Curtis Dahlgren
ANNUAL CLASSICS, part 2; College orientation week 101
FacebookTwitterGoogle+
By Curtis Dahlgren
August 26, 2011

"Send me men to match my mountains." — inscription on State Capitol complex in Sacramento

THOSE KINDS OF MEN SEEM TO BE MISSING IN AMERICA THESE DAYS, and as a "laboratory experiment," the state of California is the end-result of a system of Higher Education that has been out of control ever since S.I. Hayakawa left it. The protesters who used to sit in the gutters of the street now seem to be sitting on the benches of Federal courts of appeal. Even the U.S. Supreme Court could soon be run by people whose primary qualification is knowing the politically-correct definition of "empathy."

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist . . . What I must do is all that concerns me, not what people think."

Years ago, a college professor in Chicago used to tell his students on the first day of class that their goal should be to become really educated — and that they could not consider themselves really educated unless they could answer "yes" to the following questions:

- "Can you look an honest man or a pure woman straight in the eye?"

- "Will a lonely dog follow you down the street?"

- "Do you think washing dishes or hoeing corn is as compatible with high thinking as piano playing or golf?"

- "Could you be happy alone?"

- "Can you look into the sky at night and see beyond the stars?"

[excerpted from "Leaves of Gold," 11th edition (subtitled "An Anthology of Prayers, Memorable Phrases, Inspirational Verse and Prose from the Best Authors of the World, Both Ancient and Modern")]

MAYBE if we had more good "Prose" in our lives, we wouldn't need so much Prozac or so many sleeping pills. Many tears have been shed since we stopped looking "beyond the stars." If tears were "telescopes," September 11, 2001 should have brought God into very sharp focus, but instead, our "popular culture" and the media have moved us totally in the opposite direction.

Higher education considers itself the very avant-garde, or vanguard, of "societal evolution," but radio host Michael Savage says that society has "sunk to a point lower than Rome or the Wiemar Republic in Germany." I agree, and so would the writers in "Leaves of Gold":

    "Educate men without religion and you make them but clever devils." — Duke of Wellington

    "True religion is the foundation of society. When that is once shaken by contempt the whole fabric cannot be stable or lasting." — Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

    "Learning is not wisdom: knowledge is not necessarily vital energy. The student who has to cram through a school or college course, who has made himself merely a receptacle for the teacher's thoughts and ideas, is not educated; he has not gained much. He is a reservoir, not a fountain. One retains, the other gives forth." — J.E. Dinger

An anonymous author in "Leaves of Gold" gets down to the "nitty-gritty":

"Few things could be culturally more deplorable than that today the average college graduate, who fancies himself educated, should never have read the book of Job, should be unfamiliar with Isaiah, and should be hardly able to identify those mighty men of valor, Joshua, Gideon, [etc.] . . . For this is nothing less than a loss of racial memory, a forgetfulness of our cultural heritage that is as serious in the life of nations as is for the individual the loss of personality attendant upon neurotic disease."

Higher Education is simply a modern twist on the so-called Inquisition and "Crusades." The agenda of Academia is a jihad against anyone who refuses to sing PC doxologies such as "there are no differences between the sexes." A sheepskin from Harvard these days is no longer worth the paper it's printed on, given ex-president Larry Summers' capitulation to political correctness, with apologies, plus his firing for contemplating both sides of an issue.

Other examples are too numerous to mention in one column, but much of "higher learning" is now worth no more than a clock that's right twice a day. It's not WORKING! So, the word-for-the-day, boys and girls, is "heresy":

"Etymologically, a heresy is a 'choice' one makes . . Greek hairesis 'choice' [is] a derivative of hairein 'take or choose.' This was applied metaphorically to a 'course of action or thought which one chooses to take,' hence a school of thought,' and, ultimately, to a 'faction' or 'sect.' . . .

"Another derivative of hairein, incidentally, was diairein [meaning] 'divide' . . ." — John Ayto (Dictionary of Word Origins)

In the earlier history of the "university," there had almost always been "two schools of thought" — except under totalitarian governments or monolithic P.C. faculties. Today, although "choice" is a popular catch-word, real freedom of choice, the right to one's own thoughts, is now deemed "divisive" by the powers-that-be.

MY "CONTROVERSIAL" CONCLUSION?

The word "division" does not equate with "evil." Normally it equated with "academic freedom" — now a long-forgotten concept.

P.S. [from www.RenewAmerica.com/columns/Dahlgren/090902 ]


Articles are being written about the summer's "winners and losers" at the movie box office. I think the biggest loser of the summer was Mr. Al Gore, Jr. We had to scrape frost off our windshields in August this summer in the U.P. of Michigan. Except for a couple of days, it was too cold to go swimming all summer. And Nashville, Tennessee set some record lows this summer. But the current Administration in Washington blindly presses on with its politically-correct Green agenda.

PPS: Up here, it's time to repaint the old ice fishing shanty and get her ready for winter. One day historians will talk about the olden days when man-made "global warming" was all the rage and so in vogue.

By the way, who could have predicted an earthquake and a hurricane for the DC area in the same week, eh? If the rumors are correct, President Oboma is blaming the earthquake on "Bush's fault" and the hurricane on the ghost of an old teacher he once had in Indonesia.

But seriously though, "folks" — to paraphrase some "ancient" wisdom — "Strong men believe in cause and effect, but weak men believe in LUCK" [a "run of bad luck"].

Recessions aren't hard to predict when gasoline hits $4 a gallon. And if you love seeing our gas money going to foreign countries, thank a teacher (I mean the teachers who showed Al Gore's propaganda movie to their students; one boy in Canada was forced to sit through that thing four times).

IF YOU HOPE TO SEE FIVE-DOLLAR GASOLINE, SUPPORT AN ENVIRONMENTALIST ORGANIZATION.

IF GASOLINE SOMEDAY HITS SIX DOLLARS, THANK PRESIDENT OBOMA.


© Curtis Dahlgren

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Curtis Dahlgren: Click here

More by this author