Some weeks ago, I was amused to read about an 'Adulting School' in Portland, OR.
Adulting. It was nominated as the word of the year by the American Dialect Society, a word coined by a generation that has been shielded from the worst of growing up by living in their parents’ homes, and shut out of the best of it by a society that forces them to stay there. Reminiscent of Alan Partridge’s seminal boast that he’s been “pubic for 31 years”, “adulting”, the verb, is most commonly used to gloat over achievements such as making a dentist appointment, or going to Tesco and buying more than just Frosties.
The Adulting School’s first official session took place last week. During their early presentation, on time management, a number of 26-year-old attendees trickled in late. Reports from the summit make it sound not unlike an office party for dogs – participants waggily sniffing each other, being told when and where to sit. They’d been sent by their parents. There were cupcakes in the afternoon.
There's more at the link.
However, in the light of current events, the subject is no longer so amusing. The more I look at the actions of anti-Trump demonstrators, and those throwing their weight around to suppress free speech by anyone except those of whom they approve - typified by the riots in Berkeley, CA last weekend - the more I'm reminded of little children having a temper tantrum and throwing their toys out of the pram.
- "Love Trumps Hate"? Oh, no, it doesn't. As one who's seen the bitter effects of hate in more than one country - and can measure it in terms of body count - love has damn-all to do with trumping hate. You end up having to stop the haters by any and all means necessary, including lethal force. That's the only way. Just ask Tom Rogneby, who's also seen it at first hand, and learned the same lesson I did. In most cases, you can't cure hate by love. It doesn't work. That's reality. If you think otherwise, you've never encountered real hate. I have - too often for comfort.
- "Free speech, but not hate speech"? You've just made yourself a liar. If you allow only some kind(s) of free speech, but not others, you've just restricted the right of free speech. That means it's no longer a right. It's now a privilege - one conferred by the powers that be according to their lights. That may seem all very well to you when they're on your side, but sooner or later, they won't be. What will you do then, when they silence you?
- Yelling "Peaceful protest", after you've attacked and injured someone from the 'other side'? Oh, no, you don't. What goes around, comes around. If you feel free to use violence against those with whom you disagree, the latter are free to use it against you, too - primarily (one hopes) in legitimate self-defense, but also in terms of political 'discourse'. That's the way it is. You don't get to make the rules. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". That's the Golden Rule. As you apply it to others, so they will apply it to you. Good luck with that.
I think those Berkeley rioters could use an 'Adulting School' very soon, before their childish antics hurt anyone else - up to and including themselves. It was sobering for me to watch video clips of events in Berkeley, and to realize that, in my semi-disabled condition, I'm now unable to fight off such violence by physical means alone. That means "disparity of force" issues come into play. I'd have to rely on my firearm - and, believe me, if it comes to my safety or that of my wife, I will. I don't want to; but if rioters leave me no choice, that changes the equation. I'd much rather they grew up - rapidly - and thereby learned that there are better ways of expressing political disagreement than trying to beat up those with whom they disagree. One hopes they learn it before someone else also has to solve his or her problem the hard way . . .