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Harvard, the Ivies, and publishing

Monday 12/11/23

Very rarely does anyone do anything for the right reason. Their interest is in serving themselves, regardless of what they deserve or have earned. Harvard president Claudine Gay has been revealed as a plagiarist. This is not surprising. As this record has proven with the publishing industry, nothing happens because of merit. Because of someone's ability. Because of what they created. What they know.

Claudine Gay is a fifty-three-year-old academic who has not published a book. She's hardly even published any scholarly articles, and those that she has published are about--big shocker--race. Her disseration won an award. The dissertation with obvious examples of plagiarism.

With this all coming out, people are stepping forward to say, "Well, if you don't like her, then buy my book!"

Maggots inside of a carcass.

These people are just as bad, just as talentless. They see an opportunity that they haven't earned, which their work hasn't earned, and their talent hasn't earned, because they don't have any talent.

If you shine a light into anyone in arenas like this, be it in academia or, say, a magazine like The New Yorker--and there isn't much of a gap between such things as one might think--all you will find is corruption, grift, cronyism, nepotism, sectarianism, the handing out of things that weren't deserved, racism, sexism.

Do you think David Remnick--a thief himself, who had no problem stealing an idea from me for the only jazz piece he'd written--possesses some extraordinary mind? Of course he doesn't. This is an entirely non-dynamic, token, lackluster, privileged example of a rubber-stamped empty-suit of a man. You can hear the canned faux-sincerity in his voice. There is nothing of the stuff of actual life here. "The greatest feeling of satisfaction is to run across someone young who has something new to say and is saying it in a different way."

Who are you fooling, liar? And the arrogance compounding the lie in remarking that you--this guy--are there to help this person become themselves when all you care about is hooking up people just like you. I don't think anyone has ever honestly looked at someone like David Remnick's work, heard David Remnick speak, and thought, "Wow, so amazing."

The privileged people of this system select the safest, blandest people to represent them. It's always about other things for these people within their gated walls. But it will all change. Come down. Someone like this will eventually not have say. It's in some part of the process of changing now. Which is one reason why I can say this about such people on this morning--none of it is going to matter because they are not going to matter even insofar as they do at this moment. Something else will be starting, even if some of the names of the old venues remain the same.

Gay is in academia, but there's overlap with the kind of person who is in publishing, and many of those people are also in academia, or have a considerable background in it. You will find not a single other person with my background. That is, someone who is entirely self-made--the person who is, ironically, infinitely more educated than all of these people. Funny how that worked out, isn't it?

I would not be surprised if Gay is moved out of that president post this week. Perhaps today.

You could end the career of anyone in publishing by revealing the truth about them, if you get enough eyeballs on it. What allows the publishing system to keep going as it does is how irrelevant it has made itself. No one is affected by it. Nothing about it would trend--right now--on Twitter. If it ceased to exist today, virtually no one in the world would notice or care.

Harvard, as a concept, means something to the public. (And likewise other Ivys.) It doesn't mean something because of a reality--it means something because of their rearing. That they were told when they were growing up that only super smart people went to such places. They never examined or questioned what was a groundless bromide; something closer to the opposite has more validity. Congress means something. Put a president from Harvard in front of Congress, and that plays in the public square and social media. Virtually everyone in the publishing industry is much more corrupt than Claudine Gay, because there are no checks and balances in publishing, no prying eyes, no examining boards, even examing boards that perform at the most perfunctory, inefficient level. And everyone is filthy and worried about being exposed themselves, so it's this alliance of "don't tell on me and I won't tell on you" that creates this sick, backwards form of toxic loyalty. They are continuing on--for now--simply because they are in the darkness.

There is no decency in the publishing system. There is no competence. There is no intelligence. No vision, no creativity, no imagination. Nothing happens because someone wrote something amazing. No one in it is capable of writing anything amazing. These people wouldn't have a clue what to do with something amazing. To them it would resonate as a creation of the enemy.


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