David Thompson
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July 22, 2015

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ACTOldFart

They argued for days about "seminal" but had no trouble with manning the telephones? Peak stupid draws ever closer.

ojo

Ms Bindel’s attempt to persuade us of the virtues of feminist collectives is, however, derailed by sharing her memories of actually being in one

Snork. Button pushed.

Lancastrian Oik

"...the cult of the individual".

Wow- I am a similar age to Ms. Bindel and there was I thinking that I grew up perfectly boring and straight and normal and it turns out that all this time I've been a member of a cult, for Christ's sake.

Mother, father- you have a lot to answer for. I always knew there was something slightly off-kilter with the whole bungalow/colour telly/candlewick bedspreads/Flymo/Austin Maxi deal.

james

candlewick bedspreads

Where did they go to?

Mrs J also had a candlewick dressing gown, when we married.

David

it turns out that all this time I’ve been a member of a cult

Yes, it’s a lot to take in. What with “the march of uber-capitalism,” Mrs Thatcher’s “war on society,” and the “railroading” of gay people into marriage and coupledom. I’m still not sure who’s doing the railroading. Those evil capitalists, presumably.

OJ

Thanks for the link to Lefties – I watched a bit of it; absolutely fascinating.

David

Thanks for the link to Lefties – I watched a bit of it; absolutely fascinating.

It’s well worth watching in full.

Tim Newman

raising each other’s children and sharing tasks and late-night discussions.

I wonder at what time the following morning the household would commence these tasks? And whether the children were up before the adults.

JuliaM

Today's insanity:

http://trib.al/b81S4z4

SimonF

Isn't wonderful that in our neo-liberal society they can go off and have as much fun in their collectives as they want, secure in the knowledge that we're quite happy for them to get on with it.

What's that, they want us to pay for it as well? Who'd a thunk it.

David

Today’s insanity

Sometimes you realise that prolonged exposure to the Guardian is actually quite wearying. Like you’ve just lost several pints of blood.

Jimmy

Today's insanity

Clearly the answer is to ban Australian aboriginals from eating at the big M as they are obviously incapable of restraining themselves.

John D

pining for the days of “anti-hierarchical collective working” in the twilight of the Seventies.

Things from the Seventies that were actually any good:

(1) Meeting the wife.
(2) Curly Wurly.

...

That's about it.

TBall

To the phones! Oh right. I saw "Reds". Nostalgia for endless unproductive meetings with other committed leftists? Never mind in the end, it didn't work in the beginning either. Quibbling over a single word is what they do most successfully.

David

That’s about it.

Oh, I dunno. In 1979 a school friend’s older brother made me a tape of The Human League, which struck young me as the coolest band ever.

What?

R. Sherman

a weekly telephone support service for lesbians

What sort of lesbian-specific support, pray tell, might be needed on a weekly basis?

Jon Powers

"manning the phones"..?
David, I think a trigger warning is in order here.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Today's Insanity

I'll see your insanity and raise you one - for equality in the collective if male feminists are allowed in.

Steve 2 - Stevement Day

JuliaM - one of those "indigenous children" doesn't have much of a sun tan!

Maybe she spends all her time indoors eating junk food.

Another of the children featured in the exhibition, Luka, is weighed down by the coke cans strapped to her slight body. In the accompanying image, she holds a “number 7” boomerang, the most deadly of all boomerangs.

The Number 7 is deadly because it's dipped in dog doo and broken glass.

For viewers, these contradictory images should be deeply challenging, Schwartz says.

They aren't.

“It looks at the universal simplicity and sweetness and positivity of children,

This woman obviously doesn't have children. They're little bastards. Just yesterday, I caught one of mine shovelling cat litter into his mouth. While I was cleaning out his mouth (and trying not to dry heave), he kicked me square in the nuts.

and lays before us what will become of their lives,” she said. “It is uncomfortable, because we are all agents in that future.”

No we're not. I'm not giving any Maccy D's to Aborigines.

In her treatise accompanying the exhibition, the chair of Indigenous studies at the University of Melbourne, Professor Marcia Langton, says the potential of the children has been lost. For children like Sterling, his “socialisation is bereft of traditions such as hunting and bereft of the vast knowledge of his traditional estate, environments, fauna and flora, his rightful patrimony”, she writes.

This is the most racist thing I've read in a while. So Professor Marcia thinks Aborigines should be running about half-naked, eating kangaroos and flinging poo-encrusted boomerangs at people.

Aunty Kerrie Doyle, an associate professor of Indigenous Health at RMIT University, described Thornton’s exhibition as courageous.

So brave!

In 2013, Doyle became the first Indigenous Australian woman to graduate from Oxford University, with a master’s of science in evidence-based social intervention.

So indigenous!

“People tell them to give their children two pieces of fruit each day, but if an orange costs $5 and you have four children, that’s half your pension packet gone.

She claims oranges cost $5 each in remote Western Australia. I've no idea if this is true or not, and since she's a blue-eyed, white-skinned 'aborigine' I'm not inclined to take her word for it.

But suppose it's true? The only alternative is a Big Mac meal?

Pull the other one, Dame Edna.

Joan

“anti-hierarchical collective working”

Ten people have an hour-long meeting to see who's doing the washing-up. #SocialistEfficiency

Anon

If it's true that the water from the taps is not safe then that is a bona fide problem. but it is one where the solution is to fix the water delivery/storage system; it has nothing to do with junk food.

To make health food you need electricity, you need cooking facilities, you need water supply. It’s just a tragedy that in some communities they don’t even have access to safe drinking water, which would be unacceptable in any suburb of Sydney or Melbourne

Again, this is true, and again, if these remote communities don't have reliable electricity supplies then efforts should be made to provide them with one. Even Rathlin is on the mains now.

But providing electricity and safe drinking water, the actual solutions to these problems, seems to have little to do — indeed to almost be antithetical to — the weid obsession with hunting and traditional lifestyles. Surely the traditional lifestyle of hunting didn't involve much in the way of electricity? Or properly treated water?

In fact it seems like the problem isn't that Bad Modern Life has displaced Good Traditional Ways so much as that they don't have enough of the distinctive features of Modern Life (clean water, electricity) and so need more Modern Life, not less.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

She claims oranges cost $5 each in remote Western Australia. I've no idea if this is true or not, and since she's a blue-eyed, white-skinned 'aborigine' I'm not inclined to take her word for it.

A quick trip to Mr. Google shows that one can get a 380 gm (13.4 ounce) navel orange from Cole's in Perth for a whopping $0.61 AUD, or $0.75 AUD at Woolworth's. I am guessing "evidence-based" means something other than based on actual evidence in the "social intervention" arena, whatever that is.

wtp

So Professor Marcia thinks Aborigines should be running about half-naked, eating kangaroos and flinging poo-encrusted boomerangs at people.

No, I don't think you're understanding. The "progressive" belief is that EVERYONE should be running about half-naked, eating kangaroos and flinging poo-encrusted boomerangs at people...well, everyone in Oz that is. Your kangaroo may vary. So see? Not racist. Not a smidgen.

David

Ms Bindel insists on purity:

Ofay Cat

What this hag is really remembering is how much fun it was to be young in the 70s. I miss it too, but I didn't fall for the collective thing.... ever ... I was taught to go and earn a living, all by myself ... Ask Ayn Rand about collectives.

There is no pride in the work of a collective. It is so diluted by the time it's over with that it was not worth the time in the first place. The individual gets things done in a pragmatic way that leaves the collective in the dust ...

A motorcycle moves faster and more gracefully than a bus.

Sam Duncan

Gosh, it's almost as if hierarchical orginizational structures evolved for a reason.

In these times of neoliberalism

Ah, so it's a joke piece. Got it.

David

Ah, so it’s a joke piece. Got it.

Reading it, you have to continually step over things like “the cult of the individual,” “neoliberalism,” “the march of uber-capitalism” – words and phrases that tell you nothing about the world but quite a bit about the writer.

pst314

"someone objected to the word seminal."

I recall a risibly PC man who made a practice of always using 'ovular' instead of 'seminal'."

pst314

"What sort of lesbian-specific support, pray tell, might be needed on a weekly basis?"

A man looked at me!

Anon

"we wondered how many former commune enthusiasts are still intimately “bonded” with their one-time housemates"

Some pretty intimate bonding here - you wonder how the Guardian haven't shoved this in the memory hole

http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/1999/oct/08/features11.g21

Mark

Wait, I thought your sexuality was down to genes? But if lesbianism is a *duty*, doesn't that mean all those attempts to "cure" people of being homosexuals etc were on to something?

Clearly I need to enrol in another Maintaining Cognitive Dissonance course...

mojo

An Anarcho-Syndicalist Collective?

Paging Dennis the Peasant...

R. Sherman

Today's Insanity, Part 2. Via Instapundit.

pst314

"his 'socialisation is bereft of traditions such as hunting and bereft of the vast knowledge of his traditional estate, environments, fauna and flora, his rightful patrimony' "

I, too, have been denied my rightful patrimony. Nobody ever taught me the folkways of my ancestors, which included periodically invading Rome to rape, loot, pillage and burn. Racism!

Steve 2 - Stevement Day

Farnsworth M Muldoon - A quick trip to Mr. Google shows that one can get a 380 gm (13.4 ounce) navel orange from Cole's in Perth for a whopping $0.61 AUD, or $0.75 AUD at Woolworth's

Yes. I can imagine there's some markup by the time oranges reach truly remote Aborigine communities - for the same reasons an orange might cost you a bit more from the only-shop-cum-post-office on a small Hebridean island - but $5 per orange seems a bit unlikely.

But what to believe? Logic? Or a Rachel Dolezal wannabe 'Aborigine' who's too lazy to even get a fake tan?

Though, by the looks of her, she doesn't eat a lot of fresh fruit or vegetables herself. Maybe her Number 7 boomerang only catches kebabs.

wtp - Quite right. I forgot environmentalism.

NielsR

On this whole orange thing, how do you get into the situation where you're supporting 4 children on a pension packet? If that's a common problem, sod the $5 oranges, frankly, and look at basic maths and birth control.

Richard Powell

Well, I've watched the first episode of Lefties. Fascinating stuff. Some of them came over as complete twerps, such as the Dutchman Pim and Piers Corbyn (Jeremy's brother, not that that's strictly relevant) but some of them were impressive: thoughtful and self-aware and with a sense of proportion. I enjoyed the slight sheepishness of the one who became the Americas Editor of the Economist. One couldn't imagine them demanding that one check one's privilege, or being triggered by a literary reference. But then they weren't pandered to by the powers-that-were, so they actually had to stand up for what they believed in. Overall their responses to the issues of the time were not necessarily daft, and in some things they've been proved right - property demolition, for example.

Here's a piece by Nick Cohen written when Lefties was first shown. http://www.newstatesman.com/node/152398

Rob

"There was a total resistance to the cult of the individual"

Yet her own article disproves this - people endlessly arguing over the word 'seminal', someone claiming discrimination because they didn't own a telephone - the whole thing was one long pointless soap opera of clashing individual personalities, each vying with the others in an arms race of "I'm more radical than you'.

And yet despite nearly half a decade of this nonsense these people are still taken seriously.

Rob

"In 2013, Doyle became the first Indigenous Australian woman to graduate from Oxford University, with a master’s of science in evidence-based social intervention."

Evidence-based social intervention, eh? I like the fact that it is an MSc. Oxford University has declined somewhat since the days I didn't attend it if it is doling out junk Master of Science degrees like this.

I feel like my own MSc has been devalued simply by reading that. I am hurt. Bereft, in fact.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...but $5 per orange seems a bit unlikely.

Indeed, and I had considered there might be some markup, OTOH, I live in East Sasquatch USandA and can get a Hawaiian pineapple cheaper at the Piggly Wiggly than I could in the grocery on Oahu.

Regarding Ms. Doyle, perhaps she is related to Elizabeth Warren, or merely misspelled Arboriginal meaning she eats entire trees.

Steve 2 - Stevement Day

Rob - in the days when I didn't attend Oxford, it was apparently full of immaculately dressed eccentric toffs who carried teddy bears named after Jesuit saints around with them.

I fear it has declined since then.

Rob

What would Inspector Morse say if he was still alive? "Lewis!" I expect.

If only the similarly pasty white girls of Rotherham had had the wit and circumstances to hold up a crude cardboard sign like that. Things could have been so different.

Rob

It isn't, of course, cardboard. Sorry.

David

Well, I’ve watched the first episode of Lefties. Fascinating stuff.

I’m not sure I’d be quite so generous about the participants - most of them, anyway - but, yes, it’s an excellent series. A companion series aired around the same, titled Tory! Tory! Tory!, is also well worth watching:

Part one.
Part two.
Part three.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I fear it has declined since then.

A voice, yes, and it was saying, "Help me find my car keys and we'll drive out".

I know, old and terrible. I denounce myself.

Rob

Ironic that the oh so hip Guardian prints an article about an old bird banging on about how much better it was in the old days.

wtp

I need feminism because my vagina has a voice

And I need pus....never mind.

Steve 2 - Stevement Day

Farnsworth M Muldoon - assuming her $5 oranges are real, what would that tell us?

It'd tell us that Aborigines don't want oranges. That would be the only plausible explanation for that sort of price for such a cheap and commonplace commodity item.

So... say you run a small shop in an Aboriginal settlement - somewhere really remote, like Bidyadanga. Shelf space is limited. The locals overwhelmingly want carbohydrate snacks and processed junk food. Only a few people care to buy oranges from you, and they're perishable, so you charge $5 a pop for the handful of oranges you get in every week.

That's the only explanation that doesn't involve her lying that makes sense. Otherwise some enterprising local would make a weekly 4 hour round trip to Broome to pick up a few bags of oranges and undercut the local shop while still retaining a fat profit.

merely misspelled Arboriginal meaning she eats entire trees.

That is very cruel. :)

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Bidyadanga, AKA, La Grange. Learn something new every day.

That's the only explanation that doesn't involve her lying that makes sense.

I take your point - the nearest Piggly Wiggly is bleak but not that bleak.

Anon

I fear it has declined since then.

I am ashamed to have to point out that that background is not Oxford.

David Gillies

I'm sure there's reams of twaddle to be written on how awful it is that white privilege has so watered down yer actual effnic bona fides that despite really, really feeling non-European you look like a Swedish granny. Like Elizabeth Warren, say. Definitely more than just a honky in the woodpile there. And then we have the sui generis case of that Kids' Company dingbat who dresses like she's the first wife of a Nigerian prince despite being half Belgian and half Iranian and therefore just about as Aryan as it's possible to be without being in the 17th SS Götz von Berlichingen. Yet they're the ones that are banging on about 'cultural appropriation'. They are all as mad as a big bag full of mad things.

Vince N

the cult of the individual

Make absolutely no mistake, the true cult is that of the collective.

I need feminism because my vagina has a voice

So why don't you use that one and give the other one a rest for a while?

Ian

There was a total resistance to the cult of the individual, and, until the Thatcher government declared war on society, no dog-eat-dog narcissism was tolerated.

Eh? So there was "total resistance" until Thatcher was elected and then everyone in every feminist collective stopped being collectivist?

Spiny Norman

They retired to their fainting couches for the next decade, presumably.

David

Eh?

Yes, it’s one of Ms Bindel’s many baffling, unpacked assertions. Perhaps she doesn’t unpack them and lay out her arguments clearly because then they’d sound even less convincing. The idea that radical feminist communes of the late Seventies were scrupulously devoid of narcissism and in-group manoeuvring is very nearly hilarious. As the Angry Wimmin documentary illustrates vividly, many times.

For instance, Ms Bindel’s belief that other women should be expected to invert their sexuality to comply with group ideology – and her exasperation and annoyance when they failed - sounds a tad authoritarian. And her favoured slogans - “get men off the streets” – “kill men now” - don’t exactly call to mind visions of modesty. Sheila Jeffreys’ insistence that “Feminists who sleep with men are collaborating with the enemy” sounds a wee bit judgmental and doctrinaire. And the claim that her “visionary movement” was thwarted by “corporations” and unspecified “forces of reaction” suggests egomania. Hardly the words of an unassuming type. And Linda Bellos, who abandoned her small children to spend time “being political” in a separatist lesbian commune, doesn’t exactly strike me as someone freed from ego and self-absorption.

Bob-B

I bet when she was young she laughed at oldies who insisted that things were so much better when they were young.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Button pushed, and you have my insomnia to thank for that.

Ugh, dessicated lesbifems. Crusty cranky old things.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Oh, yeah, I had adorable pink suede platform sandals that I wore with a pink star-spangled mini-dress in the '70s. That's what we're doing, remembering the high point from the decade of doubleknit polyester, right?

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Christ, Stevemageddon, is that dopey broad wearing a Christmas sweater???

David

pink suede platform sandals that I wore with a pink star-spangled mini-dress

Were you switched-on and fabulous?

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

I dunno about switched on. but I was pretty darn fabulous!

james

I need feminism because my vagina has a voice

Just another c*** talking then.

Sorry.

I denounce myself.

james

Regarding Ms. Doyle, perhaps she is related to Elizabeth Warren, or merely misspelled Arboriginal meaning she eats entire trees.

Ms. Doyle?
http://ncis.anu.edu.au/_lib/img/people/doyle.jpg

Or Jennifer Saunders as Fairy Godmother?
http://dopepicz.com/16601101-shrek-2-fairy-godmother-wand.html

Bluntnose

Given her intense political commitment, one presumes that Ms Bindel would have selflessly facilitated any such transformation. When she was young.

What do you mean you don't like the taste? Are you some kind of fascist?

Si

"17th SS Götz von Berlichingen"

I saw that hahaha

sackcloth and ashes

To give Bindel her due, she is one of the few prominent Western feminists I'm aware of who actually thinks that women's rights apply to all, and is prepared to direct her ire against practices such as FGM.

http://www.justiceforfgmvictims.co.uk/the-report/

The giveafuckometers of many of her sisters (see, for example, Naomi Wolf) tend to flicker to zero when it comes to fighting for the rights of non-white women and girls, particularly where practices sanctioned by certain cultures in Africa and the Middle East are concerned.

'17th SS Götz von Berlichingen'.

It's interesting here that you refer to one of the SS Divisions whose ideological fervour was in inverse proportion to its effectiveness in combat. The Fallschirmjager who fought alongside this formation in Normandy lost count of the number of times this supposedly crack outfit broke under US fire, and the German paras had to save their arses.

Laban

sackcloth and ashes - Bindel doesn't just care about non-white women - she was writing about the organised abuse of working class white girls when most feminists were (and still are) looking the other way.

http://ukcommentators.blogspot.co.uk/2007/10/more-grooming-in-northern-mill-towns.html

"As I've said before, race seems to trump gender for most soi-disant feminists. Not so for JB. She doesn't care what race or creed the abusers are - she judges them not by the colour of their skin, but by the contents - indeed the existence - of their scrota."

Flynpigranch

Maybe if I put my left ear a little closer to your vagina, I will hear it talking.

Hedgehog

'17th SS Götz von Berlichingen'

Of the vagaries of naming things. Gottfried "Götz" von Berlichingen "mit der eisernen Hand," i.e. of the iron hand. That's probably what they were going for, the iron hand likely representing the firmness that the 17th SS was meant to exhibit. In actuality, the iron hand was a prosthetic device because he lost his right hand. To friendly fire, if my sources are correct. More amusingly, and maybe more to my point, Götz von Berlichingen is best known for his purported use of the "Swabian Greeting."

Oh. The greeting? In his eponymous play, this is how Goethe ascribes it to him: "Er aber, sag's ihm, er kann mich im Arsche lecken." Somewhat loosely translated as: Tell him that he can kiss my ass.

So if sackcloth and ashes is correct it would appear that the general attitude of the 17th SS is not entirely inconsistent with the connotations that the mention of Götz von Berlichingen evokes in those of us of a literary bent.

sackcloth and ashes

'In his eponymous play, this is how Goethe ascribes it to him: "Er aber, sag's ihm, er kann mich im Arsche lecken."'

Well it's more in the spirit of another great German soldier, Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, who responded with a rather pithy remark when Hitler offered to make him Ambassador to the Court of St James in 1935.

Speaking to one of Lettow-Vorbeck's officers, his biographer said 'I understand that when Hitler offered him the London ambassadorship, the General told him to go and fuck himself'. His interviewee replied 'He did, but he didn't put it so politely'.

Si

"the connotations that the mention of Götz von Berlichingen evokes in those of us of a literary bent."

Doh!

Great commenters. Would recommend.

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