Saturday, November 12, 2016

Generation Snowflake Dissolves

Check it out. Donald Trump has pledged to bring jobs back to America. We do not know whether it will happen, but it was a winning message.

In the aftermath of Trump’s victory, American college students have been suffering a collective nervous breakdown. Regressing to childhood, they have been comforting themselves with blankies, lollipops and puppies. They have retreated to their safe spaces to calm their troubled psyches with coloring books and cry-ins.

I will repeat a question that I have previously raised: Why would anyone want to hire them? These are the best and the brightest that America’s universities can offer, and they are behaving like a bunch of four-year-olds. If you were thinking of building a company in America or building it in some foreign country where college students manifest something resembling maturity, what would you do? Wouldn’t you think twice about hiring anyone from this band of cry-babies and sore losers?

One understands that these children think that they need therapy. They have been told and they believe that therapy solves everything. It’s the fallback position for America’s young people today.

And yet, back in the old days, when your humble blogger was in college, the president of the United States was assassinated in Dallas. No one was asking to be let out of exams. People grieved, but they did not throw tantrums and retire to crying rooms. They did not run over to the student health service to get a dose of therapy.

It is now customary to dismiss that bygone era as hopelessly repressive, but the current explosion of whining and whimpering is not going to heal anyone’s psyche. Making a spectacle of yourself, making a fool of yourself in public is not therapeutic.

Nor is rioting in the streets. Whatever catharsis it provides, there comes a time when you sit back and say to yourself: what was I thinking? What did I look like? It’s the reason why therapists have given up on the notion that people who express their anger intemperately often end up feeling worse afterward.

You might imagine that students, who are in the business of learning how to learn, could use the current political situation as an occasion for study and reflections. If they do not do so, I suspect that they have never been taught how. Having been fed a diet of empty self-esteem, they know nothing beyond the fact that they are the most wonderful creatures who have ever walked on the face of the earth. And that they are right about everything.

Students who cannot deal with loss or with failure are in serious trouble. They have suffered an education that has told them that therapy will solve everything, because all that matters is how you feel about yourself.

If you have always been coddled and protected against trauma, you will never learn how to deal with failure. The first time you fail you are likely to melt into a puddle. The trigger warnings and safe spaces will have made you hypersensitive to loss.

Today’s college students are enslaved by their emotion. They have not developed their rational faculties to the point where they can take a step backwards and evaluate the situation at hand-- to find the good, the bad and the ugly in it.

In olden days students were taught to make the best argument for both sides. They were taught that one-sided thinking is a dead end, or better, the road to fanaticism. Students ought to sit down and to try to make the best arguments they can for the Trump victory and for the defeat of multiculturalism. And then they can balance it out by making the best arguments for defeating Trump. At that point they can disagree intelligently and respectfully. Right now, they reject all opposition ideas with contempt and derision. You see what that has got them.

The antidote to ignorance is information. But students need to learn how to find and to process information. And they need to be taught by teachers who believe in facts. Too many academics today do not really believe in objective facts and reality. Thus, their students are lost and adrift, slaves to their whims and emotions.

Michael Moore did not much like Donald Trump, but he did understand why Trump would win. We cannot say as much for the snowflakes whining into their crying towels.

Here is Moore:

When you give them information, the ignorance level goes down, and when that goes down, hate goes down.

Say I was stuck next to somebody on a plane who was like, I can't [sit next to Michael Moore] and asked the flight attendant if they could move. I started a little exercise years ago. I take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle and say, "Why don't we make a list of the things we agree on and don't agree on? And I'm going to predict that we agree on more things than not." Maybe the way we remain strong is to work on the things that we agree on, and agree to disagree on the things we don't agree on. Let's have a great debate. Have the debates in the legislature and Congress. And on some of these I'm going to win, and on some of these you're going to win. That's the way it's going to be. Let's be adults.

Funnily enough, it sounds like cognitive therapy or a close facsimile thereof. It applies well to many people who support Moore.

And then Bill Maher said this last night:

He won. He ran a vicious, vulgar campaign and I gave it back exactly in measure—I was also vicious and vulgar—but he won. And he did it his way. Nobody gets to sing that song more than Donald Trump. Everybody told him he couldn’t do this, he couldn’t do that—and he won. He did the hardest thing in the entire world to do: win the election as the leader of the free world.

Of course, Maher will be a diehard opponent of Trump. So will Michael Moore. It is their right. The problem with today’s college students is that they are following their gut feelings. They are enslaved to their feelings because they lack information and because the educational system has allowed their rational faculties to atrophy.

If they gather the information, consider all points of view, they can choose whatever they want. They can become political activists or support the candidacy of Chelsea Clinton. At least, they will not be running around making fools of themselves by exclaiming to the world that they feel very strongly about matters they do not much understand. And that, my friends, would be a giant step forward.

I trust they will prepare themselves for the fact that the caricatured version of Donald Trump they saw in the campaign is not the Donald Trump they are going to see in the White House. Barack Obama is not the only one who was humbled by the election.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

They talk about diversity. The American political landscape was just diversified. This should be a cause for celebrating diversity. Funny how it isn't...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Bill Maher calling someone "vicious" and "vulgar" is an excellent capture of the pathetic insular sanctimony, self-congratulation and moral magnificence of our cultural voices. Enough!

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

"Today’s college students are enslaved by their emotion."

Nothing truer said.

Trigger Warning said...

Speaking with the voice of experience - in the late 60s and early 70s I belonged to the SDS, participated in many "marches" and a few riots, and whined and pined for George McGovern and his "guaranteed income" - the demonstrations and riots are not about politics. I know many people just like these people. BLM is just the 21st century Panthers.

These disturbances are parties. There is nothing more invigorating than getting baked and smashing glass. These student "political activists" are about as politically active as they are studious.

Trump is an excuse to raise hell. That's what kids are tempted to do when they have no responsibilities, time on their hands, a supply of marijuana and alcohol, a brick, and a plate glass window. The same thing happens after a coveted athletic victory, or on Halloween in Detroit. Quoting Col. Kilgore, I loved the smell of tear gas in the morning.

Don't drink the "political activism" kool-aid. It's not about that.

Dennis said...


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Trigger Warning @November 12, 2016 at 7:43 AM:

It wasn't "Halloween in Detroit." It was "Devil's Night" in Detroit -- which took place the night before. And it was terrible. When it was at its worst, the Devil's Night phenomenon brought expanded editions, with fires burning days before, too.

You're right, the disturbance was a "party" for pyromaniacs, and an excuse to raise hell for everyone else.

How did it stop? The citizenry said "Enough!" and created "Angel's Night," with neighborhood patrols. It's still going on to this day. It works.

What really hurt Detroit for all those lawless years was an environment of mayhem and lawlessness in the top echelons of Detroit city government, mostly in the mayor's office.

The fish rots from the head. Whatever rioting and mayhem ensues from this election result is on Obama's watch. He can stop it immediately. We'll see if he chooses to do that.

AesopFan said...

Diversity was going to win the world for the Dems, wasn't it?

dfordoom said...

I wonder how many of the college students clutching their puppies and their security blankets are engineering students. If the engineering students are joining the cry-ins then America really is in deep trouble.

I also wonder how many of these snowflakes are really crying and how many are just pretending. One of the more disturbing modern trends has been the emergence of the cry-bullies. Their message is, "We must crush all dissent because having people disagree with them makes people cry. Donald Trump has made a whole generation cry so he really is evil. Only Hitler would want to make people cry." Unfortunately SJWs have discovered that this tactic often works.

If only they could show that Donald Trump makes puppies cry they'd really be on a winner.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: Today’s college students are enslaved by their emotion. They have not developed their rational faculties to the point where they can take a step backwards and evaluate the situation at hand-- to find the good, the bad and the ugly in it.

This assessment seems to be a bipartisan affair, with Donald Trump as the center of all emotional (from the gut) arguments.

Whatever claims that somehow calm and collected no-drama Obama has lead to racial and cultural strife, clearly the age of Trump (If the Electoral college republicans actually for for Trump), the age of Trump will be the age of everyone on all sides enslaved by emotions.

The lesson is clear - emotional arguments WORK, and calm reasoned voices are ignored.

Welcome to the land of Trump Inc. The lesson of Trump is "having the right emotions", and having a closed fist to enforce it, is all you need to be respected.

p.s. The message from Obama has always been consistent and clear:
At first, attendees ignored the president's calls to stop heckling the demonstrator. "Hey everybody, listen up!" Obama said, trying to regain control of the crowd. "I told you to be focused and you're not focused right now. Hold up. Everybody be quiet for a second!"

"You've got an older gentleman who is supporting his candidate," he explained. "He's not doing nothing, you don't have to worry about him. You don't have to worry about him. This is what I mean about not being focused. First of all, we live in a country that respects free speech. Second of all, it looks maybe like he maybe served in our military and we gotta respect that. Third of all, he was elderly and we gotta respect our elders."

And then the famous Obama rejoinder: "Fourth of all, don't boo. Vote!"

If the Left doesn't listen to Obama, I suppose we can still blame Obama for "not getting it", that "hatred trumps love" for all sides when passion leads.

Ares Olympus said...

I don't have a functional TV, but this came up quick online:

Generation Snowflake representative, Kate McKinnon, as Hillary Clinton on SNL offered offered song sung by the late Leonard Cohen, and ended with a resolute “I’m not giving up and neither should you.” On “Saturday Night Live” Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton Sings ‘Hallelujah’

I can't tell if emotional appeals serve truth or not, but it does allow the sun to rise tomorrow and our mad supermoon passions put into perspective. We can open our eyes a little more to whatever this world has become, and start again to rebuild with worn out tools.

And clearly after a week like this, going to church Sunday might be the only real relief to shock - a live communal experience where name-calling is prohibited by good manners and collective gratitude is restored to center stage. And we may find so far, it is only mad fear that afflicts most of us, not real harm.

Religion can divide us, but we can imagine at some level, we're all doing the same thing, submitting to something greater than ourselves, greater than any or all of us, and we can remember sometimes we can be God's angels in this life if we can listen and act on what we hear. Not as much passion as rioting, but maybe more hopeful?

And the strangest thing about higher powers, is that even our rivals can serve in ways we can't yet see, and you can never know what outcome would be best in the end, not in anything important.

Oh, and here's a Cohen version for the old folks, the silent generation's last call for sanity? Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah