Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Snowflake: “A term for someone that thinks they are unique and special, but really are not. It gained popularity after the movie ‘Fight Club’ from the quote ‘You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else’…a putdown for someone, usually on the political left, who is easily offended or felt they needed a ‘safe space‘ away from the harsh realities of the world” (Urban Dictionary).
So what tends to happen to and among Snowflakes who self-shelter in their safe spaces from opposing viewpoints, realities, or ideas? Consider one more poem from my summer stack of favorites:
The History Teacher
by Billy Collins
Trying to protect his student’s innocence
he told them the Ice Age was really just
the Chilly Age, a period of a million years
when everyone had to wear sweaters.
And the Stone Age became the Gravel Age,
named after the long driveways of the time.
The Spanish Inquisition was nothing more
than an outbreak of questions such as
“How far is it from here to Madrid?”
“What do you call the matador’s hat?”
The War of the Roses took place in a garden,
and the Enola Gay dropped one tiny atom
The children would leave his classroom
for the playground and torment the weak
and the smart,
mussing up their hair and breaking their glasses,
while he gathered his notes and walked home
past flower beds and white picket fences,
wondering if they would believe that soldiers
in the Boer War told long, rambling stories
designed to make the enemy nod off.
From “Stand Up Poetry: The Anthology” edited by Charles H. Webb. (The University Press, California State University, Long Beach) 1994, featured here.