Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Father’s letter, in Answer to his Son’s complaining of Hardships in his University

Dear Billy,

I am sorry you should have any misunderstanding with your professors and with your fellow students at the University. For my part, I have a good opinion of your University, and I’m unwilling to entertain a bad one of you. 

You say that your University is but a collection of fools and knaves. You say that your fellow students are buffoonish; you charge that they spit where they walk and that they make incomprehensible gibberish when trying to communicate during class sessions. Oh, son. Reading your letter sent my heart a-bleeding. But you reserve your harshest attack upon the faculty. For you claim that your professors are intent on beguiling the youth, being the wretched ideologues they are, all of whom, as you charge, are either “feminist rakes, post-colonialist dandies, or Marxist beaus.” You claim that they subscribe to the latest fashions, and they have no regard for tradition and custom, which, as you say, is of great importance to all decent people. It is no wonder then that some of the students who go about on campus are imitating their professor’s conduct. Gadzooks, my dear, Billy. How you do go on. 

Nevertheless, I think it would be proper to observe one particular fault which you yourself have always carried, which ought to have some bearing in my consideration of your letter, namely your excessive itch for talking, which discovers itself alike on all occasions. I have always flattered myself, that you do not want sense; and am willing to hope I have not been deceived. The art of rendering yourself agreeable in conversation is worth your serious study.

I am rather frightened at the changes you’ve undergone since you left home two years ago. Be pleased to answer, Billy, the following question with minimum equivocation: are you becoming a Tory? Or a Republican? Or are you merely being incorrigible, as we all know you love to be? You have always been a difficult child. We should not have allowed you to listen to so much Radio growing up. Your mother has been bed-ridden on account of all your troubles. Be pleased to change your reactionary attitudes, my boy, and return to embracing the progressive views espoused by your loving parents. The dog gave a mighty whelping. If you become a right-winger, son, you will disgrace the reputation of your family, and especially your still affectionate father. 

PS. Do you need any more money?

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