Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pardon the pun: Color us shocked and questioning

We’re not exactly sure where to go on this post, since it deals with the hyper-sensitivities of the town of Perfect, or more correctly, the ‘community’ of Perfect.  Or if you prefer, Cape Brunswick.


Along with the more-than-hyper-sensitivities of Bowdoin College, our very own Ivory Tower of higher education and purveyor of the tenets of cultural correctness in the new millenium.  (Some call them, ‘tenants.’  We’re here, if nothing else, to help with your vocabulary and spelling.)

But you know what?  Tough cookies.  In today’s civic discourse, we’re fire hosed with all sorts of grievances and tales of social injustice that threaten the very day to day, formerly inconsequential, pedestrian interactions of daily life.  “Social media,” our supposed internet based path to salvation, is equally useful for paving the road to hell.

Triggers?  Micro-aggressions?  Get serious!  Grow up. Or go back to living with Mommy and Daddy, or whomever helped you develop your ‘world view.’  And your pathological sense of victimization and oppression and entitlement to homage and restitution.

Last fall, our town leaders, sensitive as always to reports of local misbehavior, met with Bowdoin officials, at their request, to address remedies for mutliple allegations of sexual aggression upon Bowdoin coeds, and numerous reports of alleged ‘drive by’ verbal affronts hurled at Bowdoin students.

Since that time, the acts of sexual aggression have been investigated and dealt with by local Law Enforcement Officials (LEOs).  We are, however, unaware of any substantition for the reported incidents of drive by verbal abuse.

Regular readers of Side may recall our cautionary post, just days before Christmas (pardon the micro-aggression) -


- in which we worried that the formation of an official “Race and Gender Task Force” by the town would require a demonstratively forceful reaction, warranted or not. The charter of that group has evolved into a “Human Rights Task Force,” which raises the ante by an order of magnitude.

Is Brunswick ‘opposed to Human Rights???’  Are we a ‘community insensitive to fundamental respect for personal safety?’  Is this ‘who we are?’  Have we abandoned our recognized stature as the most beautiful of people?  Have we no dignity? Are the wheels coming off our carriages?

Who knows.  Anything is possible, we suppose, depending on your self-conception of Brunswick’s extraordinary place in the world.  Our own view was jostled a bit when we looked at the latest edition of the Bowdoin Orient.  The visual at the top of the front page is shown above, harkening back to a mass gathering roughly a year ago.  The article can be found here:


The meat of the article is hinted at in this summary of student demands from that date, and how the College (the administration, to be clear) answered:


As best we can figure, the Bowdoin ‘community’ consists of two primary cohorts.  The student body, made up almost exclusively of those ranging in age between 18 and 22, and conforming with the acceptance criteria of the college.

The other cohort is the faculty/administration, which also conforms with certain very specific expectations.

So to read the article linked to above is to rock us back on our heels, if there is such a thing.

The student body has been brought up swimming in a societal marinade of multiculturalism, postmodernism, celebration of diversity, an anything goes view of gender expression, and the embarassments of their parents’ class, race, and gender biases.


The faculty and administration are the masters of the marinade, having spent their formative years and their ascendancy into the campus intellectual elite as the architects of such theories.

We take this occasion to refer you to a recent article of some length that at least for us, tied together a lot of loose ends and connected a lot of dots on the battlefields of the culture war.  We hope you’ll take the time to read it; you may even find, as we did, some passages that seem as if they were written to describe conditions at Bowdoin (and Brunswick, by extension.)

You’ll find the article here: What Next for the Left? | The Weekly Standard

We maintain that if you persevere and read it in its entirety, you’ll have a far more coherent understanding of the current status quo, and may actually go back and reread it, as we have.

Now, because we can be silly at times, we have a ‘sidebar’ for your consideration, related to our main thesis.

What about mascots?

Shown here is the Bowdoin mascot: a Polar Bear.  Polar Bear?  The epitome of white might, power, and privlege?  How can this affront to our sensibilities exist in this day and age?


The Assistant Deputy Vice Dean of Mascots, Campus Atmospherics, and Animal Rights needs to face up to a serious town & gown problem.  We’ve been told a nasty whispering campaign is already going on around town, and that it’s even beginning to affect ridership on the Downeaster.

What about black bears, brown bears, gummi bears, kodiaks, koalas, pandas, Chicago Bears, Mama Bears, Pooh Bears, Papa Bears, Baby Bears, and all the rest?

Isn’t it time for bear diversity and inclusiveness?


Isn’t it time for this symbol of historic biases and social injustice to wave good-bye?

Wrapping It Up:

At some level, reading and absorbing this article in the campus paper could lead you to believe that decades and more of sensitivity training, celebrating diversity, adopting postmodernist views, and firehosing with the precepts of multiculturalism have made things worse, not better.  Especially when you consider that the leading beneficiaries of this cultural crusade should be those who occupy the ‘Bowdoin Bubble.’

Which must make those of us outside the Bowdoin Bubble, as in residents of Brunswick and the region, and those who drive through from time to time, positively savages and cretins relatively speaking.  If things are as bad as they say on campus, surely conditions off campus must be unbearable and wholly uncivilized.


We’re not sure how the ladies of our fair town might take this; another run on smelling salts might be in the offing.  Whether or not the town council’s Human Rights Task Force is up to the challenge remains to be seen.

As for us, we’re reminded of a famous saying somewhere that says ‘physician, heal thyself.’  If the cultural re-education offered at Bowdoin, and the pre-training incoming students received isn’t enough to do the trick, it comes down to a very personal, individual matter.


“This isn’t who we are” deconstructs to a collection of “this isn’t who I am’s.”  And that includes all the individuals at Bowdoin, students and administration, who’ve succeeded in projecting their campus concerns about race and diversity onto the shoulders of Brunswick officials and residents.


And so we come to our close, whether sensible or not.  Frank Lee, we’re tired of wrangling with this item for the last several days, so we’re going to push the send button and let it fly.

We can’t wait to see the reaction.  Perhaps the Bowdoin Orient staff will even choose to contact us like they did a few years back.

Boola boola!

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