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.