As well as being the proverbial “date that will live in infamy,” today is also the birthday of linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky. Chomsky has been a professor of Linguistics at MIT since 1955, when he revolutionized the field with his doctoral dissertation on transformational grammar, whatever that means.
Chomsky’s probably best known for his unrelenting criticism of US foreign policy, his incisive commentary on the role of media and doctrinal systems in our society, and the withering scorn he heaps upon the inept, lackey stooges who comprise the majority of public intellectuals in this great land.
Whatever you might think of what he has to say, it’s hard to deny the power and honesty of his intellect, or his commitment to peace and justice. In addition to being a full time professor, he’s written dozens of books and speaks all over the world to packed houses. Ask anybody who’s ever tried to schedule him for an event and they’ll tell you he’s booked solid two or three years in advance.
He’s a giant nerd, a warrior of peace, a great American, a braniac, and one of the closest things I have to a hero in this f’ed up world. Rock on, Professor. Keep fighting the good fight.