Top of the Ninth

by John Delach

My dear friend, Judy Jones, brilliantly summed up what our septuagenarian perspective should be for dealing with modern problems. Judy wisely noted, “Face it, this crap is hardly worth our concern. After all, we’re in the top of the ninth.”


I chose not to pursue Ms. Judy about the virtual box score of her remark: What’s the score, how many out, players on base, etc. I choose a tie score, none out, nobody on base and a shot at extra innings. That’s my version.


In many ways getting old sucks but Ms. Judy’s perspective provides a unique take on the foibles and follies that we observe as the freak parade passes by. Two relatively new floats have been added to the latest version of this parade: “microaggression” and “safe space.”


Let’s examine microaggression first. This is what Wikepedia says about this phenomenon:


Microaggression is a term coined by psychiatrist and Harvard University professor Chester M. Pierce in 1970 to describe insults and dismissals he regularly witnessed non-black Americans inflict on African Americans. In 1973,MIT economist Mary Rowe extended the term to include similar aggressions directed at women, and those of different abilities, religions, etc. She also used a different term, that of “micro-inequities,” in order to include injurious behavior that did not seem “aggressive,” but possibly stemming from what we now call unconscious bias, and from negligence and even “innocent ignorance.” Eventually, the term came to encompass the casual degradation of any socially marginalized group, such as the poor and the disabled.


Confused? Alright, let’s see an example. The following letter appeared in “The Ethicist” feature of The New York Times Magazine on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016:


I am a transgender man who is regularly mistaken for a woman

in public places. When my partner and I go out to eat, the waiter

will often refer to us as “ladies.”…I wonder if I have an obligation

to my fellow transgender and gender nonconforming citizens to

prevent future microaggression by educating the people I

encounter on gender neutral language.


The writer is certain the waiter’s solicitations were microaggressions. Using this logic so would be, “Did you lose weight?”, “You look nice today.” and even, “Have a nice day.”


Next up; “safe space,” and the violation thereof. Joseph R. Reisert, a columnist with Central Maine provided an interesting explanation being…Not simply the idea of being free from fear of physical harm, safe spaces promise a further dimension of safety – an environment in which one need never fear being insulted, demeaned or made to feel unwelcome, an environment in which one is perfectly at home.


This concept is not only real and considered legitimate, it is actively promulgated on college campuses. Exhibit A: Emory University.


Jim Wagner, the president of this school is actively investigating who had the utter nerve and intent to deliberately chalk on steps, walls and sidewalks at various locations across the campus the following disturbing message: Trump 2016.


His investigation follows demonstrations by students who claim their “safe space” was violated by these awful messages. President Wagner noted, “…students viewed the messages as intimidation and they voiced ‘genuine concern and pain’ as a result.”


The horror; oh my God, the horror!


This insanity is not unique to Emory. Yale students claimed a similar violation over a controversy surrounding Halloween costumes and Northwestern students condemned the fourth annual Burlesque show being held this month as part of the school sanctioned “sex week.” They objected that the casting decisions were not diverse enough, that they marginalized experiences and destroyed some performer’s safe space.


Thankfully, other events scheduled for sex week like “Reclaiming Pornography One Orgasm at a Time” and “Bad Ass MCs and Big Booty Beauties: A Panel on Women, Sexuality and Hip Hop,” did not raised such concerns and went forward.


Perhaps rising sea levels will eventually put an end to all of this nonsense. In any event, I’m kind of glad not to be back in the 4th or 5th Inning being forced to deal with these head shakers while all the time just trying to make a buck and keep above the rising tide.