Cornel West and Simon Critchley discussion

Cornel West (Princeton) and Simon Critchley (New School) will speak on Thursday night on the topic of  “The Meaning of Ethical Commitment and the Possibility of Political Resistance” at the New School for Social Research. According to their website:

The program will be held on Thursday, Sept 20, at 8:00 p.m. in the Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor. Admission is free, and no reservations required. Seating is first-come first-served. For more information call 212.807.9680

This promises to be an engaging evening, and I am really looking forward to it! I have heard Cornel West speak (though never in person), and I know Simon Critchley has a reputation as being an engaging speaker and professor as well.  I often do not make time to attend cultural events such as this one; always working or studying instead. However, this is one of the reasons I live in New York–the culture, educational opportunities, and energy that comes from so many things happening all the time that work to expand horizons. 

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11 thoughts on “Cornel West and Simon Critchley discussion

  1. Jeffrey…Is this going to be an even-tempered discourse on the legal expression of one’s political sentiments (pro/con) in today’s media-glutted (and hyper-litigious) environment? Or is it actually a thinly veiled ultra-leftist whinefest featuring two tenured mega-liberals, still embittered at getting their asses kicked by Daley’s goon squad at the ’68 Democratic National Convention? If it is the former, it should prove to be a thought provoking evening. If it is the latter, save your money. It’s the same old tired rap by a pair of aging hypocritical hippie jagoffs pumping Hillary in 2008, while professing to fight the establishment, albeit from the insulated safety of academia.

    BTW: Please refrain from using the word ‘engaging’ more than once in consecutive sentences.

  2. Hillary? I am not sure she is as loved by New Yorkers as you may think. Along these lines, I am not sure if the Democrats have the single-loved candidate capable of getting us out of our mess right now.

    Good thing this event is free!

    I like your statement about “the insulated safety of academia.” Interesting how tenure can be used to shield anybody from almost anything. The title of their work really does not give me a sense as to what the topic will be, but they are both articulate enough to make this well-worth the time. The location is one of the new buildings in the New School, so it should look the part as well.

    BTW, what does an “even-tempered discourse” mean?

  3. “Even-tempered discourse” refers to a generally objective discussion about a given topic. Cynical as I am, I do not hold a shred of expectation that this event will be even-tempered nor objective. Such an opinion also comes from my general distrust of tenured elistist academics, as that specific cohort of “scholars” are positioned far to the left, hiding behind the ivy-covered walls on campus, while spewing exceedingly subjective platitudes to their captive audiences in an effort to promote their respective agendas.

    BTW: Hillary is so adored by the NYC masses, she should run for Prime Minister of the Hamptons. She’s not held in such high esteem by Madison Avenue though, but that has more to do with her penchant for putrid power pantsuits rather than her political position and progressive, yet polarizing, predilection for propaganda.

  4. Ahh, Adam, you have struck upon a difference between quantitative vs. qualitative knowledge when you stated that an ‘“Even-tempered discourse” refers to a generally objective discussion about a given topic.’ As all our actions would seem to come from our individual experiences and knowledge and thoughts and worldview, can there be such as thing as an objective discussion? In other words, is it possible for anything to ever be objective, completely stripped of our intentionality and self-interests?

    From the perspective of the hurled “exceedingly subjective platitudes,” can they do anything other than what you are doing here?

  5. Jeffrey…Based on my experience, “they”, due to numerous collective factors, including but not limited to professional standing and pre-existing personal agendas, regularly do everything other than what I’m doing here. Specifically, telling it like it ain’t, whereas I’m telling it like it is.

  6. Who doesn’t have a personal agenda? You have one, which is why you are commenting here. Likewise, so do I. I suppose it is important to note that these agendas are often held close to the vest. I wonder what they are for Simon and for Cornel?

    This reminds me of the very content I talked about yesterday with my organizational communication class within the context of stakeholders and within the context of team formations. Seems it mimics real life, huh?

  7. Ya got me. I do have an agenda in posting blog comments … to potentially generate additional comments from the apathetic deadbeats on your email list by encouraging them to actually think about a given topic.

    Your organizational communication class in no way mimics real life. It is merely a kooky collection of corporate cocoon-dwelling cogs deluding their sorry selves into believing that higher education coursework is the admission ticket to capitalist Nirvana via tuition reimbursement from their respective employers. These poor lemmings will soon learn that the pursuit of the new model BMW, country club membership in Greenwich, 3,000 sq ft home on the MetroNorth line, and Christmas bonus in no way relates to self satisfaction and success. Additionally, most of this cohort of superficial hard-chargers are exceedingly boring and have unattractive children wearing baby Polo couture and sporting idiotic haircuts.

  8. Interesting how the hidden agendas so rarely come out.

    My Org Com class is an undergraduate class, and hopefully they are learning enough so when they do get their first corporate job, they can navigate some of these very same agendas, as they are ported with us wherever we go.

    I seem to recall that the corporate world did serve you very well for a number of years. Very well in fact. I do agree with you that it can become hollow with nothing like the feeling of emptiness after working 18 hours for something that sees employees as usable resources, or even worse, as human capital. As Wikipedia begins its dehumanized definition: “Human capital refers to the stock of productive skills and technical knowledge embodied in labor.”

    BTW, have you seen the three (not one, and not two, but three!) Ralph Lauren stores on Bleecker Street . . .

  9. The world I previously orbited was as far from corporate as possible. It was closer to a wild west show inhabited by sundry freaks, know-nothings, and action junkies, all subsisting on fossil fuel generated by market mania. That said, it may have served me well, but I served it better. So much better that I ran, not walked, away from most everything it personified as quickly as I could.

    The good news is that, as the authority figure before an undergrad class, you have the power to shape minds as broader canvasses, and potentially de-program some of the preconceptions of what “business life” is all about for these po’ sufferin’ chillen.

    I have not seen any of the new RL stores. Are they east or west of 6th? I frequent the latter considerably more than the former.

  10. I am doing everything I can to help my students see that organizations, especially corporate ones, are very complex microcosms of eerything else we confront in the world. They may be wound tighter, but the same issues are there (those on the surface as well as those shrouded and clouded by and in assumptions). This recalls most about what I love studying in the 20th century critical and postmodern theorists, since they love to point these things out.

    RL is west of Christopher, but east of Hudson Street. They are across from the soon-to-open Coach, near James Perse, Marc Jacobs, Lulu Guiness, etc. About the only originals remaining are Biography Books and Magnolia Bakery.

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