BREAKING: Yale kids taught to play more, worry less!

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2018

Times, Post broadcast message:
Last Monday, Kevin Drum told the kids to get off his lawn when they engage in their juuling.

Well, that isn't exactly what he said, along with which you may not know just what this "juuling" is. But after he finished his juuling chunk, Drum expressed his main point.

His main point concerned the young people whose lives and interests actually count within our upper-end press corps. He said that, when it comes to the youth, the press corps [HEART] the elite:
DRUM (5/7/18): I don’t actually have any comment to make about Juuling. But this article was a reminder of something that’s long bothered me about reporting on kids: too much of it is focused not just on college kids, but on elite college kids. In this article, the main message from America’s youth is that everything is ironic and “we’re ready to die.” In political writing more generally, it’s about how liberals need to appeal to kids by supporting college loan forgiveness, urbanization, and bicycle lanes.

That’s fine if your goal is to appeal to about 10 percent of young people. But what about the rest of them? The ones who went to state colleges, or community colleges, or no college at all? On average, they probably don’t care much about college loans, urbanization, or bicycle lanes. They work, they raise children, they pay rent, they buy groceries, and they just generally lead lives that are unironically dedicated to making ends meet.
As it turned out, Drum was possibly being perhaps a tiny bit Machiavellian. He said we liberals can't persuade young people to vote if we focus on the ten percent while ignoring everyone else.

That said, we'll recommend his larger point. Our big newspapers do seem to focus on the often perhaps not hugely talented but sublimely elitist tenth. It's a noxious habit and, as a general matter, it reeks at the New York Times.

(We'll add a note to Drum's political brief. This noxious habit broadcasts a message, loud and clear, to a wide array of voters.)

That said, is Drum right in his specific assertion? In its reporting on youth, does the upper-end press really concentrate on the unimpressive elite?

We'll only say that the New York Times delighted readers on Saturday with these college admission essays, written by five high school seniors who will be attending Yale, Harvard, Yale, Chicago and even lowly Colgate. On the front page of Sunday's Times was a tragic report from Hamilton College.

Meanwhile, on the front page of the Washington Post,
we were asked to care about the deep thoughts which appeared beneath these hard-copy headlines:
Yale course is all about getting an A in life
Wildly popular psychology class teaches simple lesson: Play more, worry less
Who knows? The course may be worthwhile! On line, the headline says this:
Less cramming. More Frisbee. At Yale, students learn how to live the good life.
Just so unbelievably cool! People, we're just saying!

Dr. King has a different idea: "Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve."

That was Dr. King's central point. Along the way, he stressed the fact that you didn't necessarily have to have gone to Yale:
Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s “Theory of Relativity” to serve. You don’t have to know the Second Theory of Thermal Dynamics in Physics to serve...
We're omitting where that ended up, because we don't want to be embarrassing. But Dr. King knew he was being helped by people who were morally great but who hadn't been to any college, let alone Harvard or Yale.

Speaking of Yale, let's add this: We're asked today to be deeply upset about an experience a graduate student had last week. We'd have to say that's part of the syndrome to which we refer.

We expect to discuss that incident further at some point. We're trained to shriek at the racial insult while missing the class condescension involved in the overall tale.

That said, the world is full of deserving kids who are struggling in public school and in their chance for a full life. Increasingly, though, we're asked to worry about some of the most overprivileged malcontents in the history of the world, even as we throw fifth graders by the millions under a leaky bus.

We care about the one social class, not about the other. How hard is that to see?

Back to yesterday's headline. Do Yale students really just wanna have fun? We doubt that, but one thing is clear:

Our "journalists" wanna write all about them and their wonderfulness. This preference broadcast a noxious message. That message comes through loud and clear.

A few last thoughts on juuling: We recall the values of Cornelia Africana, greatest of all Roman matrons, as described by the leading authority on her life:
An anecdote related by Valerius Maximus in his Factorum ac dictorum memorabilium libri IX (IV, 4, incipit) demonstrates Cornelia's devotion to and admiration for her sons. When women friends questioned Cornelia about her mode of dress and personal adornment, which was far more simple and understated than was usual for a wealthy Roman woman of her rank and station, Cornelia indicated her two sons and said, haec ornamenta mea [sunt], i.e., "These are my jewels."
True story!

26 comments:

  1. "On average, they probably don’t care much about college loans"

    That's about the stupidest thing anyone ever wrote.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Our "journalists" wanna write all about them and their wonderfulness. This preference broadcast a noxious message. That message comes through loud and clear."

    Yeah, but they made it, haven't they? They are part of the elite.

    And this is a society of winners and losers, not Jante.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More good news for the MAGAs and the "Drain the Swamp" files ( trump bandits are multi-tasking)

      Yep, That $500 M from China to Trump Project Looks Like a Pretty Big Deal

      https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/yep-that-500-m-from-china-to-trump-project-looks-like-a-pretty-big-deal


      President Trump tweeted that he was intent on saving that sanctions-busting Chinese telecommunications company, China had agreed to loan $500 million to a major Trump-backed development in Indonesia. These kinds of situations are now basically commonplace in the Trump Era.

      Delete
  4. Anyone who reads an article about Yale students and feels envious, resentful, or maligned needs to have his/her head examined.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Somerby is voicing the conservative talking point that "liberal elites" either don't care or are openly contemptuous of, for lack of a better phrase, the "real America." This plays upon a sense of grievance, either real, imagined, or ginned up, amongst the conservative rank and file.

    It is however instructive to note that the Republican presidential candidates/office holders since Bush I have themselves all been members of the elite, both educationally and economically, up to and including Trump. He bragged about his wealth, his intelligence, and his schooling, which oddly enough did not cause resentment in his fan base, but adulation. It seems clear from this that R voters are not resentful of "the elite" but "the other elite" (i.e. Liberals); hence, this so-called concern with "liberal elitism" is merely tribal politics.

    A normal person, reading about a highly accomplished person, would probably act to take responsibility for his or her life and try to accomplish something themselves. It is the mark of a damaged personality to feel resentful or injured by the success of the other person. It is also the mark of a cynical political strategy when the Republicans inflame these kinds of feelings in their base, thus excusing the disorders and poor choices of the voters who are taken in by this kind of nonsense.

    It is called demagoguery.

    And it is offensive for Somerby to promote this idea by quoting from MLK to add some kind of pseudo liberal veneer of moral greatness to his tired Republican talking points.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oliver Willis on American politics:

    http://oliverwillis.com/2018/05/14/how-pro-wrestling-ate-american-politics-and-the-world/

    ReplyDelete
  7. My local newspaper reports every year on the National Merit Scholars from the region. The students are interviewed and they discuss their plans for their continued education. Does this mean that my local newspaper doesn't care about the students who flunked out, or made C's? Does this reporting cause those poor performers to feel resentful? Maybe. But it could also serve as encouragement for them to work harder and match the success of their higher achieving colleagues.

    This whole notion that educational achievement is elitist strikes me as obtuse anti-intellectualism. Parents, conservative and liberal, ought to care about their kids' education, and many do. There is no negative judgment of poor performers inherent in reporting on high achievers. But it is nonetheless true that a college education is more likely to ensure a higher standard of living. There's no value judgement implied by stating that fact.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Our big newspapers do seem to focus on the often perhaps not hugely talented but sublimely elitist tenth..."

    Big newspapers are usually located in big cities. Those same big cities have more than their share of colleges and universities. For example, Boston increases its population three-fold when the students return to college because there are dozens of colleges in their metropolitan area. There are quite a few in and around New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and so on.

    It is not inappropriate to report on the doings of local industries in newspapers. These universities are major employers, hubs of business activity and innovation (hopefully), and many graduates settle in the area, especially in places like Cambridge. As a result, industries are attracted by the educated labor force and writes, artists, and musicians find each other in nearby neighborhoods. So, it is right to talk about these colleges and their students in the papers serving such colleges, in our large cities, just as it is right to talk about other businesses, social life, and cultural activities ongoing in the city.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Why doesn't anyone complain that non-elite sports events aren't covered enough?

    ReplyDelete
  10. It seems automatic that the 5 essayists include boys, girls, a black, an Asian, and a Hispanic. They even threw in a Catholic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is also well understood that your preferred alignment would be 4 white guys and throw in an Asian guy.

      Delete
    2. David, have you noticed that there are no Protestants on the United States Supreme Court?

      Delete
  11. Bob,
    MLK was murdered by your fans.
    Elite or ordinary.

    ReplyDelete
  12. “Elitism” is long the mantra of the spoilsport and know nothing. To paraphrase Twain, we are all elite on different subjects.

    ReplyDelete
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