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October 18, 2013

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sk60

communism didn’t just go wrong in some minor or insignificant detail, but on a vast scale, and the manner in which it went wrong wasn’t only the manner of what one calls a ‘mistake’

That. That there.

witwoud

Christ, I'd missed the news about Norm. That's terribly sad. The sensible left has lost one of its best voices.

AC1

"good idea gone wrong". Terrible idea with good PR.

AC1

"British public enjoying a weekly drama in Mandarin " Monkey (Saiyūki )seemed to do OK.

David

Monkey (Saiyūki) seemed to do OK.

I remember being bewildered by Monkey as a child. Though from the little I can recall, even that couldn’t quite match the teetering camp and borderline surrealism of Downton Abbey, which manages to wring high drama from smudges, improper spoons and Mrs Patmore’s collapsing pastry. In fact, for me, that’s the genius of the series. The micro-dramas – about misplaced buttons and undercooked salmon – are much more interesting than the deaths, bankruptcies, wars and whatnot. That, and the emphasis on stoicism, which now seems so unfashionable, practically alien.

JuliaM

"That, and the emphasis on stoicism, which now seems so unfashionable, practically alien."

Amen. Sadly...

Watcher

It isn't just that communism went wrong, and went wrong over and over again in different times and places, the tragedy is the way the left today pretends it merely wasn't done properly in all those human disasters. All sorts of loons, pretenders and the unwashed support the idea that if communism was done properly heer and now then it would be a glorious thing.

They are so sure of this it makes them want to cry.

Runcie Balspune

Norm had a great blog, I didn't know about him either, my commiserations to WOTN.

Regarding Dr Mann, I remember listening to an interview he had with a well-known "skeptics" podcast and he came over very much like the previous interviewee Don McLeroy (a scientist who believes in and actively promotes creationism), unfortunately a lot of "skeptics" produce good analysis of pseudo-science but seem to have a soft spot for alarmist warmers, I guess that's due to their political beliefs which probably err on the side of the communist.

Leading on to Norm's lament, and the blind spot given to Che idolisers who forget that shooting poeple for having different political ideas to you is not very liberal, bit of a no-brainer there.

David

They are so sure of this it makes them want to cry.

I can see how it might make other people a bit weepy too. Or furious, perhaps. Say, people who’ve experienced The Glorious Theory™ first hand. And yet plenty of educators are keen to maintain the pretence. See, for instance, this. And if you’ve got an hour spare, this is worth watching.

dicentra

The currently trending Twitter hashtag #DarkBuzzFeed fills me with twisted delight.

David

This just in from the Huffington Post:

White Women With Black Hairstyles Redefine Corporate America.

Yes, the “corporate space” is being redefined.

Jimmy

White Women With Black Hairstyles Redefine Corporate America

I have no words...

David

I have no words…

It’s remarkable how much agonising HP readers manage to wring from it. And it’s odd how the premise of the thing – that vast numbers of brown-skinned women are being pressured into adopting ‘white’ hairstyles at work – isn’t substantiated or illustrated with even one compelling example. The author of the piece, Priscilla Frank (who “studied Rhetoric at Berkeley”), tells us, “For job interviews I would always straighten my hair, and even when I wore my afro to work I knew it was going to be the elephant in the room.” An elephant in the room? Really? Did anyone object? Did anyone demand she rush out and buy straighteners? Did anyone even look twice? Alas, she doesn’t say, which itself implies something.

And the artist Endia Beal doesn’t seem to have had any difficulty regarding ‘un-white’ hair. In fact, she tells us she went out of her way to draw attention to it and make it an issue. And so far as I can see, none of that attention was remotely hostile. She briefly mentions one woman who was apparently told that her hair “wasn’t appropriate for the boardroom,” but she doesn’t share any details that might reveal how inapt, or not, the comment was. That’s it. But readers are supposed to believe that “all women can relate to that experience in some way.”

I suppose you have to admire the chutzpah, if not the journalism. It’s a bold strategy. Simply take a contentious premise – preferably one that feeds into fixations with race and gender – and then, without referring to any evidence of any kind either way, simply assume it must be true and then grumble about how terrible it all is. Even though you haven’t actually established there’s a problem to grumble about. And the author of the piece isn’t some lowly and inexperienced blogger. She’s the “arts and culture editor,” the one who wants us to know she “studied Rhetoric at Berkeley.”

Jimmy

Performativity, militant afros, and otherness. Watch out, Corporate America!.

Jimmy

Fudged my link to dundundun.net. That'll teach for my posting comments while watching and laughing at Roger Moore playing Bond.

dw

simply assume it must be true and then grumble about how terrible it all is. Even though you haven’t actually established there’s a problem to grumble about.

Sounds like standard editorial policy at 'comment is free'...

David

Fudged my link

Fixed.

Jimmy

Thanks, David.

Sounds like standard editorial policy at 'comment is free'...

Things being either true or false tends to get in the way of exploring notions of things.

From the comments...

Fascinating. Need much time to ponder all the subtleties but one stands out - with these hairstyles even white women look more liberated and appear to have lept ahead 40-50 years (futuristic, competent and alive)

and

While hair styles might be favored or acceptable on certain women, the hair styles themselves are neither black nor white. In another time and place, many of these styles would have been seen on any woman. The juxtaposition of the women in the traditional "white" garb is interesting. Would it look out of place with another outfit?

This is just like the kind of commentary that goes on in our student/teacher and group consultations. No joke.

David

Sounds like standard editorial policy at ‘comment is free’...

It would seem so, yes.

David

with these hairstyles even white women look more liberated and appear to have leapt ahead 40-50 years (futuristic, competent and alive)

Heh. I like how the commenter is quite specific about how many decades into the future the ladies have travelled. Thanks to their hair. Though to my eye, and at risk of sounding unkind, I have to say those styles aren’t working terribly well for those particular ladies. It seems a little fussy. I’d imagined that hair styling was a matter of complementing facial structure, hair texture, colour, etc. Thin and wispy hair doesn’t seem to suit harsh braiding with lots of visible pale scalp. Of course I say this as a foolish and ignorant man, and a white one at that. So pay no attention.

This is just like the kind of commentary that goes on in our student/teacher and group consultations. No joke.

Perhaps you should consider asking for a refund.

zeppo shemp

This recent HuffPo piece is too priceless to ignore:

>burritos are a sad attempt to regain control in a world increasingly influenced by women. [...] to the discerning, black bean-fatigued eye, these cushions of rice, beans and meat actually constitute a matrix of male oppression -- a distillation of the white man's rejection of modernity.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amanda-duberman/the-trouble-with-burritos_b_4126025.html

The author is a recent graduate of Barnard College, so I can only assume that paying $40,000 in annual tuition has trained her discerning eye to detect male privilege in the most mundane of Americanized foods: the white tortilla, you see, wraps around and obscures the black beans!

David

And then there’s this.

At the famously left-leaning Amherst College, a leftwing student notes how the largely leftwing student body tends to “shun any conservative voices.” She announces, “We are, in general, a college of self-righteous liberals,” by which she means self-righteous bien-pensant leftists. (Classical liberalism – actual liberalism – typically being framed, by leftists, as “conservative” and therefore beyond the pale.) The student then bemoans the “narrow framework” of college debate, on grounds that her fellow left-leaning students, the ones who shun non-leftwing ideas, just aren’t leftwing enough. She’s unhappy that her famously left-leaning college is “a place that oils the neoliberal machine of America instead of being subversive to it.” You see, the way to make a debate less narrow is to limit the discussion to left-of-centre statists and outright totalitarians.

Pellegri

>burritos are a sad attempt to regain control in a world increasingly influenced by women. [...] to the discerning, black bean-fatigued eye, these cushions of rice, beans and meat actually constitute a matrix of male oppression -- a distillation of the white man's rejection of modernity.

That's it. The internet has gone full retard.

Jimmy

Some intrepid liberal arts major needs to write about the intersectionality between white male privilege, capitalism, burritos, and dry asparagus.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

I've got your militant afros for you, Jimmy.

dicentra

vast numbers of brown-skinned women are being pressured into adopting ‘white’ hairstyles at work

That was definitely true back in the day, when all black women tried to straighten their hair and "un-African" their hair instead of working the different texture to their advantage.

That first photo, BTW, isn't black: it's flapper, from the 1920s. If black women are making it work for them these days, more power to them: it's a nice look.

White women at the office can't wear any old hairstyle, either. Farrah Fawcett's "mane" didn't show up in courtrooms and executive suites, and neither did Bo Derek's cornrows or Madonna's "Desperately Seeking Susan" rag-ties and baubles.

I've heard a lot of black women complain that when they get into places where blacks are scarce, white people act like the Indians did when blonde English women showed up on the subcontinent: they were so astounded by the hair that they just had to touch it.

It's not meant as an insult, but I can see how it would be annoying as hell.

Joan

You see, the way to make a debate less narrow is to limit the discussion to left-of-centre statists and outright totalitarians.

Some people are beyond help. What's she going to do in the real world?

David

What’s she going to do in the real world?

It’s unlikely that a clever young woman could become that stupid so quickly without the encouragement of educators. She’s doctrinaire, question-begging and incredibly arrogant, as a Marxoid student should be, I suppose. Whether that gets her very far in the outside world is someone else’s problem. Why should her lecturers care?

According to the student, Meghna Sridhar, some of her peers will occasionally draw attention to the undemocratic and authoritarian nature of some leftwing demand or other, and this is very bothersome. What with free speech and criticism being “structural violence.” Also bothersome are notions of civility and that awful bourgeois idea that one shouldn’t vandalise other people’s stuff just because you can. Oh, and Ms Sridhar wants us to believe that Marxism and its variants are virtually verboten on campus - the one place where such things are part of the furniture and can thrive unmolested by reality. Ms Sridhar is a student of “law, jurisprudence and social thought.” She is, in her words, “very political.”

This incident was one of Amherst’s many displays of, er, intellectual diversity. Apparently the way for students and faculty to show confidence in their own assumptions is to refuse to listen to any possible challenge to them. And so when an invited speaker, a member of the Supreme Court, has some views you disagree with, the intellectual thing to do is to decline invitations to debate and refuse even to acknowledge his “presence on campus.” How dare such heretics step foot on your turf? And remember, these are educators we’re talking about, including lecturers in the aforementioned department of law, jurisprudence and social thought. You see, they’re putting their fingers in their ears because that’s what righteous and clever people do.

And according to Ms Sridhar, the way to improve that kind of arrogance and groupthink – the way to make the debate less narrow – is to add more communism. More people like her.

Patrick Brown

To be fair, the burrito piece is taking the piss out of this one in the Guardian, in which a male columnist claims cupcakes oppress women.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/18/trouble-with-cupcakes

David

this one in the Guardian, in which a male columnist claims cupcakes oppress women.

Yes, people just aren’t agonising about cupcakes enough. And when I say cupcakes I obviously mean, “butter-iced snares of self-loathing that sell precisely because they exploit young women’s insecurity about their looks and identity, and offer a completely false and self-defeating solace of temporary gratification, almost certainly followed by remorse and disgust.”

Let’s bump that one to the front. Thanks, Patrick.

Anon

"the white tortilla, you see, wraps around and obscures the black beans!" Thank you, zeppo shemp.

It reminds me how the white bread is obscured by the blackness when it is toasted. Some would say this is a quite another analogy.

Jimmy

To be fair, the burrito piece is taking the piss out of this one in the Guardian...

That's a relief...

I might go celebrate with a nice cupcake.

Joe

I lived in East Germany as a young man, albeit as a foreigner. It pained me daily to see how people lived under a ubiquitous state of coercion.
What is even worse, even more hideous, unfeeling and wrong is the idle way in which modern proponents of communism ignore that misery, which is INHERENT to it and NECESSARY to keeping a Communist system working. It required forced conformity and racial nativism, it HAS TO use force and coercion, in ever-increasing doses to hold itself together.

In that way, it is no different than it's softer, more devious cousin, Social Democracy, which requires an ever expanding state, and ever growing number of rules imposed on the person to keep its' misguided, unnatural programs functioning "as intended".

Patrick Brown

It does amuse me that the Guardian is now so mad that the Huffington Post takes the piss out of it.

Rich Rostrom

One of the worst aspects of fashionable leftism is the free pass given to Fidel Castro for 50 years of flagrant, obvious crimes.

Whitewashing Stalin is bad enough, but at least he's dead. Castro is alive and committing more crimes every day.

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