~ YES, I CAN BE longwinded in these things, so today, a short one.
A sad realization I’ve had over the past few weeks– Oleg Atbashian (The People’s Cube) was a former Soviet propagandist, he’s also an author, essayist, satirist, and graphic artist. He came to America for freedom.
Like many former Soviet dissidents come to the West, his reception was mixed– now, he’s a positive threat to the new Sovietization of the West. The same happened to Jamie Glazov’s parents, at Marxist-deluded Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, Canada. Don’t reveal the ugly truth of the Worker’s Utopia!
Now, under the politically correct, the corrupt establishment, politicized academia & media, we are going Soviet. Soft Soviet, with a smug smile and an iron fist. This devolution has been underway for almost a century, under many guises, and stages. Coercion of thought and behaviour is the ultimate goal.
Symptoms, just on Campus? Tribunals, trial by media & mob, the politics of personal destruction, radicalization of politics, thought-police, a quiet terror keeping people quiet & scared. Wrong-thinkers versus the Party Truth. Spying & tattling & surveillance. All must be sacrificed for the utopia.
We have become a Soviet-style prison, just waiting for the final bars & locks to be fitted. Ironic, no? Tragic, too.
“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
A Gift To Us All
And patiently, year by year, Oleg & his amazingly insightful website has been warning us of the risks ahead, from his life under the Soviet nightmare. We should all be grateful, and aware of his work.
Go read his blog. Read his book “Shakedown Socialism“. Buy his merch. I’m not saying he’s always right in everything said & done and thought– but that his angle is unique, deeply insightful, and hard-won by bitter experience.
Heed his warnings. Tragically, he’s turned out to be right, so far.
~ BINKS WAS A Star Wars kid. 14 times that Summer of ’77 me and my two best friends would troop down to the Casino on Gottingen Street, sometimes even to watch two matinées back to back.
The current mess in Star Wars-dom is a sign of the times: The SJW (Social Justice warrior/ Politically Correct) section of pop culture is waging war on comics, movie franchises, TV, and the rest, as part of their general program to dominate everything. Remember how it works:
Recently, TV-satirist and serial misinformer/ political shill Stephen Colbert stepped into the current Star Wars controversy with a horrid and ham-fisted video-segment (above), which “joked” about a female character chopping off the penises of all the male characters with a light saber, and tossing the mutilated men into a pit. ‘Cuz castration and crippling falls are always super-funny.
Why does this matter? First, Political Correctness (soft Marxism) is seeking total domination of culture, politics, religion, Hollywood, academia, education, the internet, and everything else. Total domination.
Second, this is a coordinated media-attack on “critics of LucasFilm” (a.k.a. disgruntled & disappointed fans), and a deliberate distraction from the fact that for the first time ever, a Star Wars movie has tanked, and nobody wants to own up, or take the blame– especially the LucasFilm people who’ve been provoking the fan base, doubling down, and calling names.
Third, the fans have been fighting back against the Hollywood & media machine narrative. Like Brexit, Trump, and other none-elite causes, the little people are not supposed to be talking back to their betters in the movie-TV-garbage press merry-go-round that feeds us stuff we must like. This uprising– a Rebellion if you will– must be crushed!
Also, those in charge are circling the wagons around beleaguered film-boss Kathleen Kennedy, who bears ultimate responsibility for the hot steaming mess of the last few years, and the Solo box-office flop. Rumour has it she’s already on her way out… likely to be replaced with something worse.
“Mr. Colbert: used to really love your stuff: clever, sharp, creative. Bought a book. Watched the show.
Then, you became a very thinly disguised shill for the Democratic Party, and the Deep State. I’m not sure how you reconcile serving those masters so obediently, but as a Catholic, God comes before Caesar; and truth comes before half lies, disparagement, and parroting the talking-points of the powerful.
You had a real pop-pulpit once, which you could have used for good. I hope you will do so in the future.
Now, you insert yourself into a full meltdown of a beloved franchise at the hands of provocative and success-hating Lucasfilm social justice warriors. This is a complex issue, however narrow the categories of political correctness.
Note: Kelly Marie Tran herself has said nothing about why her Instagram was shut down. In previous interviews, she HAS remarked that you just have to accept negative social media stuff as part of the job, since most commenters don’t know you as a person, just a character or a symbol.
Remember– Kathleen Kennedy PROMISED George Lucas in 2013 (it’s on video) to respect the lore, honour the characters, and encourage the fan base, who have helped make Star Wars what it is over the past 41 years. She utterly broke her promise and betrayed Lucas (remember his “White slavers” comment). Lore? Tossed. Characters? Weirded out, dumbed down, neutered, or tossed. Fandom? Actively mocked by Lucasfilm & others connected with the new sequels.
The result has been mass alienation of the crucial 20-25% of the fans who actually give 80% of the money, collectibles, repeat tickets, and all the rest. Witness the sinking mess that is Solo.
Not to mention nutty director Rian Johnson, who even pissed off J.J. Abrams, and Ron Howard with his arbitrary crap in The Last Jedi. Episode IX next year will be an OK movie, make OK money. But the thrill is gone for a lot of fans of all colours, creeds, men and women, boys and girls, international and North American. Hate on younger men as much as you want, but this mess involves everyone who loves/ loved Star Wars.
By your sloppy easy mockery of one take on this issue, you’ve apparently added another shill-master to your list: LucasFilm & Disney. Makes me glad that I’ve already tuned out the Colbert Dumpster Fire/ Shill Show.”
~ HE WAS A VERY very large philosopher. A veritable teddy-bear viking of a man.
My mentor and favourite professor– Dr. Rodger Forsman of the Acadia Philosophy Department, and the Religious Studies Department– made my head hurt. Often.
He put me on edge. He made me ask over and over why I thought what I did, not– like so many progressive professors do– to undermine it, but to help me articulate the reasons, truth, and evidence of things, ideas, whole philosophies. He was smart, kind, rigorous, wise, fair-minded and funny. But he made my head hurt.
He was the father of my adult mind, a mentor, a friend. I give thanks to God for him.
For me, Doc Forsman was a trusty truth-lover, not a coddler, and someone that many students and even other faculty went to to discuss issues and problems, as well as the bigger questions.
For this professor, being merely “right” was never enough. Why? For what reasons? Based on what principles? What evidence? What were the strengths and possible criticisms for any given position? Very Aristotelian/ St. Thomas Aquinas, for a Baptist.
His passion was the writings & sermons of Anglo-Catholic theologian Austin Farrer, chaplain to various Oxford colleges, and friend & pastor to C.S. Lewis. A brilliant thinker and preacher, just when the church was going mad in the 1960s, Farrer is often overlooked, or unknown.
Bring On The Derp
The current mainstream of the arts programs in many universities (Marxist thought for dummies ass mental bubble gum– easy to chew, not very exhausting, and full of smug self-righteousness and judgy, too) had not yet taken over Acadia in the 1980s. Thank heavens.
“Muh Feelz” of the safe-space Social Justice Warriors were not going to tantrum about Dr. Forsman’s upsetting the progressive categories back then. We had some politically correct profs and students bumbling about, but they had not taken over the place, gone nuts, and then run the asylum.
Even in the 90s and early 00s, he saw the rot coming– he observed that– unlike the past– the first task in his philosophy classes was to help students believe in objective truth, and that truth was knowable. He also gave ethics courses in the Business School, which expected a magical “one-size fits-all” moral ethics system, to prevent sleazy business practices– this in the era of Wall Street & Corporate crimes, Enron, and the like.
A Great Man
What I learned to love about him most was that Doc F was cheerfully magnanimous– great-spirited. No matter who you were, and what you thought, you learned to respect him (he was pretty much the smartest guy in the place), some to love him. Unless you were very stupid or lazy or very close-minded, you also left his classes actually knowing things about stuff.
A giant humble gentle man, and gentleman-scholar, teacher, student, husband, father, and mentor to many. And an unashamed Christian, active in the university, his local church, and in the community.
I can only imagine what he’d say of the current Rick Mehta circus-crisis at an institution he loved & served for 40 years of his life. It would not please him in the least, I suspect.
Love you, Doc F. May you rest in peace, and rise in Glory.
The death of Rodger Ernest Winfield Forsman occurred on Sunday, August 13, 2017 at Valley Regional Hospital, Kentville, Nova Scotia from acute myeloid leukemia.
Rodger was born on May 28, 1934 at the farm of his pioneer parents, Ernest Bror Forsman and Margareta Isabella Johanson, east of Strasbourg, Saskatchewan. Rodger had three sisters, Joyce (Lee), Estelle (Anderson), and Yvonne Brown (deceased). Rodger attended both elementary and high school in Strasbourg, and excelled in all of his studies. He attended B.L.T.S. in Calgary in 1951-52.
Working and studying in the automotive trade, he earned his journeyman papers in Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair in 1957. Rodger married Lois (Anderson) on July 28, 1956 in Congress, Saskatchewan. In 1959 they moved to Hamilton, Ontario where Rodger earned his M.A and M.Div degrees at McMaster University. He then attended the University of Toronto where he earned an M.A. and a Ph.D that he completed in 1973. He also taught at York University and Brock University when he lived in Ontario. In 1971 the family moved to Wolfville, Nova Scotia where he taught for 40 years at Acadia University in the Departments of Religious Studies, Philosophy, and the School of Business.
He was acting Dean of Arts, Senate member, and served on many committees. As a member of Wolfville Baptist Church he sang in the choir for over 30 years, was a deacon, served on the Board of Trustees, and other committees. He also sang in the University Chorus and the Gentlemen’s Chorus.
Rodger is survived by his wife of 61 years, Lois; two sons, Jon (Dominique), La Desirade, Guadeloupe; Andrew (Hooban), San Diego, California; and three precious grandchildren, James, Alexander, and Heidi. He will be missed by many relatives. Cremation has taken place. There will be no visitation, by request. A service of Thanksgiving to God for the life of Rodger Forsman will be held at Manning Memorial Chapel on Monday, August 21, 2017 at 2 pm., Reverend Timothy McFarland and Reverend Doctor Roger Prentice officiating.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Manning Memorial Chapel Endowment Fund or charity of your choice. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the White Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Kentville.
1 Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us.
2 The Lord hath wrought great glory by them through his great power from the beginning.
3 Such as did bear rule in their kingdoms, men renowned for their power, giving counsel by their understanding, and declaring prophecies:
4 Leaders of the people by their counsels, and by their knowledge of learning meet for the people, wise and eloquent are their instructions:
5 Such as found out musical tunes, and recited verses in writing:
6 Rich men furnished with ability, living peaceably in their habitations:
7 All these were honoured in their generations, and were the glory of their times.
8 There be of them, that have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported.
9 And some there be, which have no memorial; who are perished, as though they had never been; and are become as though they had never been born; and their children after them.
10 But these were merciful men, whose righteousness hath not been forgotten.
11 With their seed shall continually remain a good inheritance, and their children are within the covenant.
12 Their seed standeth fast, and their children for their sakes.
13 Their seed shall remain for ever, and their glory shall not be blotted out.
14 Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore.
15 The people will tell of their wisdom, and the congregation will shew forth their praise.
16 Enoch pleased the Lord, and was translated, being an example of repentance to all generations.
17 Noah was found perfect and righteous; in the time of wrath he was taken in exchange for the world; therefore was he left as a remnant unto the earth, when the flood came.
18 An everlasting covenant was made with him, that all flesh should perish no more by the flood.
19 Abraham was a great father of many people: in glory was there none like unto him;
20 Who kept the law of the most High, and was in covenant with him: he established the covenant in his flesh; and when he was proved, he was found faithful.
21 Therefore he assured him by an oath, that he would bless the nations in his seed, and that he would multiply him as the dust of the earth, and exalt his seed as the stars, and cause them to inherit from sea to sea, and from the river unto the utmost part of the land.
22 With Isaac did he establish likewise for Abraham his father’s sake the blessing of all men, and the covenant, And made it rest upon the head of Jacob. He acknowledged him in his blessing, and gave him an heritage, and divided his portions; among the twelve tribes did he part them.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
[Warning, video is snarky and snide & ultimately unpleasant]
~ A REMINDER– Any given era is imperfect in some ways.. but remember: the civil rights movement was actually built in the late 40s and 50s, and expressed itself in the early 60s. The snark in this effort is typical, implying that we (looking back on a different era) are superior in every way and entitled to judge such losers as losers.
…the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that account discredited.
Lewis lays out the error in this approach:
…You must find out why it went out of date.
Was it ever refuted (and if so by whom, where, and how conclusively) or did it merely die away as fashions do? If the latter, this tells us nothing about its truth or falsehood.
From seeing this, one passes to the realization that our own age is also ‘a period,’ and certainly has, like all periods, its own characteristic illusions. They are likeliest to lurk in those widespread assumptions which are so ingrained in the age that no one dares to attack or feels it necessary to defend them….
And, one day, people will look at our evils and blind spots and assumptions and comformities as be shocked and horrified and puzzled why on earth we couldn’t see or fight what was right in front of us the whole time. And, under God, we too shall be judged, as people, societies, and as a civilization.. or declining form thereof.
Smugger Than Thou!
It’s like the lazy moral busybodies who make themselves out as lonely heroes– if only they’d been around in Hitler’s Germany. As Jordan Peterson correctly points out, most people tend to thoughtless conformity (even in their non-conforming). Likewise, if you’re not bravely standing against the blind tide to your cost in today’s weird times, why would you be any different in some other era?
This is lame and highly political “comedy”– i.e., not an argument, but a smear and propaganda. Sadly, such modern ‘comedy’ or satire NEVER dares take on the SJWs, campus brown-shirts like AntiFa, or militant anti-democratic trans & gay movements, abortion & euthanasia, Soros-funded Black Lives Matters, Marxism, or supremacist Moslems. It’s why, as Seinfeld said a year or two ago, comedy shows are dying at campuses.
In most 2018 colleges, there’s nothing you’re allowed to even joke about. Except Trump, and right-wingers, and the Right, and right-wing extremists, and the alt-right, and…. you get the idea. Propaganda, all in one direction.
As Stefan Molyneaux quips:
“With regards to ‘Are the universities dead?’ No no no– that’s an insult to the dead, because the dead aren’t currently strangling the minds of the living.
The university has gone far beyond death. Dead is something– you can dig a hole and bury it, and put it out of your sight. The universities are like radioactive volcanoes, constantly releasing brain-destroying isotopes into the atmosphere.
They are active predators– they would be, I guess, close to What in ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ would be called The Undead. Which is: people who have died, but instead have come back to life and are preying upon the living.
Hence Beating This Dead Horse
This is so much immoral “moral” smuggery, and cultural Marxism, mocking suburbia and the ordinary folks for being insufficiently revolutionary & transgressive and clever. THOSE rubes.
You know, the contemptible people with lives to live, kids to raise, bills to pay, and taxes to fork over so that pampered profs can install the mental bubble-gum faux-wise critical theory Marxism, gender theory, race theory, queer theory, trans theory, and theory theory into their student-victims. Yup, all all the ‘theories’ except asking yourself how and why (or if) you know that such critical theory is true, good, wise-making, and livable.
So let’s keep on with the stale mockery of the 1950s (which began a mere 68 years ago, literally closer to 1901 than 2018)– and not ourselves. In reality, many of those 50’s fathers were late teens when they suffered to liberate Europe from actual Nazis, and wanted a stable and quick-start and education & family if they survived and came home.
Says me?– shut up Boomers and earlier 20th century radicals. Rehashing your old misunderstandings and hatreds does nobody today any real or lasting good. ~
~ YOU KNOW those deliriously happy people in commercials and photos?– we’re supposed to be like that. Just– super-DUPER happy. Happy with the new tech-toys, happy with travelling and gathering random experiences, happy with the semi-anonymous exchange of bodily fluids, happy watching the same movie and listening to the same song, each only slightly varied from the other ones. Such very fun!
Except.. life. The world. Politics. Our longing hearts, seeking a kingdom of true peace, and inner peace. And in our world, restless Progressivism must “progress”, which means interfering with everything & everyone in sight.
“People don’t like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think. Don’t run, don’t walk. We’re in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right. We’re meddlesome.”
Most of all, the meddlers don’t like a taste of their own medicine. The Euro & American establishments both got a huge dose of meddlesome & uppity peasants with the U.S. Fall election of one Donald John Trump in 2016, and the Brexit vote earlier that same Summer.
Big Meddle got a royally bloody nose. And then their planet-sized snit ensued.
The Snit Ensues: Details
Looking back at 2016, Team Meddle knows one thing: internets helped bad thing happen: must part-muzzle peasants! In 2015-2016, YouTube, Twitter, Google Search, Drudge, FaceBook were all used by the peasants as levers of public awareness, circumventing the lapdog media, and the political establishments feeding the elite narrative.
Must fix! So now it’s Big Backlash by Big Meddle, with shadow-banning, leftwards algorithms, demonetized videos and YouTube Channels, Twitter deletions and bans, FaceBook Jail & nanny-messaging. This is all to one end: to stop the anti-Meddle meddling by the revolting peasants. Social Media weaponized against non-compliant political-cultural-religious users.
Our digital self is a big thing for many Western people: imagine being all but banned, being digitally unpersonned, silenced, unable to get alternative news quickly, and not being able to discuss it with others? A genuine debility, in some respects.
It gets worse for the meddlers in 2018– the peasants not only spoke up several years ago, they keep speaking up, and even when some get banned, shadow-banned, de-monetized, and slapped down, they and their peasant allies still keep fighting back and speaking out! What’s a Big Meddle authoritarian to do?
The Other SoHappier 2018…
You see, just now President Hillary the globalist mafiosa is entering her second year, with her Canada-style gun rules coming into force and her FBI poodles covering her tracks, and the bodies quietly piling up; and a nearly de-blooded Islamicized United Kingdom is laying prone before the unelected autocrats in Brussels, surrendering every freedom, distinctive, and historical authority over itself to Big Meddle, and imported trouble. Same as it ever was, before 2016. Nigel Farage is merely a bad memory.
Just as planned pre-2013, the one-world progressive Pope is working closely with globalist schemer George Soros, President Hillary and the EUcrats towards a one-world government, more social control, more disruptive weaponized “immigration”, and a gentler Chinese-style control of the internet and all social media. And a suitable one-world religion to match.
In the 2018 that should have been, the internet is still an issue, but as long as a few grumblers don’t actually write letters, protest, speak to their elected representatives and get organized, they are pesky, but harmless: one mosquito at a time. SLAP! People vanish from Twitter and YouTube and FaceBook, and nobody wonders why.
New uppity-peasant YouTube channels with ‘unacceptable’ politically incorrect content all have a terrible time trying to get started, and make no advertising money. Troublesome news-sources are all but invisible online, or very hard to find on Google, banned on Twitter, sidelined on FaceBook, or in links on other pages. With advertising revenues dropping, many outlets are forced to cut back reporting, or shut down entirely.
The fight must continue. Alternative social media platforms are only part of an answer, since we must stay in the public square, not surrender it to the bullies. And the bullies are not totally above the law, or invulnerable, either.
Actually protesting, writing letters, speaking out, exposing the Big Agenda and educating others about it, getting involved at the local level, reading books, praying for God’s Kingdom to come, and aligning ourselves with His almighty will makes any protest or expressed concern more than just our team versus theirs, screech versus scream.
It will cost us something– perhaps everything– but the West is not founded on trusting in the strength of men, but on a trust in the Risen power of Jesus Christ– the only-begotten Son of God– to truly make all things new, in the great re-creation.
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King.
This is our fight, in our day. God knows the outcome, but I know that if we sit back and self-indulgently despair, we have already lost our contribution to the battle for freedom, faith, and our own civilization in our time.
>> BARELY SATIRE: “Look at the calendar. Do you know what year it is? It’s 2018! Say it with me: two thousand eighteen. That means it’s long past time for us to get a few important things straight, once and for all.”
~ JUST THE OTHER DAY, some ‘marchers for peace’ from Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario, Canada, protested a speech by lighting-rod author, professor and gadfly, Jordan Peterson. Inevitably, they wanted him silenced for, you know.. Reasons™. Some windows at the university were broken; virtue was signalled, the young Marxist social justice warriors felt superior, and succeeded in not learning or unlearning a single thing.
There was even a little incitement to murder & arson. ‘Lock em in and burn it down!’ yelled some of these “tolerant peace-loving” students. Yeah, that’s how I deal with discussions. Incitement & threats. Fire & kill.
The title of the terrible, horrible, very bad speech? “The Rising Tide of Compelled Speech in Canada.” Lifesite reports:
“Peterson posted several clips of the protest on Twitter, telling a follower that the speaking engagement was “absolutely surreal.”
“The mob neglected to bring torches and pitchforks, but the sentiment was there: ‘Lock them in and burn it down,’” he wrote.”
The End Is Past Nigh
In Mel Gibson’s excellent movie Apocalypto (2006), neither the protagonists– captured slaves– or the bad guys– the forest-wrecking temple-building heart-ripper-outers know that it’s the end of their world. They go about their business.. then, in the penultimate scene, we see the European sailing ships coming closer to the shore.
Whatever was before is not gonna be that way very much longer. The future isn’t what it used to be. “Burn all down! Fresh start!” is the new cry for revolution, devolution, and The Big Satanic Lie that we can make a new world by sincerity, effort, and all built of our own fallen selves. “Ye shall be as gods”.
Read, Learn, Weep
Miss H. White.
That’s the wisdom I draw from Hilary White’s latest essay cri de cœur “BECOMING AS GODS: The Murder of Desdemona by Othello, Abortion and Communion in the Hand“.
Just go read the whole thing, and as yourself the question from Mel’s movie: If our world was ending, would we know it?
The thing I like about Hilary’s essay is the big picture– taking little signs and symptoms and showing how the whole structure of the West is in danger, from within and without. Nihilism is nopt a passive force: it’s rather like a poison gas leaking into everything, dissolving the core, and leaving only fragile appearances of what was, ready to fall.
Sadly, the same radicalism has captured most Western Churches: disruption, discontinuity, ugly new utopian content. Hilary nails this perfectly.
What If It’s Here?
What if your own kids & grandkids– poisoned by socially & politically radical teachers, cultural influences, and college– were the new barbarians inside the gates? How could you tell?
Right now at Acadia University, in elm-shaded picturesque Wolfville Nova Scotia, is the fresh front in the war on civilization by “outraged” students and their enabling professoriate. Professor Rick Mehta is under fire for– teaching things. Things contrary to the progressive/ Marxist meta-narrative of victimhoods, oppressors, and the politics of personal destruction for any who don’t toe the party line.
Honestly, I’d rather just binge on NetFlix and hide while the walls come tumbling down on this city that I love: but dear people and good and true and beautiful things are at risk, and even the current enemies of those things might be saved from their madness and hate and self-righteousness.
A Sign of Hope?
Despair and doom-binging can be self-indulgent and blind to the possibilities even within apparent overwhelming darkness. After all, St. Paul & Christ’s Apostles faced and entire Empire founded on naked power, Emperor-worship, and pagan confusions. “Redeeming the time, for the days are evil“, says the Apostle to the Gentiles [Eph. 5:16].
One tiny point of brightness: I recently read on a YouTube video a comment by a college-aged kid who said that countless numbers of his friends & fellow students were binge-watching Jordan Peterson and other such content, because they were tired of the one-note lock-step radicalism of their professors. Truth finds a way.
That is, behind the deceptive ivy-facade, and behind the radicalism within, social media was in fact enabling young people to learn to see all sides of various questions, to hear actually diverse points of view, and to — horror of horrors- learn to think, reason, argue & debate. That they have to have a hidden remedial education within a $5-$10K institutional mis-education– while parroting their professors– is a picture of the horror-circus we have let develop in our society.
We will need such young people and all such folks to rebuild things on the ruins of what was. The end IS past nigh.
Do Your Duty
Investigate your local schools and colleges. Do due diligence before sending your kid off to school, imagining it still is like it was 30 or 50 years ago. Withhold donations and gifts and let them know what you think. And of your kindness, say a prayer and send a word to Acadia on behalf of Professor Rick Mehta. And don’t forget the petition.
Queens grad? Let them know what you think about the recent semi-riot. Because some students used their free speech to oppose free speech.
Navigating the Acadia website was like wandering through a picturesque maze, with not a single human being to be seen. In five minutes, I didn’t see the actual name of anyone, let alone Heather Hemming’s. I phoned the switchboard, hoping to speak to someone who could give me Ms Hemming’s email address: the hours are 8:30-4:30, Monday to Friday, so no luck. So, here I am at the general email address.
I also thought of contacting Acadia’s Office of Safety and Security as I believe that Professor Mehta’s safety and security are under siege—the topic of this message.
I have been an educator for 45 years. In that time, I have noticed a serious deterioration in both the maturity and behaviour of a critical mass of students. At the same time, I have noticed a standing down of the administrators, whose first line of defense now seems to be to appease the miscreant. This solves the problem of having to deal with an even more angry, entitled student and, often, that student’s belligerent parent(s). It’s nice for the three parties just mentioned—and hell for teachers, not to mention society at large.
I have twice been physically assaulted as well as suspended, minus due process, on the say-so of well known, student bullies. In all cases, the students were coddled and catered to: there were no negative consequences for them, but plenty for me. Who do you think felt really unsafe? As a colleague says, “Our schools are safe, all right—for the bullies.”
I attended excellent public schools in Toronto in the 50s and 60s: the adults were in charge. There were clear boundaries and not only were we safe, we felt safe! Academics were rigorous—a far cry from the curricula today—and we were held to account. We were not taught to be offended : the very idea of micro-aggressions and triggers didn’t enter our minds.
We were treated respectfully, which meant that we were held to high academic and behavioural standards. We could actually fail a grade. We could actually be suspended. Teaching our children that they have a right not to be offended is, in my opinion, a form of child abuse. This fiction renders young people very vulnerable to their own capricious and often tempestuous emotions. How is allowing vindictive and often misguided emotion to be the standard by which a university makes crucial decisions helpful to anyone?
Professor Mehta sounds like a man after my own heart. If the fairy tales being propagated at places like Acadia weren’t so outlandish, Professor Mehta’s ideas would seem to be just what they are: fairly mainstream. Why are his rights the only ones being disregarded? Why is his integrity considered expendable? Why is it OK to offend him?
Ms Hemmings, in attempting to censor, shame and bully Professor Mehta, Acadia seems willing to put itself in the same position as Wilfrid Laurier, which, deservedly, became a laughing stock. It seems that you’re unable to discern the gigantic double standard under which you appear to be operating. Acadia seems to have everything backwards: in order to enforce tolerance, you are intolerant. In order to appease the immature appetites of a group of coddled adult toddler students, it seems that Acadia is willing to sacrifice not only the integrity of a hard working, accountable academic, but his very livelihood. Shame on you.
How about if Acadia were to come to its senses and follow the example of the University of Chicago, re its expectations of its students? How about if Acadia were to actually treat its students not like spoiled brats, but like adults?
“Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own,” the letter said.