Alexander Zubatov is a practicing attorney specializing in general commercial litigation (http://www.smzllp.com/). He is also a practicing writer specializing in general non-commercial poetry, fiction, drama, essays and polemics. In the words of one of his intellectual heroes, José Ortega y Gasset, biography is “a system in which the contradictions of a human life are unified.”
He makes occasional, unscheduled appearances on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Zoobahtov).
His published non-fiction writing includes the following:
– “Selecting for Superficiality” – in the May 25, 2017 issue of Times Higher Education, this is my attempt to tackle the recent revision in elite university admissions standards that try to dampen the focus on academics and extracurriculars and ratchet up the attention to community service; I argue what we need now, at this moment when insane social justice warriors are already ascendant, is more reflective thinkers, not more knee-jerk doers (https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/free-thinking-is-a-community-service).
– “Why I Refuse to Attend My 20th Yale Reunion” – my May 22, 2017 piece in The Federalist argues that the way universities such as Yale have let the lunatics run the asylum and protest their way into ruining their own education, while spineless technocrats accommodate every whim and cower in fear mean it’s high time for alumni to step up and lodge their own counter-protest movement to let these universities know enough is enough (http://thefederalist.com/2017/05/22/refuse-attend-20th-yale-reunion/#disqus_thread)
– “Why I Support the Immigration Crackdown: Immigration Without Integration Is Invasion” – in the Independent Journal Review on February 28, 2016, this is my argument that entirely lost in the frenzied and mindless agitation on both sides of the debate about Trump’s “Muslim ban” is this critical kernel of truth: if we do not put the brakes on immigration of those whose values are completely inconsistent with our own views about tolerance, pluralism and gender equality, we will fundamentally change the nature of our society (http://ijr.com/opinion/2017/02/264258-support-trumps-immigration-executive-order-immigration-without-integration-invasion/) (note: they changed the title of the article without clearing it with me and made it look like I support Trump’s actual executive orders, which I don’t; I make that apparent in the article’s very first sentence).
– “Oppressed by Difficulty: Students Are Embracing Identity Politics to Avoid Hard Work” – in the Independent Journal Review on January 27, 2016, arguing that the recent all-out attacks on the literary and philosophical canons at elite universities is a direct outgrowth of the fact that students are increasingly unprepared to experience and understand high culture (http://ijr.com/opinion/2017/01/263579-oppressed-difficulty-students-embracing-identity-politics-avoid-hard-work/).
– “Another Yale Fail” – featured in Acculturated on October 11, 2016, these are my reflections on Yale University’s decision to kowtow to the politically correct would-be white-washers of history by creating a committee with the tone-deaf, purely Orwellian name “Committee to Establish Principles of Renaming,” charged with the mission of figuring out when buildings and other things should get renamed; my conclusion: “a university that is constantly bobbing and weaving in fear as a response to every whim of impulsive students who have not yet acquired the ability to stand back and think is a university that has lost sight of its educational mission” (http://acculturated.com/another-yale-fail/).
– “The First Cultural Relativist: Relativism, Nationalism and the Danger of Diversity” – featured on September 30, 2016 in the New English Review, this is a detailed discussion of the highly relevant and unjustly neglected 18th century German philosopher Johann Gottfried von Herder, whose coupling of cultural relativism and nationalism is uniquely pertinent to political developments on our present political scene (http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/184574/sec_id/184574).
– “Why Political Correctness Is Political Cowardice” – featured on September 23, 2016 in The Federalist, this is my effort to dig into the actual statistics to figure out whether beliefs that are so popular in the media and academia, including on college campuses — support for race-based preferences, and political correctness and constant talk about identity politics, race and racism — are actually supported by a majority of Americans; what I discover is … well … in a word, NO (http://thefederalist.com/2016/09/23/political-correctness-political-cowardice/).
– “Demystifying the Nonsense of Implicit Bias” – featured in Canada Free Press on June 15, 2016, in which I explain why the trendy notion of “implicit bias” is a pure case of sloppy thinking, an attempt to blame people for holding beliefs that our socio-economic inequalities predictably foster … because it’s much easier to scream “Racist!” than to do the actual hard work of changing the underlying socio-economic realities that make racism inevitable (http://canadafreepress.com/article/demystifying-the-nonsense-of-implicit-bias).
– “Why Democrat refugees are swelling Trump’s support” – featured on Mercatornet.com on March 29, 2016, in which I counter the oft-repeated conventional wisdom that Trump’s supporters are virulent racists that have come out of the Republican Party woodwork and, analyzing a bunch of numbers, build a case for the proposition that many of his supporters are actually former Democrats who’d even voted for Obama in 2008 but are now fleeing the Democratic Party fold because they’ve been alienated by the extent to which our culture has been racialized and race-polarized by various powers-that-be on the left (http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/why-democrat-refugees-are-swelling-trumps-support/17816).
– “Yale Before Political Correctness” – featured on November 13, 2015 in Acculturated, in which I discuss P.C. Halloween havoc at Yale in light of my own experience at Yale in a much saner political climate where roommates from diverse backgrounds didn’t have to live in perpetual fear of causing offense (http://acculturated.com/yale-before/).
– “Professional Wrestling, Racism, Transracial Identity and Why We All Need to Lighten Up” – featured on August 19, 2015 in popmatters.com, in which I discuss race, racism and transracial identification in pro wrestling, featuring many entertaining clips, and then bring the discussion back to our own fixed and wooden racial categories which would benefit from being infused from some of pro wrestling’s debased playfulness (http://www.popmatters.com/feature/196558-professional-wrestling-racism-transracial-identity-hulk-hogan-rachel/).
– “I Loved You, I Loved You: a Farewell to Art” – featured in the fall 2014 issue of the Hedgehog Review, in which, in the context of a discussion of Alain Resnais’ glorious film Je T’aime, Je T’Aime, I argue why art is doomed due to our growing inability to channel a common, cumulative aesthetic tradition (http://www.iasc-culture.org/THR/THR_article_2014_Fall_ZubatovEXC.php).
– “2D or Not To Be: On Using Etiquette to Promote Culture and Culture to Promote Reality” – the lead feature in the May 2014 edition of the Fortnightly Review, drawing on an analogy from the broken-windows theory of policing to suggest that if we want to save the humanities, we should be focusing our efforts on promoting etiquette and teaching rhetoric (http://fortnightlyreview.co.uk/2014/05/2d-be/).
– “The Most Dangerous, Devastating, Insidious, Invidious, Ubiquitous and Perfectly Legal Narcotic in the World” – featured on March 14th in nth position, in which I tell you all the reasons you should not have kids, including, most importantly, the havoc such a decision will wreak on your sense of meaning in life.
– “The Advent of Virtual Realism: the Party Is Always Elsewhere” – the lead feature from the January/February 2014 issue of the Montreal Review, in which I define and describe the features of our current cultural era succeeding postmodernism, which I call “virtual realism,” and explain how those features combine to bring about the inevitable decline of the traditional humanities (http://www.themontrealreview.com/2009/The-Advent-of-Virtual-Realism.php).
– “Parade’s Mend: A Cultural Conundrum and a Code of Conduct” – a feature in the August 2013 issue of the New English Review in which I draw upon a reading of Ford Madox Ford’s masterpiece, Parade’s End, to discuss the manner in which, even as economic equality is decreasing, social equality is increasing, and that is NOT a good thing; I end with a proposed code of public conduct (http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/160181/sec_id/160181).
– “The Ascendancy of the Ass-Backwards Masses … and How We Can Still Turn It Around” – a June 2013 article in Culture Wars discussing the works of Matthew Arnold, Jose Ortega y Gasset and Rene Girard to consider the growing prevalence of a mass culture that is vulgar and dumb and yet perfectly self-satisfied (http://www.culturewars.org.uk/index.php/site/article/the_ascendancy_of_the_ass-backwards_masses_and_how_we_can_still_turn_it_aro/).
– “Voyage to the End of the World: Manoel de Oliveira’s ‘A Talking Picture'” – a critical analysis of Manoel de Oliveria’s 2004 film “A Talking Picture” in Issue 33 of Senses of Cinema (http://sensesofcinema.com/2004/feature-articles/a_talking_picture/)
– “Above the Revolution: The Dreamers and Alienation” – a critical analysis of Bernardo Bertolucci’s 2004 film “The Dreamers” published in Issue 45 of the Bright Lights Film Journal (http://brightlightsfilm.com/45/dreamers.php#.U2o_a_k2xHQ).
– “In the Garden of Earthly Delights: ‘Irreversible'” – a critical analysis of Gaspar Noe’s 2004 film “Irreversible” in Issue 31 of Senses of Cinema (http://sensesofcinema.com/2004/feature-articles/irreversible/).