Saturday 28 March 2015

Generation Wuss: Weekend Rant

A few weekends ago I gave vent to displeasure over the state of our universities, echoed by several commenters.  In passing I made reference to the lack of concern for free speech among today's students, and linked to a chilling Speccie piece on this.  It's part of that I want to pick up on now.

The new enthusiasm for censorship goes way beyond "no platform for ..." (fill in you favourite bogeymen here: in my day it was the South Africans, anyone associated with Barclays Bank or the Shah of Iran, etc etc) - which is bad enough, but in days of yore was at least robustly conducted, with skulls cracked and plentiful beers consumed afterwards.  The pitched battle fought in St Aldates between the National Front and various leftist groupings remains fresh in the memory, in particular for the brave tactic of berseker lefty women deliberately hurling themselves under the boots of the NF phalanx in the manner of a loose forward trying to bring down a maul, to provide vivid photographic material for the next day's papers.

They don't make 'em like that any more.  These days, it's everyone's right to feel 'safe'; and anyone who takes against anything they encounter is entitled to claim to be 'traumatised'.  Naturally, no-one can be allowed to go round causing trauma.  Take this example, admittedly from the USA (Brown University), where a 'safe space' was established in case anyone was being 'damaged' by what they heard during a formal debate about campus sexual assault that was taking place at the university.  The 'space' was:
... intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. ... a rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs”
Or this, (hosted by the redoubtable prof Brian Leiter on his well-known Philosophy blog):
I'm sending this email anonymously since, nowadays, being linked to even the mild views that I wish to get your opinion on is grounds for being tossed in the dustbin of "bigotry" ... I recently read of a stranger's experience with a transsexual friend. Having no malicious intent whatsoever, this former individual casually addressed a group of friends, of which the latter person was a part, with the word "guys." His transsexual friend informed him that hearing the word "guys" "triggered" her, induced serious psychological distress, by way of a gender identity conflict that this word brought about ... the individual recounting this story was incessantly berated by victim-mongering identity politickers on Twitter, who suggested that he's an "evil bigot" with virtual unanimity
And finally, for a real belly-laugh 
A student group at Mount Holyoke College has decided to cancel its annual performance of The Vagina Monologues, saying the play excludes the experiences of transgender women who don’t have a vagina
(Let's also note that it is by no means a US-only phenomenon:  the bow-wave of this nonsense has already reached these shores.  It seems to me that once this line of thinking takes hold, there's an element of competitive effort at work to find ever more bizarre applications.)

The right to live one's life in intellectual cotton wool - as Leiter puts it, the hypersensitivity of coddled narcissists.  

Well.  We don't need to be advocates for the Rugby Club being allowed to de-bag studious types in the front quad, to find this stuff depressing, and indeed sinister.  To be "bombarded by viewpoints" is 90% of the point of going to university.  Giving a cast-iron, knock-down, drop-dead refutation of the 'reasoning' behind labelling use of the word 'guys' as bigotry shouldn't tax a Year 12 schoolkid in a General Studies exam - though I suppose these days we may have to worry about that, too.

The potential for the 'must-feel-safe, therefore must-silence-my-oppressors' formulation to be coupled with (for example) the greenies' enthusiasm for stifling debate on climate change, makes this a political issue going beyond the more laughable manifestations within the self-indulgent studentry. 

Conscription.  And compulsory Rugger on Wednesday afternoons, with cold communal baths and singing after.  That's the answer.



SimonF said...

Sorry, Nick, but rugby's out now.

BE said...

This is what happens when we allow the meaning of words to change. "Liberal" used to mean "only interfere when necessary", now it means " make sure everyone is looked after, even if their demands are absurd".

Sebastian Weetabix said...

I can't help thinking there's nothing wrong with these people that a fucking good kicking wouldn't cure.

hatfield girl said...

It's not that 'triggering' (or bad manners as it used to be known) is unworthy of recognition or even of study; it's that only some kinds of actions are accepted now as capable of triggering respectably.

For instance, I need a safe space and comforting when triggered by England's metropolitan intellectual police and their cultural aggression but they deny my claim to these.

So 'a fucking good kicking' is often the only resort; it certainly clears a space and makes for feeling better.

Bill Quango MP said...

Tudor method is a slightly older version of Rugby.

Longbow training.

Those that fail to achieve the desired score .. given a spear and told

"You are front line infantry..stand out there and wait for their heavy cavalry.."

Concentrates the mind on less trivial details.

Bill Quango MP said...

Oh, Nick...

Check this appropriate video from Guido today. See where are overindulgence of our offspring has led us.

As Bart asks Lisa when he is forced to watch some 'publicly acceptable learning cartoon..from the 70's. ' What the Hell was that?"

"Its a cartoon that appeals to middle liberal, hipsters and generation X ers."

And Bart says .. "We need another Vietnam. Thin out their ranks a little."

BE said...

Talking of an overindulged generation, at work I was tutting as a relatively new computer was taking longer-than-expected to do something and the partner I was helping called out "typical of your generation, to want everything to happen immediately!".

Maybe we *are* getting more demanding...

However that does not take away from the fact that I Agree With Nick (Drew), as usual.

James Higham said...

Good to see you've got round to this one, Nick. Yes, that's how the left does it.

Suff said...

@Seb I’d like to agree with you (especially if that porky pig impersonator “DR” f’in Phill was the first in line. Giving a “condition” status to every lack of moral fibre) but I can’t. It would imply that I didn’t have a strong or intelligent enough argument to their viewpoint. I much prefer to get in amongst them and rip the piss out of their argument (humour is the best leveller). I know I’m smarter than their indoctrinated upbringing. I have weapons that are alien to them, logic, reasoning, respect, a basic understanding of maths and nature and most of all a sense of humour (although there are probably lots on here that would disagree). Of course, when standing alone laughing at a group of people, it helps to be a 6’5” ex rugby player, Rubber glove-Iron fist (rubber is always better than velvet for the comedy effect).

Suff said...

Good post ND
These people have made me the enemy and therefore have turned the quiet man of tolerance into an opponent. The only way to combat these control freaks is to go into their “safe places” and rip the piss. I am now a regular visitor to the left wing liberal blogs, to offer a different viewpoint. I’ve said before that the internet segregates society, where people drift to sites with self-confirming viewpoints. If I hear comments in public that I disagree with, I confront the person who said it. Always with respect and always with humour (it’s hard to control the narrative when your peers are laughing at you) It’s so easy to do when their argument are so weak.

Bill +1 in my estimation
The Simpsons where prolific on so many subjects and jokes so beautifully crafted into the narrative, that they were missed by the ignorance of the PC brigade.

On the whole toilet debate. Let us straight guys have a toilet to ourselves, where we can enter, piss and leave. The rest of you can do whatever the hell you want to do, whether its chatting about wot Trisha got up to on oliday, having a George Michael session with your favourite chocolate bar or trying to stand up and piss, without sprinkling on your sling backs.

Sebastian Weetabix said...


I think you miss my point slightly. An illustrative example may help. Waaay back in the 70s I was in the USA. At the time New York City was a cesspit and crime was out of control. So much so that when I went to use the subway the elderly black guy selling tickets advised me to "go up top and get a cab, buddy." There was a talk-show on TV. A (very) liberal idiot leftie was expiating on the subject of punishment for the poor muggers being the wrong approach, they needed understanding, etc etc. The host asked me if he would still feel this way if he was the victim of a violent mugging. The leftard averred that this would in no way cause him to review his attitude, such people needed understanding, not punishment, blah blah blah. The host turned to the audience in wonderment and said "what do you do with this guy?" A gruff Brooklyn voice shouted "MUG HIM AGAIN"

My real point being stupid people sometimes need a violent interaction with reality to bring them to their senses, preferably with someone from the various minority communities which they privilege above us mere natives.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Asked me? I mean of course asked 'him'.

Never have that second bottle.

suff said...

Point taken and a good example to boot but I still disagree. Ali G had a great response when confronting a bunch of pacifists , When asked "in what situation is violence ever the answer?" he said "A violent one"
I believe in free speech and I won't ever answer a point of view with aggression.Yes society has got too soft and needs a wakeup call but in my experience, a few home truths (non PC) works better than making my opponent the victim.
without going into a lot of examples. If I have a particularly obtuse individual, my closing statement is this,
After you have neutered people like me,enjoy it for a generation because who will have your childrens back, when shiria law kicks in.
Tends to get their attention

Back from the pub so scus spelling

Suff said...

Clearer Head
I shouldn’t have to say this but just to be clear. I’m not a racist, sexist……..These people have made me the enemy so reap the whirlwind. It’s not the idiot screaming in your face, it’s the onlookers that are important. Group think gets people (even intelligent people) to do things they wouldn’t normally do. All these groups work on the “victim” principle and will try all their nasty tricks to get the reaction that confirms their belief. I’m the f’in victim here so I will take that moral high ground, thank you very much. A few one liners will soon disassemble an idiot and more importantly get their followers giving questioning looks at one another. With practice, you can get the reaction, they were trying to get out of you. The bully may win the fight but the looser usually gets laid.
To follow the rugby theme. Some times for the good of the team, you have to get your body between the ball and the opposition.
And to steal a quote from a poem that I have on my wall
“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you”

Elby the Beserk said...

"lack of moral fibre"

LMF. Ah yes. My father recalls resorting to this acronym on those of his soldiers who weren't up to it. Or indeed, anybody who wasn't up to it. Very good.

This is an excellent if horrifying read of the onset of Political Correctness on the American campus, back in the early 90s.

Anonymous said...

"hearing the word "guys" "triggered" .. "

Wot absolute rollocks.

'guys' as used today is gender neutral, applied to wimen, the other and inbetweenies too.

Raedwald said...

The Wednesday pm rugger ended when we hit the VIth form (except for the squad) to be replaced by a run out in the transit van with a master called Bernard, and a token three mile circular walk that ended in a pub and where Bernard could abandon his roll-ups and enjoy the Dunhill, Freyberg & Treyer and Sobranie ciggies we all used to smoke in those days. The conversation was philosophic in nature.

Now that's what I call Mens sana in corpore sano.

Boarding school does teach you to be incredibly tolerant of others, as well as being able to withstand divergent opinion. So cold showers, conscription etc AND boarding school.

CityUnslicker said...

At my place of work my team is very diverse. however they have been hand picked to be normal, much to the chagrain of others we freely abuse each others stupid names, ginger hair, affiliation to Isis/Tehran etc.

To me, normalising normal behaviour is a good weapon. 99% of people are laughing and happy - just the few lefties in HR are driven mad.

Thud said...

Born and bred in working class Liverpool and worked in security and building my entire life....both areas blessedly free of all and any P.C. thought and behaviour and I'm so happy.

E-K said...

The Gods will first drive mad those they wish to destroy.

We have transexuals at work. I'm happy to treat them as ladies (in fact it's the only way to behave)

Unlike a shunter mate who hadn't wound the parking brake on a loco for 'Phylis' and when she wiped the sweat from 'her' brow and complained "If you were a gentleman you would have done that for me."

His response was "And if you woz a laydee I would have !" and got himself in the shit and all that.

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