RWP was born in Manchester, in the north of England, in the late 1950s, so he is very old. He really liked the north of England, which by 1965 was hip and had three TV channels, and where he went to a coed school. His parents, for reasons best known to themselves, then yanked him away, to Belfast and then Dublin, which had one TV channel that started up at 6 pm with the Angelus (Catholic call to prayer). He also had to go to an all boys school, where he realized he really missed girls. This probably let him focus on schoolwork, though, and at age 19, after he had finished college, he set off for America, where he still resides. He has a bachelors degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. from Harvard in biophysics, and has lived also in Mainz, Germany, Setauket NY, and Richland WA. He currently divides his time between Nebraska, Rosslyn VA, and Florida.

Friday, November 9, 2012

UNL thought-police jump the shark

UNL haters launched as a tumblr blog a couple of months ago, largely to accolades from the local media and clueless political science professors. Their goal was to retweet 'hateful' tweets by UNL students, with scolding labels affixed (racist, homophobic, etc.).Indeed, they did a small service in drawing notice to a surprising amount of overt anti-Asian nastiness on campus, although some of these posts, while somewhat racist, are quite funny and even self-deprecating. Then, it appears, it all went to their heads. It became 'homophobic' to object even to the idea of a GLBT-whatever history month, or express religious objection to homosexuality. They decided to go after the most conspicuous conservative professor on campus (moi, of course). I've said what I think about this here. More recently, they've taken to policing the vocabulary of their fellow students. The word 'sissified' is evidently strenglich verboten, as is the modern usage of 'raped' to mean 'despoiled or destroyed'. When I challenged them on this, noting that to rape originally meant 'to seize by force', and pointing out that Alexander Pope's 'The Rape of the Lock' certainly didn't involve ejaculating on someone's hair, they claimed that Pope was being hyperbolically ironic. Well, yes, duh, but not with sexual outrage in mind, and besides, the modern use of rape = despoil is also hyperbolically ironic. (They've since deleted that tweet, though they refuse to honor other people's deletions). Then they claimed to know what the student had in mind when he said 'raped'. In other words, they're thought police.

This exemplifies two of the worst vices of the contemporary left. First, they're control freaks. They want to control the words you use and even what you think. Not an original observation, of course; George Orwell had something to say about it. But also, note the mission creep, born of their essential totalitarianism. Exposing racial animosity was, I suppose, a good thing, though finding out why that animosity exists would be a better thing. But it wasn't enough; they had to use their new toy as a weapon against conservatism (I'm 'transphobic' because I made fun of a man who pretended to be a woman in order to slime a female Senate candidate by comparing her to a porn actress). And now they're constructing an index prohibitorum of words you can't use, and even words whose usage is limited to the contexts they choose.

The way to deal with these little kommissar-wannabes is mockery, and I encourage fellow members of the UNL community, and others, to mock them at every opportunity. Run your language by them to see if it's halal (oops!). Lampoon their most egregious overreaches. Give them good old Nebraska heck!

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