Note: The powers that be at WND.com have told Michael Ackley he may submit the occasional column. As Golden State madness has accelerated, Mr. Ackley has succumbed to the urge to get back in the game. Hence, the items below. Remember that his columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference.
Having passed the midpoint of my 70s, firmly establishing me among the senior citizenry, I am as entitled as the next man to lament the decline of American civilization and the miseducation of our youth.
Thus I may wring my hands over a conversation I had with a California legislative aide.
I had telephoned a lawmaker’s office to say I hoped the legislator would press Golden State Gov. Gavin Newsom to reveal his intentions regarding parole for Sirhan Sirhan.
The aide – likely aged somewhere between 20 and 30 – assiduously wrote down my message, said it definitely would be seen by the legislator, and asked:
“Who is Sirhan Sirhan?”
Our collective memory is fading too quickly.
Then I heard a faculty member of a prestigious university, addressing incoming freshmen. She noted that over the nexty four years, some of the young scholars might change their academic majors more than once.
Then she added slyly, “Some of you might change your pronouns.”
This was an oblique reference to the fact that at many universities, if one is sexually “non-binary,” one may demand to be referred to using such “pronouns” as “they” or “ze” or “hir.”
For example, my alma mater, the University of California, Berkeley, recently hired a diversity, equity and inclusion officer, and after her name included, in parentheses, “(she, her, ella).” The latter being a nod to her Hispanic (or should that be “Latinx”?) heritage.
Well, OK. As we now may specify the words with which others may refer to us in the third person, here are my pronouns: Instead of “he,” you are to refer to me as bingobango, and if I am to be referenced in the objective case, you must say bingumbangum. (Exempli gratia: “Please pass the salt to bingumbangum.”)
I have chosen these pronouns because what I do sexually is defined as “none of your business.”
If I learn you have failed to follow this new convention, I shall stamp my foot angrily and demand that you apologize or be fired.
As I am (I blush to admit) a writer of poetry, I once thought it would be nice to begin my days by reading some verses provided by organizations that provide a “poem-a-day” via email.
I have stuck with this for a number of years, and I must say it has been a painful experience. Over the course of those years I have learned one no longer may be just a “poet”; one must be a particular kind of poet, a Hispanic (Latinx) poet, a gay Tongan poet, a lesbian poet, an Asian trans poet, a black poet, a bisexual Arab poet et cetera ad absurdum.
I unsubscribed to the poem-a-day suppliers the morning I was presented works by a Native American homosexual poet and a handicapped bondage/sadomasochist poet.
The work of the poem-a-day scribblers is universally terrible, a characteristic that would be harmless in itself, because, thanks be, almost nobody reads poetry. But the horrifying fact is the poets’ biographies nearly always include the words “he teaches” or “she teaches” (or maybe “they teaches”) at some institution of higher learning.
And so, while our young scholars are learning there is no such thing as aberration or perversion, a goodly number of them also are learning there is no such thing as bad writing … if one calls it poetry.
An Associated Press report this week included a notice that the reporter was “a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative.”
Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms “to report on undercovered issues.”
The website of RFA trumpets, “Local journalism, national service.”
A cursory glance would lead you to believe it’s a wonderful idea, and many publications have signed on to it. Publishers love free manpower, and participation only costs a trifling surrender of editorial control.
If you’re concerned about the state of journalism in America, peruse RFA’s website and consider that the organization’s top donor, at $5.5 million, is the Facebook Journalism Project.
Gives me chills.
Attending a naturalization ceremony is wonderful.. It is inspiring to see hundreds of immigrants proudly taking the oath that makes them United States citizens. The ceremony I attended was dignified and uplifting, particularly for friends and family members seeing their loved ones swearing fealty to the USA.
Recently, an acquaintance revealed she had just gone through the ceremony – alone, without the support of even her husband. Nobody was admitted to the ceremony other than the citizenship candidates – nobody, not even spouses. She was greatly disappointed that her husband, who had seen her through the rigorous preparation for the big day, couldn’t watch her raise her hand to take the oath.
Further, there was no inspired speech-making, no hortatory words about taking part in the nation’s civic life. Just the oath and … have a nice day.
The reason for the cursory ceremony was COVID restrictions.
In fact, it was an object lesson in civic life: Give bureaucrats a modicum of control, and they will take it too far. In this case, they took the joy out of one of the most important days in a legal immigrant’s life.
Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].
This article was originally published by the WND News Center.