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.
This is a lengthy response, and an implicit challenge to debate, prompted by Bill Quick’s “If Something Cannot Go On Forever, It Will Stop,” published on Thursday 27 April and duly Instalanched on Monday 8 May.
The first thing you need to do is read Bill’s essay; it’s ~4,200 words, reading time 10-20 minutes. I’ll be summarizing it below, but my (brief) summary will not only be explicitly theoretical but will be deliberately contrasted with my subsequent application-oriented response, so you will not get an altogether adequate notion of Bill’s thesis by reading this post alone.
That said, this will not be a mere fisking, and given what I believe is Bill’s current geography, only two states east of mine, a face-to-face debate is a real possibility, and one I hope to learn from.
Pi devan! (“Onward!”)
The link to this story popped up in my Yahoo feed. Huh. I’m pretty much a devoted reader for various internet news aggregates, bloggers, and commenters; that there a massive scary (wooo-wooo!) threats from the rest of us aimed in the direction of the LGTBWXYZ-whatevers was purely news to me. From what I had gathered lately, threats of violence with regard to the LGTBWXYZ community were pretty much flying the other way, what with crazed overweight persons of indeterminate gender whining and weeping about how no one wanted to date them, getting fathers sacked from their jobs who made critical remarks at school board meetings about no safe spaces at school for straight kids, organized events featuring drag queen events for families (When did that concept become a thing, anyway!? With protection by the local Antifa chapter, no less.) and large gender-nonspecific persons with unnaturally-colored hair and facial piercings going on social media making blood-curdling threats of violence against anyone looking at a transperson sideways. Oh, and the gender-indeterminant shooting up schools and murdering children and staff, or just threatening to shoot up schools. As a genuine XX-gendered person with original-issue low-mileage lady parts, who (under medical supervision) squeezed out one offspring through them, and thereafter served as a military person of the XX-gender, and at the age that I am now, I consider myself to be a damned good judge of threatening situations and persons.
This week, I noted several different blogs and bloggers commenting on Jazz Jennings, the reality TV star and poster-child for juvenile transition to the sex they (or their parents) think they want to be, rather than what their genitalia dictates. That the kid doesn’t appear to be the least bit happy in female skin is something that was predicted by anyone paying the slightest bit of attention. It doesn’t need Ray Charles to have seen that coming. A number of other, less-well-known transitioners have come out into the open, publicly regretting how they were hustled into making decisions as teens wrestling with various issues which have permanently damaged their bodies, their reproductive functions and their general mental well-being. Well, the young, unwary and easily duped (or their parents) falling for a fad does have that result, although usually fads aren’t quite so permanently damaging as the trans mania has proved to be. I would cautiously hope that this one is on the deflationary spiral, although I am afraid that whatever appears to replace it in shallow public awareness might prove to be even worse.
I have noted stories of high schools dropping honors and AP classes in the name of so-called ‘equity’ like this lately, with a great deal of sadness and sympathy for those kids who would have benefited most from more challenging classes. The intelligent, motivated and intellectually-gifted students are bored beyond all reason by the standard classes – I know that I certainly was, and my high school days were from 1969-1972 in a largely white blue-collar working-class to no-class suburb of Los Angeles. This was when California public schools were still pretty good, and students were ‘tracked’ by abilities as well as interest in higher learning. I’d estimate that only thirty or forty out of a graduating class of 600 or so were tracked towards the Honors/AE classes; Sunland-Tujunga was, as I said before, a blue-collar, working-class community, with a small sprinkling of middle-class. My own mother was about as pushy a tiger-mom as there was, and her collegiate ambitions for us didn’t go much beyond the state university system, never mind any of the west coast Ivies. An east-coast Ivy wasn’t even in the same universe.