The Art of Being Offended
I am offended because I have to qualify everything, every utterance and act, because people who don’t know me will make presumptions about my character if I am not sufficiently woke or apologetic.
We used to call that prejudice.
I cannot give my complete life history in a parenthetical thought and I won’t even try. It is impossible to cite empirical data behind every thought or opinion, to produce a graph or diagram that points to a direct logical tangent arcing toward a universal truth.
My truths, my values, spring from a foundation of previous experiences and observations and the benefit of a classical liberal education. My education did not end when I received my degrees, but continues more robustly than ever even today, thank God.
The nature of my personal philosophy, of my consciousness, is the sum of all my acquired knowledge and the ever-changing growth and manifestations of my life.
I can hold an opinion of more than one mutually conflicting thoughts in my head without losing my nut.
You can logically refute my position and if there is merit (and honesty of purpose) I will consider it, and sometimes embrace a reasonable principle. But on core values I will not change my mind.
I let anecdotes color my thoughts but I am not a slave to stories; I am an admirer. I speak only for me.
And I will try not to use this disclaimer again.
Two passing thoughts on intertwined topics: college and sports.
First, at my tender age I have decided that today’s college education is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme. I have a massive personal investment so I am free to speak on the subject. There is no way to reward degrees in semi-disciplines that attract the intellectually dishonest (though emotionally needy) unless the gender studies or environmental studies major can translate the surrounding electives required to obtain a BA into something that doesn’t scream death to America or destroy the nuclear family or castigate and eliminate what some blithely refer to as traditionalism.
All this nonsense today, the “woke” rioting that will not abate, likely started in an English department, somewhere. Woof.
Second and very much related, sports. I think the empty stadiums will have a seismic effect. Television is great, and my preferred viewing medium, but it seems that athletes aren’t playing for keeps. It is now something less than the raw competition we have grown, as a nation, to admire.
The money is in TV, of course, but there is a separate economy around stadiums and live play and attendance, which is now in its death throes.
No money, no sports, and that will have a ripple effect for years as the collegiate system is the true feeder engine for the NFL and NBA.
The Ivy League may have gotten one thing right: students come first, and no sports until 2021. But those players do not become pro athletes (sorry, Bill Bradley). Eighty-five percent of the NFL is made up of the FBS: Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Florida, and Miami rounding out the top five.
Pro athletes, and the college players who aspire to that height, have a limited shelf life. One year of modified or no play can be devastating to the college player who has a shot at the pros. For some it could have been their breakout year. Or their only year.
Let’s see if the big feeder schools and the NFL and NBA put their money where the cradle of their future pro athlete is: the student.
For those programs that suffer from limited play, set up an investment/endowment account for each athlete, requiring only greater academic rigor and a clean nose. This should a special boon to the near-blue chip athlete, the one who scrimmages all the time with a Hail Mary chance at the pros. This person’s career is likely over, irreparable derailed.
If we believe in the person, his marketability and future in sports, we can also believe in his potential value to the school and community. Once the athlete gets his degree in something better than gender studies, pay him, or if he hits the pros on a long shot, let him pay it forward.