“He calls Canada “a country with no metaphysical foundations,” a uniquely philosophical form of slagging. He says, compared to Iran, living here is “the best way to end up with an uncreative and boring future.” He has specific gripes: nobody gave him tenure, he doesn’t feel feted enough and other academics complain that he name-drops too much (a page later he mentions Vaclav Havel, who he met — twice). He says his students consider “mediocrity a form of normalcy.” Massey College is “a haven of second-class snobs . . . intellectually crippled by meaningless existence.” I’m not cherry-picking, most of this was excerpted in the Star.
It’s harsher than anything he says about his interrogators at Evin, but maybe they deserve more compassion than the porter at Massey. I mean it. That’s what philosophers do at their best. They challenge sacred assumptions. Toronto was overextended on its smugness; that’s how things got so bad here.”