117

What I Would Have Missed

Christine E. Black

Sally had drawn a Confederate flag picture on the cover of her writing journal that sat on her desk. She was before me in the front row of the middle school English class in a rural Virginia school where I taught.

This was the same year Charlottesville, Virginia, the town where I lived, was roiled in controversy over statues of Confederate generals and Confederate soldiers in city parks, controversy so enflamed that violent riots erupted in August 2017, resulting in many injuries and at least three deaths.

That year, I taught a unit on “herd mentality,” and gave the students articles to read on the Kitty Genovese murders in New York when papers reported that bystanders did not intervene as they heard a young woman screaming before she died from an attack. I played a video of the Stanley Milgram experiment, and we read articles on it.

During the black and white video, available on YouTube, a few of the 13- and 14-year-olds in my class visibly winced and cringed when the experiment participants pressed a lever, delivering an electric shock they thought was real (it was not), and the person on the other side of the partition screamed with pain. In our discussion afterwards, I told students that I thought that their discomfort while watching was a good sign of empathy and conscience.

I asked them what they thought they would do if they were in an experiment like Milgram’s, or if they lived in a town with a lottery like the one in Shirley Jackson’s 1948 short story, “The Lottery,” that I had also assigned to them to read.

The story raises questions about conformity and group thinking, with conformity so strong that it results in great harm. While watching the movie version of the story, more of them cringed. We read an article from Psychology Today, entitled “The Science Behind Why People Follow the Crowd” among other articles.

During the discussion of “The Lottery,” I brought up lynchings in our country’s history and said that I had learned that lynchings occurred in town squares, much like the one in the downtown area of this small town where I was teaching and where they lived. Whole families, including children, came to watch, and there were even picture postcard mementos distributed, relics of our terrible past that survive today.

“But those only happened when the person had done something wrong, though, right?” asked Wilson, one of my students. In his moral universe, growing up on a farm, such a terrible thing would have to make some sense. He had not learned much about the history of lynchings.

“Oh, no,” I said. “It could happen for no reason. Maybe sometimes those doing the lynching thought it was for a crime, but it could be for anything — or nothing.”

He looked puzzled and sad. This same student who did not know about the history of lynchings also loved to show cattle, was proud of his Future Farmers of America club prizes, and had an excellent memory for numbers and facts. When the class discussed the Milgram experiment, he remembered that over 60 percent of participants complied with administering near lethal electric shocks to another person when they were told to do so.

I imagine some may have told Sally to remove the Confederate flag picture from her journal or told her how offensive they thought it was or lectured her on racism or “hate symbols.” Sally probably would not have removed it nor been required to by administrators, however.

Students at that school displayed occasional Confederate flag emblems on hats or T-shirts. Showing that flag was not against school board policy in that school district, yet I knew the flag had been banned in other districts.

Right or wrong, to Sally and perhaps other students at the school, the symbol meant pride in southern heritage, they had said. Maybe it represented defiance, or perhaps, as teenagers, they hadn’t even thought much about it.

I didn’t much care about the symbol or the flag but cared more about students sitting before me, cared about teaching them sentence constructions, paragraph and essay writing, and about encouraging their empathy, respect, and self-expression. I cared about strengthening their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.

I knew Sally to be a sweet, polite, hard-working student, who treated others with kindness and good heartedness, including African American students. If I had made an issue of the drawing or had made Sally into “an Other” in my mind and treated her as such, dismissed her as ignorant or racist or unreachable, I would have missed noticing her pink cowboy boots and her admirable stern handling of boys who crossed the line with her; I may have missed her staying after class to talk to me proudly about her mother’s job as a medic at the large chicken plant in town.

I would have missed her describing her own training as an apprentice Emergency Medical Technician and her plans to become a firefighter or a police officer. I may have missed seeing her shy confidence at the eighth-grade dance when she wore a lavender sparkly dress and had curled and arranged her long hair.

If I had shamed Wilson in front of the class about not knowing the history of lynchings, he may not have shared with me how, after school, he took care “bucket calves,” who have to be fed by a bucket when their mother can’t take care of them.

I may have missed the way he turned his body in his seat towards me while he did his silent reading comprehension assignments, in what may’ve been a gesture, seeking comfort and stability from me, as his reading level was very low. His reading strength grew steadily as the school year progressed.

In these times of summarily rejecting people we disagree with or treating those with differing opinions as dangerous or diseased, I have felt led to remember what I would have missed if I had rejected certain people with whom I disagreed on significant issues but from whom I had also received wonderful gifts.

I disagreed with a minister and counselor, Norman, on a significant issue. Also, I had come to depend on him for guidance and support in hard times. As painful and regrettable as it may be, I think deciding to terminate a pregnancy should remain legal and a private matter. My minister and counselor opposed it. I knew this because he had written and published on the topic. We had not discussed it, and I did not plan to discuss it with him.

I knew many women who had to face that harrowing situation and choice and often had to face it alone. I had also known women who had felt forced or pressured by a boyfriend or husband to end a pregnancy. I did not think that was right either. The god I believe in has compassion for the woman facing that decision, one that no one likes, of course.

Yet, if I had rejected Norman for his opinion on that issue, an opinion I did not share with him, I would have missed the deep and abiding compassion for me in his eyes when I told him what I thought too painful to even talk about – a time when I had been betrayed and assaulted by a man about his age, a man I should have been able to trust.

The way Norman listened to me — the way his eyes looked as he listened — has healing power for me, even now as I remember.

There is much I would have missed if I rejected a neighbor and fellow mom for her differing background and beliefs. As a Quaker and peace activist, I trained as a volunteer hotline counselor for active-duty military members who suffered assault or harassment, some of whom were suicidal.

As a hotline volunteer, I listened to and tried to help people who felt pressured to sign up for the military and then wanted out or wanted out because their thinking on war had changed. I learned about deceptive military recruitment practices and worked with others on counter recruiting and peace education in schools.

My neighbor, Mindy, who lived down the street from me when my children were growing up was married to a war veteran who got a job as a military recruiter at a college. Mindy was Mormon, another difference we had. I had heard members of my own faith community, sadly, make fun of Mormons for some of their practices or what some thought of as their pro-military, nationalistic stances.

Mindy had eight children with six still at home. She had a sign above her kitchen sink that said “Love at Home.” Her cluttered house usually smelled like a meal she was cooking.

Her youngest child, Jordy, was in the same Kindergarten class with my youngest son. They played in the same soccer league that Mindy helped me find. Jordy often rode his bike to our house, knocked on our door, and asked my son to play.

In the last few years, I have seen and heard people in my faith community and other faith communities, summarily reject others from a political party not their own, or with beliefs and affinities they find objectionable, as though those people had some kind of genetic defect or were so ignorant or backwards that they were beyond dialogue, were unfit for even the slightest consideration of their humanity.

These trends have saddened and troubled me deeply. These divisive trends seem to be very strong now, creating divisions deeper than I have ever seen.

Mindy and I never discussed politics, the military, or even our churches, though she had warmly invited me to hers a few times. We talked about children, the soccer league, children’s homework, after school activities. If I had rejected her for her opinions and experiences that differed from mine, I would have missed her kindness and her friendship.

As busy as she was, she was always cheerful, tired but smiling, and whenever I asked for her help, she was always there, more so than most – to let my son go to her house after school when I could not get there in time to meet the bus, when I asked her to drive me to pick up my car after it was fixed. She shared that the god she believed in, “Commanded her to do good, to help those in need.” As a single mom, I often needed her help.

When I was at some of my lowest times, scared and working three or more jobs, trying to make ends meet, she said words of encouragement like, “Your heavenly father will provide you with the miracles that you need.” She was right. That has been true, and I have not forgotten her words. She helped me persevere.

If I had dismissed Mindy – or others — for ways they differed from me, or for qualities about them I may not even fully understand, then I would have missed the grace and goodness of them, the gifts from them that I still remember.

Christine E. Black‘s poetry has been published in Antietam Review, 13th Moon, American Journal of Poetry, New Millennium Writings, Nimrod International, Red Rock Review, The Virginia Journal of Education, Friends Journal, The Veteran, Sojourners Magazine, Iris Magazine, English Journal, Amethyst Review, St. Katherine Review, Dappled Things and other publications.

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ahnhai
ahnhai
Apr 12, 2022 4:01 AM

Superb story of maintaining critical thinking abilities in a nation where everyone wants you to conform and not make waves. It is also an instructional booklet on how to keep your own heart and mind wide open at the same time. Great lessons to be learned here. 5 Stars!! 😍 

Reader
Reader
Apr 19, 2022 2:13 AM
Reply to  ahnhai

The Brownstone Institute is doing excellent work towards encouraging independent thought and civil debate. Their mission statement gives me hope in our culture as we work on recovering from this terrible time of oppression and darkness, harm and brainwashing. Consider these two recent stories.

https://brownstone.org/articles/illegal-mask-mandate-quotes-from-the-district-court-judgment/

https://brownstone.org/articles/more-than-150-comparative-studies-and-articles-on-mask-ineffectiveness-and-harms/

CriticalThinker
CriticalThinker
Apr 7, 2022 3:19 PM

This article describes the process of how the author acknowledges her own perspective yet challenges herself to move beyond that lone perspective to grow. We need more of this in our world. Over the last decade or so, and especially in the last few years, we have taken sides and claimed rightness, refusing to even consider another point of view. This is evident in the judgment and rightness of some of the comments. I admire the bravery of this article, and it pained me just a little bit to read it because it made me acknowledge that in myself.

fertility
fertility
Apr 7, 2022 2:42 PM

First time reading of Christine.5 star.

Reader
Reader
May 24, 2022 3:35 PM
Reply to  fertility

Sheryl Atkisson does good work. Independent thinking and questioning are noble qualities. Also treating those who differ from us with respect. This is a good story by her.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O1DgWYdukZU

Bob the bum
Bob the bum
Apr 7, 2022 12:56 PM

It’s a real conundrum. To get along with people we have to avoid arguing. On the other hand if we avoid arguing nobody wins the argument and nobody changes. Very few people are interested in being criticized and of course react badly to even a hint that their conduct or opinion could be considered immoral or selfish. I have been avoiding the thorny issues for many years, preferring to find common ground whilst hoping to passively influence.
It seems dishonest though not to tell people directly what I think of their views.

Reader
Reader
May 24, 2022 3:45 PM
Reply to  Bob the bum

This report below by Atkisson is thought-provoking. We need more critical thinking and respectful consideration of others, I think. The past few years have been terrible times of shaming and purging of others who even try to speak up and question. Questioners and thinkers and creative writers will continue because the truth and light and goodness are stronger than fear and hate and oppression, whichever sides they come from. The so-called sides are becoming more meaningless. More extremism and judgement and condemnation seem to be coming from the so-called “left” Democrats in the US lately, sadly.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O1DgWYdukZU

Thinking and compassion
Thinking and compassion
Jun 12, 2022 4:10 PM
Reply to  Reader

Regarding ending a pregnancy early in gestation, I agree with the writer that it should remain legal and private. There has been and is far too much constricted thinking, judgement, lack of compassion, even cruelty on the subject, among men, whose bodies are not affected by it — and even among women. If someone opposes abortion, I believe she should definitely not elect to have one — and, in the case of a male, who opposes this medical procedure, he should definitely not pressure or coerce or even attempt to persuade someone to end a pregnancy he created — whether the pregnant woman is a wife, girlfriend, or someone with whom he had casual sexual relations. And if there is a full- term pregnancy, many years of financial support may be required.

Like so many issues, it is a complicated one.

Viridis
Viridis
Apr 5, 2022 4:45 PM

pride in southern heritage

What heritage is that exactly?

It ‘s unfortunate Americans (and the americanised ) have still not figured out that pride is not a virtue…

In the last few years, I have seen and heard people in my faith community and other faith communities, summarily reject others from a political party not their own, or with beliefs and affinities they find objectionable, as though those people had some kind of genetic defect or were so ignorant or backwards that they were beyond dialogue, were unfit for even the slightest consideration of their humanity.

Ah yes, a “faith community”. It seems you are experiencing a mild touch of cognitive dissonance. The intolerance you are describing there is part and parcel of your “faith” and clearly laid out in the Old Testament – the original hate speech, which is part of the Christian Bible.

Lost in a dark wood
Lost in a dark wood
Apr 5, 2022 9:16 AM

US woman confronts her neighbour over Nazi flag
BBC News
Aug 17, 2017
Page Blaswell couldn’t believe her eyes when she drove past a home flying a Nazi flag in North Carolina. She decided to confront her neighbour and told the BBC about her experience.
Video by Maria Chiu

George Mc
George Mc
Apr 4, 2022 7:42 PM

And now the tone of the media hushes into a deadly pointed whisper as it recounts the unbelievable barbarity that is so appalling that …. etc. We are reaching levels of mind-numbing war mongering that haven’t been seen in my lifetime at least. “I want all their children to die like they murdered my beautiful child as he lay bleeding away in my arms!” etc.

And again it seems so stupidly crass that its aim must surely be division between the gaping fish minds who swallow it all and the ones who cannot stop themselves vomiting at a manipulation so blatant that it needs a new word. “Propaganda” will no longer suffice. It is pure poison.

Actually –this verbal poisoning is part of the psychological terrorism now relentlessly circulating everywhere. To induce a mood of fear, anger, outrage, bile, disgust, hysteria etc. is all. The media is the true aggressor here. It is battering at your brain all the time. And the genius of it is that, even if you are wise to it, that very insight will scare you as you realise how powerful and shameless it is.

Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 8:22 PM
Reply to  George Mc

Same at the CBC today… the Russian war atrocities, Putin is a war criminal. (He did that fast). No specific example though

George Mc
George Mc
Apr 4, 2022 5:35 PM

The WSWS continue to neutralise any working class mass movement:

“The financial aristocracy and the Paris stock market have closely followed the policies of LFI’s sister party, Podemos, which is in power in Spain. Podemos has slashed social spending to increase the military budget, pursued a policy of mass infection during the COVID-19 pandemic, and armed neo-Nazi militias in Ukraine against Russia. The MEDEF is confident that a Mélenchon victory would maintain this right-wing course and therefore gives him a blank cheque.”

Note how the values of the WSWS can be assessed here by looking at what they vehemently reject:

1.  slashing social spending to increase the military budget
2.  pursuing a policy of mass infection during the COVID-19 pandemic
3.  arming neo-Nazi militias in Ukraine against Russia

1 and 3 are something no Leftie would demur from attacking. But what about 2? (And how interesting that this, to say the least, questionable item should be tucked away in the middle!) It is unacceptable to “pursue a mass policy of infection” during the “covid pandemic”! Thus it is a priority to install ALL the restrictions and dish out the vaccines etc. What a grotesque ball and chain to wrap round the feet of all dissidents!

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon
Apr 4, 2022 7:05 PM
Reply to  George Mc

There are no “Nazi” militias in Ukraine, neo or otherwise. That there are half-wits addicted to violence that have been recruited to fight in Ukraine after being trained by the CIA and Israel, is not in dispute. The current Ukrainian government, installed by a CIA/Mossad coup in 2014 and backed by Jewish Ukrainian oligarchs, who themselves are an arm of the international banking cartel is backed by these “Nazis”. Ask yourself whether any self respecting “Nazi”, who like a fascist, would be opposed to the usury of the banking cartel, would be fighting for the people who want to suppress the well-being of your fellow citizens. The “Nazi” narrative also plays into Putin’s and Russia’s big lie of “The Great Patriotic War”. Had it not been for the real “Nazis” and their 500,000+ volunteers from across Europe in the Waffen SS units, Stalin would have been standing in Calais looking across the channel at Britain. Why are people surprised that Ukrainians, millions of whom had been starved to death by the Jewish led communists, would join the Germans in expelling the forces that had caused the death of their family, friends and neighbours?

George Mc
George Mc
Apr 4, 2022 8:01 PM
Reply to  Curmudgeon

What the hell is all that? “any self respecting “Nazi””? “Had it not been for the real “Nazis””? And a complaint that there are no “real” Nazis in Ukraine? So the (fake) Nazis are CIA pawns but you want to stick it to the mongrel Putin commie bastards – presumably with some (fine, upstanding) “real Nazis”?  

Kalen
Kalen
Apr 4, 2022 8:50 PM
Reply to  Curmudgeon

You seem to deny reality.

The Nazi battalions directly follow a century old traditions of Ukrainian extreme nationalism funded initially by Austro Hungarian security services. They worship Bandera and Doncov policy of ethnic cleansing by means of genocide that happened in Volhynia and East Galicia 1942-1948. Ukrainian nationalist party Svoboda was declared Neo Nazi and banned by European Parliament in 2012.

The Ukrainian state was Nazified with help of Germany and Canada where most of Banderites followers were protected after WWII, government was infiltrated by Nazi ideologues and sympathizers. Birthday of Stepan Bandera was made National Holiday twice by Yushtchenko and Poroshenko, once removed by Yanukovitch as vast majority of Ukrainians considered Bandera a murderer. Last eight years of educational propaganda brainwashing increased numbers of pro Nazi citizenry in Ukraine but still we talking about 10% minority.

Bandera genocide of Jews, Poles, Russians, Hungarians and fellow Ukrainians who did not support OUN B policies happened because of Nazi idea of racial/ethnic purity of the nation as a foundation of new modern never existed before in history Ukrainian state based on model of Nazi Germany. 

This genocide was not a expression of rage of ordinary people who were wronged. This genocide precisely methodically followed the map of greater Ukraine concocted by OUN-B and stopped on those imaginary borders, some of ethnic cleansing included areas west of current Ukraine borders (currently in Poland). 

Poland before 1918-1939 was multiethnic state nobody was ethnically cleansing Ukrainians or Jews. As a mater of fact all the ethnic groups were represented in Polish parliament and often supported government like 8 million strong Polish/Ukrainian Jewish community who supported Pilsudski. Bandera represented Nazi fringe in the broad spectrum of Ukrainian politics from right to left including Ukrainian communists in eastern Ukraine. Bander was considered a terrorist not because of his political views because he was involved in assassination of Polish cabinet minister and he was sentenced to prison in Brest not to political prisoners camp in BK where all Polish communists were sent.

 Ukrainian nationalist movement was not indigenous but was created in Vienna (their ideology never reached eastern Ukraine) and supported by Austro Hungarian empire security services that in fact tolerated also Polish national figures like Pilsudski as those had anti Tsarists/anti-Bolshevik Russia political credentials and in the same time AH empire cultivated resentment between those ethnic groups they supported or tolerated within the empire. It is widely ignored fact that Ukrainian Nazis hate as much Russians as Poles the only EU nation that just few years ago recognized Ukrainian Nazi ethnic cleansing murders 1942-48 as genocide while today Polish government supports those same Nazis with weapons and political support following rule that enemy of my enemy is my friend even if it is in reality my enemy.

Easteuropean Alien
Easteuropean Alien
Apr 4, 2022 9:33 PM
Reply to  Kalen

Just to add to your amazing comment, that Polish government not only supports those Nazi armies with weapons (which is officially stated) but there is also enormous mass media propaganda in Poland now to blindfully agree to whatever Ukrainian leaders decide to do. And an anonymous hate raising towards Russians. It was just today when I came across this video from one of the Polish grocery chains when they apparently routinely relable now the name of a traditional Polish dish called “Ruskie pierogi” (Russ dumplings) into “Ukrainian dumplings” which is apparently a completely different dish. And just because their name is also a kind of nick name used for Russians by Poles , esp. when they want to call them in an offensive way. And even though the new labels look very unprofessional, more like a naughty child’s trick a sale assistant heard in that video confirms that it came from the manufacturers and is greatly surprised in that video that the filming person questions a sensibility of that. https://fb.watch/cb2naRH9qD/

Kalen
Kalen
Apr 4, 2022 11:37 PM

Such name changing is nothing but misguided western cancel culture, alien to Polish culture, that went amok. Such appalling self righteous groups are modern sort of Nazi stormtroopers against which original AntiFa was created by KPD.

Remember French Fries turned into freedom fries when France opposed US Iraqi invasion in 2003.

In fact the dumplings are nor Russian but Rusin in origin which is a indigenes to southern Poland and western Ukraine ethnic minority who lived there for near ten millennia. Having nothing to do with contemporary ethnic Russians and modern Russian state.

Kiev regime follows footsteps of revered Nazi propaganda playbook. Responds by emotions not facts and logic. In a face of Volhynia and East Galicia brutal genocide of Polish men, women and children inspired by Nazi ideology that cost lives of about 6 millions and displaced 15 millions of Polish citizen shows that there are no true representatives of Polish nation in Warsaw but instead a western puppet regime.

it is true that there is in Poland strong resentment to Russian state mostly remnant of XVIII century total partition of Poland by Russia and others states. However the counter parties to total partition of Poland were Austria and Prussia (Germany) and resentment to both, now EU members is also very strong. Of course nobody in Poland wants to change name of German Shepherd into Polish Shepherd or Vienna cake into Warsaw cake.

it is Orwellian.

Hemlockfen
Hemlockfen
Apr 4, 2022 5:23 PM

I was very mixed by this poem.

Stirred my emotions. I miss my wife.

This poem was much like what my late wife used to write. She taught 8th grade language arts for 31 years. And she was good. About as loved and respected as a teacher could be. She had a huge influence on her students.

Tolerance came along.

The precursor to CRT.

And this poem by MS Black was a mild form of CRT, in my opinion.

We had many discussions at home. I often helped her grade. Simple stuff like reading off names and grades for her to transfer to her grade book (which she brought home against district policy). She was always grading. Later I bought her a program from a small company called WISCO. Some small time software writer near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was “freeware”. I spent a few bucks for the full version and it was a godsend. She used it for a decade before her district implemented it’s own electronic version. We were so bummed. Took some time to adapt to the new software.

I rarely brought my work home. It was always, “What can I do to help”. And often, she liked to share what she was teaching with me, while I helped. She like to read stuff her students had written. Amazing stuff. Much of it was due to her and her ability to “get through to them”. Kids that age are very impressionable. She had to be careful about getting too close. Many instances of abuse at home, which she was required by law to report. Several cases of suspected sexual abuse, including incest.

She occasionally told me about new curriculum guidelines that were being “handed down” from the district “curriculum developers” who had not been in a classroom for a decade or more. Their only qualification was a Ph.D. in theory they picked up from a local liberal college designed for teachers to maintain and “improve” their education as mandated by the districts. I always thought that was Ironic. Not only did they mandate it but they paid those with added degrees more money. I guess it is to offset the teacher’s time and cost. It would have made more sense to pay their tuition and for the hours of credit they earned all at once instead of a permanent pay increase. A base salary for everyone plus credit for time teaching. Just does not make sense to pay them for added education they are required to get. It’s fairly simple. You are done if you don’t. And that IS how it is.

She was already teaching it. Tolerance, that is. Look past their origins and judge people for what they do and not their race or origin. But not like what they are doing in the classroom now. Blatantly calling all white people haters while blacks and other non whites the victims of their hate. That IS, literally, what they are teaching. That IS the basis of Critical Race Theory. Sorry, if you disagree.

Her students read and wrote constantly. And they learned. And it killed her. She would not have done it any other way.

She read to them often. Especially, the controversial stuff. Like messaging that isn’t always easy for adolescents. Outmoded terminology that was common in society at the time of the original publication the book they were studying.

She did it at home for our kids too. A bottomless pit of energy. Or so it seemed. She was barely 60 when it caught up with her.

Good teachers don’t need to be directed to teach kids to be good citizens by forcing standardized racist curricula. They do it because it’s the right thing to do.

Bad teachers need to be fired instead of protected by powerful teacher’s unions.

County Girl
County Girl
Apr 4, 2022 6:15 PM
Reply to  Hemlockfen

Hemlockfen – your comment reads as beautifully as the article. It also says so much about your wife and about you. You must miss your wife but you have amazing memories of her. Thank you for your comment.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon
Apr 4, 2022 6:48 PM
Reply to  Hemlockfen

Bad teachers need to be fired instead of protected by powerful teacher’s union.

I hear and see this all the time, and it demonstrates exactly what this article is all about. I worked for over 30 years doing HR in a unionized environment. Unions are, by law, required to represent members under the duty of fair representation. What that means, is that it is required to do its due diligence in disciplinary matters. There is a 70+ year legal history of how employers are supposed to handle disciplinary matters. Unless there is a breach of trust, which includes gross insubordination, theft, or other willful criminal acts, progressive discipline is the rule. That includes issues covering policies and whether they are followed. I never saw a case, where an employer had done its own due diligence dealing with disciplinary issues (which includes dismissal) where a union successfully had discipline overturned. They are successful when the employers do not do their own due diligence.
Also missing is that many employees may disagree with a policy and its implications. Employees are required to follow those directives, unless it it a danger to themselves or others. I’m not going to suggest that there aren’t “bad” teachers, there are. There are “good” and “bad” employees in any occupation. The issue is whether the employer has followed what is required under the terms of a legally binding collective bargaining agreement, commonly known as the law of the workplace.

NikkiBop
NikkiBop
Apr 4, 2022 3:05 PM

Great article! At 62 I’ve lost all my friends and family due to my anti-vax, etc. stance. Thing is, I’ve always been the holistic black sheep that everyone comes to for advice when mainstream fill in the blank doesn’t work. But when I rejected BS-19 that evidently was the final straw. And things didn’t just become strained, they flat out ended forever. Now I have zero support system which is unnerving. And no surprise that many friends who’ve taken the vaccine are now having serious health problems. Advice I get now is to find like minded new friends. That wasn’t easy before BS-19 and has become impossible now I’m finding. I’m still the black sheep and no one likes talk of eating healthy, exercise, feeding dogs a raw diet……and god forbid I slip up and say the word homeopathy!!!!!

RegretLeft
RegretLeft
Apr 4, 2022 6:14 PM
Reply to  NikkiBop

I have been thinking about this. Can you find any solace in the fact that it is not your friends or family who are (entirely) the responsible agents of this outcome. Rather, such outcomes are precisely those which were intended by the Rulers. “Covid 19” is and has been a war – (it – and its outcomes – are not a “mistake”)- waged by the Rulers against global populations. Alienation of friends and families is perhaps one of the milder results. Exploding suicide rates particularly among the young are a more final outcome; loss of verbal and social skills among young children is another. The cull of the elderly – imprisoned in solitary confinement – more final results. The list goes on and on.
Your friends and family have the opportunity to modify their behavior. If – should I say when? – the war leaves them hungry, cold and in the dark perhaps they will have time to consider the basis of their actions that have led to your loss. They may need you yet!

Easteuropean Alien
Easteuropean Alien
Apr 4, 2022 9:43 PM
Reply to  RegretLeft

I’ve got so much sympathy for you… And to your comfort, just imagine faces of those who have rejected you when their will finally see the truth of all of these. The eternal truth.

Hemlockfen
Hemlockfen
Apr 4, 2022 6:40 PM
Reply to  NikkiBop

At 65 I am with you. A few people in the local grocery store too. For the most part, with the exception of older brothers, I am alone. My summer golf group made me quit. Even people from the church, all of whom are vaccinated, don’t want anything to do with me. It will be the 5 year anniversary of my wife’s death next month. Cancer. My kids have abandoned me. My daughter is pissed because of my harsh handling of my son and his family. It’s been about 8 weeks since I threw them out. We have had no contact since. My daughter knows the vaccines are bad and she and her husband and their two kids won’t be vaccinated. My son, however won’t even talk about it. Told me I am living in a “bubble”. I exclaimed that he and his wife were the one’s in the bubble. I just wanted them to hear what I have learned. Talk about statistics, etc. He and his wife were vaccinated early on before most of what we know now had come out. They are still thinking about getting their kids vaccinated. The kicker is travel. They like to travel. To me, that is unforgivable. Risking your children’s lives to make it easier to travel is nothing but selfishness. I may have worded it that way. I also, suggest that I might will his half of my estate to a colony of house cats when I die. And the anger toward my son and his wife is as fresh as ever. It is none of your business, he said. But it is the school’s business, the federal government, the airlines, the state, the grocery store, your next door neighbor, countries you travel too………… It’s their business and not mine, I said? He can do what he wants. I won’t forgive them, if they do. I would not forgive myself it I did not try to stop him. To me, risking losing any kind of relationship with them is worth it, if they don’t vaccinate their kids. People who are vaccinated don’t want to know the risks. It is too late for them and they know it. It is a tough situation. I have two sisters and one brother who are vaccinated. One sister and the brother regret it and won’t get boosted. I take credit for that. My daughter told me I ruined everything and “it” will never be the same. I told her that Fauci and WHO ruined it. I didn’t. Good luck in finding people. We are out there. CDC has boasted that over 90% of the U.S. population is vaccinated but I watched a video a few months ago posted in one of the Doctors for Covid Ethics symposiums (it’s on their website) that suggested the actual number is closer to 45%. I was on Match.com for a while and found that about 1/2 of the women on Match were vaccinated. More evidence that Fauci is lying and instructing others to do the same. Pure evil.

Easteuropean Alien
Easteuropean Alien
Apr 4, 2022 9:45 PM
Reply to  Hemlockfen

Hemlockfen, I’ve got so much sympathy for you… And to your comfort, just imagine faces of those who have rejected you when their will finally see the truth of all of these. The eternal truth.

goldhoarder
goldhoarder
Apr 4, 2022 1:37 PM

Should include a discussion on modern propaganda, Edward Bernays, Hill & Knowlton, and the Fors Marsh group. I bet you would find yourself in a lot of trouble …very quickly. I can’t find any sympathy for the covid hysterical myself. I just look at them as lost souls.

Placental_Mammal
Placental_Mammal
Apr 4, 2022 11:36 AM

I would have preferred an article on “vaccine” injuries. Make no mistake convid is about to retake centre stage. New Variants have been announced. The push for more clot shots remain.

Geo Martin
Geo Martin
Apr 4, 2022 1:45 PM

The covid psyop will continue because it’s the easiest way to make the population accept restrictions and other things they shouldn’t accept.

ChristineJ58
ChristineJ58
Apr 4, 2022 3:36 PM
Reply to  Geo Martin

Yes, you’re so right. How can so many people worldwide not see through this psyop… they all need an injection of intelligence, methinks.

I’ve explained to so many people re. how the scam is being perpetrated: via the deliberately fraudulent use of the PCR process. And yet they still choose to ‘believe’ what they hear on their beloved TVs.

David Icke last month made the point re. the fraudulence of the PCR ‘test’, with his trademark, inimitable humour: his amusing words appear at the top of the page at the link below:

“FDA warns of possible false results from some ‘covid’ tests. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. No, please, it hurts, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ouch, got a pain, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, whoop, whoop…”, at:

https://davidicke.com/2022/03/03/fda-warns-of-possible-false-results-from-some-covid-tests-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-no-please-it-hurts-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ouch-got-a-pain-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-whoop-whoop

ChristineJ58
ChristineJ58
Apr 4, 2022 3:29 PM

Yes. As David Icke makes the point with his own inimitable humour, with his trademark words at the top of the item below:

“Hybrid XE variant of the variant variant variant variant of the variant variant variant variant variant variant could be the most transmissible yet, WHO says. Who says? Idiots and liars says”, at:

https://davidicke.com/2022/04/03/hybrid-xe-variant-of-the-variant-variant-variant-variant-of-the-variant-variant-variant-variant-variant-variant-could-be-the-most-transmissible-yet-who-says-who-says-idiots-and-liars-says

StephAmson
StephAmson
Apr 4, 2022 10:48 AM

Children at 14 are too young to be taught about murders and torture. There are other kinder ways to teach about doing the right thing for the neighbour.

les online
les online
Apr 4, 2022 9:11 AM

Imagine. You and a bunch of 13 & 14 year old’s are corralled in a classroom. You’ve been schooled (obedience trained) from a young age, so you sit quietly while Miss mutters on about a video, and she wants a discussion about it later. You all wear the school’s uniform, but that’s uniformity not conformity… You’re a captive audience…
The video is about an experiment of how willing participants are to inflict torture, via electric shocks, on an unseen stranger. Miss says the video is about conformity but it’s really about Obedience…
Will the pain-inflicter obey the ‘request’ by The Authority to inflict an electric shock on a stranger ? Will the inflicter increase the intensity of the shock when ‘requested” by The Authority ?

Imagine. You flinch. You’ve identified with the person being ‘shocked’. Physical ‘corrections’ are not used in the obedience training centres anymore. (They Authorities are enlightened). Relied on are all manner of emotional coercions (and veiled threats)…
The big shocker is that Miss is the participant who inflicts the emotional coercions – and Miss revels in doing it (Miss calls it “teaching”)…
I imagine all the kids corralled with me are wishing they were somewhere else, doing something else, with someone else.

Next week Miss intends showing a video about Freedom. Afterwards we’ll probably have to discuss how lucky we are…

George Mc
George Mc
Apr 4, 2022 7:35 AM

An ex-colleague ever so proud of boasting about her rebel credentials has posted a link to some video with the usual “Left” celebs prattling on about defeating a cruel bill that will discriminate against certain refugees. Celebs include Emma Thompson, Daniel Radcliffe, the ubiquitous Meryl Streep etc. Isn’t it funny how some bills are up for dispute and some aren’t?  

Jeffrey Strahl
Jeffrey Strahl
Apr 4, 2022 5:44 AM

Good article, gave it a 5, But this.
“That year, I taught a unit on “herd mentality,” and gave the students articles to read on the Kitty Genovese murders in New York when papers reported that bystanders did not intervene as they heard a young woman screaming before she died from an attack.”
I was living in New York at the time, a high school junior, Spring ’64. People raised questions about these reports even at the time. And by the 1970s, these reports have been strongly contradicted, as neighbors had called the cops after hearing the screams. Things are bad enough, they don’t need to be made to seem worse due to stories which should have been questioned if not debunked by now.

Hemlockfen
Hemlockfen
Apr 4, 2022 4:03 PM
Reply to  Jeffrey Strahl

Same for the recently resurrected Omaha Race Riots stories.

Ort
Ort
Apr 4, 2022 8:01 PM
Reply to  Jeffrey Strahl

This is the peril of “meme”-level perception and knowledge, especially with elaborated morality-tale vignettes and tableaus. It calls to mind the bogus 1989 Tiananmen Square “Tank Man” episode– not the factual version, the imposed mendacious narrative that “Tank Man” was a courageous Everyman “David” resisting a monstrous and reprehensible Goliath.

After September 11, 2001, I coined the term “pernicious factoid” for distorted, inaccurate, and otherwise false statements that are repeated casually, carelessly, or deliberately in support of a false narrative, e.g. “Oswald shot JFK.”

Pernicious factoids, among other things, are the grace notes played by the “Mighty Wurlitzer” of overclass propaganda– although they’re not necessarily created by state-security (“intelligence”) agencies, they are always relentlessly promoted by orthodox mass-media.

I somewhat facetiously proposed an “Ort’s Law”: “truthy”-sounding assertions, if repeated often enough, become generally accepted as truthful and reliable; just as Gresham’s Law holds that bad money drives out good, Ort’s Law holds that pernicious factoids drive out facts (truth).

The blithe acceptance and reflexive propagation of seemingly minor, incidental false terms results in discourse and analysis becoming undermined and poisoned with pernicious factoids.

I realize this is a circular point, but although I agree with your sentiments, and heartily wish that enduring pernicious factoids would be extirpated by dogged and relentless exposure and criticism, I fear that once they cross a certain threshold in common usage they are harder to eliminate than bedbugs. They become the stuff of myth and legend, to a point where their fundamental falsity becomes irrelevant– and taking note of such falsity is dismissed as pedantic carping.

Hell, we can’t even dislodge “clever” idiocies like the lazy and crass “-gate” suffix appended to every would-be scandal since the Watergate affair. 😡

jimbo
jimbo
Apr 4, 2022 5:11 AM

I knew Sally to be a sweet, polite, hard-working student, who treated others with kindness and good heartedness, including African American students.

WTF!!!

so twisted sheesh

Howard
Howard
Apr 4, 2022 3:22 PM
Reply to  jimbo

You seem not to understand the importance “The Left” assigns to symbols – and this was even before the infamous “Woke” thing began.

Back in the day, when I used to comment on a “Liberal” blog (now defunct), an article on the Confederacy prompted a comment from me that as a teen in a “border” state (Maryland) in the late ’50s/early ’60s, most of my peers found the Confederate flag a cool icon – and so did I, though I never had one sewed into the crotch of my pants. Wow! did that generate some negative replies!

So it isn’t at all disingenuous for Ms Black to go out of the way to note that the girl with the Confederate Flag bore no ill will toward African American students. Plus, Charlottesville is one of the “Liberal” strongholds of Virginia (along with Norfolk, Richmond and parts of Northern Virginia).

Hemlockfen
Hemlockfen
Apr 4, 2022 4:04 PM
Reply to  jimbo

Dripping. Isn’t it.

John
John
Apr 4, 2022 3:38 AM

What a load of sanctimonious shyte!
(A previous post seems to have been censored because I spelt the last word correctly)

Sam - Admin2
Admin
Sam - Admin2
Apr 4, 2022 7:24 AM
Reply to  John

Reset your browser cache, neither of these posts were held back at any point. It was here since you posted it 🤷‍♂️ Oh, and stop being suspicious and mean. 😉 A2

Hemlockfen
Hemlockfen
Apr 4, 2022 4:07 PM
Reply to  Sam - Admin2

I can’t count the number of times my posts were withheld for approval. Come on. Don’t act innocent. And then suggesting unwarranted suspicion with a smile. Geeze. Please.

Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 3:30 AM

The PTB loves that we are waisting time w crazy and retards, accept everyone without getting them out of the way. Heck, they literally create them and release them in society. I’ve had my share, paid to learn. Now unless this is my job, and they would have to pay me well, I’m intolerant of anything standing in the way of progress, common sense, truth and self preservation. They can stop the dumbing down and impairment of our children and society. They chose to increase the damages on every move instead… I’m out of that non sense. I have no responsibility for stupid people, the PTB does… we used to have one idiot per village, the rest of the community would chip in. Now, it’s just destruction of the community. And Howard! When the fuck did you become a humanitarian? You were promoting the death of humanity not three weeks ago you hypocrite cunt.

Howard
Howard
Apr 4, 2022 1:36 PM
Reply to  Theobalt

Ayn Rand observed “One does not stop the Juggernaut by throwing oneself in front of it.”

If humanity wishes to extinct itself, I have no intention of sacrificing myself in a vain effort to try and save it by throwing myself in front of it crying “Stop! Go back!”

Predicting the near term demise of the human species is not the same as calling for it, let alone actively working to bring it about.

Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 4:28 PM
Reply to  Howard

Nan, you said they should all disappear, you didn’t “predict it”

John
John
Apr 4, 2022 2:31 AM

What a sanctimonious piece of shit!!

George Mc
George Mc
Apr 4, 2022 7:55 AM
Reply to  John

Don’t you mean shyte?

gabriel
gabriel
Apr 4, 2022 2:19 PM
Reply to  John

I agree. I should have stopped at ‘african american’, but being a sucker, I endured a few more screens till I gave up.

rememberingmonkey
rememberingmonkey
Apr 3, 2022 11:29 PM

It’s God. With a capital G. Too bad you didn’t have compassion on your innocent unborn child, but we’re supposed be thankful and inspired by your condescension to Sally.

Johnny
Johnny
Apr 4, 2022 1:41 AM

There are many Gods and/or gods.
It all depends on where you were born, what your parents taught you, what you feel most comfortable with, or what you believe.

Life, on the other hand, should always be spelled with a capital L, because there is only one. Feel it ?
It’s the only Life we can actually experience. Everything else is a form of Life.

Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 3:41 AM
Reply to  Johnny

I do feel something

Howard
Howard
Apr 4, 2022 1:38 PM

It isn’t just the word “God.” Even the term “He” or “Him” or “His” when referring to God should be capitalized – this according to my 8 years of Catholic school training.

gabriel
gabriel
Apr 4, 2022 2:25 PM

If she tries a little bit harder, she might publish at the ‘other’ Guardian.

jubal hershaw
jubal hershaw
Apr 3, 2022 11:07 PM

“What i would have missed most…” posted on a Sunday reads like a Sunday Sermon.
It’s Monday morning here in Sydney Australia, not my best time for a feel-good sermon.

Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 3:43 AM
Reply to  jubal hershaw

We’re not all paid to take care of a bunch of kids, the author should understand that. But why don’t we all walk in shame for not being her.

Lost in a dark wood
Lost in a dark wood
Apr 3, 2022 8:22 PM

This was the same year Charlottesville, Virginia, the town where I lived, was roiled in controversy over statues of Confederate generals and Confederate soldiers in city parks, controversy so enflamed that violent riots erupted in August 2017, resulting in many injuries and at least three deaths.

Did you question those events or did you just believe the official narrative?

Tike
Tike
Apr 3, 2022 8:51 PM

Exactly. Total psy-op, which is ironic since the author stated this, a few paragraphs down (about “The Lottery”): “The story raises questions about conformity and group thinking, with conformity so strong that it results in great harm.”

Russ Winter’s site has a lot of articles and videos — here’s one, but if you type in “Charlottesville” on his site, you’ll get a lot more:

https://www.winterwatch.net/2020/07/an-examination-of-the-charlottesville-car-crash-accident-assault-or-staged-event/

rider
rider
Apr 3, 2022 8:58 PM

Says the Q – trump believer.

Lizzyh7
Lizzyh7
Apr 3, 2022 9:29 PM
Reply to  rider

Sure, why not go for the simplest answer – anyone who questions the mainstream narrative is just a Trumper or Q Anon. I’m sorry, but that kind of simplistic thinking is exactly how we got here. If you refused to take their damned shot, same deal. Refuse to believe whatever you’re spoon fed by a media that ALWAYS has another agenda at heart, just another Trumper. Idiocy 101.

Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 3:45 AM
Reply to  Lizzyh7

What are you doing next weekend… just kidding, unfortunately.

rider
rider
Apr 4, 2022 10:59 AM
Reply to  Lizzyh7

When it comes to spoon feeding, you people believe any old shit. her above has followed and believed most psyop./s.
regarding Q trump or the right wing hash tag doesn’t do you any favors following known military intelligence complex right wing shills. .
rebel media – Spencer-, PJW -Mercer – alex jones-redice radio-michael tarshillon -U>K column etc etc during and from 2014-2020 pushed that agenda hard to tarnish anyone who was alternative to be called that.
The proven shills who told you to support the politician/s and every state sponsored psyop back then ‘which is the latest current thing’ is now a fake hero to people like you – thinking (lack of it) your independent thinking.

jubal hershaw
jubal hershaw
Apr 3, 2022 11:12 PM
Reply to  rider

Is that meant as praise, or scorn ? Please explain.
If scorn, are you more than just a superior attitude ?

Lizzyh7
Lizzyh7
Apr 4, 2022 1:07 AM
Reply to  jubal hershaw

I’m surprised here by the immediate response to the comment that one must be a Trump supporter to not wonder how many sensational events we are hammered with couldn’t be orchestrated, or at the very least blatantly used to gin up partisan outrage. On a site where we are all questioning almost everything in the MSM. Quite frankly the immediate retort that one must be a Trump supporter or Q Anon I find highly insulting on a site such as this. If one cannot question, then why are we here? To me, it is a typical “liberal” response to shut down any discussion at all. I have encountered the same such offhand remarks at work when discussing the unvaccinated. Partisan Idiocy 101, does that help?

wardropper
wardropper
Apr 3, 2022 7:52 PM

Wow, real education does still exist!

I often wonder if it is possible to imagine what one would really do in really agonizing situations until one is actually faced with them.
Few of us, I think, would claim, “Oh, I would be the hero and do the right thing, no matter what the consequences for myself.”
That said, I suppose people with repeated experience of putting themselves in harm’s way for the sake of others might easily know themselves well enough to be aware of the heroism of which they are capable.

Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 3:48 AM
Reply to  wardropper

When people are lying to me to test me and put me in an impossible situation (commenting here impersonating many is an example), I want to electrocute THEM…

rossgopicotrain
rossgopicotrain
Apr 3, 2022 7:33 PM

Very few words of worth can be produced subsequent to reading such a beautiful, graceful and lovely piece of writing s/a this one. Hence, I will simply say thank you: thank you for this gift of compassion, empathy and understanding you so exemplarily exhibit in your writing, living and being! RGB-Y2 out!!

Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 3:50 AM

Aren’t you being a bit dramatic? Are you a priest? Who are you anyway?

rossgopicotrain
rossgopicotrain
Apr 4, 2022 4:55 PM
Reply to  Theobalt

Nowadays, if one isn’t completely jaded and cynical they can expect the type of mean-spirited and menacing rejoinders that are so replete in the comments section of sites s/a ‘off-guardian.com’: a travesty of the human soul and spirit I must say (but, fortunately, acting as the perfect foil for Christine’s piece)! That is all!! RGB-Y2 out!!!

rider
rider
Apr 3, 2022 7:22 PM

The first American joke: The Declaration of Independence.

wardropper
wardropper
Apr 3, 2022 7:34 PM
Reply to  rider

The second American joke: American Exceptionalism.
The proof that the first joke wasn’t a joke at all.

Placental_Mammal
Placental_Mammal
Apr 4, 2022 2:02 AM
Reply to  rider

There are no independant nations.

Jas
Jas
Apr 3, 2022 6:41 PM

It’s time to reject the new world order and I won’t feel guilty about doing so

wardropper
wardropper
Apr 3, 2022 7:36 PM
Reply to  Jas

Perhaps a decent new world order will emerge from the ashes of Klaus Schwab’s ridiculous blueprint…

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym
Apr 3, 2022 6:32 PM

One of the best pieces of humane wisdom that I’ve come across in a while. Well found, Off-G folk. Thanks! And thanks to Christine in particular.

Edwige
Edwige
Apr 3, 2022 6:10 PM

The Confederate flag is banned on Amazon – but not Azov Battalion memorabilia.

I’ve never had a Confederate flag except on the cover of a Primal Scream album. It’s one of those “floating” signifiers beloved by post-modernists, used more to signify a rebellious underdog than support for the Confederacy. The elite know this – but then anti-authority is defined as part of US domestic terrorism.

Everyone against the current thing better get used to being labelled a white supremacist because it’s going to be standard operating procedure. Those worried by such labels have lost before they start.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Apr 3, 2022 8:55 PM
Reply to  Edwige

I wasn’t born in the US so I associate the Confederate battle flag with the “General Lee”, the much abused car in the TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard”. Here the symbolism is ‘against the system’ — freedom loving bootleggers against the corrupt system. I wasn’t aware of just now ingrained racism was in the US until I moved here, it runs a lot deeper than battle flags and statues and its not just black and white. I fear that tacking the symbolism detracts from the real goal of tacking racism — you go after the obsolete symbols because then you can be seen to be doing something (even as nothing really changes).

What doesn’t seem to be that well taught here is the process of Restoration, the post-Civil War era which saw the complete abrogation of the rights of minorities in many states using processes that are alive and well even in 2022. There are significant elements of American society who define ‘freedom’ as the ‘freedom to discriminate against those you don’t like or fear’ and who’s notion of ‘democracy’ is ‘we win — or else’. We should really fix ‘freedom and democracy’ here before we try to spread it to others.

Lost in a dark wood
Lost in a dark wood
Apr 3, 2022 8:58 PM
Reply to  Edwige

I never thought there was much postmodern about The Dukes of Hazzard or Billy Idol, but I suppose it’s all down to “interpretation”. The “problem” with the Confederate flag is that it’s a good design; better even than the Union Jack, and nowhere near as bloody !

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Lost in a dark wood
Lost in a dark wood
Apr 3, 2022 11:42 PM

Of course, the following was written prior to the Petersonian war against postmodernism . . .

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10570319909374653
Postmodern irony as subversive rhetorical strategy
Helene A. Shugart
Published online: 06 Jun 2009
In this essay, the use of postmodern rhetorical irony as a subversive strategy is explored. In particular, Susan Dorothea White’s painting, The First Supper, is analyzed as a subversive, postmodern ironic reading of Leonardo da Vinci’s famed work, The Last Supper. This analysis suggests that subversive irony assumes distinctive and complex technical and theoretical characteristics, most relevant to its postmodern nature; chief among these is the fact that the irony invites multiple readings on multiple levels, thereby creating multiple potential audiences. Significantly, although the subversive function of irony in this instance may be apparent to a postmodern audience, the text may be just as likely to function hegemonically for other audiences.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_First_Supper

. . . and the great postmodernist counter offensive.

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Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 3:57 AM

Is nausea normal from reading that text. It’s the repeated use of the term irony which no one uses correctly including the author, me and 99.9999 % of the planet…. And as a french person should I be offended by this post… yaahhnn!… oh God.

Lost in a dark wood
Lost in a dark wood
Apr 4, 2022 5:30 AM
Reply to  Theobalt

I decided to check the “meaning” of irony and came across something I hadn’t previously heard about; namely, the “ironic bullet”. And it’s at 3.3 in the contents !

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony#Situational_irony
When John Hinckley attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan, all of his shots initially missed the President; however, a bullet ricocheted off the bullet-proof Presidential limousine and struck Reagan in the chest. Thus, a vehicle made to protect the President from gunfire instead directed gunfire to the president.[41][42]

Lost in a dark wood
Lost in a dark wood
Apr 4, 2022 4:03 AM

Some Bernaysian nudge units were tasked with selling Cool Britannia while others would demonise Dixie.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_Britannia
Cool Britannia was a name for the period of increased pride in the culture of the United Kingdom throughout the mid and second half of the 1990s, inspired by Swinging London from 1960s pop culture. This loosely coincided with John Major’s conservative government and the 1997 United Kingdom general election where Tony Blair’s New Labour government won in a landslide. The success of Britpop and musical acts such as the Spice Girls, Blur and Oasis led to a renewed feeling of optimism in the United Kingdom following the tumultuous years of the 1970s and 1980s. The name is a pun on the title of the British patriotic song “Rule, Britannia!”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_display_of_the_Confederate_battle_flag
Public opinion (2011–2017)
A 2011 Pew Research Center poll revealed that 30% of Americans had a “negative reaction” when “they saw the Confederate flag displayed.”[58] According to the same poll, 9% of Americans had a positive reaction. A majority (58%) had no reaction. Among black Americans, 41% had a negative reaction, 10% had a positive reaction and 45% had no reaction. A similar poll taken in 2015 revealed little change from 2011.[59]
In an October 2013 YouGov poll, a plurality (38%) of those polled disapproved of displaying the flag in public places.[60] In the same poll, a plurality (44%) of those asked viewed the flag as a symbol of racism, with 24% viewing it as exclusively racist and 20% viewing it as both racist and symbolic of pride in the region. 35% viewed it exclusively as a symbol of regional pride.[60]
In a national survey in 2015 across all races, 57% of Americans had the opinion that the Confederate flag represented Southern pride rather than racism. A similar poll in 2000 had a nearly identical result of 59%. However, poll results from only the South yielded a completely different result: 75% of Southern whites described the flag as a symbol of pride. Conversely, 75% of Southern blacks said the flag symbolized racism.[61]
Another poll, administered by Economist / YouGov after racially motivated violence in Charleston in August 2017, showed that by a 5% margin – 43% to 38% – the Confederate Flag was viewed as a symbol of southern pride rather than racism. However, participants of color were 32% more likely than their white neighbors to see it as a sign of racism.[62]

Todd Hayen
Todd Hayen
Apr 3, 2022 5:55 PM

This is excellent. It is about soul, and love. Something seldom talked about. Thank you.

Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 3:58 AM
Reply to  Todd Hayen

Oh it’s talked about… not around here these days… we’re not inspired by recent events.

Pakistanicecream
Pakistanicecream
Apr 3, 2022 5:22 PM

Totally agree with the article. Agreeableness and likeability are not criteria for truthfulness.

duke
duke
Apr 3, 2022 5:13 PM

Beautiful piece. When this is all over what will remain is how you treated others.

Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 3:59 AM
Reply to  duke

Nope, what will remain are carcasses

J Matson Heininger
J Matson Heininger
Apr 3, 2022 4:58 PM

What a well done, pleasant, thoughtful human (in the best sense of the word) essay. Thank You.

Howard
Howard
Apr 3, 2022 3:34 PM

This is a beautiful essay; and very relevant to the COVID nightmare. I read so many comments in this forum expressing disdain for the people (“sheeple” they’re called) who let themselves be jabbed and who even insist others do the same.

Of course the jabbees are in the wrong, and may indeed suffer gravely for their mistake. And even though my natural inclination is toward misanthropism (oops, no such variant of misanthrope according to spell check!), I know approximately one person who, like me, has refused the jab.

Am I now, misanthrope that I am, supposed to limit human contact to one single person? Is that what it’s come to? Being “right” makes it impossible to socialize with the “wrongs” in my small circle of acquaintances?

I don’t proselytize, I don’t rail at their “foolish” decision. In fact, I don’t even mention jabbiness (I want to say Jabberwocky). When meeting up with an acquaintance, we talk about everyday things. And the world moves forward instead of backward.

Fugazi Shoe-gazy
Fugazi Shoe-gazy
Apr 3, 2022 4:32 PM
Reply to  Howard

Wholeheartedly agree – we’ve definitely made the same mistake as the adherants in the act of dehuminization. Unfortunately we can be just as susceptible to group think. To live in a pluralistic society it is necessary to allow people what you may consider superstitions as much as possible. The default position seems to be that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is not only wrong but dangerous and an enemy of the state. Depending on your position everyone is either a Nazi or a Communist – not a fellow countryman with a different opinion than you.

Guenonsbitch
Guenonsbitch
Apr 3, 2022 4:45 PM
Reply to  Howard

I agree to the extent that I still care for and maintain relationships with those who have taken the jab, but just talking about “everyday things” when humanity is under full frontal assault from a level of tyranny previously unimaginable does not seem to me like “moving forward.” It seems like burying one’s head in the sand while the genocide plows on.

Howard
Howard
Apr 3, 2022 5:13 PM
Reply to  Guenonsbitch

The sad, even maddening thing is that most of the people who’ve taken the jab seem totally oblivious to the bigger picture – or they might not have taken the jab in the first place.

There’s no possibility of discussing the importance of what’s happening “out there” when, to them, what’s happening “right here” is the most – and perhaps only – important consideration.

rememberingmonkey
rememberingmonkey
Apr 4, 2022 1:51 AM
Reply to  Guenonsbitch

Well said.

Placental_Mammal
Placental_Mammal
Apr 4, 2022 2:07 AM
Reply to  Guenonsbitch

Plus 100.

Mark EL
Mark EL
Apr 4, 2022 8:47 AM
Reply to  Guenonsbitch

Indeed.
And they ‘innocently’ collude in our immiseration and murder.
But we must be tolerant and continue our superficial relationships.
And not mention the elephant in the room.
How rude.
What we would miss.

Not for me.

Howard
Howard
Apr 4, 2022 3:50 PM
Reply to  Mark EL

You may be missing an important consideration: having allies. It may not help, since most “allies” will not stand up for you when push comes to shove. But there’s always the one chance in a million they will.

Bad times are not merely here – they’re also coming. And those of us who speak out against and refuse to go along with the official narratives will be targeted at some future date (if we haven’t already been).

There’s literally no place left on Earth to escape the “Long Arm of the Law.” Nor, as the tragedy of the Branch Davidians in Waco, TX April 19, 1993 showed, is it possible to fight the government no matter how many weapons you have.

Yes, of course, it’s the unthinking people who never question government narratives who make it all possible. And yes, it’s virtually impossible to get them to think critically. But shouting at them will not change that – if anything, it’ll only make them less likely to question the narratives.

How is that in your self-interest?

Mark EL
Mark EL
Apr 5, 2022 7:53 AM
Reply to  Howard

No shouting H.
Disappointment and disengagement.
Anything else too distressing.
Self-interest: what’s that?

Phaeton
Phaeton
Apr 3, 2022 4:49 PM
Reply to  Howard

Sheep are a beautiful animal incapable of doing all the harm that humans do to themselves and other beings. So yes, we should not call them “sheep”.

I think it is quite normal to express disdain for people who have contributed to the torture of children in schools and the murder of the elderly in nursing homes, among many other things. In my country (Spain) children still wear masks at school all the time (at least indoors), and I see MANY of them wearing masks even playing when they are not at school because they have been so brainwashed and psychologically tortured, that now they feel more comfortable wearing a muzzle.

Have I fallen for the divide and conquer tactics of those running the show? Yes, I am aware of that. But can I turn a blind eye to what has happened, and continues to happen, in these two years? No.

Placental_Mammal
Placental_Mammal
Apr 4, 2022 2:26 AM
Reply to  Phaeton

Sheep are not pert of nature. They were created by breeding by our pre agricultural ancestors like many other domestic animals. Modern man is also a domestic animal and can be herded as we have seen through history and more than ever today. We are a different kind of animal and can be made to perpetrate extreme violence.

mgeo
mgeo
Apr 4, 2022 10:06 AM

+1

Phaeton
Phaeton
Apr 4, 2022 4:00 PM

Well, since nature is everything, everything we do is part of nature. If your point is to say that original humans don’t exist anymore, I 100% agree with you.

rememberingmonkey
rememberingmonkey
Apr 4, 2022 1:51 AM
Reply to  Howard

Excellent comment, but for the vaccine injured and those who have no money to feed their families, just because they want to CHOOSE what they are injected with, the world moves very backwards indeed. Glad you did not have to pay such a price – or at least you seem far too jolly about the whole tragic affair to appear to have paid any price.

Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 4:03 AM

Wow Howard, a beautiful little group of… 6 PEOPLE you created there, they all agree with you, love you, and talk exactly like you… Fuck you’re crazy.

Howard
Howard
Apr 4, 2022 1:52 PM
Reply to  Theobalt

Had I the power of creation, I would do my best to create fair minded people in order to try and limit the spread of meanness.

What kind of people are you attempting to “create?”

Howard
Howard
Apr 4, 2022 1:49 PM

Two years is a short time to someone who’s been here for 78 years. There is no indication that all prices have been paid and accounted for regarding COVID and its related scams.

As many have said, and as I agree, regarding the scam: You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! The worst is yet to come.

And the prices effected will hit far more than simply those who were forced to choose whether or not to be jabbed to save their jobs.

Have faith, it’s coming. Anyone relatively unscathed so far is very very far from “home free.”

James Robertson
James Robertson
Apr 4, 2022 8:24 AM
Reply to  Howard

The word you are looking for is misanthropy.

S Cooper
S Cooper
Apr 3, 2022 3:13 PM
S Cooper
S Cooper
Apr 3, 2022 3:15 PM
Reply to  S Cooper

comment image
comment image

” DEAD! DEAD! DEAD!”

K. Cavan
K. Cavan
Apr 3, 2022 3:11 PM

A young woman regularly heaps awful abuse on me, in a comment forum we both frequent. A journalist friend who saw this produced a file on her & presented it to me. I know where she works, where she comes from, lots of details were produced, including her profile from an online dating site. I would never dox her, we both use pseudonyms on the site, but the dating profile revealed a sad, lonely, overweight girl, even if it specified that no-one with my political views should apply, & I realised how much of her rage came, not from my comments & her disagreement with my views, but from her own life.
We still trade verbal blows but at least I know where the anger comes from. She’s a human being to me now, even if I’m still some sort of a monster, to her.

rememberingmonkey
rememberingmonkey
Apr 4, 2022 1:56 AM
Reply to  K. Cavan

Unfortunately, she is not the kind of ‘human’ to worry about [ for the most part ].

Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 4:08 AM

What the fuck does that mean Howard?

Howard
Howard
Apr 4, 2022 3:59 PM
Reply to  Theobalt

Oh, I finally get it (I’m a little slow on the uptake): I’m your “Karen.” (I’d rather be “Wally/Waldo” – please? don’t transgender me.)

Anyone who makes a comment that doesn’t meet your high standards automatically becomes a “Howard.”

Should I be flattered?

Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 4:07 AM
Reply to  K. Cavan

So you finally accepted that she treated you like shit because she is deplorable…. This was about ego then.

Theobalt
Theobalt
Apr 4, 2022 4:12 AM
Reply to  K. Cavan

Why do you assume she doesn’t mean what she says, cuz she’s fat and lonely (most people are these days)… what an idiot comment… if you miss fighting with her, you can come here (I see you are new)… I feel I can argue with you on a few things

Sandy
Sandy
Apr 3, 2022 3:02 PM

Wonder article!