The Graduate

These photos of a young man with precocious trad-dressing competence were posted over the weekend to Ivy Style’s Facebook group, where they earned instant accolades.

The young man, JL, has just graduated high school but is already years ahead in the dressing department. Note the contrast of the sober J. Press suit, blue buttondown, Argyll & Sutherland tie and TV fold pocket square, with the “let the dogs out” fun socks and the “I’m too young to drink but I can still wear bit loafers” footwear choice.

In the fall JL is off to the University of South Carolina, where he plans to study literary theory with a focus in Marxism and poststructuralism. “I’m looking forward to exploring the work of Baudrillard and Derrida,” JL wrote on Facebook. “My English teacher, who went to Berkeley, turned me on to it.” — CC

122 Comments on "The Graduate"

  1. Rene Lebenthal | May 30, 2017 at 10:09 am |

    Congrats to the Young graduate who is an example for all the others out there wearing sweat shirts and Pants
    Bravo le jeune homme!

  2. Great photo and post. Based on the title, I thought it was going to be a post on the movie The Graduate – perhaps the best example on screen of west coast ivy style.

  3. P3 Tortoise | May 30, 2017 at 10:37 am |

    Can anybody out there identify the eyeglass frames?
    My guess would be Ralph Lauren Polo 2083
    They’re not round enough to be Anglo-American 406.

  4. Mitchell S. | May 30, 2017 at 10:43 am |

    Why does South Carolina (Charleston) have so many well-dressed men? Is it something in the water?

  5. Perhaps he can tame the Derrida nonsense with Allan Bloom, Terry Eagleton and Roger Scruton – but best wishes to the young man. Bright days ahead.

  6. P3, they are Polo Ralph Lauren, good eye.

    MRS, one can only hope.

  7. Literary theory these days is all and only Marxism. How do you do a focus in Marxism? Not to be snarky, but I’m just curious.

  8. I think Baudrillard would approve! And the tie… my grandfather was entitled to wear it, and its been passed down since.

  9. whiskeydent | May 30, 2017 at 11:52 am |


    You’re so right. In fact, the whole state of South Carolina is a well-known hot bed of marxists and thespians. Tsk, tsk.

  10. Looking good, except for the shoes. Just my opinion.

    With some exceptions of course, field of study will require a vow of poverty. The failure of Marxism is already quite well established. And post-structuralism, I had to look it up, seems like a dead end.


  11. J. Meador | May 30, 2017 at 12:53 pm |

    I would have thought that a black turtleneck and black jeans were compulsory garb for students of literary theory..

  12. Mountain Cat Prep | May 30, 2017 at 1:16 pm |

    A modern day prep-letariat. Glad to see that he wasn’t Stalin on trying to dress well and Putin some good American fashion on. Hope he has some Lenin sportcoats, summers in South Carolina are hot!

    (But seriously, kudos to this dude!)

  13. Thomas Cody | May 30, 2017 at 1:17 pm |

    It appears the young man is not being completely honest with you, Mr. Chensvold. I am currently a master’s candidate at the University of South Carolina and I can say with a high degree of confidence that his particular area of study simply does not exist at this school, if he is in fact even enrolled here. The closest one can get to Baudrillard here is Baudelaire. The Chair of the department, Dr. Vazsonyi, can assure you of that. A comparative literature BA program that is a lot different that literary theory. I think you are dealing with a young troll, albeit a well dressed one.

  14. Pedantic Semantics | May 30, 2017 at 1:56 pm |

    Going to be trading in for seersucker pretty soon. Stepping outside in Columbia, SC feels like taking a bath with your clothes on, especially this time of year.

  15. roger sack | May 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm |

    In the fall JL is off to the University of South Carolina, where he plans to study literary theory with a focus in Marxism and poststructuralism.

    Marxism and post structuralism in the “Cradle of the Confederacy”?
    If only it were true.

  16. What has Marx done for comrade Roger?


  17. Henry Contestwinner | May 30, 2017 at 3:14 pm |

    “a focus in Marxism and poststructuralism”

    read as

    “a focus in murderous lies and denial that truth even exists”

    Why am I not surprised that his teacher is from the People’s Democratic Republic of Berkeley?

    I sincerely hope that this well-dressed young man finds his interests lie elsewhere; fortunately, many collegians do shift their focus partway through. Anyone who has the good taste to wear an Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders tie can’t be all bad, so there is hope for him.

    (Aside the First: I recently picked up an A&SH tie in linen, of all things, from Uncle Ralph, making it #8, I believe, in my collection of ties in that exquisite pattern.)

    (Aside the Second: Mountain Cat Prep, you slay me! Keep ’em coming!)

  18. Vern Trotter | May 30, 2017 at 3:38 pm |

    I have never bought into loafers with a suit, especially that style. Still, all told he might be the best dressed young man in the US his age. Hope college doesn’t ruin him. Uof South Carolina has as many left wing profs as the rest.

  19. Man, the conservative snowflakes really got triggered by this one.

  20. Henry, your wisdom was greatly needed on the Facebook page. I was very disheartened to see the support for Marxism and even Postmodernism on the Facebook page but the comments here have lifted my spirits. I truly hope that JL is pulling your leg, CC. Well dressed lad nonetheless.

  21. Don’t think anyone is triggered – but noting that studying post-structuralism is fraught with financial peril and, well, philosophically problematic. Best of luck to the kid.

    And to whomever noted that such things would be studied in the cradle of the Confederacy – well, duh. That’s every English department, everywhere.

  22. T. Bearden | May 30, 2017 at 5:48 pm |

    I think somebody got pranked here.

  23. I don’t think JL is trolling. I teased him on FB about his academic focus, offering avuncular advice as I spent one grad school semester in Comp Lit/Critical Theory and needless to say it was not only way to radical for my temperament, but the sense that one may not dare so much as to question the assertions of, say, a feminist delivering her paper in the classroom was quite chilling, and this was the mid ’90s. There’s a recent WSJ interview with Jonathana Haidt on just how academia became a kind of religious cult whose main business now is witch hunts. I’m presently watching Brett Weinstein, the Evergreen professor who made news, on the Rubin Report.

    I also suggested to JL that he spend the summer watching some of Jordan Peterson’s remarks on Derrida on YouTube and he said he had watched them in the classroom and that they showed how Dr. Peterson was wrong.

    I suppose it’s possible to dress like JL does and be a Marxist radical, as in the case of the Die Workwear! post on “Progressives And The Suit” that we recently linked to.

    But he’ll have to check his privilege the moment he walks into class.

  24. CC

    The well known liberal lawyer William Kuntsler is reputed to have always purchased his clothing at Brooks Brothers when Brooks Brothers was strictly Ivy style.


    Take it easy. I think I am beginning to smell the foul scent of skunk.

  25. Interesting how Marxism still angers Americans. To understand the last 100-120 years of world history it is also necessary to understand Marx and the influence he had, and still has. It doesn’t mean one needs to agree. And the late French philosopher Jean Baudrillard had a very interesting approach to the Gulf war in 1991 through his essays claiming the war “never” happened. More Americans should read them. Do not forget that war is God’s way of teaching Americans geography. I wish JL best of luck – and also recommends he reads about the first politician who wore a modern suit in the House of Commons: Keir Hardie. A tough but well dressed Marxist back in his day. Best of academic regards to JL from Arnie somewhere in West Europe.

  26. What does one do with a degree in literary theory? If you’d like to learn about Marxism I suggest a trip to Venezuela it’s a grand old time

  27. Oh great. Another pompous, self-important, Facebook posting 18 year old. Like we haven’t seen that before. Enjoy your
    15 minutes of fame. If you are too young to know what that means, Google it.

  28. Mr. Press

    I think the bit loafers really get most of the “conservative snow flakes” really worked up.

  29. Yep. Tassels would have been better. Bit loafers aggravate me.

  30. Mr. Press

    I’m not sure that it is possible to be a conservative snowflake.


  31. Spectacular. The clothing and the major/minors will pair beautifully.

    I wish I had his taste at 17!

  32. .weston.pecos. | May 31, 2017 at 7:13 am |

    Guess the pants stopped fitting him a few years back. Clothes that don’t fit make the wearer look like a clown.

  33. terrryoreilly75 | May 31, 2017 at 7:24 am |

    @.weston.pecos. He was probably hiking up his trouser hems to show off the wacky hosiery.

  34. Yes it is possible, Sack! In fact conservatives are the the most offended and triggered snowflakes. The all too regular stiffs who comment on this site are a case in point.

  35. @weston.pecos

    Not assuming that someone this well turned out is obviously showing off his socks and not wearing trousers six inches too short and then making a snide remark on the Internet makes you look like a clown.

  36. The comments here are often more entertaining than the main article!

  37. I can’t take this kid seriously: not his fault, but he is the spitting image of a classmate of mine who went on to be a prosecutor, and was later found in his office with a briefcase full of cocaine.

  38. The kid is a stud. In addition to my earlier comments, his execution of the socks is flawless. Fun without falling into garnish-cartoon territory. Good for him. Anyone give him a hard time should stuff it.

  39. @Ol Nippy

    The use of exclamation points exposes people of the snowflake variety.

    @ Benjamin

    Was it you or the lovely woman who referred to the kid as a stud? Seems a bit over the top, no?


  40. Henry Contestwinner | May 31, 2017 at 1:15 pm |

    Thanks, GS. I for one do not feel “triggered,” nor am I angered, but I do like to call a spade a spade. I cannot think of any modern ideology that has caused more suffering and death than Marxism, and poststructuralism is simply gibberish.

    I’ve started to notice that our left-wing friends are accusing those on the right of being snowflakes who get triggered. I wonder how much of that is projection. Personally, I find criticizing, even mocking, the perpetually offended to be appropriate reactions to “triggering.”

  41. Blair Spenser | May 31, 2017 at 1:33 pm |

    Does anybody else find this well-dressed young gentleman’s face a bit unreal–almost as if it were computer-generated.

  42. Henry, you should listen to Prof. Jordan Peterson’s talks on Postmodernism and how it is a cancer that has managed to insidiously work its way into Western culture. That is if you haven’t listened to Peterson already.

  43. Drifting back to young JL – were in blue blazer did he go to high school?

  44. Evergreen’s Professor Weinstein in yesterday’s WSJ:

    …the protests resulted from a tension that has existed throughout the entire American academy for decades: The button-down empirical and deductive fields, including all the hard sciences, have lived side by side with “critical theory,” postmodernism and its perception-based relatives. Since the creation in 1960s and ’70s of novel, justice-oriented fields, these incompatible worldviews have repelled one another. The faculty from these opposing perspectives, like blue and red voters, rarely mix in any context where reality might have to be discussed.

    • whiskeydent | May 31, 2017 at 4:27 pm |

      I doubt engineers have ever hung out much with poets. That said, I think some of the criticism stuff has morphed into rules enforcement. It’s anti-creativity and anti-diversity of thought. The best classes I had were ones in which libs and conservatives debated issues and the prof was a sort of referee or pot-stirrer. One of those classes was taught by Marvin Olasky a former communist turned arch conservative who later coined “compassionate conservative” for George W. Bush. He loathed the arguments in my final paper and gave me an A.

    • whiskeydent | May 31, 2017 at 4:46 pm |

      Or least favorite, like the “Humor in America” literature class in which I never laughed.

  45. We should do a series in which readers reminisce about their favorite professor.

  46. Whiskeydent

    Very interesting comment. CC, to his credit, has created a site where liberals and conservatives, or right wingers and left winger, that all love Ivy Style can beat each other up over their political views. I guess OCBD make strange bedfellows. For give me I just could not resist the last sentence.


    Stop encouraging Henry. You got him using politically in correct phrases like a spade is a spade. Just kidding Henry.

  47. Henry Contestwinner | May 31, 2017 at 11:50 pm |

    Har har, Mr. Korn!

    After posting that, I remembered that certain ignorant buffoons (the same ones, no doubt, who get their panties into a bunch over the word niggardly) assumed that the phrase calling a spade a spade had something to do with a derogatory term for blacks. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, because the spade of this phrase is the digging tool:

    To call a spade a spade “use blunt language, call things by right names” (1540s) translates a Greek proverb (known to Lucian), ten skaphen skaphen legein “to call a bowl a bowl,” but Erasmus mistook Greek skaphe “trough, bowl” for a derivative of the stem of skaptein “to dig,” and the mistake has stuck [see OED].

    GS, thanks for the reference. I’ll look into him.

  48. I’m sure this young man appreciates all of the career advice from non-academics who spend their days pontificating on clothing blogs. Surely all would be lost without your sage guidance.

    Incidentally, it’s somewhat ironic that the gentlemen on here who froth at the bit to slam postmodernism and its assault on narratives of truth are often the first to defend the “post-truth” Trump administration and its attacks on “media narratives.”

  49. @Mr. Press

    He very well may appreciate the advice, albeit unsolicited. If the young man reads this, critical thinking trumps postmodernist theory every time. Capitalism trumps Marxism every time. A good tailor may be able to improve an ill-conceived shoulder on a coat covfefe.



  50. Henry Contestwinner | June 1, 2017 at 7:28 pm |

    I suspect Mr. Press might be aiming some of his criticism at me, since I am one of the ones dispensing advice. As it so happens, I am an academic, with a Ph.D., publications, tenure, and all that, so I have some knowledge in this area. I concur with Will Sacksuit here.

    As for Trump, I don’t recall defending him, here or elsewhere, except when the attacks have been blatantly unfair and untrue. For example, anyone who calls him “stupid” is implicitly claiming that a stupid person can become a billionaire in the cutthroat world of New York real estate, which conveniently ignores not only his suite of business skills, but also the fact that his siblings presumably received an equal share of their late father’s wealth, yet they are not billionaires.

    I believe the correct approach to Trump is the same as it was to Obama, the Bushes, Clinton, etc.: laud them for their successes, point out their failures, hold their feet to the fire on their promises, and criticize them for their lies, distortions, obfuscations, and the like.

  51. Henry

    Please explain why you failed to mention the Bankruptcy of Mr. Trump, the great entrepreneur. On a fashion note, would you walk in public with your neck tie hanging in the middle of the crotch of your trousers. I hope not.

  52. Henry

    One other point. I believe and think that Mr. Press would agree with me that notwithstanding our political differences that you are a well educated and articulate man. That said, how do you feel when our President, Mr Trump, speaks. He speaks in public like an igronant teamster — in short a truck driver. I a wait your response.

  53. Henry Contestwinner | June 1, 2017 at 10:13 pm |

    Non-entrepreneurs do not understand bankruptcy. They see it as a failure, while the entrepreneur sees it as a learning experience.

    Consider Apple Computer, one of the most successful and respected companies around. Their phenomenal success is build on its “failures”: Lisa, Newton, Apple III, the “hockey puck” mouse, Mac TV, 20th Anniversary Mac, Pippin… the list goes on. For entrepreneurs, bankruptcy is, just like those unsuccessful products from Apple, a chance to do better next time.

    However, there is no defense for Trump’s sartorial shortcomings.

    As for his accent and vocal mannerisms, I believe he intentionally kept and/or cultivated them. His speaking style was probably helpful in the New York real estate & construction business, and even now, it helps him to resonant with “regular folks.” Unlike the Bushes, I don’t recall seeing criticism of Trump for his patrician roots, even though he is from a wealthy family and attended an Ivy League school. Approve or not, that’s a smart move in class-conscious America.

    For my part, it’s not so much how he sounds as much as what he says. He seems to lack a filter, and is excessively sensitive to criticism. I’m not sure that the POTUS should be tweeting, but it works for him, whether he’s had his morning covfefe or not. Read Scott “Dilbert” Adams’ blog for excellent analyses of how Trump is using Twitter, amongst other fora, to focus attention where he wants it to be, Like him or not, he does what he does extremely well.

    None of this should be taken as an endorsement of Trump or his policies.

  54. Vern Trotter | June 1, 2017 at 11:30 pm |

    Well said, Henry.

  55. Henry,

    What is your field of study and where do you teach?

  56. Trump U?

  57. Henry

    Nice example of specious logic and fallacious reasoning.

  58. Henry Contestwinner | June 2, 2017 at 3:31 am |

    Thank you, Mr. Trotter. Praise from you is high praise indeed.

    Mr. Twardzik, I post here under a nom de net, and choose not to share certain personal details.

    Ol Nippy: Har! That’s a good one. (I’m being sincere—that can be hard to tell online.)

    Mr. Korn, could you be more specific, please? I am happy to know where my facts or reasoning are mistaken, but a brief comment such as yours demonstrates neither.

  59. Henry, why would young Jack take any advice from you without any evidence you are actually an academic in a relevant field?

    GS and Sacksuit also seem to be in no position to offer career advice either.

  60. Henry has proven through his years of brilliant comments on this site that he could fill many books with his knowledge. I’ve no doubt that he holds a Ph.D. as he appears to be incredibly intelligent.

    As for Trump’s bankruptcy, it is very clear that he recovered. He is now far wealthier than he was before his bankruptcy and I’m sure he treated it as a business lesson. There is no doubt that he is a successful businessman, that is plain fact.

    Henry hit the nail on the head in reference to the way Trump speaks.

  61. Henry has certainly done a lot of hyperbolic pontificating over the years. I’m not sure that he has demonstrated knowledge of anything other than commonplace Freeper talking points.

    It’s worth remembering that Trump received the majority of his inheritance in the late 90’s, after the bankruptcy. It’s also worth remembering that there is little concrete proof that Trump is actually a billionaire. His brother Robert is wealthy enough to be a major player in the New York philanthropy scene. His sister Maryanne has lived fairly lavishly on a Judge’s salary. They just aren’t as ostentatious about it.

    None of that really matters, though. I don’t doubt that Trump is reasonably intelligent. He might even be a good developer. The disastrous first few months of his presidency have made quite clear that intelligence and real estate/media acumen are no substitute for experience and character.

    • whiskeydent | June 2, 2017 at 11:19 am |


      Your sales pitch for Trump is about as accurate as his real estate pitches.

      Trump had multiple bankruptcies, and the “learning experience” for his lenders was to never again give him their money. Reportedly, only Deutsch Bank — curiously awash in Russian oligarch billions — will lend him money as a result.

      He also stiffed thousands of contractors. I’m sure they enjoyed their learning experiences too. And then there’s the great irony of Trump University, where the learning experience was to learn nothing.

      His current business is largely built on renting out his name to other developers, many of whom are probably re-thinking the relationship in light of the worldwide disgust with his presidency.

      Now, the working class voters who backed him for President are in store for their own learning experience from this serial liar and failure.

  62. Back to the lad and his dreams. He looks 40, but he’s just a teenager. An english teacher validated his youthful efforts at theoretical abstraction [which my generation dismissed as “contemplating your navel”], so he’s setting off for South Carolina with that and a blue suit – two more things than I had when setting off. I wish him well, it’s a huge leap from high school to college, expectations and work load vastly accelerated. Good luck, young man.

  63. He either had his efforts validated or was indoctrinated by the cultural Marxists who run the education system.

    Going to college to study postmodernist theory is like trying not to find the cure for cancer, but ways to spread it.

    BTW, the NYT is finally on the Evergreen State story. Here’s 40 years of Marxism, identity politics and critical theory in our higher education system in action:

  64. @Mr Press

    I make ends meet.


    Your field of expertise is unknown to me but I’m fairly certain that it is more relevant than communism and post whatever gibberish studies.


  65. Henry

    They may say what they will about your political views. I for one think they are wrong head; but you are a man of integrity. Why do I say that without reservation. Because in response to my comment about Trump’s ties, you said “there is no defense to Trump’s sartorial shortcomings. On that I think we all agree.

  66. Christian, how come more right wingers aren’t in the education system? You rugged individualists should enter the education field before those “cultural Marxist” ruin the youth.

  67. Errr… Marxists*

  68. Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach. Simple really.


  69. In medicine, those who can, do… teach… and research. Those who can only do, practice in far-flung communities with outdated knowledge and techniques. At the very least, the teachers know what is modern…

  70. More NY Times on Evergreen:

    And here’s the professor at the center of it. Long video, but there are passages about the schism in the academy between the truth-seeking hard sciences and the postmodernist Humanities, where the toolkit of the Western scientific tradition is viewed as something to be eradicated:

  71. CC

    Thank you for mentioning the recent events at Evergreen college. This brings to mind the Brown Shirts at the Universities in Nazi germany in the 1930’s. Frankly, until now I had no idea of the depth and seriousness of this problem in our society and at our educational institutions.

  72. Henry Contestwinner | June 5, 2017 at 2:17 am |

    The responses to my comments cement my belief that Scott “Dilbert” Adams’ analysis of how most of us are interpreting reality nowadays is correct. For those not familiar with this idea, here’s a quote:

    “I have been saying since Trump’s election that the world has split into two realities – or as I prefer to say, two movies on one screen – and most of us don’t realize it. We’re all looking at the same events and interpreting them wildly differently. That’s how cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias work. They work together to create a spontaneous hallucination that gets reinforced over time. That hallucination becomes your reality until something changes.”

    So either I’m a thoughtful, intelligent, educated man, or I’m just a mindless Dittohead Freeper,* depending on which “movie” you’re watching. (I’m the same guy regardless, of course, but that’s beside the point.)

    I agree entirely that our dapper young man would be foolish to take advice from me. I will go further and say that anyone would be foolish to take advice from anonymous voices on the Internet—unless they’re getting a lot of such voices, enough to qualify for what’s called the wisdom of the crowd. (The caveat to this in the modern age is that politicized topics, such as climate change, diversity, and the like, are not subject to the same quality control, shall we call it, that unpoliticized factual knowledge is.)

    Whiskeydent, I’m not shilling for Trump; I’m trying to offer a fair analysis of a small number of his strengths and weaknesses, and he’s got both in spades. As for his skill as a politician, he’s good enough to have gotten elected POTUS, a feat very few have managed. Beyond that, whether he’s successful, unsuccessful, or otherwise in terms of accomplishments as president is almost entirely subjective, based on the observer’s bias.

    Will Sacksuit, your “communism and post whatever gibberish studies” comment cracks me up!

    CC, what happened at Evergreen is just like what happened in China during its Cultural Revolution. It seems that our Cultural Revolution has entered a similar extremist stage. How long until the violent hardcore leftists try to send “counter-revolutionary” conservatives to re-education camps?

    * Holy cow, Mr. Press! I haven’t even thought of Free Republic in ages, much less glanced at it. I guess you’re more familiar with it than I am.

  73. Henry Contestwinner | June 5, 2017 at 2:17 am |

    P.S.: Sorry for the long delay in continuing the conversation. Sometimes, I need to cogitate.

  74. This is fun. Every time you refresh your browser you get a new postmodernist acadmic paper:

    You’ll probably need to run them through Google Translate.

    • whiskeydent | June 5, 2017 at 3:43 pm |

      The post-modern crap is navel gazing on steroids, but I was amused by the bleating about studying Marxism. Back in the day, members of the military, intelligence agencies and diplomatic corps closely studied communist theory and its localized applications around the world.

      Why? To understand our enemies and defeat them.

      That was certainly the case for my dad, who flew 200+ combat missions in Korea and Southeast Asia as well as piloting nuclear-armed B-47’s in a SAC wing in the early 60’s. He studied it deeply. He even wrote a paper the year I was born that predicted the US would be drawn into Vietnam (he wasn’t the first or last to do so). When I dreamed up a class project on Russia, he encouraged me to do it and to mail the USSR asking for information. And while I grew up to become a liberal, I’m no kind of communist.

      So don’t worry about what the young man studies; how he uses the knowledge is what’s important.

  75. @Christian

    I found that Fellini’s film, la Dolce Vita, expresses the preconceived nihilism of post Dadaist constructivist theory similar to those described in Hamberger’s essays of the late 70’s. If Marxism holds true, Sargent’s predilections of the meaningless of sexuality in modern social constructs as evidenced in Antonioni’s film, la addventura, renders post-capitalist thought moot in relation to Stone. There is a concensus sequence, however, that states, unequivocally, that through these studies, one should expect to be qualified for employment as a Starbucks barrista.


  76. @Whiskeydent

    Just trying to help the young man even though I know it won’t work.


  77. @Whiskeydent

    Thank your father for his service for me.


    • whiskeydent | June 5, 2017 at 4:53 pm |


      He’s no longer around to thank, but he would have appreciated it.

      Also, I remain suspicious that the lad is putting us on. The Berkley line seems a detail too far. These kids today can be devilish creatures.

  78. “I had no idea of the depth and seriousness of this problem in our society and at our educational institutions.”

    Nor did I @H.Korn. But I’m fixed on it now, setting out to educate myself thanks to the smarts expressed in this thread. If anyone has a link to an online Cultural Marxism primer for short attention spanners, please post it. Meanwhile, this is where I’ll begin

  79. An edited “highlights” video of Evergreen. Sam Harris, Jonathan Haidt and other left/center people have commented on how chilling it is:

  80. Henry Contestwinner | June 5, 2017 at 10:10 pm |

    Whiskeydent, while I agree that it’s important to study our enemies in order to understand them, Marxist theory in the humanities is very different from Marxism as a socio-economic system. In short, academic Marxism is all about applying Marxist ideology about class struggle, and related ideologies such as feminism, sexism, and white hegemony, to literary criticism, the interpretation of history, and the like. It’s a malodorous pile of self-referential, self-centered dog droppings.

    As an example, consider the English department at UCLA. Someone majoring in English Literature is required to take courses in the following areas:
    * gender, race, ethnicity, disability, or sexuality studies;
    * transnationalism or post-colonial studies; and
    * Critical Theory.

    However, Shakespeare is not required.

    Let that sink in for a moment: someone with a degree in English who hasn’t read Shakespeare.

    I’m sure that those who do sign up for Shakespeare are subjected to companion readings along the lines of Shakesqueer. An excerpt from the blurb:

    “The overall project of Shakesqueer is to ask how innovative readings of Shakespeare might illuminate and be illuminated by current topics of discussion in queer theory, including masochism and sexuality, shame, animal studies, affective reading, disability studies, the links between marriage and non-normative desires, and the claims of queer sexualities on futurity.”

  81. Henry Contestwinner | June 5, 2017 at 10:16 pm |


    Your PoMo link reminded me of the Chomskybot, a similar program that generates gibberish that is indistinguishable from actual passages written by Chomsky (in linguistics, anyway).

  82. Once again, Henry knocks it out of the park.

    “…applying Marxist ideology about class struggle, and related ideologies such as feminism, sexism, and white hegemony, to literary criticism, the interpretation of history, and the like” is quite literally Postmodernism, which attacks the tenets of Western civilization.

    Here’s an extensive piece on the subject which explains the illiberal behavior of many college students today:

  83. whiskeydent | June 6, 2017 at 11:12 am |


    I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around the idea of Marxism morphing into identity politics. I guess my mind is just too mired in the political. Nonetheless, this crap is out of hand.

    It’s perfectly fine for a professor, at his or her discretion, to incorporate sexism, class struggle and the like into discussions of literature. For example, it would be hard to discuss much of Dickens’ works without getting into class struggle. The same is true for racism in To Kill A Mockingbird.

    However, those issues should not replace the literature itself. That’s dogma, not art.

    And this is why my eyebrow begins to arch when I encounter an array of -isms. Too often, they mask the BS beneath.

  84. brianingreenvillenc | June 6, 2017 at 11:44 am |

    Guys, don’t get too upset. Derrida et al. are interesting for a while, especially when you’re an undergrad, but nearly everybody soon realizes that the world of literature and philosophy is bigger than that. This kid is 18 years old and trying to figure out who he wants to be. Give him credit for good work on that project.

    As for the state of literary studies today — actually, postmodern theory is pretty much entirely passé, and identity politics are on their way out as well. It’s all about the possibilities of digital computation, these days.

  85. Henry Contestwinner | June 6, 2017 at 4:15 pm |

    Ah, but identity studies and the perfect nonsense of postmodernism is alive and well! Once again, the grievance-mongers have been spoofed. Here’s a ten-minute radio article on a hoax “scholarly” article that got published in a peer-reviewed journal.

    In the article, the authors argue that the penis is a social construct, and that it is responsible for, amongst other things, “climate change.” The gibberish that the authors throw around is amazing. One of the co-authors admits that he has no idea what the paper means, but that didn’t stop it from getting high praise from reviewers.

  86. Henry Contestwinner | June 6, 2017 at 4:18 pm |

    Whiskeydent, we agree entirely. Part of the problem is not just that professors are incorporating class differences (a legitimate concern) in analyzing Dickens; it’s that class/race/”gender”/etc. identity politics are the sole basis for analysis, and analyses have only one “correct” answer: white, Christian, heterosexual men are always wrong, and are to blame for everything.

  87. Henry, I feel that Postmodernism has been brought to light and is on its way out. After the Evergreen State incident, people on the left and right are now realizing that Postmodernism is our common enemy and that it must be eliminated.

    Also, this is another prime example of Postmodernist thought: “…only one “correct” answer: white, Christian, heterosexual men are always wrong, and are to blame for everything.” This, along with the rejection of an objective truth, is the ideology in a nutshell.

  88. Henry & GS

    So if you are Jewish or Protestant, white, heterosexual, and male you are not to blame for everything according to the postmodernist? This is why so many of us have a problem with your views.

  89. Mr. Korn, according to Postmodernists if you are white, male and heterosexual you are to blame for society’s ills. Here is a short video that explains Cultural Marxism (it’s a major part of Postmodernism), which divides us into oppressor/oppressed groups:

  90. GS

    I thank you for the clarification.

  91. H. Korn, you need to look into the postmodernist, cultural marxist concept of intersectionality, the hierarchy/pyramid of victimhood, etc.

    The new internet sensation Dr. Jordan Peterson, whom you can find all over YouTube, talks about the intersectional apsects of identity politics and how if you follow the logic of identity politics you can keep slicing people into tinier and tinier groups until eventually the only thing left is an endless group of individuals.

    Yet the discovery of the individual, and that it’s he who really matters, is the great discovery of Western Civilization.

    Cultural marxism/intersectionality theory/identity politics undermines this, as it is no longer the content of your individual character that really matters, only your group affiliation.

  92. You’re very welcome, Mr. Korn, I believe that it is imperative that we begin to understand this ruinous ideology and dismantle it promptly.

  93. Intersectionality is also the theory driving the increasingly recognized “left eats its own” phenomenon, as we saw at Evergreen State. The professor is a progressive and presumably Jewish from his surname, who is as anti-racist as a man can be. But he dared to voice a classically liberal opinion that went against the school’s group-oriented postmodernist “Day of Absence” plan, which eventually lead to — you can’t make this stuff up — packs of blacks and transgendereds roaming the campus with baseball bats in order to keep the campus “safe.”

    You also see this intersectionality infighting in that story out of Vassar or Smith a couple of years ago where the annual tradition of mounting a stage production of “The Vagina Monologues” was shut down because it apparently suggests that only women have vaginas. The 1% who feel marginlized want to shut the whole thing down for the other 99%. The play had to be revised for future performances.

    Many old-school feminists are at odds with Third Wave feminists who are pro-trans, because the old schoolers see their oppression as socially enforced by biology, and that for someone of male biology but with a gender identity of female to claim to be oppressed because the person identifies as a woman is wrong.

    I thought everyone knew this stuff.

    One of the many problems with putting everything under a pyramid of oppression is that it ignores these intersectional in-battles. Last week I had drinks with some of my local tennis buddies, which included a man who happens to be gay and also happens to be my good friend, and a Polish couple. The Polish lady works in real estate and we somehow got on the topic of discrmination by landlords. A 90-year-old Italian landlord was angry with her for bringining propective tenants who were very successful but from India, while an Egyptian landlord — a newly arrived immigant who is presumably Muslim, making him among the most fashionably oppressed alongside the transgendered — was furious that she brought him a prospective tenant who was gay.

    So the idea that it’s all “love trumps hate” underneath the top of the straight, white male Christian pyramid is ludicrous, as it goes against common sense and common experience.

    But postmodernism doesn’t have much room for common sense.

  94. I enjoy Dave Rubin’s term “The Opression Olympics” but everything Christian said is spot on and harrowing.

  95. Make that *Oppression, whoops.

  96. So the position of the the postmodernist is that the individual’s will is always subordinated to the will of the group for the greater good of society. The rights and freedom of the individual is never protected and valued. What matters is the will of the group. So if the group decides it is our version of the Day of Absence, then you go along or we attack and destroy you.

    This seems very familiar to my mind. Sounds just like communism and national socialism with a new name and motto. The same extremely dangerous failed crap with a new name. My lord — 100 year after the First World War and the Bolshevik revolution and all that followed. — we now are going to have to deal with all the death, pain, and sorrow once again.

  97. Close. I’d substitute “identity” for will. Your reading sounds too rooted in the original Marxism of class struggle of worker versus capital. After that failed the concept was taking from an economic to a cultural setting, with the focus of oppressor versus oppressed. Economic issues such as financial power and social class are less relevant in this point of view, so the infamous shrieking black female Yale student in the Christakis affair is inherently oppressed because she is black and female (intersectionality), compared to an unemployed Rust Belt factory worker who is a white male. Their individual characters have nothing to do with it, and of course they are not allowed individual opinions that run counter to the proper ones ascribed to their group. That’s known as a thoughtcrime.

    A new term that’s emerged from the Evergreen affair — so new it’s not even in the Urban Dictionary yet — is “intersectional shakedown,” a situation that combines the horns of a dilemma with a sort of blackmail:

  98. Thank you. The example of the black female and the unemployed white factory worker was very helpful.

  99. Well perhaps I wasn’t helpful enough, as you specified the details of the white male — that he’s an unemployed factory worker — but you did not specify that the black female is a student at Yale.

  100. ” ‘intersectional shakedown,’ a situation that combines the horns of a dilemma”

    Excellent article, tyvm.

  101. Henry Contestwinner | June 15, 2017 at 1:55 pm |

    This has been a wonderful discussion to follow and participate in. Sorry to be so late in rejoining the party, but I just wanted to add my 2¢ to the the black woman vs. white man example Christian adduced.

    It doesn’t matter that the black woman is a student at Yale, one of the most prestigious universities in the world. By virture of her being black and a woman, she is automatically a member of the “oppressed” class. By the same token, it doesn’t matter that the white man is poor and unemployed; he is, by virute of his being white and a man, inherently imbued with “white privelege” and therefore automatically part of the “oppressor” class.*

    However, we’re missing one role in our overall tableau: the white liberal.

    There are three actors in the liberal play: the liberal white, the non-liberal white, and the non-white. These are their roles:

    The liberal white: a moral agent who embodies the virtues of liberal society, such as the promotion of non-whites over whites, of non-Christians over Christians, women over men, etc. All that this person does is good.

    The non-liberal white: a moral agent who embodies all that is non-liberal; in essence, all traditional values and virtues. Just wanting to preserve Western culture and civilization is enough to be cast into this role. All that this person does is evil.

    The non-white (in variants of the standard script, this person can be white, but only if he is homosexual, trans, Moslem, etc.): not a moral agent, but one who is either the object of liberal promotion, or the object of non-liberal “oppression.” The non-white is the object of liberal devotions upon whom liberals practice their most sacred ritual: non-discriminatory inclusion. This expresses the purpose and meaning of liberal society.

    We see this script being acted out, over and over again, in how liberals frame everything that happens. A Moslem shoots people? According to the liberal script, it’s an understandable act of rebellion against Western oppresion, so the guilty party to be condemned is traditional Western society for failing to inclusive enough. A white person shoots people? According to the liberal script, it’s an act of evil perpetrated by a member of the oppressed class who lashed out in rage against liberal virtues and those who embody them.

    See how this plays out with the recent shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise. Even though the shooter was a Bernie Sanders supporter—i.e., a liberal—he will be cast as an “oppresor,” and blame will be laid on non-liberals.

    * Aside: in modern parlance, male and female are Orwellian terms, designed to lead us astray from the biological facts of sex—not gender, a term from grammar, but sex, a term from biology. Speaking of Orwell, an episode of Bill Nye was edited to remove a segment that explained how chromosomes determine sex, because the scientific facts don’t fit the modern “gender is fluid” narrative:

  102. whiskeydent | June 15, 2017 at 2:28 pm |

    You left out a liberal, specifically the amused liberal. He or she is the one who laughs uproariously at the ludicrous, warped and whiny prating of conservatives. They are especially amused when a conservative claims to be victimized by victimizers.

  103. Henry Contestwinner | June 17, 2017 at 1:50 am |

    CC, that’s hilarious!

    Whiskeydent, your comment is hilarious, too, in its own supercilious, content-free way.

    A couple of questions for you, Whiskeydent. When people wearing MAGA caps are physically assaulted by liberals, they’re not victims? When Republican lawmakers are shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter, they’re not vicitms?

    Just trying to clarify things, that’s all.

  104. whiskeydent | June 17, 2017 at 11:21 am |


    Of course Scaliese is a victim — just like Giffords was. Frankly, applying political labels to the actions of deranged killers is idiotic, regardless of whether the shooter is from the left or right.

    I think it’s rather obvious that I was commenting on your ludicrous black woman vs white man analogy. It’s a broad, “content-free” statement in which the white guy is oppressed by the black women who received undeserved preference. It’s silly.

    Are there instances in which an unqualified minority advances past a qualified white? Of course. The reverse is also obviously true. To argue that it happens one way all the time is a a patently false statement that I’m surprised a college professor would argue.

    Your generalization does not play out into real effect. For just one example, whites who live in poverty (presumably including your unemployed white male) are not being denied access to welfare. In fact, whites make up a plurality (40%) of all welfare recipients.

    Finally, your examination of liberals reminded me of General Ripper explaining “your hardcore commie” to Mandrake. I sincerely hope that your precious bodily fluids have not been tainted.

  105. CC, that joke is, as the kids say, problematic.

  106. Henry Contestwinner | June 21, 2017 at 2:27 pm |

    Whiskeydent, you seem to have missed a few things here. Did you read the comments before making your own, or did you just misremember?

    First, it was Christian’s example—not analogy, but example—of a shrieking black Yale co-ed, not mine.

    Second, No one was saying the hypothetical unemployed white man was oppressed.

    Finally, I didn’t make the arguments you ascribe to me.

    I’m happy to engage with you, or anyone else, who disagrees with me, but only on two conditions: one, that my interlocutors refrain from vulgar or offensive language, and two, that they represent facts accurately. You’re awfully close to the edge on the first one, WD, and w-a-a-a-a-y off on the second.

  107. Henry Contestwinner | June 21, 2017 at 3:14 pm |

    Oh, and as for “deranged” killers:

    • Tuscon shooter and mass murderer Jared Lee Loughner has documented mental health problems and a history of substance abuse. He was twice judged incompentent to stand trial.

    • Alexandria shooter James Thomas Hodgkinson had a history of violent outbursts and a hatred of Republicans, but no history of mental illness.

    Though murder is always wrong, not all killers are “deranged.” Furthermore, dismissing (attempted) political assassinations as “the actions of deranged killers” fails to acknowledge the overt political nature of the act. It can blind us from seeing the violent language that Democrats and other assorted leftists are using to denigrate Republicans, conservatives, and the like. Of course, murderous leftists (but I repeat myself) have a long history or dehumanizing their opponents as a lead-in to killing them, so the Democrats are merely following precedent.

    Does this not disturb you, or is this just more “silly” prattling? If so, please be so kind as to show me where any of the facts I adduced are mistaken, and I will happily correct the error.

  108. Silly prattling. The right’s attempt to link a lone loon to “Bernie Sanders supporter” was typical and poorly played. It makes more sense to critique organized groups on the far left, such as antifa protestors shutting down lectures and destroying college campuses, or the takeover and essential kidnapping of administrators at Evergreen State.

  109. Henry Contestwinner | June 21, 2017 at 5:33 pm |

    I agree that it is wrong to smear Bernie Sanders with this shooting—neither Sen. Sanders nor his organization called for murdering Republicans. I also believe that an individual aligning himself with a person or organization does not make that person or organization guilty of the individual’s crimes.

    I apologize for being unclear on that point: by saying the shooter was a Bernie Sanders supporter, I was not trying to besmirch the socialist from Vermont; he can do that by himself, without any help from anyone else. Rather, it was to show the political persuasion of the shooter, who wrote, “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”

    Having said that, it is also wrong to fail to see that the violent rhetoric employed by the left has engendered leftist violence. This shooter and antifa protesters are linked by leftists’ demonizing invectives.

    Also, I don’t think it serves us to automatically dismiss all shooters as “loons” or “deranged.” Doing so can prevent us from seeing the reasons, repulsive as they might be, behind the actions. Insane we can’t prevent; in contrast, logical consequences that can be anticipated can also be dealt with.

  110. How postmodernism has changed over the decades:

  111. EVAN EVERHART | August 31, 2018 at 12:53 pm |

    Kudos upon the young man’s graduation, and embrace of this augustly traditional American style! Now if only he would embrace the augustly traditional and American, anti-communism!

    This is my key problem with academia today; so much dogmatic indoctrination of the youth, without focusing on teaching them how to learn and to apply their critical thinking skills! Its so much of do this, and think this, and if you don’t your some wretched varietal of “IST” du jour and are to be henceforth batted forth from the warm (safe?) embrace of liberal society at large (liberal society, the rabid dog at large).

    To be entirely honest, I was shocked and crest-fallen when I saw his declaration of interest in the vile poison of Marxism, but when I saw that his “professor”/Polemical Indoctrinator was a graduate of Berkeley, my shock at his statement subsided, leaving behind only remorse at his falling for the pseudo-intellectual logical fallacy that is the modern academic incestuous love affair with all things Marxist; there is not now, nor has there ever been a worker’s paradise, it is a system which simply does not take into account, or function in reality, with human nature.

    I regret his choice of shoes, but that’s his own business, though I do not regret that, as much as his embrace of the profound Evil of Marxism.

    Young Sir, look back, before you plan to move forward, as those who do not make themselves familiar with the failures and crimes of the past, are inevitably doomed to repeat them (See the “Antifas” in juxtaposition with the Nazi Brown Shirts).

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