Unlike some people around here who take gleeful joy in the resignation of Harvard President Claudine "Ctrl+C" Gay:
… I myself do not.
I mean, sure, she deserved to get fired the moment she sat in front of Congress and couldn't will her own mouth to speak the simple, declarative sentence, "I believe calling for the extermination of Jews is wrong." Leading everyone who can easily say those words to conclude she couldn't say it because she was under oath and didn't want to commit perjury. Because she's A-OK with genocide so long as it's Jews who are on the pointy end of the bayonets.
Let me just note here that I'm a big Free Speech guy. And that means defending the right to speech that offends you more than anything. It's easy to support someone's right to say, "Old Balls is a handsome intellectual who just gets more desirable by the day." It's when 20-year-old trust fund babies who demand a room on campus where they can go recover their mental health because a barista didn't realize they identify as non-binary start cheerleading the murder of babies that we need to be at our most 1st Amendment-y. A concept which now-former President Gay pathetically attempted to hide behind. But as KMarko pointed out, she's the last person who gets to wave the Free Speech flag. In her very brief six month tenure:
She was effectively canceled for bullying her colleagues, she has overseen the revoked scholarships and dismissals of countless students and professors as well as the cancellation or disruption of visiting speakers, and, no doubt the most impressive accomplishment: she has guided Harvard to the worst ever score in FIRE's Free Speech Rankings, earning a -10.69 — good for #248 of 248, the only school to classify as "abysmal" in free speech protection. (Penn was #247).
So she picked her hill to die on. And she chose Holocaust II: The Contextualizing. But Harvard refused to let her perish on those slopes.
Until the plagiarism charges started rolling down the hill. And just kept coming, until they became an avalanche. With 50 examples uncovered so far. Despite the fact she's only written 11 papers in her underwhelming career. And has published three fewer books than a state college grad who spends all day writing Lowest Common Denominator nonsense on a comedy blog. Still, Harvard protected Gay against any an all criticism and was prepared to defend, deflect, and excuse her Copy & Pasting ways forever. Despite what they've done to students who blew 100 grand of their parents' money for doing the same thing:
Finally the hypocrisy became too obvious, the pressure too great, and the grants from billionaire donors threatened to become too low. And at last, Claudine Gay took the coward's way out, cast herself as the victim, and resigned.
Funny thing about her resignation though. How do the feminists like to put it? #ShePersisted? It seems #GayPersisted in lifting other people's work without credit, right to the end:
Like Princess Leia seconds before her home world was reduced to space gravel, "Defiant to the last."
To explain why I'm not celebrating Ex-President Gay's resignation like others are, I admire her sheer audacity. She wouldn't appreciate the term, but it takes superhuman levels of chutzpah to take charge of a major academic institution without doing any academics. To avoid doing any actual research like it's manual labor. To order students to pack their shit and get out, off to some JUCO somewhere, for doing the exact same thing you've been doing. And then keep on doing it. How can you not respect someone willing to be so blatant about their lack of talent and abilities? To the point they don't hesitate to head over to Chat GPT and ask for a letter of resignation, even as you're forced out of a job for publishing unoriginal material and claiming it's your own.
Sure, Gay committed career suicide. But the coroner's report should list the Cause of Death as "Irony."
But the main reason I appreciate this woman is this:
After all this, she's still on Harvard's staff. She's still going to haul in $900K a year, reportedly for teaching one class in the Political Science department. With no responsibilities. No pressure. No congressional hearings. No one looking into the pointless, incomprehensible gobbledygook of published works. No need for results. Not a care in the world. She pulled off one of the great grifts of all time. You can't even call it a Long Con, because she got it done so fast. She bamboozled the supposedly smartest, most educated people on Earth, and did it while the world looked on.
That's what I admire about this amazing person. She's the very embodiment of higher education in 2024. The perfect symbol for our academic institutions writ large. Where learning, discovery and advancing the human race take a back seat to checking all the right progressive boxes. And the people savvy enough to navigate that world get fat salaries for next to no work. While making the suckers who graduate with student loans they'll be paying off for the rest of their lives learn nothing except how to hate their country and play the victim card.
Salute to you, Claudine Gay. Shameless Antisemitism aside, you are my kind of fraud.