They have powders and collars for those kind of ticks.
You weren't perhaps inspired by the Sestak ad, were you, monsieur?
You've captured the lumpenvoter perfectly.
can it be that none of you know to whom our host is referring?
Your dog's beard isn't as cool as that dude's.
@leonardthe "lumpen" dont vote. thats pretty much what makes them the "lumpen", if such a class actually exists outside of 19th century western European socioeconomic structure.
I heard that dude isn't even charged rent.
Are you being racist, IOZ? I mean, why a dog, dawg?
Cynicism. We hear about it all the time. The level of public discourse has gotten so low, so mean-spirited, that it is turning off people who might otherwise want to participate in the public sphere. Traveling to various cities, I am more aware than ever of the waves of negative advertising washing over the country. Thanks to the Supreme Court's embrace of anonymous influence, we often don't know who is paying for the mud that's being tossed around, and the result is a general decline of confidence that anything important and meaningful is to be found in the public sphere. Should we describe this decline of confidence as the growth of cynicism, or just as an intelligent reaction to our contemporary context?Cynics are no fools, and one might even describe cynicism as the effort to protect oneself from appearing foolish. One of the hallmarks of contemporary cynicism (with ancient roots) is the rejection of conventional standards. The cynic delights in rejecting the criteria of those with power and privilege, and this rejection is often mixed with contempt. Cynics "know" that the established order is wrong -- corrupt, unnatural and unjust -- and their knowledge can give them a sense of superiority. We reject the established ways of the world because we know better.But cynicism about politics and the public sphere doesn't lead to efforts to change the way things are. Instead, it leads to a withdrawal from public life, a withdrawal that is justified by the cynic's belief in his or her own superiority. We cynics know better, and we know that participation in public life is for those who just don't understand the ways things really work.Another dimension of cynicism is the belief in one's own self-sufficiency. Cynics don't have to engage in the public sphere because they have developed a way of life that doesn't require engagement. They have nothing to gain from interacting with others who don't share their views, and they find reinforcement from other cynics who also reject this kind of interaction. A community based on rejection reinforces its members' contempt for the dominant culture and their proud alienation from it. They feel they don't need to engage because their cynicism gives them a sense of self-righteous autonomy.
Cynicism may be particularly prevalent among young people, and psychologists even have a specific measure for adolescent cynicism, Acyn2, on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. As an educator, I find this youthful attitude to be particularly worrisome, because above all it protects students from learning. Behind the façade of the knowing rejection of the status quo, behind the defense of the self-sufficient community, is the fearful refusal to engage with new possibilities. Cynics have already made up their minds, and people who have made up their minds believe they have nothing to learn.When you participate in the public sphere, you have to open yourself up to the views of others, and real engagement means being open to change. That's why political participation should be part of every student's education. Participation is a public experiment through which you discover things about the world, about yourself and about the possibilities for change. Public engagement is challenging because you may be surprised that the people or systems about which you've already reached conclusions are more complex than you'd ever imagined -- more complex and more important for shaping the future.In this age of degraded political discourse and anonymously funded attack ads, it's easy to see the reasons for the cynical withdrawal from public life. But we must turn back the tide of cynicism; we must show our jaded, withdrawn young people that they are not self-sufficient, and that if they don't engage in shaping their future, somebody else will do it for them. When students turn themselves off to engagement and participation, they are cutting themselves off from learning. They are also depriving our public sphere of their energy and ideas. There is comfort in belonging to a community of cynics, but there is much more stimulation and rewarding work to be found by engaging with others in trying to make the public sphere a more meaningful environment for all of us.
Michael Roth:You need more fiber in your diet.
Cynicism is the only rational response, Mr. Roth. You, sir, are insane.
@AJPBut is there no scenario where promoting irrationality is a rational behavior (gets ones' toast buttered, that is)?Capt'n Obvious
This excessive comity has to go. If you're calling someone insane, arrogant jaded prick, you can dispense with the "sir". In any case, he's no doubt a humorist.If not, I'd concede he needs more fiber.
psychologists even have a specific measure for adolescent cynicism, Acyn2, on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. blah blah, blah dee, blah doh, blah blingiblingbling dee blah.MMP = Rx guideline for people whose only response to "weird" behavior is control through chemicals.Bully for you, you're an "educator." Maybe if you were a TEACHER we might listen.
We need more people in Washington who are not burdened by self-awareness or an outdated moral code that treats others as ends in themselves.
As an educator, I find this youthful attitude to be particularly worrisome, because above all it protects students from learning.Given that schools are mainly pumping kids full of shameless propaganda, "protects" is a surprisingly apt choice of word, Mr. Educator.
What the fuck is going on here?!?
That's why political participation should be part of every student's education.Gross. As a teacher, not an "educator", I feel pretty satisfied if I can get them to shut the fuck up for 30 minutes, stop groping each other, and learn something about gerunds or whatever. I like to ask them their opinions on things as much as possible. So far as I can tell, most of them have no opinions. Maybe when they're clearheaded enough to formulate some and have decided they don't give a shit about what I or their meathead classmates think about what they think enough to express them, we can start to push them toward political engagement. Until then, better to pipe the hell down and learn some facts.
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