Mytheos: The Controversy Lives

I thought that when us 2010ers graduated, all the “do we publish this crazy thing about Mytheos or not, because if we don’t we’re ignoring a topic of genuine interest, but if we do we’re just feeding his egocentric love for campus drama” fuss here at Wesleying would go away. The realization that he really had been doing it in the name of controversy for controversy’s sake only solidified my relief that we wouldn’t have to deal with this again.

“Good job, Mytheos,” I thought. “You pulled off your insane media coup, dismissed liberal students’ lack of serious engagement with your columns as proof of political aloofness when really your arguments were so nonsensical that nobody knew where to begin, and inadvertently perhaps pulled off a weird kind of postmodern performance art.”

So I felt mildly amused when I saw that someone posted a link in the Shoutbox under the pseudonym “FUCK YOU MYTHEOS.” It leads to an article called “Elegy for Academia,” penned by the man himself and published as a guest article with Accuracy for Academia, a conservative nonprofit that “wants schools to return to their traditional mission–the quest for truth.” I don’t know what I expected. Maybe Mytheos got a full-time job in journalism and someone was jealous. Whatever, ha ha.

Then I actually read beyond the first few paragraphs, and it turns out that this article is annoying enough to drag me back from the proverbial grave.

Mytheos goes right for Unspeakable Acts, that “radical feminist nightmare” wherein “students are … treated to a list of masculinity-vilifying, hysterical monologues … as well as some truly bizarre performance pieces.” The performance is “dangerous,” he says, because it nearly lies about “the legal definition of sex crimes,” leading students to arrive at an understanding of sexual assault that goes against what has been defined in court.

Seriously? Is it really a good idea to advance this line of argument after it has become painfully clear that rape is truly an actual issue on campus? After a whole Argus page of students, faculty, staff, and alumni called for a full-time staff member to address sexual assault because sex crimes are usually insufficiently addressed both on-campus and in the public legal system?

That’s only my biggest problem with the article. You can check it out yourself and form your own opinion of his attack on BiLeGaTAs and the word “heternormative.” Whether the article makes your blood boil, inspires an apathetic shrug, or prompts amused chuckles at the absurdity of it all, it’s certainly an engaging read.

But one more thing. On a broader scale, Mytheos’ attack of frosh orientation as a “truly invidious” program that “in effect [injects] its students with an intellectual auto-immune disease which will brutally break down their every critical thought” ultimately fails at being an “elegy for academia.” Clearly, orientation didn’t squelch his own critical thought–he made a name for himself in his department and pulled off a brilliant thesis about modern conservative thought that won top distinction. Maybe Mytheos is the exception that proves the rule, but I think it’s more likely that his article is a lament that he ended up at Wesleyan, not Yale.

Link: “Elegy for Wesleyan” at Accuracy in Academia

29 thoughts on “Mytheos: The Controversy Lives

  1. Anon

    As a rising sophomore, I only ever encountered Mytheos once on campus. It was just about 5 minutes, we chatted in usdan. I thought he seemed nice, and wished I could’ve had more of an acquaintance with him.
    After that article, I feel awful, but I kind of think he seems like a prick. Using our school to gain martyrdom status as a conservative who “survived” the “leftmost fever swamp of the Northeastern liberal arts institution”? Its just frustrating. He blankets us all as weak-minded liberal enthusiasts who snap up any opportunity to drink the “open-minded” koolaid, and are broken and molded by the liberal culture here. I’m a woman, and feminists annoy the shit out of me. Fact. I still can’t use the “ze” pronoun, I missed the meeting and don’t really know how to pronounce “hir”. So get off my dick, Mytheos. Seriously.

  2. Anon

    As a rising sophomore, I only ever encountered Mytheos once on campus. It was just about 5 minutes, we chatted in usdan. I thought he seemed nice, and wished I could’ve had more of an acquaintance with him.
    After that article, I feel awful, but I kind of think he seems like a prick. Using our school to gain martyrdom status as a conservative who “survived” the “leftmost fever swamp of the Northeastern liberal arts institution”? Its just frustrating. He blankets us all as weak-minded liberal enthusiasts who snap up any opportunity to drink the “open-minded” koolaid, and are broken and molded by the liberal culture here. I’m a woman, and feminists annoy the shit out of me. Fact. I still can’t use the “ze” pronoun, I missed the meeting and don’t really know how to pronounce “hir”. So get off my dick, Mytheos. Seriously.

  3. Pingback: All-Campus Email: “Open Container” Policy In Effect – Wesleying

  4. anon

    @Mytheos: actually, a huge number of college kids come to college being used to social isolation. You are far from alone, no matter what you try to think to win yourself more self-pity. You’re just louder than most.

    Also, was it really such a surprise that you were trolling? Most of my friends were aware of it, and I’m sure few of them knew you. You even publicly explained it several times, including on the acb (though the acb does hold only so much weight). Again, not so misunderstood. I get that Wes needed a shock, but to make it a personal vindictive statement…ehh. Not the choice I would have made.

  5. anon

    @Mytheos: actually, a huge number of college kids come to college being used to social isolation. You are far from alone, no matter what you try to think to win yourself more self-pity. You’re just louder than most.

    Also, was it really such a surprise that you were trolling? Most of my friends were aware of it, and I’m sure few of them knew you. You even publicly explained it several times, including on the acb (though the acb does hold only so much weight). Again, not so misunderstood. I get that Wes needed a shock, but to make it a personal vindictive statement…ehh. Not the choice I would have made.

  6. student

    also check out the sensual photograph of Andrew Breitbart standing behind a chain link fence with the top of his shirt steamily unbuttoned

  7. student

    also check out the sensual photograph of Andrew Breitbart standing behind a chain link fence with the top of his shirt steamily unbuttoned

  8. #4, @9

    glad someone agrees! I love conservative viewpoints, especially in class readings (like in Eisner’s classes and stuff) because they’re just interesting and it’s sort of fun to see how someone thinks differently than you. i think everyone should read milton friedman’s stuff, just to actually know what real conservatism is, instead of Glenn Beck’s Common Sense.

    Mytheos occasionally wrote reasonable, well-intentioned op-eds that discussed national or school issues in an interestingh way. but i guess he felt like he wasn’t getting a reaction, so he just bitches about BiLeGaTTA instead.

    i really hope mari from the Witness steps up and fills his role (tho not quite in the same way)

  9. #4, @9

    glad someone agrees! I love conservative viewpoints, especially in class readings (like in Eisner’s classes and stuff) because they’re just interesting and it’s sort of fun to see how someone thinks differently than you. i think everyone should read milton friedman’s stuff, just to actually know what real conservatism is, instead of Glenn Beck’s Common Sense.

    Mytheos occasionally wrote reasonable, well-intentioned op-eds that discussed national or school issues in an interestingh way. but i guess he felt like he wasn’t getting a reaction, so he just bitches about BiLeGaTTA instead.

    i really hope mari from the Witness steps up and fills his role (tho not quite in the same way)

  10. exegetic

    “if he’d been a bit more George Will than Glenn Beck, maybe the last four years would’ve actually seen better dialogue.”

    My thoughts exactly. I’m sure I’m not alone in seeing the benefits to discourse a conservative opinion can offer, but using inflammatory invectives is no way to ensure this.

  11. exegetic

    “if he’d been a bit more George Will than Glenn Beck, maybe the last four years would’ve actually seen better dialogue.”

    My thoughts exactly. I’m sure I’m not alone in seeing the benefits to discourse a conservative opinion can offer, but using inflammatory invectives is no way to ensure this.

  12. anon

    It’s an attack? Or is it a completely justified rebuttal to Mytheos’s ridiculous attack on Wes published in an academic journal? Hmm.

  13. anon

    It’s an attack? Or is it a completely justified rebuttal to Mytheos’s ridiculous attack on Wes published in an academic journal? Hmm.

  14. 2011

    @3,4,etc:
    I think you kind of missed the point entirely. I know Mytheos and I can tell you he was absolutely telling the truth, to some degree, in his last column. He exaggerates, he goes for the inflammatory, he tries to get a rise. It is, to some extent, trolling. That’s not to say there’s not a basis of his opinion behind all of it. So it’s not pure trolling.

    The last column was an acknowledgment of that showmanship, that staging of what was mostly his opinion, wrapped up in exaggeration.

    He’s a pretty good guy. Yes, sometimes people give him shit for very legitimate complaints. But he’s not the only one who put some unfair things into the Argus, and I think most people’s reactions are so strong because they had been, in an almost-but-not-quite-fitting word, been trolled. He got a rise out of some opinion they definitely didn’t agree with them and then people just wanted to look for a reason to dislike him.

    I would say get to know him first, but he’s graduated, so all I’m going to say is Wesleying, leave well enough alone. This article isn’t campus news, it’s an attack.

  15. 2011

    @3,4,etc:
    I think you kind of missed the point entirely. I know Mytheos and I can tell you he was absolutely telling the truth, to some degree, in his last column. He exaggerates, he goes for the inflammatory, he tries to get a rise. It is, to some extent, trolling. That’s not to say there’s not a basis of his opinion behind all of it. So it’s not pure trolling.

    The last column was an acknowledgment of that showmanship, that staging of what was mostly his opinion, wrapped up in exaggeration.

    He’s a pretty good guy. Yes, sometimes people give him shit for very legitimate complaints. But he’s not the only one who put some unfair things into the Argus, and I think most people’s reactions are so strong because they had been, in an almost-but-not-quite-fitting word, been trolled. He got a rise out of some opinion they definitely didn’t agree with them and then people just wanted to look for a reason to dislike him.

    I would say get to know him first, but he’s graduated, so all I’m going to say is Wesleying, leave well enough alone. This article isn’t campus news, it’s an attack.

  16. Anon

    MC Hall,

    This is such an attack on Mytheos. You give him no credit. I agree he has to be less scathing with his remarks, but you have to admit the Wesleyan orientation is bullshit. No weeklong program is going to change our opinions. It takes more than a week to get used to the ideas presented in BiLeGaTA. Hell, it takes actually being around the people it talks about to get used to it.
    The point is, orientation is a sugar coating to the real world. It never allows us to become comfortable with BiLeGaTAs, it never allows us to solve problems for ourselves. All it does is tell us the way thing are, it doesn’t tell us how to get through it. It tries to remove the struggle that I think is part of being a Wes student.

  17. Anon

    MC Hall,

    This is such an attack on Mytheos. You give him no credit. I agree he has to be less scathing with his remarks, but you have to admit the Wesleyan orientation is bullshit. No weeklong program is going to change our opinions. It takes more than a week to get used to the ideas presented in BiLeGaTA. Hell, it takes actually being around the people it talks about to get used to it.
    The point is, orientation is a sugar coating to the real world. It never allows us to become comfortable with BiLeGaTAs, it never allows us to solve problems for ourselves. All it does is tell us the way thing are, it doesn’t tell us how to get through it. It tries to remove the struggle that I think is part of being a Wes student.

  18. Someone Relatively Unbiased

    I really think the whole “gotcha” thing the MythBuster pulled at the end was a huge cop-out. Nobody––not even the craziest drama major––could or would even want to pull off a performance art piece for four years while sustaining such a blistering critique from much of the student body.

    I think Mytheos has been hurt a lot more than he cares to admit. As much as he’d like to say he exaggerated his beliefs in his columns to highten debate, i really think he has been traumatized in a way by the student body and is trying to save face. I mean, if you ever got in an argument with him, he gets way too emotional sometimes about politics. Not even those WSA kids eat sleep and shit politics like Mytheos––he clearly had some sort of obsession, like he was on a mission from god in his head.

    I think Wesleyan could’ve been much better to him, though––and much smarter, since he was so obviously just trying to stir up attention and would’ve disappeared if everyone just ignored him. But i think Mytheos needs to be real and not try to write off his antics to save face. It’s not a satirical joke to try to tear down professors careers or to defame individual students.

    There’s a difference between trying to create a discourse and provoking people. Every Mytheos V. Liberal argument went the same way, with Mytheos playing the condescending know-it-all or the indignant victim––either way, an aggressor with little civility in his tone. if he’d been a bit more George Will than Glenn Beck, maybe the last four years would’ve actually seen better dialogue.

  19. Someone Relatively Unbiased

    I really think the whole “gotcha” thing the MythBuster pulled at the end was a huge cop-out. Nobody––not even the craziest drama major––could or would even want to pull off a performance art piece for four years while sustaining such a blistering critique from much of the student body.

    I think Mytheos has been hurt a lot more than he cares to admit. As much as he’d like to say he exaggerated his beliefs in his columns to highten debate, i really think he has been traumatized in a way by the student body and is trying to save face. I mean, if you ever got in an argument with him, he gets way too emotional sometimes about politics. Not even those WSA kids eat sleep and shit politics like Mytheos––he clearly had some sort of obsession, like he was on a mission from god in his head.

    I think Wesleyan could’ve been much better to him, though––and much smarter, since he was so obviously just trying to stir up attention and would’ve disappeared if everyone just ignored him. But i think Mytheos needs to be real and not try to write off his antics to save face. It’s not a satirical joke to try to tear down professors careers or to defame individual students.

    There’s a difference between trying to create a discourse and provoking people. Every Mytheos V. Liberal argument went the same way, with Mytheos playing the condescending know-it-all or the indignant victim––either way, an aggressor with little civility in his tone. if he’d been a bit more George Will than Glenn Beck, maybe the last four years would’ve actually seen better dialogue.

  20. I knew it

    See? I knew that last Mytheology was a lie. He was just trying to get out of all of the trouble he got caught up in with Melanie Pryce among other things. It was a weak cop out. This is the real Mytheos.

    That said, its such a common name. It might be a different Mytheos Holt!

  21. I knew it

    See? I knew that last Mytheology was a lie. He was just trying to get out of all of the trouble he got caught up in with Melanie Pryce among other things. It was a weak cop out. This is the real Mytheos.

    That said, its such a common name. It might be a different Mytheos Holt!

  22. Mytheos

    Are you kidding? You couldn’t pay me to have graduated from Yale undergrad at this stage – nothing against Yale, but I got the most intensely formative (albeit brutal) political experience of my life at Wesleyan, found my ideology (though largely thanks to an outside intervention that most students wouldn’t receive) and also the love of my life. No, I meant that last line quite frankly – true, the orientation program didn’t break me, but without going into details, I had a REALLY unconventional background before coming to Wes and was used to being completely isolated socially. Most college-age kids aren’t.

  23. Anon

    According to an article on Wikipedia: Accuracy in Academia is “opposed to multicultural education” and “objects to some applications of…Title IX” arguing that the law permits women to pursue higher education at the expense of men.

    Oh goodness.

  24. Mytheos

    Are you kidding? You couldn’t pay me to have graduated from Yale undergrad at this stage – nothing against Yale, but I got the most intensely formative (albeit brutal) political experience of my life at Wesleyan, found my ideology (though largely thanks to an outside intervention that most students wouldn’t receive) and also the love of my life. No, I meant that last line quite frankly – true, the orientation program didn’t break me, but without going into details, I had a REALLY unconventional background before coming to Wes and was used to being completely isolated socially. Most college-age kids aren’t.

  25. Anon

    According to an article on Wikipedia: Accuracy in Academia is “opposed to multicultural education” and “objects to some applications of…Title IX” arguing that the law permits women to pursue higher education at the expense of men.

    Oh goodness.

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