The bourgeois are other people. -Jules Renard
Saturday, February 17, 2018
If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who aren't here yet) -- the Stickies -- to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.
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Marie-Louise -- My beautiful muse (right shoulder) and back scratcher
Iggy -- My designated Sticky
Dana -- My designated gentlereader (left shoulder)
The bourgeois are other people. -Jules Renard
Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies,
"We're on a mission from God." Thus spake the immortal Elwood Blues.
I don't know that I'm on a mission from God but someone/something clearly wants me to expound upon Bourgeois Culture. Far be it from me to question my orders when a powerful someone/something keeps dropping obvious hints. I smell metaphysical mysteries in the air.
Then again, it might just be a cosmic coinkydink.
Anyways... (HT: Dr. Jordan P.) last September, 9.18.17 to be exact, Heather Mac Donald, a lesser known public intellectual wrote an article about an article, in the Wall Street Journal.
[Some clearly called for clarifications. The phrase well known public intellectual is almost an oxymoron. Ms. Mac Donald does not, to my knowledge, own a farm. Ms. Mac Donald is much better known than I. I am not a public intellectual but I do have 39 certified college credits. Yes, they're real, the rumor that they were obtained at Wossamotta U is fake news.]
I can't link to the article she wrote about an article; the WSJ has a very effective paywall. It's possible to share WSJ articles on Facebook and I do, regularly. You can access Ms. Mac Donald's article by accessing my Facebook page and sniffing around. Feel free to follow or like me (no charge).
I can link to the article she wrote an article about, an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer titled "Paying the price for breakdown of the country's bourgeois culture." It was written by Amy Wax and Larry Alexander, professors of law at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of San Diego, respectively.
Their article was the cause a cacophonous kerfuffle in the Social Justice Warrior (SJW) universe. I had a vague notion -- being that I'm a happily heterosexual white weenie who revels in his privilegenesses, one of which is having been marinated in Bourgeois Culture as a yute -- to write a column. But, I didn't
But then... The January 2018 edition of Imprimis was published. A PUBLICATION OF HILLSDALE COLLEGE -- OVER 3,700,000 READERS MONTHLY.
Are we Free to Discuss America's Real Problems? -by Amy L. Wax
Ms. Wax wrote a lengthy, insightful, well-written piece about the cacophonous kerfuffle kicked up by her (and Mr. Alexander's) op-ed. Which means, your reading an article about an article about an article and about an article about the fuss caused by, the original article. Sign from God, right?
Our story thus far: A couple of law school profs wrote an op-ed that was published by the Philadelphia Inquirer extolling Bourgeois Culture. The SJW community freaked (as is their won't). Ms. Mac Donald wrote about the freaking. I thought about chiming in, but didn't.
When one of the profs who authored the original article that generated a teapot tempest recently wrote about the tempest she helped to create in one of the Republic's more obscure publications, which recently landed in my mailbox, clearly someone/something wanted me to craft a column. So I did.
According to Merriam-Webster...
BOURGEOIS 1. of, relating to, or characteristic of the social middle class 2. marked by a concern for material interests and respectability and a tendency toward mediocrity
[a.k.a. bourgie (pronounced boo-zhie). Urban Dictionary: Stuck up, rich bitch, uncle tom, sell out, anybody who acts like they are better than everybody because of their financial standings (i.e. M-W #2).]
I would posit that in this fragmented, polarized, if it feels good do it era that, bourgeois (or bourgie), now refers to anyone that ain't as cool as the individual wielding the word.
At any rate, the profs define Bourgeois Culture, in the original op-ed, as...
Trigger Warning: Common Sense Ahead
Reading the next paragraph might result in an overwhelming urge to set your university, your neighborhood, or even sweet Mrs. McGillicuddy's bourgie house on fire (she's the widow that lives in the house on the corner who's apparently obsessed with cheap lawn ornaments who gives out full-size candy bars on Halloween). Brace yourself. You may need a comfort animal, or at least a coloring book.
"Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime."
[My Dear Stickies, reread till this paragraph is burned into your brain.]
The International Union of Professional Perpetually Protesting Protesters & Perpetual Victims of This, That and the Other Thing (IUPPPP & PVTTOT) mobilized and attacked on all fronts.
Ms. Mac Donald wrote an article about all the abuse heaped upon said profs, these modern-day corruptors of the yutes of Athens (or rather, the yutes of State College, Pa and San Diego, Ca.).
"Half of Ms. Wax’s law-faculty colleagues signed an open letter denouncing her piece and calling on students to report any 'bias or stereotype' they encounter 'at Penn Law ' (e.g., in Ms. Wax’s classroom). Student and alumni petitions poured forth accusing Ms. Wax of white supremacy, misogyny and homophobia and demanding that she be banned from teaching first-year law classes."
"The dean of USD's law school, Stephen Ferruolo, issued a schoolwide memo repudiating Mr. Alexander's article and pledging new measures to compensate 'vulnerable, marginalized' students for the 'racial discrimination and cultural subordination' they experience."
Ms. Wax wrote about her take on the wailing and teeth gnashing she and Mr. Alexander had provoked. She points out that all of the attacks directed at her were directed at her, personally. And emotionally. And irrationally. Etceterally.
"Academic institutions should be places where people are free to think and reason about important questions and issues that affect our society and our way of life -- something not possible in today's atmosphere of enforced orthodoxy."
The bearers of torches and pitchforks saw no need to logically refute her arguments. She's an insensitive bitch for even bringing up the subject. If would be lawyers are absorbing crap like this in law school, that explains a lot. Poppa loves you.
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©2017 Mark Mehlmauer (The Flyoverland Crank)
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