We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Monday, August 16. 2010
Worth sending to kids and grandkids. This from Judith Cone's Open Letter to Students, via Minding the Campus. One quote:
The whole letter here. I have seen that anti-business bias often, and it always confuses me because most of what we have and do in this life is thanks to the effort and risk of business folks and the people they employ.
From an economic standpoint, non-profits, government, academia, and even professional people like me are parasitic to the big engine of free enterprise.
I think they look down on it because they know that they are beholden to it, and that makes them feel ashamed. I think it's similar to the effete attitudes towards our military.
Free ad for Bob, a few days early: "Name me someone that's not a parasite..."
From Dylan's masterpiece Visions of Johanna: The peddler now speaks to the countess who's pretending to care for himSaying, "Name me someone that's not a parasite and I'll go out and say a prayer for him"But like Louise always says"Ya ca
Weblog: Maggie's Farm
Tracked: Jan 13, 09:17
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Here's one for the Dylanologist:
William Zantzinger, villain in Dylan song, dies
CHARLOTTE HALL, Md. – William Zantzinger, a Maryland socialite whose fatal beating of a black barmaid was recounted in a Bob Dylan protest song of the 1960s, was buried Friday. He was 69.
Zantzinger died Jan. 3. His family did not provide further details of his death, the Brinsfield-Echols Funeral Home said.
The tobacco farmer served six months and was fined $500 for manslaughter in 1963 for striking the 51-year-old barmaid with his cane for taking too long to serve him a drink. Hattie Carroll later died of a stroke. In the "Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll," Dylan criticized different standards of justice meted out to whites and blacks.
Zantzinger was allowed to delay the start the sentence two weeks so he could harvest his tobacco crop and served the time in the Washington County jail, working in its kitchen.
"There is something wrong with this city when a white man can beat a colored woman to death and no one raises a hand to stop him," the Rev. Thomas C. Jackson said in his sermon at Gillis Memorial Church the Sunday after Carroll's death.
News accounts at the time said Zantzinger had been seen drinking with his wife at a dinner before a ball. While dining, Zantzinger told jurors he began hitting waitresses with the cane.
"I'd been smacking — tapping — waitresses on the tail, and they didn't say anything. I was just playing," Zantzinger told the jury in Hagerstown, where the case was tried.
"I had no other purpose than to have a good time,"
Zantzinger testified. "The last thing I intended was to harm or injure anyone. I never even thought about it."
Zantzinger, who later became a foreclosure auctioneer, didn't answer questions about Dylan's song for years. In 2001, he told Dylan biographer Howard Sounes the singer was "just a scum bag of the earth. I should have sued him and put him in jail. (The song is) a total lie."
A publicist for Dylan said the songwriter was not available for comment.
Amen to the anti-business bias. I am particularly confused by labor unions that seem to gleefully use their clout to pinch their employers to the point they consider either moving the company elsewhere or closing the doors altogether, then point to this as an example of another evil business that does not care about its employees. What's worse, a job that pays less than you would like to make or no job at all? If some employees are so sure they can do a better job of running a business than their employer, why don't they start their own company and put their former employer out of business? Lack of ambition?
It takes a different skill set to succeed in business than in academia. For intensely personal reasons, academics want their skill set to be valued more highly than other abilities. Therefore, they talk down those others.
It might be that simple, AVI. However, I think it's a narcissistic thing. Nobody feels all that good about being a parasite on the effort and risk of others. And who knows what their skill sets are, until they try.
I know what I am bad at, but it's taken a long time to learn.
"For intensely personal reasons, academics want their skill set to be valued more highly than others' abilities..." Isn't that what you meant, AVI? Others' abilities, plural possessive. Sometimes apostrophes can be very important. Remember the old saw ... "those who can, do; those who can't, teach."
There's a fascinating little book by an English lady -- Eats, Shoots and Leaves is the title, and it is written in praise of the glories of proper punctuation. This lady is so crazed for proper punctuation that she carries a Marksalot pen in her purse and corrects improper punctuation use, unless she can't reach high enough. I think billboards are too much for her. I think about her fondly, sometimes, and I bet Meta does too. She's kind of the Joan of Arc of English grammar.
No, I like my way better. "Skill set" is a near-synonym for "abilities," and I meant it to be read that way. I can see that my use of the word "their" suggests that there should be an answering personalizing in the second phrase, but I was picturing a skill set as an object, like a set of blocks, and the abilities as another object.
I don't have the comments any more, but our new President and his wife expressed those same views during the campaign - that anyone who chose going into business was morally corrupt. You needed to go into government or be a community organizer. I will search for those comments, because I was personally offended by them.
Sheesh. I am personally offended by the seemingly endless generalizations people plop out as the be all and end all of their opinions. How hard is it to use a qualifier when you make such an erroneous statement as: "... academics want their skill set to be valued more highly than other abilities." That statement is incorrect. It makes the writer appear dogmatic and thoughtless. For one very small example: I am an academic and never once in my life have I given a thought to my skill set much less to its value.
(AVI - there are plenty of sweeping generalizations on this blog. I just used yours because it was close.)
"Eats, Shoots and Leaves" is my favorite favorite! What a great book. Because she's British, some of the grammar rules do not match our own, and I was happily justified to find it was okay to do something I've done all my life with the use of quotations marks and end marks. Too bad I didn't have the book to stuff in the face of my department chair who found me a bit too rebellious on..... well, just about everything. :)
Yes, I did over-generalise about academics. I am partly supporting an unemployed one at the moment and am perhaps a bit testy. However, I generalise about the beliefs and attitudes of social workers as well, even though I am an exception.
Shakespeare cannot mean both "...honour's thought
# Reigns solely in the breast of every man" and "all men are bad and in their badness raigne" if no generalisation is allowed; nor could Adam Smith say "Whenever two businessmen get together they conspire against the public" nor St. Luke "For all men of Athens and comelings harboured gave attention to none other thing, but either to say, or to hear some new thing."
Academics who I know and am fond of nonetheless reveal often a bit of disdain for those outside. Perhaps you are not one, and know other exceptions. But exceptions are not common in my experience.
Two points: even those academics who do not talk down others' abilities do wish for their skill set to be more valued than others. That is just human nature.
Second point - you might strive not to prove my point so quickly next time. In your comments to Marianne, your valuation of the skill set of correct traditional punctuation shows pretty clearly.
The academics I know, and I know a lot - both secondary and university - don't look down on others much less note an metric for those on the 'outside'. Academics teach 'outsiders' to use your term, and having disdain for your students would make the job a perfect misery. The teachers, professors I know live for their work.
Name any professional who does not wish to be valued. You can't find one.
Second point - I am correct in my valuation of grammar. That I had been using the correct form and was validated for it is what delighted me.
Also, just for the record - the article of this post shows how not to generalize. Good on this author.
In my comment to Marianne, I could have taken issue with the old cliche she pointed out: "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach." But I didn't. What a revolting insult that is.
A truly revolting insult is when your daughter's bio-chemistry professor stretches out his hand for a shake. after just finishing scratching his ass with it.
And he, a Harvard graduate. How do I know? Later on, I saw his ring while he was picking his nose.
There's another element to bashing business and that's bashing consumption.
I have stuff I don't use and I buy stuff I could live without easily enough. My sweetheart has enough paperback romance novels to sink a small dinghy. My kids drink bottled stuff at a great rate. All of this contributes to our sense of well-being and our pleasure, though not really our happiness because that comes from other sources. At the same time, our consumption employs people in many industries and their consumption employs us (three out of four have jobs, son a bit young yet). When consumption goes down, employment and production goes down, and the same people who bemoaned my consumerism are now weeping because of unemployment.
I've long been irritated by the presumption that "nonprofit" activities are somehow morally superior...that the government or think-tank employee who writes papers about agriculture policy is a better human being than the farmer who grows it, or the railroad workers and executives who bring it to market.
Also, the nonprofit world is generally a more conformist work environment than the for-profit environment.