TWICE yesterday store employees returned my “Merry Christmas!” with a “Happy Holidays!” that was delivered in a tone that to my ear was intended to convey, “No, THIS is what you should say.” Both times, I was tempted to call them on it, but did not. Maybe I was being hypersensitive, maybe that wasn’t their intent…but of course it was. The next clerk or cashier who does that to me might get a “No, Merry Christmas. Do you have a problem with that?” back. I’m that close…
1. ARGHH! “Baseball” censorship! Here’s another nauseating example of the capitulation to the word-banners. The MLB TV channel, which, like its satellite radio counterpart, is challenged to come up with programming this time of year. (The radio version held a quiz last week in which we were challenged to identify expressions of despair and horror as either coming from Cleveland Indians fan tweets about the trading of ace pitcher Corey Kluber, or from reviews of “Cats.”) Yesterday the channel was showing Ken Burns’ terrific documentary “Baseball.” In the segment on Ty Cobb, we were told about in infamous incident in which Cobb jumped into the stands to beat up an abusive fan, who, it turned out, had no hands. When the crowd shouted this fact at the infuriated player, he reportedly replied that he’d throttle anyone who called him “that” even if he had no legs. What was “that”? Why, it was that Cobb was a “half-BEEEEEEEEP!” Yes, a loud, high-pitched beep was injected into the narration instead of the word itself, which was in Burns’ original work (I own a copy.) Morons. If the word is discernible from the context, then the beep equals the word, so just use the word. If it isn’t clearly indicated—and while I was pretty sure, knowing the story, but uncertain enough that I had to check—then it is incompetent to leave viewers wondering. Half-crazy? Half-wit? Half-lizard? Half-breed? No, Cobb was called “half nigger,” and the exact word is essential to understand the incident but also a key component of Cobb’s character. Did Burns approve the marring of his soundtrack? I doubt it.
This has got to stop.
2. Great: colleges are now free to bribe students to renege on their promises. In a proposed agreement announced this month in response to Justice Department antitrust accusations, the National Association for College Admission Counseling said it would allow its member college and university counselors to recruit students even after they have committed to another school and would permit members to encourage students to transfer after they have already enrolled. From the Times:
Now, colleges will be free to offer perks, like special scholarships or priority in course selection, to early-decision applicants, students who are less likely to need tuition assistance and use the process to secure a spot at their first-choice schools. …Institutions will also be able to continue recruiting students beyond a widely applied May 1 deadline that is typically imposed for students who have applied through a regular decision process and are considering offers based, at least in part, on financial aid packages.
The promises to commit to a school that gave you an early admission were never legally binding, just ethically binding. And they still are. Any college whose applicant reneges on such an agreement after being seduced by another college should send a letter telling him or her, “Thank you for voluntarily withdrawing your acceptance. Our school wants only students of good character, who are trustworthy, honest, and value integrity. Now that we know that you do not honor commitments, we realize that we erred in accepting you. We’re sure you will fit right in at the school you chose, however, and wish you the best in your years there.”
3. The “OK sign is a white supremacy dog-whistle” troll is really an idiot test…and it works! Fresh off the West Point and Annapolis investigations over the multiple OK signs that flourished among students at the Army-Navy game (Surprise! They were playing the old, infantile,”made you look!” game) is this story that is much, much dumber. Oak Park River Forest High School the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, is paying $53,794, to reprint the senior yearbook because it contained 18 photos in which an upside-down OK sign was shown by students and captured in a photo. What makes this flagrant waste of funds especially stupid is that the school admitted that those shown using the gesture included “students of various races, ethnicities, genders, and grades.” What makes it stupid stupid is that the photos were taken and approved “before the gesture was widely known to have any association with white nationalism.”
Brilliant. Schools Superintendent Dr. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams agreed that the Oak Park River Forest students had not meant for the gesture to signal support for white supremacy, but it was still “not acceptable” because it could cause “trauma” to some students,and society has an obligation to protect all citizens from trauma even if it is based on ignorance and hyper-sensitivity.
All right, the last part was me, not her. Pruitt-Adams also said that the school’s pulping of the now dangerous yearbooks was motivated by a desire to be on the “leading edge” of the issue. In other words, this was virtue-signaling at a price tag of $53,794.
4. Unethical? Divisive? Fearmongering? Here is the meme President Trump tweeted out last week in the wake of his sort-of impeachment:
Now, a poll:
My reactions, briefly: it is brilliant, true, fearmongering but regarding a legitimate fear, and utterly necessary. I am nor certain about whether Trump himself should be circulating it, but of course he would.
5. From the “Nah, the impeachment isn’t part of a coup attempt!” files: Yesterday New Yorker magazine editor David Remnick, whose magazine has been relentlessly attacking President Trump from the beginning of his tenure in office, told CNN’s “Reliable Sources”:
“The stakes here are immense. It’s not just about the political future of one man, Donald Trump. It’s about the future of democracy and democratic process, and this is a trend throughout the world. It’s about the future of the Earth.”
This is just a more elaborate way of saying what Rep. Al Green told the news media in May, that “if we don’t impeach this president, he will get re-elected.” The idea, as Remnick’s comments confirm, has been to find some way to remove Trump because of what he might do (because he’s evil, and also not a Democrat). That’s not what the Constitution says impeachment is for, of course.
Amusingly, Remnick also said, “We don’t understand why the evidence of things, why facts don’t penetrate so many of our brothers and sisters in the United States of America. And this is a source of great frustration for the press.” Actually, the fact that the Democratic Party/”resistance”/mainstream media effort to undo the election and remove this Presient without the inconvenience of an election has “penetrated” the “brothers and sisters” far more than Remnick and his allies thought possible.