Poor David Bonderman.
He said the wrong thing. He should be ashamed of himself.
We’ll come back to him in a minute…
Stroll through the park
In the meantime, if you want to enjoy summertime as it should be, take a walk through St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin on a sunny day in June.
Yesterday, young people lounged on the grass…taking off shirts and hiking up skirts to get the sun on their skin. Lovers walked arm in arm around the pond. Children kicked balls…old people sat on benches reading.
And your editor strolled with his son.
Warm, sunny weather is rare in Ireland. But when it happens in midsummer, the result is spectacular. The sun rises at 5:00am and doesn’t go to bed until 10:00pm. The flowers love it.
‘Pretty, isn’t it?’ said the younger one.
‘Yes, hard to beat.’
‘Our family is Irish, isn’t it?’
‘I wonder why they left.’
‘Oh… Ireland was not always such a pleasant place. Even as late as the 1970s, there were areas in the west that were desperately poor. Children went to school without shoes. And some of the schools had outdoor plumbing.
‘Then when the country joined the euro in 2001, it got access to credit at low German rates. That’s when the building boom started. By 2007, property prices had risen to the point that the Irish — on paper — were the richest people in Europe.
‘Our family missed the whole cycle. We went from being one of the poorest families in Ireland to being one of the poorest families in Maryland.’
Political correctness hysteria
Back in the USA…
There is practically a subgenre in public commentary explaining how political correctness has gone too far.
Colleges have tried to ban words such as ‘mailman’ and ‘manpower’. The literary world gets in a hissy fit if a white male writer develops a black female character; someone accuses him of ‘cultural appropriation’.
Even our church readings have been amended to avoid saying the awful words ‘man’ and ‘he’.
In the early stages of this hysteria, ‘he’ was replaced with the awkward ‘he or she’.
Later, the people who worried about such things thought it was a form of oppression to force people into a ‘binary gender system’ where they had to choose between one or the other. So ‘he or she’ was replaced with ‘they’.
‘Gender binary,’ explains Princeton University’s personnel office, ‘is the traditional view on human gender, which does not take into consideration individuals who identify as otherwise, including and not limited to transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and/or intersex.’
There is, of course, no satisfying everybody.
‘He’ offends the ‘shes’ who don’t want to be included with the ‘hes’. ‘He or she’ offends (presumably) those who long for more choices. And ‘they’ offends those who don’t like to see the language butchered to please a bunch of weirdos.
Here at the Diary, even our own dear readers occasionally write to tell us that what we write is ‘offensive’.
Typically, it was only ‘offensive’ to talk smack about members of a victim group — minorities, women, poor people, and so forth.
But recently, one reader thought it was offensive to suggest that President Trump’s generals were not battle-hardened heroes but war-losing Pentagon bureaucrats.
Now, apparently, it’s offensive to criticise armed, rich, white men!
Many probably found it offensive for us to notice that our president is a jackass… or that his opponent in the last election was a Big Nurse shrew.
Others find offence when we describe dumb Democrats, blockhead Republicans, fat people, gay people, retards, hicks, hayseeds, geezers, young people, white people, gypsies, Indians, zombies, cronies, insiders…and so on.
Over the years, we’ve managed to offend just about everyone. And if we haven’t…please let us know so we can correct the oversight.
We take no pleasure in it, but life is too short…and real insight is too elusive…to worry about it.
Besides, we don’t take it seriously. Big, small, morons, geniuses, Polacks, Bible-thumpers, wetbacks and wops. The categories are ‘public knowledge’ — empty and often fraudulent.
Meet a guy…have a pint of Guinness with him…and the categories disappear. He may still be a moron, but we love him. What matters is his specific character, not his category.
Is he honest? Is he kind? Does he have a sense of humour? Is he a decent fellow…or a US senator?
One thing we don’t like is a cowardly billionaire. If you’re lucky enough to score that much money, you should at least have some courage and self-respect to go with it.
But last week, poor Bonderman — a billionaire businessman who sits on the board of rideshare app Uber — went to his knees…and bowed to the pressure of politically correct claptrap.
‘I want to apologize to my fellow board members for a disrespectful comment,’ he said in an email to Uber employees.
So egregious was his breach that he resigned from the board of directors.
What was his crime?
He interrupted fellow board member Arianna Huffington with a joke.
Ms Huffington was arguing in favour of bringing more women onto the board. And Bonderman dared to say: ‘It’s much more likely to be more talking.’
Do we know that adding women to the board would increase the amount of talking?
Do we know that more talking would be a good thing or a bad thing?
Do we know that adding women to the board would be good for Uber, the shareholders, the employees, the customers…women…men…two-headed circus freaks?
No serious person could take Bonderman’s quip seriously. In our limited experience, women do talk more than men. They are more social. But is that good or bad?
We have no opinion. We generally prefer the company of women to men. They’re prettier. And we don’t know why, but they’re slightly less susceptible to the bunkum that passes for public knowledge.
Women are usually more cunning and clever than men, too. They focus a lot of attention on their husbands’ failures; they can’t help but notice their colleagues’ weaknesses, too.
Is that good? Bad?
What seems to work best, at least from our experience, is the combination — men and women together…each compensating for the imbecilities and vanities of the other.
Couples seem to work in private life. Groups of men and women seem to work in business, too.
So what’s the matter with Mr Bonderman?
Is his position on the Uber board so important that he’s willing to debase himself with mindless grovelling?
Does he so crave money…or the approval of the mainstream media…that he is willing to go along with nonsense?
An important measure of a man is his ability to stand up to peer pressure and public hysteria. Bonderman failed.
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