18.4.17

WHEN HIGHER ED LOSES NBC??

I admit to enjoying NBC's entire Chicago series (Fire, P.D., Med, Law) even though the liberties they sometimes take with geography bother me.  (For instance, a recent P.D. case involved a Lake Street L train sparking, somewhere west of Western Avenue and east of Oak Park, but that was after one of the police team ran into what looked like the State Street Subway north of the river to emerge in the Logan Square station on the Kennedy extension and find the first victim of the night.  But I digress.)

Sunday's Law involved a mysterious murder in the midst of some Central Chicago University students playing Castle Wolfenstein in a building converted to an escape room.  (Yes, that's a thing.  Why not?)  But the story took an interesting twist when the murdered student turned out to be an advocate for Second Amendment rights, she had tangled publicly with the canonical radical English professor, and the solution of the case involved another student who, shall we say, picked up on some of the professor's pet phrases.  And at the end, the Vietnam-veteran State's Attorney asks his deputy prosecutor, whose television back story is pitching for the Cubs before the Cubs became a thing, "Since when did people start going to college to get stupid?"  I confess to being struck at the time by the remark, but American Thinker's Patricia McCarthy reflected more fully upon it.
Perhaps, if Carl Weathers can ask the question "since when did people start going to college to get stupid?" on a prime-time television program, the leftist grip on higher education and all things cultural will soon begin to loosen.
It is noteworthy when NBC, of all networks, starts questioning the virtue-signalling Zeitgeist, but such themes have surfaced previously on Fire and P.D., and traditional values make a comeback on Med as well.

But I've wondered about this fictional Central Chicago University that figures in all the series.  It can't be Northwestern, that's conveniently in Evanston, and it rates separate mention from time to time.  The facilities have a public university look to them, but the students come from further afield, and on occasion there are professors working on cutting edge stuff, University of Chicago style.

Perhaps the prototype is DePaul.  Jonathan Cohen recently left the faculty, and there's enough stuff in his essay to provide all sorts of agitators for the One Chicago folks to deal with.
DePaul has a long history of using its resources to promote one-sided positions on gun control, the Iraq War, American foreign policy, the Arab/Israeli conflict, gay rights, immigration, crime and police accountability. At times it has shown hostility towards students and faculty who run afoul of the prevailing campus orthodoxies. What has made DePaul stand out is there is no pretense of objectivity. There is an influential body of faculty and administrators who believe the core mission of the university is to promote what could be summed up as “The Progressive Agenda.” While they claim to be promoting dialogue on issues such as race and gender, the easy use of terms such as racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, sexist, and ableist guarantee that there will never be an honest discussion of such issues.
Procedurals require a little more action than the usual virtue-signalling of an epistemically-closed hothouse, and yet there are enough incidents in which push comes to shove that crossing the line from shove into shoot follows logically.
In the spring of 1995, the school newspaper the DePaulia reported on an arrest at a dance sponsored by Housecall, a DePaul student organization sponsored by Multicultural Student Affairs that published a quarterly magazine centered on African American issues.  According to the police, the dance had been advertised on at least 16 area campuses as a “booty call.” The trouble started when two groups got into a conflict. Police were called, and two people were arrested. The DePaulia story quoted the police report that said when police arrived they “learned there were several fights and the crowd refused to leave.” Once again relying on the police report, the DePaulia article stated “after the reporting officers began to disperse the crowd, another fight ensued, and officers ‘observed several M/Bs [male blacks] throwing chairs and trash into the crowd.’”

In reaction to the story in the DePaulia, the Association of Black Students (ABS) demanded an apology from the student newspaper. The next edition of the paper covered the black students’ version of the event and published an editorial in which the newspaper stated, “We empathize with the people who were offended or felt that the article damaged the reputation of Housecall, as this was not our intent.” This response by the DePaulia did not satisfy some students who took it upon themselves to destroy the entire press run of the newspaper.
One Chicago recently did a crossover episode involving an Oakland-style fire in a loft building converted to a dance club, so perhaps not yet.

But the message One Chicago might be sending, politely, is out there in a more direct form as well.
If you have even a semblance of a spine, sooner or later you’ll hear this nonstop sneering condescension about how you were born with a stain on your soul and say, “Hey,  f**k you. I’ve done nothing wrong, but you’re really starting to bother me.”
And then it's not just characters on television asking, "Since when did people start going to college to get stupid?"

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