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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

College Porn and Other Wastes of Time and Money

Some colleges are now offering courses on pornography. They are ostensibly studying the effect of porn on modern society, but in reality seem to be little more than porno promo classes. Mandatory reading includes such jerk-off magazines a “Hustler”, none of which demonstrate any redeeming value (I know because I have seen such magazines as a teenager). I can see it now, a student’s review of the class: “We read titty mags and watched porno flicks every class, then those of us who didn’t leave to go beat off discussed the philosophical points of what we had just seen.” Oh yeah, real higher learning.

This is just the most recent in a series of colossal wastes of time and money being perpetrated in the name of “diversified learning” at our universities. There are social science classes that do nothing but have the students review episodes of “The Simpsons” and write about the social relevancy of what they have seen. There are various craftwork classes where people learn such marketable skills as wickerwork. There are so many classes that barely apply to anything educational or vocational it’s a wonder college students ever get a useful degree.

This is all just part of the greater trend of the failing education system. Gone are the days when we learned social responsibility and government in high school civics class. Gone are classes about the Constitution, at least as it is written rather than simply on the ways to philosophically apply any meaning you want to the document. Gone are the days when being a high school, or even a college graduate meant you could read.

I remember my first year of college. I had to take so many classes that were just repeats of everything I had already learned in grades K-12 that I didn’t bother to apply myself out sheer boredom. Of course, while I was busy doodling in science, math, and grammar classes, other students were busy building bottle rockets . . . AS PART OF A COLLEGE CLASS! How did we get so low so as to require the recycling of grade school projects to demonstrate the exact same basic concepts in college? And this at an engineering university! (UCCS)

On the college level though, I think the real problem with waste of time courses is the combining of liberal arts and the sciences in the same colleges. The very nature of the people who go into the liberal arts is vastly different from the nature of the people who go into applied sciences, research, and vocational training. The sciences people really have no need to learn art appreciation, the need mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics. The vocational people don’t need to learn how to review old movies. They need the courses that directly apply to their chosen field. At the same time, what is an art major going to do with algebra? Geometry maybe, but algebra? What does a sculptor need with cellular biology? And what the hell does ANYONE need with porno studies?

Our education system is seriously flawed from top to bottom. We need to push for a massive overhaul, not just of how things are taught, but what is taught and who gets to teach it. I say we start with the fruitcakes who are getting rid of the important classes and replacing them with worthless crap like “Studies in Pornography”.

32 Comments:

  • Couldn't agree with you more. Were already having problems with this up here. We can't get enough people with the education necessary to fill the positions. This kind of crap is only going to get carried over into the work place as some kind of stupid entitlement.

    By Blogger ABFreedom, at 5:08 AM  

  • This is exactly why my daughter isn't going to be attending a "college" per se. Instead, she's going to an Art Graphics Institute in Phoenix, AZ called Hi-Tech Institute. She's a very skilled artist already. There's no need for her to take even more Algebra, and certainly no need for her to be writing her opinion of Hustler magazines.

    You make a very good point in this post. Kudos!

    By Blogger Gayle, at 6:12 AM  

  • Here's a solution: Don't take the course! Isn't that what conservatives/laissez-faire/keep gov't out of our business types supposed to be advocating?

    We don't have that type of problem here. I had an excellent education at my state university with interesting and educational classes all (well, with the exception of educational statistics...what a bore!).

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 7:41 AM  

  • Dan,

    Every course a university offers grows the staff needs and facilities needs. The costs involved are part of the reason why tution fees go up across the board. Wastes of time like this waste everyones money, including our tax dollars that go into the public college system and the federal grant and loan money that must be spent.

    The education needs focus. Over generalizing education makes it weak an inadequate.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:43 AM  

  • I actually remember reading about a school, I believe it was California Polytechnic, that was offering a course studying Keanu Reeve's movies. I thought that was a bit much, personally.

    I'm guessing whatever school you're referring to has little trouble filling out the class roster for a porno class. Sounds like an easy 3 credits to me.

    By the way, I agree that they need to teach better civics in high school, as well as personal finance.

    By Blogger Samurai Sam, at 9:18 AM  

  • Daniel,
    I find it interesting that you cannot see the importance, socially, of understanding a multi-billion dollar industry and the effect it has on our country as a whole. I'm sure if you were to actually sit in on a class that taught sexuality you would find that it isn't merely about 'jerking off' (oh! how dirty! shame! shame! cut off your offending hands! You'll go blind! God hates masturbation!) But, ask a Christian to talk about sex and you get a fine impression of what the puritan 19th century was like.
    As for mixing liberal (gasp!) studies with math, engineering, and other 'technical' fields, I can tell you why it is important. Having the skill to create a new idea, theory, design, or whatever, isn't enough. If you cannot communicate your 'thing' to other people, you stand no chance of getting it off of the ground or assisting others with it. How many technical folks have no ability to write proficiently? How many scientists, mathematicians, and other techies have no ability to speak in public? How many people learn to step beyond their own limited experience in life and see the other side? It's amazing what you can discover in a 'liberal' education. And sometimes one of the first things you will find is a voice. If you believe that the colleges have failed and need to be overhauled, perhaps you should consider that it is the other way around?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:24 AM  

  • daniel, i agree about the porno classes...just tell me. are the 'professors' for those classes 15 year olds? because they really could be!!
    BoUnCeS!! LibbY!

    By Blogger Libby, at 10:07 AM  

  • It is at times like these that I am thinking that I should perhaps be glad that I go to this U of IL, and not "the U of IL"...

    We may be much [much!] smaller, but at least we don't have to deal with this type of thing.

    [Yet...]

    By Anonymous Aakash, at 10:14 AM  

  • Ha ha! 15 years old! That's hilarious! Once again, do you people really think its just about watching pornography and jerking off? Just curious if you have really simplified the study of human sexuality and its many facets down to such a black and white existence. Please, do tell. 15 years old... what a knee slapper! Grow up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:16 AM  

  • I can sum up the porno industry thusly:

    Find people willing to expose themselves or have sex on camera for money. Pay them a pittiance. sell your product to anyone who will buy it.

    Some deep social issue here.

    Some industries are so simplistic they don't reqire study. Porno is one such industry. That's why anybody can make it in that business. The whole formula is people like sex, so sex=money. It doesn't take a college class to understand that.

    Also, I mus note that I oversimplified things a bit with my examples of unneeded classes. Anonymous filled the blank spot about the need for basic writing and communication skills no matter what you do. It was just such a given for me that I didn't think to mention it.

    Oh, and the professors I have seen are aging baby boomers and hippies.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 10:19 AM  

  • Anonymous,

    Human sexuality is a seperate course from studies in pornography. They do not equate at all since once is serious sociology and psychology and the other is critiquing jerk-off mags and movies.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 10:22 AM  

  • Great post Dan. I agree with you. I shudder to think what some perverted college professor is going to do the mind of my young men after years of instilling the value of withholding sexual activity to within the confines of a covenantal marraige with the one and only person who you decide to not only share the rest of your life with but the one and only with whom you combine souls with.

    Casual sex alters the composition of one's soul thus affecting their perceptions and ability to give completely to their soul mate.

    Liberals are so much for idealism, wouldn't this situation be one to be protected as an Ideal? Sex maintained within a covental marraige? Naaa, its a way to break down others because misery loves company...

    By Blogger Peakah, at 10:45 AM  

  • I'm curious where you originally found the article or website about this Pornography class that is offered. If it is only about showing films and magazines, then yes, I would agree it is a waste of time and money. However, if it is part of a Human Sexuality curricula, then it has every right to exist. Mind posting a link to the class or article?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:58 AM  

  • I foun out about the porno class through a segment on FOX News. They had the Professor and an offended student on for an interview and debate. You may still be able to access it on foxnews.com.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 11:06 AM  

  • 90 percent of porno produced in this country is done by the MOB.
    That's organized crime. Mixed with college studies? Legitimizing same?
    That itself should be a crime.

    And defenders of the practice under the guise of "liberalism" are just as guilty of mob activities as Mr. Gotti, et. al.

    There is no reason the public should pay for these courses in public uni's or students in private uni's.

    The problem of course, is no moral
    direction in the administration of those pillars of knowlege calling themselves higher education.

    Oh, I smell shills in here.
    Hooah!

    By Blogger Phantom_Driver, USNR, Ret., at 11:17 AM  

  • The only thing I could find was a reference to a Pornography class at Iowa. From what the professor says, it sounds no different from the classes Indiana University's Kinsey Institute has taught for many, many years now. It's just an aspect of sex, and it's huge in America. It is usually best not to attempt to sweep dirty open secrets under the rug, but instead talk about them in open discussion (students do get to do that, despite the reports). Also, a research paper into the sex industry and the effects it has had on society would be an interesting experience for any college student, I believe.
    Oh, and Phantom_driver, mind defining what a liberal is? Just curious.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:47 AM  

  • Liberal? That'd be someone who wants the gov't intervening in everyone's business and...wait a second! How'd I end up on the conservative side of this argument?

    Daniel, for what it's worth, I'm not especially condoning this class. I know nothing about it. Just stirring things up after being away for a few days.

    Still, them libertarians ain't always wrong. And I agree with the anonymous commenter who said that overspecialization can lead to myopic thinking.

    The problem with this specialization of knowledge is that it can too easily lead to a narrowness in thinking.

    We already have too many specialists who are quite capable of inventing a new and deadly pesticide but who are unable or unwilling to calculate the longterm, wide-ranging effects of the use of their chemicals.

    Seems to me. But then, that's sort of another topic.

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 12:09 PM  

  • NOTE: I never respond to shills, especially anonymous ones.

    Have a rotton day.

    Hoooo-Ahhhhhh!

    By Blogger Phantom_Driver, USNR, Ret., at 12:36 PM  

  • Daniel, I agree with you. I saw a "That's Outrageous" in a recent Readers Digest about that very issue. To anonymous: they aren't studying the industry... "out of class" work included going to a strip club and watching hard-core porn. Nice.

    Also, Dan, the issue is not whether the class is there. Yes, people could(should) choose not to go. Lord knows, there's a lot of unsavory student activity too. The issue is that the "class" was sponsored by the University.

    This is why I'm very glad that I will be going to a Christian College.
    I wouldn't even want to go to a college that would sponsor Smut 101.

    By Blogger Rebekah, at 12:42 PM  

  • Dearest Phantom_driver,
    I'm sure not responding to uh, 'shills' makes your life go very grand indeed. You should continue by not responding to people who disagree with you or have opposing views. It might challenge the way you think. Gasp.
    Oh, and I'm having a spectacular day. I do apologize for that.

    Hoooo-blaaaah!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:00 PM  

  • "Hoooo-blaaaah"?

    Hey now! Don't go insulting the military by screwing around with one of our most cherished expressions!

    That aside, Phantom has an excellent point about organized crime running the porno industry. No public institution should do anything to legitamize crime.

    Also, I personally find it insulting and narrow minded that public universities are teaching prono classes with impunity, but cannot teach Bible classes without getting sued by the ACLU or Americans United for the Seperation of Church and State. The fact there are groups who are only too happy to teach evil while suppressing good moral instruction, and the fact that they actually get support, is just disgusting.

    I would go on, but that is another subject entirely.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 1:08 PM  

  • I'm sorry for the hoo-blah. You see, I find it personally annoying that someone anonymously posting under the name 'phantom_driver' would consider it poor form to post under anonymous. I mean, is it really too much to ask what a liberal is? It's swung around this place like a wide edged axe meant to knock down multiple enemies all at once. I don't think it's a bad thing to find out what it actually means. But instead, I get, have a rotton, err rotten day, and called a ... err shill. Whatever that means. Oh, and then some gung-ho military battle cry like he is charging into a den of nazi's or communist scum. I mean, he ended a frigg'n comment, he didn't blow up some north korean stronghold or find Bin Laden. And it was a short comment at that! If it were an epic poem, say Gilgamesh, or the Iliad, then maybe he could have said,
    Thus, then, did they celebrate the funeral of Hector tamer of
    horses. Hoo-yaah.

    Oh well. Maybe I need to just get a saying of some sort. Something that can instantly energize me and send me off with a smile each time. Any suggestions?
    Your dear anonymous poster.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:18 PM  

  • [raises an anonymous finger in a gesture of scorn, derision, and contempt]

    Glad to see it's working! Someone's whizzed off! Made my day [insert lame smiley here]

    By Blogger Phantom_Driver, USNR, Ret., at 1:34 PM  

  • Okay, so what is a liberal? Would anyone care to inform me? I know what Michael Savage says, I know what Rush Limbaugh says, but I would like to know what you people think. I have a theory that people like phantom_driver don't really know what a liberal is, they just use it like a derogatory term for anyone that is slightly different from the conservative right. So, here I am on a conservative blog asking... what is a liberal?

    - Anonymous

    p.s. Glad I could make your day Phantom, anything for the fighting men who charge fearlessly into short comments under a pseudo-name.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:48 PM  

  • Ahh, you're still peeved. Great!
    Come on over to my page so I can log your ISP, Anon. I'd like your real name, address, phone number, pin number, Membership card number,
    and all kinds of embarrassing personal information you are loathe to give out.

    "Whizzing off Liberals since Al Gore Invented the Internet"

    Phantom_Driver

    By Blogger Phantom_Driver, USNR, Ret., at 1:56 PM  

  • Wow, you seriously believe you have me mad. Blog for a week and your skin can resist bullets. I've blogged much longer than that... You could roll an Abrams over me and I'd smile and say, "Thank you sir! May I have another!" Or something... You're a fun guy though, I might stop by some time and see your place. I'm sure it's very patriotic.
    - Anonymous

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:07 PM  

  • Yeah. Right. Sure.

    Shill.

    By Blogger Phantom_Driver, USNR, Ret., at 2:08 PM  

  • Yes, I know, and the liberals have the monopoly on intellectualism, education, and progressiveness too.

    I certainly agree in a liberal education, but let's not have to put in a class for every crackpot idea. The porn class may have been a rarety great for entertainment on O'Reilly, but it is indicative of the push for years of the liberals to have so many cream puff classes that don't belong in a University.

    There are many areas in which we lag in this country. Among them Math and Physics, etc. Our engineering programs for instance, attract foreigners. That's ok, but to compete in the future, the USA needs more people in this field and others.

    A preponderance of BS classes will not help us in the global market. Some is nice, but just some. Let's have higher education focus on just that, education. Not a bunch of liberal gobblety guk.

    By Blogger Rick's Corner, at 6:15 PM  

  • Liberal: bases the foundation of their arguements in emotion

    Conservative: bases the foundation of their arguements in logical and rational examination of prior history and eternal truths...

    How ya like that for breakdown?

    By Blogger Peakah, at 6:44 PM  

  • Pekah,
    I like that breakdown very much.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 12:56 PM  

  • So, how come we are in Iraq?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:12 AM  

  • For all the talking our society does about sex and for all the "awareness" programs we have, and for all the girlie mags, porn and nudity and sex in film and print, we STILL have people getting AIDS and other STD's, we STILL have women getting pregnant and not wanting the baby, we STILL have abortions. All this talk about sex really hasn't helped anyone at all. And we still have tards out there insisting that we don't talk about sex *enough* and that we're all Puritans and Victorians and "prudes." Being prudish never killed anyone. Would you like some stats on how sex has taken lives? People blame religion for deaths, but hey sex has killed millions of people and I don't hear anyone saying we shouldn't do it. Courses where one reads porn is just a guise for the need for constant titillation. We already have courses on the biological aspects of the reproductive system and they're in the Biology department. We can learn about the mental process involved in sex in the Psychology areas. We don't NEED courses in college to learn sexual stimulation. Any idiot can figure out how to get aroused. Thousands of years have passed and the human race is still on the earth. We don't need to study sexual stimulus any more than we need to contemplate our navels. Besides, you can learn sexual stimulus from Glamour magazine for 5 bucks or Playboy for what, 10? Why spend hundreds or thousands on this stuff? Thank God for the prudes. We'd never get anything done if it weren't for THEM! Someone's got to be able to control themselves.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:55 AM  

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