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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Saturday, February 23. 2008
A recent email from a nephew:
Dear Uncle J:
You probably won't post this on your centrist PC blog, but let me make a case for affirmative action in so-called "selective" institutions of so-called "higher education."
As an undergraduate at an Ivy university, I have given up on any hopes of diversity of political opinion. The politics here are fashionably Maoist and this place is packed with tenured radicals left over from the 60s who still think their thinking is "advanced." It's a joke, really, and most of us see it for what it is.
However, I would like to see some "affimative action" in the admission policy for female undergrads.
Specifically, they need to make a serious effort to recruit and admit more cute females who are comfortable with their femininity. There are not enough of them to go around for us wholesome, regular heterosexual fellows, so we are forced to go elsewhere to find them; forced to forage widely and inconveniently to the environs of BC and, if desperate and half in the bag, BU.
Never to MIT, believe me.
What makes it worse is that some of the gal students here, who could look great, do not. As a socio-political fashion statement, they do not try to look good. They try to look dowdy, or 60s, or scholarly, or to create the illusion of indifference to their appearance, or to look like dikes. It's just not appealing to a guy for a female to look unfeminine.
I know that you will tell me that they will fix this appearance thing when they go for their job interviews at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey, but what about now? Would gals be drawn to me if I wore a skirt instead of khakis and a Brooks Brothers shirt? If it would work, I'd give it a try...
I think my idea is reasonable, since affirmative action is all about appearances anyway. So, as a consequence of my experience, I have decided to support the idea of affirmative action solutions to the statistically disproportionate lack of cute, charming, appealingly-dressed females on Ivy campuses - regardless of skin color, religion or lack thereof, ethnicity, dietary preference, or political orientation.
Your devoted nephew,
PS: I dare you to post this on Maggie's.
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Cheer up! Have patience. There are plenty of sweet, cute, normal and smart women out there....My college age daughters are equally cute and wicked intelligent, but I doubt they would be happy at your school with all the PC nonsense. Then again, they are repelled by bimbo cheerleaders and jocks and beer and frat houses at more conservative campuses, so they will probably take their chances with the alternative lifestylers so as to get a better academic education and not have Animal House all around them.
However, I have to admit that, as a former Cliffie, I am a little prickly on the subject of just what y'all consider acceptably feminine. My daughters and I have always gone for modest boring attire in protest against the skin tight and low cut uniform of girls in their high school who look like working girls from 42nd st more than future coeds...
When I was in college, "our" guys always complained that the Wellesley girls dressed better than us (they certainly wore more makeup and more dyed their hair blonde), and "our" men also spent a lot of time cruising at Pine Mattress....
In the early years, we were just their friends, confidantes and ruthless competitors in class, the ones they saw over coffee in the dining hall or putting the paper to bed, so we probably wouldn't have inspired the same initial romantic excitement (familiarity breeds contempt). I was a dancer, then a marathoner, so looked okay and never lacked for company, but I never bothered to dress fashionably or flirt.
I couldn't compete in the packaging department with the girls from women's colleges whose sole ambition in life was to snag a Harvard guy. I was too busy with schoolwork, politics, to do more than have a "serious relationship" (my kids tell me people don't do these anymore?) with somebody I was in love with. I spent Saturday night in the library with him, went to church with him, or lifting weights, or massacring each other's writing....
My girls tell me that THINGS HAVE CHANGED. They say people don't date any more.
But I say to you, check out your lab partner again. She just might end up being your true love, and when she has less schoolwork, she might even learn how to dress (I certainly did eventually!) and you might find her quite the hot ticket.
However, if looks and sex appeal are the major priority, you may have to compromise and just go to a lesser college to find your women rather than hoping for an intellectual soulmate at your own school.
When I was working at the hospital, you could always tell (even without seeing what they wore) which young women were the new MDs and which were the nurses. The latter were babes and hot and easy and much nicer. The former weren't as pretty, were more complicated, but were usually more interesting people. Obviously there are exceptions... It's just that intelligence and caring about one's own profession can sometimes make one less appealing to certain men Even if one isn't PC or gay or a man-hater.
Fortunately for verbose and uppitty plain puddleducks like myself, what plenty of men hope for from a woman is not simply her looking and odalisquing like a Theo's babe but, rather, intelligence and a maternal nature. If she's energetic, kind to you, kids, and animals, she's probably just fine even if (especially if?) she does wear manure stained overalls and currently espouses asinine liberal causes...Entertaining tho she might be to read, would you REALLY want to marry someone like that Coulter person??? Anyway, college politics are just froth...People grow up eventually. A fashion makeover is easier than a brain transplant.
It was similar in my day, so I went to school in the South, at William and Mary. Ended up marrying a librarian from New England, of course, because it isn't wise to get too far from your real tribe.
Retriever - have you seen the Simpson's episode where a vision of the Seven Sisters comes to Lisa in a dream, each encouraging her to go to their school? Hilarious.
Haven't seen it, but will check it out.... it's easier to laugh about all this stuff now from the standpoint of middle age... but the social scene seems more intimidating these days than in my youth! The tribe thing is important (I married someone from my college, from a family close to mine over 60 years), but my kids throw things at me when I gently suggest that it helps to have some background in common.
One link is here: http://www.electrictao.net/archives/000007.shtml
For what it's worth: I am presently happily married but if anything should ever happen to her .... I'm going to ask that Couter person to marry me after the funeral.
The hormonal drive for more nookie.
Yeah, we've all been through it. The rising hormones and the never ending search for relief. Well T relief is all over the place. You'll get your share but whatever you do don't act desperate or needy. The fillies can smell that a mile away and unless they're bow-wows or I'm-drunk-and-the-bar-is-closing so I'll take the chubby leftovers just stay cool.
Remember, right now it's education first, nookie second because believe me the broads at 25-30 have played the games and are much more accomodating. As a matter of fact crusing the local grocery store for Dean Wormer's wife types can be (excuse this) very fruitful. The older (for you ) women of 38-45 are truly a target rich environment.
But don't dispare. It is out there in abundance and you'll have plenty of time to let the inner hound run wild.
Just to reinterate, DO NOT set up sentry duty at the mall in front of Victoria's Secret.
Yeah, Habu, the promise of better hunting at age 38-45 is going to have a lot of effect on a 20-year old.
I, like you, have always been a fan of a tanned ear and bangs. The long nose and lead have always been regarded by me as an essential element to future happiness.
R: you mention that your daughter will attend an "alternative" school. Would you care to elaborate on that?
Something like Eckerd for example: 140 oceanfront acres and a bachelor completion degree for "experienced learners"? Please tell me that is not what you have in mind!
By alternative, these days, I mean North Eastern liberal arts, including Ivies, despite their politics.
There are girls who find the political fashions as silly as you do. Speak up in your classes. Stick to your guns in a good natured way. Have fun. Cold streaks have a way of turning hot.
Oh--thank goodness--I was worried. I see that I should not have been.
How refreshing to hear unvarnished truth.
I worry for the boy, though. If he's not careful, in his peregrinations he may accidentally speak to one of the Morlocks he encounters but ignores entirely every day. Then he'd lose his Eloi decoder ring and they wouldn't let him in the club.
I hesitate to raise this question, but I can't help but think . . . Is it possible that we have weakened our daughters by demanding that boys behave in such a way that a girl never has to find her way out of the car--before its too late?
I doubt very much that today's boys behave in automobiles the same way as the men of our generation did, but I can't help but think that gave us gals good practice opportunities for besting the other side! :-)
As a former resident of Boston, I believe it is a geographic problem. Some quality time in the south or on the west coast is recommended. Keep that in mind when looking for a job or graduate school.
I traveled to USC for grad school and was stunned at the prospects there. It is good that I did not go there as an undergrad - I don't think I could have handled it at 18.
Well, don't wear a skirt.
I can, however, confirm that proper wear of that cornerstone of manly Scottish attire, the kilt, will pique the interest of any hetero-blooded woman in your vicinity.