So who’s the Snowflake?
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves…”
- Julius Caesar I.ii.140-141
A good citizen is always hesitant to believe anything that flashes across the little screen of The Abominable Autoscribe (cf. A Canticle for Leibowitz). While respecting this caveat, the reports of students at something called Mizzou expressing anger that the murders of over 100 people in France displaced attention from the students’ hurt feelings are not surprising (http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-rise-of-the-college-crybullies-1447458587,
Most people have never been blessed with the opportunity to study at university. Last week some of the privileged few, alleging hurt feelings based on nyah-nyah he-called-me-a-bad-name moments never substantiated, demanded the submission of the university administration. Over hurt feelings. As in a Soviet show trial in the 1930s and 1940s the president abased himself and resigned. Unlike the sequel to a Soviet show trial, he was not shot.
And now the protesting Mizzouzi snowflakes – who weren’t treated even to a whiff of tear gas – are outraged that their look-at-me-me-me moment has expired as the world turns its attention to other young people, young people who were murdered during a sustained attack in Paris.
The immaturity and the bullying of Missouzi students has been well noted. However, none of this should be a surprise. What else have they ever known? That is how they were raised. Consider the adult – adult - role models the Mizzouzi students (so to speak) have known since infancy:
The Secret Service
The Veterans’ Administration
Bradley / Chelsea Manning
General Petraeus and his flying harem
The Diocese of Boston
Black Friday shoppers who trample people to death
John Kerry and his band-aid Purple Heart
The 50% who don’t vote in presidential elections
The 90+% who don’t vote in school board elections
That strange woman who twerks
The Brothers Castro
The list could go on and on.
In sum, why should Junior be expected to show good manners and remove his cap at a funeral when his father doesn’t remove his, and his mother is taking a selfie? Why should Zoey Kloey restrain herself from yelling obscenities when that is how her grandmother expresses herself?
There are rumors that this is not consistently so – rumors that there are young people who want thoughtful sermons, not guitar sing-alongs; genuine challenges and risks of failure, not participation ribbons; Tolkien and Chesterton and Lewis and even Dostoyevsky, not coloring books; real music, not three-chord poseurs shrieking propaganda; soap and water and vigorous health, not self-disfigurement; a few turns with a pipe wrench instead of making a Power Pointless Presentation; sunlight slanting across the autumn woods, not vampire videos in a dark, unclean room; a day on the deer stand instead of smoking marijuana behind a dumpster.
Sadly, when young people do try to better themselves and grow up to take a man’s place or a woman’s place in the worlds, their efforts are often in defiance of the poor role modelling by the grownups around them.