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Dr. Dreimer's Diary, 1st H, 2019

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Preamble

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. (Oscar Wilde, 1854 -- 1900)

The idea for Dr. Dreimer’s diary came from the excerpts from the diary of Samuel Pepys published daily in the National Post. We thought it would be interesting to write a modern diary using the more formal language of an earlier era – in this case we have attempted an approximation of 18th Century expression. What is perhaps most evident is the capitalisation of nouns, which gives an emphasis, and suggests a cadence entirely missing from current written expression. The language is more cumbersome and formal, and tends to favour the use of parallel structure for rhetorical emphasis.

Style is inseparable from attitude and tone. Dr. Dreimer observes mankind as if from a great height, or from another, more sensible century.

 

 

 His judgements are often unflattering, and his scorn and disdain palpable. They may be expressed directly, but are often revealed through an ironic approval of some mindless folly. He may appear to some as a pompous windbag; to others as a curmudgeonly but correct observer.

As it has turned out, the diary is not a conventional diary at all. Apart from the occasional references to the mythical Aunt Myalgia, languishing in the Shady Hollow Psychiatric Facility in downtown Toronto, or to the Lumpenbangen Studios in the inner reaches of Hamilton, or to the Haven of Wind-in-the-Pines at Silver Lake, we gain little insight into the trivia of Dr. Dreimer’s own life.

The diary is, in fact, a commentary on events in the news.

 


 

Latest additions to the site:

January 15 -- Limerick -- Equality at Washington-Tacoma; Obs. 1561 - 3
January 14 Observations 1549 - 60
January 12 Diary -- Alps of Stupidity; Observations 1538 - 48
January 8  Drivel -- Future of Globalization;
Obs. 1526 - 37
January 6 Drivel -- Squint into Climate Change future
January 5 -- 2018 Retrospective Melodies on Music Download page
January 1 Air Farce New Year's Eve
December 26 The New Printer from Sibling Corporation
December 22 Observations 1508 - 25
December 13 Drivel -- Dollarama Dunderheads
December 8 Drivel -- the hungry waitress and hooters Marlene.
December 6  Limerick -- "Hey-bro'" Trudeau

 

 

January 12, 2019

Alps upon Alps of Stupidity Arise
 

We have long observed that Equality of Result is an Ideal which is impossible to achieve. Yet so attractive is the Notion that it seems to have endless Fascination for those for whom Thinking is a significant Challenge.

The Idea is implicit in many popular Theories. Socialism – an Idea about Government which has a persistent History of Failure – assumes that a Society can be created in which Citizens are "equal" – except, of course for those who decide how the "Equality" is to be achieved. Multiculturalism – a Concept extremely popular in our own fair Land – assumes that all Cultures are equally worthy – despite the Fact that some cultural Values lead to more successful Societies --and some cultural Ideas are antithetical, and hence incompatible.

Political Correctness – the new Religion – is also founded on the Notion that People – regardless of their actual Qualities – are deserving of an equally high Sense of Self-Esteem. Speech should be controlled so that No One should ever feel the Anguish of hurt Feelings.

It is worth noting, perhaps, that every Attempt to establish an unnatural Equality necessarily involves Coercion and Oppression. Thus, it will be seen that every Experiment with constructing a socialist State ends in Dictatorship. "Multiculturalism" requires that any Criticism of cultural Values must be discouraged or banned: consider the recent passage of Bill M-103 – which suggests that "Islamophobia" is the equivalent of "Hate Speech." And Political Correctness attempts to forbid any Speech which would criticize Ideas which those in one Group or another might find "hurtful."

Indeed – one of our Observations about "Equality" might well be changed. Thinking primarily of Education, we have said that: "When equality is the aim, mediocrity is the result; when excellence is the aim, equality finds its true place." It would not be unreasonable to re-state the Idea: "When equality is the aim, mediocrity and coercion are the results..."

In this Context, it is fascinating to see our Society – rather than moving soberly towards Wisdom – seems to be lurching drunkenly towards a Greater Stupidity.

And where is it most likely that this inebriated Lurching should be found? If the cynical Reader were to suggest at a Centre of Learning – he would be absolutely correct.

It has come to our Attention that the University of Washington-Tacoma plans to hold a Seminar at which Faculty Members will be urged to disregard the "Quality" of a Student’s Writing in the Grading of Assignments. The Problem is, apparently that standard grading Practices perpetuate "white language supremacy." (Breitbart News, January 11)

 

In the Minds of the cognitively challenged, it appears that Language has acquired a Colour and a racial Characteristic. The Implication is that Race determines the Kind of Language used. Proper "grammatical" Language is used by white People. Less correct Language is used by those of other Races.

(It is well understood, of course, that, in the Battle against Racism, racist Assumptions are crucial and necessary.)

What underlies this Insanity, is the Idea of "Equality." In order to foster a greater Equality of Outcome among Students of different Races, it is necessary to lower the Standards.

Lowering the Bar to Achievement will allow larger Numbers to meet the apparent Goal. It is only the apparent Goal, of course – because the Goalposts have been moved. The greater the Distance between the Posts, the more Goals will be scored. But the value of the scored Goal diminishes with each Degree of Separation. Carrying the Trend to its logical Absurdity – the Goalposts are not necessary – neither is the Attempt to score Goals. Everyone should just go Home and bask in the comforting Glow of not having tried – or accomplished – Anything.

As we have said – when Equality is the Aim, Mediocrity is the Result.

There is, as yet, no Sign of Oppression. But it is not difficult to imagine that the "Suggestions" in the Seminar will become Requirements. In practical Terms, which Professor will maintain Standards not upheld by his Peers – or by the University Administration?

Our Guess would be not One.

We live in interesting Times. Despite better Diet, improved Technology, and superior Access to factual Knowledge, the Level of Stupidity in our Society is reaching Heights we could never have predicted -- even twenty Years ago.

We wonder, idly, at what point impossible Ideals – like that of "Equality" will be seen for what they are – Follies both hopeless and destructive – and some Semblance of Sanity will return.

Perhaps the Observation of Charles Mackay, writing in 1841, is relevant: "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."

There is, however, no Sign of Recovery yet.

 

 
 

January 1, 2019
 

On New Year’s Eve, we had Occasion to watch "Air Farce, New Year’s Eve" – a Version of the perennial CBC Comedy "Air Farce" Offering.

We found it to be uninspiring – and apparently typically so: almost all those commenting on recent Shows at the CBC Website lament the Days of Glory, and note the present State of Decline.

Beyond that, we have to admit to a Moment of drop-jawed Flabbergast. As we remember, the Show used to end with the Firing of a "Chicken Cannon" of disagreeable Ingredients at the Picture of a disagreeable Individual.

This has been replaced with the Dropping of an "F-Bomb" at some "irritating" Targets.

We could hardly believe that the final Target of the Evening was Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the United States Supreme Court. Why would he be considered irritating? What serious and subversive Rot has eaten away at the Minds of those responsible for the Show?

We can only conclude that the Rot is, in Fact, Political Correctness – and the "Comedians" have fallen down the Rabbit-Hole of Absurdity: they believe that all Women who complain of sexual Assault are telling the Truth. It seemed clear to us that Ms. Blasey Ford’s Accusations were politically motivated: they surfaced at a politically opportune Time, after many Years of Silence; her Memory of Details was unclear, and – despite repeated Attempts --she could find no one to corroborate her Story.* She lied about her Fear of Flying.

We should note at this Point that satiric Humour depends on a "satiric Norm" – a Point of View shared by the Writer and the Reader or the Performer and the Audience. If there is no such shared Point of View – the Reader -- or the Audience -- will not share in the Triumph of Laughter. If "Air Farce" sees Mr. Kavanaugh as an "irritating" Rogue, and some considerable Portion of the Audience sees him as an unfortunate Victim, there is no shared satiric Norm.

If the CBC Audience laughed – it shows that they have a View of the World which we, frankly, find incomprehensible.

It has been observed by Many that in an Era of Political Correctness, Comedy has become increasingly difficult. That is easy to explain.

 

Laughter is the triumphant Recognition of Incongruity. It may be a Difference between Pretension and Reality, between what is apparent and what is real, or between two different Meanings of the same Word. It is agnostic with Respect to Feelings. Indeed, the tragic View of the World is concerned with Feelings; the comic View is concerned with Intellect.**

Political Correctness is, above all, concerned with Feelings. Feelings are far more important than Facts. While Everyone knows that certain Jokes are likely to be offensive, and will avoid them – Political Correctness holds that Feelings of those in certain specified Groups – must never be troubled, hurt, miffed, scuffed, or ruffled.

In the Instance under Consideration, Ms. Blasey Ford – being a Woman claiming Victimhood – could never be the Target of a Chicken Cannon. Mr. Kavanaugh, a successful white Male, is fair Game. The Facts of the Situation have no Relevance. Ms. Blasey Ford could be a certified Witch, and Mr. Kavanaugh one of the Heavenly Host. It would make no Difference.

If Readers are interested to know exactly which Groups are considered untouchable – we are quite confident that any modern University can provide them with a List – and, additionally, provide Courses of Study in a Variety of related Matters.

As Political Correctness extends its sensitive Tentacles – more and more Feelings will be declared inviolable – and more and more Topics will become unsuitable for Comedy.

Indeed. We wonder whether this explains the Decline of the Air Farce Comedy Show. Perhaps it can simply no longer find Folly and Stupidity anywhere except among those whose Feelings must not be hurt. 

 

*See Diary, September 30, 2018.

**This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel. (Horace Walpole, fourth Earl of Oxford, 1717 - 1797)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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