A couple of months ago I discussed my discovery of the secret to understanding Jonah Goldberg. If you don't care to read it again, it is essentially that Goldberg does not exist and his column output is written by a loose team of college Republicans selected at random. I based that idea on the fact that Goldberg's writing bears an extremely suspicious resemblance to that of a college sophomore (and I'm exposed to plenty of that).
I may be on to something. Phyllis Schlafly (who is, in case you're not familiar, one of the most profoundly ignorant shrews alive and the founder of Conservapedia) wrote a gold nugget of wisdom recently making vague, all-encompassing-yet-nonspecific criticisms against English departments in American colleges. Her opus is entitled "Advice to College Students: Don't Major in English." If only they'd let me write the obvious rejoinder "Advice to College Students: Don't Take Advice from People Who Think the Earth is 6000 Years Old."
In the spirit of my Goldberg-is-a-Sophomore post, please direct your attention to this outstanding post entitled "Phyllis Schlafly Wouldn't Pass My Composition Class" by Evil Bender, an English grad student who has probably suffered even more undergrad essays than me. I know not all of you have, have had, or will have the experience of teaching America's youth at some point, but I heartily recommend reading editorials (or, as we make the middle schoolers call them, Persuasive Essays) with one question in the back of your mind: If a student in a basic Intro-to-Anything course handed me this essay, what grade would it receive? Let me tell you, I don't come across too many that would pass.
Schlafly would get a pity D and a large, red note about coming to see me in my office hours. Of course, she'd never do that. She'd just piss and moan about how she got a D because her professors are all liberals on a crusade to punish her. I mean, why learn to write when you can just bitch to David Horowitz and be reassured that you are One Heroic Victim?