Is There a Columnist at the Wall Street Journal? Not if You Need Brains.
Joe Epstein should think about shutting up, he feels pathetic, even comic.
Dear op-ed columnist — Mr Epstein — Joe — boyo: a bit of advice on what may seem like a small but I think is a not unimportant matter. Any chance you might think twice before being condescending to people? Your op-ed sounds and feels arrogant, not to say a touch pathetic. Your degree is, I believe, a B.A. in absentia, earned at the University of Chicago, through a final examination you took on a pool table somewhere far from your alma mater. A wise man once said that no one should write an op-ed column unless they have something valuable to say. Think about it, Broseph, and forthwith learn to shut the f*** up.
I hear you taught at Northwestern University for 30 years without a doctorate or any advanced degree. You have an honorary doctorate, the president of the school that awarded it to you was fired the year after you received it, we can all assume for allowing your honorary doctorate. You claim that during your years as a university teacher you were sometimes addressed as “Dr Epstein.” On such occasions, you did not take the high road and refuse the honorific. You thought about quips and took the flattery because it caressed your homophobic ego.
You say you were also often addressed as Dr. during your years as editor of The American Scholar, the quarterly magazine of Phi Beta Kappa of which you are, of course, not a member. Ironically, you are by marriage, proof that personal experience teaches nothing, contrary to education. You claim those who “so addressed you” were scientists. That must have felt good, didn’t it? Once again, you don’t say if you ever refused the title, which we know you didn’t.
You say you received many letters from people who appended the initials PhD to their names and you say it struck you as pathetic. When you have toiled five to seven years to earn a title, you’ve earned the right to call yourself Doctor, and no one in academia would consider is “bush league.”
Of course, being the old, homophobic fart that you are, you have to complain about “the erosion of seriousness and the relaxation of standards in university education generally, at any rate outside the sciences.” You say getting a doctorate was hard back then, in the days when men were men and sheep were afraid. You talk about the lovely “secretary sat outside the room” and, of course, you talk about “her desk,” because this was a time when secretaries were all women and that sits right with your misogynistic view of the world, doesn’t it?
“The water and glass were there for the candidates who fainted. A far cry, this, from the few doctoral examinations I sat in on during my teaching days, where candidates and teachers addressed one another by first names and the general atmosphere more resembled a kaffeeklatsch.” Ah, a bit of good old toxic masculinity, praising those (not you, obviously) who fainted and decrying the loss of standards.
The fact that Dr Biden got her PhD at age 55 is a testament to her intelligence and to her dedication. The fact that she got it “after the terror had departed” only exists in your mind, which makes it an opinion. And we know the value of those, when they come from people like you, Joey-Joe.
Of course, you would complain that honorary doctorates were once given to true scholars and now distributed to people like Stephan Colbert or Billie Jean King. You did more than write about it in the WSJ, you actually wrote the University to complain about it! They must have been deeply moved by your letter. You asked to speak to the manager, did you also threaten to get someone fired?
“Political correctness has put paid to any true honor an honorary doctorate may once have possessed.” Ah, there we are, free speech, cancel culture, all the dog whistle of the racist, sexist, privileged rich white man. We knew we’d get there but boy was that a lot of words. What, you say you’re not racist? You must have many black friends!
If you are ever looking for a simile to denote rarity, try “rarer than a contemporary university honorary-degree list not containing an African-American woman.”
See, you’re a racist, sexist remnant of the 50s where you and your in absentia diploma should have remained.
I agree with you, Joselito, on one thing: between the honorary degrees given to billionaires, the falsely intelligent, entertainers and the politically correct, just about all honour has been drained from honorary doctorates.
THIS IS WHY YOU ONLY HAVE AN HONORARY DOCTORATE WHILE DOCTOR JILL BIDEN HAS A REAL, HARD EARNED EdD.
As for your opinions, Joey boy, hard-work though they may have required, please consider shutting the hell up, at least in public, at least forever. Forget the small thrill of being published by Rupert Murdoch and mentioned on Twitter, and settle for the larger thrill of living for the rest of your life in a way that will make the world grateful: silently.