Fighting the Battle of Who Could Care Less

The above is the title of a great song by The Ben Folds Five that trenchantly describes X Generation cultural ennui. Or something. And in a way the title describes the Progressive Mob trolling the internet looking for new victims to threaten. They do this because they apparently have nothing more constructive to do with their lives.

Case in point: I got a blast email from the director of The McCarter Center, a performing arts center at Princeton University. (You can see where this is going already.) I have never met this man and know nothing about him other than what I read in this email:

It looks from here like this poor man got spanked for saying something that, in a more sane era, he would never have to apologize for. I hope they don’t fire him. The painful indignity of being forced to send an email like this would be too high a price to pay for me to keep my job. (That’s why I’m not in management.)

I wish the email had been more like this.

In an email I sent earlier today, I used the phrase “Arts and Culture Matter” in the subject line. This made Black Lives Matter activists swarm like sharks fighting for chum thrown in the water. Apparently, I’m the chum.

Please get over it. A university education is supposed to give you resilience, not spectral disorders. You should consider that if you’re on this mailing list, you live a life of privilege. Everyone associated with Princeton does. So among your peers, you really can’t throw shade on anybody. Go cancel yourself, punks. I’m not having it.

Somebody’s got to be the grownup in the room. So listen: What I wrote was a sincere message taken out of context by people who have few actual values worthy of the name. I’m not apologizing, because there is nothing to apologize for; and in any case, there is no one among you who is worthy to receive the apology.

If you have any questions, write to me. I’ll tell you exactly what I think of you.

Sincerely,

Good luck and God bless, Mr. Rosenberg. If you survive this stupidity, maybe I’ll drive down to the campus and catch a play.

“Diversity and Inclusion”

I am a gay man. And every time I hear the phrase “diversity and inclusion,” I want to throw up.

You want to hire me because I’m gay? Fuck you. Hire me because I’m good.

I’m a contractor working in I.T., and I keep an eye on the job boards like Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, Virtual Vocations, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and the nerd prom known as LinkedIn. And whenever I see a job posting that makes a big deal of diversity and inclusion, I avoid applying for it. That company is too drunk on progressive politics to be fair to anyone who works there.

So you’re gay, or Samoan, or transgender. Does a corporate pledge of “diversity and inclusion” mean that if you get hired, you’ll be treated with common decency and fairness? Hell no! Such declarations are only warnings to middle managers at the company; to tell them that they have to be a little more circumspect about how they abuse you. And firing you is no problem. Unless you can prove that their employment practices are clearly part of a documented pattern directed at your “protected” class, you are fucked.

Environmentalists created the term “greenwashing” to describe how corporations signal their virtue on environmental issues with declarations and programs that actually do nothing impactful. There ought to be a similar “-washing” cognate for broad, meaningless declarations of solidarity with trendy lefty social movements. What to call it? Virtue washing?

(Race is the hot topic again. But I’ll leave it to someone with stronger tribal bona fides to coin the phrase “blackwashing.” Not going there. )

1,125 words

It stuck in my head that somewhere, somebody wrote that it was a useful discipline for a novelist/writer to write two thousand words a day. So I searched for the phrase “two thousand words a day” and came up with about as many drops for one thousand. (Because of the human propensity to get hung up on historical numbers, 2,000 may subconsciously reference, to many people, the 2,000 Words Manifesto of the Prague Spring.)

Other facts: An average eighth grader reads 151 words a minute. An average high schooler can focus attention on reading for about 30 minutes. And (I can’t find a link for this one), when teaching, you’ll keep your class’ attention longer if you shift the topic or activity every seven minutes.

So, what’s the optimal length and structure of a book chapter, and how much text should a writer aspire to write every day? The math seems to say that an optimal chapter of a novel should be no longer than about 4,500 words and should have at least four scene changes. But as a daily target, that’s way too ambitious for me. So I’ll probably start with a one scene of around 1,125 words a day.

Here is what one scene looks like. The words are from the incredibly useful dummy text generator at lipsum.com.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Quisque vulputate congue turpis. Donec eleifend mi sit amet pellentesque scelerisque. Aliquam cursus convallis mauris et elementum. Sed ultrices eleifend nunc, in suscipit turpis imperdiet ut. Etiam sollicitudin elit quis est consectetur, vel auctor sapien accumsan. Donec facilisis, massa eget imperdiet ultrices, mi elit placerat ante, a imperdiet nunc felis ut ipsum. Cras nibh ligula, accumsan id porta a, tristique sed velit. Nam id nulla mi. Vestibulum ultricies, orci vel consequat dignissim, ante tellus malesuada dui, ac vestibulum lorem lorem quis elit. Suspendisse potenti. Phasellus tellus nibh, dictum sit amet viverra nec, egestas et dui. Curabitur congue ut tellus id venenatis. Maecenas vulputate auctor metus. Quisque blandit efficitur diam, nec ultrices erat pharetra id.

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Vestibulum id dapibus lorem, in tempus ligula. Etiam molestie lorem vel nisl egestas congue. Mauris vitae porttitor nisl, ac tempor lacus. In sit amet justo porttitor, consectetur erat tempor, interdum lorem. Integer hendrerit mi eget ex euismod rhoncus. Fusce in varius dolor. Sed dictum eleifend nisi vel elementum. Nullam tristique, purus ac posuere fringilla, nulla neque dapibus nisi, ac sodales ex nibh sed tellus. Aenean nec magna eu nisi laoreet bibendum. Duis condimentum enim vitae erat feugiat sodales. Sed eu nisl sodales lacus dapibus venenatis sit amet a lorem. Vivamus ac massa et leo fringilla pharetra sed et libero. Quisque ac nibh ex.

Nullam semper orci et pellentesque porttitor. Duis posuere faucibus orci, nec laoreet augue consectetur in. Suspendisse et enim suscipit, cursus velit a, mollis lorem. Maecenas sem arcu, luctus eu egestas pellentesque, sodales at arcu. Pellentesque ac aliquet justo, sed mollis leo. Nunc pharetra libero ut tortor feugiat ultrices. In et felis malesuada, ultricies leo et, auctor odio. Mauris ac facilisis metus. Phasellus vulputate, sem in rutrum condimentum, purus nisl sollicitudin neque, vel auctor nulla risus ut nulla. Maecenas sodales id tortor egestas facilisis. Integer quis ligula nec lacus laoreet ultrices nec aliquam metus. Nulla hendrerit, risus ac volutpat facilisis, dolor sem aliquam sapien, in euismod elit lectus sit amet lectus.

Suspendisse bibendum turpis vitae orci rhoncus, vitae cursus mi dictum. Etiam rhoncus mauris eget elit gravida aliquam. Sed tempor finibus purus id rutrum. Pellentesque condimentum tincidunt pharetra. Integer at purus sed eros egestas cursus a eget arcu. Nam sit amet pretium metus. Nulla non mi eu eros dictum vulputate id sit amet elit. Sed consequat, nisi porta congue efficitur, felis urna elementum diam, sit amet interdum quam lorem dictum velit. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec consectetur neque vel elementum imperdiet. Etiam congue orci sed urna ornare, sit amet feugiat ex fringilla. Sed sit amet mi molestie tellus sollicitudin posuere non vitae urna. Proin ac felis ut sem consectetur congue.

Nam vestibulum sem eu nunc vestibulum tempus. Nam efficitur pulvinar diam non aliquet. Pellentesque maximus, nulla id malesuada pharetra, est elit aliquam dolor, sagittis feugiat odio sapien vel quam. Pellentesque vitae velit a libero venenatis dapibus eu quis felis. Praesent libero nulla, hendrerit auctor gravida ac, convallis sed ligula. Cras lobortis dui sem, et euismod leo lacinia non. Ut efficitur scelerisque mi, id hendrerit dolor imperdiet non. Donec id erat justo. Quisque ipsum ante, finibus a condimentum at, imperdiet et urna. Cras euismod non velit vitae ullamcorper. Sed in nibh ut orci dictum facilisis. Pellentesque ac purus id ante pharetra vehicula. Nam facilisis lacus tempus maximus gravida. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Curabitur pharetra lacinia magna. Phasellus mollis odio vitae suscipit sodales.

Ut blandit ipsum ac nibh pretium, vel suscipit lectus suscipit. Aliquam sed urna eu augue tincidunt pharetra a eget sapien. Suspendisse potenti. Vivamus consequat vehicula condimentum. Suspendisse efficitur aliquam elit, vitae ultrices est ullamcorper eu. Vestibulum bibendum cursus sem id congue. Morbi posuere sollicitudin iaculis. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia curae; Nunc quis sagittis risus.

Aenean vulputate quam turpis, et consequat augue feugiat a. Morbi dictum justo vitae facilisis efficitur. Suspendisse quis fermentum sem. Quisque sapien justo, eleifend vitae justo ac, condimentum aliquam magna. Curabitur molestie eu urna sollicitudin maximus. Morbi aliquam odio lorem, at euismod mauris eleifend nec. Aenean in sem in neque commodo egestas.

Sed volutpat purus ac libero elementum commodo. Maecenas est arcu, rhoncus ac rhoncus vel, pellentesque sed neque. Suspendisse sed tristique mi, sed suscipit odio. Sed ligula odio, suscipit at justo sed, gravida rutrum elit. Fusce commodo risus velit, vitae condimentum quam pellentesque vitae. Nulla vel massa tempus, mattis enim at, sollicitudin risus. Cras vel ligula mattis, facilisis eros in, rutrum risus. Praesent et molestie sapien. Vivamus facilisis elementum sem venenatis ultrices. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia curae; In sit amet luctus sem, sit amet tincidunt dolor. Morbi mattis augue eget erat placerat, in aliquam enim sagittis. Phasellus lobortis auctor imperdiet.

Curabitur consectetur consectetur ex eget blandit. Vivamus ultricies facilisis velit. Nam sit amet luctus magna. In sit amet enim a sem dignissim lobortis. Suspendisse potenti. Suspendisse consequat, urna sed interdum semper, sapien massa volutpat metus, nec condimentum mauris lacus eget magna. Vestibulum iaculis ornare elementum.

Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. In condimentum augue non fermentum pulvinar. Donec orci lorem, fermentum sed posuere vel, auctor id libero. Ut in odio vel massa feugiat tempor sed at justo. Donec eu dui sem. Nulla a lacus erat. Etiam vitae tellus interdum, porta enim blandit, malesuada ligula. Vivamus eget maximus orci. Duis at nibh neque. Praesent sagittis pulvinar sem, sit amet iaculis risus efficitur at. Donec ut mi non libero ultrices dapibus ornare a lectus. Pellentesque enim ligula, placerat eget justo sit amet, lobortis eleifend metus. Phasellus justo nisi, maximus vel mattis eu, volutpat vitae turpis. Sed fringilla nisi aliquam, tempor est accumsan, facilisis magna. Praesent imperdiet lacus quis luctus accumsan.

Quisque rhoncus nulla eu elit vehicula, a porttitor nunc dictum. Fusce sit amet posuere tellus. Etiam fermentum consectetur purus. Vestibulum efficitur sapien sit amet massa dictum sagittis. Nullam venenatis enim in fringilla mattis. Vivamus nec nisi auctor quam suscipit lobortis nec a odio. Etiam ullamcorper lacus arcu, sed mattis mauris viverra eget. Nam bibendum imperdiet faucibus. Sed magna est, accumsan eu pulvinar sit amet, maximus eu turpis. Ut nec nisi velit. Quisque ornare, libero ut auctor aliquam, sem lectus elementum libero, malesuada finibus ligula purus quis ligula. In commodo sapien ut eros condimentum tincidunt ultrices quis odio. Donec eu ex dignissim, imperdiet turpis vel, cursus nibh. Proin consectetur arcu quam, vitae elementum felis vestibulum vitae. Phasellus tincidunt pellentesque.

Generated 12 paragraphs, 1125 words, 7655 bytes of Lorem Ipsum