Hearing that Chuck Yeager died seemed odd, and wrong; no, he gets a pass. He’s one of the old guys they figured we needed around until his kind was common again, so he’d get the special longevity dispensation and make the news in 2023 when he parachuted out of a et at the age of 100, then walked back to the base and drank a cold beer and gave everyone that grin, then ordered another.
But that was another era. This is the era where BuzzFeed probably runs the Yeager obit with the headline “The Secret Racist History of Beeman’s Gum.”
“Beeman’s was made by American Chicle Company, which operated plantations in Yucatan. Monocrop planting was criticized for destroying the natural diversity of the lush forests, and it is unlikely American Chicle paid its Mexican workers more than subsistence wage. While there was no America invasion of Yucatan to put down worker unrest, as was typical at the time, the association of the gum with Yeager’s militaristic infatuations literally lifted the gum up over Latinx descendants of the workers in a weapon of war - and, tellingly, a craft as phallic in shape as the rockets that will be sent to colonize, and exploit, the Red land of Mars.”
Back in the old days, I floated above the earth in a state of disconnected bliss, half awake, half asleep, listening to the single notes on the piano of Harold Budd. I suppose any composer would hate to hear this, but I loved to fall asleep to his music. It was perfect for planes: your sleep is rarely restful, often enforced out of boredom, subject to constant interruption by a kick, a cart, your head dropping forward, a loud bong or a sudden drop. But now and then I’d get a good long expanse of sleep deep enough to make the time pass fast, but shallow enough to hear the music winding its way through my head.
Harold Budd has died at the age of 84. Not surprising, because he was 84, but one of those obits that makes you stop and sag. I didn’t just listen Budd when I slept, of course - his works have been on my playlists for decades, ever since I sat on the roof on a house in 8th street in Minneapolis and listened to “The Pearl,” his collaboration with Brian Eno. That was 37 years ago, and a month has never passed since when I haven’t listened to something he did. It always took me away and set the moment apart.
A lot of people hate this stuff, because it seems aimless and weightless. But it’s not “new age” or “spa” music; his workman be disquietening and unnervingly remote. Sometimes it sounds like an echo of heaven; sometimes it’s a message you understand in a language you do not. His last album, with Robin Guthrie, was released just a few days ago.
I was reading a long story about another campus struggle session. It had all the usual players - young people who had accomplished nothing haranguing people of tremendous accomplishments. The author described the campus mood before the Crisis began, noting what the student council was debating back in February.
If this was a campus on the cusp of a race crisis, it was hard to tell. A student-press account of the Plenary does mention racism allegations that were aired. But the only specifics listed in the report regard a controversy surrounding a campus group that had allegedly appropriated Hawaiian culture by throwing a “Hawaiian shirts” event. When a pair of students insisted that the school’s student code must be strengthened to ensure that such incidents of insensitivity don’t reoccur, the existing code was approved by a vote of 929 to 27.
I was curious about that Hawaiian Shirts Event. “Cultural appropriation” episodes are a particularly egregious form of idiocy, suggesting that everyone has to occupy a particular narrow lane that comports with their skin color or racial identity at all times, and of course it’s never taken to its logical conclusion in the other direction. So I clicked on the link.
Make this up I cannot, as Yoda said.
An Honor Council Social Trial
Released Fall 2019
This abstract was not released in accordance to the timeline specified by the Students’ Association Constitution. The confronting party consented to the release of the abstract.
The confronted party did not consent to the release of the abstract.
Confronted Party: The Kardashian Family
Prominent Members of the Family: Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian Confronting Party: Kris Jenner
On-Campus Location associated with the Kardashian Family:
Calabasas Involved Dean: Dean Ryan Seacrest
Member of the jury: Paris Hilton
At this point you may be thinking this is a comedy skit. Well, it is. But it's also real.
The Kardashian family threw a “Hawaiian shirts” themed party at Calabasas, a location associated with the family. This party has also been traditionally held annually by the Kardashian family. Kris heard about this party on the same night, and she made a post on Facebook calling it racist and appropriative and asking that the party be cancelled and people not attend. She also included a link to an article about the history of the Hawaiian shirt, its association with colonialism, and how it harms Native Hawaiians. Despite her post, however, the party went forward.
A few days later, Kris contacted a member of the Kardashian family, who put her in touch with Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney. They communicated over email and also met with Dean Seacrest, who gave both Kris and Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney several articles about the history of the Hawaiian shirt. The parties carried out these conversations digitally. After a few weeks of conversation, Kris asked that Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney report to Honor Council, since Kris felt the breach of trust was with the entire community and could only be resolved through trial. Kris and Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney all sent statements to Honor Council. After deliberations, Honor Council consented to send this case to a social trial.
All the magic words were said:
The jury also questioned the history and nature of this party. In Kris’s original Facebook post, she had called it a “Hawaiian” themed party, but Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney claimed that it was “Hawaiian shirts” themed. The jury wanted to know which theme the community associated with the party, although the jury was unsure as to how much that would affect their decision. Since the party has been traditionally held by the family for several years, the jury wanted to know what it looked like and the official theme had been in years past.
Finally, the jury talked about the power dynamics faced by Kris, since there would be one of her and three prominent members of the Kardashian family. They decided to be particularly cognizant of the power dynamics during meetings to keep the conversation fair and balanced.
It goes on and on and on:
The jury met again to finish writing a statement of violation. They had read through the articles found by Dean Seacrest, as well as some other articles that different members of the jury found about this issue. With these in mind, they returned to several issues of wording that had been previously controversial. In regards to whether or not to label the issue as an instance of cultural insensitivity versus one of cultural appropriation, most of the jury felt comfortable labelling the family’s actions as culturally insensitive for three reasons: the family had not confronted people who were culturally appropriating at the party; the family had not considered how their theme might impact Native Hawaiians on Haverford’s campus; and the party theme reinforced historical power dynamics affecting Native Hawaiians. However, Paris still felt uncomfortable labeling the family’s actions as insensitive since they had not intended or thought about how others might interpret the theme. Other members of the jury explained that they felt this was the definition of insensitivity; the family had not thought about how
SIXTEEN PAGES of this. SIXTEEN.
Anyway. After a police shooting in Philadelphia, the students turned full BLM / burn it down / WE HAVE DEMANDS, including a DEMAND that the school give back the stolen land on which it sat. This seemed to be pertinent:
On Twitter, meanwhile, strike supporters published the names and contact information of professors who’d refused to cancel classes. Federico Perelmuter, an English major and prominent strike supporter, tweeted “How are there only 650 signatures on that Excel sheet [supporting the strike]? Phantom 500 are a bunch of scabs and I’m gonna find each one of them.” He also tweeted out—as a dark joke, one presumes—“kill peanut,” as well as classmate Eric Beery’s suggestion to “tie bricks to peanut’s legs” and “throw peanut in the duck pond.” Peanut is the name of Haverford President Wendy Raymond’s seven-year-old dog.
The soft-handed often have the cruelest hearts.
STOP THE PRESSES
You wonder what was on the front page before they tore it up for that story.
Smartest kid ever!
Wonder whatever happened to her?
As it happens, we know.
Benson, born in Waco, Texas in 1913, was raised by her mother, Anne Austin, a journalist who later wrote popular mystery novels with titles like Murder at Bridge and The Avenging Parrot.
After graduating from college in 1930 Benson dropped from public view. She reemerged four years later, when a reporter found her living in a small apartment in New York, married, and working as a cashier. Time magazine then picked up the story, treating her to further national acclaim, not for being a genius but for turning out so normal.
In the late ’30s, however, Benson’s life appeared to take a radical turn, literally: She returned to her native Texas as Communist organizer. When her group tried to hold a rally at San Antonio’s municipal auditorium, the result was a riot by a reported 5,000 anti-Communist Texans.
Benson next headed to Los Angeles, where she continued her organizing work in the movie industry. But by the late 1950s, she’d grown disenchanted with Communism, finally breaking with the party in 1968, according to her son, Morgan Spector. She then earned a law degree, taught real property courses and practiced as a labor lawyer. She died in 1994, at age 80, an event that seems to have gone unnoticed by the media that once followed her every move.
Speaking of Reds:
It was in Siberia.
Gee, I wonder what was the spur for this editorial.
If you're going to drive like a maniac, don't do it front of the newspaper office.
Now, let us learn some new - or rather, old phrases:
Collar the blue vase. That only appears in google in references to this ad. I wonder if they slipped in a made-up one to launch it into the popular culture. (No, probably not.)
Message to Garcia, we get.
There’s about 700 words on this one.
All they have to say is “Winter Hats,” but no, they have to describe them as well.
Bleep you pay me:
The man had a point. He would propose a moratorium - but in 1931. They all dragged their feet.
The tenderfoot with the fancy boots ruins it for everyone:
I’ll have more on this feature some day, when the comics section gets around to the Nostalgia features. We’ve already seen Briggs' "The Days of Real Sport" which may have kicked off the entire genre.
That'll do; you may now head off to the 80s, with my blessing. Don't say I didn't give you the full measure today.