There’s a story in John Toland’s magisterial The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire (volume two) which depicts a Japanese ship transporting Western prisoners in conditions worse than on any (other) slave ship. It was dark, confined, covered in human filth, and unbearably hot. Unbearably is a strong and apt word. The men went mad and what they did to each other is difficult to relate. I won’t try. Few survived.
Ivo Andrić’s must-read The Bridge on the Drina describes the construction of the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge bridge in the sixteenth century by Christians under (at times tyrannical) Muslim rule. In one vivid scene, one of a succession of Muslim rulers decide to punish a man by impaling, directing the executioner to insure the man would survive at least for a day. Would-be “enhanced interrogator operatives” would do well to read this horrifying how-to and sequel.
Incidentally, as often happens with certain places, the bridge was to retain its infamy and was the site of the Višegrad massacre in 1992, in which Serbians slaughtered some 3,000 Bosnians, many of whom where women and children.
There was a certain Roman emperor (which? my memory flags) who used to wine and dine, especially wine, enemies. As the fattened guest excused himself to attend to nature, the emperor had his guest seized and a cord was tied securely around the guest’s penis. This resulted in a prolonged, painful, and, to the demented emperor, hilarious death.
Do we need to discuss the Amalekites? The retreat from Moscow in 1812 (and again in the twentieth century)? The guillotine? Should we recall certain religious practices of the Aztecs? The scene in The Brothers Karamazov in which we learn that babies were tossed in the air to be bayoneted for amusement? The Goths? Cannibalism? The practice of sati (also spelled suttee)? Utopian scheme A, B, …?
Enough. It is impossible to be familiar with any serious literature and not realize the human race is fallen, that man is broken, that bad things have always happened and, at least in this form of our existence, always will. A vale of tears isn’t in it. Evil.
So what kind of childish naive sheltered coddled whimpering intellect would allow itself to be “traumatized” over reading about a minor criminal beating up a shopkeeper and then attempting to do the same to a policeman and getting himself killed in the attempt? Traumatized?
I’ll tell you: Columbia law students.
According to today’s New York Post, “A group of Columbia University law students demanded the school postpone their finals because of their ‘trauma’ over the Eric Garner and Michael Brown grand-jury decisions.”
This demand traumatized the Dean, poor Robert Scott, whose immediate thought was to placate his little dears. He said the decisions “have shaken the faith of some in the integrity of the grand-jury system and in the law more generally.”
Scott said “students who feel that their performance on examinations will be sufficiently impaired due to the effects of these recent events” could apply to have their tests rescheduled.
And not only that: “the school planned to have a trauma expert on hand this week, and several faculty members scheduled special office hours next week ‘to talk about the implications of the Brown and Garner non-indictments.'”
Only two things are possible. Either some or all of the students really are “traumatized”, or some or all of them, like Dean Scott, are lying.
For those who really are traumatized, it confirms critics’ charges that professors and students at “elite” universities are disconnected from all reality, that the true state of the world is a mystery to these ivory tower denizens, that these folks prefer fantasy and their own sad company to mixing with normal human beings. It proves that none of these kiddies has ever read a book and that they are therefore monumentally ignorant.
For those who are lying, it confirms what everybody thinks about lawyers. That they will say anything to get what the want, the truth be damned, that they are out only for themselves and that they are willing to ride over any (like their brother and sister students who actually studied) that get in their way. It proves that modern politicians (like Scott) are gutless and unmanly.
No matter which, it proves what we already knew to be true. That people like “trauma experts” are willing to inflate the importance of events just so they can cash in. And that self-satisfied idiocy can be found anywhere, but especially at Western universities.
Update Not to be under done, Harvard weepies want in on the posturing.
Excellent writing. How will the students enter the professional world of practiceing law with this overly-sensitivity to trauma. Isn’t this the kind of trauma they will likely encounter on a daily basis?
My guess: Students will do anything to not sit for exams for which they feel that they’re not prepared.
Nothing new in that. BTGTTF (Been There, Got The Fail).
30 years, few administrators in academia would have fallen for such a ploy.
Agree. The trauma at Columbia is so dramatic it deserves its own TV soap. Almost everyone knows these shows are fabrications of real life save the lawyers and law students and politicians. They believe.
Briggs: Agreed. It’s not like kids haven’t always tried to get out of exams (a friend of my had to have her dental school final postponed just because she was giving birth! Someone could have read her and the questions, reallyâ€¦.. ) It’s just that we didn’t have professors who were so ill-equipped for dealing with students that they just let the kids do whatever they wanted. Again, parents pay to send their kids there, so parents apparently are in complete agreement with this.
You really should have used a picture of “adult baby syndrome” at the top of the post. Seems more appropriate.
Got a comment that some browsers are rendering the names above as “Ivo Andri&cacute” and “PaÅ¡a Sokolovi&cacute”. But the HTML is correct and on my browsers (all on a Linux box) it renders correctly. They’re meant to be acute accents on the letter c, just in case.
911 operator: “Please state the nature of your emergency”
Caller: “Send a waaambulance to 1585 Massachusetts Avenue. Please hurry”
My generation abdicated parenting responsibilities of its children. Now, my generation is realizing the effect – full grown children.
“We can’t breathe!”
Pretty good at hyperventilating, though.
Paul W: Thank you for acknowledging this.
MattS: Maybe the Wussy Wagon?
There is an interesting article here concerning the Ferguson case:
Maybe someone should read this to the “grieving students” for a more realistic perspective on what happened. While it was a bad thing, if these students can’t deal with the reality that things go wrong sometimes and people die as a result, we’re all in trouble.
Sheri’s comment “that things go wrong and sometimes people die as a result” got me thinking. They want to be lawyers and they want – need – will be required to – prosecute or defend in capital murder cases. How will they handle that stress? Columbia needs to release their names to protect the public against future professional malpractice!
Paul W — I am not sure that this is a result of abdicating parental responsibility. It seems like it is the coddling / helicoptering / wrap your kids in bubble-wrap mentality.
More cycling without helmets, falls from jungle-gyms, cuts and scrapes and bumps and bruises required for young-ens.
Doug M: I had to laugh when I read your last line. I live out in the country in a development where child-proofing and supervision have not really caught on. The neighbor’s 8 year old daughter goes out horseback riding alone (has since she was about 6). The neighbors behind us had a trampoline with no safety net and the kids had no spotters when bouncing on it. Occasionally, you see a child actually wearing a helmet when bike riding or on a horse. We figure if these kids make it to adulthood, they’ll have some pretty good survival skills!
This is surely more disquieting (and where “I can’t breathe” becomes true):
â€˜Such Language Is Not Helpfulâ€™
It is disquieting if it’s true. However, the document is completely partisan and the party “outing it” is known to lie voluminously. It’s also interesting that the report came out the day Gruber is being questioned by Congress.
I doubt that we’ll ever know the truth about what the CIA was up to. This is all so partisan and there’s no way to know who to believe. I would also expect that the CIA will NEVER again tell the senate anything they have been up to, so there’s no chance from here on out that we will ever know what goes on in the “intelligence” community. Pretty much, they have a free pass to do what they want from here on out. No one’s ever going tell Congress again.
“So what kind of childish naive sheltered coddled whimpering intellect would allow itself to be â€œtraumatizedâ€ over reading about a minor criminal beating up a shopkeeper …”
Please retract: He never beat up the shopkeeper.
Next thing you’ll be telling us water boarding isn’t torture.
CIA report partisan??? Since when McClain is a Democrat.
My God, Matt,
What will they experience if they ever actually catch an ambulance?
Briggs, Look back at the video he never hit the shopkeeper.
Does who tried water boarding knows that it is torture even those who doubted it. Only Cheney can still claim that it is not torture, because if it is he should be arrested for war crime.
HA HA HA HA HA!
I have to invent some sort of gold star for Comment Of The Day.
j ferguson: I second Briggs’s comment. Great comment!
Briggs: How do you define torture (for example, if we do this to our own soldiers, is it torture?) or are you going with the SCOTUS “I know it when I see it”?
Sheri – I admitted my generation abdicated responsibility. We won’t get into what generation trained us. 😉
Paul W: Duly noted!
It’s better now that they find out that they are unsuited to acquiring law degrees as they are unable to deal with trauma, even other people’s trauma. Since it’s clear that these students should not be representing actual real world clients, count our blessings that they will do the right thing and abandon their degrees and apply for work in petting zoos or other less stressful occupations.
I have the feeling that, even if the report is true, the very few Columbia law students who asked with the exaggerated excuse for extensions on their final exams will turn out to be fine citizens. They will laugh at this incident in the future. Not something I need to worry about, anyway.
Human beings will remain as resilient and fearless as ever, if not more so. You know, when they really want something, they go for it. If necessary, they lie for it, make excuses for themselves, and so on.
College president sorry for saying ‘All lives matter’. “McCartney’s more INCLUSIVE version of the refrain was seen as an affront.”
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
As one commenter noted, the college president created “that liberal cesspool” and now she’s getting flushed down it. It’s 100% predictable to all those on the outside, but those inside always seem surprised when it happens.
Also, the saying really should be “Black lives matter if a white kills them. Blacks killing blacksâ€”hey, we’re okay with that.” Of course, it can’t be because then bad behaviour and rioting and burning the town down can’t be justified as “protesting” race. (In the old days, this was referred to as an “adult tantrum” and people were looked down upon for said actions. Times have changedâ€”for the worst.)
I believe that the method stated was a favourite of Tiberius Claudiuc Nero.
You are welcome
The Elves at Trivia-R-Us
Neroâ€”the role model for Obama. Fiddling while the country burns. Didn’t work out well for Nero.
There are elves at Trivia-R-Us? Cool!