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December 09, 2012

Comments

Anna

The fact that I happen to be a woman of colour might have something to do with it.

Replace 'woman of colour' with 'attention-seeking jackass' and it makes a lot more sense.

David

Replace ‘woman of colour’ with ‘attention-seeking jackass’ and it makes a lot more sense.

Stop oppressing her with your judgement, you judging person you. Ms Cho “deserves to be respected” for her personal decisions.

rjmadden

I was going to complain about the lack of a Friday Ephemera this week. Then I saw this:

It’s best to have some empty shelves toward the bottom so that you can climb them and feel like Spider-Man while your partner penetrates you standing up.

You are forgiven.

Craig Mc

I think she prefers sex in quiet libraries so that you can't but help hear her talk about herself during the act. She's cute though. I'd advise Berkeley students to carry foam ear plugs at all times.

Min

It’s best to have some empty shelves toward the bottom so that you can climb them and feel like Spider-Man while your partner penetrates you standing up.

Do I have to feel like Spider-Man? Is that a deal-breaker or just recommended?

David

Do I have to feel like Spider-Man? Is that a deal-breaker or just recommended?

Maybe you could go with feeling like a roofer or a rock climber, or anything involving scaffolding. That’s my understanding.

Sam

So is Berkeley now offering degrees in narcissism as an actual subject?

JuliaM

"It’s best to have some empty shelves toward the bottom so that you can climb them and feel like Spider-Man while your partner penetrates you standing up. "

Blimey! I was never much of a SpiderMan fan,I always preferred Dr Strange or the X-Men, but clearly I was missing something!

David

I always preferred Dr Strange or the X-Men

Thing is, I don’t recall there being an issue in which Spider-Man gets penetrated by his partner while fighting crime or climbing a wall. I’m sure I’d remember a thing like that.

So is Berkeley now offering degrees in narcissism as an actual subject?

I don’t think you appreciate the magnitude of her orgasms.

Steve 2

Cum laude?

Steve 2

Craig Mc - Cute? She looks like a pre-op transsexual.

sk60

Haven't students being doing this for decades? (Not the Spider-Man bit but the public shagging.)

David

Haven’t students being doing this for decades? (Not the Spider-Man bit but the public shagging.)

If sitcom gags are reliable, it’s not a new phenomenon and Ms Cho’s article is supposedly based on an attempt to see how “doable” the cliché is. (Because, hey, these things matter.) But it is the first time I’ve seen someone go to such lengths to formulate what the librarian quoted above refers to as “a shitty liberal arts justification” for doing it. And then writing about it in great detail and with such utter self-involvement in their student newspaper. And then feigning amazement when this behaviour gets her noticed, even mocked: “Maybe people just aren’t as open to talking or reading about [sex].” And of course squeezing in some identity politics boilerplate: “The fact that I happen to be a woman of colour might have something to do with it.”

And I suppose the Spider-Man fetish gives it a twist.

Col. Milquetoast

Here is the full reply from the Librarian for those who didn't click David's link but should have :

Librarian says:
Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm
Please don’t fuck in the library. I work here. My staff works here. I told my staff I’d do what I can to make sure theirs is a safe and happy workplace. Now, in addition to pedophiles, thieves, and people with poor bowel function, I’ve got kids using shitty liberal arts justifications to fuck in the library.

I don’t want to rain on your liberating parade or interfere with your bucket list, but you don’t have to deal with the complaints. I know you would like your sex life to be more exciting, but do you know what is also exciting? Getting to work and thinking, “there won’t be people fucking in the library today” Now that is liberating.

Incidentally, thank you for advising people not to ejaculate in the library. After cleaning up garbage, graffiti, shit that is apparently dropped from 10 feet above the toilet, and a variety of bodily fluids, I hesitate to ask cleaning staff to add ejaculate to that list.

David

I hesitate to ask cleaning staff to add ejaculate to that list.

Hey, it’s California, where libraries are for exhibitionist shagging and looking at online porn.

“Clean-up in aisle three.”

You'll find prat between porn and prick, madam

Oh Lord, please spare us from another new generation of kids thinking they are the first people to discover sex, ever.

Stuck-Record

When you hear them, get round there with your mobile and film them. Put it straight on YouTube. Then we'll see just how transgressive they really are.

Karen M

a stern reminder that while having “fucking intense, mind-blowing sex,” her partners “need to acknowledge and understand their positions and privileges relative to mine.”

Acknowledging my 'privilege' gets me so hot.

David

Acknowledging my ‘privilege’ gets me so hot.

Yes, you have to marvel at the prospect of “desecrating” public libraries with “intense, mind-blowing sex” and “perverse ways” while simultaneously fretting about “privilege” and other dogmatic hokum.

Now that’s a fetish.

Ashlyn

If she'd written the damn thing in third person - "some couples enjoy..." or "it's even possible to..." - I doubt anyone would have noticed or cared.

But no one has ever enjoyed having a small child wave her newest toy in their faces and rattle off a list of all the things it does and all the accessories it came with.

mojo

Forget it, hon - nobody has found a new way to fuck in Berzerkeley in at least 30 years. More probably 100.

epobirs

What a naif. There is no place on the entire campus that is at all transgressive for sex any more. After the Dean's desk had to be refinished to deal with the stains the whole matter had pretty much peaked.

David Gillies

"It’s extremely insensitive to berate a person’s intimate experiences"

If you are writing about them on the goddamn Internet, then they are not intimate. It would take a groundbreaking advance in microscopy to see the size of the shit I give about about Ms. Cho's sex life. What a vapid, self-absorbed nitwit. It's a paradox of this sort of thing that the more solipsistic the author, the more the urge to share.

Ag80

Goodness gracious, this girl needs to ask her parents or grandparents about the '70s. I might have done it in the library at some point, but it wasn't a political statement, it was just, you know, doing it. Sex in the '70s wasn't always political, but it could be. We had a solution for that: Lying.

David

It would take a ground-breaking advance in microscopy to see the size of the shit I give about Ms. Cho’s sex life.

Heh. But… but… She’s polyamorous, goddammit, and you should be fascinated!

Though, as I said, if transgression really is Ms Cho’s thing, as she’d like us to believe, surely the university’s Islamic Society would be a more thrilling and edgy venue. Imagine the suspense, the transgression, the thrill of being caught “desecrating” the prayer mats. Or would that be the wrong kind of heteronormative patriarchy to rail against?

David

The condensed philosophy of Ms Nadia Cho:

I can screw in your library and disturb and disrespect anyone I want, BUT I DESERVE TO BE RESPECTED AT ALL TIMES because I’M aware of PRIVILEGE. Only an uptight unenlightened prole would JUDGE my intimate experiences, even those conducted IN YOUR FACE, SUCKER! (And if you disagree, you’re square, repressed and probably a RACIST.)

It’s the sophisticated outlook of an overindulged teenager. She’ll therefore fit in well.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

What a naif. There is no place on the entire campus that is at all transgressive for sex any more.

How about walking into Ms Cho's dorm room and doing it in front of her? That would be transgressive, but somehow I get the impression it wouldn't go over so well.

Jonathan Apps

I really think you're aggrandizing this unnecessarily by giving it any attention at all.

Making ends meet

I bonk, therefore I am.

Mr Anderson

Another walking stereotype.

David

I really think you’re aggrandising this unnecessarily by giving it any attention at all.

There’s always that risk, yes. Seekers of attention will often take gentle mockery as a sign of their own relevance and edginess. (Our laughter must be defensive laughter because… well, they’re so challenging and dangerous, etc.) But I think such people can be interesting, as a phenomenon, just not in the ways they imagine or would like. That so many would-be radicals are self-involved, dogmatic and utterly credulous is a detail worth noting. It may well tell us something. Consider this blog’s unofficial mascot, Laurie Penny, at whom we’ve laughed quite a lot. I’m not sure I’d want to be stuck at a dinner table with her, at least not without blow darts, but what she says is often revealing. Though again, not in ways she intends or would like.

WTP

I really think you’re aggrandising this unnecessarily by giving it any attention at all.

I disagree. If this was a one-off sort of thing, perhaps. But given the general attitudes prevalent in David's "We've been here before" link, and what goes on at various SF street parties as followed by Zombie (follow said link to the source, much of it definitely NSFW or even the library for that matter), this is no longer something that we can continue to ignore.

I say this not as someone opposed to outdoor nudity per se. If people want to be naked in the outdoors at sufficiently remote locations where they're highly unlikely to encounter others, that's fine. If some couple wants to roll around in the surf doing the nasty AT SOME EXTREMELY REMOTE BEACH a la From Here To Eternity, hey live it up. But people making the sign of the two-headed lobster in the library and writing public articles encouraging others to do so, daring others to do so, damn near socially intimidating others to do so, is something we shouldn't keep quiet about and hope it will go away. We're long past that stage with this problem. SF has been for quite some time.

Spiny Norman

... at whom we've laughed quite a lot.

One wonders, will Ms Cho, like Ms Penny, attempt to make a career out of perpetual petulant adolescence?

Jonathan Apps

Fair enough David and WTP. By the way when I read something like that I always find myself comparing with something like this:

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/college/2012/04/you-are-not-alone-in-your-loneliness/

which for me at least mirrors the realities a bit better.

TDK

For those who learned from Andrea Dworkin, penetrative sex with men is to allow oneself to be colonised by the patriarchy. Thus, no matter how transgressive this woman thinks she is, she is a massive traitor to the progressive cause. I think she should be reported.

rxc

I really don't care at all about her sexual practices, as long as (1) she doesn't leave slippery puddles on the floor, (2) she doesn't drip sticky stuff on useful books (e.g.,engineering), (3)she doesn't scare any horses. Public demonstrations that meet this criteria fall clearly in the realm of entertainment, and should be applauded, or boo-ed, or laughed-at, according to the skill of the entertainer.

How is that for respect?

DensityDuck

That'd be the butt, Bob.

Squires

"But I think such people can be interesting, as a phenomenon, just not in the ways they imagine or would like."

You are our Attenborough.

"Or would that be the wrong kind of heteronormative patriarchy to rail against? "

Yes. For reference, see also Michael Totten's article on Noam Chomsky, "The Last Totalitarian". the need to keep one's narcissistic impulses rolling right along with ever more infantile antics, and thus avoiding honest introspection, may be the primary personal motivator, but there is a consistent zeitgeist at play.

David

You are our Attenborough.

Heh. I think I’m going to need a bigger budget. And minions.

But it’s hard to get a realistic impression of self-declared radicals – for example, Occupy - without considering the psychology that’s usually in play. As the movement’s arguments are so often incoherent and self-contradictory, and given the reliance on misleading or unhinged slogans – “kill billionaires” – it’s necessary to consider other, unstated, non-rational motives. How else do we explain this heroic deed? Such people often lie, of course, not least to themselves, and it’s worth remembering that.

ErisGuy

I look forward to her edgy, transgressive columns on her scat + bestiality. Seems a natural for her.

AmbushPredator

No doubt she'd find much in common with Jill Filipovic's 'new family' concept:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/11/family-isnt-dead

". When the traditional family model isn't something that everyone is expected to personally sacrifice to create, we can construct and implement policies that benefit actual families, in all of their incarnations. When they are not a crass economic contract where financial support is traded for housekeeping and child-rearing but instead a unit based on love, respect and mutual support, marriages last longer."

David

Ah, Ms Filipovic, one of the Feministe gals. I suppose she’s ideologically obliged to describe marriage in such anhedonic terms – terms that don’t remotely describe the marriage of anyone I know. It reminds me of when Bidisha described true love as “a deceitful and damaging fantasy” and denounced marriage – all marriage - as “a legalised prostitution trap cum labour exploitation racket.” And then of course there’s fellow Guardianista Lara Pawson, who railed against “the smug tyranny of husbands and wives” and planned to stage a fake divorce simply because she objects politically to the alleged “hegemony of heteronormative coupledom.”

A happy bunch of ladies.

rabbit

She should be careful lest she pick up a sexually transgressive disease.

Q30

"but instead a unit based on love, respect and mutual support, marriages last longer."

I find this statement to be at odds with the rest of Jill's worldview, which (correct me if I'm wrong) essentially scoffs at the possibility of men offering love, respect and support.

pst314

"Ms Cho gleefully explains that she and her companions are 'desecrating' buildings with their 'perverse ways'."

Would she consider it 'daringly transgressive' if some guy were to knock on her door, walk in, drop his pants, and masturbate? Or would she call the police? /rhetorical question

David

Or would she call the police?

Something tells me Ms Cho isn’t interested in being consistent. Just being noticed.

Tim Newman

To be fair, I can understand why she thinks it's important that her partners acknowledge and understand their positions relative to hers.

They could end up in the wrong hole, otherwise.

Rob

I'm pretty sure screwing on top of / next to the Koran is a beheading offence.

Yo Gabba Gabba

Nadia Cho offends me not at all. College is where kids discharge their stupid urges and leave them behind as they enter adulthood and Ms. Cho seems to be right on course. My stupid acts committed at Berkeley make hers look saintly. Despite or because of that knuckleheadery, I'm not sure, today finds me a fairly responsible father, husband, taxpayer, citizen and fan of this blog.

Please save derision for the adults who admire her and give a kid a break.

Dr Cromarty

Skank

David

Yo Gabba Gabba,

College is where kids discharge their stupid urges and leave them behind as they enter adulthood…

Unfortunately, it’s now also where quite a few students get their narcissism affirmed and encouraged, all in the name of progress and identity politics. And I wonder if that “educational” process leaves its victims less realistic, not more so.

Joe

I mean, this isn't the worse thing ever, but did she need to write a pretentious-as-hell article about it?

Yo Gabba Gabba

David- Thanks for your reply, and I subscribe and read City Journal. You might be right that universities are getting worse, in my day they expelled Naked Guy in contrast to affirming Ms. Cho. But that was my concluding point, we should castigate her adult admirers and enablers. I presume you agree with that, even if you don't agree with me that we should give the kid a break? I suppose I don't have enough derision for everyone involved.

David

Yo Gabba Gabba,

…we should castigate her adult admirers and enablers. I presume you agree with that, even if you don’t agree with me that we should give the kid a break?

I tend to think of the adult enablers as pretty much that, enablers. As Heather Mac Donald points out, they’re players in a co-dependent relationship. It’s mutual role-play and psychodrama. But it depends on what you mean by ‘castigate’. To be clear, I’ve no interest in Ms Cho being pelted with fruit and cast into the outer darkness. She’s an absurd figure – credulous and conformist – but hardly worth a flogging.

It is, though, interesting to see who these people are, and possibly instructive.

Dr Cromarty

Please save derision for the adults who admire her and give a kid a break.

She's 20. She gets to vote, marry and join the army. She gets to write pretentious articles picked up by The media, drawing attentionbto herself. She's not a 'kid'. She deserves all the ridicule she gets.

WTP

She deserves all the ridicule she gets.

Perhaps, but at 20 much of that ridicule is a reflection on the rest of us.

Anna

Perhaps, but at 20 much of that ridicule is a reflection on the rest of us.

Really? Why? This needy bint isn't a reflection on me.

Dr Cromarty

Perhaps, but at 20 much of that ridicule is a reflection on the rest of us.

Speak for yourself.

Her narcissism reflects on her and the academy that gives her licence to indulge it.

WTP

Again, she's 20. While she is old enough to vote (another open question) and do many of the other things described above, in the US she's not old enough to be trusted to consume alcohol (legally, anyway). Nor run for congress, now that I think of it. And perhaps there's a reason for that?

Calling her a stupid git is all well and good, but from what I've read of many so-called conservatives both here and on other right-leaning sites (sorry, David, while you're right that such leaning is not by design but, whatever) having had stupid, not to mention left-wing ideas well into one's 20's is rather common amongst even the slightly more mature conservative population. Then of course there are a significant number of the long-time consistently conservative stripe whose dogmatic, unthinking attitudes toward evolution, homosexuality, and religion(s) have resulted in giving young people perfect cover for rejecting what were once sensible mainstream values.

I could go on and on but I'm not the kind of gifted writer to do the idea justice. If you don't see one bit of yourself in the above paragraph, well more power too you. Though perhaps directing at least some of your contempt toward the institution(s) that fed our subject's perspectives would go a longer way than the contempt expressed for the end product.

clazy

At one time, I would have been happy to smirk at Ms Cho's essay, but these days I'm more inclined toward pity and a bit of nostalgia. She's like a moth beating against a window to find the exit, wrecking her wings and wearing herself out.

David

Clazy,

It’s a great way to divert any potential non-conformity into something fatuous and unthreatening. A harmless, rather silly kind of ersatz rebellion.

clazy

When everyone's a rebel....

I wonder about the children of these children. I fear that at some point a generation will arrive who, despising their parents' pretensions, will regard conformity as a virtue, and with the fanatical zeal of youth they will attempt to purge society of the fraud of individuality.

Dr Cromarty

Sorry WTP - it won't wash. Most people do engage in stupid behaviour aged 20. My own early twenties were marked by regular instances of stupid antics. The difference is that most of us wake up the next day or think back with a quarter century of hindsight and think "What was I thinking?". We don't proclaim our idiocy as 'edgy' or 'transgressive' when we recognise it as self-indulgent behaviour , sometimes with unpleasant consequences for ourselves or others.

Calling Ms Cho's behaviour and attitude for what it is does her a favour. Fêting imbeciles degrades both them and us.

WTP

At the risk of flogging a dead horse, I believe you’re ignoring the point. If you’d make the effort to read what I said above, I am not excusing her behavior. Far from it, as in my first post I was defending the worthiness of raising the issue. And as I said, this is no longer something that we can continue to ignore. As I said, calling her a stupid git is all well and good. But ranting about the idiocies of a 20 year old is wasted effort without attacking the real problem, which partly is as you said the academy that gives her licence to indulge it. Like many US student newspapers, The Daily Californian is student run. OTOH, she’s a student at the university. She is a product of their system. It is our generation’s responsibility to hold these institutions to a higher standard. I don’t know anyone who went to Berkley (thank God) but if I did, I’d be giving such “gifted” alumni some slightly less than good natured ribbing. I don’t know any journalism majors (or at least any who admit to such), but if I did I’d inquire as to wtf they learned in school.

The difference is that most of us wake up the next day or think back with a quarter century of hindsight and think "What was I thinking?". Well give Ms. Cho that quarter century of hindsight and perhaps she’ll be the next Christopher Hitchens. Not that I’d bet on it, but who knows. My point is that she is not the problem. The tolerance of these institutions by those of us who should know better is, and we’ve been tolerating them far longer that this ditzy git has been alive.

Dr Cromarty

I'm not ignoring the point, WTP, I just disagree with you.

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