It occurred to me when I started working as a graduate instructor at Utah State University that maybe I should start to be more careful about the things I say online, lest I become cancel culture's latest victim. Speaking of cancel culture, I think Gina Carano is a garbage human and I'm not the slightest bit sympathetic to her, but I do think it's a shame that the future course of "The Mandalorian" will be so determined by real world politics and repercussions. Cara Dune is a cool character. She doesn't necessarily need to be in Season Three, but whether she is or not would ideally be determined by the natural evolution of the story and not by her actress spreading conspiracy theories on Twitter. So for a while I was more careful about the things I say online, but then I kind of forgot about that and just said whatever I want. And because I'm nobody, it never presented an issue until just recently.
It was weird for a few reasons. First, because this is the first time anyone has noticed or cared about my job, and suddenly they were all fixated on it. Second, because the parasites in the Salt Lake Tribune comments section tend to be of the liberal variety. I'd expect to be accosted by conservative parasites in the Deseret News comments section, but not here. Third - seriously? I can't emphasize enough how stupid Jared Tyler is to think I'll face any consequences from USU for this comment. It isn't even in the top thirty least flattering things I've written on social media about police officers. In fact, I have a 25-page essay that I plan to share with my Creative Nonfiction Writing class when my turns come, in which a substantial portion is devoted to explaining exactly what I think about police officers in general and Officer Nelson of the Logan Police Department (may he choke on a cactus) in particular. Oh no, I might get in trouble. I'm so worried.
Nick Savas is bad at stalking, though. This was the second time in a month or so that someone decided I must live with my parents because... I don't know, I guess the clever insults store they usually shop at ran out of clever insults. I didn't even bother to respond to him at the time, but to whomever it may concern, I moved to the opposite side of the country from my family a couple weeks after my eighteenth birthday, and as of July 11 I will have remained here for a decade. My parents, in the meantime, moved a bit closer, so I can see where someone like Nick Savas would get the misconception that I live in their basement and commute from Indiana to Utah every day, but no, I actually don't.
I get it - conservatives hate universities because they're bastions of liberal groupthink. (But somehow, at the same time, think that a university that's been actively promoting an anti-racism agenda for the last two semesters would punish me for accurately observing that police officers are pathological liars. Derp.) I can sympathize with this view, since I sometimes feel out of place in the English department myself, like an imposter who will be outed as not liberal enough. But their open contempt for education itself, and their wearing of ignorance as a badge of pride, is pretty nauseating. Note that Kevin Heffernan thinks "intellectual" is an insult. How else could they continue to say over and over that COVID-19 is a hoax, climate change is a hoax, evolution is a hoax, vaccines are a hoax, spanking is a normal and harmless way to discipline children, Trump won the last election, and so on? No wonder sociologist Jacob Rugh recently found that educated Latter-day Saints are leaning more Democratic. I'm not a Democrat, but anything that weakens the Republican cult's stranglehold on Utah is fine with me.
Utah, of course, has also put its contempt for teachers as people on full display during this pandemic. Utah thinks teachers are cheap, expendable babysitters. I get it, I wouldn't want to have my own kids at home all the time either, and I've never been more grateful to not have any than during the past year. But even that doesn't explain why parents in Utah have made national headlines for throwing literal temper tantrums about their children having to wear masks to school, or why they laugh and boo at teachers at town meetings who express concern for their own safety. As one who doesn't particularly value the opinions of people with fewer IQ points than fingers, I'm not offended or angered for my own sake about being on the receiving end of this harassment. But I think of my ex-neighbor, whom I still think the world of despite what she did to me, who's an aspiring teacher, and I think of the probability that these maggots will subject her to this crap as well because she has more brain cells in her pinky finger than they do in their collective skulls, and it pisses me right off.
Whatever you do, please don't forward this blog post to anyone at the university. I beg you.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.