Let My People Be

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So I was bumping around the internet, minding my own business, (mostly because yesterday I woke with a mega back-pain apparently having pulled something in my sleep.  Today it’s gone, so I have no idea) when I came across this tweet (on an article, at Victory Girls Blog, not on twitter.  There’s reasons I don’t go to twitter):

idiot

Dear LORD.  The stacked stupid in that tweet could render everyone in the world subnormal.  I think I lose 20 IQ points every time I read it.

The author said it wasn’t helpful, which of course it isn’t, but it’s also like saying “shooting a patient who is bleeding out won’t cure him.”

Let’s unpack that twitter, shall we?

First of all, can everyone in the audience who fits almost all of the characteristics or, if you change “trench coat” for some other kind of “strange” apparel fit all of them at one time in their schooling, raise his or her hand?  Good, good.  I’m going to assume a good portion of you raised their hands (more on that later.)  So… how many of you were even potential mass shooters or another kind of murderer?  I’m going to guess maybe one of you made elaborate plans to bomb the school, but never actually took step one to do it.

So, now, ask yourself, how would you have changed if, from the first day of school you’d been treated as a potential mass murderer?  Yeah… like we weren’t shunned and mistreated enough!

Now let’s take his “characteristics” from the top.

1- loner.

Uh.  Apparently it never occurred to this guy that “loner” goes both ways.  Yeah, sure, those of us of an introvertish (my profile is weird) disposition won’t be found at the center of a group, but most of “us” that I know were shunned more or less from the first day of school.

Why? Who in heck knows?

We could go with the science fiction explanation: most of us “odd people” seem to be on top of the range, or a little higher, for Neanderthal genes.  Maybe something about us activates the defense circuits of people who are less Neanderthal.

(Btw I like this idea that what makes us odd is Neanderthal genes.  No need to explain how Neanderthals went extinct, then.  “Hey, Ogg, wanna make baby?” “Not now,  Oggina, I’m trying to perfect new type of arrowhead.”)

But there are tons of other explanations.  The very life events (undoubtedly compounded by a bend of mind) that made us “odd” also made us give all the wrong cues to kids our age.  Like, for instance, the fact that I was a child in a family of adults and that I’d spent most of my childhood in bed with an illness or another (Yes, this has been lifelong.  Comes from being born premature) meant that my talking style was “weird” and my physical abilities, including coordination about those of a two year old.  At the age of six or so when most groups work on instinct, the amazing thing would be if I WEREN’T shunned.

My older son? Outsized.  The was over three feet at age 2, and by the time he entered elementary he was probably around 5 feet.  (If he’d grown to a normal age, instead of stopping growing at 12, which he says is because he became a caffeine addict early, he’d probably be a giant.) Add to that the “grew up surrounded by adults — and bookish adults — and favorite pastime is studying Rome” thing.  Just the way he looked and talked made him an outcast.

ETC.  You could come up with reasons for each of you I’m sure.  But the thing is none of us went to school going “I’m gonna be a loner.”  We — I remember, yes — went into school all bright and eager because they’d told us we’d find friends and “have fun” there.  And within a week we knew no one wanted to be our friend.  (Or if we were lucky one or two people wanted to, but certainly not the main group.)

So, is being a loner a reason to profile someone as a mass murderer?  Or just to wonder what we’re doing wrong, in terms of schooling, that some little kids find themselves in this situation.

BTW we have found that those of “us” can be identified by the habit of “Ledge walking” during recess.  Find a ledge.  Balance back and forth across it.  This works for kindergarten or first grade, before we realize we can just bring a book to read during recess.

2-Quiet

SNORT.  Sure.  Because a student who isn’t a loner is going to talk to?  And if he’s walking around the playground waving arms and having conversations with imaginary friends, wouldn’t that be worse?

Listen bub, some of us learned to keep our conversations with imaginary friends inside our own heads.

I’m not even sure what he thinks he means.  But apparently, the lone student who walks around shouting at the air isn’t a potential murderer.  This is good to know.  Instruct your kids accordingly.

3- is bullied

I’m not going to ask if this person was EVER a child, I’m going to ask if he’s ever MET a child.

Childhood, probably evolutionarily, is a time of conformity.  The child is primed to learn all sorts of “ways things are done” that will make him fit well with his tribe.

It’s just that these days what they learn in the family doesn’t necessarily correlate with the larger tribe of strangers in public school, where the main thing people have in common is “live in a certain area” and “are a certain age.”

Now I can see where, historically, this would have meant you were the same “tribe.”  Your ancestors probably knew each other. You probably all had the same general range of professions, and ate the same type of food, etc.  Even in the nineteenth century or early twentieth when public schooling started, this made a certain sense.  This was your cohort to go through life with.

Now people are too mobile for that.  But the children’s instinct is still to find a pattern they conform to. And if someone sticks out make him conform or destroy him.

Even in the village school this applied.  Use a strange word, and everyone will chase you around repeating it and laughing.

I was never bullied in the physical sense — giant for Portugal and built like a brick shithouse — but I was “bullied” in the “make fun” of sense and the “shun” sense.

The make fun of sense is interesting, and btw, a lot like the left still practices against our group.  Take the craziest things and distort them out of all rationality, then flint them in the person’s face as though that was what they meant.

Take my best friend.  Her name happened to rhyme with the Portuguese word for paper.  It took about two minutes for the horde of school children to realize this and jump from it, to “She must be made of paper.”  After that they ran after her, or surrounded her screaming she was made of paper and laughed.  For some reason this became the worst taunt ever for her.  (Me?  I just hit people who taunted her.  It’s who I am, it’s what I do.)

Or take my younger son.  His first name (he goes by middle name, in no small part I think because of those years) is one of those names that can be altered with “son” to be a surname. Kids did that and chased him around screaming that name (which is now, btw, also “fashionable” as a first name.  Never mind.)  It made absolutely no sense, but it was obviously a taunt and they laughed at him and it became “the worst thing ever.”  (The interesting part in this being we named him Marshall as a middle name, not a first, because Dan was afraid people would call him Marshmallow.  Turned out they didn’t even need that.)

The “was bullied” is part of the “is loner” and “doesn’t fit in”.  All of them are symptoms of “have a lot of unrelated kids in one place, and the kids identify one of them as different” not necessarily something that fits “mass murderer” profile.

4- loves violent video games

WHEW.  All those of us who grew up before the nineties, take a deep breath.  We can’t POSSIBLY be mass murderers, since violent video games didn’t exist.

Can we be real for a moment here?  EVEN now with very realistic video games there ain’t no such correlation.  You know MOSTLY what playing violent video games correlates with?  Being under massive stress.  Everyone I know in stressful situations loves first person shooters.

And in my day, everyone I knew in stressful situations liked violent movies, or in my case, very violent books.  In the worst year of my life, at around 12, I read the full series of Captain Morgan’s adventures which in the version I read it could be subtitled “interesting ways to kill people.” And it had BEAUTIFUL lithographs of all the severed heads, etc.

Did this make me feel/want to kill people?  Oh, please.  The most marked effect was the scene where they use a very sharp sword to behead a sleeping woman without waking her.  I was so terrified this would happen to me, I slept with scarves wrapped around my neck for two years.

All this clause means is “if people are stressed.”  Well, genius.  People who are forced to be in an environment where they’re not accepted and are bullied, are stressed.

Here’s a hint: Monkeys in the same situation are also stressed.

Quelle Surprise!

5- Wears a trenchcoat to school.

This is a Wut?

I know that the murderers at Columbine wore (black) trenchcoats because they were trying to be some variety of goth.

But frankly, what in hell is the fetishization of trench coats.  I was once body-searched at my kids elementary school because I went to pick them up in a trenchcoat, despite the fact that a) they knew me.  b) I was wearing a trench coat/raincoat with a hood because it was raining cats and dogs (in fact, the small mountain town was in the middle of a flood) and the wind would turn umbrellas inside out/carry them away.  The kids had rain ponchos, but I had a stylish (truly) raincoat mom had sent me that winter, so I wore that.  And suddenly I was a potential murderer?  Why?  Is there an instance of a raincoat becoming animated and killing people  Because I’d think I’d have heard of it.

Both sons often wore trench coats when they were young.  Mostly because it was too hot for an overcoat/leather coat, but this being Colorado, the day could suddenly turn cold.  trench coats were easier to carry.  They were usually light colored, and if they whispered in the boys ears that they should kill classmates, the kids obviously told them to shut up.

Does this apply to other odd attire?  I confess round about 12 or so both older son and I decided there was only ONE fashion and it was thirties fashion.

Now, why I did it, I don’t know except the fashion of the seventies annoyed me.  Son did it — button down shirt, tie, dress pants, eventually fedora and peacoat — because he’s massive and dark and people don’t usually lock car doors/act like they’re being threatened when confronted with someone wearing a button down and tie. Arguably he was more rational than I.

But I think we can fold this under “Wears odd clothes for his time and place.” (Unless there really are weaponized trench coats.

Which with “has a trace of individuality in an environment that rewards conformity” means the person will suffer all of the above penalties, and yes, probably be stressed and indulge in violent pastimes probably vicariously.

Does this mean they are about to snap and become mass murderers?  Well, I will tell you that treating them as suspect, punishing them and enforcing MORE conformity will cause a certain number of them to go off the deep end, even if suicide is more common than mass murder.

But the numbers of both are vanishingly small given the circumstances.  What circumstances?

Well, let’s start with how school classes are formed: grab all kids of an age and an area, and throw them in a class willy nilly, regardless of temperament, intelligence or even relative learning at that age.

Continue with how classes are run: a friend told me — when I was puzzled by how teachers treated my kids in elementary — that the purpose of elementary isn’t really to teach.  It’s to get all the kids at the same level.  Sure, the most unprepared kids are going to be taught enough to be at “fifth grade level” by the end of elementary.  BUT the most prepared kids are going to be bullied into “unlearning” what they know, so they too are at that level.  (This explained their insisting my younger kid “guess” words, and force him to sometime guess them wrong “otherwise you’re sounding them out.” and causing me to have to battle THAT at home.  They didn’t fully succeed, but they did stop him reading quickly and easily and give him a “thing” about reading.  He’s mostly over it, but sometimes still “guesses” particularly street signs and comes up with the most bizarre street names.)

It’s the same with non-educational stuff.  If I had a dime for every time a teacher told us “he has to learn to play the game” which meant “he has to conform to our arbitrary rules, even when they are counterproductive” I wouldn’t need to work a day in my life. (And frankly I got to the point where it was hard NOT to commit mass murder when I heard that sentence.)

Pity the poor kids whose IQ is north of 130 and really pity those that the testers say “We can’t give you a number, we can only estimate.  He hit his head on the ceiling of every test.”

The way their minds work means they CAN’T fit in.  They are in the same boat as every other minority/kid with visible issues.  My best friend in middle school had crossed eyes.  She eventually had surgery, but it was fairly rare at that time.  In addition, she was also very high IQ and loved math.  She was also tiny.  This is when I developed a new hobby “Beat up on physically abusive bullies.”  This in turn led to my ending up with a lot of tiny and odd friends.  It was okay.

Then there’s the “material” they’re teaching you.  Heaven helps the child who learns fast, because most learning in schools these days are set at tortoise crawl.  And a lot of the learning is indoctrination or button counting for morons.

Any halfway smart child will go out of his or her mind with boredom.  I learned to read other books under the desk, but my kids found that these books tended to get confiscated, because schools here/30 years later are even crazier than my schools were.

And then make the kids spend 8 hours a day in this environment EVERY DAY surrounded by adults who are either unable to protect them (in middle school most teachers were afraid of stopping the violent bullies, because they were… well… violent) or actively engaged in psychological bullying themselves, “They bully you because you’re weird.  If you were just like them, they wouldn’t.  You have to learn to play the game.”  (This btw, ignores the fact that a pack of children can pick on the least difference, or merely choose an arbitrary target.  AND if their bullying is given official sanction it can go insane.  Because they’re children, which is to say unsocialized savages.  Or that the traits they bully you for are USEFUL to adulthood, like a joy of reading, a large vocabulary, or the fact you don’t want to play the currently fashionable mindless game.)

For TWELVE YEARS.

What crime did those kids commit?  There are prisoners who get a lighter sentence.

And don’t tell me that’s the only way to run public school.  Over the run of public school in various countries, other methods have been tried, including but not limited to ability-grouping, allowing people to go as fast as they can (and get their sentence commuted early), and simply allowing teachers to step in and stop bullying, instead of siding with the bullies.

The ONLY explanation for the way our schools are run is that the teachers like bullying, and wish to enforce absolute conformity.  Now, conformity is, of course, easier for teachers.  They only need to deal with one level, one lesson.

BUT it is wholly artificial and not only doesn’t correspond with how individuals develop (kids can be all over the map at the same age) but has bloody nothing to do with the skills needed for adulthood.

Perhaps it was useful to train people this way in the early twentieth century when most labor opportunities were in factories, where most of what you’d do is push a lever, or move something, a million times a day.  Perhaps that and knowing how to read signs was your best qualification.

That world is gone.  It isn’t coming back.  In a world that is going to “micro” and “individualized” manufacture, a world that needs innovative thinkers, self-starters, and people who can work alone, our schools are not just bad.  They’re a liability.

Producing mass murders is just a side effect of the bullying and enforced conformity and other horrors.  (And at that it’s amazing how few kids snap and kill people.)  And no, banning guns won’t cure it.  There are always other methods of mass murder, like explosives, and these days you can find how to make those online, very easily.  And no, treating the kids who are excluded and bullied as though THEY’ve done something wrong won’t help.  Scrutinizing them every minute and telling them to “Play the game” more isn’t going to make them into standard issue students who fit in the crowd.  If anything it will drive them crazier.  It’s like blaming someone for limping, or stuttering.

So, here is an idea: let my people be.  Most of us would learn anyway! Just leave us alone.  We don’t need much.  Books, movies, computers, and time to think. There should be a way to accommodate this without breaking the bank.

Just stop trying to force the square peg into the round hole, and blaming the peg when it breaks.

Humans are not widgets and no matter how much you yell at them, you can’t make them be.  Our education system is a miniature version of dictatorships.  It’s not amazing some deaths result.  The amazing thing is we don’t fill millions of graves.

 

427 responses to “Let My People Be

  1. The Twelve Year Sentence, and what it makes possible from both teachers and others students, is probably responsible for more childhood trauma — especially as regards boys — than all the abusive parents, relatives, and clergymen that have ever lived. If the “educators” are resistant to anything, it’s the suggestion that they — how they behave, what they teach, and their Procrustean treatment of their inmates — have any role in the outbreaks of student violence. But then, a truth like that does pack a sting.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      One of the Parkland gun control activists apparently bragged about having tormented the shooter for years. Comments made about someone dumping the Santa Fe shooter may have a same motivation.

      A young woman of any status must never let it be unclear whether they have always thought that the shooter was the lowest of trash.

      The sexual values promoted by Hollywood and the educational establishment are not functionally healthy in the highschool. People who give them any credence will not be building a foundation for a happy life.

      Relations between men and women can have a civilizing value when done in certain ways. Other ways, unwise ways, and we are surprised at the barbarism?

      • A young woman of any status must never let it be unclear whether they have always thought that the shooter was the lowest of trash.

        It’s the only acceptable reason to not accept propositions; don’t want them thinking you’re a prude, do you?

        *****

        According to the young lady’s parents, the shooter had been asking her out for months, wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, and when she embarrassed him in class in response to the latest proposition he said he was going to shoot her. She told her parents about this. No news if they told the school, but I would expect they did.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          For some reason, when I’d wrote the above about Santa Fe, I’d somehow had the impression that the daughter had survived. The mother’s statement makes perfect sense in the context of grief.

          Mea culpa.

          Civilization is a choice, and Santa Fe guy certainly doesn’t seem to have been raised in the long term values that make civilization a defensible choice.

          • The way the reporting is, it was only after I clicked around trying to find what the heck the gal had to say about it that I found out she hadn’t survived. I could easily see it going both ways as far as if her response was reasonable. (three, really- reasonable, reasonable given culture and age, and wow what a psycho)

            I think they’re trying to hide that yes, the loser DID threaten violence, in school even, and NOTHING WAS DONE.

            Even the one that mentioned the girl was dead hammered on how her parents’ “claim” that she was shot first couldn’t be “verified.”

            Heck, some of the early reports even were full of questions about if this was a random shooting or if he chose the art class specifically….

            “Guy was turned down by girl, publicly, swore revenge, publicly, and shot up class two weeks later” doesn’t sell as well as “loner in trench coat” I guess.

            • Just a hint

              Student has threatened to shoot people
              Student has a history of physically attacking people without consequence
              Student has a history of drug use/abuse
              Student has a social media habit
              Student has no moral compass /. empathy
              Student’s school is a target rich environment Gun Free Zone.

              FIFY

              The above points to no insta-panacea by the way. But if you wanted to analyze commonalities that’s a pretty fair list. But it’s all down to ticky-boxes these days. If it doesn’t fit into one, it might as well not exist.

            • snelson134

              It confuses the “let’s take all the guns because nothing else will work” narrative.

      • One of the Parkland gun control activists apparently bragged about having tormented the shooter for years.

        This is why I didn’t really have sympathy for the teens being given that hyperfocus by the media re: Parkland. I am sorry that there are children who died – but the ones screaming the loudest were very likely some of the biggest bullies, cloaking themselves in the outrage the most the way they do when a victim strikes back.

        I remember being violently bullied – and when that violent bullying was met with violent response the bullies invariably tried to make themselves the victim so they ‘wouldn’t get into trouble.’

        I haven’t been paying attention to the news lately but from what little I heard, I don’t believe if the above applies to the Santa Fe shooting. This sounds more like that entitled asshole who went nuts because he couldn’t get a girlfriend.

        • I concede short-temper with those kids whinging “I shouldn’t have to be afraid for my life in school.”

          Child, the list of people who are forced to experience “things they shouldn’t have to” is as long as the History of Humanity. Folks have horrors inflicted on them on a daily basis in this world and what you “shouldn’t have to” counts for nothing. It’s a shame such a bad thing happened, but in a world where the Chinese are putting one million Uighurs in a gulag, checking their DNA to harvest organs and “re-educating” them, where Boko Harum and ISIS have been kidnapping girls and selling them as slaves, where runaways seeking a new life in the Big City are recruited, groomed, hooked on smack and set out on street corners to “earn” their keep … what people “shouldn’t have to” experience just doesn’t count for much.

          Suck it up, live a life that demonstrates the best revenge.

          • ALL OF THIS.

            And yet, the ‘I shouldn’t have to’ – doesn’t include being bullied for being socially different or having different interests… or just being different full stop. That is ‘okay’ by the standards of these idiot children.

            • Patrick Chester

              Well, they “shouldn’t have to” suffer something, but they think those icky others they hate, demean and/or sneer at should suffer.

          • 11B-Mailclerk

            “I shouldn’t have to be afraid for my life in my school”

            Camera Hogg and Shaved Guevara, in effect, want to be free to bully as they see fit without fear of thier targets. Thus, they want folks disarmed, as their prey might otherwise acquire the means of “knock it off” final version.

            Kinda handy when the would-be brownshirts are so (bleeping) obvious of intentions. The armbands were kinda over the top though….

        • Patrick Chester

          My sympathy vanished when they started using their victim status to attack people and then when confronted fell back on “how DARE you attack a poor VICTIM” and similar.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          I got to finding being around people stressful and tiring enough that I am unsure if I was bullied or not.

          Certainly wasn’t violent enough to have a good feel for that behavior.

          My issues with the Parkland gun control activists were the cause, that I have little respect for young political spokesmen, and that the pattern of coverage was just a little too calculated to trust.

          • Calculated? They were spinning and spinning.

            Housemate told us last night of a (recent?) shooting where a serious gamer was the person defending with a gun. (He said the story’s prolly been memory holed by now, so it’s likely unfindable) The young man got shot in the process, but he said “Video games taught me to stand my ground and that getting shot will mostly take my HP down some, not outright kill me.” His parents stood by him, and housemate can’t find the story to show to me. The dude was a positive portrayal of gamer dude, so the media couldn’t have THAT.

    • I regret that I can’t upvote this enough. Because Government school IS a 12-year prison sentence – and the social dynamics of a school are closer to a prison than to anything else.

      • Over three decades I ago I called my high school “a prison crossed with an ant hill” It’s only gotten worse.

        • I attended private religious school. Yeshiva. I was teased by boys at one school. I went to girls only schools thereafter until college. I was not hooked in high school. Aside from being socially maladroit I was a loner because I didn’t know how to be sociable. Also didn’t go to high school with girls I went to 7th & 8th grade with. Also mother died in my junior year of high school (grade 11).

          Also the schools I attended were small. My graduating class in high school had 50 girls in it.

          Since I went to religious schools it was socially and politically conservative. The biggest scandal was that one girl got pregnant. Otherwise usual infractions were that we talked to boys and sometimes wore pants. Both of those were infractions of religious law some interpretations any way. My father the Rabbi was considered dangerously liberal because his synagogue didn’t have a wall between the men and women, and I was allowed to wear pants sometimes.

      • Many of whom don’t even make good entries for the mental file “Villains, for inspiration of” because they would be shot down as unrealistic.

  2. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Loner. Quiet.

    Dunno on the bullied end.

    I probably play more video games than Billy boy, and I don’t know how he rates violent, so possible.

    Dress? Disheveled or later on attempting professional.

  3. Well, that was a surprisingly strong reaction….

    I read the tweet and instantly snarled (silently, thankfully– the Baron is about two feet away, doing his math, and even though he’s wearing one of those military-uniform-for-kids jackets I would rather he did not start talking like a soldier) “F off and die, M F-er.”

    That was… a good bit stronger of a reaction than I am generally prone to. ^.^

    I’ve poked at it a bit, and I think that it’s related to such “logic” being what the bullies already use to justify their abuse of anybody who isn’t exactly like themselves.

    Still startling. NOw back to reading the rest.

  4. 1- loner.

    Uh. Apparently it never occurred to this guy that “loner” goes both ways. Yeah, sure, those of us of an introvertish (my profile is weird) disposition won’t be found at the center of a group, but most of “us” that I know were shunned more or less from the first day of school.

    Yep!

    And I know exactly why- I was well socialized.
    Good manners, no problem interacting with adults, and classic responses to bad manners. Take a wild guess how well a polite smile went over the first time that someone screeched that I was a poopie-head for not giving them what I was playing with…..

  5. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    There’s a report that the recent Santa Fe was killing people because a girl didn’t want to date him.

    Perhaps, this moron would have us arrest teenage boys who can’t get a date. [Sarcastic Grin]

    • I bet you that isn’t just it, though. Partly, I bet you, it’s the pressure to “Date or you’re a weirdo” that public schools put on you.
      I felt I was bizarre for not dating when I was 12, even though I had functionally NO interest in dating. Ah well, found a guy who liked math to be my “boyfriend.” We’d sit on the playground and talk math and sci fi and the other kids left us alone.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Well, I never dated because I didn’t trust my “peers” including female ones.

        Of course, the report was from the mother of one of the victims who apparently didn’t want to date the shooter. She may have had good reasons to not want to date that person.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I think the Bisexual Pride hat pin might well be evidence that ideas about sex were a part of that guy’s disordered thinking.

      • SheSellsSeashells

        I had a similar “boyfriend”.We went to separate schools and would borrow each other when we needed to make a show of normalcy; when Events were not on the calendar, we would talk sci-fi and hide books from our respective mothers (mine was panicked by fantasy, his by Star Wars, so when there was a purge on we’d rescue each other’s books).

      • I didn’t date in HS because – well, I was a brainy oddball girl, and I hung out with a very close coterie of about twenty or thirty other brainy oddballs, all but three of whom were guys. We had most of our classes together, and our own corner of the lunchroom. Going on a date with one of them would have been like going out with your brother. Yeesh! While my high school was a largish one ( 600+/-) the various subgroups tended to leave each other strictly alone: the ‘Brains’, the ‘Social Set’, the Vo-Tech (who were just marking time until they could get jobs) the Gangsters and the girls who hung with them, the Jocks (who were a crossover of the Social Set) and a handful of Outcasts, who mostly had developmental problems. The Gangsters and the Vo-Tech kids picked on the Outcasts, out of boredom, I guess. That kind of thing was beneath the dignity of the Brains and the Social Set.

        • There was different groups in my HS (sophomore-senior year). I felt alone as a number of them did not know what to make of me. Swimmer (eventually selected by coach as coCaptain my senior year), in great shape, socially awkward at best, in honors classes, Academic Decathlon (A group), science fair participant, computer gamer, science fiction reader, etc. I qualified for multiple groups but never quite fit in any of them. I liked everyone, including the Kickers (Texas school) and mostly did not see people as part of groups. In retrospect, I probably confused the @#$& out of my peers.

          Not bullied as when a group came to haze me my first year, I looked at them, told them they might subdue me as a group but I would then get them one by one with apparently a crazy enough gleam in my eye that they knew I meant it and backed off abruptly… what can I say? That hazing tradition abruptly died.

      • Yeaaaaah. I remember when I first got a boyfriend. Other kids’ reaction? “Oh, so you ARE date-able! Dump him and go out with me!” I didn’t get a boyfriend until I was nearly 16.

    • Be careful when you say that, Paul. Look up “incel” and the subculture it labels and I think you’ll find that they’re already trending in that direction…

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Sadly, I’ve heard about that garbage as well. 😦

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Incel is fundamentally a wrong order of priorities.

        “Don’t stick it in crazy.”

        It isn’t obvious when you are in school how miserable it can be to live years with someone, or a succession of someones, who is deeply messed up. Of what value is sex compared to that?

        “I want sex with a woman” very much does not consider that women are not widgets, and neither are men. A man is very vulnerable to a woman he sleeps with. Long term, the differences between people mean the difference between a good experience and a horrible one. The God’s of Copybook Headings will always eventually take their cut. There are a lot of women who would end up messed up if they, she, made the decisions to sleep with many men. For this reason, a culture of one night stands is likely to be miserable for a number of men. Monogamy is a better strategy, and the specifics of the woman should matter to the specific man.

        • Incel is fundamentally a wrong order of priorities.

          But it’s perfectly in keeping with the toxic culture they’re pushing.

          Sex is supposed to be a teen play-date, for them. The only reason you wouldn’t go for it is that there’s something incredibly wrong with one of you…..

          Monogamy is a better strategy, and the specifics of the woman should matter to the specific man.

          Had a very depressing chat with my husband where we ended up with that conclusion.

          Wasn’t depressing because of him, was depressing because I was forced to admit the psycho b*****s had something of a point because there are a lot of guys who think that, well, women should be delighted to have the opportunity to be their room-mate and f-buddy that might be allowed one or two children if she’s paying for them with a full-time job, and allowed to keep the house at a preferred level of clean, as long as it doesn’t involve the guy having to actually do anything. (Sometimes including his own laundry, and don’t get me started on the idea that dishes teleport themselves to the sink.)
          Hey, isn’t the privilege of having sex with him enough?

          Thus, very depressing and why I had to talk it out with him. I was hoping he’d be able to point out a flaw in my reasoning, including that these guys are blowing smoke about their expectations of normal. No luck.

          Basically concluded they’re both completely wrong, and the whole point is that you don’t marry the “average” person– you marry someone you can trust with your life, you marry the specific person.

          As you point out– the specific man marries the specific woman. Doing it otherwise is misery.

          • Mike Houst

            Of course if you’ve never sat down to actually consider what you’re specifically looking for, you’re entirely too likely to marry the wrong person.

            Looks great, and good in bed don’t necessarily go together. And neither of those two things necessarily go with ‘mentally stable’, or even ‘nice to be around and with for long periods of time’.

            “And they lived happily ever after” seems like a pipe dream, total fantasy. “They lived fairly contentedly, with only rare, sometimes heated arguments, and much affection and devotion to each other, for all the rest of their days”; is more like what I have, and what I see with other long lasting marriages.

            • *chuckle*

              Maybe part of it is how one imagines “happily.”

              If it’s an absolute that doesn’t have room for so much as annoyance, much less the stuff real life throws at you…obviously it’s not going to happen.

              Given the world of fairy tales, I can’t say I ever imagined something that absolute! “Happy” would be something like “And nobody was trying to kill her, she didn’t discover the prince was horrible, and no other huge tragedy happened.”

              • To quote Chesterton: “The wise old fairy tales never were so silly as to say that the prince and the princess lived peacefully ever afterwards. The fairy tales said that the prince and princess lived happily ever afterwards; and so they did. They lived happily, although it is very likely that from time to time they threw the furniture at each other.”

                • Terry Sanders

                  How did it go in THE HORSE AND HIS BOY? The young hero and heroine kept fighting and making up; so they eventually married, so as to do it more conveniently?

                  • Mike Houst

                    LOL! I’d forgotten that one.

                  • The funny thing is, there are VERY happy marriages that fit that description. My Mom remembers some (of people she and Dad knew I guess?) that were of the ‘argue about the small petty things, because they were strong with each other on the big important things’ type.

                    A variation on that which I loved was “She realized she would have to be bonded with him, in order to have a proper (ergo, uninterrupted) argument” or something like that (don’t have the book atm.) The arguments were mostly intellectual, and philosophical, though they started out with “why the hell are you not running away from this you are going to die.”

                    • I’m not saying Beloved Spouse and I argue, but we’ve been known to switch sides just to keep one going.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      Argumentative much, you? I thought you were agreeable, biddable, and always entirely serious, just like me.

                    • *manages to not spit her drink out laughing* Biddable? ME? The fact that I do NOT fit the demure obedient Asian stereotype was one of the sources of a certain online diseases rage, that fucking racist. Since then he’s been claiming it really bitching it’s about my politics, which is ‘socially more acceptable’ but is basically still under the ‘you are an Asian woman who won’t bend to my whitey stereotype of your people, so must be destroyed.’

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      I actually meant to address RES, but that interpretation also works.

            • Looks great” is a surprisingly good indicator of social comprehension — it is amazing the degree to which presentation is a collection of markers for social integration.

              Of course, predators often are very good at melding into the population and attracting their targets.

            • Many years ago, one of my acquaintances complained to a mutual friend about the craziness of women, evidencing the behavior of women he’d gone out with (admittedly, I did see one of them throw an entire pitcher of soda over him at a pizza gathering, right after he’d offered her apologies). The mutual friend said, “M, you have no standards.” The acquaintance said that he certainly did have standards, and recited them—and the mutual friend pointed out that none of them related to anything other than appearance.

              However, the acquaintance has improved over the intervening decades; he’s currently married, apparently stably, to a fairly nice woman. The worst I can say of him is that he suffers from Trump Derangement, and in San Diego, that’s not evidence of SPECIAL issues; it’s just endemic.

            • The wise old fairy tales never were so silly as to say that the prince and the princess lived peacefully ever afterwards. The fairy tales said that the prince and princess lived happily ever afterwards; and so they did. They lived happily, although it is very likely that from time to time they threw the furniture at each other.

              ― G.K. Chesterton

              • *chuckle* I read that out to the housemate, and he recalled a very old Greek couple from his home town that got thrown out of a bar. They were in their nineties – apparently when they fought, ‘breaking pool cues over each other’s heads’ was standard. They deeply, deeply loved each other though; the younger of the 90+ year old pair died first, and the other followed within a few weeks of their spouse’s passing.

                He also has a friend who is apparently married to someone they’re very compatible with. They do ‘get seriously stuck into it though sometimes’ – once, the husband and wife pair showed up at the hospital ‘covered in bruises.’ The doctor asked the wife ‘does he beat you?’ Her response? “FUCK NO. I won that fight!” And again, they’re a pair that fight as vehemently as they love each other.

        • William O. B'Livion

          > “Don’t stick it in crazy.”

          Bah. Where’s your sense of adventure?

          • Old Surfer

            “Bad Crazy” is the correct term.

          • Where?

            Speaking solely for myself, my sense of adventure died under mysterious circumstances. My sense of self-preservation found the body, but assures me it has an airtight alibi.

            https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2005-07-22

            😛

          • I got your sense of adventure right here, bucko:

            Teen swears off kinky sex after ex-girlfriend in clown makeup stabs him
            Most nights teenager Kieran Bewick wakes up terrified, screaming and drenched in sweat — believing he is being stabbed by someone he loves.

            This nightmare is not sparked by some gory horror movie, but a shocking real-life attack.

            The 18-year-old is lucky to be alive after a sex game with ex-girlfriend Zoe Adams took a sadistic turn.

            Days after Bewick had moved into her apartment, Adams walked into the bedroom, her face painted like a clown. She put a pillow over his head, whispered “trust me” then stabbed him five times with a 10-inch knife she had hidden at the side of the bed.

            In May, 19-year-old Adams — who is obsessed with serial killers and male sacrifice — was jailed for 11 and a half years after admitting to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. …

            • William O. B'Livion

              Crazy is clown makeup

              Bug f*k insane is a 10 inch knife.

              Learning the difference is CRITICAL.

      • *Shudder*

        Related– husband and I use the term “involuntarily single” for the folks who aren’t looking for a f-buddy, they’re looking for a life-mate.

        This seemed like a good group to offer the terminology to.

        • That would be me. I mean, I’m a re asonably attractive woman, and if all I wanted was sex, I could certainly find that. But there’s more to life than that, and I want to build a life with someone, not just share my bed with them.

          This is made more complicated by the fact of introversion and Oddness, but that just means I need to spend more time actually meeting people in real life. Which means I really need to get on the road and go meet someone from the Diner…

        • FlyingMike

          And the best advice I’ve seen for these men:
          Go find and join a church. No, really. You need to present yourself to a pool of candidate females who have the correct mental framework matching your objectives, and if you are looking for a life-partner rather than a f-buddy that’s not your local pickup bar.

          • Ummm, heard stories that there were female predators that were going to church looking for fresh victims. So, sometimes even church isn’t a good spot to go.

            • Fix up from a friend? Meet person in a public place.

              • Current fiancee was a friend of a friend. Figured we both could use someone to be odd with. He had no idea….. 🙂
                Me, just plain odd. Her, loves doing autopsies and will go on for hours some days. 😀

                • Does she or did she ever have purple hair and train up in New Orleans?

                  • Nope, pure Canadian. Seems that trait may be a little common than. 😌

                    • sounded a bit like a long ago co-workers sister-in-law. She was painfully shy around all us nuts at the shop, until I decided to try and get a rise out of her:
                      “Is All your hair purple?”
                      she slapped me on the head
                      10 minutes later said “no”
                      from then on, she would smile at me and say hello, sometimes chat about nonsense, the weather, school (she was in college for forensics and undertaking at the time) etc. She was never around me for more than an hour at most but whenever I asked how her schooling was going she lit up talking about it, though not in too great detail, likely out of respect to the others in earshot.

              • I was set up by my neighbors with a blind date. Met at a restaurant with 3 exits from the parking lot (just in case). We’ve been married 10 years.

                • *snickers*

                  My parents met because of a blind date… her friends were trying to hook her up with someone else.

                  It was a dance, and she doesn’t dance…but was so desperate to escape the blind date that she said “yes” when dad asked her to dance.

                  Turned out well. ^.^

                  • My mom and dad met because my mom had a friend who wanted to really, really date Dad, and said friend had a violently jealous boyfriend. The friend wanted to have mom be the ‘date’ and the friend was ‘the chaperone.’ Mom thought this initially incredibly stupid, asking why said friend was willing to cheat on her actual boyfriend. The friend’s response? “Because Tony is so mesmerizing to talk to and intelligent…”

                    That friend wasn’t wrong, and well, Dad was the only person Mom had met up to that point who didn’t think classical music was ‘funeral music.’

                • Apparently my husband’s cousin was moving to an area where he had friends, and said friends were used to setting up (curated) blind dates for people moving to the area. One of the members of the group—who my husband’s cousin did not know—looked at his information and said something along the lines of “It’s my turn to be the blind date.” They’ve been married for a few years now. Matchmaking can work.

                • best way to meet someone. We’ve been married 17 years. Got married in April of ’01. It’s why I have fond memories of 01.

                • After going through a hard time, I decided to try a dating organization. They’d run get-togethers once a month (and had a Russian Bride service as a sideline). My first time, I met two ladies; a very outgoing (love ’em and dump em), and a more reserved lady. We hit it off, but neither of us pursue anything more (at the time).

                  She wasn’t there the next month, but the month after she was. We started dating 24 years ago, and have been married almost 17 years now.

                  • Lemme make that clear. I chatted with both, but $SPOUSE was the reserved one.

                    • Met my significant other at a college club associated with our major. Started hanging out in a subgroup of the club. We got thrown together as doubles in part of the subgroup well before we started actually dating. Good thing, because if I had taken him home first time we met, my folks would have pulled me out of college. I was 17 (granted only for a few weeks before I was 18, but still), he was 22. We didn’t start officially dating until I was 21.

                      We will have been married 40 years this December.

              • snelson134

                Dear, you couldn’t have gotten much more public than ours — front lobby of the con hotel at WorldCon 2000, followed by a first date in Leslie Fish’s filk circle. 😎

                As an aside, this is why the shenanigans around WorldCon the past few years turn my thoughts to medieval weaponry. That con used to be special, and these SJWs slimed it. Damn their black souls to hell.

                • I’m going to WorldCon this year; it’s the last year barring some great change. And I damned well better have a good time because I just lost out on being in my once-a-year theatrical production because it conflicts with one of the production weekends. And if my experience sucks I am going to be royally pissed.

                • I met the love of my life at ChiCon kiss kiss hug.

            • Yeah, predators go where there is prey.

              Less a matter of being able to avoid the predators than of there being any suitable people around at all.

              My brother got the bright idea of going to dance classes to meet girls!

              .,…the youngest lady who wasn’t married was two and a half times his age. Ooops.
              But he had fun, and eventually a friend introduced him to a nice lady that he knew, and they seem happy.

              • scott2harrison

                Try a community college social dance class. The average age is much lower and it is still very biased towards that ladies.

            • Joe in PNG

              My experiences as a long time single Christian is that the majority of ladies in single’s groups tend to fall into three general categories:
              -Fresh out of high school college girls
              -Single mothers trying to get their lives together
              -Middle aged widows
              Single guys, while I wouldn’t call them ‘predators’, tend more towards the sort of desperation for finding a mate, any mate, that it’s almost visible. The dude who hangs around the College and Career class for far, far too long, for instance.

            • I think if you add “and work some of the volunteer activities” it might be a safe strategy. The predators are unlikely to put that much effort into the hunt. Of course, from my experience, the ratio of already married might be higher. I could be wrong, though, as I pretty much did volunteer stuff associated with the school.

              • Joe in PNG

                It’s funny- I’ve been working on the mission field for 19 years now, and in various church groups since I was a kid.
                The ladies who reach the mission field tend to take to singleness a whole lot better than the men do.

          • Going to respectfully disagree. Every single church I’ve ever attended had the collective mindset of if a man and woman were “dating,” then they WERE soulmates and WERE going to get married. Even a single date was absolute proof that God intends for them to be husband and wife.

            Not,in my opinion, conducive to healthy relationships.

            • Robin Munn

              My college (explicitly Christian) had the same social dynamic. Which was much talked about, and the consensus was that it was unhealthy and people shouldn’t assume from one date that you would end up married — and yet the social dynamic persisted. Really weird how that works.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                No difference really between that and the “Liberal” idea of “Oh, they’re friends, they must be having sex”. 😉

                • Robin Munn

                  I can think of at least one difference: at least at my college, a lot of people acknowledged that this was an unhealthy attitude. If you can find any liberal who acknowledges that the “they’re friends, so they must be having sex” attitude is at all problematic… then you’ve found a liberal who’s well on his/her way to finally waking up and becoming conservative.

              • My also explicitly-Christian college was the exact same way, except nobody agreed (at least publicly) that it was an unhealthy dynamic. No lie, “Ring by Spring” was the school’s unofficial motto.

                • That sounds far too much like my college experience. Was your college in West Tennessee, perchance?

                  • My school which was in New York City was actually a bit weirder than that. Although I had (they disowned me after I married outside the faith) cousins who are Jewish super orthodox who have done weirder things.
                    The school was divided into a men’s and women’s campuses. Men were imported for the Sabbath to run prayer services(it’s not officially a prayer service if you don’t have 10 adult men there. So the rest of the time the men and women mingled despite the single sex dorm. There was a visiting room in the entrance of the women’s dorm. This was NYC in the early 80’s, somebody gave away Reagan bumper stickers in Hebrew. Cheaper clean hotel rooms were readily available. Some people went on t’fillin dates. T’fillin are sometimes known as phylacteries they are worn by men during prayer. Tfillin dates are dates that were so long that he’d still be there when it was time for morning prayers.

                    • When a girl got engaged her roommates would decorate the outside door of their dorm room to celebrate/announce it.

                  • Nope. Outside of Philadelphia, PA.

            • “They say you find love where you least expect it. I least expect it to show up at my door with good beer in hand” – best friend of a friend of mine when I lived in the NOLA area.

            • Oh my, you just described the appalling dating climate at BYU to a T… O.O

              (I wonder if we ought to start support groups for survivors of the various Christian faiths’ dating scenes–from what I read here, we all have a lot in common on that front, heh…)

              • Probably not a bad idea, all things considered. Though I probably won’t participate. Work, grad school, job hunt, house/apartment hunt, writing a book, costume club, and now dating and/or dating support group? I ain’t got that kinda time! 😉

          • scott2harrison

            Many churches are some of the most progressive environments around. If you are trying this, hold out for a church that expelled a member for divorcing. Preferably a female member.

        • There does seem to be a dramatic increase in the MGTOW movement, men going their own way, males who have been burned to the point that they reject forming any long term relationship with a female. And it would seem that young men are taking after the example of their elders in that for many marriage has fallen out of favor.
          Subject any group to institutional abuse such as we see in our current educational system regarding the demonization of boyish behavior patterns, a legal system biased heavily against husbands and fathers in divorce settlements, and radical feminists who openly declare that all men are rapists, and eventually that group responds if only to protect themselves.

          • Thing is, none of that came about in a vacuum.

            They were all in response to actual problems– and repeating the same stupidity but with a gender-flip isn’t going to work the second time, either. It just makes sure the same stupid problems keep happening, and folks are told the same stupid lies that got us in trouble in the first place.

            Seriously, what sane person thinks that it’s a good idea to create the male version of the entitled twit eating bon-bons and demanding her husband do all the work if he wants anything? And yet you can find guys bragging that it’s their right to get exactly that, or they’ll Go Their Own Way. (Which is what triggered said depressing conversation. I’ve now run into as many of these as I have psycho feminists.)

            And feel incredibly victimized that they’re expected to actually provide for the offspring they sired, too.

            I have a strong desire to reach through the screen, shake folks, and scream that they’re exactly the problem they’re “fighting….”

            • What I’ve discovered is, in the battle of the sexes, the only real victory is surrender, and I’ve been very, very lucky to find someone who I can trust to surrender to. 🙂

            • Seriously, what sane person thinks that it’s a good idea to create the male version of the entitled twit eating bon-bons and demanding her husband do all the work if he wants anything? And yet you can find guys bragging that it’s their right to get exactly that, or they’ll Go Their Own Way. (Which is what triggered said depressing conversation. I’ve now run into as many of these as I have psycho feminists.)

              And feel incredibly victimized that they’re expected to actually provide for the offspring they sired, too.

              That sounds more like the Game folks, honestly. Real MGTOW don’t think the risk of sex, and eternally supporting the woman financially through her hostage-taking of the child, is worth the fleeting pleasure of sex, which has been part of the source of the screaming response from feminazis, and even ordinary women. They’d also be more on the side of ‘give me the child to raise and support myself’ because of how often the women who practice this sort of sexual-financial entrapment don’t bother actually providing for the child or raising them in safe environments, as well as holding the child/ren hostage for more money (denying visitation, for example.)

              This isn’t to say there aren’t deadbeat dads out there – there are. Real MGTOWs make the decision to never engage in relationships, even brief ones, because they don’t want their hearts, lives and financial futures held hostage by someone else’s whims and caprice.

              • I would guess that, just like with the psycho “feminists,” the fact that they’re talking about it unable to shut up about it is related to the utter lack of sense.

                That they exist, and apparently in numbers similar to (though not celebrated by the media) the psycho female version, is pretty dang depressing.

                MGTOW who are sane seem to only bring it up when folks won’t stop nagging them about getting a “girlfriend.”

                • Yeah…

                  I’m remembering the story Tom Kratman related, about the very lefty girl who got more attracted to him the more deliberately misogynistic and jerkish he got (because he wanted her to leave him the hell alone, because MARRIED, FUCK OFF wasn’t working) – and I think sometimes that MGTOW is seen by some women as the new ‘gay challenge’ – y’know, how some women back in the day were convinced that a guy is gay only because they hadn’t had a ‘real woman’ yet – the flip version of the men convinced that the only reason why some lesbians existed was because those women hadn’t had good sex with a guy. (ugh. really? ew to both.) I mean, nowadays, with the whole ‘oh hey, open marriages and polyamory is totally cool now’ in those circles, it doesn’t surprise me what swinging and partner swapping is no longer ‘edgy’ (or cheating, for the matter.) Probably also part of the reason why there’s women who deny that MGTOW is valid (or, asexuality.)

          • Seeing some valid MGTOWs from close up, the response that I’ve seen to it has been shrill entitlement from women who are offended that men are choosing to reject being available for dating/booty calls/marriage/etc, and are framing these perfectly valid choices as ‘rape’ or ‘sexual discrimination’ or ‘misogyny.’ This shrillness and demanding screaming, as well as attempts to try frame the MGTOW as a sexual offender or harasser (usually by trying to get them to admit that these men find certain actresses attractive, then shrieking about objectifying women if there is a response) has actually lead to these men refusing to even be in a room alone with a woman in most situations including social; even more so in workplace arenas. Sanity no longer exists, and because of the very strong threat to men and their livelihoods because of shrill, entitled harpies, it’s going to get harder and harder for everyone in the long run.

    • snelson134

      You laugh. As soon as that came out, the “toxic masculinity” crowd was claiming that was “victim blaming” when it wasn’t proposing turning all women into forced hookers. One of Obama’s former people seriously tweeted to a high tech company asking if they were prepared for the risks of hiring “incels”….

    • There’s also the kid who’s just that poorly socialized, has non-typical brain wiring, who doesn’t “get” the signals that girls (and guys) are sending out that most people would read as polite “back off, okay?”. These kids push and have no cluethat’s what they’re they’re doing. They think they’re on the fringes of “one of the gang” because they’re barely tolerated until finally some girl (they tend to be more overtly cruel) or guy pushes back hard. Public humiliation hard.

      That’s without the weird dynamic that has second-tier status teens reacting with anger and as much violence as they can get away with (and with the tacit approval of the teachers, who are also annoyed by these kids – usually boys) toward these outcasts. And no, these aren’t not the smartest kids, or the introverted readers. They have almost nothing that grants them any status with at all, with anyone. But if you can find just one thing that they’re good at, and surround them with people who appreciate that one thing, they have a chance. Good luck finding that in Stalag Public School 109.

      In my experience, love and patience and a chance to fail with dignity and learn how to manage social interactions does wonders for these boys (and girls). Also in my experience, our public schools are hell on earth for them. And as Mrs. Hoyt points out, most are lost to suicide.

      • My advice to the Odd young man with difficulty in reading people would be to default to “she really isn’t interested”.
        Better to keep a polite & friendly distance over continuously reading “normal, everyday politeness” as “she totally wants you”.

        The other is to work hard to find the difference between “polite interest” and “really wants to know about your geeky hobby in serious detail”.

        • History has shown that women are entirely capable of making their interest clear to a guy no matter how large a clue bat they have to use, and if she can’t communicate that to him their relationship is doomed anyway.

          • Feather Blade

            It’s not always her failure to communicate.

            It can be a case of “He’s just not that into you”, and he refuses to say it outright.

            … and I swear I’m not bitter about it.

        • Trick I’ve found is that if they say “that’s nice” type things, try to get them to talk about their hobbies; if they ask “keep talking” type questions, ask if they do something similar. If they light up and start geeking back at you, cheer. 😀

        • Of course, “social awareness” can backfire– maybe?

          One of the guys who asked me out– in a very round-about way– then did not speak to me, or even respond to emails, for several weeks. Including not responding at the lunch table.

          I took that to mean he’d had second thoughts, and didn’t press things; when another guy hit me over the head with the fact that he was interested, I went out with him. (Was good thing; that’s my dear Elf.)

          Guy One then waxed poetic to some of his friends about how I’d “friendzoned” him and similar. -.- One saw fit to elaborate on this, after said guy transferred; it did not go as she expected…. I’d spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was wrong with me, and re-dedicated myself to finding a Japanese girlfriend for Elf.

      • [Girls] tend to be more overtly cruel

        It seems likely that such girls are simply unable to comprehend that such boys are so socially maladroit. Girls in this age cohort tend to be more mature than boys and better integrated socially — yet they are still young enough to not be aware of how difficult a time some boys have performing a task these girls find so natural.

        It is the same impatience that can cause an adept reader to snap at somebody having challenges with their reading comprehension.

        This is not to excuse such cruelty but to accurately identify its basis in order to engage in effective prophylactic efforts.

  6. I know a teacher of remedial reading in a US Middle School. 8th-graders reading at 3rd-grade level is considered a success, and she is forbidden from letting them read fiction in class or for class credit. All reading assignments must be non-fiction, and she can’t get a straight answer as to why.

    • Project Veritas has been putting up some really troubling videos on the teachers union – although you already know what’s in them. But it’s proof that they’re only interested in covering up for the current membership, even sexual abuse, and care nothing about the kids.

      • FlyingMike

        This points out the basic fallacy employed in setting up classes like the ID10T up top did: I’d say it’s 100% accurate to observe that public school teachers who engage in sexual abuse of students are always in the Teacher’s Union, so that means every public school teacher who is in a Teacher’s Union is a Potential Sexual Abuser of Children, right?

        • I recall one (gay, furry) comedian speaking of the accusation that all gays were pedophiles. He brought the house down with, “We’re not that catholic.”

        • every public school teacher who is in a Teacher’s Union is a Potential Sexual Abuser of Children

          No, many of them are merely abettors.

    • Forbidden, schmidden. But yes, that is something that Common Core was pushing – all reading books to consist of non-fiction selections. (But nothing interesting or useful.)

      • Mike Houst

        *gasp*
        The only reason I’m a reader is due to exposure to “The Hobbit” in 6th grade.

        • Huh. That nearly put me off it. Thankfully it hadn’t been assigned but was merely lent. I went back to RCA’s CDP1802 manual with a new appreciation for it.

        • I agree. Give a kid something they will WANT to read, and you’ll create a reader. Give a kid something boring that they don’t care about and they’ll become one of those people that say “I don’t like to read”.

          The Hobbit might not be the right book for every kid, so you have to try to fit the book to the kid. My youngest was going that direction until she managed to find something she liked. Whew… some damage still done though, she doesn’t enjoy reading anywhere near as much as she could.

          Middle daughter (13, nearly 14) heard me listening to the audio book for one of the Monster Hunter International books and said “How can I get to read those?” She has now borrowed my Kindle Paperwhite and is reading her way through MHI now. 🙂 YAY!

          • Yes. Grade school summers teachers kept sending home books because obviously couldn’t “read”. No. Stuff at school was boring. Started reading YA Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Bobbsey (sp?) Twins, moved to Tarzan, Clark’s (?) book about the orphan raised by dolphins, other Clark books, Heinlein, Norton, Hobbit, LOR, well before I was in HS. But still labeled “could not read” because I couldn’t read aloud (still can’t & I’m 62 with 3 degrees, granted one is only AA, but still), until they did the tests in JHS (7 – 9 back then). Oops. Parents called into conference with principle, councilor, & teachers. Teachers to explain why I was labeled unable to read. Scared my folks silly to get called in. Luckily this was well before common core, when one could read anything & turn in a book report on it, instead of participating in class if one skills had been “proven”. Test rating = proof. Good outcome was I was the oldest so when younger sisters were in the same boat, different labeling, folks just rolled their eyes; especially the youngest; you know the one who earned Engineering degree from Stanford? Mom still rolls her eyes at that one.

            • Reading out loud is a coordination challenge, not purely a reading activity. You have to look, read, speak, interpret, turn the page… a lot is going on.

              You can always cheat and do what singers do — read ahead to the end of a phrase, repeat what you just read (albeit not in song), read ahead again….

              • I could read well, but had a hell of a stutter; my speech centers go on hiatus under certain forms of stress, and 3rd grade as a newbie at Grand Avenue Elementary School was it. (We moved there just before school started, I was a klutz and we were in the bottom rung versus the kids whose dads were VPs at the big companies.) I could write sort of legibly, and that was enough. 4th grade teacher tried to get me to do some demonstrations in class, but no luck.

                7th and 8th grade were in the junior HS, and I did much better. Come high school, beyond the usual crap that an Odd gets, I did OK.

                I still gave the guidance advisor heartburn. Just below honors math, science and English, and the kid insists on drafting and metal shop. I don’t know if they contacted my parents, but I got what I wanted. Those classes helped a lot in later life. ESAD, Mr. Advisor.

                Similar stuff when I passed on AP Chemistry in favor of Electronic Data Processing. The first computer I could mess with; all 64K RAM worth, programmed in assembler. Chem 101 could wait till University.

                It took several decades before the speaking shyness wore off. (I fell into the president/MC role in a model engine builder’s club. Speaker to fellow geeks/enthusiasts did the trick.) Speech center still cut out on occasion, and my handwriting is ‘orrible, but I can type. Usually. :).

                • Toastmaster’s International. Didn’t cure me of despising getting up & speaking in front of a group of more than say 2, but I can (could? been awhile since I’ve had to) do it. At least I actually remember what I said, the walls are not pulsating, & I do not throw up afterwards anymore.

                  My handwriting is better than my husbands & kids, FWIW. My typing skills are way better than my husbands, who two finger types. All I can say is thank you for spell checkers (although sometimes they can’t come close to the word I want so I have to change the sentence structure …).

          • And the librarian carefully choose only a limited subset of books — all character-driven of course — as they should have only GOOD books.

          • Mike Houst

            And for some odd reason I don’t think your middle daughter is likely to all Agent Franks on a boy and the rest of the school if he turns her down for the school dance.

            Although you may have to buy yourself another Kindle to replace the one she ‘borrowed’. 😉

    • I would assign the kids the Federalist Papers as educational non fiction, then wait for heads to explode. If that wasn’t enough there are books by Thomas Sowell, Jordan Peterson, and so forth.
      Of course any teacher following my suggestion best have a fallback job ready for them.

      • An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. Surely that won’t turn the little biters off of reading! LOL!!

      • You know, there must be a decent niche for roving specialty teachers for home schoolers. The materials and authors you mentioned would go well for an instructor in American History and Social Studies. I keep trying to encourage my wife to seek out all the home schoolers within 25/30 miles and offer General Music Education.

        • There is, especially science. One of the homeschool groups out here gets together a few times a year, hires a chemistry instructor and a few others, rents space in town, and they have chem labs for everyone who is ready for that series of lessons, no matter the age. Seems to work really well. They do something similar for SAT/ACT/AP test prep for those who want it.

          • Locally we’ve had an alternative school for home schooled students that did just that. Group classes are put together based on parents specialties & interest. Have a degree in Chemistry or Physics, class offered in each. General Science, English, History, Computer, skills, more common, but all had been offered. Don’t know if they are still available. They got into trouble with their compliance & non-partnership with one of the multitude of Districts in the area. Plus the now wide availability of certified & sanctioned online alternative home school options.

        • The one that’s really under-appreciated is PE classes.

          The thing I miss most from our old group is the lady who has a trunk full of stuff like balls, traffic cones, and a memory for basic PE class stuff. Five bucks a family, the group finds a gym, and she shows up once a week for two hours; first hour is little kids with the big helping, second hour is the bigs doing big kid stuff.

          We were a little group so she only got about $40 a meeting, retired, and when the local YMCA went into “if you object to men showering with your eight year old girl, leave” standards we suddenly had about twice as many families.
          Discipline consisted of “you need to go to your mom now.”

          It was awesome as a mom because I got to socialize with the other moms and NOT do it all myself, for an hour or two a week.

    • Becausssse it iz LEARNING und NOT for FUN!!11!!

    • So that kids think that reading is difficult and boring. Therefore more likely to believe what they see on TV and also easier to whip up into a mob.

  7. And no, banning guns won’t cure it. There are always other methods of mass murder, like explosives, and these days you can find how to make those online, very easily.

    Don’t even have to go that far. You can get a car and run over people quite easily.
    It doesn’t even take training– every few years the Seattle area has some single-digit kid pulled over because they stole mom’s car for something. I’d be shocked if most places don’t have something similar, and I know one of my classmates stole her dad’s sire’s car at 12 only because the a-hole charged her criminally for it.

    You don’t even have to hurt any innocents for that.

    (She turned out fine, by the way, no thanks to him or her doesn’t-give-a-damn dam; has two kids and runs a coffee shop.)

  8. My best friend and I loved our trench coats in high school because the inside pockets were huge and we could smuggle pretty much anything our little delinquent hearts wanted.I think mine came with an AR-10 and a Glock 21.

    It also sounds suspiciously like Keanu Reeves and says “Whoa!” a lot, but other than that seems mostly harmless. (Sorry, I think Keanu and trench coats are burned into my brain after watching “The Matrix” way to many times.

    • Feather Blade

      I wonder if part of it isn’t a generation/ subculture gap thing.

      Kids who play video games see “trenchcoat” and think “Bad-Ass Longcoat! OMG WANT!”.

      Adults who don’t, see “trenchcoat” and think “OMG Gangsters! DO NOT WANT”.

      • uh… no, not really… I’ve never seen a trenchcoat and had an association with gangsters…

        • I do have a trench coat that looks like something a gangster’s girlfriend might wear– or the Girl Reporter, for that matter. It’s warm, and pretty, and long enough that it doesn’t matter what I wear under it, it won’t clash so I don’t have to deal with THAT headache.

          …it currently has a bunch of comicon type buttons all over it. Because I am a geek. 😀

          • *snicker* I have a character in the Luna City series, who is a reporter for the local newspaper – she customarily wears an oversized trench coat over a skirt suit, because it has plenty of pockets, and she has kind of modeled her image after the old-time reporters from 1930s movies. And Brenda Starr.

      • Probably less “kids” and more “were young any time since the 80s,” because my husband has a gorgeous black leather duster that he’s had cops chase him down to ask where he got it, and complement him on. Guys at the FBI academy, too, when he was on base for that. Happened in three states, so far.

        (if it’s raining, he’s got a black leather hat, too; it makes up about 75% of his Harry Dresden costume)

  9. Currently 31, fit those definitions in high school, and can absolutely tell you they didn’t need this guy’s advice to decide I was totally on the list of people they thought would blow up the school.

    My husband, too, though he’s 12 years older.

    We’re not going to let them get a chance to decide about our daughter, if we get *any* choice about the matter.

    • Ditto.

      I got off easy because the “mentor” they got for me was bowled over because I didn’t have the least inhibition about talking to adults and it kind of blew her mind. (Something my mom taught me. Even today I’ve had folks mistake me for being “with” random strangers I meet waiting in line, because we’ll have a decent conversation.)

      The kids who would’ve been like me, if they had parents that were worth a damn and gave basic social skills? Or if that adult had been one of the teen-girls-in-an-adult-body that I have run into far too often since then, rather than the adult form of those sweet, quiet, shy girls?
      I don’t even want to think about what “help” they got. 😦

      • Not only did your Mom teach you how to talk to adults, but I bet you read a lot of books, too, which reinforces it.

        • Old ones, too.

          Plus dad taught me to listen, even if I’ll never be as good as he is.

          • Yeah, me too on the old books, we had tons of them, from my grandmother’s time. From back when kids were learning things in grammar school that you can’t even get in college these days.

            • I do not the country I was born into. I want the country I was TOLD that I was born into. And really, I’d prefer the country that my grandfather was told he was born into. And he was born into a country where the hardware store sold explosives – and it was Not A Problem. And one could order a gun from a catalog (maybe even a machine gun… and it was sent.. and it was Not A Problem. Do I expect to get this? Alas, no. Still want it.

              My suspicion is that proper border maintenance, proper immigration law and enforcement, and more communists dropped from B-52’s than in the entire fleet (helicopters are far too inefficient for the job en mass) would only be a start to recovery.

              • FlyingMike

                I’ve been thinking about how the world of academia works, with the indoc centers known as universities drawing in undifferentiated-protoplasm-brain kids and emitting converted leftists and a few undercover survivors.

                I was wondering if, instead of incurring the operational expense and cleanup costs of dropping lefties from aerial vehicles, maybe we can get them to self-contain by setting up an examination: We’d tell the new grads it was for the unparalleled privilege of staying in academia if they passed, but in fact it would keep them locked up in there if they failed, only letting out those undercover survivors of the indoctrination who actually passed the tests.

                And all those fences and wall are just to protect their safe space.

              • snelson134

                B-52s are inefficient; C-5s and C-17s carry more commies, and you just drop the rear hatch, go into a climb until they pass out, and rock the plane to sprinkle the bodies over a wider area of ocean.

                I keep telling you I’m a misanthrope and no one believes me…..

      • my ability to chat with anyone freaks out my middle sister.

    • richardmcenroe

      Blow up the school? I wouldn’t do those a-holes the favor…

  10. Stupid people search for simple solutions to complex problems. As H. L. Mencken observed: “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

    Maybe if they stopped bullying introverts* there’d be fewer problems, and maybe if boys didn’t get erections at the of a glimpse of stopping there’d be no sexual assault.

    I will concede the trenchcoat having become iconic wear for those emulating the Columbine shooters, but the logical fallacy of false generalization is strong with this one. Burn the witch!

    *You want more school shootings? ‘Cause this is how you get more school shootings.

    • Columbine kids were actually wearing Dusters, The other kids called them the Trenchcoat mafia or somesuch. Recall one kid of that group who was not included in the plans explaining that.

    • I always thought it was: You can have a simple solution that’s insanely hard, or a complex solution that’s workable. Pick one.

  11. Only marker I didn’t hit on that list was the violent video games. Only because they didn’t exist when I was growing up. I am not looking forward to the next couple of years either. Too many public school horror stories.

    • Right? But I read violent stories for a long while.

      • For me it was “Hammer’s Slammers” and Mack Bolan. 🙂

      • I devoured military history. Who needs violent video games when you have that sort of unexpurgated material at hand?

        • THAT too, now I think about it.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Hear, hear.

        • Aye. I don’t read/watch (fiction) horror (and I loathe most “science fiction”: movies which are really just horror… in spaaaaaace!) – I do read medical mysteries (real) and histories of industrial disasters. I don’t need fiction for that! I want my fiction to have at least a glimmer of hope in it. It’s not “all coming up roses” but.. “even if things are terrible… we can STILL make a(n at least slightly) better world out of it all.” Hopelessness and despair? See the joke about playing country music backwards.

          • I do read horror, but I’m selective about it. Harry Dresden is considered horror, even MHI is. It’s the “hope” thing that makes it acceptable to me. I also read old Victorian era horror/ghost stories, scary, but with a happy ending most of the time.

            A modern horror writer I knew, who also wrote scary-with-happy-ending said that she considered the horror a very moral genre – you showed evil, but it highlighted good, in the same way, with a painting, if you want to show the brightest light, you do so by contrasting it with hard-edged darkness.

            It can even be very spiritual, handled correctly – even if the agent of spiritual good is merely a set of flawed-but-trying ordinary human beings. Too many modern horror writers don’t do this, though, so I can see why you’d feel jaded.

            • Likewise, I like horror when it tells a story of characters who face impossible odds but figure out how to survive them, most of them anyway.

              Although that now seems to be labelled dark fantasy or similar rather than horror, at some point, in the 80’s? I think, horror seems to have shifted into something which has to have a bad ending, even if one or two characters seem to survive and kill the monster there has to be that ending stinger where we found out that no, actually the monster survived, and is now probably going to go after the survivor and maybe all of her family and friends too before it will start to look for new victims.

              Movies are of course worse when it comes to this.

              Although it seems there has been a rather big underserved audience for the hope ending horror movies too. Considering some of the box office hits during the last couple of years – It, Get Out, A Quiet Place, Conjuring and Conjuring 2 – which all have that, and in which most of the good guys even survive, with only a few casualties among them.

              • Amsel, Matthew

                That’s what I always hated about the “supernatural force” type movies like Paranormal Activity.

                The humans never had a chance, if they even tumbled to what was happening before the climax. Make it a fight. Win or lose, make it a fight.

                • scott2harrison

                  The fact that they never had a chance is both what makes it horror and why I have no interest in the genre.

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    While I have no problem with you disliking “heroes can’t win” stories, I dispute that definition of “horror”.

                    IMO “horror” involves a danger that is outside of the world-view of the characters.

                    “Salem’s Lot” was Horror because to the characters Vampires didn’t exist so they didn’t expect to go against Vampires.

                    Harry Dresden knows Vampires exist so when he went against the Red Court Vampires, he knew that he was in “big trouble” but it was a known danger. Of course, to most of the people in the Dresden universe Vampires don’t exist so if they got involved with Vampires, it’d be a Horror Story for them.

                    Again, the key to Horror is that it is an unknown to the characters danger. The first part of the story is about them trying to understand “what is this thing” and/or them thinking “this can’t be real”.

                    To me that’s the difference between Horror and Dark Fantasy. In both types, the foe is terrible & very dangerous but in Dark Fantasy, at least one major View Point character knows what the foe is even if he’s not sure how to defeat it.

                    Hey! Where Did This Soap-Box Come From! 😉

            • A modern horror writer I knew, who also wrote scary-with-happy-ending said that she considered the horror a very moral genre – you showed evil, but it highlighted good, in the same way, with a painting, if you want to show the brightest light, you do so by contrasting it with hard-edged darkness.

              This is a good description of horror that I would read and actually enjoy.

              • The Victorians are good at it – I’m a huge fan of Victorian/Edwardian ghost stories. Check out MR James – he’s on the wordy side, but it’s worth it. He writes shorts, so great for a quick break. “Whistle and I’ll Come To You My Lad” is my favorite and you can read it for free on-line, just google the title. (He only has one story that I know of where the monster kills the hero at the end (Count Magnus (?)), but if you read it the right way and fanfic the ending, you could easily turn it into a vampire romance.)

          • I was lucky, in that there were some decent SF movies when I was growing up. 2001 is engraved in my mind; lost track of the number of times I saw it, frequently at Saturday night shows in college. Dystopias with a way out (Logan’s Run, even THX1138) had merit.

            On the other hand, I found Spaceballs to be funny, if not great. I was laughing at the opening shot with the impossibly long Star Destroyer long before the bumper sticker showed up*.

            On the gripping hand, the first video I rented when I got my first VCR was Forbidden Planet.

            I try to skip Horror (in Spaaaaaaaace) as much as possible, though Alien was all right. (Mel Brooks’ take on the critter was worth a chuckle…)

            (*)We brake for nobody.

            • Well, Spaceballs is true to life.

              We’re surrounded by assholes.

              • Patrick Chester

                I work on help desks. People do come up with very bad passwords, though not 12345. Mostly because that’s not enough characters, I suspect.

        • richardmcenroe

          The difference there is that an Ernie Pyle or Dick Tregakis put the violence in a human and moral framework. Which is probably the only thing that kept me out of real trouble when the growth spurt hit and the grudge list came on line.

      • I find, when I’m stressed or similar, I read violent true crime stories, because it takes something that strong to get me to be able to focus on it.

  12. Here’s an idea: Anyone that assembles and post lists right up to the Twitstorm character limit explaining why someone is a potential mass shooter is envincing unhealthy obsession on the concept of shooting people massly, and therefore is solidly in the class defined as “potential mass shooter”.

  13. Random thoughts:

    I got chills when you said ledge-walking. I’d include other kinds of repetitive motion that require focus, but, just wow.

    I, too, hated the fashions of the 70s (and 30s fashions are definitely superior), but I conformed anyway, with the more grown-up preppie stuff. It did help. I wore full suits in the corporate world for the same reason, and they also helped (and after work, I’d wear the suit to the comic store, which was fun). Business casual is more comfortable, and easier on the wallet, but it only works if you’re youngish and fit.

    As much as I disliked school, I was really lucky – I went to an enormous suburban high school, big enough that there was a reasonable fraction of bright kids, and even kids who loved fantasy/sf books and tv (Star Trek and Star Wars saved a lot of kids in my generation, I think). But even then, the kids were normal, and I was the really odd one – and even if you have friends somewhere in the same huge school, you still have classes with kids who continually give you the “wow, you’re weird” look.

    What saved me is that I could draw well, enough to be considered one of the school’s top artists, which made me slightly cool. And, fortunately, my teachers didn’t mind if I was constantly sketching, as long as I was still taking notes. Otherwise, I don’t know if I’d have made it through my classes.

    Of course, after that, I went to an engineering/sciences university full of geeks just like me and I was fine.

    • The 1970’s were a decade of hangover from the 1960’s.

      • This. And with crappier music.

        • Joe in PNG

          I wouldn’t say the 70’s had crappier music. Its that the music of the 70’s was either extraordinarily great (Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, Led Zep, Alan Parsons, et al), or was utter dreck.

          • I was working as a DJ for Armed Forces Radio by the late 1970s, and believe me, the drek is what is burned … burned, I say … into my brain to this day.

            • the pop of the tops and Casum 40 hit stuff was horrid then, were it not?
              that is STILL what plays on the local station with the worst of the 80’s, 60’s and rarely the 90’s added to it.
              90% of the time it sounds like the stations up here when I moved away in 1984.

            • Trust me – I was around in the Sixties sufficiently to recall much of pop music being worse than awful, it was “have an album to put on the stereo when you wanted to end the party so you could clean up and get some sleep” awful.

              Don’t make me name names. After the Archies, Tommy James & the Shondells, Bobby Sherman, Josie & the Pussycats, the Banana Splits, the Cowsills and other Bubblgum I can hit you with such pseudo-profound songsters as Barry “Eve Of Destruction” McGuire, “rock” bands like the Jefferson Airheadsplane and early Dead and then there still remains such psychedelic pop as Donovon P. Leitch.

              Much of that is burned into my brain as with acid.

              • But I liked Barry McGuire’s sound when he was with the New Christy Minstrels. As for “Eve of Destruction”, though, we somehow lived through all that, and worse…

                • The New Christy Minstrels provided excellent training to such performers as McGuire, Roger McGuinn and even John Denver (the one songwriter whose songs seem almost universally better when done by other performers, although his later efforts managed to avoid that if only because nobody else seemed to want to sing “Country (Almost Heaven, West Virginia) Roads” or “Rocky Mountain High.”) but there were no few faux folk groups that could put you into a diabetic coma.


                  And then there’s The Association …

              • There’s a place in hell reserved for the perpetuators of “Yummy yummy yummy, I’ve got love in my tummy.” I think it’s in front of the Marshal Stack turned up to 6.02 x 10^23 and powered by the Fukashima reactors. Playing Weird Al Yankovic’s polka medleys. Or anything by Zager and Evans. (who deserve a spot next to the others).

                • I personally found “Jam Up, Jelly Tight” the more problematic work, but agree that “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” merits torture n the darkest depths of Tarturus.

    • You walk around the periphery, thereby making sure the teachers can see you. Or you sit on the rock on the very edge of the recess area.

      • Unfortunately, even that is not always sufficient. At my school the teachers supposedly watching the kids… tended to have chats instead.

        And this is why I learned to do many things ambidextrously, because once-broken dominant arm still hurts like Hades when the allergies get bad.

    • I had that – could draw well – working for myself for a couple of years too when I started school. Until my third (and then also fourth) grade teacher decided it would be fun to make me compete with her daughter (who was a couple of years older but since in the same school used to come to mom’s classes on those days when hers ended before the ones her mother was teaching) in front of the class, and make the class then vote which drawing was better. So we drew on the blackboard, I went because she told me to but really, really didn’t want to because I was sure I’d lose that competition, the girl was, after all, the teacher’s daughter and older than me.

      Which then of course happened.

      I didn’t stop drawing, but I didn’t do it during the recesses like I had used to – with lots of the other kids in a circle around me, asking me to draw this or that when I drew on the dusty ground or in winter on snow with a stick – after that.

      That wasn’t the only incident with that teacher I had, she pretty much convinced me that drawing attention to myself in any way, especially adult attention, was a bad idea. I had been kind of shy before that too, but it got lots worse after the two years I was in her class.

  14. I wanted a set of mecha or a Voltron lion to appear, scare my tormentors, and then carry me away to do battles against evil. Or just to be left ALONE. Not shoot up the school, or bomb it with people inside.

    • I didn’t have it too bad in high school, though I wouldn’t have minded a giant mecha appearing and slaying the characters in the insipid novels we read in far too many of the English classes. But most of the rest of the classes weren’t too bad, and I had enough other geeks and nerds to hang with it wasn’t too bad that the rest of high school life was mostly OK. Really the only time somebody tried something physical was fall of freshman year – after that, having publicly beaten a JV football player, few wanted to try something physical, and name calling was rare.

    • I escaped into proto-fanfic, and online discussion boards, and books.

      Take a wild guess what my response to “Gosh, kids who are depressed and have social issues at school tend to spend more time online” is.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Given Gundam and Super Robot Wars, my plot bunnies are starting to hop…

  15. My youngest, who is trans, wears a long bulky shapeless coat on a normal basis, in New Mexico, even when it’s sort-of summer for reasons that ought to be obvious to anyone with a clue.

  16. Something that gets a little, but not nearly enough attention, is the tendency in American society to consider introversion a kind of social problem. We need to stop acting like being an extrovert is the norm and if you’re not then you need to get with the program. That causes so many unnecessary problems!

    • “Forced Extroversion Kills” might be a great T-shirt…. alas, the Dolts-in-Charge would see it as threat rather than a warning. They are, of course, DOLTS.

  17. Chrismouse

    If you consider the rash of post-Columbine school shootings as a result of memetic transfer (and there is some evidence for that), there is some utility in recognizing the elements of that transfer. This is not how you do that, however, and also the answer to how to prevent it is still the same: engagement engagement, engagement. NOT isolation or ostracization.

    It’s the same prescription we military personnel are given for suicide prevention.

    • FlyingMike

      That memetic transfer is through teh media’s 24/7 coverage, making school-mass-shooters famous. The meme is “shoot up your school and you’ll be famous”.

      Stop providing any personally identifiable media coverage and you kill that meme.

      They already go to amazing lengths to de-identify coverage of anything sexual-assault-related, to the extent of not identifying people who are proven to have falsely reported sexual assault, which means not identifying school (or any other mass) shooters is doable within the current system. They just don’t want to.

      • The media just recently started pushing this idea– right as it is becoming possible to find out that they are lying themselves blue on the facts for most of these cases.

        Look at how many things reported the latest loser had “nazi symbols.”

        He did not. He had an Iron Cross, the Rising Sun and a soviet symbol– the variation of iron cross is even notably different than the Nazis used.

        As noted earlier, too, they’ve tried to smother the story on there being a girl targeted.

        No way in heck am I going to trust them to remove routes of double-checking and report– how about they stop glorifying it? Point out the guy is a loser; stop showing his picture, be a hostile witness for heaven’s sake.

        • I’d add stop lowering the flags. For terror attacks, or military things, the traditional reasons (death for a former president for example) sure. For people killed by a lone shooter looking for glory? No.

      • Chrismouse

        Oh, but you see, false rape claims are so vanishing unlikely, they disappear into the statistics of *actual* sexual assault claims. *rolls eyes* Except, you know, when “sexual assault” gets watered down into things like “had sex when I didn’t really feel like it” or “regretted my sexual decisions later”.

      • I practice the “Some Asshole” doctrine and you should too. Maybe we can’t get the mass media aboard, but Some Asshole is glorified by the “incel” crowd, Some Asshole mowed down people in a car, and Some Asshole just shot up a school because he was a violent twit whose danger signals weren’t taken seriously. And that’s all the “glory” Some Asshole should get.

        The CDC apparently studied when the media decided, for the sake of reducing copycats, to stop reporting heavily on celebrity suicides. Over a period of three or four years, the CDC noted a statistically significant decrease in suicides. So it’s been done, and the Some Asshole theory of not glorifying bad behavior works. But there’s too many people who won’t believe that in control of media outlets for that to be engaged.

        • The reason we cannot get the MSM aboard on the “Some Asshole” doctrine ought be obvious: whenever they hear or see “Some Asshole” their instinctive reaction is that they’re the subject of the conversation.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          The media can’t be trusted to carry out some asshole. Without the specifics, they will try to cover it as some right wing or Republican asshole, and get away with it.

        • FlyingMike

          I share the concerns on selective masking on this. We already have political corruption stories in the media referencing either Republican or Party Not Mentioned politicians, and similarly, I’ve seen sensational criminal acts by suspects with Islamic-format names get those names masked by the media, especially if the perp is an immigrant.

          But mass publicity is one of the draws for stuff like this, and cutting that reward would be a positive.

  18. The kids are hateful and unkind to anyone they can find the least glimmer of a reason to belittle because that’s how their families are, even internally. They hear their parents ripping into relatives and workmates. They started learning this mind set long before they got to school. The same way they learned racism and lying and dishonesty.
    Pumping them full of drugs which have warnings right on the label about using them in people under 24 years old is a factor y’alls missed this round.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Not to mention the recreational drug use factor.

      • Mother Jones News (of all the far-right-pro-gun-pro-NRA media sources! /s) did the investigative reporting to show that EVERY SINGLE mass shooter (excluding UT Tower, who had brain cancer) was either on or had just stopped psychoactive prescription medication.

        World Net Daily picked up the story. You can give it to anyone in their preferred flavor of coating.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Roof had gotten access to Xanax illegally, and used it recreationally.

          Las Vegas guy had a story about anti-anxiety meds from a psychiatrists, and turning down anti-depressants, which the stupid or evil writer summarized as ‘no obvious reason to do this’.

          Between that some of them have mentions of weed use, that some of them show a history of disordered behavior that might include willingness to do weed, that there aren’t unambigious tests for ‘having ever used weed’, and the underreporting of relevant weed related evidence in the cases of Brown and Martin, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

          • William O. B'Livion

            Lots and lots and lots of people have used weed with no more serious side effect than bad taste in music.

            • snelson134

              As our hostess would tell you, biochemistry / psychochemistry is individual. Someone should point out to the Left that by their “if it saves one life” standard, banning and confiscating weed is something they should support.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Or perhaps even systemically murdering teenage stoners. 🙂

                We can be sure the media is lying to us about it. Loughner used it. Nick Cruz appears to fit the ‘habitually violent’ pattern that is, for Brown and Martin, apparently consistent with stoned and lethally violent.

                The uncertainties are: a) Can the fixated murderous ideation correspond to murdering under the influence the way habitual violence can? b) At modern dosages, what are the actual histories and probabilities of violent behavior under the influence?

                Ollie North may be wrong about the Ritalin. SSRIs may be the most significant chemical factor. The weed may well be ill-relevant to spree killings. We don’t know.

                There are a lot of circumstances that are varying and unusual. Some of the data we need would have to come from cohort we cannot easily ethically test. Anecdotal evidence of no violence under the influence is pretty worthless. To be useful, we would also need apples and apples numbers of violence under the influence. Which might well prove that I am full of shit, because we don’t yet know much of anything. Anecdotal evidence from the sixties, seventies and eighties, particularly for adult usage, is especially worthless.

                • scott2harrison

                  First question, what percentage of the populace uses weed? If it is a high percentage, then weed use is useless as a predictor even if all the shooters used it.

                  • Depends on how much someone wants to screw up the numbers– most of the surveys assume that a percentage are lying about not doing it, after all, and they further conflate “have ever used” with regular users.

                    For accuracy, regular use should at least be grouped into prescribed psycho-active medications.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    Using the stars to interpret the lesions on the entrails tells me that I am pretty clueless.

                    I can infer it is not unity, because I know I don’t, and there are a few people I can be fairly sure of.

                    If the anecdotal evidence of low productivity and work ethic is correct, and I don’t recall any opposite claims, per capita GDP is probably evidence of lower than unity.

                    If the research of a certain Robert E. Hampson is correct and as I remember the summary, the stuff impairs risk assessment. If this is true, we might be able to read about a differential use rate between sub-populations from a differential rate of accidents or avoidable deaths. If the effect is strong enough not to be washed out by the regular accidental death rate.

                    In theory, we could propose a police state that would take regular blood samples from everyone, and thereby collect data on current usage. In practice, won’t happen, and couldn’t be trusted if it did.

                    Can you think of any reliable non destructive test for “used it once and didn’t like it”, or “quit decades ago because effects were too costly”? I can think of a destructive test that I wouldn’t consider perfectly reliable even in theory.

                    There are three things we would need data sorted by. Dose or dose over time. Period of prolonged dosing. Age at first usage. The really bad effects are alleged to correlate with long term heavy use at an earlier developmental state.

                    Look at alcohol. You could have two populations with pretty much a unity use rate. One could have a fairly healthy social drinking rate, and another could have some pretty bad problems with alcoholism and violent binge drinking. What are the effects of drinking a lot of distilled spirits at the age of ten? I understand that drunken behavior is heavily culturally driven, and that some cultures have much more violent drunks than others.

                    I dunno.

          • I think Ringo nailed it on the Vegas guy. I saw one report he was on something, and whammo, the story is gone from 24/7 rantsville news.

            • I saw an article a few days ago that claimed Vegas [Poopy]head had been ranting against gun control not long before the event.

              I thought it seemed improbable, and if true it hardly seemed his actions were the most effective argument against gun grabbing, which would support the bent-brain hypothesis.

              • well, they wiped his stuff off the webs so fast, it is hard to say for sure

              • I dunno. “Gun nut” uses “assault weapon” with “bump stock” to kill people at a concert. Even ignoring the fact that the concert was one more associated with legal gun use it seems a tailor made narrative. Only missing things were the NRA shirt and hat.

          • snelson134

            Hey, there’s a whole Narrative, subscribed to by Leftists with Libertarian cover, that smoking weed is just harmless and mellow-making. We’re not allowed to question that one either.

        • Yup. And the psycotropic drugs have some weird side-effects. Best to avoid them like the plague.

          • Not everyone. I’d been in therapy for years without positive result. Then with meds the therapy started working. My life was changed for the better when I started taking psych meds. Mild stuff, not Thorazine. My biochem is a bit off. My reaction to meds when I started taking them was opposite to usual response.

        • William O. B'Livion

          Do you have a link for that?

          Given the current definition of “mass shooter” (four or more people shot in a single event) I’m having trouble with that.

          If that definition was “four or more non-family members shot” I’d have less trouble.

          According to this http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/documents/s19032en/s19032en.pdf 15 percent of men and 26 percent of women are using “mental health medication”.

          Doesn’t take too much to go from “takes mental health medication” to “must have mental problems”, and here’s the thing, if you’re shooting up a bunch of people you don’t know you’re either a soldier, a cop, or you DO have mental problems (not x-or).

          • Here you go, William. I think this is it. It’s huge and my internet is semi-functional today.

            https://m.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-full-data/

          • My definition is more along the line 4 or more _untargeted_ (or random) people shot. I tend to not include murder / suicides as “mass shooting” events.

          • FBI definition was four people killed in a public place, not including the shooter; Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012 defined “mass killing” for the purpose of gov’t aid as three or more in a public place.

            The shot or injured one is generally used by activists, so they can include stuff like BB-gun “shootings.”

          • …who is MedCo and why would they think their data is worth a darn?

            I looked, and I can’t find an actual SOURCE for their data… if it’s scanned medical records, then that instantly means they aren’t going to have access to folks who aren’t going to a doctor.

          • I know a guy on anxiety meds who is also on Prilosec.
            Told him to try and ween off the Prilosec, and I bet he won’t need the anti-anxiety meds.
            Not only are docs handing out some of this crap like tic tacs, a lot of OTC stuff has some psychotropic side effects they gloss over.

          • Found the link page for it; no good citation, although I did notice the summary says “anti-anxiety treatments” and that closer reading says the sample is of those customers getting medication at all.

            If they’re looking at over all insurance information, they’d catch me in that– the stupid “promote your health we’ll give you fifty bucks” thing has me getting “treatment.” That means that I clicked on the “get some exercise” option and connected it to my step tracker, and blew the test up. 🙂

            If they’re looking at folks with pharmacy claims, I don’t exist…..

        • Bryan Suits of KFI has been pointing this out for years; I’m glad someone finally picked up on it.

  19. you can pretty much profile them as a potential mass shooter

    I thought profiling was wrong? Have they changed that, because if they have I have a little list of “profiles” I want the government to start doing.

    OTOH, if you throw out the items you to which Sarah objected the syllogism makes about as much if not more sense. Live teenage boy = potential mass shooter.

    • Profiling is fine as long as it’s done against white heterosexual males. Cismales, if you acknowledge the use of such a term. The first time someone profiled a quiet, loner, bullied gay kid as a potential mass shooter, my guess is this guy would be the first to scream, “Homophobia!”

  20. When I was in elementary school, I was about five years ahead in both reading and mathematics. I was quite eager to learn more, and initially hoped that when my teachers recognized what I had learned I would get to do so. Then I found that it was “do what the other kids in your ability group are doing”—which was learning the multiplication table and reading simple text one painfully memorized word at a time. So I stopped having any motivation to study, or do homework, and had to learn to do both much later, when I was dealing with actually difficult subjects like chemistry.

    • Terry Sanders

      Like my third grade teacher, who forbade me to turn in homework written in cursive script, because they hadn’t started teaching it yet.

      In 1964.

      • Or unemployment job services beyond the check. Forget what it is called now. But eventually got skills updating out of it (like I needed another degree, rolls eyes). To get the services had to take reading & math equivalency tests. Did not matter what your education level was. I get the requirement, but they had no, none, zip, method to bypass the test requirement.

        Then they were surprised when a group (same employer shutdown) came in & completed the test in 10 minutes, turned it in. Proctor (snarled) check your work. Answer: “did 3 times.” Couldn’t accuse anyone of “cheating” we were spread throughout the room, no one even close to another. On top of that we were racing each other to see who would get done first after checking our work 3 times (that was the rule). I know, we were baaddd.

        Reading test – 10 minutes, then had to wait 90 minutes until time was up (and there were people who did not finish!).

        Math test – 10 minutes, but we got to leave after turning it in.

        Honestly the wait between the two tests sitting quietly without anything to read (not allowed to bring in extras, & before smart cell phones, which wouldn’t have been allowed anyway) or talking was the hard part.

        • “Dislocated Workers” program

          • Having suffered through one of those myself, I note that those programs are very much like public school. (A week of “how to dress,” “how to fill out an application,” “how to interview,” “how to job search.” Maybe half of the ones I was with needed that – the rest of us were just there because it was required. While fighting the system to try to get what we needed, which was skill updates for what was being hired right then.)

            • Plus having to meet with a job councilor after going through their computerized “based on your answers, here are your top 20 job categories.” They had to have 2 people go through mine as in “not sure what to do with you other than put you out in the wilderness with a computer …”

              Well DUH! I already had 2 full degrees in Forestry (outdoors) & Computers (programming & design). I was just a bit outdated on current language skills. Got the cost of two seminars, & mileage (which paid for plane tickets, food, & part of the hotel). One of the seminars did get me my next job.

              • There’s an awful lot of us with the requisite skills to colonize new, Earth-like planets. And most of us would probably jump at the chance just to get out from under the thumbs of our respective governments. It’s the transportation problem that’s keeping us our of that ‘career’ field.

  21. Someday one seriously abused kid is gonna realize they only need to be the (second to) last person out of the building… and open a gas valve on the way out.

    As for the “indicators” oh yeah… I suspect my time reading up on the Manhattan Project & such was my subconscious carefully steering me away from stuff I could get parts for.

    • Botulism is nice, except that nobody eats school food.

      • And those that do have an effective level of resistance to the pathogens and toxins. Not to mention a more efficient digestive system to extract whatever remaining nutrients might be in the overcooked mystery dish.

    • “Kids today…”

      They grew up with a big chunk of human knowledge a few swipes away on their smartphones, with “improvised weapons” and terrorist instruction from everyone from the CIA to al-Queda available to them in a few seconds. Plus all the “how to do it” news stories and what amount to instructional videos on YouTube.

      With all of the “school shooters” – and even Vegas Bozo and the San Bernardino school jihadis – the common factor is that their performance was abysmally poor as killers. It’s a common factor that jumps out instantly at even a casual glance at events, and is even harder to explain when the media and FBI claim there were notes, drawings, and other signs of planning.

      There’s a peculiar odor about all this… if I were a conspiracy type, I’d wonder if they were assigned to kill some specific number instead of everyone they could.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        No, it isn’t surprising.

        Being able to reliably do an effective job is a lot of skills to develop from scratch. You have technical, like the many skill sets required to build and place a number of explosive devices that will go off without being detected beforehand by law enforcement. You have stuff like shooting practice. You have information gathering. You have planning. Planning is particularly tricky.

        The type of planning ability you want is the sort that would suffice for an infantry leader in combat. This isn’t a skillset that schools teach. People who only have public school instruction aren’t great planners in general.

        Paddock was, IIRC, the LV shooter. He was most likely chemically deranged inside a year or two before the shooting. There wasn’t necessarily time to develop the planning ability if he hadn’t previously developed it to at least a basic level. The timing was most likely set by a sense of urgency caused by disordered brain chemistry. Brain chemistry urgency does not give the leeway to ask critical questions and wait longer for more complete preparations. Given that he didn’t have a history of having planned successful combat operations, and didn’t have a wide range of technical skills, we wouldn’t expect a spree killing prepared in haste to be reliably effective. (Alternative hypothesis is that he was political, but likewise valuing haste over body count.)

        The kids? Don’t even have Paddock’s initial skillset. The ones whose incitement is chemical aren’t willing to wait years quietly polishing their skills to reliably rack up a bodycount. The ones with environmental incitement, would likely see the hell of highschool from a different perspective if they were thinking in terms of years. Last week’s spike was people who couldn’t even wait until after summer break.

        Their ‘planning’ is more a fixated pathological ideation than that of an effective infantry commander or of a corporate engineering project manager. Imagine a high school kid trying to bring a circuit board to market using only affirmative visualization for planning. These guys are incompetent because they are crazy, and the people who are together enough to stick to a long term development plan may take long enough that they recover their sanity.

        • Worth getting on facebook and reading John Ringo’s account of when the doc screwed up Mrs. Ringo’s meds.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Note that she already had a lot of coping skills from a life of dealing with her regular levels of not homicidal crazy. Note that she started out with a certain amount of the necessary skills for implementation.

            Extensive coping skills mean that you can keep your life somewhat managed when you go crazier than usual. They also mean, since you are doing lots of little recoveries from the ordinary run of the mill variations, that you can go further round the bend than you’ve ever been, and maybe still catch yourself and get yourself on the path back to normal-for-you function.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Plus, Paddock and the school shooters are spree killers.

            Spree killers and serial killers seem to have some pretty distinct behavior patterns.

  22. Mike Houst

    To be honest, there were three members of a gang at school who decided one day that they’d drive by, hop out, and beat the crap out of me that I seriously considered assassinating. Could have done all three of them easily and never been caught. Guess I was just too properly socialized, and religiously indoctrinated. Besides, Knights in Shining Armor don’t strike from the shadows now, do they? Aragorn didn’t. The Knights of the Round Table didn’t. Of course this was before I met Lazarus Long, who probably would have vanished all three bodies and never said a word about it.

    • Lazarus Long likely learned that Knights in Shining Armor were excellent for drawing enemy fire while he slipped in and slipped out unnoticed but not without effect.

    • FlyingMike

      The three S’s are not just applicable in rural environs.

    • There was one… He ended up being tried as an adult by the Feds and sent away for thirty or so years, though, before I got back around to him. (A lot of very deep abandoned mine shafts where I grew up – nobody would have found the body.)

    • scott2harrison

      Be glad that you are young enough not to have met The Shadow either.

  23. Robin Munn

    If I ever walked along ledges, I don’t remember it. What I did, though, was count the stairs on every staircase I came to, so I would know if they were odd or even — because I wanted to land at the top/bottom of the stairs with my left foot*, and so if the stairs were odd I’d lead off with my left, but if they were even I’d lead off with my right.

    * Because if I finished the staircase — stepped onto the top/bottom of the stairs — with my right foot, it felt “wrong”, but finishing the staircase with my left foot felt “right”. Can’t give a rational explanation for this preference. This sort of thing is why my ADHD, at one point during my childhood, got misdiagnosed as OCD. I don’t exhibit any other OCD traits, which is why I call it a misdiagnosis. But I still have a tendency to count stairs and lead off with the right foot on even stairs, and the left foot on odd stairs, because of long-established habit.

    • Many a crystal radio diagram was walked into the snow.

    • Mike Houst

      When marching in formation, you start off with the left foot.

      • Robin Munn

        Which has a perfectly rational reason since you’re marching alongside a bunch of other people and you want your feet to be coordinated (if you’re doing left foot while the guy in front of you does right foot, you’re going to step on his heel). But my “thing” about feet and stairs had no rational reason, just how my left foot “felt” different from my right when it landed.

        It would be easy to attribute my stairs and feet “thing” to my time in marching band, except for one thing: my first time in marching band was high school, but I started the stairs “thing” in elementary school. So that explanation doesn’t work either.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      There was a joke in our family that I couldn’t have “just one of a snack”.

      I had to have two of a given snack and if more than two, it had to be an even number.

      Oh, it’s still somewhat true now and I’m 60+. 😀

    • Doesn’t OCD, for proper diagnosis, have a thing about how it’s supposed to cause problems with living a normal life?

      I know that’s the most commonly ignored part of the “holy crud EVERYBODY is _____” diagnosis craze, especially the ones where therapy of some sort would be best. (IE, coping mechanisms)

    • I have the same thing with feet, just with my right instead.

      (Also, I don’t count–I do an awkward shuffle at the end, and try to remember how it worked last time.)

    • the stairs we had in school were so worn you didn’t need to step. just lead with your right, ski down, and land. dress shoes or cheap, imitation Chucks worked best for skiing.
      Going up, was different of course. Fortunately they were worn close enough that the first ones were a bit off, but the rest were about the same distance.

    • I have to count steps (or say the alphabet or similar) to not trip. Otherwise, my mind wanders off on its own, which would be fine if stayed away – my feet know how to work. But then my mind will suddenly recall that it was supposed to be in charge of something, and come back and demand “what’s going on here? Where are we? OMG what are we doing?!?!?” And then everything comes to a screeching halt and disaster occurs.

      So I occupy my mind with counting the steps. It’s a safety thing.

  24. Hell, I’m 65 years old, and I still don’t fit in and have weird interests. The bullying has never really stopped for me, yet I have never considered killing someone, even though I have plenty of weapons to do so.

    I just get more goats to play with.

  25. I’ve been pushing my wife to homeschool our two ASD kids for years now, and not only because I distrust public schools in general (I’ve seen enough of the insides of them). As I’ve described it, the P.S. demand a one-shoe-for-all-feet model, and I’m raising fauns here! At best ABA and comparable programs offer an awkward sort of hoof-adapter, but the kid’s never going to quite fit.

    • They do NOT deal well with hooves. The best treatment I ever got was when a distant aunt happened to be a teacher that year – and I think it was NOT from the being-related but that said aunt was OLD-School about educating and effectiveness would have Had Issues with modern indoctrination nonsense. Also, rather rural area where the Great Message either hadn’t permeated or was still being actively thwarted by the OLD-School that was still around.

    • If you can handle the Christianity, and can find a good group to join, t g e Classical Conversations program can help tip the dubious mom into, “okay, let’s do this.”

    • Forgot to link these to you yesterday– the “reluctant spouse” thing is a known issue with home schooling.

      http://simplehomeschool.net/the-reluctant-homeschooler/

      https://www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com/when-the-homeschool-nay-sayer-is-your-spouse/

      http://hifalutinhomeschooler.com/he-said-she-said-a-homeschool-marriage/

      There’s also the issue of what is involved in homeschooling for your state– if she’s reluctant because of the “I can’t do this” thing, there’s the programs whereyou do public school at home. I don’t suggest that for anybody who is on the spectrum, but I’m one of those folks whose kids are in single digits and we free-form the curriculum. (Scholastic work books for the English and Math stuff, free print-outs for science, history/culture, civics. If they have issues with something in the math, I print out practice. PBS Kids’ website is pretty good for little kid stuff, Kerbal Space Program is addictive to those boys that are rocket obsessed, etc.)

  26. “4) Loves violent video games”

    I don’t think the violent video games thing has as much to do with mass shooters as people think. I think seeing all the publicity that mass shooters receive has a LOT more to do with it. I probably would have been to scared to actually do anything when I was a kid, but there were days when the bullying got bad enough that I’m glad the idea wasn’t in my head.

    Happily, now that I’ve grown up, figured out who I am and embraced it, I don’t get bullied because I no longer give a sh!t about other people’s opinion of me. MY opinion of me is the one that matters. Well… that and I’m now over 6 feet tall and massing close to 300 pounds.

    • Part of the problem is the mass media show that mass murderers are successful at it; regardless of whether they die at the end or not. If the ones that tried and died before they got more than one or two shots off were shown to be the losers they really are more than the multi-killers, maybe fewer kids would decide that’s the route to go.

      Sure, video games may desensitize them some to violence. I suspect it may help people to not freak out as badly when it does happen; which is why the military likes the war game types.

  27. The thing is, society has come to expect Teachers to function as psychiatrists and/or therapists. That aren’t supposed to punish for well defined infractions of clear rules. They are supposed to make subtle judgement calls about motivation and emotional stability….and then get constantly second guessed.

    Now, if modern day teachers were all Mr. Chips paragons, this would be an unfair burden. But they aren’t. They, on average, are the intellectual dregs of the Academic subculture….possibly excepting the vermin infesting any Victims Studies programs on campus. They are barely up to teaching by rote. They are, in short, doomed to fail their pupils unless they are motivated to rise above their own level. Asking them to psychoanalyze their pupils is not likely to end well.

    Therapy, Psychoanalysis, and related discipline are, or at least can be, useful arts. But they need to have buy-in from the ‘patient’, which means applying them to teens in a school setting is not going to do anything good.

    What do I thinks schools should do about bullying? I seriously have no idea. I think one good position to take would be to make it clear that if parents are not willing to let the school discipline the students with a minimum of second guessing (and they likely aren’t) then the school cannot and will not maintain discipline beyond a rude minimum (commit assault, expect to be dealing with cops shortly). This might force parents to think seriously about what they want from the schools and how they might get it.

    • Those who commit assault being punished would be a major step up.

      I sure as heck wouldn’t let the schools discipline my kids with any sort of an expectation of no second guessing, because I remember what they did when I was a kid!

    • Send the kid home immediately for a day. The bully. The parent has to miss work. Second offense, out of school for a week. Third offense, expelled. Parent informed it is their duty to educate said child and since they did not have child conform to behavioral expectations of public school, child must be educated in some other form.

      Lot of little bullies will discover anything beats being home by the end of the week. Especially when the time off from work ruins Mom’s vacation plan. The terror in those kids’ hearts of what will happen if Mom has to quit her job will solve bullying.

      Might be prudent to not look too closely at the rear ends of the bullies when they get back to school.

      • I like that plan …

        • Yes. You’d think this would work. But I’ve met bullies (kids class), whose parents wouldn’t take the day or week or quit. Sure there’d be “educational materials” once expelled. But no one around to enforce during the day. Their excuse? Professional teachers couldn’t teach the kid why could we? Parents who just didn’t care enough except for themselves.

          One kid we knew, the parents fought over who had to take him. Of coarse he acted out & bullied. Did not help to reach out to him either, not his parent, that’s whose attention he wanted. Ended up with twins living with the mother & her family at 16. Don’t know how things have worked out since then as this all came down after they moved away (got information from kids father’s relative whom was trying to help kid — also, not parent, so not successful).

  28. 3- is bullied

    Ah, yeah, let’s blame the victim rather than the ratfinks doing the victimizing. That’ll work out juuuussssst fiiiiineeee.. (And if you believe THAT, you slower and much thicker-skulled than ox).

    • Add to that, this guy is advocating that those are the students to PROFILE. Which means on top of having to put up with bullying by fellow students, the poor kid would also have to put up with what amounts to bullying by the school administration/security.

      • Not only this. Guaranty when bullied pushes back, or even just defends self, they will get punished, even when bulling has been reported. If anyone else intervened all 3 parties got punished.

        Only time I know of where someone stopping a fight, kept someone from getting beat up, when called on the carpet for “pushing” bully, replied “Did not know they were fighting, I wasn’t paying attention. I walked between them to get to my locker.” Others backed that story. Confessed to parents to walking between them accidentally (on purpose) at home, outside of school authority range. It was allowed. Father is of the generation where bullies got taken out behind the woodshed, or the type to state “pick on someone your own size.”

        • Sadly, my father was of the “If you get in trouble at school, you’ll get punished twice as much when you get home.”

          Yea, that means i got swats (3 foot long board with holes drilled in it to reduce air drag) at school for “fighting” because a bully decided it was my turn to be the punching bag, then got a beating at home because the school asshole… I mean principle… decided to call my parents to explain why I was punished. Of course in his version it was “it takes two to have a fight” rather than “your son was ganged up on by a bully and his three friends, but we have a zero tolerance policy” I was never happier than the day I finally left THAT school behind.

          • /*Sadly, my father was of the “If you get in trouble at school, you’ll get punished twice as much when you get home.”*/

            Well yes. But we are the type that go to the school & get the full story. “It takes two to fight”, ain’t going to cut it. Then it’ll get nasty. We really do not believe in the zero tolerance policy. Granted we only had one instance where we had to deal. The one where the kid accidentally (on purpose) walked between the bully & bullied & stopped the fight, the powers that be believed the inattention as presented.

            The other issue however, we had to research, & interview, thoroughly. School was NOT happy with us (ask me if we cared?). Bottom line they were *bullying* the one person who had no clue what was going on (came on the scene, public area, well after the deed was done, had no idea the deed had been done) to get the ones who had an idea (son’s friends) as to who actually was involved to flip on the one who did the deed (classmate of son’s friends, son was a year ahead). What the kid involved did was something stupid; Discussion of ha ha wouldn’t this be funny (among the classmates), of which son was NOT a part of; then one of the jokers actually did it. Not funny in today’s environment; & yes that student deserved the week suspension (was not bullying, no explosives, no guns or other weapons, no police), the others, no.

            Yes, we only went as far as to verify our son’s innocence (& by extension his friend), not to determine guilt or innocence of anyone one else; not our job.

            By administration bullying the one innocent person, not listening to everyone at start to leave innocent out from the get go, what the kids learned, was “oh carp, what happens to the persons actually involved?” & they shut down.

            What we learned, that if called to the principle’s office, first & last thing out of your mouth is “call my parents”, then shut up. FYI. My sisters kids had that drilled into them from day one … and she is a Teacher!!! If they’d had called us & the set of parents we knew, everything would have been solved immediately. As it is it was never solved.

            FWIW. Would have been thrilled to get the co-vice-principles fired, for what they pulled, but YMMV. They bullied our son & tried bulling us. Yea, so not happening.

  29. I also have this suspicion that if I had read and understood ‘Ender’s Game’ in grade school (an impossibility due to historical timing) at least person would have been Seriously Injured, assuming he survived. (Yeah, I was FAR too nice for my own good.)

  30. Since practically all boys and a fair number of the ladies fit one or more of the elements of the mass shooter profile at some point in their lives the conclusion and solution to the problem is obvious.
    All we must do is make every one of those evil icky firearms go away. Mass house to house searches, mandatory compliance, and shoot to kill orders for any resistance.
    Only then when such terrible power resides solely in the hands of our right thinking progressive government will those of us left be able to feel safe.
    (feel free to vomit as needed)

    • Once Upon a time, when I worked at a Post Office (I’m feeling much better now, thank you.) there were advisories as to what package bombs might look like. And that covered almost everything actually sent through the mail. I’d figured a parcel that looks like the Postal Service’s idea of a perfectly normal, ideal parcel was the thing to be the most wary of. Best disguise and all. But what does an ox know?

    • Sure, doing that would result in immediate civil war, and the resistance would win.

      Trouble is, the Progressives are well aware of the boiling a frog effect and make full use of it.

  31. doesn’t correspond with how individuals develop (kids can be all over the map at the same age)

    Okay, gonna blow the BS whistle on this. Take any group of kids, age thirteen and you will see all of the boys are pretty much the same height and build and all the girls are also of a similar height and weight with comparable hair and bust.

    • Similar? Maybe, but enough variance I’d avoid tap-dancing in that there minefield.

    • Gives RES the hairy eyeball.

      • At 13? Females definitely had a very wide range of bust sizes in my cohort. I’ll give RES the rest of them, as my memories of females when I was 13 are rather vague on those…

    • Sorry, I disagree. As the “skinny kid”, at age 13 while I was roughly the same height, most of the other guys had a HUGE weight advantage on me, and there was this one kid who was both short AND skinny and looked more like a 10 year old girl than the other boys his age. Yea, by the measure of the Twit… I mean Twitter author… I’m surprised he didn’t murder us all. He got picked on a LOT. True story, I tried to be that kid’s friend (no, I don’t remember his name, which isn’t odd for me, I never remember anyone’s name), but he said that he got picked on enough and didn’t need the added stigma of hanging out with me.

      • Did I forget the sarc tag?

        No, it’s right there, just before the time stamp.

        • They forgot that you have to put a serious tag.

          My thought process: That’s stup . . . Oh, wait, that’s Really Eternally Sarcastic, never mind.

          • I prefer to think of myself as sardonic, a somewhat less monochrome approach than mere sarcasm. An early influence of mine was Ambrose “Bitter” Bierce and I attempt to honor his legacy.

            Wiki:
            Sardonicism is “the quality or state of being sardonic; an instance of this; a sardonic remark.” A sardonic action is one that is “disdainfully or skeptically humorous” or “derisively mocking.” Also, when referring to laughter or a smile, it is “bitter, scornful, mocking”. Hence, when referring to a person or a personal attribute, it is “[c]haracterized by or exhibiting bitterness, scorn or mockery.”

        • I assumed that you were being sarcastic, but I did wonder for a moment if this was a coded message that you were being held hostage and we needed to send a rescue squad.

          • Ah pities the fools what takes me hostage. I would slice them with cutting remarks, scald them with scorn, burn them with acidic comments, shrivel them with my death stare, and whimper like a dog when they smack me around.

        • LOL! Sorry, I must have missed it. It was a long day, had to get up an hour early to get my kids going because one of them got to go on the “Smart kids” field trip to Sea World and had to be at school way early to catch the bus.

    • Come to my Day Job and be surprised, RES.

      • Surprised? Moi? There is much in this world which surprises me (such as the SJW proclivity for bullying in the name of putting an end to bullying … well, actually, that don’t surprise me much; perhaps it surprises when anybody takes any remark of mine seriously …) but variation amongst teen’s physical development ain’t it.

        See response re: sarc tag.

        • Sorry. I was grading and proctoring all morning, and writing and then gym stuff in the afternoon, and my sarcasm detection meter was really, really low.

    • 11B-Mailclerk

      No ideea what your school was like at 13. Mine had far more diversity of shape.

  32. William O. B'Livion

    Who is that twit, and why should anyone listen to him?

  33. I would like to know what it is about some of us that causes other people to belittle and bully us. I have been bullied at some point in every job I’ve ever had in my life. I was bullies in school. I have never, ever figured out what it is about me that is so distasteful that I seem to attract this kind of unwanted attention by others.

    I have always tried very hard to be polite, smile, be kind, help others, and work hard.

    I actually got in trouble at one company for working too hard, because it made the other people in my department feel bad about themselves.

    Sometimes I think that maybe I am living on the wrong planet or in the wrong century.

    Reading this, though, makes me think that I’m not the only one who attracts mean people bent on feeling superior to me.

    • You are not alone and you are not at fault for other people’s behaviors. Not ever.

      Some things you might be able to do, if you want to evaluate social strategies, to is examine if you’re trying too hard. It’s extremely illogical but the fact of trying very hard to be polite and kind and help people and work hard can signal lower social status to the sort of people who are apt to try to get higher social status by putting others down.

      It’s twisted and stupid but the freedom to be a jerk is interpreted by some (those prone to bullying anyway) as proof of higher social status.

      (This is why some women ONLY date a**holes and why “nice guys finish last.”)

    • I would guess that you’re decent, but not a mindless rug.

      They get really, really angry when they find out that “I didn’t push back” doesn’t mean “I cannot and will not push back,” it means “I do not push back unless there is sufficient reason. And I won’t bowl over from pushing harder.”

    • Bullies are usually trying to gain or keep some form of social dominance. Others are natural magnets for bullies. There is something about the way they behave that gives the appearance of weakness. Being “too nice” may give the impression that you are a easy target or pushover. Bullies are typically unable to distinguish those who can’t fight back, and those who won’t. (See; Kenny Rogers “Coward of the County”)

  34. There is a part of me that is laughing hysterically.

    When I was in HS I had to do one of those “how to” papers for English. Mine was “how to kill someone” Scouts Honor, I still have the paper – somewhere. Fortunately my English teacher either had a sense of humor and/or knew I was a bit strange but basically harmless – – considering the last line made mention of practicing the techniques I had just listed on your English teacher. **eg**

    Of course this was 30 some years ago. Today I could have gotten sent for evaluation.

  35. Loner? Quiet? Bullied?
    I was physically slow, awkward, and weak. Put me in a class of rowdy, physically inclined boys and guess who drops like a rock to the very bottom of the social pecking order and stays there?

    Combine with an IQ I don’t know how far above 130 and I was bored stiff. I one found an old first grade report card and the teacher noted “Bright but does not apply himself”. Yes, I confess to dawdling over boring, repetitive drill. By second grade I was able to read the textbooks through twice within the first six weeks and knew them better than the teacher did. It earned me a humiliating set down once when I tried to interject something from the book and didn’t wait for permission to be called on. By third, I was acing spelling and arithmetic tests without half trying and I was more interested in watching the sunlight crawl across the desktop than anything else going on in class. Peers? for 8 years, intellectually, I had none. Not only is it lonely at the bottom of the heap, It’s lonely at the top, too.

    They didn’t have violent video games back then. The nearest equivalent was superhero fantasies. Guns? I wanted people to be nice to me, and revenge wasn’t going to make them do it.

    Looking back, I had damn good reason for thinking I was a misfit. I daresay I’ve forgotten more about living the life of a social outcast than Mr. Mitchell will ever know. This fool (because he knows not, and knows not that he knows not) can’t tell a potential murderer from a potential martyr.

    • Bright but does not apply himself

      The one follows the other as night does the day. Better phrasing would be ““Bright therefore does not apply himself.”

      • There are numerous stories of these extraordinarily intelligent odds that get picked for special, or secret, (or both) schools in service of the nation, world, humanity, or whatever. “Ender’s Game” being one of the better known ones now due to the movie. And while I’ve heard of elite academies and schools, the elitism seems to be restricted to those more of wealth and position, and not the actual intelligence of the students.

  36. I’m going to guess maybe one of you made elaborate plans to bomb the school
    Well, ummm, not *plans* really. More like fantasized about it to vent anger. But my engineering brain then went through the fantasy and actually worked out logistics, methods, materials, etc. Not because I was going to follow through, but because my brain said “Ooh! A puzzle!” and went to work on it. And, of course, since I’m a problem/solution sort, my brain also works on “How do I defend/react against that if it happens.”

    I do the same thing with building security, road tunnels/bridges, long (mile long) traffic lines at the gates to places like military installations, and so on.

    What? Your brain sleeps?

    (It’s not the only thing my brain works on like that. But it does do it on occasion.)

    • You mean it is not normal to think about what is a load bearing wall and precisely how big a boom you could position there?

  37. Joe in PNG

    In regards to teachers and bullying, there’s a third reaction- the teacher protects the bullied kid. Which has two effects. It creates a bond between the kid and “authority”, while further marginalizing the kid from their peers. As a result, the kid sees authority as their protector.

    And I do wonder how many SJW’s were primed in such a way.

    • Of course, if one relies too heavily on this strategy, one learns its limitations. For instance, a) that the authority isn’t and can’t be everywhere or see everything (As in: when seconds count, help is only minutes away). b) constantly running to the authority provides pretext for additional taunts of “tattletale” and “crybaby”. c) bullies learn to their keep their attacks to the pinprick level, enough to make the target miserable but not quite enough to warrant intervention by the authority.

      I would find it easier to believe that your standard SJW has been overly protected from the consequences of bullying.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      In my case, support from teachers and school authorities meant that I didn’t “hate everybody”.

      IE I knew that there were some good people out there besides family.

      Mind, it doesn’t matter if it is authority “pushing me around” or not. I don’t like being pushed around.

      • Having one person offer refuge, and other teachers praising my academic work, is probably the only thing that kept me from going completely nuts in Junior High. I still can’t forgive the school administrators for telling my parents that it was too late in the year to pull me without forcing me to repeat the grade, even though I was on the A-B Honor Roll. My folks later apologized for not yanking me anyway, repeat be d-mned.

        • Being somewhat tolerated by a couple of teachers, same here. The teachers that would’ve been bullies either were so bad at it that I didn’t notice it as anything beyond bad manners, or were scared to amp anything up because some of the other teachers did like me.

          After the teachers with gumption retired, that school got a lot worse, it takes teachers being known to be unwilling to break ranks for really bad stuff to happen. One or two, you can avoid it– but if there’s, oh, one in ten that you can’t “trust” to go along with whatever stupidity you want? Doesn’t work, too much risk, you have to actually punish criminals.

  38. sometimes still “guesses” particularly street signs and comes up with the most bizarre street names
    Heh, I do that with license plates (we have LOTS of vanity plates here). Mostly because I’m a nut. And perverse. And contrary.

    simply allowing teachers to step in and stop bullying, instead of siding with the bullies
    This. When you punish the victims for “fighting” you teach them there is no justice, so they’ll have to take matters into their own hands. When coupled with a bunch of other current societal pathologies, they just might decide to get the ultimate revenge.

    [I have a critique/comment on the whole thing. But I’m just not up to figuring out how to say it without using the word “disagree” because I really don’t.]

    • There was a school shooting that I read about well over a decade ago. Seemingly, it was the classic anti-gay hate crime. And this was apparently the way that many played it up. Boy brings gun to school, and shoots (and kills) gay classmate. But actually taking the time to read the details on what happened revealed that there was quite a lot more going on. Yes, the victim was gay. He was from a troubled home, and had been cross-dressing for a while before declaring himself gay. But that seemingly wasn’t the reason why he got shot. The victim had apparently started hitting on of his fellow male students. That student made it clear that he wasn’t interested, but this didn’t dissuade the victim. Quite the contrary, he upped the level of his actions to the point where it essentially became harassment. And to make matters worse, the only teacher to be involved in what was going on essentially actively encouraged the victim in his actions.
      So, under constant harassment from the victim (and probably being bullied by his fellow classmates as a result), and with the faculty either indifferent or encouraging the harassment, the target of the victim’s attention brought a gun to school one day and resolved the problem.

      • Wasn’t that the one where the dead guy assaulted the shooter in the bathroom, and the teacher paid educator ignored it because gay?

        • That’s the one. I wasn’t aware of the victim’s bathroom antics that Foxifier mentions. But the wiki article mentions that one teacher told authorities that there had been multiple complaints about the victim following people into the bathroom. The teacher passed along the complaints to one of the administrators (the same one who appears to have been subtly encouraging the victim’s actions), but was told that there was nothing that the school could do about it.

  39. given the sample of school shootings we have, trenchcoats are no more likely to be a sign of a school shooter… The Columbine shooters wore them (two people, but ONE incident) wore them, the Santa Fe shooter wore one… which means two incidents out of what, twenty? Might as well say wearing SOCKS is a sign of being a potential school shooter, they all wore socks didn’t they?

    • True, but in the popular imagination, the Columbine killers in particular became associated with their trenchcoats with the whole “trenchcoat mafia” thing (I should note that I had friends who were in that district and said that the killers were never part of the trenchcoat mafia but were in fact the sort of people the trenchcoat mafia were trying to get away from). That became such a part of their image that I could that, if there were also other signs of trouble, wearing a trenchcoat at inappropriate times COULD be one indication among others that a kid was identifying with the Columbine killers.

  40. other methods have been tried, including but not limited to ability-grouping, allowing people to go as fast as they can (and get their sentence commuted early

    Aisni soit-il! I’d go so far as to say “It’s the American Way” (Federalism)

    My daughter’s school had this policy, with kids being grouped by grade for the main class room, but moving up and down in specific subjects as needed. Everyone in her class (and I mean everyone, even the two adopted Korean kids, and my daughter’s best friend who was super preemie and who started school with some learning disabilities) hit the benchmarks for “grade level” to the point that the school used the mandated state testing as a beginning-of-grade way to figure out who needed extra care either up or down. They also pioneered a one-on-one tutoring scheme for kids with learning disabilities before & after school that even folks who didn’t want to send their kids to a (very*) Christian school would use. Another one of the yard-ape’s friends (part of her “Cybers” crew) started Junior high taking geometry even though he was fairly average in everything but math.

    And the whole dang thing, expensive as it is on top of the taxes we pay, STILL cost less per student than my state pays the public schools.

    I’m not even sure the system is fixable at this point.

    *Parent-teacher conference: “[Daughter product name] is having some challenges with handwriting this year, shall we begin with prayer?” Lutheran heaven, but NOT everyone’s cup of tea, I can imagine.

    WordPress.com / Gravatar.com credentials can be used.

  41. Christopher M. Chupik

    Our media, at least, is keeping their eye on the prize in the midst of all this. The day after the latest shooting, a “news” story titled “Jimmy Kimmel Scorches Trump Over School Shooting” appeared in my news feed.

    I’d compare them to jackals, but jackals serve a useful ecological purpose.

  42. Had husband read the tweet, blink a few times, and then said “actually, most of them were wearing hoodies. Most muggings and convenience store robberies, too.”

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      How does he ever plan to have a career as a tired partisan hack with that level of care and research?

  43. I found that it helped to have a dream.

    I was running an IQ pushing 150, had been skipped one grade with an offer to be skipped two…and then my parents moved to a rural county with a school system that hadn’t seen a student with an IQ over perhaps 120…ever. Needless to say, middle school was a misery. High school somewhat less bad.

    But I intended to get out of that wretched place and do Great Things in Aerospace. I was the kid who wanted to be an astronaut…and NEVER gave that up. Except for my eyesight, of course. But I damned well wasn’t going to be a peasant breaking wind in the dust.

    And I’ll claim a certain degree of success in that. He who laughs last, laughs loudest.

    • madrocketsci

      Congratulations. I was probably very similar.

      Elementary school was a hell I literally only narrowly survived. There was an incident where some older students tried to kill me. In addition, one of my teachers hated me personally (with a malice that I couldn’t even parse as a 7 year old), and had me evaluated and evaluated and evaluated in a bid to get me committed to a mental hospital. (Some of those evaluations were IQ tests. I went into each one terrified for my life, believing that this was my last chance to prove that I wasn’t so defective that I couldn’t function in society. Little did I know that I was pretty much acing them all.) I was also drugged to the gills while psychiatrists tried to figure out why I was so stressed all the time.

      Middle school and high-school were better. I didn’t have many peers though. I spent my time dreaming about physics and space. I remember deriving the specific tensile strength required for a space-elevator, and the rocket equation, during lunch when everyone else was in line for the green spaghetti. My math teacher, who was actually supportive and one of the bright spots, told me that what I was busy reinventing were called ordinary differential equations, and showed me some tricks to solve the problems I was stuck on.

      Managed to do ROTC to get through undergrad, got a degree in aerospace, and worked a fairly long and rewarding (and absurdly varied) career after that.

      Anyway, congratulations on surviving and success.

      • I would not call my career “varied”, but I’ve worked more than my share of exotics. And got into the unmanned aviation business in the mid-1990s. Then rode that as it exploded. 🙂

  44. Violent video games, huh? I wonder what he’d think of Dynasty Warriors?

  45. If ranting were Olympic sport, I could rant for Canada about how dire public schools are and should be abolished. Public schools exist to make people more compliant and to get us ready for 9-5 jobs in airless rooms and petty tyrants for bosses.

  46. One of the things I had to do with the story I was writing was research where I would have gone to high school if my parents hadn’t sent me to a small private school in the area. And, ask my friends how their high school experience was.

    And…it was scary to hear the stories. I’ve described it in a few story snippets before, and there are stories that I know that for Odds, public school isn’t Hell. Hell has a purpose. Public school, especially high school, especially a large public high school, is designed to destroy Odds.

    Odds…die in high school. Some commit suicide. Some give up their dreams. Some get really good at faking being a non-Odd, so good that they can even fool themselves.

    And, some stuff guns and explosives under their coat to see how many people they can kill.

    • Yes. High school is meant to do exactly that. I attribute my survival to a biography of Patton and large doses of two Conans – the Barbarian, and Doyle.

      • I was extremely lucky. My parents learned of a private school nearby that had small classes and was good for kids with my kind of issues. We missed going on long vacations somewhere due to that. But after a couple of the stories I heard, I don’t think I would have survived my first year at my high school.

    • snelson134

      “Some commit suicide.”
      And that statistic is waayyyy undercounted. How many “inexperienced teen driver swerves off road” or “teen goes swimming alone and drowns” accidents aren’t accidents?

  47. MadRocketSci

    So, judging by all the various bits of idiocy I find drifting to the surface of our culture, I can only conclude the following:

    For some reason, there is a (widespread and common, unfortunately) type of person who finds introversion threatening. Or perhaps they’re just affronted? Maybe it’s some kind of dominance thing, maybe it’s a reaction to the fact that we *have* some kind of inner life of our own that isn’t theirs to screw with. I don’t know.

    But being anything other than intensely attuned to social monkey games all the time marks you out as unacceptable in modern society. It’s creepy as hell to me.

    • madrocketsci

      Open plan offices and company-as-cult seems to be another aspect of whatever this is. All of a sudden, it isn’t sufficient to be providing your irreplaceable time and expertise for money: You have to wed yourself to the mission body and soul. Free time means you’re selfishly holding out on the group and aren’t committed enough. It seems like lunacy to me.

      • FlyingMike

        I never had to deal with no-wall open-plan shared space, but cubeland was bad enough.

        I always envied the folks I knew who landed jobs over at NASA Ames because they got walls and a door for their offices at much lower levels than those of us in the semiconductor tech world.

    • For some reason, there is a (widespread and common, unfortunately) type of person who finds introversion threatening.
      ————————

      This kind of person has been around probably as long as societies have existed. I’ve occasionally run into people who are extremely gregarious and extroverted – which in and of itself is a good thing – and apparently as a result of this are more or less incapable of comprehending introversion. This is the kind of person who is frequently completely clueless about the idea of personal space. It’s not that they’re malicious (though bullies can sometimes come across in a similar manner). It’s that they seemingly don’t understand the idea of a person wanting distance from others.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Some of it may genuinely be predatory sociopathy and the hatred for anyone who doesn’t respond to the cues that they have learned to manipulate.

      • “I’ve occasionally run into people who are extremely gregarious and extroverted – which in and of itself is a good thing – and apparently as a result of this are more or less incapable of comprehending introversion.”

        Years ago, I attended a company management training program at which one of our outside speakers was a psychologist, Jungian-style. He made the point that people of different personality types perceive the world very differently, that you as a manager will tend to hire people of your own type, and if you don’t resist this tendency, then your whole group will have the same blind spots and you will all happily walk off the cliff together.

        A kind of Diversity that doesn’t get much attention these days.

        • FlyingMike

          Since HR plays such an immense role in who gets presented as approved hire-candidates, I’d say the largest issue from this observation is the whole company looking like those idiots in HR.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      When talking about modern American culture, you ask what the drivers are. Hollywood is a major driver.

      Hollywood is full of people whose skillset is manipulation. Hammers make things look like nails.

      Hollywood seems to be run by predatory pieces of feces. Predators want fewer potential victims that are resistant to their techniques.

      Manipulative techniques are necessarily imperfect, and work on some types better than others.

      We might expect a culture heavily influenced by Hollywood to have a tendency to discredit the people more resistant to the methods of Hollywood.

    • Supporting evidence:
      the people who are offended you’re reading, or on the computer, or listening to music when they are in the room.

      Anything that doesn’t involve them having the ability to instantly have your attention.

      • scott2harrison

        Narcissists. Oh my GODLESS, the mirror is not reflecting! I don’t exist!!!!!!!!

  48. “Just stop trying to force the square peg into the round hole, and blaming the peg when it breaks.”

    Yeah, I think we as a society are moving past beating the square peg into the round hole. Planners are now moving toward hunting down the square pegs and killing all they find. That’s just how Socialists roll.

    Speaking as a square peg, I think this may turn out to be a very bad idea. For society, I mean. Because nerds know -everything-.

    • To be appropriately nitpicky, in carpentry, you sometimes do use square pegs in the round holes- they hold a whole lot better than round ones, and they’re a whole lot easier to cut, especially if making “rustic” style furniture.
      It’s also a quick and easy way to move a hole over to where you should have drilled it.

      • You mean drawboring. Square pegs, contrary to what some say, are a mark of laziness because over time they split the work.

        The proper method is to use a round pin and off-set the hole in the tenon about 1/32nd to 3/64ths short of the holes in the mortise. That way the pin pulls the tenon in tight, but not too tight, and because it doesn’t have corners it doesn’t create stress-risers that create cracks in a few years.

        Square pegs seen in Craftsman-style furniture, the classic stuff anyway, are actually round with a square end. They went to the extent of squaring off the end of the round holes so the pins would fit.

        Where you see -real- square pegs is in Medieval furniture, where the wood was riven, not cut. They worked it green and wet, a completely different method than what we do now. When the wood is green, it -bends- and sets in the hole nicely, without splitting.

        This brings to mind the doweling plate, which purports to quickly turn square stock into doweling by means of pounding the stick through the hole in the plate. What they don’t tell you is the cracks that form in the wood may well lead to splintering and breakage when the dowel is driven into its bore.

        Square pegs require square holes, in this day and age. Round pins are milled, not bashed out of square pegs.

        When you explain all this to an educator, their eyes glaze over and they start babbling something like “but Leadership! Diversity! Heather has two mommies!!!” Therefore it is wise to remove your square-peg child from their grasp before they go for the mallet to bash them into that f-ing round hole. You want your kid to be the Good Guy, not the evil mad scientist.

    • And we breed.

      And they can’t actually identify us in all situations.

      A lot of folks get shocked when they figure out my mom– track star in high school, ranch wife now, welds, etc– is an original Tolkien geek (that was my mythology, growing up), remembers all the TOS trek stories, and inhales Forgotten Realms novels.

  49. It doesn’t matter how warm and cozy it is:

    Get Your Head Out of Your Past
    By Sarah Hoyt
    Do you know the one about the guy who was chasing his secretary around the desk? How about the one about the housewife who didn’t know how to cash a check? How about the one about the girl who was brought up with the idea that math is for boys?

    Yeah, I have a point in this.

    Our jokes, our stereotypes, our — for lack of a better term — head furniture are often outdated. This is not because of the horrors of “fake news”. It’s not even an attempt to manipulate society or opinion.

    It’s based on the simple fact that, as great apes, our software — so to put it — isn’t set to update very often. We tend to do most of our learning to build a picture of the world we live in in the first fifth of our life or so.

    When our pre-human ancestors lived to 30 or thereabouts, this was perfectly adequate. It’s not like tigers suddenly became cuddly and fun to keep you warm on a winter night. Your best bet for cuddling a tiger was to kill it and wear the pelt. (Oh, and there were no tiger advocates to protest that you were unfairly stereotyping tigers.)

    Even when we lived to fifty or sixty, but society changed very slowly, this wasn’t a big deal. If those idiots in the next country were dangerous when you were five, and you had a peace treaty with them when you were fifty-five, it was still perfectly fine. I mean, they were still idiots and could become dangerous again.

    It’s only in times of great and fast change that this inability to let go of stereotypes becomes a liability. …

  50. OT: So, what do you think he did or said that got the character assassination squad out?

    http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/movies/morgan-freeman-accused-of-sexual-harassment-by-multiple-women/news-story/7bf4289cb0802975b59cb9b0ed9c9e78

    I don’t believe this simply because it follows the Cosby accusation pattern.

    • I tend to disbelieve it because of the lack of anything and then BOOM.

      Does make me wonder what he did that crossed the PC, since he’s still making movies….

      • On the assumption that first reports in the Media are always wrong — coupled with the fact I am uninterested in reading about yet another Hollywood icon having clay feet — I will note that the article I glanced at indicated his crimes consisted of giving uninvited shoulder rubs. The Cad!

      • And, notably, it’s not being spread heavily across the big news sites as a BIG THING the way it was with Cosby. I think this is more of a ‘warning.’

  51. Oh, and, for the folks here on farcebook:

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/social/facebooks-zuckerberg-developed-a-fraudulent-scheme-to-weaponise-data-court-case-alleges/news-story/fb11a77c1dea036100889c0dee5a8c3c

    One expert told The Guardian that Facebook’s claims expose a contradiction for the tech giant.

    “Facebook’s claims in court that it is an editor for first amendment purposes and thus free to censor and alter the content available on its site is in tension with their, especially recent, claims before the public and US Congress to be neutral platforms,” said Heather Whitney, a legal scholar who has written about social media for Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute.

    Thought y’all would find it interesting.