The whole “Dr. Jill Biden” kerfuffle is, of course, ridiculous. She earned a doctorate in education and she should be called “Dr. Biden” without anyone’s snarky judgment.
It reminds me of that wonderful scene in “Bull Durham” where the, uh, experienced bride-to-be asks maid of honor Susan Sarandon if she “deserves to wear white” considering her past. Susan sighs deeply and says, “Oh, honey, we all do.”
Similarly, we all deserve to call ourselves “doctor” if we emerge from a decade or so of soul-crushing tedium in academia. I didn’t get past two years of community college. Good on you, Dr. Jill.
I’d venture to say, if life experience counts for anything, the foolish fossil who got everybody all wrought up in that now infamous opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal should have bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate in dumbass. Everyone could greet him: “Dr. Dumbass, I presume?”
Titles are tricky. Which is why I prefer that everyone simply call me “Your Majesty.” I prefer a deep bow to accompany but it’s not mandatory because I’m not a complete jerk, just a partial one.
Even the newsroom bible, the AP Stylebook, is murky on “Dr.” when it comes to academic degrees, saying “if appropriate in context, Dr. may be used…but because the public frequently identifies Dr. only with physicians, care should be taken to ensure the individual’s specialty is stated in first or second reference.” There. That’s clear as mud now. I remember being scolded by an editor for calling a local professor “Dr.” in a story. He said: “Unless he can use a bone saw, he ain’t a doctor.” So woke.
The cynic in me suspects a deliberate stirring of the pot by the WSJ, which, like all print media, lives and dies by content clicks. Like how millions of y’all had to click to read this. OK, maybe dozens. It’s tough for journalism to survive when so many get their “news” from Parler.
Here’s my point: If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the soon to be former president, it’s this: If you want to get people’s attention, keep flame-throwing and committing bombastic mayhem. Which is exactly what the WSJ did by deliberately running the rheumy ramblings of that woman-hating toad.
The chorus of “How dare he’s” was deafening, the trending hashtags and outrage across social media platforms utterly predictable.
But here’s the thing. When an old fool says something so demonstrably stupid as “Jill Biden shouldn’t call herself Dr.” or “Kim Jong Un wrote me beautiful letters and we fell I love” we should all just sigh and move on.
In other words, let’s resolve in the new year to not take the bait so easily. Back in the day, I caught 60 perch one sunny Sunday afternoon using my lucky yellow rooster tail. That bright yellow feather lure with a tiny silver spinner hit the water and, BAM!, they fell for it every time. Let’s resolve to be smarter than farm pond perch, shall we?
Celia Rivenbark thinks the phrase “beef stick” is funny.