The Middlebury Fracas

It’s the best thing that ever happened to the college!

This is what the mainstream media does not understand, that it’s hard to get attention, nearly impossible. We all labor in backwaters, waiting for the sun to shine upon us, while those holdovers from the old school believe they still matter and can impart truth and steer the culture.


In a world where alternative facts rule, and everybody has their own news source, the most difficult task is to reach critical mass.

Middlebury College has finally reached critical mass.

I don’t really care what went on there, they don’t write, they don’t call, they’re not looking for me because I’m not rich. That’s the dirty little secret of non-profit organizations, they’re always looking for cash, and those with it sit on boards and steer the institutions and the rest of us shout opinions in the dark. I graduated decades ago, it’s a line item on my resume that no one looks at, I’m not on LinkedIn, I’m sick of the endless networking of today’s generation, it’s a bigger sport than football, working the connections, kissing butt to get a new job, and to tell you the truth no one on the west coast even asks me where I went to school, they assume it was a state institution if I attended at all, but now when I utter my alma mater’s name…

Some people will know what I’m talking about.

Make note of that, SOME people. Because despite all the attention the Charles Murray fracas has yielded, most people still do not care.

Fascinating, isn’t it? That they’re churning out news 24/7 that we don’t care about, because we’re so busy in our niches, that’s what the internet has afforded us, the ability to wallow in that which we care about as opposed to being dictated to by those who believe they know and are better than us.

To protest in Middlebury, Vermont is like breaking your act in the Northwest Territories. There aren’t enough people to matter, to get traction.

But with this newfangled internet, getting longer in the tooth every day, word can spread about inanities and…

You can become famous overnight.

Now Middlebury is not a band, it was founded in 1800, it will survive, and let that be a lesson to you, that attention strikes last, long after the fact, when  you’re already established and worth talking about. Middlebury will soldier on just like aged boomers will attend concerts by the remnants of Yes to hear “Roundabout,” the only difference is those who never heard Yes, never went to Exeter and never applied to Middlebury, are now in the loop, well, at least some of them.

Let’s see, prior to this…

Middlebury was famous for that line in “American Graffiti,” where the teacher said he left after a year because it was too competitive.

And in “The First Wives Club,” the protagonist went to Middlebury.

But in the pre-internet era, there was no virality.

And now there’s tons of it.

The liberal elite won’t let a right winger speak. The Republicans are loving this!

And the administration, they’re blaming it on outside agitators, talk about taking a page from Trump himself.

And the new college president is taking names, like the Dean Wormer in “Animal House,” when everybody knows few will pay, then again, unlike in the seventies, they’ve got film, er, tape, er, video.

So did you see that Rachel Maddow beats Tucker Carlson?

Because individuals matter. It’s less about the ethos and perspective than the deliver of the b.s., turns out people liked to watch Megyn Kelly.

And Colbert beats Fallon.

And my point is everything you know is wrong. But I learned that back in the seventies, when records still mattered and the Firesign Theatre was cutting edge.

You see our society has become complacent, there are no big thinkers, no leaders, just a bunch of blowhards from the old school and youngsters seeking followers.

Then again, the youngsters aren’t as bad as their parents, who post on Facebook because it’s permanent, they can list their social CV, whereas youngsters realize your rep precedes you, they love the evanescence of Snapchat. You’re either cool or you’re not, you’re either famous or you’re not.

So now Middlebury College is famous.

For what, doesn’t matter.

Come on, sing two Taylor Swift songs, I dare you. But you know her name and what she looks like and who’s she’s dated.

As for all those other acts shoved down our throat, we’re ignoring them.

Because we’re immune to publicity, just like ads.

But news, real things that happened, we eat them up!

We all want to be in the know. Even though we know so little. In a disconnected world where we all have different reference points it’s key to be able to talk about the topics of the day.

But what the mainstream doesn’t realize is the spin has changed.

We no longer live in a gotcha economy. It’s about resonating with your core audience. Trump says heinous stuff and his acolytes love him! Who even cares if it’s true, it FEELS true!

And the media and those who want to be featured in it haven’t fathomed the change, that facts are less important than feelings. Come on, in a world where everything is digitized, zeros and ones, we yearn for the soft edges of the liberal arts economy.

That’s right, science builds the roads.

But the liberal artists inhabit them, make them interesting.

And that’s what Middlebury College does, teach you how to think. There’s no practical track, no business, no nursing, no nothing other than pure academics. And if I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t go there, because the description is right, it’s an upper class haven of coddled teenagers, but now I’ve got a feather in my cap, I’m on the radar screen, my inbox is filling up with people wanting my opinion on the situation at my alma mater. I was just sitting here, in my underwear, and suddenly the spotlight was upon me!

Because I was in the game, I revealed where I went to college, it permeated the landscape over decades, so when the opportunity came…

Be ready to seize your opportunity. But know in today’s economy you’ve got to pay your dues and wait, otherwise you’ll be a flash in the pan.

And know getting your name recognized is more important than the content. Your fans will love that you got the accolades and the others can now dig deep, into the bread crumbs you’ve left over decades online.

Charles Murray is a wanker who said some heinous things and is held up as a deep thinker by the right wing elite which wants you to believe that the problem is you instead of them. Is he entitled to speak, of course. Then again, his appearance was foisted upon the campus by a tiny minority seeking to override the wishes of the vast majority. Sound like our politics to you? It’d be like featuring Avicii at a Garth Brooks show. Florida Georgia Line opening for Rihanna. The sponsors wanted to stick it in the eye of the liberals, hoping for an altercation like this. And they think they’ve won…

But they don’t realize most people just don’t care, life is too hard, they’re trying to make ends meet or find Fentanyl after their Oxy script ran out. But ain’t that America, where no one delves deep into the real problems.

Who’s going to stop applying to Middlebury now? Certainly not the people who think they’ve got a better chance of getting into one of American’s finest institutions of higher education. As for Harvard, they just dismantled their investment team, after it yielded poor results, and money always triumphs, but no one other than alumni and the rich care about that, because they’d rather talk about gender politics.

You’ve got a gay uncle, you’re trans and want to go to the bathroom. The only people who care are the same ones offended by this Middlebury situation and they don’t realize sunlight is the best disinfectant and they’ll lose in the end.

So, Laurie Patton, Middlebury’s President, should shrug and bite back, just like Trump. Stop being a wimp like a Democrat, realize Middlebury’s winning and say so. They’re a hotbed of politicism. They’ve got a student body that cares so much. This is a teaching moment. Put a positive spin upon it instead of falling on your sword like a good liberal. Come on, Bill O’Reilly is constantly in scrapes and he always emerges victorious, by realizing in today’s society people are out to get you and if you don’t defend yourself, you lose.

Most people don’t even know who Charles Murray is. But now they know what Middlebury College is. Nothing they did otherwise penetrated. Felix Rohatyn saved New York, did anybody care he went to Middlebury?

It’s a whole new world baby, and the media and the institutions are out of touch, they’re playing by old rules. Apologies are out, outrageousness is in. There’s gonna be an accounting after the great consolidation coming in the future, but now is the time to make your bones, to gain traction, or be left behind…

Middlebury College is now the most famous liberal arts school in the nation. Far outstripping Williams and Amherst, its main competitors.

This is the time for a victory lap. When a tiny college becomes world news it’s like…

Ed Sheeran breaking out of nowhere to become the biggest act in the world.

But he didn’t start yesterday. And he was abused for his lion tattoo.

And he or she who is not dodging stones does not matter. If you’re not being attacked, no one cares enough about you. But when they do…


Comments are closed