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The following just came to my attention. Dr. Ironsides submitted, 7/24/20), something somewhere that went unpublished. Here goes:

What Has Tom Ironsides Been Up To Lately?

Hello,

I hope you’ve been enjoying our new national insanity and dissolution as much as I haven’t. The esteemed Mr. Lovett, after asking many uncomfortable questions about ballistic delivery systems, has again embraced his innate laziness. [Ahem, ha ha] He will, I trust, return soon with more of his peculiar commentaries. For now, I am compelled to explain what I’ve been doing during these strangest of times. Here goes:

Rounding out an unusual academic term, I learned to use Zoom, even managing to flip the camera right-side-up once or twice. (I fear we shall repeat this experiment again this fall). I have not worn a mask, though I did find myself looking at diamond rings for some odd reason. USSOCOM invited me to Tampa as an emergency guest lecturer. Another federal agency pestered me about something else. My Vette is still “on order.” Professionally, I’m podding through that next research paper; to answer Birch, I think we could be looking at both Syracuse and Adrianople moments, almost simultaneously. I’m also muddling through two other papers, of which I offer a preview:

1.

Why Johnny Can’t Tell Time

*With Prof. Michelle Zeit-Uhrwerk, College of Education, Ohio State University

**To appear in the forthcoming volume (if any, thank you Corona) of the Journal of Earlier Childhood Re-Education, Toronto (2020??)

My co-author is admittedly, if quietly, aghast at my simplified answer to our titular question: Because you didn’t fucking teach him how! As Alexander Astin wrote, “students learn what they study.” They tend, within the confines of a school system, to study what is taught. A recent British research paper and the dregs at Slate both reached the conclusion that time, at least as expressed in an analog fashion, is rendered meaningless by modernity. The Smithsonian considers the entirety of timeliness a vestige of “racism” or something. They’re not alone in the delusion. As “rapper” Cha’quella Tha Quain put it, in keeping with the ongoing enstupidation of society, on Twitter: “timeclok [SIC] = whit [SIC] supremry [SIC] time up fo whit [SIC] time!!! #fukdaclok #BLM #transpride.” A hearty thank you (I think) to my daughter, Victoria, for searching the digital wasteland for this profound wisdom. Watch out, Orange Man! You’ve got some competition for the title of the head idiot! 

Some know of my trek through the fallen halls of lower academia, where I personally witnessed the inability of a vast swath of the studentry to connect the position of the hands of a simple clock with the corresponding time of day. The children readily admitted they are not taught this antiquated skill, allegedly as obsolete as multiplication, reading, and impulse control. I think we need not discuss the resulting confusion generated by the combinations of Is, Vs, and Xs adorning the faces of some chronographs. Of course, some students independently learn this mystical art. Others, a select few, still learn by rote instruction courtesy of dedicated teachers. The rest are left with a vague understanding that, as the sun passes overhead, something ticks by, as demonstrated by a set of four numbers, separated by a punctuation mark they cannot name, on a digital display. This is, sadly, not only my experience in contraposition against the anger of the hippity-hopper set. 

Following an offhand remark at a (pre-Coronafication) conference, Prof. Zeit-Uhrwerk contacted me about a small-scale randomized confirmation study. Here, I confess that she currently toils with the final editing process, whilst I merely add anecdotal garnish. An abstract of our abstract:

We sampled 442 K-8 students from 16 public elementary and middle schools across seven states, a population regressively reverse-weighted for age progression and the supposed increase in knowledge retention. The lunatics among you will be most happy to know that we observed no “achievement gap” along the precious lines of race, sex, familial economic standing, or other excuse-laden bullshit categories! We did find a shocking lack of comprehension across the board. For mathematical reduction, we devised a simple measurement scale of One through Twelve (so as to honor those Is, Vs, and Xs), where “1” = no concept of time, and “10” = full understanding, akin to that of an Eighteenth-Century peasant. 

The Mean (of Understanding):

μ = ΣX / N

= Σ(1,069.64) / 442

μ = 2.42

When Mu equals two on a scale to twelve, we may have a small crisis-like problem.

Examining gain (or loss, rather…) of understanding over the individual subject X-value’s years in “school,” we arrived at a messy blob of a graph which resembled a birdshot pattern deposited by a drunk from the floor. I burned out the batteries in my HP 12C and 17B, but I managed to finagle a correlation coefficient that didn’t conjure mental images of Wile E. Coyote going off the cliff. Here, dammit, r = -.987, so there’s that. My head hurts too.

Solutions?

In the age of narcotic overdose-induced riots and virus-masked economic collapses, I suppose once again simply teaching this lost art in first or second grade is out of the question. The innumerate harpies and pederasty-enthusiasts at the education administrative levels would likely mumble something incoherent about “federal programs” or “need more money!” For my humble part, I have very good news: my children can help yours.

My son is a recent EE graduate and my daughter specializes in organizational media. Together, they are forging a simple “App,” what we used to call a program, for the phones and devices your kids can’t live without. Soon, you’ll have the luxury of downloading, for free, and from the spy-site store or your choice, CLARK THE CLOCK! He’s a delightful cartoon character who “raps” about the circular movements of his hands. I’m not one to promote primitive log-thumping rhymes, but I’ve come to accept this may be the best (or only) meaningful hope for communication with the lingering Zs and Post-Zs. Clark’s currently beta testing, so please stand by. You have the time.

2.

Vampires on Campus

A Survey of Predatory Lending on an America University Campus

*Forthcoming: Slovakia Professorial Press, in Conjunction with the Didactic Research Center, Matej Bel University, Banská Bystrica (2020?)

This one is more of a glorified Op-Ed. It is interesting, especially what we’ve recently learned about the nature of the too-real Vampyre (of which few seem to care or care even to notice). At any rate, my targets are the money-sucking scum who prowl about universities, seeking the financial ruin of the young. They, by my hand, if necessary, are not allowed at my small Catholic college. However, I do visit, on a semi-regular basis, the Appalachian State University in Boone (or, I did before the hoax deepened). There, I observe things. In addition to the horrors of student loan usury, the credit card merchants, like lecherous money-changers in the temple of learning, lurk about, ever offering “easy” money (along with t-shirts, coffee cups, hoodies, and apps) to the unsuspecting marks. The Sheriff shot down my original idea, of going all John 2:13 on them, as a possible felony. This quasi-academic screed must suffice. I’m marketing it towards the Euro sector both to interact with old friends and to pass a warning to a nation(s) with a future.

Have a great day, friends. I hope you enjoy whatever it is that still gives you purpose and hope. I have to journey to the lumber house where they offer a composite metal material with the appearance of old slate roofing. I found that hard to believe as well.

-Tom

[dthi/fac.jpg] Dr. Thomas H. Ironsides, II (Ph.D., Harvard) is Professor of Classics at Saint Thomas of Aquino College and President of the American Classical Education (ACE) Center. As a USMC and CIA hired gun (retired), he scoured the Earth in order to secure banking profits and perpetrate/obscure imperial malfeasance. With any luck, by the end of the summer, his little cabin in the hills will have a roof.