Mad love for the random event: Breaking! Roughly 330 million people live in the United States.
That's a large number of people. At any given point in time, someone is doing something stupid, unfortunate or even imperfect concerning whatever particular topic floats your particular boat.
Then too, there are the weird random events, in which people are suddenly forced to react to some highly unusual circumstance. This used to be known as Candid Camera. Now we pretend it's the news.
Sometimes the people thus importuned are even high school students. At such moments, our only dumber demographic—upper-end mainstream professional journalists—will find themselves compelled to determine the "meaning" of such events. This has been happening all week long as a string of professional journalists have been playing Rashomon with a new Mona Lisa smile.
That smile belongs to one Nick Sandmann, and Sandmann's a high school junior. In this morning's Washington Post, the newspaper's identity columnist cites the youngster's mysterious smile, then starts unpacking its meaning:
HESSE (1/24/19): It's the smile that we've been dissecting all week.According to the ballyhooed journalist, the 16-year-old junior in high school had uncorked "an interesting sentence." She began to crawl inside his head, entertaining us rubes as she went.
Sandmann meant it to defuse the situation, he told [NBC's Savannah] Guthrie. He said he was trying to communicate to Phillips that, “This is the best you’re going to get from me.”
That was an interesting sentence. It implied Sandmann thought a senior citizen with a drum was trying to “get” something more from him. In Sandmann’s mind, Phillips had come to provoke, rather than bring peace.
Is provocation a chant and a drum, or is provocation a flat smile and a decision not to move? (“As far as standing there, I had every right to do so,” Sandmann said.) Which one of them is the peaceful act, which one could be misinterpreted?
Sandmann, who is 16 years old, had been thrown into one of those weird random events which force people to react. A bunch of crackpots had been yelling homophobic slurs at the high school students, and then a Native American elder showed up beating his drum.
There is basically zero significance to this once in a lifetime event. But our journalists, who live off amusement and distraction, have been skillfully trained to do this:
HESSE: How do we talk about kids? How do we talk about the distinctions between teenage cluelessness, and bad behavior, and bad behavior that's really racism?That writing—more accurately, that navel-gazing—is so dumb it squeaks. This time, Hesse has found "a tiny linguistic quirk" in which the 16-year-old is seen to be implying something, something he shouldn't imply.
How do we use that word, “kid,” when we’re talking about white boys and white girls and black boys and black girls and rich kids and poor kids?
The Covington Catholic students were minors who were apparently mature enough to participate in the abortion debate—one of the most complicated issues of our time, and what brought them to Washington—but not mature enough to walk away from hecklers.
“I wish we could have just walked away,” Sandmann said a few times Wednesday, while saying he wished Phillips “would have” walked away: a tiny linguistic quirk implying he didn’t have the option to leave, but Phillips did.
But I quibble.
"But I quibble," Hesse intones, as she does throughout the piece, in which she endlessly quibbles, in this case about a quirk. Next, she offers this:
HESSE (continuing directly): How do we parse out blame, when some of the players were minors and some were adults? Does it matter that the Black Hebrew Israelites were shouting awful, homophobic things (anyone in D.C. knows these men are trolls), but there were only five or six of them, and dozens of Covington students in MAGA hats?Self-flagellating about her quibbles, the columnist quibbles on. There were dozens of high school students, she observes, but only five or six crackpots shouting homophobic slurs.
Does it matter that they were in MAGA hats? It’s hard for me to imagine anyone wearing them now, in 2019, wouldn’t understand they’re not just a sartorial choice.
But I quibble. I know I quibble.
Then we get to the MAGA hats. Allegedly, it's hard for her "to imagine anyone wearing them now, in 2019, wouldn’t understand they’re not just a sartorial choice."
Given the fact that the "anyones" in question are a bunch of high school kids, the sheer stupidity of that statement says a great deal about the columnist, nothing about the "kids." If that's an acceptable word!
The attitudes of boys and young men are very, very important. Among boys and young men who are straight, are they being helped to know how to love and respect the girls and women their inner beings will want them to love throughout the course of their lives?
When it comes to matters of "race," are they being helped to see past the idea that there are different kinds of people within our society—an idea we liberals now promote with all our hearts, thus enabling the hyper-racial mentality which lies at the heart of "the world the slaveholders made?"
Those are deeply important questions. At this site, we'd like to think that 16-year-old boys are being taught that their happiness in life will depend on their ability to love and respect girls and women. We'd like to think that they're being helped to see beyond the concepts which form the world those destructive past citizens made.
We'd love to see such topics explored in our journalism. But in the world of upper-end scribes, the love of the quibble is endless. So is the love of the off-the-wall random event, the kind of event which lets us dissect the meaning of a single teenager's mysterious smile.
Over the years, these same criminals have shown their love for earth tones, bald spots, email flaps, and every possible distraction from the questions which actually matter. Beyond that, they've hailed every flimflam man in the firmament for his obvious moral greatness, from Paul Ryan on down.
They quibble, invent and entertain, and they destroy the world. They've mugged and clowned and entertained us for the past forty years. Finally, in November 2016, they succeeded in giving us our President Donald J. Trump.
They want us to think we're the rational animal. Big picture gestalt and framework-wise, is it possible that Aristotle, at least as understood, was in some basic way wrong?
Just for the record: Just for the record, Guthrie was one of the people at NBC who didn't have the slightest idea about what their colleague, Matt Lauer, had been doing down through the years.
Everyone knew but no one had heard! Guthrie was rushed on the air the next day to join Hoda in proclaiming sheer and total ignorance about their colleague's conduct. As it turned out, Norah and them had no idea concerning Charlie Rose!
These are the careerist graspers and grabbers who have made an endless joke of our public discourse, to the point where we now have Herr Trump in the White House. Meanwhile, was sex with the Donald the best she ever had?
That was Diane Sawyer, speaking with Marla Maples, as she created her own multimillion dollar career. Not long after, in June 1999, she mugged the newly-announced Candidate Gore, on network TV, in all the scripted ways. Years later, Sawyer complained that Candidate Hillary Clinton seemed to have too much money!
They've done this and done this and done this again. Right to this day, all our favorite careerist liberals are still unwilling to say so.