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Stupid is as Stupid does
Forest Gump and the Virus of Diversity
The recommended accompaniment to this rather long piece is a glass of full bodied shiraz, a scotch on the rocks or a cup of English Breakfast Tea. Something tangible you can hold on to.
There’s little doubt many people are depressed these days. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel like giving up, buying a fishing boat and living a simple life like Forrest Gump. He was unhappy at times, but never depressed.
Sure, folks have always been ‘melancholic’ occasionally and most teens have suffered anxiety due to – well – being a teen. Finding your way in today’s world of equally confused adults is tough. Yet depression and a sense of hopelessness is affecting many in western society as if covid was just the entrée.
It’s caused by a virus more than half a century old called FSDV. Its extended form is Foucault Stupid Diversity Virus and it’s coming your way.
Now those who have the virus seem physically well, yet mentally they lose all contact with reality. They’re often FSDV deniers and refuse to acknowledge their infection. They even forget there’s a greater world outside of their own.
Tragically, its biggest impact is on those who are immune. Those who have it stay blindly well. Those who don’t become confused, stressed, and full of doubt as infected types dominate. It’s in every university and government department. It’s across the political spectrum, in supermarkets and big business. It thrives in the media where there is a heavy viral load. It’s a horrible thing.
In a wonderful ‘Unherd’ piece entitled ‘The Death of Historical Truth’, former English Supreme Court Justice and Historian Jonathan Sumption looks at the threat to historical truth from ideologies based on race and privilege. French Philosopher Michael Foucault and his mates planted the seed for this back in 1969. As one of the founders of Queer Theory, transgender folk love him. I’m told Forrest Gump never read him.
He’s very popular with leftist radicals and university boffins although too confusing for most. His theories were used during Covid to illustrate how power-doubt influenced public apathy around the virus. He’d be thrilled to know FSDV is affecting so many. He’s very unpopular with scientists. Usually.
Sumption uses the recent statement from The Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division at Oxford University to illustrate the end of historical truth. It says …
“As we work towards greater inclusion, we need to have a broader understanding of what constitutes ‘scientific knowledge … challenging western-centric ideas of ‘objectivity’, ‘expertise’ and ‘merit’, and removing structural hierarchies that privilege certain knowledge and certain peoples over others”.
Now as someone who spent several years working in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of NSW, this made me very uncomfortable. Was my teaching wrong? Is a brain not made up of neurons?
The Oxford mob clearly had the virus. Sitting around their smart-person’s table, they would have had discussions like …
“Did Edward Jenner really invent the vaccine for smallpox in 1796? What do you think Cecil?”
Influenced by diversity, gender and power ideologies, they would debate that since it was milkmaids who were immune to smallpox due to their exposure to cowpox, they should be given greatest credit for the discovery. The milkmaid who gave up the fluid from the weeping pustules on her cow-poxy hands was Sarah Nelms. She needs first-author status. There was clearly a privileged structural power hierarchy here.
Infected animal activists at the table would raise the idea of cows being awarded a Medal of Science for their important role. This would of course be a species award, not an individual one.
Anesthesia is another topic that would have been questioned. Before the discovery of ether by Dr William Morton in 1846, drugs like cocaine and opium were used to suppress pain. Drug lords of the time have had no recognition whatsoever for their contribution! They should be celebrated along with Sarah Nelms and the entire population of cows. Seriously!
No, not seriously! The above connections are stupid. Very stupid. Michael Foucault would disagree, as there was a definite power differential between Jenner and Nelms.
Foucault was obsessed with power, yet power, and the agency to create change is an essential survival trait in every species. Without power, and the potential for change it provides, we’d all be dead. Thank goodness for power.
Yet the questioning of science, history, common sense, and truth due to FSDV is widespread. This disease, carried by ‘progressive’ types often aligned with the extreme end of the LGBTIQA+ and radical left movements, infects nearly every sector of life via diversity recruitment policies.
Once an infected candidate is somehow employed into a powerful position, the virus replicates as recruitment for merit is eclipsed by friendship and identity alliances. The group you belong to is the measuring stick. It’s not what you’ve done that matters, but who you are.
When Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as Stupid does”, he was saying that while people are not essentially stupid, they should be judged by their actions, not by their identity. He would call today’s recruitment systems ‘stupid’. Most sensible people would.
Once enough employees with the virus are in management positions, they become the ‘dominant coalition’. Rules staff once lived by begin to change. Some don’t notice it at first as strangely, they seem to be getting busier.
Yet once major changes take place, like company insistence on the use of identity pronouns, removal of photos of past leaders or the unusual re-writing of policies, staff know something’s wrong. They feel powerless and confused. Some can’t believe what’s happening and doubt their own sanity. Foucault Stupid Diversity Virus (FSDV), now running unchecked, is favoring the infected at the expense of the immune.
Some employees leave. The exodus of academic staff from universities and teachers from schools are examples. I left Macquarie University when the weekly staff newsletter became obsessed with pronouns and identity politics. Others, dependent on wage and security, stay and cope with their confused powerlessness.
Non-merit-based recruitment means new staff, and especially managers, are of low quality. Very low. People win positions they have little or no experience in. Employed because of who they are and not their actions, they are guided by group-think and dominant coalition views.
Policies are written by those with no skin in the game. Those left behind are bewildered and depressed as the virus becomes chronic. Surely this can’t be right? Surely Drag Queens aren’t reading to kids in council libraries? My new boss is hopeless; how can she be the best for the job? Doubt rules their lives.
Part 2 (feel free for a top-up if needed)
Perhaps the best example of this can be seen by Australia’s position of 70th out of 77 countries when it comes to school classroom discipline and learning climate. Our schools are among the worst in the world and rank below Chile, Panama, and Turkey.
In our schools, kids that misbehave, are abusive or cause danger to others – between 5-10% of the student population, are said to be ‘expressing themselves’. This odd use of language was introduced with what’s called ‘Inclusive, Engaging and Respectful Schools Policies’, a set of documents that would delight Mr Foucault. Every state has them.
Teachers can’t use the words ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ to describe student behavior as this is judgmental. There’s no such thing as a firm boundary making teachers feel powerless. Detention areas have been renamed ‘planning rooms’ where violent students just ‘think’ about improving their behavior. This is at a time when more than 50% of Australia’s school principals have been assaulted by students or parents. WTF!
So, we can judge Vladimir Putin for his actions in Ukraine, but we can’t judge the local kid who bashes his teacher? Perhaps Vlad is just expressing himself. That must be it. Poor diddums.
But wait, there’s more. State governments are spending up to 90% of their education budgets trying to deal with this 10% of disruptive, disengaged students in public schools. Another 200 ‘behavior specialists’ are being trained in NSW as you read this. Hopefully they know something about boundaries. It doesn’t auger well as the person who wrote the NSW School’s Behavior Policy has never spent a minute in front of a classroom. Pity the average kid who just wants to learn. They haven’t got a hope.
All of this because of a virus that we’ve ignorantly let exist and multiply. Those not infected are often so deflated by disbelief they’re incapable of action. If teachers act at all it’s to rally for better wages or less paperwork – both important things. However, these are side issues that miss the point - like taking Panadol to ease the pain while the virus multiplies. Teacher unions are useless as they too have leaders heavily infected with the virus.
At universities, the virus affects both course content and academic measurement. Subject outlines are ruled by power and identity theory. The Macquarie University Visual Media and Communications subject outline states …
We focus on visual communication and normalising practices, contemporary politics, events, embodiment, digital cultures, globalisation and social networking. Within these frameworks, we explore the (re)production, performance and use of identity and subjectivity, and canvass notions of genre, discourse, power and textuality through the application and testing of methods of visual analysis.
Gawd. I taught a similar subject at the University of Technology back in the 1990’s. It was hands-on and very practical. Nothing like this ideological tripe.
To avoid power allocation in assessment, students are marked on a pass or fail basis. This stops students with merit, those who are exceptional and less influenced by populist ideologies from having more cred and power as a job candidate. The dominant coalition simply wants someone who has the virus, not someone who can think for themselves and has paper-proof of it!
Often the assessment bar is set so low that all a student must do is turn up or pay for an assignment via ChatGPT. The Zombie Apocalypse can’t be far away.
Any society, whether it be whales, humans, or wasps, rely on rules to maintain order and ensure the continuation of the species. They may not think they’re acting according to rules as over time these become biologically ingrained. There are rules however, and they are important. Interestingly, those rules depend on strong leadership and power.
If a population can’t firmly know what is expected, what becomes of the rule of law? If there is no truth, how can a young person learn the difference between fact and fallacy, right and wrong? If there’s no such thing as merit, what’s the use of trying?
Part 3 (stay with the refreshment you’re on. This is much shorter)
So we come back to the ongoing battle between those with the virus and those without. Thankfully FSDV hasn’t infected everyone. Those resisting the virus, confused and weak as they might feel, are beginning to stir. They’re starting to see the truth and fight back.
Some uninfected workers in companies are now demanding recruitment based on merit. Sick of bosses with little or no experience, workers are insisting on a place in interview panels and short list selection teams. This means they can read the CVs of candidates to keep management honest.
Others are insisting on the removal of all diversity employment practices where identity, race or color are a criteria. This means a wide and public advertising footprint with color-blind selection panels. Candidates must be employed on their ability, not who they are.
In the UK, BBC Management has isolated the virus and has taken decisive action. It has recently dumped its LGBT policy due to staff claims of bias in recruitment. The BBC have also dumped their Diversity Program due to issues of impartiality. They’ve forbidden staff participating in Pride Marches due to the perception of bias - a no-brainer to most of us. Australia’s ABC should do the same. A paddlepop’s chance in hell with their enormous viral load!
A March 2023 radio survey revealed that ABC Radio was losing listeners by the bucketload. They are now surveying their listeners to ask if there’s enough diversity in programming. Any boofhead knows that it’s the past and non-ABC listeners who should also be surveyed. As taxpayers, we all own the ABC, and it’s the constant bias towards extreme diversity that’s killing it.
Virus-resistant types in government are pushing for quantitative measurement of management. This could be the satisfaction of their target constituents, staff or members based on what they’ve done, not on their beliefs. While this marks a return to the Key Performance Indicator (KPI), it keeps employees grounded and accountable.
Finally, many of the uninfected are demanding a return of majority influence within their supposed democracy. This brave lot are stating that majority concerns must be accepted ahead of minority ones. Where a law or community initiative involves a minority, it cannot impact significantly on the majority. In other words, the majority rules.
An example of this would be not allowing the micro-minority of trans-identified women to use women’s toilets or change areas as natural women are in the vast majority. Again, a no-brainer for most, but a cause for violent protest by extremist trans folk.
The fightback by the rational, uninfected majority is slow but determined. The usual defense method by FSDV sufferers is emotional and accusatory. Name calling, fighting and claims of victim-hood is common. Some lie down in front of trucks. Others take to Twitter with claims of power imbalance. Some apply for funding. Some cry.
So strong is the viral effect on the brain, some powerful diseased politicians may even break the law to discredit the uninfected.
Whatever the defense, we, the uninfected, must stand up to the name calling and tears. If we do nothing, we are simply letting the virus take greater hold. Silence is inaction, and as Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as Stupid does”. To do nothing is stupid.
Forrest Gump would be proud of the first steps.
The Death of Historical Truth is a great read and can be found HERE. Thanks also to Box Office for the Forrest Gump photograph.