06 October 2022

Back From Aldebaran

Well, the aliens took me away in their UFO, and they… did their reputed thing. I begged them to keep me for at least a few weeks, but they were cruel: They returned me the same day.

  • They returned me just in time to suffer through more election campaign lies (bonus for that last one: a blonde woman — perhaps unintentionally and certainly obliviously — epitomizing the dumb-blonde-mean-girl stereotype and blaming someone else for problems that don't really affect her anyway; I dare her to play the disabled-vet card with me…). Bastards.
  • But then, I'm proud to live in and have grown up in a community where even pillars of the Heffalump Party have historically welcomed refugees (even more than Martha's Vineyard could conceive, because we kept them around in our schools and medical clinics and grocery stores). The dissonance with Ken Burns's most-recent project is more than a bit much while there's a war sidling up to ethnic cleansing going on in Ruthenia: Never Again isn't for any one group.
  • Maybe, though, we didn't keep them in our schools quite long enough, because many of them were pretty good students (or at least worked at it without complaining). Precisely the kind of role models we need for kids who want to — or at least should — aspire to something other than "good manufacturing jobs." And for this, I directly blame the lower standards of the education profession when it stopped being "for women only" (that's right, they lowered standards to let in teh mens… in significant part, to help keep men on their draft deferments during Vietnam while simultaneously letting women start handling slide rules and other advanced/nonclerical instruments of destruction, but that's a complex, multifaceted argument). More to the point, ask yourself this: Out of all of the high school teachers you had, how many were, or struck you as having been, National Merit Scholars? How many went to truly selective colleges? How many, regardless of which college they were attending, teach the subject matter of a core-curriculum degree in which they earned academic/Latin honors? We don't encourage high performance in the classroom by keeping high performers out of the classroom — something that the US military learned a long time ago that has not been assimilated in precollege education (public or private).
  • Sometimes it's ok for a publisher to abandon a paywall (although that request for an e-mail address remains a bit disquieting). At least we don't have to ponder the lying in sales "statistics" endemic in other parts of publishing, or the fundamental lack of respect for "originalism" found in government officials who reject the object of Founder-fanboys' affection: Voltaire and claim "immunity." Or maybe it's just another reflection of the cultural disjunctures between "publishing" and its actual (not to mention unserved potential) readership — no sex, please, we're Upper-West-Side Manhattanites.
  • That's just a mild example of class warfare. There's always the overt example of Eton, and one wonders how the arrogant SOBs of the Ivy League would appreciate a similar analysis? Especially the, say, J.H.s of the world?