Monday, November 24, 2008

TALES FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE. A fellow at Eject! Eject! Eject! doesn't like that he was recently made to take a sexual harrassment class, which many reasonable people could understand. Before he really get into it, he tells us how proud he is that he had "managed to get this far without working in a large corporate office," which is commendable, as is his professed respect for the "creative and terrific people" with whom he works in his new corporate job.

Then he describes the class: "I find it deeply offensive to my personal sense of honor and integrity to be punished or otherwise lectured on something I did not do," he says. The "two hours of second-grade style... lecturing infuriates me on many levels." He doesn't need this stuff: He learned good manners "not from the State of California or a battalion of corporate lawyers, but from my parents, who raised me to be polite, well-mannered," etc.

He pauses to mutter, "I know, I can see the smiles on many faces already. It’s like I’m speaking in Aramaic," yet despite our obvious lack of understanding he presses on. He was subjected to a video with the "same emotional pitch and condescension as the old ABC After-School Specials," "unimaginably cloying and infantile," featuring a "a clueless, insensitive white male... emotionally advanced, sensitive (yet strong!) women and his solemn, understanding (but firm!), black male superior." And he's "getting a little tired of this movie. I see this movie everyday." Doesn't say where, though -- perhaps at the government indoctrination center out where he lives, or on the backs of his eyelids.

Thereafter, for hundreds of words, he tells us more about the idiotic class, and about how he knows all this stuff already, and about how well he was raised. Which is why
I am willing to sit at this desk, as the only one of 24 happy, smart, creative people, and look like some reactionary nut case for being enraged about the fact that we willingly submit ourselves to insults to our personal honor and integrity that our forefathers would never, ever have countenanced. And I am ashamed on behalf of them. But just me. No one else thinks anything of it at all.
You can go there and read the rest of the aria, the pitch of which continues to rise till all glasses within earshot are shattered.

Sexual harrassment classes are a nuisance, like getting one's car registered, doing the laundry, and having one's teeth cleaned. Some authors belabor these situations to humorous effect, or to reveal some angle on these experiences that is unique and helps us see the universal significance of the mundane. Others only want you to know that they're bigger than all this, and bigger than the littlebrains -- however much they may tell you they respect them -- who don't see the same deathless import they see in their own suffering. In that vast madhouse echoing with anguished howling that is the blogosphere, it doesn't surprise me to find several of these every week, nor to find that they very often are made by privileged white guys who think their story needs no better claim on our attention than that they are telling it.

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