Wednesday, April 6, 2011


"WOAH!" the pictured, page-one banner read. "TAX THE RICH!"

And below it, the headline and subhead read: "FIGHTING BACK: UMass joins hundreds across country in protests for fairness."

For me, it seemed to be all there -- the inability of college students to spell combined with a rising sentiment of anger and hurt and the use of a word that tried to encapsulate what was out of synch: "fairness."

I didn't read the article.

The word "fairness" brought me up short. It struck me that the word was one used by those who were  outraged and stymied. It was also a word used by those who were privileged ... and who lacked coherent direction. Perhaps the word will lead to some critical mass and subsequent action, but at the moment it is like howling at the moon. It may feel good, but it wonders me ... does it do much good?

Fairness may be what we try to extend to those around us, but the moment we expect fairness from others, I think we drop into the sphere of white-whining. Life and the people in it are not fair any more than they are inherently unfair. Situations are what they are and the only question is, what, if anything, do I plan to do with my perceptions and analysis? The use of the word "fairness" strikes me as being like a driver stuck in a snowdrift insisting that if he just presses on the accelerator hard enough, he will escape his predicament.

Who knows -- maybe white-whining will do the trick and inspire some concrete pressures and benevolent change. And maybe I am being too much of a curmudgeon.

"Fairness" just makes my teeth itch.

PS. And as a footnote to the U.S. economic decline into Third World status, there was this story today about the hiring of civilian investigators so beef up a whittled and trimmed police department.


  1. Dear Glenkoku,

    We heard that a Buddhist Blogger wrote about us. That should have kind of cool. But no. They guy criticizes spelling and doesn"t know about fairness. What kind of Buddhist are you a spell check Buddhist? turn on your dictionary tool, dude!

    You know how hard it is to make a damn banner man?

    I mean we were up for three nights in a row (OK last night was to party for taking three mid terms), then Germy's girl friend comes in with this canvasy type sheet and paint and says we gotta make a banner cuz we're finally getting coverage! Shit man we were on it.

    The way things are going my pop's says that the only jobs left will be for big box stores but we will not get them because they'll say we're "over qualified." He also says that there's upside down socialism because the guys in Walmarts will be making the same as doctors after the docs pay their loans and insurance and stuff.

    So there's a spelling error my bad; big f-n deal. What about heart, yeah what about heart?

    Plus we find it hard to believe that a Buddhist does even know what fairness is. You should read Michael Moore. He's right when he says that 400 rich SOBs are holding all the rest of the country's money.

    Take care man. Shirley says to tell you you have a nice smile in the picture, and Macchee likes your robes.