And Feelings began to teach the multitudes, and the people followed them gladly, for they taught with authority, and not as the Facts (Gospel of Thomas, Menopausal Skateboarder’s Study Edition).
The feelings that will really get you somewhere these days, at least at places like the University of Missouri and the rest of America, are a particular kind of feeling. The feeling of satisfaction for a job well done doesn’t count. The feeling you have when your kid scores the winning run doesn’t matter. The feeling you have when you and your men, having seen the Pacific for the first time, look at each other with wild surmise, silent upon a peak in Darien . . . that feeling? A trifle.
No, in order to buy anything with the debased currency of Feeeelings, you need to take out your wallet in order to find your maxed out cards of wet cat indignation, intense outrage, affronted dudgeon, bruised sensibilities, sullen vulnerability, and plain old butt hurt. Not only so, but in order to try to use one of those cards on one of the local merchants anymore, you need to have the cajones of a brass monkey.
Political correctness is a broken down locomotive shuddering to a stop in some jerkwater town. Political correctness is now whistling around Safeway like a child’s party balloon that slipped off the helium tank. Political correctness is a spider mom that is now occupied with eating all her babies. Political correctness is a top-heavy toddler running down a grassy esplanade, one with a pretty steep slope. Political correctness is about to join the children of Amalek in the storage units of Sheol.
Finding a politically correct situation that made any kind of sense whatever would constitute a surprise. Not an ultimate surprise, but a pretty big one. Like the archaeologist who dug down to find the Neanderthal birthday party that was held once for that little Neanderthal girl, and who, as an expert archaeologist, was surprised to find all the fossilized balloons still intact. That level of surprise.
Not only are we dealing with Feeeelings, but all of them have now reached quite an orchestral crescendo. The conductor is carrying on like an old lady in her kitchen trying to hit a bee with her spatula. The violinist are sawing away like they were all going to be executed in the morning. The trumpeters, cheeks distended, like Dylan’s answers, are blowing in the wind.
I interrupt this blog post to apologize for the metaphor levels. I think it is caused by some kind of inversion layer.
University officials in Missouri resign over a bunch of nothing because of the tyranny of feelings. One in four women are sexually assaulted on college campuses because feminists feel like statistics are necessarily validated by how dire they are. One in three women, regardless of the actual number of assaults, would feel even truer. Colleges create safe spaces for emotionally bruised students who feel they are not up to the horror of having speakers on campus who do not share their views. In every controversy, regardless of the merits, hapless officials believe that their first responsibility is to affirm and validate the feelings of the offended. Self-designated victims vie for pole position on the LookatMe NASCAR Speedway, and evangelical ministries seek to drum up business by getting their corporate logos onto the cars of feeling. Sentio ergo sum. I feel, therefore I am.
If you will permit a shameless appeal at this point — for how it fits the moment is uncanny — it seems to us that we released The Free Speech Apocalypse at exactly the right time. If you watch that most excellent film, you can see victims actually painting their own bruises on. At least nobody said ow ow ow while they were doing it.
Victim make-up for made-up victims.