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« Old School Thinking | Main | Friday Ephemera »

January 15, 2014

Comments

Jen

Don't pretend I'm making this up.

Snort!

sk60

The state is stealing your labour, even as you do it.

Fixed that for you.

Henry

"Only his thoughts will be heard"

This is common enough. One of the most difficult subjects to discuss rationally is abortion - when it should happen, how decisions should be made.

I don't know the answers to these questions but I do note that the champions of 'equality' are often adamant that men should have no say whatsoever in what happens to their DNA - and seem to have some trouble understanding why this is a contradiction. A recent online debate brought forth some very confident demands for censorship of opposing views:

"frankly, I'm not sure that men should be allowed to be part of the debate about anything that happens before a child could be potentially viable. While it remains as much a part of the woman as her liver or her hair"

(which is somewhat dubious) and

"The only people who should be allowed to comment against abortion are those who have adopted at least three unwanted, abandoned babies"

tempdog

The sooner an intersectional revelutionary movement abolishes the commentariat, the sooner we can fix the transporter, get out of the Tholian web, and take the TARDIS back to 2014.

David

Henry,

“The only people who should be allowed to comment against abortion are those who have adopted at least three unwanted, abandoned babies.”

Yes, it’s interesting how often and emphatically some people want to disregard moral questions they find uncongenial, supposedly on grounds of the speaker’s gender, while declaring their own piety. It’s rather like Laurie’s latest piece, in which she tells us, “The Pope’s beliefs about abortion will become relevant the day the Pope gets pregnant.” But whatever one’s views on abortion, term limits, Catholicism, etc., this isn’t exactly a watertight argument. It sounds like the standard evasion of identity politics, whereby unless one belongs to the Designated Victim Group, as defined by the Designated Victim Group, one’s opinion isn’t deemed “legitimate” or “relevant.” And so, such thinking goes, unless you’re physically able to carry a child to term, you aren’t to be taken seriously on the subject of pregnancy, termination and related moral issues. Presumably, then, fathers-to-be should likewise have no say whatsoever, having no “relevant” opinion, on the destruction of the foetus, the nascent human being, that they helped to create.

Indeed, that’s exactly the view some ladies take.

Anon

A lot of people seem to make the mistake of thinking that:

'Only X has the final moral authority to make this decision.'

is equivalent to:

'Whatever decision X makes is ipso facto morally correct.'

When a moment's thought shows that these are logically completely unconnected, and arguing for the first then claiming you have proved the second is mendacious in the extreme.

Ant

Indeed, that’s exactly the view some ladies take.

Holy crap. That's one messed-up group of women.

Stuck-Record

How the Hell have I got Through forty odd years of life without the word performativity?

Also, the labour theory of value is nonsensical crap.

David

That’s one messed-up group of women.

Well, it’s not every day you see competitive callousness paraded as a virtue.

As aired by Ms Marcotte and her followers, the conceit is that unless you’re a woman (and a passionate supporter of abortion), you don’t get to have any qualms, reservations or moral questions, however cautious and informed they might be. Apparently, such things are presumptuous and inappropriate, an attempt to oppress, even if the fate of your nascent offspring hangs in the balance. Even feelings of loss are framed as illegitimate and/or wicked. And disallowing any comment - any hint of equivocation - from half the population is, if nothing else, a very bold move.

Badinage

Only those who have received a bonus of three times their salary are allowed to discuss bonuses.

Only those whose net tax payment is positive are allowed to discuss taxes.


I can play that game too....

Steve 2 - The Stevening

"At the very least we should be giving free healthcare to all the countries we have invaded"

Doesn't our immigration policy provide for this already?

taking antibiotics terminates more life than an abortion"

Ms. Marcotte instinctively sympathies with the virulent parasite.

"I blame capitalist white supremacist patriarchy"

Not enough to make her stop enjoying the fruits of living under the capitalist white supremacist patriarchal system, using the capitalist white supremacist patriarchy's electricity, indoor plumbing, computers, television, Western medicine, smartphones, etc.

What a silly girl.

MG

"At the very least we should be giving free healthcare to all the countries we have invaded"

Or we could bill half the world for bringing them parliamentary democracy, literacy, railways, the post office, investment, the abolition of slavery, an independent judiciary, women’s rights and God knows how many treatments for previously deadly and incurable diseases. Or can we have modernity back?

Steve 2 - The Stevening

Only people born with a penis are allowed to discuss patriarchy.

Only business owners are allowed to discuss capitalism.

Only animals should be allowed to discuss animal rights.

Only small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri should be allowed to discuss space exploration.

David

Only those whose net tax payment is positive are allowed to discuss taxes.

It’s easy to parody, and important to, but in some quarters it’s a very common conceit. And some outside the Designated Victim Group will rush to internalise it.

Horse

Only I can discuss horse races.

Jon Powers

I live in Canada, so does that mean the Brits have to pay for my healthcare? On account of them invading us? Awesome. Being one of the oppressed has its privileges. Wait - "oppressed privilege". I've just created a paradox...

David

I live in Canada, so does that mean the Brits have to pay for my healthcare? On account of them invading us?

You know, I’d completely forgotten about that. Terribly sorry, old chap. I feel so embarrassed.

Watcher

"At the very least we should be giving free healthcare to all the countries we have invaded"

And all the countries that have invaded us can give us free healthcare. if you include the recent influx of relatively unarmed immigrants, there's a whole lot of countries to help in this. Somalia will be able to afford to help out. for example.

Oh I do love lefty-thinking. It throws up such unexpected delights for we the uneducated.

Jon Powers

You know, I’d completely forgotten about that. Terribly sorry, old chap. I feel so embarrassed.

Except in truth my ancestors were, in fact, among the British Invaders. Do I still qualify? Also, do the Italians now have to pay for British healthcare, because of the invading Romans? This is all very confusing. Help us Laurie Penny, you're our only hope.

David

Help us Laurie Penny, you’re our only hope.

Am bechortled. Muchly.

The original Mr. X

"I have a very British arse. It's small and vaguely embarrassed by its history of conquest."

Jane Austen, eat you heart out.

"Can I come and indoctrinate your kids?"

Not sure whether this is a rare sign of honesty or an attempt at irony scuppered by a complete lack of self-awareness.

The original Mr. X

"It’s rather like Laurie’s latest piece, in which she tells us, “The Pope’s beliefs about abortion will become relevant the day the Pope gets pregnant.”"

Fine, just as long as Laurie agrees to shut up about abortion until she's been aborted.

dicentra

Also, the labour theory of value is nonsensical crap.

And not from Adam Smith, IIRC.

As someone who has lived 1/2 century without contracting an unintentional pregnancy, do I get to opine on abortion?

Thought not.

dicentra

Ms. Marcotte instinctively sympathies with the virulent parasite.

Ms. Marcotte et al. identify a gestating human as a virulent parasite.

I guess being a womans's own offspring doesn't qualify an organism for special treatment. Wouldn't want to privilege one's own species over another.

Sanity Inspector

A modest admin suggestion: Next time, instead of images, use Twitter's embed tool, located under the More link, to insert the actual tweets into your blog post. That way your readers can inflict their privileged, patriarchal hetero-supremacist opinions about the linguistic construction of these nascent normative values.

David

Sanity Inspector, noted.

AC1

Only Hitler can judge National Socialism.

/Godwin.

Charlie Suet

Where does this leave post-menopausal women? Or women who can't have children? It might sound a bit callous to ask the question, but the inference I would make from all the shrieking is that one shouldn't proselytise too fiercely about things that don't affect one directly.

I don't personally believe that the father can possibly have an equal say in the matter, since he cannot justifiably force the mother to carry the baby to term. But all this stuff about choice neglects the fact that the real question is when a fertilised embryo becomes a baby. The suggestion that, say, a male biologist is less worthy of an opinion than Laurie Penny, with her degree in novels, is just ludicrous

Jon Powers

But look how many Retweets and favorites Laurie Penny gets with each tweet. The first one about her own arse was retweeted 98 times. My God, she could raise an army.

Rich Rostrom

Steve 2 - The Stevening | January 15, 2014 at 13:34: Only small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri should be allowed to discuss space exploration. As a Sigma Draconid reptiloid, I denounce this assertion of microsomal-pilodermocratic hegemony. Steve 2 is obviously an agent of the hateful racist David Icke.

Hal

Even Her Buttocks Feel Guilty (and Other Agonies)

Twitter, defined by example.

Bart

"At the very least we should be giving away free healthcare to all the countries we have invaded in the past"

Germany, you may have noticed, is one of the nations that Automnia thinks owe healthcare to. We invaded Germany in 1945. Automnia is on public record for stating that the UK ought to pay reparations for fighting Nazism.

Brazil was, similarly, attacked in the 1850's by British ships of the Preventive Squadron as part of their ultimately successful campaign to rid the Atlantic of the slave trade. Automnia believes we owe reparations to Brazil for evilly stopping them from importing slaves.

We also bombarded many of the former Barbary States of North Africa for similar reasons. Only the slaves they took were, as often as not, from Europe, including from Britain. So putting a stop to the centuries long rampage of the Barbary Pirates is an historic crime that requires indefinite financial recompense as well (America and France, you have been warned).

And is this reparations project a British-specific thing, or is it going to be applied fairly and equally to all former invaders? Should the modern North African states be paying for our healthcare for all the centuries that their corsairs preyed upon our shipping and coastlines? Should they be funding American and most of Europe's healthcare too?

This is the problem with basing your political views on the basis of how cool it'll make you look in front of your twat hipster buddies; you do end up looking like a prize winning chump in front of real people.

AC1

If Penny doesn't immediately take suppressant drugs is she culpable of murder of a equal but different microbe?

Has no-one told her of her guilt and it's solution?

Mark

I have to say, I am impressed at that map, especially when you consider that we Brits won most of those wars / invasions / punitive expeditions / etc (and *all* of the ones that counted). Does that make Britain the most successful underdog in history :D ?

Hal

The first one about her own arse was retweeted 98 times. My God, she could raise an army.

Ah yes, they're all getting behind her.

David

Jon,

But look how many Retweets and favourites Laurie Penny gets with each tweet. The first one about her own arse was retweeted 98 times. My God, she could raise an army.

An army of our best and brightest thinkers; heroes and warriors all. But Laurie does enjoy a measure of popularity among arrested adolescents and teenage students of a certain kind. According to Michael Ezra at Harry’s Place, Laurie is “the voice for a generation,” thanks to her “coherent and well thought out articles.” Articles like this. It’s a comical and slightly troubling notion, but in a way it makes a kind of sense. After all, despite being close to 30, Laurie still thinks and behaves as a teenage student might. Her outpourings are adamant, self-flattering and wildly hyperbolical. Above all, she’s habitually self-justifying, as teenagers often are. Mere facts and logic don’t impede her opinionating on whatever the subject is, and she doesn’t cope well with being corrected. And so when she says, “Teenagers are just the best people to talk to about gender and politics,” I don’t doubt she means it. It’s her default wavelength. And as noted above, teenagers are unlikely to have the experience to challenge her in ways she really wouldn’t like.

Henry

One wonders which comes first, is Laurie getting followers because the BBC/Guardian/NS give her so much time and space, or is she reflecting young people's complaints more accurately than others? I tend to think the former explanation.

But there is certainly unrest among the young, and it's (as usual) being hijacked by various leftist writers. It's quite possible young people get unhappy precisely when the older generation don't give teenagers enough guidance & things to aspire to. If we try to provide these things, many teenagers naturally rebel and try to find their own (younger heroes)

It's probably more the Left that encourage rebellion & breaking away from traditional ways of life* - leaving not much to aspire to (especially or boys, who are told they will have no leverage as fathers, and had better just be quiet about it). This may ironically give teens more to whinge about.

And to put it kindly, Laurie's uncanny resemblance to those in their mid to late teens may be the source of her fanclub. But as Julie Burchill found, that quality is not something you can easily take with you into your late 30s and 40s...


* they also tell teens that self-indulgent, introverted fretting is a Good Thing - to be engaged in whenever possible

David

Henry,

they also tell teens that self-indulgent, introverted fretting is a Good Thing - to be engaged in whenever possible

Bingo. Laurie flatters her readers and reinforces their conceits, whether they’re teenagers, ideologues or just arrested adolescents. A very large part of her output is geared to affirming all kinds of narcissism, unrealism, entitlement and delinquent behaviour. For instance, her belief that rioting and vandalism by certain parties simply doesn’t count as violence, regardless of who gets hurt or coerced, and that “nicking trainers” has to be understood - by which she means excused - as “a political statement.” If you tell an audience of teenagers and unworldly ideologues that they’re entitled to deference and an endless menu of free stuff, and that they’re entitled to smash, obstruct and “occupy” if those expectations aren’t met, then… well, the kind of people you’re flattering may well imagine you’re heroic. Speaking truth to power, as idiots like to say. If I had to distill into ten words Laurie’s most common message to her constituents, I’d go with, “You are owed everything and it is never your fault.” Imagine the kinds of personalities to whom that would appeal.

[ Edited. ]

Anon

the real question is when a fertilised embryo becomes a baby

Well, as a virtue ethicist, I would say that doesn't actually matter at all: what matters is what our stance shows about our attitude to human life.

For instance, even if an embryo isn't a baby but only a potential baby, to equate that potential (even if not yet actual) with a bacterium is basically to say that the human race is no more than a disease on the face of the planet.

Animositas

"taking antibiotics terminates more life than an abortion"

Ms. Marcotte instinctively sympathies with the virulent parasite.
Posted by: Steve 2 - The Stevening | January 15, 2014 at 13:17

She's only playing to her constituency, the virulent parasite voting bloc.

ekb87

I assume the "intersectional revolutionary movement" only protests on street corners.

HD

Perhaps Mongolia is out of reach, but doesn't this seems like a good time for an invasion of Sweden?

dicentra

the real question is when a fertilised embryo becomes a baby

Remember that terms such as "embryo," "fetus," and "baby" describe the stage of development only. They're in the same category as "toddler," "teenager," and "adult." They're positioned along a spectrum from the inception of life until its end (wherein "cold cuts" becomes appropriate).

The result of conception is individual human life. Each of those three terms is objectively falsifiable: individual vs. part of another organism; human vs. another species; life vs. non-living.

Terms such as "person" and "personhood" are exquisitely subjective, and none of the criteria applied to personhood (self-awareness, ability to do things) negates the fact that we're dealing with an individual human life. Too much of the rhetoric surrounding the issue identifies the inhabitant of a woman's womb as an appendage of her body or as non-human, or not alive, or only potentially alive or human. All of which, as I said, is demonstrably false.

The question then becomes whether it is ethical to terminate an individual human life while it's in a particular stage of development, such as extremely early or in extremis. Until we can get people to recognize what's objectively true (and I'll be over here holding my breath), the debate will continue to be hysterical (you see what I did there), irrational, and downright nasty.

tolkein

I can't believe we haven't invaded all or at least part of Sweden. Are you sure that isn't a mistake? The East Anglian royal house is thought to have Swedish links, and I'm sure at least one company of mercenary Brits fought against Gustavus Adolphus in the Thirty Years War. That must count for something, surely? Not sure about Mongolia, we probably haven't. I'm so sorry. We should apologise. After all, which self respecting country wants to be thought of as too insignificant to come to the attention of the British imperialists? So, to all Mongolian readers - I apologise.

Darleen

Laurie flatters her readers and reinforces their conceits, whether they’re teenagers, ideologues or just arrested adolescents. A very large part of her output is geared to affirming all kinds of narcissism, unrealism, entitlement and delinquent behaviour

Precious Princess syndrome ... Laurie Penny, Amanda Marcotte, Lena Dunham (and the aging Maureen Dowd) ... all single, childless and given to fits of bullying those outside their coterie of sycophants.

You can almost smell the powder on the wigs.

Agha_Memnun

"So, to all Mongolian readers - I apologise"

No need. Having Tatar ancestry myself, my contrition over my ancestors' genocidal and explotive conquests in Eurasia, from Silesia to Silla, from Siberia to Sri Lanka, is unfathomable. But I guess such sentiment on my part makes me a "native informant", a "sellout", an "apologist for Western imperialism", and what-have-you...

Hal

a "sellout", an "apologist for Western imperialism" . . .

No, no, no, no, the issue is Western imperialism. And absolutely and utterly you're not allowed to read David Cannadine.

tolkein

Yeah, but Tatar and Mongols. What have the Mongolian hordes and slaughters of millions got against the depredations of the British imperialists? Compared to the Brits, you're amateurs. Promising, I grant you, but still amateurs. And you're not white. Nor Western. Why, you'd probably get fast tracked into Harvard.

David

Right, that’s this week’s batch of ephemera compiled. It should be auto-posted shortly after midnight. Time for slumber. ‘Night, all.

bgates

taking antibiotics terminates more life than an abortion

Not by weight it doesn't.

Whatmenaresayin

Their endless efforts at torturing the language to meet their own vapid behaviour is fascinating. Meanwhile those majority of miscreants, continue to stick out their hand every week for the taxpayer's dollars. A lousy return for hard-earned money.

Fruitbat44

Why do we waste so much time on the silly twitterings of a not very clever person?

However . . . "I have a very British arse. It's small . . ." I wonder if she is in fact boasting about how cute her bottom is? And is she actually conforming to, and proud of conforming to, the white, patriarchal, capitalist, people-who-aren't-exactly-like-Ms Penny's definition of beauty?

Just a thought.

Nik White

Whatever the rights and wrongs of what's going on in Ukraine right now, I'm not sure that laughing at a man being blinded is very likely to win sympathy over to Revolutionary causes.

David

I’m not sure that laughing at a man being blinded is very likely to win sympathy over to Revolutionary causes.

As with so many “revolutionary” leftist sites, I can’t help noticing the somewhat mixed messages.

jaed

"I have a very British arse. It's small and vaguely embarrassed by its history of conquest."

And yet you missed the distinguished potential of a headline reading "Her All-Conquering Arse". I confess I am a bit disappointed.

MissAnthropy

I'm no economist, but I'm pretty sure the labor theory of value is Marx & Engels, not Adam Smith. In any case, it's nonsense.

John West

Julie Bindel is insane

Forse

I just realised that Penny's second sentence is ambiguous:
Referring to her arse: ... It's small and vaguely embarrassed by its history of conquest...
Does she mean the conquests of her arse? Or, taking upon herself -- in the metaphorical shape of her arse -- the horrors of Britain's colonialism, is she referring to *Britain's* conquests?
When I first read it I thought the former, but now suspect -- given her views on colonialism, imperialism, etc, etc -- that she means the latter.
Whatever, I doubt she meant a double entendre...

Forse

And don't you wish that the tediously prolific Penny and her fellow-traveling femmies would follow the lead of the young lady in the Onion story below? A bit of calm TV watching, girls, how ' bout it? Just a bit? To give us a break?
"Woman Takes Short Half-Hour Break From Being Feminist To Enjoy TV Show"
http://onion.com/LKCsMp

Jen

I like to think of all my fabulous selfies as a mode of interaction w/ the performativity of gender.

Arrested adolescence and leftism were made for each other.

David

Arrested adolescence and leftism were made for each other.

Be careful, you’ll set off the…

HATETROLLKLAXON!HATETROLLKLAXON!HATETROLLKLAXON!HATETROLL…

Oh bugger.

[ Frantically pushes buttons to no avail. ]

KLAXON!HATETROLLKLAXON!HATETROLLKLAXON!HATETROLLKLAXON!HATE…

[ In desperation, tears plug from socket, throws towel over machine. ]

TROLLklaxshhhrrrpp-p-p-ppfft.

Sorry about that. I’ve been loaned Laurie’s Hate Troll Detection System™. As used by Ms Penny and her peers on Twitter. It’s very sensitive.

Hal

Be careful, you’ll set off the…

HATETROLLKLAXON!HATETROLLKLAXON!HATETROLLKLAXON!HATETROLL…

Oh, no, no, no, that's not a problem. All you need is something liquid from wherever Icess gets her coffee, and just pour that liquid all over the unspeakable machine, and with lots of appropriate sparking and sputtering the thing should shut down quickly . . . .

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