Shit that Pissed me Off – 6/9/17
Forgetting for a moment that facts are things that are true, Wisconsin State Representative Jesse Kremer stated that a biology professor could not counter a student’s claim that the earth is 6000 years old because that is a fact.
I know that some embarrassing percentage of Americans actually believe there is evidence to support the notion that the Earth is younger than written history. In this case, “embarrassing” means “more than none.”
Further, I know those people vote. And I know some of those people run for office. I even know some of them get elected. I just have a real problem with the idea their beliefs are so mainstream as to allow them to suffer no ill consequences from saying them out loud. This guy isn’t going to have any trouble being re-elected.
There is going to be a huge contingency of people saying he’s brave for speaking truth as power.
Except – and I can’t stress this enough – it isn’t truth. It’s bullshit.
You can believe the formation of the Earth was a long miracle without dismissing all of the evidence that exists. There is not a single scientific fact that supports it was a short one.
This article, written by a black student taking a class by a theoretically progressive professor, is just troublesome because it shows that revisionist history is something that most of us don’t have to deal with because it doesn’t matter.
If I say that slavery wasn’t so bad, it doesn’t affect me at all. I mean I wasn’t there, right? I can’t trace my family history back to a plantation in the south. So I can read something that says (wrongly) that most slave children had a traditional upbringing with a mother and a father and then believe (wrongly) that is true. Doesn’t hurt me at all.
When I teach it to a room full of students who view me as an authority figure, we run into some trouble.
As a white guy, I’m historical teflon. This is spite of the fact that, historically, I’m guilty of the worst atrocities ever visited on the human race.
The professor in this article crossed a line in more ways than one. The first way, however, was failing to recognize that her badly researched fact (which – once again – refers to something that is actually true) damaged the historical realities of slavery. When confronted with the truth, she lost her cool and, eventually, her job.
And that’s what should happen. But the damage had already been done. And not to her.
Trump’s approval rating has dropped to 34%. He is, basically, just slightly more popular than the new Tom Cruise Mummy film. That makes sense given the level to which our President (fucking hell) looks preserved.
And look – 34% is bad. Problem is, it is nowhere near where it should be.
I mean I get it. He has a loyal base. Where I fail to connect is why that loyal base exists. Everything he is doing is for the benefit of rich people. That would explain an approval rating of – say – 2%. I can understand that millionaire CEO’s would love the guy.
Except for the ones that didn’t sell their souls, obviously.
Is it simply because there are so many of us who feel persecuted by life that we look up to this ultimate underdog (who isn’t any kind of underdog)? When James Comey shows up to testify that Trump is a vindictive asshole (not the biggest bombshell in political history), is 34% of America saying “you don’t understand how hard it is to be a vindictive asshole?”
About on third of the population is as conservative as I am liberal. It seems that third will approve of Trump simply because he is on their side of the political fence.
That’s too bad because Trump will leave office having done nothing for most of those people. Because he’s not really doing anything positive for anyone who isn’t – you know – in his immediate family.
I’ve done a lot of host/moderator stuff over the years and I’m pretty good at it. So when I read this article about a male moderator being admonished by his audience for talking over a female speaker I thought, what an asshole.
And he was being an asshole.
When I thought a little further, though, what really bugged me was the realization that I’ve been that asshole. Most guys in that position have and they didn’t even realize what they were doing.
You can watch Jim Holt speak over Veronika Hubney and think “doesn’t he realize what he’s doing?”
The answer is no, he doesn’t. Which is by no means an excuse.
He views his job as someone who is a bridge to the audience. He feels he needs to fill in uncomfortable gaps. He thinks it is perfectly acceptable to interrupt people to keep the conversation lively and interesting.
I understand where he’s coming from. At the same time, he’s failing to allow the only woman on the panel to speak about something when she is the expert.
And I’ve done that. I’m not going to excuse what Holt did because there is no excuse. I’m not going to spend too much time ranting at him for it, though, because he is part of a larger epidemic and if I’m going to rant at him, I must also rant at myself.
I think I’ve gotten better at this kind of thing over the years. Still, it is good to stare into the face of your own shortcomings.
So listen, self, now that you’ve witnessed that stuff, cut it the fuck right out.
Also, and I don’t blame Hubney for this at all, I have literally no idea what she was talking about. String theory just completely short circuits my brain.