This report, of a school district eliminating all books published before 2008 from the shelves of school libraries struck me as more-than-usually horrifying, when it comes to stupidities enacted by a public school system. Of course, there is some comfort – not much – to be had in the fact that the school district in question is in Canada, but bad ideas in pedagogy have the unfortunate tendency to go international. I am a hundred percent certain that many American school districts have wokified administrators just chomping at the bit in their eagerness to perform the same purge on their own school libraries. Part of the great purge plan allows for an intensive review of pre-2008 books and restoring certain of them to school library circulation upon being judged appropriate – most likely after extensive editing or bowdlerization to remove every scrap of bad-thought.
I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic… (From the Oath of Enlistment)
It honestly kind of slipped my mind at first, that Monday morning was the anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attack on the United States. It’s been 22 years since that horrible day. I had other stuff – purely personal concerns on my mind.
For one, every single thing that I had to say about 9-11, I said, wrote and posted ages ago … and why re-run, one more time? There’s just nothing more to say, any more than there would be anything more to say about the shock of the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 – one more tedious rerun of a recollection of where I was, what I was doing. It’s been a lifetime, in a way – and for high-school and college graduates this year, it’s been all their lifetimes.
The other thing – a more recent tragic anniversary which looms closer in time is the disastrous and humiliating withdrawal from Kabul, Afghanistan, and the Abbey Gate suicide bombing there which killed more than a hundred civilians and thirteen American service personnel. Those deaths meant so little to President Biden that he kept looking at his watch during the ceremony at Andrews AFB when their coffins were unloaded. Those thirteen were the merely last American military lives frittered away in almost two decades of seemingly endless and pointless deployments to Afghanistan, culminated in a departure so botched that I’m still shocked that only a single commissioned officer resigned in protest. Sec Def Austin and General “Thoroughly Modern” Milley apparently feel no shame over bungling their responsibility to the Nation so horribly.
This story – concerning the justifiable resentment of working class residents in a highly-popular and extraordinarily beautiful place where the main industry is tourism – brought to my mind again a peculiar kind of divide. That would be the tension between those with long roots in the area, and those (usually wealthier) newcomers who come to take full advantage of gorgeous scenery, lovely weather, quaint architecture, fascinating culture, interesting history … or just plain old small-town country quiet. And eventually, the regular folks, the working class or even just middle-class homeowners find themselves unable to live in that place, at a price they can afford. The houses that their grandparents built, the gardens and fields that their parents and grandparents wrested a living from, the businesses that used to line main street, the parks and open fields that they played, or hunted, skied and hiked in, the beaches that they surfed are all taken over by newcomers, usually considerably wealthier.
Some days ago, Buck T. at Ace of Spades HQ linked to this essay regarding the great Satanic Day Care Abuse Panic, and how elements of that exercise in public/law enforcement/media insanity duplicates many of the features of the current Trans-Kids! Eleventy!!! panic. Which it does, in some respects, especially in how the establishment news media elevated the panic …because that’s what the media do: Scare the ever-living-snot out of the reading/viewing public because that is what sells issues and page views. Once the panic-train gets going, every cynical exploiter of the panic wants to leap aboard the current trend.
This post is kind of a continuation of last week’s post, about the invasion of genetically male-claiming-to-be-gender-fluid into spaces formerly the preserve of genuinely, original-equipment-issue XX females … and no, I will not play the variable-gender game and use your favored pronouns. (Should you demand that of me, mine are ‘Your Highness’ and ‘My Lady’). I admit that yes, there are those very rare occurrences of people who are genuinely physically inter-sex from birth, and another small number who have fully undertaken to conduct their lives as the opposite sex of what they were observed to be at birth; this after careful consideration, with surgery, hormones, and the choice of suitable dressing/makeup. But it doesn’t really change anything at all, save the superficial impression. When in a thousand, two thousand, or five thousand years, a future archeologist excavates the bodies of one of those people, the skeletal features and residual DNA will read the remains as either male or female – no matter what they maintained an appearance/pretense of being in life.
Frankly, I otherwise wouldn’t much care about the kinks of other adults. I’ve always subscribed to the wisdom of the Edwardian-era actress and correspondent with GB Shaw, Mrs. Patrick Campbell, who famously remarked that she didn’t much care what people did in the bedroom, just that they weren’t doing it in the road and frightening the horses. My own metric was “consenting, adult, and private” which does admittedly leave open a wide range of sexual behaviors such as incest and polygamy. Really, I don’t care. Just don’t demand my rapturous approval. And don’t go about flaunting it in places where the rest of us just can’t look away, m’kay?