The Coddling of the American Mind

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by haxrnick, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. haxrnick macrumors 6502a

    haxrnick

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    #1
    An excellent article on triggers and trigger warnings going on at our wonderful college campuses. It's a long read but well worth it.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/
     
  2. Populism, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015

    Populism macrumors regular

    Populism

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    #2
    You may enjoy this article as well.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/6/3/8706323/college-professor-afraid

    I miss the days when Frank Zappa was championing free speech against the far right and the Tipper Gores of the world. That fight was out in the open.

    The new fight against free speech is made by those attempting to stop any speech with which they don't agree, to even stop ideas with which they disagree.

    Don't like your oppositions comment, call them a bigot. PRSI 101.
     
  3. Huntn Suspended

    Huntn

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    #3
    Atlantic is one of my favorite publications with many thought provoking articles. Regarding the profiled article, I see this as a troubling direction. I see no problem with professors hurting student's feelings if the purpose is a good one, intellectually toughening them up so to speak, as long as it's not harassment, sexual harassment, sexist, or bigotry. I think actions deemed as offensive have to have a substantive basis, not implied or imagined.
     
  4. Renzatic Suspended

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    #4
    And an interesting counterpoint.

    I won't deny that there are some incredibly oversensitive people out there who go to great lengths to whitewash anything they can even barely be construed as offensive when viewed from a sidelong glance.

    But at the same time, I think we're making a mountain out of a molehill. What we're looking at here are the new hippies. A bunch of kids with a very specific, best case scenario view of the world that they'll drop like a bad habit the moment they step foot in the real world. Yeah, they'll still hang on to a few of their old ideas, which in this case would end up being something like a bit of overly cautious consideration of others feelings, but I don't think it'll get to the point that we have to worry about the Bad Vibe Thought Police coming to take us to the Culturally Sensitive Reeducation Camps because we said a word that sorta sounded like a racial slur that one time.
     
  5. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #5
    This is the result of raising a generation of kids who were told they can do no wrong, everyone gets a trophy and the rest of the crap they were told. An entire generation that can't deal with the slightest adversity. A trigger? Unless you're a soldier suffering from PTSD and fireworks set you off, stuff your triggers.
     
  6. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #6
    nice post.
     
  7. Renzatic Suspended

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    #7
    You know, I'm not sure if there's actually a problem with this new generation, or if we're all just getting old enough to start doing that "kids these days" thing like our parents did to us.
     
  8. bradl macrumors 68040

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    #8
    Please don't remind me :eek::p

    My last night, my kids asked for one hour of TV. Since we supervise it, and told them that we would go outside to play afterwards, we agreed. So in turning on Netflix, they decided on one episode of Iron Man: the Armored Adventures. The episode in particular was Enter: Iron Monger. Of course, Iron Man and War Machine stop Iron Monger, but what had my head shaking was this.

    In the original storyline in the 80s, there was Iron Man I, and Iron Man II. They were differentiated by Stark having the Mark IV armor, and Rhodes using the Mark III armor; in short, there was no such thing as "War Machine". Iron Monger (Obodiah Stane) copied Stark's Mark I armor.

    At the conclusion of The Armored Adventures battle, Stane is left in a coma in the hospital. In the 80s storyline, Stane realized that he couldn't beat Stark, so the best way to see that Stark would never have justice applied to Stane was for Stane to blow his head off, which is what Stane did.

    Coma, versus suicide... Harsh, stark reality versus coddling 30 years later.. in this case, I understand it, especially from a kid's point of view, but there it is.

    For their second episode, they chose Spiderman and his Amazing Friends from 1980. The first episode they saw was with the Red Skull (my son loves the color red), who was an understudy of Hitler. Swastikas and Nazi salutes awash through the episode.. and was so stark that my wife (who was 12 - 18 months old when that series came out) even caught it.

    My point: we grew up with such harshness, because it was still rife in our parent's minds and times back then. We remember when Germany was divided. We remember a Wall. We remember a communist bloc. So unless we are the same age as Taylor Swift, we wouldn't have any knowledge of that outside of a history book. And the next generations down from us are so removed from that and the violence that came with it, that it is easy to see why this is happening. We're creating the coddling because we all are slowly removed from the harshness that was common with the generations before us. It's almost a natural progression.

    BL.
     
  9. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #9
    It's generational alright.

    But it's less about the kids and more about the older generation, looking at the kids and clucking in dismay over how soft they've become.

    New batch of old people ... same old clucking.
     
  10. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #10
    [​IMG]
    bunch of pansies all over the place.
     
  11. impulse462 Suspended

    impulse462

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    #11
    What an awful, blanketed, ignorant statement.
     
  12. Populism macrumors regular

    Populism

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    #12
    I largely agree except for one extraordinary difference - the advent of immediate, near-world-wide shaming.

    If a student is - god forbid - offended by a statement made by a professor, he/she can publicly shame the professor to anyone and everyone. If the student tweaks the offending comment just a bit north, and if that professor isn't tenured, etc., the poor poor offended student can decimate a professor's career, all from the comfy of his/her iPhone.

    So, yes, what is old is new again, but for the first time everyone has the ability to world-wide shame someone who offends them.
     
  13. kmj2318 macrumors 68000

    kmj2318

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    #13
    This is just a fad. These ideas have been brewing with young people since around 2010 and now it's peaked. Being overly pc is very mainstream now. Do you think this will last? People are already using phrases like "triggered" and "check your privilege" ironically. There's a movement starting with younger people now that's completely against all this stuff; preferring tradition over progress. It's only after going through progressive times do people see the downsides, same with going through traditional eras. Progress and tradition always sway in and out of favor. I don't care for one over the other. They have their pros and cons which is why people can't ever agree.
     
  14. VulchR macrumors 68020

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    #14
    I doubt the parents of the current students did any such thing. Mostly the students I work with daily say their parents are controlling and hypercritical.

    My kids' generation will have to compete with twice as many people on the planet as I did at their age, compete in a global rather than local market, find a job in the secure knowledge that no job is for life (even with a degree), have precious little power as employees because the unions have been busted, and pay debts for education that the last generation got subsidised or free. And of course when the younger people point out sexism, racism, homophobia inherent in our society, inflexible scared old men (and some women) react with anger that they stoke by watching Faux News. Oh, and we've given their generation a dose of wealth inequality that our generation never experienced. We've stripped public services like the schools to the bone to pay for our tax breaks, so of course their education has suffered. I won't even start on environmental damage our generation has done and continues to do. And we expect them to pay for our old age, having stripped the pension funds and failed to save because our generation defines short-termism.

    The students aren't idiots. They see all of this. No wonder 1 in 6 undergraduates seek counselling in the US. An entire generation that 'can't deal with adversity' indeed. This better applies to many of the older generation, for they haven't really known adversity. How many of us lived with our parents until our late 20's, as many young must do now?

    Whatever nonsense you believe is going on US campuses, ask a young person whether they are likely to achieve the American Dream of improving their quality of life over their parents. My guess is that they'll scoff at the idea. We've made a fine mess of things, so stop pointing the finger at the people who have had the least opportunity to shape our society.

    /RANT
     
  15. citizenzen, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015

    citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #15
    So well put.

    The kids are making the best of the conditions they have to deal with. Most of the ones that I've run across at the university where I work have been hard working, intelligent and caring people.
     
  16. Populism, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  17. Renzatic Suspended

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    #17
    You make some good points, but I can't agree with you entire. We lived through the tail end of scary times, and people weren't nearly so obsessed with coddling their children as they are now. This is true. But it's not like kids these days are growing up in a perfectly stable world. We had the Cold War, but we at least got to enjoy the peace and prosperity of the 90's. They're growing up in the post 9-11 world, where the stakes might be less dire, more personal, but they're exaggerated to extremes. The modern political environment is akin to McCarthyism on steroids, and we don't have a Joseph Welch to shame everyone into acting in a levelheaded manner.

    I think the end result of all this is that we're a more politically tuned generation, while our kids will end up being more socially aware.

    And our grandkids? They're probably gonna be rude, spoiled bastards. :p
     
  18. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Any time people start moaning about political correctness, tell 'em to go and watch a few episodes of Mad Men.

    Now, I recognize its just TV show, and probably not a 100% faithful reproduction of the social mores of the time. But I do remember a time when men used to treat their female co-workers as little more than sex objects and personal lackeys. When it was OK to just throw your trash out the window of your car. When you'd hear Southern 20-somethings refer to a 50ish African-American as "boy" - or worse.

    And the fact of the matter is, I still hear people making jokes and comments about Jewish people, or gays, or African-Americans in a way that makes my skin crawl.

    Political correctness, like anything, sometimes gets carried away. There are hypersensitive people of every political stripe, race, gender, sexual orientation, and beyond. Sometimes people take offense where none was intended. And where a reasonable reading would suggested none took place.

    To me, "political correctness" has a personal meaning: Good manners. I wouldn't want someone talking to me in a way that was condescending. That was dismissive of my gender, age, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or whatever. That suggested I didn't belong someplace because of who I was - not what I'd done. That doesn't mean to say I can't take a joke. And trust me, there are plenty of good ones about middle-aged white guys. The source makes a difference: I'll laugh at jokes on that subject from Louis CK. I'll laugh at jokes like that from Chris Rock. But somehow, I find the "jokes" made by people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity - on pretty much any subject - seriously unfunny.

    Where is the dividing line between a good joke and offense? I don't know for sure. But a good guideline is this: Don't punch down. Think long and hard before you make a joke about poor people, or people struggling with whatever. If you want to make fun of Bill Gates or Barack Obama. Charles Barkley or Alex Rodriguez. Wealthy lawyers or overpaid bankers. Have at it. They can take it.

    Good manners means never deliberately, or even unintentionally making another person feel humiliated. It means being sensitive to the other person's situation. And sometimes we make mistakes.
     
  19. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    #19
    Damn skippy.;) Parents were strict when I was a wee lad. Dad had his a patented parenting aid that fixes problems like talking back, bucking authority, not cleaning my room and so on. The Belt (tm).o_O I grew up watching 3 Stooges, Tom and Jerry and all manner of violent cartoons. Never once did I have the urge to hit someone with a frying pan or run a saw over a bald guy's head, because Dad taught right from wrong with The Belt (tm).

    One more thing... git off mah lawn, dagnabbit.:oops:
     
  20. Khalanad75 macrumors 6502

    Khalanad75

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    #20
    I see our fathers shopped at the same store.
     
  21. haxrnick thread starter macrumors 6502a

    haxrnick

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    #21
    I don't know if I've ever agreed with him on anything but he's spot on with that statement. Where do you think he's wrong?
     
  22. Populism, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015

    Populism macrumors regular

    Populism

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    #22
    You injected/moaned "political correctness."
     
  23. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    #23
    As seen on TV.;)
    belt.jpg
     
  24. Renzatic Suspended

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    #24
    I got the switch for a little while, up until my parents realized it wasn't working as a good behavior deterrent for me. That's when the ante was upped, and I ended up being punished with something that was far, far worse than momentary pain...

    YARD WORK!

    ...and I'm not talking none of that helping around the house with the chores type stuff. Oh, no. If I ended up doing something bad, my dad would go door to door in the neighborhood and all but foist me off on people for slave labor. I'd have to give up whole weekends trimming hedges, weedeating, and push mowing big ass lawns. If I ended up not getting it all finished, I'd end up having to sacrifice another weekend by default.

    Though on the plus side, dad never had any concept for what constitutes child friendly content. I've pretty much been watching rated R movies since I was a kid. Hell, I went to go see Robocop in the theaters when I was 8.

    I have to give him credit where it's due, though. He did try to give me something appropriate for my age once. "Hey, here's a cute little movie I found. Looks like a fun little adventure with rabbits".

    That's how I first came to see Watership Down. Moreso than Aliens or any of the other violent movies I've seen, that one kinda messed with me.
     
  25. jkcerda macrumors 6502

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