Ben was a better man than thou

From Today’s New York Times, the wisdom of sage Joe Queenan:

Thus, I was thrilled when my son decided to attend Franklin & Marshall College, founded in 1787 with £200 ponied up by Franklin, even though the tuition nearly bankrupted me. I would not have footed the bill had he decided to attend, say, Ole Miss or Central Connecticut State or Oral Roberts. I just wouldn’t have.

So, what did your son get for this budget-busting tuition?  The ability to critique Ben Franklin as does his old man?  Joe, for example, hammers Ben Franklin for being an idiot:

Why would the wise man walk, not run, when escaping from fire, a woman or an enemy? I’d run.

Well, Joe, perhaps as this Ole Miss graduate can explain to you, you might walk, rather than run, for several reasons:

  • So you don’t trip or knock into people, particularly those who are trying to deal with the problem
  • So you don’t give aid and comfort to the enemy by running away
  • So you don’t panic everybody around you
  • So you maintain your options and agility — easier to make an abrupt shift in directions when you don’t have so much momentum
  • So you stay oriented — again easier to do if you keep your head up looking around

Yes, Joe.  Amazing what you can learn at a state land grant university, in this case one offering more than 40 accredited doctoral programs, with the active research programs that support them (compare to F&M’s … zero).  And you didn’t want to write a check to Ole Miss because …

[John Boyd, the person whose work inspired my short list, had degrees from  the University of Iowa and Georgia Tech, both state-supported schools that would not have “nearly bankrupted” Queenan.  Guess that he wouldn’t have written a check to them, either.]

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