I know, it is a silly question. But seriously, some news items over the weekend really make me wonder.
First up, the New York Times—a former newspaper, as Andrew Klavan likes to remind us—has run an “explainer” about the growing universe of potential personal pronouns. The first expansion took us up to something like 60 or so, but now we have moved on to “neopronouns” (seriously), which takes us way beyond “nonbinary” pronouns to a domain that appears infinitely expandable, as this chart suggests:
I can’t make heads or tails of the story, which includes these “neopronoun” choices:
“I chose my bink/bonk pronouns because they remind me of clowns. Clowns and harlequin dolls make me very happy.”
“I chose the ones I use as I feel a connection to them, EG vamp/vamp pronouns — I feel a connection to vampires and that in a way feels connected to my gender.”
Curiously, I can’t find a comment thread for this story on the Times website, and I’ll bet that is not an oversight. I used to joke that I was going to adopt as my pronoun “Grand Master of the Universe” or somesuch, but I’m sure I’m way behind the curve. I may have to start an “anti-noun” movement, which refers to all persons as “human.” What a concept.
Next up, David “Boss” Hogg, the parkland shooting survivor who has appointed himself the Conscience of the World (though I’m not sure he’s adopted that as his neopronoun yet). You may recall that he was so offended by “My Pillow” guy Mike Lindell that he set out to launch a “progressive” pillow company back in January.
The predictable thing has happened, and it’s only April. Here’s his Twitter thread announcing the news:
1: A couple weeks ago, a very spontaneous interaction over Twitter between me and William LeGate led to us trying to start a progressive pillow company.
2: The goal was and still is to create a great pillow that is sustainably produced in domestic unionized factories and have a percentage of those profits benefit progressive social causes.
3: We were met with immediate and overwhelming support. But I soon realized that given my activism, schoolwork, and family commitments, I could not give 100% to being a full time co-founder at Good Pillow
4: After many discussions with William and my friends, family and mentors, I made the good faith decision to allow William to bring our vision to life without me.
5: That vision remains an ethical company that produces products that people need while creating good union paying jobs and supporting social causes at the same time.
6: I am incredibly appreciative of those family and friends who reached out to support me, and am thankful for those who supported me in this vision.
7: Effective immediately, I have resigned and released all shares, any ownership and any control of Good Pillow LLC. I want to thank Will for his partnership and wish him absolutely nothing but success with the future of Good Pillow.
8: The reasons for my departure rest entirely with me and my own personal commitments and I truly wish Will nothing but the best.
9: Over the next several months, I will be taking some time to focus on my studies in college and advance the gun violence prevention movement with March For Our Lives and personally.
10: While now may not be the best time for me, I do deeply believe it is incumbent on our country’s businesses to do no harm and empower the communities in which they serve.
11: Serving as an advocate and activist is just one (major) part of my life. I do hope to one day shape our global community to become more aware, progressive and equitable through social entrepreneurship and other avenues in the future.
To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, one must have a heart of stone to read this without laughing. Progressives can’t even win a pillow fight. But give Hogg this much: he’s well on his way to a brilliant career at the New York Times editorial page, which is where I predict he will end up after Harvard.
Finally, amidst questions about what, exactly, Vice President Harris is doing about the immigration crisis at the southern border, the White House is issuing acres of word salads about how they are focused on the “root causes” of the migrant problem, as though people are still living in 1967 and believed “root cause” nonsense. From NBC News:
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has fielded frequent questions on whether Harris’ role includes addressing the current situation on the southern border, while aides to the vice president have quickly shot down suggestions that Harris is focused on anything other than tackling the root causes of migration in Mexico and the “Northern Triangle” countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. . .
White House aides have expressed some frustration with the situation, saying reporters were too willing to conflate the root causes of migration with the situation at the border, leading to initial confusion when Harris’ role was first announced. Harris’ role, aides point out, was advertised as a diplomatic mission from the start. . .
Some White House officials have also argued that part of the confusion around Harris’ role is rooted in the challenge of explaining to the American public the various reasons why people are seeking asylum — ranging from climate disasters to violence and poverty — especially after President Donald Trump spent his time in office demonizing migrants arriving at the southern border.