Before 'The Great Relearning,' First We Need 'The Great Unswaddling'
In Tom Wolfe's famous essay "The Great Relearning," originally published in the December 1987 issue of the American Spectator and included in his 2000 collection of essays, appropriately titled Hooking Up, Wolfe believed that a leitmotif of the 21st century would feature mankind recovering the rules about art, aesthetics, and human relations that various degrees of socialism stripped away in the 19th and 20th centuries in the rush to "Start From Zero" by discarding vast quantities of man's accumulated knowledge and wisdom.
But for that happen, first the "Swaddled Generation" needs to replace their diapers with the big boy pants and begin growing up. RINO Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post, last seen helping grease the skids of the ultimate swaddled man-child to reach the White House by shivving Sarah Palin in the fall of 2008, appears to perhaps be on the verge of experiencing the aura of the penumbra of second thoughts over whom she helped bring to power and his negative impact on today's college students:
It seems that mostly conservative sites and writers are concerned with the increasingly draconian suppression of free speech on college campuses. But then, it is mostly conservative writers and speakers who are treated as though they’re bringing the Ebola virus rather than contrarian ideas to the sensitive ears of what we may as well name the “Swaddled Generation.”
A trigger warning is usually conveyed on a sign carried or posted near the auditorium where a speech is to be given, alerting students to the possibility that the speaker may express an idea that could trigger an emotional response. A discussion about campus rape statistics, for example, might cause a rape victim to suffer.
This was the case recently at Georgetown University when Christina Hoff Sommers, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of “Who Stole Feminism?,” was greeted by sign-carriers warning: “Anti-Feminism,” with the room number of a “safe space.”
Students elsewhere have taken their trigger-phobia a step further, urging professors to add warnings to syllabuses alerting swaddlers to the possibility that a course might prompt uncomfortable thoughts. At Rutgers University, a student proposed flagging F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” as potentially upsetting owing to “a variety of scenes that reference gory, abusive and misogynistic violence.”
Protections against unpleasant thoughts can be arranged only by managing unpleasant speech. Thus, anyone who dares question any of the communally collected “understandings” of proper thought, presumably embraced during share-time and group hugs, will not be celebrated as a curious mind but condemned as a “hater.”
Now there’s a winning debate argument. If you’re 5.
Which neatly sums up the intellectual development of the far too many college kids, and the leftwing professors and pundits who enable them:
— National Review (@NRO) May 21, 2015
Found via Josh Good of the American Enterprise Institute, whose description of Parker's article and his allusion to Tom Wolfe work better as a meme than the Post's own headline writers:
Kathleen Parker calls for a "great unswaddling," on campuses where pampering today's top grads is all too common: http://t.co/uOPiiETq7j
— Josh Good (@josh_good_) May 21, 2015
Update: This tweet by Twitchy.com manages to tie together both of the elements of our headline above:
Two men who tried to travel to Syria to fight alongside ISIS used student aid to purchase tickets http://t.co/0tokOLCqmq
— TwitchyTeam (@TwitchyTeam) May 22, 2015
Update: Leon H. Wolf of Red State on the corrosive impact of "The Emma Sulkowicz Generation," on both their victims and their pet causes.