Will Smith made headlines earlier this year at the Academy Awards when he walked on stage and slapped the comedian, Chris Rock, who told a joke about his wife’s hair. Jada Pinkett-Smith, has alopecia, a disease that disproportionately affects women of African descent. Walking onto the Academy Awards stage and slapping a comedian for a joke is indefensible. It is especially bad that it was done by an entertainment industry veteran like Smith. Smith should have had better control over his emotions. With that said, after the incident, Smith has sincerely and publicly apologized to the comedian, condemned his behavior, and been handed a curiously draconian ban, which prevents him from attending the Academy Awards ceremony for a whole decade. However, there are still some people who are insisting that they are going to boycott his movies going forward, including his latest movie, Emancipation. This is simply reflective of how many people wish to aggressively punish rich black celebrities for the slightest mistakes.
Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident. — A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark recently announced that she is stripping some of her grandchildren of their royal titles. These grandchildren are not in direct line to the Danish throne, and they are being demoted to counts and countess. Her reasoning for this is that they need the space to “shape their own existence.” She later apologized for the decision after her grandchildren expressed outrage and claimed that they “can’t understand why their identity is being taken away from them.” This response by the grandchildren speaks volumes—and not in a good way.
As educators and students have returned (or are shortly returning) to schools, I am releasing one of my earliest Substack essays from 2020: Listening to Audiobooks = Fake Reading. I have even more arguments than the ones that I made in this short piece. If I write about the subject again, I will go into more depth about how the fictitious “learning style” theories have helped to fuel a lot of the intellectual laziness behind the elevation of audiobooks.
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. — F. Scott Fitzgerald
Modern sociopolitical discourse is stymied by the prevalence of immature thinking. Far too many people believe that earnest zealotry is a substitute for reasoned argument. There are significant elements of mature thinking that must be considered and practiced for there to be discourse that actually creates light as opposed to merely creating heat.
Mature thinkers can accept facts from inconvenient sources
A fact does not cease to be factual simply because one dislikes the source of the fact. Ad hominem dismissals of facts are for people who do not care about truth and do not have the skills to meaningfully address arguments.