Friday, November 03, 2006

Burnt Out Adjunct: Kerry, Kerry, Kerry

Burnt Out Adjunct: Kerry, Kerry, Kerry discusses the Kerry situation. Although I left a pretty lengthy comment on his blog, I thought it deserved a bit more.

Many of you may not realize that my sweet hubby is former military -- enlisted. He was in the Air Force for 15 years and has been out for 5. Since then he's become ABD at a top-tier political science school and is currently teaching younings at a top-raded liberal arts uni. All in all, he's no intellectual slouch.

While in the military hubby also had a very successful debate career -- and since finishing debate he's been influential in terms of starting an entirely new debate national championship. Suffice it to say, he can out smarty-pants most of the smarty-pants kids on any playground. The nice thing about these accomplishments is that it isn't just me bragging... there are boxes of awards and stuff at home that say my hubby's got a brain-cell or two to rub together... there is a reason I call him my Google.

Having been a military wife for about 10 years and having taught several classes on a military base in Red State, I can tell you that - while hubby is top of the heap -- it isn't as if he was the only bright guy enlisted in the Air Force. This is why Kerry's comments, and the attitude they reveal -- are so infuriating.

The attitude was actually said rather succinctly by a debater nearly 7 years ago, when he told me (as his judge) that 'people are in the military because they can't get regular jobs and didn't graduate from high school'. This is the same sentiment that I see Kerry expressing with his comments.

This sentiment is due to ignorance and and it makes me ill. The ignorance also smacks of elitism, in that the reason most of these yahoos don't know about the military is because the military is generally an option for POOR people (not dumb ones). Thus, they know very few, if any people who have served in the military -- because those people can't afford to live in neighborhoods with the beneficiaries of Big Catsup.

So, while they want to send the military to do dirty work, they won't admit that the people who serve in the military might do so for reasons other than the lack of a good education. Hello -- how about needing a decent job that pays health-benefits, living allowances and pays for school as well. The military has programs that are attractive to the kinds of people they need -- people who are smart enough to use the high-tech equipment Congress buys them, and smart enough not to use it --- even when the use of it could save their own lives (see Colin Kohl in Foreign Affairs Nov/Dec... great article).

The sad thing about all of this is that Kerry isnt on a ballot someplace and that his ignorant comments may be used against good candidates.


Christopias Spritopher said...

You have to give Kerry some credit, it takes a lot of effort to mangle something worse than the President or I could have. It does reveal the elitist attitude of Kerry, his family, and his party. Whenever people are aghast at my voting for Bush I remind them, "the Democrats didn't give us a choice." As an Army brat and a teacher Kerry and his wife have turned me off from the Democratic party for quite some time.

bungle said...

Never ever fall into appearing that you protest too much about an individual's intellectual prowess. That's blood in the water.

And in our neck of the woods, remember that which is purportedly loved, or if one must have an authority, let's ask Heraclitus:

"Much learning does not teach understanding, otherwise it would have taught Hesiod and Pythagoras, Xenophanes and Hectaeus." (fragment 40)

(((((One request: would you please remove that annoying word verification feature?)))))

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I'm not sure what you mean by that -- I have no doubt that Kerry is intelligent -- but, intelligent people can be ingorant about certain things, and when they speak of those things that ignorance shows...

bungle said...

I wasn't referring to Kerry. Your extended remarks here and on the other blog about your hubby give the impression of 'she doth protest too much'. Which is 'blood in the water' as it bespeaks a sore point requiring the marshaling of vigorous defense, sort of like what you get when a Downs Syndrome sufferer's advocate gets started (i.e. "he's not DUMB he's SMART!").

Sure it's understandable that you find the attitude and attendant blather from Kerry and his ilk (like the poli sci whatever members people) infuriating. I'm not a fan of that either. It's just that we part ways where response to their idiocy is concerned. You divide your resources: half goes to defense, the enlisted by way of hubby, and half to attack using counterexample as your thrust.

Nicely done as it goes especially since you have a vested interest but my taste in tactic runs a little differently: attack only. If one is any good defense is never necessary.

Verily it is without question good to be mindful of one's audience so the words chosen must be absolutely apt. With that in mind and the fact that I'd wasted time even giving their BS any attention, I'd like to gather all the elitists in a huge room and proclaim to them:

Many of you have probably heard of Socrates, some few know the name Descartes, I doubt any of you could even guess about Wittgenstein.

Well off the top of my head, Socrates was a hoplite, Descartes joined up, Wittgenstein was a soldier and you all exist as so many miserable douchebags.

And that's it. Kind of a thermonuclear counterexample if personages 1&2 are understood in historical context at all.
End of debate, as if there ever was one. Surely you instruct your debate novices using a little of 'The Art of War'? Remember that part about winning a battle before a move is even made? Applies here, in this instance, hence the idiocy tag.

One thing I'd hope you don't tell them, as it is one of things best discovered on one's own, is that debate (disputation, rhetoric etc) is paradoxically among both the highest and the lowest. It is the second and nearly most basic rung on the ladder for the philosopher, necessary and that (remember: "reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, writing an exact man) but mastery of it equals no more than the act of wiping one's feet before entering a house.

For pure assholes like journalists and lawyers, cultivating passable disputation skill is the bees knees and nirvana and all that. Because once they have some, they can go about performing miracles of fraudulence like the "idea" that being enlisted is somehow a dead end.