If you’re a regular Townhall reader, you’re familiar with Mike Adams’ columns. If you’re any other Townhall columnist (and competitive like me), always seeing him scattered among the “Top 10” most-read most-commented columns makes you want to finally give in and do a column on Mike Adams with the hopes of cracking the top 10.
Adams graduated from high school with a GPA of 1.8. Despite his apparent fear of success, he still managed to get an Associate’s degree from San Jacinto College. He then got his B.A. with a more respectable 3.4 GPA and Master’s in psychology from Mississippi State University. After getting his doctorate n 1993, the then-self-described Democrat and atheist was hired by UNC-Wilmington to teach in the criminal justice program.
It’s fitting that Adams’ latest book, “Letters to a Young Progressive: How to Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don’t Understand,” centers on a composite student with the same questions and attitudes of too many progressives (young and old). Adams writes, “[A]fter a series of encounters with students whose worldview had been soured by progressive education, I thought of all the other bright kids across the country, tens of thousands of them, who are intellectually impressionable because they are bright, and how they are being led astray by professors who take pleasure in making students angry and alienated. I wanted to do something to counter that.”
In a 2004 Townhall column titled “Up From Atheism,” Adams wrote, “Ever since I became a columnist, people have been asking me to explain exactly how I abandoned atheism. I think it would be better to talk about how I could have avoided it. I also think that the right reading list for high school seniors would make a lot of teenagers less susceptible to the anti-religious influences they encounter in college.”
“Letters to a Young Progressive” should be on that reading list.
The De Pasquale's Dozen asks political figures and free market-minded writers and entertainers to take a break from politics and talk about their pop culture obsessions.
1. Tell me about your favorite teacher and how he or she influenced your life.
ADAMS: David L. McMillen was my first professor in graduate school. I had him once before that as an undergraduate. But things were different when I had him again in Advanced Social Psychology in graduate school. He never came in to work before 9:30 a.m. He smoked a pipe in his office. He unloaded whenever he thought something was unjust and believed something needed to be said about it. He would offer up scathing criticism of various politicians but was always willing to hear people out when they expressed affection for the leaders he despised. Dave was an old Kennedy Democrat. He was also a fan of Bandura and his principles of vicarious learning. It was fitting that I learned the most from watching him. Dave is a dear friend. To this day, I cherish every moment I get to go back home to Starkville, Mississippi and visit with him. He still influences me greatly.
2. Many have said that Washington D.C. is like Hollywood for ugly people. How do you think D.C. is like Hollywood? How is it different?
ADAMS: I don’t see a difference. I think there are a lot of good looking people in both places. But both places are overflowing with people who are rotten on the inside. Both cities seem to attract morally impoverished people who seek to shape the moral landscape of a nation that would be better off without them. If Satan had to choose between living in Hollywood and D.C., he’d flip a coin. I’d rather live in Cleveland.
3. What canceled TV show would you put back on the air?
ADAMS: Gilligan’s Island, for sure. I still think Mary Anne was hotter than Ginger. But sometimes I have my doubts. I need more time to work through it. Three seasons just wasn’t enough.
4. If you could be paid to do anything besides your current job, what would it be?
ADAMS: I would work at Planned Parenthood. Whenever someone would come in for an abortion, I would lecture them on the eugenics movement and then lay out a case for the full personhood of the unborn. I would also help divert them to the local crisis pregnancy center. I could help save a lot of lives that way.
5. If you could play with any band who would it be?
ADAMS: I would like to tour with Switchfoot. They are among three bands on my “A list” that are still together. The other bands on my A-list are the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Journey, and R.E.M. I would get on Neil Peart’s nerves if I played with Rush. I would pick on that wimpy little Asian dude if I played with Journey. So that just leaves Switchfoot.
6. What overlooked band or artist deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
ADAMS: I am writing this answer on April 7th, 2013. It will be 11 days before Rush is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The Beastie Boys made it in before them. What a joke! If I ever moved to Cleveland it would be for the purpose of burning the Rock &Roll Hall of Shame to the ground. Aside from the United Nations, I can think of no other building I would rather torch in the name of all that is sacred and just in this world. Take a moment and go listen to “The Trees.” Ever heard a better, more lucid indictment of communism? Rush should have been inducted in the 1980s.
7. What hidden talent would be your best way to get into the Guinness Book of World Records?
ADAMS: I could set the world record for telling the greatest number of bad puns in one class period. Give me just one hour in one of my Criminology classes. If I fail, throw me in the pun-itentiary and throw away the key. I know you’ll be shocked to hear that I once lost my head and injected three puns into a lecture on the death penalty. It was cruel and unusual pun-ishment. One student appealed to the ACLU.
8. What books are on your summer reading list?
ADAMS: I will finish re-reading The Sociological Imagination, by C. Wright Mills in order to help me write the introduction for a journal article I am just starting called “The Criminological Imagination.” I will also finish reading America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson (and his wife) - unless I fall into a coma from boredom or toss it out the window the next time he says America’s strength is in its diversity. Gifted hands? Yes. Gifted writer? No. After that, I will read a few presidential biographies. A few years ago, I read biographies of all forty-four presidents in order – from Washington to Mrs. Obama’s husband. I would like to revisit a couple. I might start with the latest Coolidge biography.
9. What is the stupidest question a student has ever asked you? (Keeping in mind that I am not a student).
ADAMS: Student: Can I ask a question?
Me: You just did.
Student: Can I ask another question?
Me: You just did.
Student: How do I get out of this?
Me: Ask me if you can ask two questions.
Student: Can I ask two questions?
Me: What is your second question?
Student: I forgot.
10. What’s the best present you ever received as a child?
ADAMS: Dad bought me a $35 classical guitar when I was twelve. I took guitar lessons for six weeks so I could learn how to read music. I taught myself after that. I ended up supporting myself playing guitar in graduate school. That $35 investment ended up multiplying many thousands of times over.
11. What advice do you remember your mother or father giving you? Did you take it?
ADAMS: Mom once told me that everything always works out when you tell the truth. She was saying that God will never punish you for standing up for your principles. I did take the advice. If I had not, I would not be writing books and doing interviews for heavily trafficked websites. I would be another insignificant and frustrated academic writing meaningless journal articles read by half a dozen people.
12. Why should people read "Letters to a Young Progressive"?
ADAMS: I am writing this answer in the university union at UNC-Wilmington. There is a campus tour going on right now. The young girl is showing the prospective parents and prospective students the LGBTQIA Office. From there, they will go tour the Women’s Resource Center, El Centro Hispano, and the Upperman (not to be confused with “uppity,” which would be racist)African American Center. I want to scream “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!” That’s why I wrote the book. Buy it so I can make mo’ money. I need to buy another Fender telecaster.
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