"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.