Student grievances


Students at Oberlin College don’t like the food
. But they can’t just not like the food, because it’s 2015; the food can’t just be not very good; it must be wrong and wicked; violent and oppressive; at the very least, a micro-aggression. Kids today, right? When I was a student, the food was a macro-aggression, and we ate it anyway, because there wasn’t anything else, unless you had money.* Then after dinner we went out and protested — not for ice cream, but for Natan Sharansky. But I digress.

The students at Oberlin find their food culturally appropriative, inauthentic, and racist. They want, no kidding, fried chicken every Sunday. I think the demand for fried chicken is evidence that not everyone at Oberlin is a complete idiot.

“What should we ask for?”

“Come on, guys, this it nuts. The rice for the sushi is undercooked? Really?”

“Yes, Carl, we know, but it’s what all the popular kids are doing. Think of it as an opportunity. What should we ask for? How about a big chicken dinner every Sunday?”

“Sure, whatever; to the barricades! No passaran! For the chicken! Anyway, I’ve got finals to study for.”

“So, all in favor of demanding chicken on Sundays?”

At least maybe someone gets a chicken dinner out of it.

*Really, the food in the dining hall was fine, though a little bland and monotonous. After I moved out of the residnece hall into an apartment the food got a good deal worse.

Not a good idea

In fact, the part I bolded seems like an astonishingly bad idea:

“Sullivan spoke with multiple consumers who’d seen their Starbucks card balances emptied and then topped up again.

Those customers had all chosen to tie their debit accounts to their Starbucks cards and mobile phones.”

It seems like if someone is going to link his Starbucks card, checking account, and mobile phone, he might as well just put them all in a bag and hang it on a hook just outside his back door.

Government regulation

A lot of guys I know have chainsaws. Every time I sit down in the coffee shop, it’s Stihl this, bar that, oil the other. They talk about chainsaws all the time, fuss with them a lot, and use them occasionally. None of the women I know ever mention chainsaws, except maybe once when when a lady’s husband had strained his shoulder. When I’ve heard a young man mention chainsaws, it’s been in the context of having to help Grandpa cut brush, or taking Grandpa to the doctor to get his stitches out. If talk is any indication, chainsaws are used almost exclusively by middle-aged (or older) men. Now these chainsaws run on gasoline, and seem to require lots of oil for lubrication. And of course, chainsaws cut down trees. How are chainsaws not licensed and regulated by some federal department?

The TSA would be the best choice to be retrained as regulators. They’re not really doing much in their current jobs, and their skills are not in demand in the private sector. Now they may not actually know much about chainsaws, so there would need to be some hands-on familiarization. I suggest we take them out to some heavily wooded national park, ideally on an island, and give each one a chainsaw, gas and oil, and an operators manual. Not that they would be unsupervised — executives from the Veteran’s Administration could be in charge.

A chainsaw can be a force for positive change and social justice. We just need to implement some common-sense regulation, and put the tools in the right hands.