Monday, May 02, 2005

Noam Chomsky: the common-sensicle professor(link)

I remember many years ago when I was an undergraduate student at Northern Arizona University studying U.S. History and English Literature that I was briefly introduced to the linguistic theories of Prof. Noam Chomsky. What I was exposed to sounded interesting and "commonsensicle" to me--to the degree that I was capable of truly understanding it. I have used Noam Chomsky's name many times over the years in successful attempts to appear smarter than I really am to other bogus intellectuals like myself. I've recently been told by conservative bloggers that Chomsky is a nutcase and even mentioning his name in a comment brings immediate and derisive dismissal of what I'm attempting to write about. Having been raised in a conservative Republican family, I am very aware of the conservative tendency to authoritatively dismiss anyone who is suspected of not sharing their beliefs, even if they know absolutely nothing about the person they are pontifically dismissing. To me, it's just standard dinnertime chit-chat and the dissing of Chomsky only serves as a high recommendation to me, because I know that the conservative doing the dissing has never actually read anything written by Chomsky, they've only read articles by other conservatives telling them what to think about Chomsky.

So, I bought Chomsky's book, "Understanding Power", and much of what he says makes perfect sense to me. Here's a quote to give you an idea of where the man is coming from: " If you look at the academic left, say, it's mired in intricate, unintelligible discourse of some crazed post-modernist variety, which nobody can understand,including the people who are invoved in it-- but it's
really good for careers and that sort of thing." p. 328

That's about as incendiary as it gets.

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