by Burt Prelutsky

If you want to Comment directly to Burt Prelutsky, please mention my name Rudy.

There are times I read or hear about things that are so bizarre that I think I must be dreaming. The latest item to grab my undivided attention was the news that David Buckel, a lawyer who initially made his name defending homosexuals, lesbians and transgenders, had killed himself in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

What made his suicide so weird is that even though he had recently turned his attention to saving the planet from global warming, his death could have resulted in a jokey newspaper story that began: “Have you heard about the ecology advocate who called attention to global warming by dousing himself in gasoline and burning himself to death?”

That is exactly what he did. Apparently, he felt the best way to call attention to the destruction of the planet was by turning himself into a funeral pyre, certain to cause early morning New Yorkers to lose their breakfast as they jogged by.

Apparently, he wanted his death to be a metaphor for what the rest of us are doing to Mother Earth. Or so he said in his suicide note. In a separate note, he apologized for burning the grass, but he didn’t bother explaining why he didn’t do the deed on the cement bike path or on the asphalt in the parking lot.

On the one hand, it seems very odd that someone who was genuinely concerned with the planet’s ecology would use fossil fuel and unleash all of those carcinogenics into the atmosphere. On the other hand, in a world where so many people are all talk and no action, you have to give Buckel credit for putting his match where his mouth was.

⦿ After one of my recent rants against the con game known as a college education, in which I wondered why parents keep throwing their hard-earned money at these academic grifters, one of my readers wrote to say: “They think they have no choice, that without a college degree their kids won’t have a chance at a good life.”

In response, I wrote: “Is nobody paying attention to me and Mike Rowe, who keeps going on TV and talking about the availability of four million good-paying jobs as welders, carpenters, mechanics and electricians, while these college students are racking up enormous debt and taking courses that rarely lead to careers, let alone employment?”

There’s no question that those who intend to become doctors, lawyers, medical researchers, engineers, CPA’s and architects, require a post-high school education. But there’s no reason that any of them should be compelled to take liberal arts classes. Nobody is going to be a better physician, attorney or architect, because he or she wasted four years taking Lesbian Studies, Flemish Art or 18th Century French Poetry.

There’s nothing to prevent people from taking those classes in Adult Ed, or reading a few books on the subject, but it’s a criminal enterprise to force students to squander time and money as the price of pursuing their actual interest.

And please let us not engage in silly talk about colleges turning out well-rounded individuals. For several years, colleges have been turning out gingerbread cookies who all think whatever their leftist professors have told them to think.

Whether a student is taking up medicine, the law or accounting, the course of study should be as single-minded in purpose as a trade school. Nobody ever told a plumber or an auto mechanic he had to waste four years studying Pop Art or the History of Pig Latin before he could get to work fixing your toilet.

If you want to Comment directly to Burt Prelutsky, please mention my name Rudy. 


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *