Here there be dragons (however tiny)
A recent episode of your favorite blogge recounted the millions of dollars to be made exploiting micro-aggressions — those neutrinos of umbrage taken by the readily offended. (For the Record: the Squire’s pronouns are “Mr., Sir, and His Lordship.”)
In Sunday’s WI State Journal, two letter writers describe themselves as “Witnessing Whiteness facilitators.” There is such a thing, apparently. (We are not in Kansas any more, Dorothy.) The whiteness facilitators recount the horror of Jim Crow but have to scratch for anything in the last 50+ years, settling on a UW-Madison student video that was “Nearly absent of people of color.”
“Nearly absent.” (Pause here to allow to sink in.) (Some assembly required.) Not absent but “nearly absent.” What the proper proportion should be, the whiteness facilitators venture not. Stand by for future facilitation.
In that vein, The New York Times reports: “Argentine feminists remake the tango. A group of activists is trying to make tango less dogmatic about traditional gender roles, and more assertive about rooting out sexual harassment and assault.” This was Page One news on Sunday 10-5-19. The search for new micro-aggressions keeps many a Grievance Studies graduate employed. Today, the tango. Tomorrow, the Hokey Pokey?
Dragons wanted; no experience necessary
Now here comes what professional journalists call “the nut graf,” the paragraph that makes the point of the essay (for this blogge does have a point, so to speak): Today’s social justice warriors are suffering from hero envy. They long for the days of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Atticus Finch, Jefferson Smith — dragon slayers.
What should drop in His Lordship the Squire’s lap but a timely quote from political philosopher Kenneth Minogue. As recounted by Barton Swaim in today’s (10-14-19) Wall Street Journal:
In his classic study “The Liberal Mind” (1963), Minogue memorably compared modern liberalism in its prime to St. George slaying the dragon. From the 16th century to the 19th, the dragons were enormous: religious intolerance, slavery and the slave trade, wretched prison conditions. But liberalism, unlike St. George, did not know when to retire, and in the 20th century it “grew breathless in [its] pursuit of smaller and smaller dragons — for the big dragons were now harder to come by.”
Disagree about the 20th century. Fascism, communism, and Jim Crow were very large dragons. Furthermore, the Werkes concedes that a democratically elected President qualifies as a big dragon if the cause be just. But his adversaries are armed with little more than micro-aggressions. Enforce the border? How dare he! Abolish all borders! A phone call, with no follow-through? (We’ll concede boorishness.)
Some perspective: the same people (or their liberal-progressive-socialist antecedents) pilloried President Reagan, who fought the tyranny of communism. “Tear Down This Wall.” Now THAT was Big Stuff!
There’s no debate!
And still champion dragon-slayer, we give you The New York Times. Sunday (10-13-19) the newspaper of record cries out to right another hitherto undetected injustice:
“The Supreme Court Needs an L.G.B.T. Justice”
(Wouldn’t it be just like that Devil Trump to frustrate the NY Times by nominating a Federalist Society L.G.B.T. justice!)
In its search for a cure for Donald Trump, the Times asks “Are school debate competitions bad for our political discourse?” Would it surprise to know the answer is “Yes”? Debate “can be a good credential for aspiring leaders, but they favor a closed-minded and partisan style of argument.” Down with Debate Class! Has the whiff of implicit bias about it, anyway.
Somewhere over the rainbow …
… the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true. DO watch the motion picture Judy, which recounts episodes in the last six months of Judy Garland before her death at age 47. The later Judy, so overwrought, was never our cup of tea. But hers is a helluva human story, and tragic. The Squire believes he has seen the best performance by an actress this year. Joe Morgenstern in the Wall St. Journal:
This wrecked legend, played with heart-stopping brilliance by Renée Zellweger, can’t help singing, even though her voice is shot and her body has almost given out. Its star sets the whole thing on fire every time she launches into a Garland classic in her own voice. … The sweet gamine of her early years has given way to a squint-eyed specter with hunched shoulders, pursed lips, a persimmon smile and an obsession with making enough money to provide a stable home for the youngest two of her children. … Having children, she says, “is like having your heart outside your body.”
So is singing, as she goes about it. … when she finally sings “Over the Rainbow,” what was predictable, indeed inevitable, turns out to be ineffably beautiful.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Now THERE was a dragon slayer even if the demons were her own.