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etc. - a little of this, a little of that - by Oliver Del Signore



Archive for the ‘Equality’ Category

 

Would YOU Hire This Nanny? Michael says no. I say yes and why.

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

I’ve mentioned before that my favorite talk-show host is a local guy named Michael Graham. He deals in The Natural Truth, as he calls it, and it’s rare occurrence that I disagree with his take on issues. But today is one of those rare days.

I’ve reproduced one of his blog posts below. My comments follow.

From The Maestro’s Mailbag: “Would YOU Hire This Nanny?”

From my email:

Dear Michael, my wife has had four interviews with our prospective nanny named Sheri and we want to hire her even though she is a little young (21). 

She is also very attractive.

Click photo for larger, unedited version.

 

But here is the problem.  She is from Florida and so I googled her and found a picture of her looking exactly like THIS.  EXACTLY.  In fact she has a few series of pics like this.

Needless to say, we are very concerned even though I think she is the best interview (out of about 20) and she is extremely qualified CPR, working on early childhood degree etc)

Is there any way I, as a married man, can hire this girl?

Thanks, Eric

My reply,

Dear Eric,

No.  Huh-uh. There is no way you can hire this woman as your kids’ nanny…assuming, that is, you want to stay married.

First, if you tell your wife “let’s hire her!”, you’re screwed. Your wife will, I assume, immediately begin divorce proceedings/hit you with a claw hammer/both.

Option two is for your wife to hire her.  But if you’re married to a woman so clueless that she’d but that [see pic above] in your house with you, five days a week, you’re probably doomed, anyway.  What sane married woman would let that happen?

Then there’s option three: Somehow this woman does end up being your kids’ nanny: hanging around all day, babysitting at night, maybe coming on a family trip…

If you’re going to hire her, Eric, let me save you some time: Just go ahead and hire the divorce lawyer now.

Sorry, but that’s the Natural Truth.

Sincerely,

Michael Graham

I think Michael’s analysis is only party correct and pretty sexist. He assumes that if a young, attractive woman is around, the guy will not be able to stop himself from doings something stupid and/or that his wife will inevitably fall prey to uncontrollable jealousy or suspicion.

Now, I will grant you that in many cases, that is exactly what would happen. But is it really inevitable?

Are we really going to tell attractive young women they cannot use their intelligence and hard work to get ahead in life; that jobs in their field will not be open to them because other people can’t behave like adults? Or maybe we’ll tell them, “Sure, you can be a nanny, but only for single moms with no boyfriends.”

Sorry, Michael. I hope you were just trying to be funny with this post, because as a guy, I’m insulted you assume I can’t keep my hands to myself and that my wife can’t control her imagination.

Many people look with disdain on young women who rely on looks and their bodies to make their way through life. Are we now going to condemn them simply for having good looks and bodies?

I said above, I think Michael is partly correct. I would leave the decision up to my wife and hope that she is secure enough in our relationship not to be threatened by an attractive nanny.

Of course, we’d not be hiring a nanny at all, since we both believe one parent or the other should always be caring for children, even if that means working different shifts. But that’s something for another day’s blog post.

So…ladies and gentlemen, what would you do in the writer’s place? Hire the woman or not? Who decides?

Gents, if she’s hired, will she inevitably become a temptation you will not be able to resist?

And ladies, if she’s hired, will you always be comparing yourself to her…wondering if maybe hubby likes her better…etc.?

 

Sorry, but life isn’t fair, so get over it.

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

I had to check the date at the top of the newspaper this morning to make sure I hadn’t slipped into a time warp and landed on April Fools Day.

US judge rules Netflix subject to disability act

A federal judge in Springfield has ruled that Netflix and other online providers that serve the public are subject to federal disabilities laws, a decision that could require TV shows and movies streamed over the Internet to include captions for the deaf or other accommodations.

On Tuesday, US District Judge Michael Ponsor rejected Netflix’s argument that it is exempt from the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. He declined to dismiss an ADA lawsuit against Netflix for failing to provide captions on much of the content it streams to subscribers.

Web-based businesses did not exist when the disabilities act was enacted in 1990, the judge wrote, but the US Congress intended the law to adapt to changes in technology, and it should apply to websites.

The complaint was filed by the National Association of the Deaf, the Western Massachusetts Association of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, and Lee Nettles, a staffer at the Stavros Center for Independent Living in Springfield.

Nettles said Netflix discriminates against the hearing-impaired, forcing them to to avoid its streaming service and pay for more expensive DVD rentals to ensure the movies and TV shows they rent are equipped with captions. “It has to be equal accessibility to all people using it,” he said. “It has to be 100 percent equality.”

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

100 percent equality. Think about that for a minute.

If everything in life has to be made 100 percent equal for everyone…

– Professional sports should be forced to change their rules and practices to accommodate overweight couch potatoes who want to play pro basketball, or baseball, etc. Instead of choosing players based on ability, we should have random drawings from a pool that includes everyone who wants to play.

– All bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers should be unisex.

– Movie producers should be forced to provide “descriptive service” (essentially, a verbal description of what is happening onscreen from moment to moment) for every movie. And all old movies on DVD should be recalled so both subtitles and descriptive service can be added to accommodate those who are blind as well as those who are deaf. For that matter, they’ll also have to figure out something to accommodate those who are both deaf and blind.

– Comedians should be forced to take time to explain each joke after they deliver it for those humorously challenged, or too slow, to get it.

– Websites should be forced to provide descriptive service for each of their web pages. No matter that it would effectively bankrupt many of the companies behind the sites.

– We should eliminate elections entirely, since the ability to smile and raise money and lie come easier to some people than to others, which makes the election process inherently unfair. As with sports, each position should be chosen at random from a pool of people who want the job. The same with judges and all other public positions. It should not matter that a person has no experience with electricity. If he or she wants to be an electrical inspector, he or she should have a fair shot at the job. And there’s even precedent for that since that’s the standard we applied in the last presidential election.

The only thing I think would have to be exempt from the 100 percent equality rule is reproduction…unless scientists can figure out way for women to impregnate men and for men to carry and deliver babies. But everything else should be fair game for it.

Yes, I know how stupid all that sounded, but it is no more stupid than forcing Netflix to do things it determines will not be profitable just to accommodate a small number of subscribers.

The plain, simple fact is that life is not fair. If it was, I’d have a voice like Frank Sinatra’s, looks like Matt Damon, a physique like David Beckham, a bank account like Bill gates, and be hung like a porn star.

But life is not fair. It never was and never will be. And these efforts to force fairness are absurd and destructive as well as being unreasonably costly in many cases.

I’m sorry that some folks are deaf or blind or have mobility issues or are intellectually challenged or anything else that hold holds them back. But my disability should not create an obligation on you or anyone else to do anything. I believe we should help in any way we can if we are so inclined, and I believe the vast majority of Americans would do so willingly, but forcing everyone to pay for other people’s problems is what lay at the root of the decline of America and most other nations in the civilized world.

Life is not fair. It’s time we all accept it and get over it.

What do you think? Am I being unreasonable again?

What other things would have to be “fixed” to accommodate 100% equality?

 

Ladies, we love you, but sometimes guys just want to be guys

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner — Sue Reynolds.

***

What is so wrong about men wanting to hang out with other men? Why do so many women take offense at the idea of guys not wanting them around all day, every day, everywhere?

An annual reminder of their outrage occurred last week when the Augusta National Golf Club hosted the Masters Tournament as it does every year. For you non-golfers, Augusta National is an unapologetic men-only club into which women have been trying, and failing, to gain entry for a long time. Every year, a plethora of media outlets and women’s groups bleat about how misogynistic it is of the club to exclude the female half of the race. Why-oh-why won’t those nasty boys let the girls play?

This year, columnist Jeff Jacoby offered an answer.

Freedom of association, even for Augusta National

NOW THAT the 2012 Masters tournament is over, the hounds of political correctness have stopped baying at Augusta National Golf Club over its membership policies. The gender-grievance industry is moving on, looking for a new target to harangue.

Yet as the Augusta National brouhaha recedes, there are some things I wonder about.

Click Here to read the rest of the column.

I freely admit that I often prefer to hang out with women. Not only are they nicer to look at, they’re generally more interesting to talk to. They’re much less inhibited once they realize you’re not there to judge them and what they have to say and — guys, pay attention — if you really listen to them, whether or not you agree with or even care about what they’re saying, you will gain great insight into the gender and the individuals, insight that will pay large dividends in your relationships, and I do not just mean sexually. Also, I very much enjoy verbal sparring and have great fun pitting my logic against what my dear wife calls “women’s logic.” It truly makes for some entertaining and, from my point of view, sometimes hilarious discussions.

But there are other times when I just want to relax and hang out with the guys. Not only can I have conversations where I don’t have to try to interpret “women’s logic,” I can tell or listen to dirty jokes, not have to excuse myself if gas is a problem, and not even care who might be looking if certain parts need adjustment or scratching. I can just “be a guy” without having to worry about anything that phrase means.

Many women, social beings most of them are, don’t seem to understand “the guy thing.” And that’s okay. The truth is, we don’t much understand them, either, even after listening as instructed above. And that’s okay, too.

God or nature made us two genders with different bodies, different brain structures, different wants, different needs — different most things — for a reason.

Isn’t it time we stopped fighting against reality and simply accept it?

What do you say?

 

Why do we give “offensive” words the power to hurt us?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Sticks and stones may break my  bones but names will never hurt me.

It’s a refrain all the kids in my neighborhood learned by the time we  started kindergarten and used, often daily, since none of us was above calling each other all sorts of names, sometimes seriously and other times in jest.

As I made my way through grammar school, I learned that adults also called each other names, but the names they used were not used in fun, but as serious insults or as ways to marginalize others. I learned that “dago” and “wop” were, in those days, to my family and others of Italian heritage we knew, equal to the “N” word in their power to offend. But even as a young child, I never really understood why. They were just words, and words can never hurt us.

Yet they obviously did hurt people then and still do, now. And I still do not understand why.

I cannot remember ever being hurt by being called any name, and I’ve been called quite a few, for many reasons, in my life. Perhaps that’s because I understood at an early age that people who resort to name-calling do so because they are not up to the intellectual challenge of advancing a cogent argument, or have no facts with which to refute mine, or no answer to a simple question that lays bare the fallacy of their contention, or are, simply, booger-brains.

Log into any online Forum and you will find folks “flaming” each other with abandon. Pick up a paper or log online and you find the news filled with name-calling and people who take the names to heart.

Why?

Why do we give words the power to hurt us? Why do many of Italian ancestry still get upset at the two words noted above, along with “eyetie,” “greaseball,” “greaser,” “guido,” “guinea,” “ginzo,” and others. Why do Asians let words like “chink” and others hurt them? And why do blacks allow that “N” word to have such power over them?

The English language is filled with insults and slurs as is every other language. But they are all just words. If someone stands in front of me and calls me all the offensive names for Italians listed on this page, what will he have proved except his own intellectual and cultural shortcomings? He certainly will not have proved me any less anything.

Sticks and stones may break my  bones but names will never hurt me.

It was true when I was a child, true when I was a teen and a twenty-something, and it is still true today.

I hope those of you who still take offense at words will pause and consider that whatever slur is applicable to you has only such power as you choose to give it. You can choose to strip away that power by the simple act of not reacting to it, or reacting to it with a short stare and slight, condescending, shake of the head, as you add the slur-slinger to your list of people not worth your time.

That attitude has certainly made my life easier. It can do the same for yours.

So, will you give it a try?

And will you encourage others to give it a try?

 

Sunday Videos: The Power of Property Rights & more.

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

This Sunday, I have thee more videos from LearnLibery.org.

After watching them, please tell us what you thought of them, which you thought was the best, and if you learned anything you didn’t already know.

***

The Power of Property Rights

 

Liberty & Security

 

Liberty & Equality

 

Is this a proper way to spend public school money?

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

OPS buys 8,000 diversity manuals

The Omaha Public Schools used more than $130,000 in federal stimulus dollars to buy each teacher, administrator and staff member a manual on how to become more culturally sensitive.

The book by Virginia education consultants could raise some eyebrows with its viewpoints.

The authors assert that American government and institutions create advantages that “channel wealth and power to white people,” that color-blindness will not end racism and that educators should “take action for social justice.”

The book says that teachers should acknowledge historical systemic oppression in schools, including racism, sexism, homophobia and “ableism,” defined by the authors as discrimination or prejudice against people with disabilities.

The authors argue that public school teachers must raise their cultural awareness to better serve minority students and improve academic achievement.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

Here’s what I don’t understand.

Back in the days before political correctness, before we celebrated diversity, and before we were told that all belief systems are equally good (except those with actual standards, of course), folks came to America because they wanted a better life than they could achieve where they were currently living. They came here knowing that if they worked hard, they could provide a comfortable life for themselves and their families. And if they were really talented, persistent and lucky, they might even make it big, really big, something that would be  virtually impossible had they remained where they were born. In short, they came here to join the American culture.

That simple system worked amazingly well for the better part of two centuries. Yes, there were injustices, and inequalities, and problems. But despite all that, millions of the world’s poor were able to lift themselves from poverty and, somehow, they managed to do it without any assistance from anyone except, perhaps, family and friends.

Compare that with what we have today. Yes, some groups are less oppressed than they were in the past. That’s a good thing.  But in the process of lifting burdens from some folks, we’ve managed to impose more burdens on others. We’ve allowed ourselves to be stripped of one right after another, to the point were what freedom we retain is no longer a matter of right, but a matter of indulgence of our out-of-control government.

We don’t need teachers who are culturally sensitive to every idiosyncrasy of every racial, ethnic, and social group. We need teachers who understand the values and customs that turned a continent from a revolutionary backwater to the land of opportunity for millions. And we need them to teach that to the young minds we entrust to them.

Anyone who wants to celebrate their heritage has always been able to do so within their family and social group. But in public school classrooms, there is only one heritage that needs to be taught, the American heritage, in all it’s glory, and with all it’s warts. And then they can spend the rest of the day leaning how to read and write and do math and science.

What do you think?

Did the Omaha schools do good? Waste money?

And what about my little rant?  Good? Bad? What would you add?

 

OMG! Is it possible I’m a liberal?

Monday, July 11th, 2011

I’ve never really assigned a label to my political and social beliefs because they don’t really fit into any of the common designations. If pressed for a description, I’ll describe myself as myself as a conservative libertarian with odd exceptions. Ask me to name the exceptions and I’ll shrug my shoulders. Who has time to keep track of such things?

However, in the process of reviewing videos for yesterday’s post, I came across the one I’m posting today. And it turns out I may be a liberal after all — a classical liberal — not a modern-day liberal. What’s the difference?

Well, modern-day liberalism is little more than socialism in “do it for the children” clothing. Classical liberalism is, well, watch the video. You might discover you, too, are more classically liberal than you ever imagined.

What is classical liberalism?

So…are you or are you not?

I need to think about this for awhile, but for the time being, I may start telling folks I’m a classically liberal conservative libertarian and then watch them try to wrap their heads around that.

 

Swedes take politically correct gender neutrality to a whole new level

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner – Woody.

***

(Thanks go to Matt for finding the following story.)

Some of you may recall my post last month about the couple in Canada who are raising “genderless” children. And some of you may have wondered what could possibly be more bizarre than parents purposely setting their children up for a lifetime — or at least a childhood-full — of ridicule.

How about a government-financed pre-school in Sweden where teachers studiously avoid using gender-loaded terms like “he,” “she,” “him,” and “her” and where every aspect, from toys to books and everything else is carefully planned to avoid the slightest hint of gender stereotype?

No ‘him’ or ‘her’; preschool fights gender bias

At the “Egalia” preschool, staff avoid using words like “him” or “her” and address the 33 kids as “friends” rather than girls and boys.

From the color and placement of toys to the choice of books, every detail has been carefully planned to make sure the children don’t fall into gender stereotypes.

Children play in the garden of "Egalia", the Swedish preschool that seeks to destroy gender stereotypes.

“Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing,” says Jenny Johnsson, a 31-year-old teacher. “Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be.”

The taxpayer-funded preschool which opened last year in the liberal Sodermalm district of Stockholm for kids aged 1 to 6 is among the most radical examples of Sweden’s efforts to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood onward.

Breaking down gender roles is a core mission in the national curriculum for preschools, underpinned by the theory that even in highly egalitarian-minded Sweden, society gives boys an unfair edge.

To even things out, many preschools have hired “gender pedagogues” to help staff identify language and behavior that risk reinforcing stereotypes.

Click here to read the rest of the article before reading more of this blog post.

Fortunately, as you read the story, you’ll note there are folks who are opposed to the “gender madness” but I suspect they are a small minority in a nation that has been fully indoctrinated into the concept of government as everyone’s nanny.

The last paragraph of the story quotes the school’s director:

What matters is that children understand that their biological differences “don’t mean boys and girls have different interests and abilities,” Rajalin says. “This is about democracy. About human equality.”

Sorry, Ms. Rajalin (oops, used a gender stereotype there), but democracy is about each person having an equal voice and human equality is about each person having equal opportunity. Neither has anything to do with blurring the differences between boys and girls, men and women.

And biological differences, in the vast majority of cases, do indeed mean boys and girls have different interests and abilities.

When was the last time a woman played professional American football? When was the last time a man gave birth or nursed a child?

Of course there are differences in interests and abilities. How can there not be, given the physiological and emotional differences?

Head blonde at Egalia, Lotta Rajalin

Instead of denying the differences, we should be celebrating them, for it is those differences that permit a man and a woman to join together to become more as a couple than they could be individually.

Asserting males and females are alike in every way is a lie that children will discover one day. And when they’ve discovered you lied about that, about something so fundamental, why should they not assume you’ve lied about everything else?

Teach children that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with respect; that everyone deserves the same opportunity to do the best of which they are capable? Yes, absolutely. Foist egalitarian nonsense on them for some misguided social experiment? No.

Frankly, it’s stories like this that lend credence to the jokes about blonds and underscore where socialism inevitably leads.

Do I even need to ask what you folks think of this?

Is there anyone who believes this is a good idea that should be transplanted here to America? If so, why? And will you be enrolling your children?

How about some better idea for promoting equality of opportunity?

 

Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 – A must-see movie for the self-reliant, and everyone else

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Ayn Rand’s prescient novel, Atlas Shrugged, was published in 1957. (Good Wikipedia article here.) Since then, it’s never gone out of print. Much-reviled by liberals, socialists, communists, and other collectivists, the novel celebrates individualism and the idea that people own themselves and the fruits of their labors.

Rand’s notion that those who work and produce wealth do not owe any part of their labor to the state or to others was almost revolutionary. It was, and continues to be reviled and denounced by most of the useful idiots associated with the mainstream media and, of course, by most in  government.

Because government was much smaller and far less intrusive in her day than today, many simply could not conceive of a government in a free nation that would demand to regulate and control every facet of their business and personal lives. But Rand foresaw where America was headed. She understood that government, by its nature, can never create prosperity. It can only confiscate wealth from some, at the point of a  gun, and redistribute it to those who did not earn it.

Yesterday, Part 1 of the movie version of the book hit 300 or so theaters nationwide. The movie was produced in a rush and on a shoestring budget when compared to most of what Hollywood regurgitates these days.  It stays reasonably true to the book, though much is left out, probably due to time and budget constraints, and some facets have been updated to reflect modern technology. As Claire reports in her blog, the “writing is sometimes clunky” and speeches abound, but then the book was the same way. If you read other reviews, you’ll find many listing other faults, some of them valid.

But all of the above being true, the film held my rapt attention from the first flicker to the credits. Characters I so much enjoyed meeting on paper decades ago had been brought to life. Once, I remember wondering how much time remained. I had no idea how much time had passed and didn’t want it to end. Of course, it did, and now I’ll have to wait until next year for Part 2 and 2013 for Part 3.

I never read movie  reviews prior to watching a film, so as I walked to my car after the movie, I couldn’t wait get home to see  how many on Rotten Tomatoes (RT) would savage it. What I found was both expected and unexpected.

Of the mainstream critics carried by the site, 1 liked it and 19 did not, for a rating of a measly 5%, which is the kind of rating usually earned by films like Pluto Nash.

Along with critics’ ratings, RT also lets viewers rate movies. Most of the time, the viewers’ rating is  higher than that of the critics, although usually not excessively so. In the case of Pluto Nash, critics had it at 6% while 19% of viewers rated it 3.5 out of 5 or higher.

But the margin with Atlas Shrugged startled me — 5% from the critics but a whopping 86% from the 6,649 people who saw and rated it as of this writing. That tells me an awful lot of people were there for the message and not for a slick production filled with the fart jokes and explosions we’ve come to expect from today’s millimeter-deep mainstream movies.

My guess is a lot of personal politics crept into to many critics’ reviews. And if one was to judge the movie strictly on production values, it’s not going to win any awards. But this film is not just entertainment. It carries a message, a message that is even more important and more urgent than when Rand penned it over half a century ago. It’s a message every self-reliant person instinctively understands. And it’s a message and a warning every other American would do well to heed.

Many critics make fun of the idea that in the 21st Century of the movie, old technology like trains are so important to the storyline. Typically, they see but are not able to understand. To me, the trains represent the gravy train government feeds from. They represent those who produce and innovate and what inevitably happens when the means of production and the inspiration to produce are subverted to some “greater good” that usually involves favors to the politically connected and wealth transfers (aka bribes) to the politically-created underclass of voters.

Should you go see it? Yes. Absolutely.

It will be easier to follow if you’ve read the book and/or understand the tenets of libertarianism and individualism. But even if you have not, you’ll be treated to the beginning of a story about self-reliant people who believe in working hard for what they earn and keeping what they earn — just the kind of Tea Party people the Obots despise and fear.

If you can’t afford the ten or twelve dollars for the evening show, catch a discount matinee. That’s what I did and got in for six bucks.

Popcorn’s optional.

 

Affirmative action comes full circle

Friday, March 25th, 2011

I’ve always believed that affirmative action quotas that hand jobs or college acceptances or anything else based on anything except merit were the very worst kind of racism because they legitimized and  institutionalized the absurd notion that certain “protected” or “disadvantaged” groups were more worthy of something than other groups. The reasons given for this official discrimination were legion, but always rang hollow to me.

I never understood why any society would want to encourage advancing less qualified people over those more qualified since the unavoidable effect must be a general dumbing-down of the average competency wherever it was applied. Look at the entire Federal government, from the top down, for example.

In education, I believed that if a particular group of people could not pass an entrance exam, the solution was not to lower the standards but to better educate the members of that group. In business, if members of a group were “under-represented” in a certain field, the solution was not to promote less qualified people to construct some illusion of equality. Rather, talented members of that group should have started competing businesses, hired the most qualified members of the group they could find, preferably away from the companies that would not promote them, and out-compete the other guys. And in government — especially in government, where the very welfare and survival of the People and the nation was at stake– nothing less than hiring the most qualified person available should ever have been considered.

Many of you are, perhaps, too young to remember the days when, if the new employee was a minority or a woman, he or she was inevitably branded the “affirmative action hire.” Even if  they were truly the best applicant, such folk  had to work twice as hard to prove their qualifications and competency and earn the respect of their co-workers. And if they were not the best…well, the situation was unfair all around and on many levels.

Nevertheless, though many of us who were libertarian and/or conservative railed against substituting new forms of racism and sexism for the old ones instead of honestly working to eliminate both, liberalism and egalitarianism carried the day and carried America further along it’s general decline to where we are today.

And where are we, discrimination-wise?

In a recent Wall Street Journal book review, A Craving for Acceptance, we’re introduced to Andrew Ferguson, author of the bestseller Crazy U: One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College. Andrew is a dad who wanted to understand what the reviewer called the ” frantic struggle to gain the approval of inscrutable college-admissions officers.” His investigations took him far and wide.

He learned, among other things, that for some time now, because girls tend to out-perform boys in high school academics and testing, many schools are faced with a glut of female applicants. As a result, in order to achieve the holy grail of equal representation of every defined group and prevent the student body from becoming too female, colleges have had to resort to some affirmative action nobody on the left could ever have imagined would become necessary. They are refusing entrance to more qualified females — even minority females — in favor of less qualified white males!

Ferguson said:

“After several generations of vicious racism, followed by protest marches, civil rights lawsuits, accusations of bigotry, appeals to color-blindness, feminism, and eloquent invocations of the meritocratic ideal, the latest admissions trend in American higher education is affirmative action for white men. Just like the old days.”

Isn’t that something. The white male, the only American “group” whose members could be disparaged with impunity for the past fifty years,  are now, effectively, a minority!

Does this mean they can apply for protected status like other minorities? Will there be nationwide programs set up to rebuild their self-esteem? Will there be government set-asides for business run by this now-disadvantaged group? Will liberals nationwide start hiring good ol’ boys the way they hired other minorities when they were fashionable?

Most important of all, though, since everyone in Hollywood and at the networks knows it’s far too Politically inCorrect to make fun of disadvantaged groups, will we finally see an end to the heretofore steady stream of movies, sitcoms, and commercials which depict white males – for that matter, all males – as buffoons and blithering idiots?

I guess we can only hope.

***

I’m guessing most of you will not want to read the whole book review linked-to above, so here are a couple of quotes from the review to give you an idea of Ferguson’s style.

Mr. Ferguson is not the first author to chronicle the horrors of the SATs, the runaway cost of elite universities or the mysteries of the admissions process. But having taken what his subtitle calls “One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College,” he has succeeded in pulling the whole thing together through a single family’s experience, enriched by much authorial homework. This is a guy who doesn’t just delve into the history of the SAT. He also takes the test himself. (“Close to a disaster,” he says of the results, with a math score so bad that he won’t divulge it, other than to say “somewhere below ‘lobotomy patient’ but above ‘Phillies fan.’”)


On a swing through New England, the Fergusons narrowly miss Dartmouth’s Second Annual Campus Sex Screening, a supposedly health-promoting event where, the flyers promised, “sexperts” would be giving “free demonstrations!” and the party favors included dental dams, glow-in-the-dark condoms and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Mr. Ferguson muses: “I may be showing my age, but back when I was a college student we didn’t need free ice cream to get us to come to a sex demonstration.”

***

My son finished school nearly a decade ago (Has it really been that long?!) but writing this post and perusing various reviews of Crazy U has made me want to read it, partly to see if what he experienced was what we experienced back in the ’90s but mostly because nearly everyone who’s reviewed it says it’s a great read and very funny, and I’m always up for a few laughs.

Unfortunately, it’s still in hardcover, with a bookstore price of $25.00, but Amazon has it for just $15.92 or $11.99 for the Kindle edition. Thrifty person that I am, I requested the book through our local library system, but I’m #161 on the list for 17 copies in the system. If I don’t move up the list pretty quickly, I might just have to break down and give Amazon some business. If you’re similarly inclined, here is the link to the book page.

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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