In Defense of Normal

One of the dumbest notions brought to you by the politically correct disciples is that "there is no normal." The purpose, I suspect, is to make sure no fragile American is ever marginalized and made to feel the slightest bit uncomfortable.  A world without "normal" is a world without judgment; hence it is safe for everyone.  But if we had a more sane culture, our foundational institutions would not be made to reinvent themselves just to satisfy someone's sense of belonging.  

I remember as a teenager a friend wore a shirt that said "normal is boring."  The shirt's slogan I find less objectionable; it recognizes the existence of norms and defiantly rejects the compulsion to conform.  If you're going to embrace an alternate lifestyle, embrace not being normal.  Conversely, it is a sign of gross insecurity to find it necessary to obliterate "normal" as a legitimate concept in order to have every individual validated.  

As I've had this precept explained to me by its benighted followers, there is no normal because "everyone is different."  This mantra has been especially embraced by the current young generation.  My retort (which is never really processed by these zealous advocates) is that there is a certain continuum of normal in which some variation is allowed.  But there is a continuum nonetheless in which all things encompassed therein are normal, and things outside of that continuum are not. 

For example, one might sit at his desk cross-legged, or with legs crossed at the ankles, or with legs wide apart.  These are all different seating postures, but they all fall within the range of normal.  To sit head first, with feet in the air, however, is not normal.  There is, therefore, such a thing as "normal" and it can be applied to almost any area of life.  

The concept of a normal family has become taboo especially in education, where the young are tragically receptive to the anti-normal ethos.  In our schools, an emphasis on the nuclear two parent household cannot be presented as a model preferable to any other.  Nor may this model be presented as most conducive to the healthy development of children, though this has been empirically proven to be the case.  Letters home to school kids now read, "Dear Parent," whereas they might have formerly read "Dear Parent(s)," and even further back, "Dear Parents."

Then again, as illegitimacy and broken homes become more frequent, we have to allow that non-nuclear families have become "more normal," if only statistically so."  But do they seem more normal because of the statistical fact, or has it become a statistical fact because they have been made to seem more normal by the left?  It's impossible to know whether the de-stigmatization occurred first, or whether this social pathology came about spontaneously.

Advocating for the validity of the concept of normality does not necessarily imply that the advocate himself is a pristine example of normality.  For example, to put forward what should be the uncontroversial notion that the nuclear family is best does not mean that the person advocating that notion is the product of such a family.  Perhaps he is acknowledging the desirability of a nuclear family in light of his own consequent dysfunction from not having had one.  Perhaps he has even sabotaged that prospect for his own children.  In a sense, it can never be hypocritical to utter the truth.  We are allowed to elucidate the ideal even if we have fallen short in our mortal strivings.  

Instead of admitting to the concept of normal, the left prefers the mushy nothingness of equality, leveling brilliant peaks to valleys.  This is certainly how left-dominated secondary education is arranged, what with the absurd theory by Howard Gardner of "different learning styles" and "multiple intelligences."  By obliterating the concept of normal in education, we insist on grouping special education students with mainstream students, as though this could all be remedied by teaching "differently" to meet the needs of all the wonderfully "different" students.  This has sabotaged teachers' ability to teach by giving them too broad a range of ability in students in the same class.  

In other words, the "there is no normal" ethos is also applied to intelligence, and here is where it is perhaps most damaging.  The schools have fully embraced this lie. This philosophy is a futile attempt to deny the existence of unintelligent (a.k.a. stupid) individuals, and it also tends to trivialize the grandeur of genius. 

Paradoxically, this type of leveling creates a dullness far exceeding that of a world which recognizes differences in merit.  Those who transcend normality because of extraordinary ability or insight are rare indeed, and they may redefine what normal is for succeeding generations. I would put Socrates and Jesus in that category.  It hardly applies to a large number of people currently living, and definitely not to the relativists who preach about there being no normal.

Contact Malcolm Unwell

One of the dumbest notions brought to you by the politically correct disciples is that "there is no normal." The purpose, I suspect, is to make sure no fragile American is ever marginalized and made to feel the slightest bit uncomfortable.  A world without "normal" is a world without judgment; hence it is safe for everyone.  But if we had a more sane culture, our foundational institutions would not be made to reinvent themselves just to satisfy someone's sense of belonging.  

I remember as a teenager a friend wore a shirt that said "normal is boring."  The shirt's slogan I find less objectionable; it recognizes the existence of norms and defiantly rejects the compulsion to conform.  If you're going to embrace an alternate lifestyle, embrace not being normal.  Conversely, it is a sign of gross insecurity to find it necessary to obliterate "normal" as a legitimate concept in order to have every individual validated.  

As I've had this precept explained to me by its benighted followers, there is no normal because "everyone is different."  This mantra has been especially embraced by the current young generation.  My retort (which is never really processed by these zealous advocates) is that there is a certain continuum of normal in which some variation is allowed.  But there is a continuum nonetheless in which all things encompassed therein are normal, and things outside of that continuum are not. 

For example, one might sit at his desk cross-legged, or with legs crossed at the ankles, or with legs wide apart.  These are all different seating postures, but they all fall within the range of normal.  To sit head first, with feet in the air, however, is not normal.  There is, therefore, such a thing as "normal" and it can be applied to almost any area of life.  

The concept of a normal family has become taboo especially in education, where the young are tragically receptive to the anti-normal ethos.  In our schools, an emphasis on the nuclear two parent household cannot be presented as a model preferable to any other.  Nor may this model be presented as most conducive to the healthy development of children, though this has been empirically proven to be the case.  Letters home to school kids now read, "Dear Parent," whereas they might have formerly read "Dear Parent(s)," and even further back, "Dear Parents."

Then again, as illegitimacy and broken homes become more frequent, we have to allow that non-nuclear families have become "more normal," if only statistically so."  But do they seem more normal because of the statistical fact, or has it become a statistical fact because they have been made to seem more normal by the left?  It's impossible to know whether the de-stigmatization occurred first, or whether this social pathology came about spontaneously.

Advocating for the validity of the concept of normality does not necessarily imply that the advocate himself is a pristine example of normality.  For example, to put forward what should be the uncontroversial notion that the nuclear family is best does not mean that the person advocating that notion is the product of such a family.  Perhaps he is acknowledging the desirability of a nuclear family in light of his own consequent dysfunction from not having had one.  Perhaps he has even sabotaged that prospect for his own children.  In a sense, it can never be hypocritical to utter the truth.  We are allowed to elucidate the ideal even if we have fallen short in our mortal strivings.  

Instead of admitting to the concept of normal, the left prefers the mushy nothingness of equality, leveling brilliant peaks to valleys.  This is certainly how left-dominated secondary education is arranged, what with the absurd theory by Howard Gardner of "different learning styles" and "multiple intelligences."  By obliterating the concept of normal in education, we insist on grouping special education students with mainstream students, as though this could all be remedied by teaching "differently" to meet the needs of all the wonderfully "different" students.  This has sabotaged teachers' ability to teach by giving them too broad a range of ability in students in the same class.  

In other words, the "there is no normal" ethos is also applied to intelligence, and here is where it is perhaps most damaging.  The schools have fully embraced this lie. This philosophy is a futile attempt to deny the existence of unintelligent (a.k.a. stupid) individuals, and it also tends to trivialize the grandeur of genius. 

Paradoxically, this type of leveling creates a dullness far exceeding that of a world which recognizes differences in merit.  Those who transcend normality because of extraordinary ability or insight are rare indeed, and they may redefine what normal is for succeeding generations. I would put Socrates and Jesus in that category.  It hardly applies to a large number of people currently living, and definitely not to the relativists who preach about there being no normal.

Contact Malcolm Unwell

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