“It was needless hugging”

Interesting article about teenagers and hugging — with predictable anti-freedom adult reactions:

“Touching and physical contact is very dangerous territory,” said Noreen Hajinlian, the principal of George G. White School, a junior high school in Hillsdale, N.J., who banned hugging two years ago. “It was needless hugging — they are in the hallways before they go to class. It wasn’t a greeting. It was happening all day.”

What a fucking tool. Oh my god people like her make me angry. Brings up old feelings of resistance from high school — but I can’t flout these rules, since I’m not at their schools. And no-one, absolutely no-one in the school system — not parents, PTA, teachers, administrators, school board — wants to hear what I think about it. They’d tell me to butt out of something which isn’t my business. But isn’t an injustice anywhere a threat to justice everywhere? Just like there is a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy regarding police officers and non-authoritarians — i.e. non-authoritarians are not drawn to or made to feel welcome to become police officers — just so there is a similar problem with school administrators. Too much, school systems attract small minds apparently incapable of respecting basic human decency and freedom.

I have been searching for a word which succinctly describes similar attitudes. Not “evil,” right? Not “well-meaning but misguided” because we’re talking about their unimaginative, uncommitted small-mindedness actively causing problems. Self-serving, yes, but it’s not necessarily conscious. Like, the Republicans are evil, and a few of the Democrats, but mostly the Democrats are just ______ (small-minded? uncourageous?). I feel sometimes like I’m awash in a sea of mediocrity, which is more infuriating than the tide of evil we also fight: enemies are enemies and have a locus to target or avoid, but the diffuse nature of mediocre power de-fuses our prime energies. They soak it up, frustrate it, demoralize … I don’t even want to be the principal of a school — what, merely to avoid being an asshat? (As opposed to: I’d definitely love to be senator.)


~ by dejavuoracle on May 30, 2009.

3 Responses to ““It was needless hugging””

  1. Well, the classic word is “spineless”. Perhaps “craven reactionaries”? Or “pusillanimous recreant”?

  2. Yes — “spineless” is a wonderful word. I use it frequently, particularly in reference to the Democrats.

    But I’m talking about people who don’t/can’t even conceive of the right path to take. They’re not just lacking in courage or stiffness of character, though that too: they’re lost in pettiness and willful lack of insight. Think school administrators, who actively seek to control and delete your freedom.

    Although “pusillanimous” is pretty good (I had to look it up). Maybe “pusillanimist”? Small-minded pusillanimists, a.k.a. “fuckers.”

  3. I’m personally a proponent of YellerBellies.

    While admittedly i no longer dwell on how terrible high school was, i find those times i think about it, i am if anything more furious about the terrible waste of time and pit of small mindedness that Blair in specific, and the US educational system in general foist upon the world.

    Furthermore, in certain cases, regardless of this motive, the way the educational system in this country acts can only be described as evil. That in high school they can find teachers who can take a subject as inherently interesting and beautiful and incisive and important as mathematics and make it boring is a crime against all that is good in the world.

    this is not to even start upon how bad of a job they do educating their students. pre-college education in this country is basically day care. if their mission is to actively educate youth in this country they fail at it so enormously as to be comical. and the thought that we can make youth learn better if we make the situation that they are in inhumane and cold is baffling in the extreme.

    Is not the modern world of the internet impersonal enough now days, is it not sad enough that most of our conversation now goes on without either seeing the other person or hearing them, but is sent out entirely in 0’s and 1’s across telecommunications cables?that even in a world where we are growing more distant to people we still crave the human interaction, we hug we greet we treat others with the emotions the only thing thus-far that distinguishes the human experience from yet another thing that is emulateable by a universal turing machine.

    you thought it couldn’t be done, but yes, i can drag any and all topics back to turing machines it is my superpower, not particularly good for fighting crime, but bullshitting on the internet…..

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