Posted on | May 4, 2013 | 73 Comments
Besides the fact that all I’ve got is a bachelor’s degree from a third-tier state university, there’s also the problem that I don’t think it’s necessary to apologize for saying bad things about dead bisexual British economists, which is now apparently taboo. You can badmouth dead people or defame the British or libel an economist unless any of them happen to be bisexual, in which case, they are beyond reproach.
A friend on Twitter informs me that John Maynard Keynes was an anti-Semite who was also head of the British Eugenics Society, which under ordinary liberal custom would be enough to render someone historically radioactive. However it seems the new rule is that being gay — or, as was apparently the case with Keynes, being nominally bisexual — is sufficient to silence all criticism.
Niall Ferguson says, in effect, “John Maynard Keynes was a bad economist who was wrong about everything and also, he was gay, which might be relevant to the problem.” OUTRAGE!
Well, here you go: Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer and a cannibal, and also, he was gay, which might be relevant to the problem.
Good-bye, Harvard faculty appointment!
UPDATE: My larger point — and if Ken at Popehat didn’t see this, no one else can be blamed for missing it — is to wonder why this particular molehill has become a peak in the Himalayas. The Ferguson/Keynes controversy was the top thread at Memeorandum, as if it were the most important thing that happened Saturday.
Does this make any sense? Why was this academic controversy magnified out of all proportion? Is necrohomophobia — fear of dead homosexuals — really such a serious problem in America? One of the commenters takes this jab at me:
Robert Stacy McCain is a simple-minded, hateful person, and also, he wears stupid hats, which might be relevant to the problem.
Simple-minded and hateful — and why? Because I did not rush to join the online lynch-mob of ritual denunciation?
It’s this aspect, redolent of the Moscow Show Trials, that alarms me. Also, how dare you call my hat stupid, you hat-hater!
Historians gay-baiting dead economists. #FirstWorldProblems
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) May 4, 2013
BTW, I am *not* saying that all gays are serial killers or bad British economists. theothermccain.com/2013/05/04/why…
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) May 5, 2013
These are the jokes, people. Lighten the hell up.
UPDATE II: Speaking of jokes, Andrew Sullivan has nominated me for the “Malkin Award.” This is my second such honor, the first having occurred in the aftermath of the 2009 Israeli invasion of Gaza, when I outlined my “Mideast Peace plan” as the hypothetical first gentile Prime Minister of Israel. These damned hypotheticals are always getting me in trouble.