How Far Do You Want To Go?

There’s a growing consensus that the only people who should be allowed to inveigh on, or teach about contemporary issues, are those with relevant, direct lived experience with them. This sentiment makes sense given powerful people’s propensity to marginalize people different than them. However, extend the idea, and a lot of questions arise.

Should Catholic priests be allowed to do marriage counseling? Should men be allowed to teach Women’s Studies courses? Should white academics be allowed to teach African American history?

Extend it a touch further as many progressives are and a logical question is whether old, wealthy, heterosexual, white dudes should be allowed to inveigh or teach about anything after centuries of dominating nearly every discussion of consequence.

In which case, I should probably cycle more and write less.

How To Start Your Day

Spinning easily while watching Canadian public radio on television.

Sure, you’re a lot fancier racing people all over the world on Zwift. I just hope your not knowing that Andrew Wilkinson has resigned as B.C.’s National Liberal Party leader or anything at all about Vancouver traffic doesn’t come back to bite you today.

I Might Be Cracking Under Pressure

Was it wrong to request an absentee ballot in the name of my deceased mother from the state of Florida? And father?

Given my recent references to ballot box explosives and voting forgery, how long until Trump’s Federal Marshalls surround my Prius with guns a blazing?

If the humble blog goes dark, you’ll know why.

Role Models

“Multicultural Perspectives in Classrooms”. Today’s topic, conflict resolution. More specifically, active listening. I ended class with a surprise homework assignment.

“Watch the second and final Presidential Debate tonight and then grade each candidates’ active listening skills.”

My Netflix comedy special is gonna kill.

Can I Get A Do-Over?

This morning, on the way home from the pool, I dropped my ballot in the box at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on the corner of Henderson and North Street.

I voted for Biden-Harris.

Then, over breakfast, I read these tweets. 

I don’t want my 403b to crash or all that I’ve built to be destroyed. And I don’t want to lose my health care or pay more taxes. Nor do I want to be complicit in destroying our economy. 

What are my options here? How do I retrieve my envelope from the box? The only thing I can think of is dynamite.

How To Get The ‘Rona

Sane people now know the vast majority of cases are the result of people congregating indoors without masks. I’ll continue to be outdoors or inside with a mask on, but if you want to get the ‘rona, some of our Canadian brothers and sisters are here to help.

At least 61 COVID-19 cases tied to ‘very large’ outbreak at Hamilton spin studio, Spinco.

A tutorial.

Step 1. Go to an indoor spin class with LOTS of other people.

Step 2. Conform to what everyone else does—after clipping into your bike, take your mask off.

Step 3. Lean on the pedals hard for an hour.

Step 4. Wait.

Sentence to ponder from the article.

“Hamilton Public Health Services isn’t calling it a ‘super spreader’ event, but Richardson described it as a large outbreak with lots of transmission.”

That’s the funniest thing I’ll read all day.

Personal Life

I hear someone super smart on a podcast. I read about an unsuspecting athlete inspiring lots of other people to vote. I watch Savannah Guthrie give Fox News hosts a tutorial on how to interview the President. I read an absolutely beautiful essay about the arrival of fall in Twisp, WA.

And I want to know more about these people. So I google them and in a few seconds I’m skimming their wikipedia pages (or in the case of the essay writer, their personal website).

And when I skim someone’s wikipedia page, I always start with “Personal Life”. Is that because I’m a nosy bastard or because it’s human nature? What, dig this, they live in Ojai, CA; they’ve been married a few times; they have three children; and they raise llamas.

I wonder whether this phenomenon, which I think is human nature, partially explains higher education’s irrelevance in most people’s day-to-day lives. Higher education is always looking itself in the mirror and saying “This is the year I’ll become a public intellectual. This is the year I’ll make my work accessible. This is the year I’ll engage with the Deplorables.”

But why don’t the changes ever take? I propose it’s because academics, intellectuals, scholars, pick your preferred term, never ever talk about their Personal Lives. The unspoken agreement is that it detracts from the seriousness of your scholarship. The thinking being that one’s ideas, if they’re persuasive and original enough, should be sufficient to garner attention.

And how’s that working out?

Maybe higher education needs to look in the mirror and say “This is the year I become human. This year I’ll reveal something, hell anything, about my life off campus. This is the year I’ll crack the curtains on my Personal Life.”