Are you lost daddy? I asked tenderly.
Shut up he explained. Ring Lardner
Un pour tous, tous pour un is the motto of Duma père’s The Three Musketeers. Today it has been modified to All for all from some, the second ‘all’ includes only enlightened thinkers. Consider the litany of wide-ranging demands from black students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The dean of the school – deans of any US school belong to an invertebrate species – of course agreed. If he/she/it/etc were asked if [insert pronoun here] loved Big Brother, the answer would be a tear drenched YES! Demand and negotiation are now synonymous.
I’ll just focus on one of the demands as it involves an organization I’ve long been involved with. The Pitt students want to abolish Alpha Omega Alpha because “it upholds white supremacy by maintaining racial disparities in induction into honor societies. Racial disparities in AOA exist, and have been brought to the attention of faculty by students.”
Founded at the University of Illinois School of Medicine in 1902, it is the med school equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa. I was the AOA councilor at Illinois for seven years and at Texas Tech for 17 years. When I ran the chapters, admission was based solely on grades, but enlightened thinkers now believe grades are racist. So, apparently, are the subjective characteristics that have been added to GPA as criteria for admission to AOA.
The only permissible explanation for the underrepresentation of black students in organizations is racism; any other view is racist. The epithet has been so widely applied that it has come to mean anything that whoever uses it doesn’t like.
The black students have missed the point in their demands for AOA to be canceled. When they’re underrepresented in medical schools, they don’t demand that the schools be abolished. They demand inclusion at a level at least equal to their percent of the population. I think their demand, while it might be understandable, is inadequate. What I propose is that everybody be admitted to AOA. Our younger population grew up under a regime in which everybody got a trophy or medal just for showing up. In fact, not showing up was often enough for a prize.
So let’s also admit every college student to Phi Beta Kappa before that august organization appears on the cancel list. Similarly, everyone should graduate summa cum laude. In fact why bother with graduation at all. Give a summa degree to everyone who wants it. We’ll still consider all to have been first in their class.
These changes will have the salutary effect of superannuating all deans and administrators. The Coronavirus has shown us the folly of a college campus. We’ll get rid of them and all their employees who won’t be needed anyway as college will be virtual and free. We might retain the IT department as long as it displays the appropriate ethnic mix. Also, no need for the athletic department. All the students will spend their free time (essentially all their waking hours) playing video games or doing you know what. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.
Why stop with the academy? Let’s give everyone an Olympic gold medal. No need to hold the event, just have the medal ceremony during which all the recipients can kneel during the playing of their country’s national anthem. As everyone will be an All American the loss of the athletic department described above will be unnoticed. Your High School, College, or Professional team will finish first, win the playoffs, and be State or National or World Champions.
In all sports everyone can now finish first. Each of us can be the MVP. Every pitcher will be a 20 game winner. No need to fix your torn rotator cuff; you’ll get to 20 without throwing a pitch. Every batter will hit 1.000 – contradictions be damned. Runners will do the Marathon in under 2 hours without training or even raising a sweat. Similarly, the same runner will do the 100 meters in less than 10 seconds. We all be Usain Bolt, Hank Aaron, or Jim Brown.
Why stop here? All jobs will pay $1 million/year with the appropriate inflation adjuster. The stock market will only go up, making all of us as successful as Warren Buffet and as rich. The police will be replaced by Gray Ladies who will distribute chocolate sundaes to all. The second violin sections will be abolished. No one will sit second chair in anything. And alchemy should be restored to the curriculum, if there still is one.
Back to AOA. It publishes a journal – The Pharos. It’s an enlightened compilation of conventional academic opinion. Reading it is like living on a diet entirely provided by the Gray Ladies. When its editors realize that AOA has been canceled, they will gladly immolate as they emulate. They will disappear faster than lemmings off a cliff to the accompaniment of the end of Wagner’s Ring Cycle.