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« Hillary Emotes | Main | Hitler For Hope and Clever for Change »

February 25, 2008

Comments

There's an old Tamil movie song which translates to "Sitting on Shiva's head, the serpent taunts (the eagle) Garuda - How are things faring with you? Garuda (sworn enemy of snakes) replies "If everyone remains in their appointed place, they will be fine..."-the implication being that the serpent would not address Garuda so casually if he weren't twined about the head of Shiva.
The Juan Non-Volokh persona used to mask the blogger, who came clean only once he had obtained tenure reminds me of that song. How courageous a critic can be, when hiding in the cloak of internet anonymity!

I love Sujatha's Tamil song! Is the song that closes your comment an update of Gilbert and Sullivan? Sounds like one.

JNV knew that courage is not a criterion for tenure, and although prudence isn't likely an explicit one, its exercise should weigh in one's favor. I'm struck not so much by the evident pragmatic cowardice, though, as by the disdain for freedom of expression in the face of retributive employers. I grant that it makes sense not to voice one's true opinions when it risks threatening one's career plans, but what does that say about one's future employers? For that matter, what does the fact that we all pretty much understand why somebody would take the cautionary step of assuming anonymity say about our own norms as a society? We don't really value freedom of expression. (Stanley Fish has been saying this for years.)

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