Academics, sports and insults
A while back, Il Papa Benedict, who wasn't a National Socialist like Richard Nixon wasn't a crook, dis-excommunicated Lefebrist "bishop" Richard Williamson, who asserts that the Holocaust never happened. Seems reasonable.
The Holocaust is Just A Theory, a theory with weaknesses. The entrenched History Establishment doesn't want you to know about these weaknesses, of course. They fear that if contrary views were openly discussed, the Holocaust would be revealed as the sham they secretly know it to be, and they would be sooooo embarrassed.
We should require our schools' history classes to present the weaknesses of Holocaust Theory along with "official" versions of history, in the interest of fairness and balance. Then let the kids decide for themselves.
Physics classes should balance Gravitational Theory with Intelligent Falling. How about chemistry classes' absurd Atomic Theory, which teaches that obviously solid objects are in fact mostly empty space? Let the kids know the alternative view -- solids are just solid, case closed.
Geography students should be required to read Flat Earth Society pamphlets. Let all the kids know that many people believe the Bush administration secretly orchestrated the 9-11 attacks to create a pretext for war; and that many believe they have compelling evidence that the moon landings were an elaborate hoax.
Why should we let an overwhelming consensus of experts who have studied these subjects in detail dictate to us what's factual and what's not?
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Some time ago, I wrote a parody of intercollegiate trash talk. I have challenged cherished beliefs about religion, history, politics and the law, but the trash talk treatment generated more negative mail than any other topic.
My mistake was using an actual university -- KSU -- as my foil. I could just as easily have used a totally fictional institution, e.g. Port Mays State. It should've been apparent that the jibes I fabricated could not possibly have been true, for KSU or any other institution, and that I didn't personally believe they were true.
Some of the letters were reasonable and courteous. One pointed out I need not have demeaned the Special Olympics by suggesting that KSU students regarded these contests as intramurals. I readily concede the point, and apologize to any Special Olympians or their supporters who were offended when they read my column. It was insensitive, not to mention politically incorrect.
Many responses were seriously profane, which doesn't offend me, but also seriously incoherent and illiterate, which does. Had I truly been asserting that KSU educational standards are low, these letters would've proved my point.
Funniest of all were two letters I received from people who clearly thought I actually believe KSU students are dumb. They both forwarded the same page from a KSU Public Relations Department release listing the number of major scholarship recipients at various universities, with KSU ranked highly. This, they felt, should prove to me that I had been misinformed, and that at least some KSU students are too smart, so there.
A pharmacist mentioned she reads my columns, and her favorite is "the K-State one." Ah, well. It wasn't really about K-State, but I didn't correct her. Why ruin her fun?
I chose KSU for my first college interviews. The campus was beautiful, and all the people I met were congenial. Though I eventually chose KU, it was a close thing.
In those days scholastic achievements received few local accolades, at least the kind lavished on sports. But when I received a scholarship that (as I discovered only later) was regarded as "prestigious," I was inundated by recruitment brochures and calls from universities which apparently wanted to add my digit to their own PR tallies.
Hahvahd, Princeton, Stanford, Poughkeepsie -- but I still started with KSU.
Some of my relatives are K-State fans, and we exchange insults at appropriate times, but nobody takes it seriously except the little kids, who can be downright vitriolic.
In fact, I've come to believe that supporting Kansas schools on the national stage should trump silly intrastate rivalries, so about the only time I rag on K-State is when they're playing KU in some sport. Well, there's also my occasional gratuitous use of "K-State," which some prima donnas have decided is all it takes to undermine K-State's scholastic stature. I'm always happy to annoy such people.
That much said, here are some insults pilfered from some unattributed internet chain-letter. If they remind you of K-State, don't blame me.
(Unnamed University) football players: They don't know the meaning of the word "fear." In fact, they don't know the meaning of a lot of words.
What does the average (UU) player get on his SATs? Drool.
How many (UU) freshmen does it take to change a light bulb? None -- that's a sophomore course.
A (UU) player died from drinking milk -- the cow fell on him. (OK, no matter how it looks, this isn't necessarily about K-State.)
When two (UU) players were walking around campus, one said "Oh, look, there's a dead bird." The other scanned the sky and asked "where?"
What do you say to a (UU) linebacker in a three-piece suit? "Will the defendant please rise?"
How can you tell that a (UU) player has a girlfriend? Tobacco juice streaks on both sides of his pickup truck. (Again, not necessarily K-State.)
I was a football player myself, and these insults don't offend me. Can't we all just get along?
Jon Hauxwell, MD, is a retired family physician who grew up in Stockton and now lives outside Hays. firstname.lastname@example.org