Helicopter Liberals: Or why Jonathan Chait is history’s greatest monster
(TRIGGER WARNING: I AM A WHITE MIDDLE-AGED MIDDLE-CLASS MAN WITH OPINIONS ABOUT THINGS. PROCEED WITH CAUTION. SERIOUSLY, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED. )
(TRIGGER WARNING; THE WARNING ABOVE MAY BE TRIGGERING TO THOSE WHO FEEL ANXIETY UPON SEEING ‘TRIGGER WARNING.’ I APOLOGIZE)
(TRIGGER WARNING: SINCE I AM NOT AFFLICTED WITH ANXIETY OR DISTRESS WHEN SEEING ‘TRIGGER WARNING’ MY COMMENT ABOVE MIGHT BE CONSTRUED AS ‘MANSPLAINING’ OR POSSIBLY ‘TRIGGERSPLAINING,’ IF THERE IS SUCH A WORD, AND THERE PROBABLY IS. AGAIN, I APOLOGIZE.)
(TRIGGER WARNING: I USED A NEOLOGISM ABOVE… I GUESS IT IS TOO LATE TO ISSUE A TRIGGER WARNING TO PEOPLE WHO DON’T LIKE ‘CHANGE’ OR ‘FANCY NEW WORDS’ WHICH ARE THE INEVITABLE RESULT OF WHITE PRIVILEGE SARCASM. I AM TOTALLY SORRY ABOUT THAT TOO. AND I MEAN THAT. SINCERELY.)
Okay, now that I got that out of the way…
A few blocks from my home there is a bayfront playground where moms or nannies or au pairs or whatev take the few children who live in our neighborhood to play. It is your standard issue playground with swings and a metal pipe castle with a slide, and some cement dolphins for kids to crawl on because: cutesy bayfront aquatic theme.
The ground under the playground attractions is sand — we have a lot of that around here — covered with thick rubber mats so that a plummeting child doesn’t crash to the Earth and burst into flames… possibly because of a measles vaccination.
That is something you can probably find on the Internet, so it is true.
I usually stay away from the playground while making my way to favorite beach spot where I spend my days pondering man’s existence and meaning in the universe while contemplating what really is important in life. I also work on being very tan, which will probably result in skin cancer one day, but even if being tan is wrong, I don’t want to be white.
I’m deep that way.
Anyway, the playground, I usually avoid it because ‘kids.’ Ugh.
But when I do have to pass it, there is one mother I see there frequently who draws my attention, and not in that ‘hawt MILF-y’ way. She has three kids — ages between two and six, I would guess — who are often playing on the playground wearing bike helmets. If it was just one of them, I would assume some type of medical issue, or maybe that kid is profoundly clumsy so better safe than sorry.
But, no. All three kids wear the helmets, all the time, in sunshine or in … more sunshine because this is San Diego after all.
Making a general assumption, which we all do every minute of our lives, I would guess the mom is a ‘helicopter parent;‘ overly alert to every potential harmful experience, physical or emotional, that little Brooklyn or BellaKatniss might experience, and fully armed and prepared — with handy travel bottle of Purell — to save them from life’s bad experiences.
Which brings us to Jonathan Chait.
Yeah, I was actually going somewhere with this.
Chait, if you haven’t seen the liberal meltdown on the Twitter, became History’s Greatest Monster today, for daring to write a column, basically saying: “You know, maybe we going just a little bit overboard with these political correctness, tone-policing, mansplaining-condemning, micro-aggression accusing, not-cisgender-using Twitter-piranha frenzies.”
Which has inspired a Twitter-piranha frenzy.
Many of the expressions or terms or even actions that Chait takes exception with are rooted in academia and have trickled out into the mainstream with all of the putative importance that academics believe they deserve.
With that in mind, it helpful to keep in mind Sayre’s Law, which is roughly: “The politics in universities are so intense because the stakes are so low.”
People I like, and some I like but often roll my eyes at, are going after Chait, making some good points while at the same time getting a tad carried away. I don’t always agree with Chait — I’m sure that I have criticized him somewhere along the line because I’m random that way — but then I don’t entirely agree with anyone 100 percent of the time, even myself.
It’s called ‘evolving,’ people.
Chait makes a lot of great points along with some bad points, but I have to say that I –more often than I would like to admit — self-censor too much out of the same fear of offending someone who has an agenda that I am not entirely in agreement with… or that I roll my eyes at. I have been down this road before. I have probably deleted more Tweets than I have written out of a fear that someone might not understand my droll and pithy observations on life’s rich pageant.
As a middle-aged, middle-class white privileged male — with a bitchin’ tan — I am fully cognizant that my opinion may be regarded as invalid; not because I am wrong in my beliefs, which I am a lot, but because a helicopter liberal is apt to swoop in and liberalsplain to me that I am an apostate lacking in self-awareness.
And if you think I’m making this up. witness Exhibit A, below when Wonkette Proprietrix Rebecca Schoenkopf (a woman with a full complement of ladyparts) dared to defend Chait on the Twitter and received a swift mansplaining from a guy who hates mansplaining:
Helicopter liberals and Twitter piranhas are go…
Also, too, this from The Rude Pundit.