WHILE MY LIFETIME FOCUS REMAINS THE HUMANITIES, AFTER MANY YEARS OF ACADEMIC WRITING, WITH MY SENSE OF SARCASM HEIGHTENED, I HAVE RE-KINDLED MY INTEREST IN TRAVEL AND HUMOR. I AM NOW WORKING IN THE GENRE OF HUMOR AND RE-VISITING THE BRIGHTER SIDE OF LIFE. OF COURSE, I AM ALSO SEEKING AN AGENT AND A PUBLISHER FOR MY CURRENT WORK IN PROGRESS. IN THE INTERIM, I POST A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THE HUMAN CONDITION.
Turning Over New Leaf
Friday, September 12, 2014
Why I Don’t Blog Much Anymore
I assure you that my followers and virtual friends are NOT
the subject matter of this post. I have learned so much from them over the
years, and will continue to do so. I value all opinions as they do, and I have
enjoyed their respectful, intellectual discussions. However, others read my
blog as well.
As a teacher, I have studied many years in the broad field
of Humanities. Here is Stanford University’s description of the field: “The
humanities can be described as the study of how people process and document the
human experience. Since humans have been able, we have used philosophy,
literature, religion, art, music, history and language to understand and record
our world. These modes of expression have become some of the subjects that
traditionally fall under the humanities umbrella. Knowledge of these records of
human experience gives us the opportunity to feel a sense of connection to
those who have come before us, as well as to our contemporaries.”
The Humanities are intended to cover general intellectual
skills and knowledge, as opposed to technical or professional skills. The
academic subjects that generally fall under the Humanities label are Language,
Art, Art History, Philosophy, History, Music, Religious Studies, Cultural
Studies, English, and several others. My lifetime studies have made me very
happy because I never got pigeon-holed into an academic rut like so many Math
and Biology teachers bemoan. That is until now.
I used to be known on one of the college campuses as the “Heinz
Man” because I taught fifty-seven different subjects over the years. Each of
them was different. Today, only political correctness and ideology matter. I
still do my best to educate my students in a variety of fields by introducing
them to reality, not academic fantasy. Most of my students find the honesty and
sincerity I try to bring to the classroom refreshing. Most want to learn new
things and listen to the opinions of others. Most are sick of political
correctness, but it is hard for Millennials to overcome media and political brainwashing
that inundates their world. I fight hard to empower them to think for
themselves in order to reach personal, rational decisions about the issues they
face in 2014. But the same rules do not apply to blogging.
Since I am not an activist with a cause, but an educator
introducing facts as I find them to benefit the greater good in the future, my post
options have become limited in scope. Let’s face it. People today do not wish to
consider anything they do not want to face. Nobody wants to hear negativity.
Nobody wants to learn about what they should fear. People are not interested in
any discussion that is unpleasant. By and large, people want to hold hands and
sing Kumbaya. It doesn’t work, of course, but they feel better.
All this spouting is about the Ray Rice scandal. I tried to
blog about this subject several times this week, but started from scratch each
time I realized I was blogging, not teaching. Bloggers pay no tuition and do
not make up captive audiences. If I entitle my post “Ray Rice,” most will not
read it because the subject is upsetting. If I label the post “Domestic Violence,”
many will ignore it because it is a negative subject.
Ray Rice might be a super athlete, but he lacks something as
a man. There is no excuse for punching his fiancé (later wife) unconscious. He
should be punished for his actions, even if he was intoxicated, she forgives
him, he has found religion, and can catch and run with a football to the
delight of his fans. Yet yesterday, hundreds of fans attended the
Baltimore-Pittsburgh game wearing Rice’s number 27 on their jerseys in support
of his actions. Young brainwashed, clueless women were interviewed and stated
their reasons why Rice was an exception to the Domestic Violence laws that
protect our loved ones.
So what has this to do with Humanities and blogging? We all
tend to write about what we know or want to know. Some bloggers have young
children and post comments relating to child rearing. Some are artists and blog
about their artistic endeavors.Others
write about their favorite music and their posts tend to always cover happy
subjects. I have a group of friends from Portugal that know the ins and outs of
opera, a subject I knew nothing of until I began following their blog. It is
always uplifting. But in my case, I write about Humanities. I cannot blog about
Nature, because the EPA gets in the way, and people get upset. I cannot discuss
philosophy, because in 2014 that means political ideology, and people don’t
like to discuss politics. It is too upsetting. Nobody cares about Bertrand
Russell or Albert Camus, and most have never heard of them, but 50% of the
public actually believes Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize.
It is very hard for a Humanities professor to blog about
literature when high schools are eliminating Mark Twain and John Steinbeck while
assigning The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
I have a Minor Degree in Theology, but cannot blog about religion because
inevitably my lack of praise for Islamic terrorists will offend some people. It
is a task to write to young students about history when the government is
constantly slanting historical facts toward political ideals.
I find it difficult to confine my blog posts to my dogs,
fishing trips, and travel plans. Our President has indicated that ISIS terrorists
are not Islamic. What should I write about as a Humanities professor? Perhaps,
I should admonish the Irish for flying into our buildings or the Polish for
their record of suicide bombings. Yet, Christians and Jews have not been
blowing up too many buses lately. Nor do most civilized people behead children.
But then again, writing about it will upset people. Bill Ayers and Ward Churchill
have no problem writing.
My interests lie in areas that have been reduced to one
subject: Positive Political Correctness. Unfortunately, Humanities is all about
humans connecting with humans. It deals with the relationship between us, and
those who came before us. It does not deny truth in favor of political
advancement. I have always enjoyed a reputation for being positive. I would
like to keep it. I never give up, and I will always encourage those
experiencing tough times to keep on trying. I would like to continue that
reputation, but I love and teach Humanities.
In New Jersey last week, a nice young man was killed by someone
claiming to be a jihadist exacting revenge for bombing in Iraq. The mainstream
media did not cover it. Two thirteen or fourteen-year old girls from Colorado attempted
to travel to Syria to join ISIS. Most Americans do not know that, because the
mainstream media did not cover it. For four years, I taught Leadership to
Ukrainian students from Luhansk in the university’s international program. Now,
I cannot write about it anymore because the subject is too sensitive, since
Russia invaded their homeland (while Putin ate our president’s lunch).
So if I catch a big fish (and throw it back, of course), or
visit the Hemingway House in Key West, I will blog about it. If Oscar Pistorius
shoots and kills a woman through a door and is found not guilty, I will ignore
it based on his Olympic status. And if Ray Rice should knock out his wife
again, I’ll chalk it up to alcohol abuse, because professional athletes are too
talented to commit domestic violence. However, if we begin to lose American
lives to domestic terrorists like Israelis do regularly, who should we blame,