Wednesday, May 24, 2006

PirateBallerina's Footnotes & Fallacies

Or more precisely, Ward Churchill's. Pirate Ballerina has begun a detailed analysis of Ward Churchill's Summary of Fallacies, which is his response to UC Boulder's investigation of his scholarship. It worth reading solely for the entertainment value.

Imagine a man walking busily down a sidewalk, brushing people aside as he goes, oblivious to his own rudeness. Then he slips on a banana peel and falls flat on his butt, only to look up to find a crowd of people laughing at him. We've all seen a sequence like this before, in movies or comedy skits, and it's because it resonates as an object lesson. It reminds us that we should not be utterly oblivious to those around us, or those around us will take great pleasure in watching us fall.

Ward Churchill's saga is another kind of object lesson, because now that we have a detailed investigation of his work we can take great pleasure in seeing his mendacity exposed. Lurking in the shadows of academe he was able to indulge his intellectual vices. He no longer enjoys that luxury.

Pirate Ballerina's analysis merely compares what Churchill claims the committee report says to what the report actually says. Despite it's simplicity it is remarkably powerful.

Recall the common dream of showing up for a test only to find it's written in a language you don't understand. Ward Churchill's Summary of Fallacies is what that dream looks like when it actually happen to someone. Churchill himself is the only one who doesn't see that he is utterly unequipped for his circumstance.

Technorati tags:

1 comment:

jwpaine said...

Thanks for the kind words, and the link!