Tuesday, March 30, 2021


"The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it." Paul-Muad'Dib to the Guild navigators, at his confrontation with the Emperor Shaddam IV. Frank Herbert, Dune, (1965)

The story of this poor bastard was carried over at Instapundit. I have grown frustrated with that site for a few large reasons, but providing these stories that aren't going to make it to my local media sources nor the national ones is a thing that keeps me coming back. 

There are stories like this a few times a week on campuses.  I think FIRE and The College Fix are clearinghouses for these and there are even more I don't know about, because I don't go there often. Colleges are an ecosystem I no longer understand, and I guess I look at them as places that are going to have to stew in their own juice until the great reaping takes place. Government loans prop up an unsustainable product, and who knows how long that can go on?  We can predict collapse, but I have been hearing about the collapse of US government because of the debt since the Reagan administration, so I have to agree with Adam Smith that "there is a lot of ruin in a nation."

These things are simply insane.  I have no idea what my best response is to them.  It was milder when my first three sons went to college, and they went to schools where this was not much of an issue. 1997-2010. Son #4 went to a tech school and then the USMC - not an issue (though it might be now). Son #5 had a few classes in the Criminal Justice department that made my eyes widen and caused me to warn him about who might come after him and how to tread lightly.  In the Army Reserves, he once sighed to me that "half our trainings are people who look scared saying 'Please don't rape anybody.'" I'm hoping his current EMT training is still focused on actual knowledge and skills.  Although...emergencies...emotions running high...people blaming others because of their stupid decisions... the reality of unreality may come for him in time. I certainly saw it where I worked at an acute psych facility, of decent people being accused of sexual assault, racism, or violence and having to work under suspicion for months on another unit while the investigation played out.* Hmm. I need to talk to Kyle about this soon.

The activists have the power to destroy on social media, because the administrators don't much fear the faculty.  In 90%+ of cases on campuses it seems that sensible heads prevail and the dangerous people are mollified and hip-checked into the boards, rendering them much less powerful.  Yet this seems less true every year, and even a 1% chance of complete unfairness can stifle any speaking up.

*I don't know of any unfairly fired.  Unfair accusations are so common in our field that even the most clueless administrators pick up that "Hey, hardly any of these stories turn out to be true!" But because a few are true, the accused, nearly always male, has to live in fear while the process plays out.


Zachriel said...

Assistant Village Idiot: The story of this poor bastard was carried over at Instapundit.

Apparently, there's more to the story.

"Two weeks ago, my running mate Jordan Gould was accused of attending a fraternity event during North/South week that made light of the Civil War. When confronted about it, Jordan lied, insisting to the campaign team that he would have never attended such an event. However, after we trusted his word, defended him and continued to campaign, Jordan revealed on Sunday night that the event had indeed occurred and that he had willingly participated."

That doesn't excuse some of the more outrageous attacks against him, or the power of social media to overwhelm the discussion or to damage individuals, but it certainly casts the reaction in a different light. And there were those who defended him, but he put them in a very awkward position when the truth became evident.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Agreed. I should have checked that. It doesn't excuse the insults verging on threats, but it does explain people not defending him anymore.

random observer said...

I'll leave open the possibility that it was worse, but I was struck by this curious phrase, "made light of the Civil War".

That seems an unsatisfying way to describe something one considers a serious offense. Or euphemism taken to the point of obscuring their own argument.

random observer said...

I just read his post on Medium, which was, for me, conspicuous for his use of examples to prove he was as woke as the next hominid until the day before yesterday, and for young-person self-aggrandizement phrases like claiming he had a reputation for "getting things done". I rarely care for neither one. Still, his situation comes across as worth sympathy from me.

I did notice he was not at all specific about the incident that set all this in motion, which is a further mark against his article, plus I'm still not clear. My own reaction is that even if it was more tasteless than I think, it wouldn't justify all this lunacy.

Reading this https://vanderbilthustler.com/39308/featured/jordan-gould-drops-out-of-vsg-election-admits-to-being-present-at-sigma-chi-north-south-week/ piece enlightened me only slightly.

Texan99 said...

Someone could "make light of the Civil War," whatever that means, without making my hair stand on end to anything like the degree it would if I heard "Hitler got some things right." Anyone who complains of one but not the other isn't pursuing what he claims he's pursuing. He may still get away with his bullying campaign, and I take his threat seriously, but I decline to consider him a compassionate warrior for justice.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

That "made light of the Civil War" also jumped out at me. The old guy in me says "In my day we made light of everything. We considered it our job." My guess is that I might consider whatever happened at the party to be tasteless - because college parties are often tasteless - but not likely to be something worse or they would have said so. The dog that didn't bark and all that. Still, he lied about it, so he must have sensed it would offend general tastes among the SJWs who were his friends until quite recently.