metal smiths, jazz drummers. There is a calm, centered, Zen-like engagement with the physical world in their lives.

“In contrast, I see glib, cynical, neurotic elite-school graduates roiling everywhere in journalism and the media. They have been ill-served by their trendy, word-centered educations.

“We need a sweeping revalorization of the trades. The pressuring of middle-class young people into officebound, paper-pushing jobs is cruelly shortsighted. Concrete manual skills, once gained through the master-apprentice alliance in guilds, build a secure identity…

“The elite schools, predicated on molding students into mirror images of their professors, seem divorced from any rational consideration of human happiness…

See full text here.
Read other responses to the question Here

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