Former institutions of higher learning, where infantilization has replaced education and pablum has supplanted pizza as the favorite snack. They're eerily similar to a daycare, since the primary function is keeping the infants from crying and/or having a temper tantrum.
It's that time of year, that speed bump on the calendar, when parent 1 and parent 2 send Beavis and Moonbeam off to an institute of higher learning. I hope parent 1 and parent 2 are ready for a rude awakening, because Ivory Towers ain' t what they used to be, in the not that distant past.
Once upon a time:
Back in the day, grade school instilled a set of basic skills in its young minds, teaching the students to read, write, and solve basic math problems. Middle School and High School, polished the students' reading, writing, and math skills. At the same time, students were given an introduction to science - chemistry, biology, and physics - encouraged to learn a foreign language - Spanish, French, or Latin - and given a basic understanding of our government, U.S. History and World History.
If it was done properly, students emerged after 12 years with enough understanding of the essentials to function in the adult world. If it sounds a tad 'cookie cutter', it was.
The fun started, if/when a high school grad headed to college, where the student's introduction to the action packed world of ideas promised to be an intellectual and emotional thrill ride. In college, a student's half-baked notions - parochial brain farts based on his, her, hisher or its upbringing - were challenged by professors who enjoyed bursting a student's intellectual bubbles. It wasn't enough for a student to be 'right' on a given subject. He, she, heshe or had to learn how to defend his ideas/convictions.
Until you've been there, there's no way to describe the impact of having a rational adult dismantle one of your sacred intellectual cows. If you've accepted the validity of your beliefs without questioning them, without thinking them through, you have no defense against someone who knows what they believe and why.
Validating your beliefs was part of the highly touted 'free exchange of ideas' where, not so long ago, an Ivory Tower provided a suitable forum where all ideas, noble and profane, could be subjected to a vigorous debate. It wasn't for the faint hearted, but it certainly gave those flabby intellectual 'muscles' a vigorous workout.
The brave new world of higher educrap which awaits Beavis and Moonbeam bears little resemblance to those Ivory Towers of bygone years. Today, they're eerily similar to a daycare, where the primary task is keeping the infants from crying or having a tantrum.
At Ivory Towers, from sea to shining sea, the most ubiquitous boo-boo inflicting goodie is called microaggression. Microaggression? You bet and it's a doozy
Here's THEIR view of it:
Microaggressions are brief, everyday exchanges involving subtle racism, sexism, and heterosexism. Perpetrators of microaggressions are often unaware that they engage in such verbal/non-verbal communication.
-A co-worker told me I spoke very good English. I replied, I have been practicing super hard for the last 30 years. (I am Vietnamese).
" A teacher came up to me, called me Harlin, and told me I had lunch duty. I told him, I'm not Harlin and I look nothing like him.
The crown jewel of victimhood, this pile of turds allows the chronically oppressed to interpret anything, no matter how petty or innocuous, that whitey does - including breathing - as demeaning, discriminatory, and downright evil.
Micoaggression is egregiously subjective. No matter what your intention might be, only a thin skinned individual who has been anointed with a 'certified victim' designation is authorized to pass judgement on it. If he, she, heshe, or it pins a 'microaggression' label on it, it's settled and you're screwed.
Microaggressions include, among other things:
Invoking the melting pot AKA assimilation. Why? It demeans cry baby's native culture when you brandish American elitism.
If you advocate the meritocracy, by insisting everyone get measured by a single, objective standard...If you believe each individual must succeed or fail based on their own merits, you're guilty of microaggression. Why You're asserting that when it comes to success race - any immutable trait - is irrelevant.
You're in one of those long lines which are/were inescapable during registration, so you ask the person next to you, "Where are you from?" You're expecting something like "New York" or "Kentucky", but, if the person is one of the properly hyphenated they might pin a microaggression label on it because they hear "You are not American."
In a math or science class, one of those devilish details eludes you, so you discuss it with the smartest person in the class. If that smartest individual is Asian you're guilty of microaggression for 'assuming all Asians are good in math or science'.
If, like me, you ignore immutable traits and deal with each person as an individual, we're both guilty of microaggression. Our sin, refusing to acknowledge race.
Another, related, infantilizing gem is the 'Trigger Warning'. It's often described as a 'spoiler' alert, similar to the ratings that precede a movie or television show. A Trigger Warning on a college course or lecture says, in essence, 'if you'll get a boo-boo from a frank discussion of subjects 'a', 'b', or 'c', report to the nearest pablum dispenser, where a nanny will guide you a safe distance from any painful enlightenment.'
Here are some real life examples of Ivory Tower inmate infantilization:
Where: Brown University
What: A debate about campus sexual assault between Jessica Valenti, the founder of feministing.com, and Wendy McElroy, a libertarian.
Panty Twister: Wendy would probably criticize the term "rape culture"
Countermeasures: Brown's president, Christina H. Paxson, announced that the university would hold a simultaneous, competing talk to provide "research and facts" about "the role of culture in sexual assault." Meanwhile, student volunteers put up posters advertising that a "safe space" would be available for anyone who found the debate too upsetting.
Fun Facts: The safe space, [Katherine Byron, a senior at Brown University and a member of its Sexual Assault Task Force] explained, 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. Emma Hall, a junior, 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," Ms. Hall said. [L.I. - emphasis added]
Safe spaces are an expression of the conviction, increasingly prevalent among college students, that their schools should keep them from being "bombarded" by discomfiting or distressing viewpoints.
Hambo aside: If parent 1 and parent 2 send Beavis or Moonbeam to Brown, this is what their $66,000 a year gets them.
Where: Oberlin College, Georgetown University
What: A visit by avowed feminist, Christina Hoff Sommers
Panty-Twister: A scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, she espouses ideas that give delicate snowflakes a boo-boo.
Countermeasures: Trigger warnings were issued asserting, in her words, that her "very presence on campus" was "a form of violence" and that she was threatening students' mental health. At Oberlin, 30 students and the campus therapy dog retired to a "safe room" with soft music, crayons and coloring books to escape any uncomfortable facts raised by Sommers.
Fun Facts: "There's a move to get young women in combat, and yet on our campuses, they are so fragile they can't handle a speaker with dissenting views." Christina Hoff Sommers
"I wonder whether there will be demands for the military to have therapy dogs and safe rooms in combat situations." Walter Williams
Where: Smith College
What: Panel Discussion at Alumnae gathering
Panty Twister: Free-speech advocate Wendy Kaminer, said 'nigger' while arguing against the use of the euphemism "the n-word" when teaching American history or "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."
Countermeasures: The president of Smith College, Kathleen McCartney, apologized for causing students and faculty to be "hurt" when she failed to object to a racial epithet uttered by Ms. Kaminer.
Fun Facts: In the uproar that followed, the Student Government Association wrote a letter declaring that "if Smith is unsafe for one student, it is unsafe for all students."
"It's amazing to me that they can't distinguish between racist speech and speech about racist speech, between racism and discussions of racism," Ms. Kaminer said in an email.
[W]hile keeping college-level discussions "safe" may feel good to the hypersensitive, it's bad for them and for everyone else. People ought to go to college to sharpen their wits and broaden their field of vision. Shield them from unfamiliar ideas, and they'll never learn the discipline of seeing the world as other people see it. They'll be unprepared for the social and intellectual headwinds that will hit them as soon as they step off the campuses whose climates they have so carefully controlled. What will they do when they hear opinions they've learned to shrink from? If they want to change the world, how will they learn to persuade people to join them?
'In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas', Legal Insurrection
I suggest that you read that last paragraph again, because it's too, too, true. Unless Beavis and Moonbeam plan to spend their whole life inside the insular realm of academia, they're on a collision course with objective reality where there aren't any safe rooms, or trigger warnings. Out in the real world, there's a creature who won't let you run and hide: a rational adult.
My personal wake-up call didn't happen at an Ivory Tower, but the process was painful, none the less:
I give a free ranging rational adult credit for lifting the mental fog which clouded my thinking, when I was young, full of myself, and clueless.
Admittedly, my reality check was a painful one. It happened while I was working for a company that made a primordial form of computer memory devices. At the time, two of us shared a small test room, where we performed some mindless tasks that left ample time for conversations.
An Objectivist, my co-worker always managed to humiliate me during our discussions of various ideas and/or events. Eventually, I got the message. I was spouting drivel that had been jammed into my brain, unprocessed. Since I never fully analyzed my 'beliefs', I didn't have a snowball's chances in hell of defending them. Okay, let's be real...the mush that filled my brain at that time was indefensible.
After he had his fun at my expense, my co-worker took pity on me and gave me a guidebook to lead me out of my mental fog. It was 'Atlas Shrugged', a book which, in every possible way, rocked my world.
Regrettably, there aren't as many free ranging rational adults as there were, but there are more than enough. That's spiffy, out here, in the so-called 'real world'. Unfortunately, free ranging rational adults are an endangered species where Beavis and Moonbeam are going. In other words, parent 1 and parent 2 are sending their young 'uns in harm's way. If they expect Beavis and Moonbeam to emerge from their Ivory Tower sojourn more mature, and thus better equipped to cope with an increasingly hostile world, good luck with that.
What, if anything, can parent 1 and parent 2 do about the infantilization of their offspring? For starters, they need to spend quality time researching the Ivory Tower in question, keeping an eye out for words like 'trigger warnings'.
Since they can't count on the Ivory Tower to do it, parent 1 and parent 2 must do the heavy lifting, when it comes to helping their offspring know what they believe and why.
They must instill in Beavis and Moonbeam the courage to shrug off 'microaggression', 'trigger warnnings', and various other forms of Moonbattery.
You can't count on the Eggheads to teach Beavis and Moonbeam how to defend their beliefs, so if you don't do it, you'll be condemning them to infantilization and life as a victim. They're your offspring, parent 1 and parent 2 Sparky. If you don't do it, nobody else will do it for you.
Unwilling to kick you while you're down, I won't even mention an emotional thrill ride called the 'empty nest syndrome'. See, I'm not such a bad guy after all. Aren't you sorry you called me all those names?