This is a really bad movie with Van Johnson and Janet Leigh. He plays a college instructor, and she is his pregnant wife. She is told she needs to eat more meat, which college instructors and professors and deans find it difficult to afford. A job opens up for an assistant professorship, and hijinks and hilarity ensue.
It seems a bit unusual to me that Van Johnson’s character is an instructor. That’s usually a temporary position while you look for an assistant professorship, but in the movie it seems to be a full time permanent position.
Van Johnson’s character is the son of a wealthy cattleman from Texas, but he wants to be a college teacher in Maine. Why, is beyond me. Maybe he enjoys being frozen, or likes to look at moose. He refuses to go back to Texas, and gives his father a spiel about how there are 160 million Americans, and his job is to impart some of the knowledge and wisdom of Western civilization to them.
Now here I part company with the movie. I’m not sure that there wasn’t already some anti-Western rot seeping into academe at the time (1953). In the 1960s we were all awash in the idea that education had to be relevant. I even succumbed to the idea myself for a while. By the time I returned to school for the doctorate (1988-93), the rot was pretty far along. It has now reached the point that when I read a review by an academic, I immediately discount any and all opinions in that review.
Academia probably reached a low point when the president of Harvard suggested that sex, or gender, differences might be real. One poor lady got the vapors, and nearly fainted. Then there were the feminists who got upset when Barbie said “Math is hard.” Well, it is, even for guys.
It is hard to escape the impression that ENGL 175W.11 GENDER AND LITERATURE: CONTEMPORARY LGBT WRITING a course offered at my undergraduate school George Washington University is little more than an attempt to push the LGBT agenda, or that the Dean’s seminar on “EVIL” is designed to relativize or “contextualize” the concept.
Passing on the values of Western civilization is not what today’s academics do. They are more likely to engage in “critical thinking” about Western civilization, and pass on their critiques of the phallocentric West. Perhaps it is time to bring back the ‘50s.