Kris an’ Murphy: Quis terret ipsos terrores?

Alternate description of "terrorist"Murphy: “Happy New Year, Kris!”

Kris: “…. mmmffrurmwrfff …”

Murphy: “Already?”

Kris: “First day of classes after the [sigh] holiday break, it’s always a trial getting the students to focus. Today, it wasn’t five minutes into the lecture when somebody brings up those meatheads occupying the wildlife refuge in Oregon, and if they were black or Syrian they’d be terrorists, not ‘militia’, and all hell broke loose. I may as well have stayed home.”

Murphy: “Yeah, I’ve heard about that. It’s been all over Facebook.”

Kris: “Maybe that’s where we should be teaching our classes from. We might have a slight chance of getting heard.”

Murphy: “Or not.”

Kris: “Thanks a bunch. I can always count on you for moral support. Not.”

Murphy: “You too, then?”

Kris: “Me too what?

Murphy: “You too don’t want facts. Just followers. Constituents.”

Kris: “After the day I’ve had, even having one person willing to do even so much as listen to me, never mind do as I tell them, would be a blessed relief. Guess that won’t be you today, huh?”

Murphy: “Always happy to listen. I’ll even pour your wine, and not expect an “A” in return. Just don’t expect me to say ‘yes’ to balderdash. Like thinking Facebook can be a vehicle for classroom instruction. Quite the opposite, I reckon.”

Kris: “I wasn’t exactly being serious …”

Murphy: “I know. But I am. In fact, I’ve been concerned about this for awhile now. It’s been the same with every major revolution in electronic communication. Radio. Television. Blogs. Now social media. ‘What a great educational opportunity! Bring people together! Break down barriers! World community! Kumbayah!’ Bah. I’m thinking that all these things have built up barriers, allowing people of like mind to find each other, reinforce their prejudices, and block out dissenting voices. And all in the service of making the select few who figured out the tools and how to market them insanely rich. None of whom did so by promoting university courses and rational discourse.”

Kris: “Ugh.”

Murphy: “Yeah. Ugh. Consider this Oregon business. Folk are asking how come the media are treating the Bundy bunch as ‘militia’, not ‘terrorists’ as might be logical given their behavior. I argue, this just shows that the folk running the media are a lot smarter than the rest of us. ‘The media’ have picked their audience, raised their barriers around it, and are playing to it. And take their profits to the bank. The minute they stop serving that audience – like, by calling white farmers ‘terrorists’ instead of the people of color, or people from away, who ‘deserve’ that label (so says their audience), they go broke. They prosper by doing what their followers, their constituents, demand, or else, and the facts be damned. There is no mystery, and no point to complaining about the ‘media bias’. You don’t want a biased media, support those elements of it that present the truth, and ensure that those around you do likewise. Like ‘The Learning Channel’.”

Kris: “The ones that replaced nature programs with ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo?'”

Murphy: “The same. And the so-called History channel, which replaced actual coverage of history with coverage of UFO nonsense and staged scavenger hunts. Etcetera, etcetera. Facts don’t matter, in fact, facts will drive you to ruin. Only constituency matters.”

Kris: “You mean, like the constituency of kids who believe that racking up six-figure debt to get a university degree, that is mostly earned by avoiding, and even actively preventing, any sort of meaningful exposure to hard work and challenging intellectual activity, remains a requirement for entry into the American middle class – what’s left of it? That’s terrifying!

Murphy: “Kris! Are you calling our President Branstbrad a terrorist?

Kris: ” …. eeeek …. ”

Quis terret ipsos terrores [Latin]: Who terrorizes the terrorists? Cf. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes: Who watches the watchers?

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