The Bulliet Files: Part II

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The second installment of Bwog’s ongoing documentation of Professor Richard Bulliet’s best lecture quips is here! Below, the venerable Middle East history don’s most amusing offhand remarks from the second half of this semester’s trial run of Islamo-Christian Civilization. The first part can be found here.

On course requirements:

“For the record, no one in this class is required to watch an al-Qaeda recruitment video, or go off and pursue jihad.”

“Graduate students might want to write something substantially longer [than undergrads] – that is to say, doorstop size. I don’t want to be able to lift three of them.”

On the International Islamic University in Pakistan:

“They had 740 acres…enough to make Lee Bollinger drool with envy. Of course, they had to level several villages.”

“It was not a great big giant madrassa. No one was doing calisthenics with kalashnikovs. It was kinda disappointing.”

On European perceptions of Islamic conversion in Indonesia:

“You might have thought that Indonesia was a less sophisticated society and that Islam represented a kind of Windows Upgrade complete with all the patches and things that still don’t work right.”

On being a grad student:

“What grad students read that is not assigned is often more important than what is. It was how I got my first introduction to “Sweet Savage Love,” a rape romance being sold in supermarkets.”

On being a grad student in the Ottoman Empire:

“Graduate students roamed the countryside in gangs, stealing or extorting money to stay in school. This is a situation we can all sympathize with.”

“If you had a graduate student who could not pay his way, this was not a problem; he could just be shot.”

On being an assistant professor:

“During [a senior professor’s] hemorrhoid operation I was the one who carried his doughnut-shaped pad to sit on in the lecture hall…being an assistant professor is not such an exciting experience.”

On Western operatives:

“In Arabic, [one British administrator] was called ‘the chinless one’ because his chin had been shot off in World War One. When he came to Harvard I had to pick him up at the airport, and he had two requests. The first was to find him the nearest outlet of the Church of England, the second was to show him a pharmacy where he could buy laxatives. The typical Englishman abroad.”

“The Bay of Pigs proved that the CIA was no more trustworthy than the USPS. These were the guys who couldn’t even deliver the mail.”

On World War One:

“There are movies, there are stories, there are histories – nobody agrees on anything. This also just so happens to be when the Armenians died.”

On terrorism:

“The terrorists of the 19th century threw bombs at carriages, not pizza parlors…now, I’m not saying the invention of the pizza parlor was lethal, although it’s certainly contributed to my obesity.”

Imitating an exploding stethoscope:

“Yes…I’ve come to administer to your hemorrhoid problem…boom!”

On a 1970s Iranian student conference at Columbia in which participants weeded out and booted agents of the Iranian secret police and the CIA:

“What kind of a rinky-dink university just allows student groups to kick anyone out?”

After discussing an incident in which a student killed a professor:

“I live at an undisclosed address.”


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  1. apropos  

    Bulliet's final was right after the final for Eastern European history.

    "Hurry up," cried the TA. "Islamo-Christian civilization is at the doors!"

  2. this is true  

    That's my kind of guy then. A real countryman. This country needs to stand up and read Pat Buchanan's book "Death of the West" and save America and Europe especially from the influx of bullying Muslim influence which is slowly eating away at millennia old Western culture.

  3. hmmm  

    i feel like there are many more random lurkers on this site now.

  4. This  

    is hilarious. I need to sign up for this class.

  5. Uhhh

    WTF is going on here, bwog? These commenters are out of control..

  6. times running out  

    Just to let you know, the same people who destroyed boredatbutler will be going to work on this damn site soon enough

    • destroyed?  

      [email protected] appears to be working fine to me.

  7. I think

    I think that we must engage the racist posters... challenge them to explain their actions and defend their positions

  8. all these  

    anonymous forums just become places for people to be inflamatory and vent all of the screwed up stuff they keep inside. i agree with the call for registration in order to post

  9. wtf  

    is going on with bwog? prefrosh? CML?

  10. wow  

    these comments are so uncalled for. Has CML run amok?

  11. i hate this  


  12. up yours  

    By the way it isn't CC 10 that is doing this, you morons.

    What did I say then you disgusting liberal poser?

  13. I am Sanchez

    I have elected to grace your comment sextion by penetrating her with my 11 inch uncut monster! But seriously folks, ban the offending IPs or just approve/deny comments as they come in. You could also stop being such hysterically easy targets I mean if someone so much as says 'ooga-booga' everybody freaks the fuck out!

  14. well

    why don't we raise the bar for the human verification test? instead of asking for a color, bwog could give out an ethics test instead?

  15. not to be that guy  

    ...but "poser" is incorrect; it's "poseur." learning can be fun!

  16. liars  

    What I said was that I was glad that the French have a conservative president so now the muslims can be taught to respect their hosts rather than bully them as they do all over the west.

    • #33 again  

      Also, um, excuse me -- since when have Muslims been "bullying" their hosts all over the west? That's a bit of a generic thing to say, don't you think? The only Muslim groups that we should really blame for "bullying" in the first place are terrorist organizations (including the radical groups in France who have used acts of violence), not Muslims altogether. Those people only represent a small population of Muslims as a whole.

      People should be more careful before speaking so generically.

      I also realize when I said "racist" in my previous comment, I should have instead said "religiously intolerant," seeing that Muslims can be people of any race.

  17. McFister

    Whenever CU makes the Post or Daily News, the wingnuts come to BWOG with us.

  18. Comment 2  

    Should not have been deleted. Usually I don't remember or see something that is deleted, but number two was fine. Yea, it was probably written by a troll, but I think it was in the realm of acceptability by Bwog.

    Bwog, you should stand up for some free speech. First, you aren't responsible for the content of posts, and second, the real world at Columbia certainly isn't a bastion of it, so this place at least ought to be.

  19. Unbelievable  

    You're idiotic, another typically guilty white westerner that will lead to the downfall of this civilization as we sit back and "tolerate" a people that are looking to culturally subvert us; we SIT here in our ridiculous guilt at being Western while we let Muslims in Ann Arbor take over local governments and change the laws deliberately, while in France the Muslims riot in the suburbs because they know they can intimidate the guilty left-wing Westerners into doing whatever they want. The Muslims sit in suburban ghettos near beautiful Christian-built architecture with nobody able to control them. What are we afraid of? The west has fine china - so I understand not wanting to let the Muslim bull loose to smash it, as they would in a second because they really have a lot of resentment for the U.S. I don't see what's wrong with nationalism and wanting to preserve the western culture. It IS a culture too, you know. Just because it's a white culture doesn't mean it's worth any less and should yield any more than any other culture.

    • Unbelievable?  

      Try again, my friend. Guess what? I'm actually Middle Eastern. Furthermore, I was raised by parents of both Christian and Muslim backgrounds.

      I hesitate to give you a lengthy response, since I don't think it's worth doing at this moment. But if you're referring to the Ann Arbor/Detroit ACLU situation, well, I really don't know what else to say except that I'm sorry you feel that way.

  20. idiots....  

    Clearly there are some non-Columbia redneck, xenophobic hillbillies commenting here after our school gets some attention

    Responding to such comments would give them more respect than they believe. I'm just glad very few of these intellectual snails actually get into this school... With a few exceptions

  21. just stop  

    When someone in the United States is nationalistic, he is a redneck, and an idiot. But when someone in another country is nationalistic, they are entitled to it, because they're on the other side of the fence. Hypocrite liberals. By the way my IQ and GPA are without question much higher than yours.

    • and yet

      You're trolling on a comment section of an on-campus blog. If you really have such a high IQ and GPA, take it to some thinktank where you can put your brilliant ideas to work. No one gives a shit here.

    • well...  

      Well, who said anything about IQ and GPA... someone is a little defensive? Second, did I ever say nationalists in another country are justified? No. Third, xenophobe definitly is an applicable word for your comments but you didn't even respond to that title probably because that is too many syllables for your little brain to compute.

      Finally, I retract redneck. Calling you that puts me on the same bigotted level as you are.

      A Hypocrite Liberal

      P.S. Try to take Sakib on, he will own you in this debate.

  22. rass  

    long live the republic of the united states.

  23. oh lord  

    just ignore them, they'll go away.

  24. CML  


    All I want to do is make people happy!

  25. Anonymous  

    If any of you want to keep up with the bigoted comments attacking Muslims and Islam, use your name.
    I'm all for people's rights to be anonymously commenting on this bwog, but if you seriously want to put forth such a deranged argument, put yourself behind it.
    Otherwise anonymously tossing around bigotry does nothing but make our campus less safe.
    Use your name and I'll use mine to show you're wrong.

  26. sad  

    bwog comments were funny once

  27. wow  

    there are crazy people here. it's like a real blog!

  28. jerks  

    Nazis weren't Christians. Why are white people not allowed to take pride in their heritage when poor benighted minorities are? Hypocrites can't see straight.

  29. yeah bwog--

    replace comment #2--it will allow everyone to see what the idiot wrote, proceed to shoot it down with flawless logic and wit, and hopefully inspire the proud nationalist commenter to read a book or look up the word "pluralism."

  30. bulliet lover  

    Professor Bulliet is the best. Does anyone remember the story about the sketchy Moroccan man he told us in History of Iran?

    • The weird rape?

      The one where the guy threatens to rape him unless he hands over a bunch of cash? I think there's more to the story, like he was soliciting boy streetwalkers or something.

  31. Actually...

    Actually it goes like this: Bulliet was in Morocco when a man at some Roman ruin essentially offered Bulliet his services, i.e. male prostitute. I personally love the jokes about Matilda or whatever his cousin's (or aunt's?) name is!! And yes, we are all descendants of Charlemagne :)

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