Saturday, November 21, 2015
How bad should we feel about how bad college protesters feel about how inadequately bad the rest of us feel?
Meanwhile, many normal Americans who are watching all of this are feeling bad about the fact that these students are squandering all their time feeling bad about how insufficiently bad other people are feeling, partly because it is making everyone feel bad.
We should all feel very badly about this. In fact, we do, which is really bad.
One of the things that made minority students feel bad at Harvard University recently is the fact that the university was founded by a slaveholder, making Harvard a White supremacist institution which is now, in consequence, under the obligation to feel bad about itself.
Some observers (i.e., me) think that it is the result of a whole generation of students who have spent so much of their lives worrying about their feelings that they are completely ignorant of history, about which, if they had known anything, they would be even more upset than they already are.
In fact, other observers (i.e., also me), think that it is probably a good thing that these students are so wrapped up in feeling bad about how inadequately bad other people feel that they don't know very much history.
"What you have to realize," said one expert on the subject (me), "is that history is filled with bad things. And because these things are bad, they make people feel bad. And this, of course, is even worse. So it is perhaps best that people who feel bad about bad things that happened in the past--and who get upset when people in the present don't feel badly enough about them--should be careful about their exposure to what actually happened in the past."
"In fact," he continued, "the past is the last place you want to investigate if you don't want to feel bad."
This particular observer (me) wondered what would be the end result of all the bad feelings if more people knew about their own history. "We would all have to resign," he said.
"And just imagine how bad that would make everyone feel."