I think they’re crazy
I’ve had this week off school, so I haven’t had to sit through any long lectures. Maybe that’s made me extra sensitive, or maybe I’ve just had the opportunity to read more non-school stuff due to the break.

But I swear people are losing it.

The state of Washington is looking to pass a law that will make it illegal for people to chant or boo at a college game. This seems to peg the needle on the “We need to be PC” scale. Protect people from racial slurs and dangerous behavior, yes. I absolutely think a college game is an inappropriate place to cast dispersions (or fecal matter) without thought. But I think someone getting their feelings hurt because the other team has a better rhyme is just a tad too much.

Then there’s another state, New Mexico, that’s decided to make Pluto a planet again. Since when do we get to ignore scientific definitions? Can I decide I don’t have to obey gravity? Do I “opt-in” on the whole Round Earth idea? How could it possibly make sense to purposely teach the wrong thing to the kids growing up in that area?

And let’s not stop there. No, state legislators can do more. They want to imprison a substitute teacher for not being able to stop a window popup attack on a computer that wasn’t hers in a classroom she was substituting in. Now, according to the article this woman likely won’t have a movie about her inspiring kids to tackle calculus in middle school, or win a state wrestling championship because of her inspiration. She might not even deserve to continue teaching because she’s been reprimanded about spending too much time not focused on the students prior to the event. But she isn’t promoting porn or trying to show it to the kids. Just an example of a posse of worked-up parents that can thrash the school administration into a lather and over-react.

And speaking of over-reacting — a jury has awarded a man 400K even though the nurse named in the lawsuit was found to not have caused any injury.

On the other side of the coin, there was a recent bruhaha in the medical blogosphere where Scalpel made a bad joke and Graham reacted. Now, I don’t know either of these people, but what looked like an innocent, albeit dumb, misstep (which I didn’t get the joke on by the way), turned into a long back and forth about compassion and appropriate behavior. From my point of view, Scalpel flubbed the joke. Graham and others on his blog called Scalpel on it, and told him exactly why it was a bad joke. This is where I was a bit surprised. Scalpel took the stance that it’s his blog, his opinion, and he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. I can understand that — to an extent. Don’t read it if you don’t like it. But what it fails to recognize is the public-ness (I just made that word up) of the posting. While I may not have been offended by the joke, the fact that someone was and made it known why in a cogent and respectful manner seemed dismissed by Scalpel’s rebuffs. That just strikes me as wrong headed. Why not try to learn some compassion and sensitivity. The “Oh you can’t take a joke” mentality tends to allow for inappropriate behavior under the guise of “just funnin”, but it’s not fun for everyone.

Now I really need to get back to the real world.