Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Preemptive Apology

Here is yet another reason why you should never, ever send your child to a prestigious American liberal arts college. Such places used to be the crown jewels of the American educational establishment. Now they are indoctrination mills, implanting ideologically driven stupidities in the minds of their students. How better to render these students dysfunctional. Serious students around the world are working on artificial intelligence. Students at American liberal arts colleges are learning about the three dozen different gender identities… and the moral imperative to ban plastic straws.

Just in case you are new to this blog, you should be aware of the fact that this mis-education is being done in the name of therapy. Schools are no longer dedicated to education, to preparing students to take their place in the world, to fostering excellence. They are obsessed with the dire necessity to provide non-stop twenty-four hour therapy. 

Thus, they coddle their students, most especially by offering trigger warnings whenever said student might be exposed to something distressing, something that would dismay his delicate sensibility. Of course, that must include nearly all of world literature and religious teaching… but,whatever.

In truth, researchers have studied trigger warnings. They have discovered that trigger warnings are useless in helping any student to overcome the residual effects of trauma.

As for the current therapy culture on campus, it results from labelling the nation an organized criminal conspiracy that abuses and harasses all minority groups, and even majority groups. To be a member in good standing of the oppressed classes you must embrace your status as traumatically dysfunctional. Or else, you must do constant penance for being a member of a privileged class.

Besides, we know already that the best treatment for trauma is gradual desensitization through gradual exposure. Shielding people from anything that might elicit a bad reaction makes them more, not less, vulnerable to triggers. After all, it’s not just images of similar events that trigger traumatic responses. It might be the color of someone’s hair, their name, their attire… whatever. 

Anyway, the imbeciles who are running very liberal colleges have now lured their students in the practice of what is called the preemptive apology. The woman who writes this letter-- I assume it’s a woman, because if it isn’t, things are a lot worse than I think-- attends a liberal college, presumably a place like Sarah Lawrence or Brown. She is writing because the currently woke practice of preemptive apology makes no sense to her.

So she writes to Miss Manners, a sign that, for her at least, all is not lost.

Here is the letter:

I attend a very liberal college, and many of my classmates are passionate about decreasing the taboo surrounding mental illness. While I support this cause in spirit, I'm bothered by some of its symptoms.

Specifically, many of my peers apologize preemptively for future slights. Typically, a classmate will say something along the lines of, "I'm sorry if I'm rude to you today; I'm dealing with a depressive episode."

I recognize that nobody is perfect and would certainly forgive someone who apologized after being gruff. But a preemptive apology often leaves me uncertain that my peer is even planning to try to regulate his or her behavior. I also feel that any regret is insincere: Because the apologizer has yet to hurt me, I don't think he or she can possibly acknowledge the pain I (might) feel.

Am I right to be put off, or should I catch up to the times? Is there an appropriate way to express my displeasure with such an apology without seeming to judge a friend's struggles with mental health?

Note the consequence of making college into a therapy factory. Students announce their weakened emotional state, up front, and pretend that it’s an excuse for bad behavior. And they have no confidence that they will be able to control their bad behavior, they apologize in advance. As a sidelight, awareness of one's mental health condition has no effect on one's ability to function effectively in the world.

We note that these students are being told to define themselves by their mental illness, and to announce it to the world. When you tell someone you are depressed he is more likely to avoid you, or to feel sorry for you. Both of which will aggravate your depression.

As for the idiot notion that this is going to decrease the taboo around mental illness, the thought is too stupid to take seriously. In truth, when people take pride in being depressed they become moral degenerates. Taking pride in failure is precisely the wrong way to treat mental illness.

As for the notion that there mental illness is stigmatized, nothing could be further from the truth. There is far too much discussion of mental illness and probably far too much medication being prescribed. Our culture seems to have gone into the business of producing mental illness. It's being led by the pharmaceutical industry, since it alone is profiting from this nonsense.

The person who makes a preemptive apology is saying that he cannot trust himself to control his behavior. His manners are so bad that he cannot count on them under stress. He is making a preemptive excuse. The apology grants him license to behave badly. Nothing more or less.

As it happens, the letter writer has more sense than her peers. She understands that an apology can only be offered sincerely after offense has been given. You apologize after you fail, not before you fail. If you apologize preemptively you are setting yourself up for failure and inviting friends to see you as a pathetic buffoon. And, of course, as the letter writer continues, an apology offered before the fact cannot possibly be sincere. Credit her for understanding that the value of an apology lies in its sincerity… 

She understands that a sincere apology means that the individual has taken responsibility for his actions, that he is not going to blame it on his mental illness. If his depressive state is making him do it, he is saying that his apology is neither sincere nor meaningful. He is simply shifting the blame.

Second, when you apologize you are vowing not to repeat the offensive or the bad behavior. Being as the apology is an assertion that you do not want the behavior to define your character, you can show that it is not who you are by not doing it again. If you believe that apologizing preemptively will allow you to offend with impunity, you have missed the point of apology.

So, my plaudits for the letter writer. She should immediately transfer to a school that is not inhabited by fools and flakes.

As for Miss Manners, she offers up the following response, dripping with appropriate irony. When someone apologizes preemptively, you should say this:

“I am so sorry. How lucky, at least, that you know in advance when you’re going to offend. I’m not sure that I am able to do that, so please forgive me if I accidentally take offense.”


UbuMaccabee said...

We have created a nation of AJ Sopranos.

sestamibi said...

60+% of college students now girls. Why can't people figure this out?

Sam L. said...

"To be a member in good standing of the oppressed classes you must embrace your status as traumatically dysfunctional. Or else, you must do constant penance for being a member of a privileged class." Can you say, "My instructors and professors are dumb-asses", boys and girls? Yes, I knew you could, but you need to tell them so, and go spend your parents' money where you'll learn useful skills and knowledge, because you certainly won't where you are.

Anonymous said...

"We're sorry we're billing you $40k per year, and turning your ability to navigate the world to mush, while simultaneously flattering your "critical thinking" skills.

When you graduate, and find yourself deeply in debt, your Marxist indoctrination will ensure you're depressed/angry and/or unemployable for at least a decade, while you struggle to de-program yourself.

Sorry to have messed you up so badly, but therapy is a available, as are Prozac, Abilify, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, etc. but you'll need to be patient: sucking up that at volume of pond water cannot be rectified in a year or two, or even five.

We know you'll accept our apology in advance, because we told you its the right thing to do."

The University Staff and Administration

Anonymous said...

There is "...far too much medication being prescribed." "It's being led by the pharmaceutical industry, since it alone is profiting from this nonsense." Surely some fault lies with the individuals writing the prescriptions? They also profit. Some psychiatrists limit their practice to writing prescriptions.

Anonymous said...

As a Jordan Peterson fan and stone butch feminist I fail to see the problem with the social colon cleansing policy explained above. Preemptive apologies do not make a social scientist insincere about feeling-sorry for one's action such as the liquidation of Americans, bigot values norms and such tripe. This wholesome process is necessary for the inevitable demographics displacement which-must-take-place to accommodate the world's rising flood of population as well as material demands due to Grobal-Warming. This trigger warning is the source-of-our-strength. My buddy's Obama'08 bumper sticker has inspired me to finally vote in this next election either for Biden or Bernie's fried chicken 2020 in order to normalize social justice. Normally defer to pass on jury duty, however who wants to serve prole duty?