‘Candyass Blogger’ Update: Free Speech Absolutists Who Banned Mr. Althouse UPDATE: ‘These Are Historical Dildos’
Posted on | December 20, 2012 | 49 Comments
The defense of Professor Erik “I’m a Lumberjack and I’m OK” Loomis is becoming somewhat of a cause célèbre for the progressive community online and in academia. I’m actually working on a much longer piece about this ongoing controversy, based on my own vast experience in saying stupidly offensive stuff that pisses people off. Meanwhile . . .
Essential to the progressive pro-Loomis project is promoting a narrative in which (a) Loomis is the victim of deliberate misrepresentation, and (b) the full context of the controversy is obscured. This is the bogus narrative presented by Scott Jaschik at Inside Higher Education:
Critics of Loomis have been quick to describe the tweet as literal. The blog American Thinker wrote, under the headline “Professor Calls for Murder of NRA President,” the following: “A professor at a taxpayer-supported state university has called for the murder of the president of the NRA. Apparently the carnage in Newtown, Connecticut was not enough slaughter to satisfy the blood lust of Erik Loomis….” At National Review Online, the headline was “The Post-Newtown Witch Hunt: Anti-gun champions of nonviolence urge violent death on NRA members.” Other bloggers have taken to attacking Loomis’s scholarship (which focuses on environmental and labor history).
Now, if you are aware of what Loomis actually did, you know it wasn’t just one Tweet (“head on a stick”) that got him in hot water.
As Professor Donald Douglas has explained, before Loomis deleted his Twitter account, it “was practically flooded with blood from all the violent tweets and retweets he’d been sending out.” Unless you consider Tweeting “Fuck the NRA” and re-Tweeting messages about “fuckers” deserving to be “beaten to death” to be appropriate forms of expression for an assistant professor of history, this meltdown was . . . well, arguably problematic.
When I said that the mentally ill should be in institutions, public universities weren’t the kind of institutions I had in mind.
Leaving aside whatever personal psychiatric issues may afflict The Ranting Professor — and if a nut like Loomis can legally buy a gun, maybe we do need new laws — Jaschik’s link to “attacking Loomis’s scholarship” is to the guest blog Badger Pundit wrote late Tuesday night.
To Jaschik, apparently, to “attack” someone’s scholarship is to quote their dissertation and describe its contents. Whose fault is it that Erik Loomis, Ph.D., studied the historic significance of anal sodomy in logging camps and the proletarian symbolism of “Everest’s testicles”?
It this a dissertation or a Monty Python skit?
Well, enough with the random sarcasm. It is interesting to note that the chief proprietor at Lawyers, Guns & Money, where Erik Loomis blogs when he’s not pondering the genitalia of early 20th-century I.W.W. members or gibbering like a madman on Twitter, banned Ann Althouse’s significant other in March 2011, inspiring her to brand Professor Robert Farley a “candyass blogger.”
So the operative principle is clear: (A) it would be a crime against human liberty for Erik Loomis to be denied tenure at the University of Rhode Island merely because he’s a demented kook, and (B) no fair trying to talk back to Commissar Farley and the LG&M politburo.
December 20, 2012 at 10:42 am
Again LOOMIS was the one going on and on (and on) about anal sex in his dissertation, and tweeted that he gets very excited talking about dildos to his teenage students. Who is the one with issues again?
Erik Loomis says:
December 20, 2012 at 10:44 am
To be clear, these are historical dildos we talked about. Actually read about to be specific. I can provide you some readings if you’d like to learn.
Uh, spare us the footnote citations, Professor . . .
(Hat-tip: Badger Pundit on Twitter.)