26.3.18

A BRAIN THAT LEAKS.

The more I see of Parkland media darling David Hogg, the more I keep getting this ear-worm.


The Federalist's Robert Tracinski calls for a privilege check.  "Dear Annoying Parkland Kids: We Gave You A Pretty Awesome World, Try Not To Mess It Up."  A sampler.
The world we older generations have given today’s kids is actually pretty awesome. We can’t protect them from every danger and every risk, and we can’t stop every tragedy like the Parkland shooting. But by historical standards, our kids will be safer, healthier, and wealthier, and they can expect to live longer and more untroubled lives than we did, or than our parents did, or than our grandparents did.

I can see, though, why they wouldn’t realize any of this, because there are some who have a political interest in making things look worse.
Plus a caution. History rhymes, often in a bad way.  "The fastest way to mess up the world the older generations gave them is to think that they are all experts at age 17 because they read some lefty rhetoric and got 'woke.' You know who also thought that? The Baby Boomers." The d**n hippies, to be precise about it.  "Spoiler alert: they didn’t keep those promises, and everything turned out just fine. But now the same people who were wrong about war, wrong about poverty, wrong about capitalism, and wrong about guns want to get the grandkids to give one more shot at fixing what isn’t broken."But when the kids decide to play in the adult arena, they ought be held to adult standards, and called out when they don't measure up, or resor to hectoring and deplorable-shaming.
Suffering through a terrible crime gives a person no special insight into its causes, and Hogg has no special insight into its causes — or, frankly, into anything else. He’s ignorant about basic civics; he’s liable to backward reasoning; and, unable as he is to synthesize the evolving talking points upon which he relies, he has increasingly come across as slippery. In perhaps his most embarrassing moment thus far, he shifted from arguing that the cop on duty who stood outside and did nothing while his classmates were slaughtered was correct to demur (not a great message, all told) to making the opposite case when he sensed an opportunity to lay the blame at the feet of Governor Scott — who, of course, had nothing to do with running the sheriff’s department responsible for failing to save his classmates. Demosthenes he is not.

Even worse has been Hogg’s attitude toward those who have had the temerity to disagree with him. Here, one suspects, he has been let down by those around him, the loudest of whom have evidently led him to believe that our complex political discourse can be circumvented by the blunt issuing of demands. The gun debate in America remains intractable, consisting not only of difficult legislative questions, but of elaborate constitutional, sociopolitical, historical, and criminal inquiries, too. For some reason, David Hogg has come to suppose that he can slice through this reality by issuing threats: Give me what I want, or I’ll stop using FedEx; give me what I want, or I won’t go back to school; give me what I want, or Florida’s economy gets it. And, by the way, I’m going to outlive you…
There's a word for that.  "Though a junior, he brings to life the roots of the word ‘sophomore.’"  Is anyone surprised?  What have I been telling you all along?  "Democrat cliches are emotional appeals calculated to move sophomores, and their witticisms are at about the same level." Why should last weekend have been any different from the weekend of Our President's inauguration, or the Days of Rage?
Hogg is basking in his 15 minutes of fame at an embarrassingly early age, and so we might avert our eyes from his much-viewed display of ingratitude, sanctimony, and profanity, except that we can’t, because manipulative adults in the media are deploying him as a useful idiot. Older useful idiots are also in attendance: George Clooney, Dennis Rodman, and of course Kim Kardashian. But people who cherry-pick the tragic, the emotional, and the strange to form a national narrative have cast their klieg light on David Hogg, and so in predictably sophomoric fashion he believes himself to be an oracle.
What else, though, expect of the common schools?
Most of high school is terrible. Teens feel insecure, and their feelings of insecurity are further heightened by the insecurity they detect in each other and on it goes. Teens probably did much better before the Industrial Revolution, working alongside their elders and mentoring their younger siblings. For a long time, schools had some justification in laying a unifying foundation and a standard base of skills, even if it did hold back the development of most students most of the time. But now, online learning can be as varied and individualized as the millions of students who might use it, with goals achieved years earlier at a fraction of the cost.

A strong subtext of the recurrent school-shooting story is the obsolescence of schools and our unwillingness to address it. Sophomores, your righteous indignation is a false consciousness created by a cynical media who have cast you in a role for their own purposes. The anti–Second Amendment hysteria of the Left is portraying an exceptional tragedy as an epidemic. But there is something within your purview which deserves your scrutiny. Take a critical look at those mind-numbing factories you’re forced to attend.
This time, take a more respectable tone.  "Sure, march and protest. It is your right. But you are not taken seriously any longer, young ones. Time to move along." Class dismissed.

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