David Thompson
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February 25, 2016

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NielsR

To be fair, the first tweet revolves around the proposed ESA cuts. Still a sweeping statement, but not outrageous in context.

Second one is weird, though. Field seems to be genuinely trying to humanise part of the benefits system, but is howled down for suggesting traits like commitment, discipline, and sacrifice might be important when looking after yourself and your family. It's the short skirt 'defence' all over again.

John D

In effect, and like so many of her type, our leftist guru is coasting on the legacy of values that served her well but which she claims to despise and urges others to reject.

The word you're looking for is 'parasite'.

David

Still a sweeping statement, but not outrageous in context.

But it is a sweeping statement, Laurie’s signature delivery, and is presented as universally true. Hence the subsequent Twitter comments and the cryptic blather about “capital requires surplus population.”


The word you're looking for is ‘parasite’.

Well, it’s hard to imagine Laurie’s career trajectory being quite so viable without the residual effects of the values she claims to despise. And without a great many other people cultivating those same values and keeping things ticking over. A fact she counts on. In effect, we, the bourgeois rubes, are her safety net. The fact that few of us are credulous enough to take her at her words and follow her advice is what allows her to mouth it in relative comfort and security, knowing that the destruction of capitalism (and all that goes with it), which she claims to want, won’t happen just yet.

NielsR

Eh, it's twatter, hardly the place for nuance. But yes, the 'surplus' comment is self-serving rubbish, conspiracy theory stuff to avoid any possibility of personal responsibility.
As is the attack on Field.

fred

I've not heard of her. Is she a pop star or something?

Jack

David, I see you're worrying about Ms Penny again.

This could be the tea talking but I've read your material for a while now and never commented previously, I just thought to say keep up the work. I have found it charming that you reply to comments. Anyway, I only write 'cause my wife is out of town tonight to ask are you on LinkedIn and if so how are you traceable? Not unlike me, in fact far, far worse, your name is hopelessly generic with, as Herges might say bitterly, with or without a "P".

Rightio.

David

I have found it charming that you reply to comments.

That’s where the fun is. For me, I mean.

I only write ‘cause my wife is out of town tonight to ask are you on LinkedIn and if so how are you traceable?

“Traceable”? Well, I’m here now, as it were, and can be reached via email, see top left of every page. Should I be concerned that you’re telling me your wife is out of town? :-)

WTP

Of course Laurie has the considerable advantage of being raised, comfortably, in a stable family by two middle-class parents with the terribly bourgeois values she now claims to hold in contempt

I'm growing increasingly curious as to what is the story with LP's parents. Were they both armless and thus beating some sense into her was simply not possible? Raised by wolves? Of course she might be a bit more level headed were that the case. Communists? Please don't tell me they were Lutherans.

[+]

@WTP,

Both lawyers IIRC.

R. Sherman

“People are not poor because they… made bad choices..."

In one sense, I suppose, Penny could be right. All those bourgeois values are cultural. However, this a culture where those values are unknown, and those with the misfortune to be born into such a world have a difficult time learning that alternatives exist. And for those who do discover that there's something better, often they are attacked by their peers as being "inauthentic." In other words, making good or better choices is an avenue precluded to them.

Of course, the reason for this is not capitalism or the existence of the bourgeois values, but rather that people like Penny insist upon subsidizing the culture which leads to poverty. Irresponsibility pays and has so for at least two to three generations. And it's become so systemic, the victims don't even know that other choices exist.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Both lawyers IIRC.

So she was raised by wolves.

David

The last two paragraphs of this seem quite relevant:

Not too long ago, the endlessly entertaining Laurie Penny – who entertains us for reasons she doesn’t quite comprehend – pointed her readers to a breathless endorsement of the fatherless family. New Enquiry contributor Madeleine Schwartz dubbed this non-nuclear unit the “anti-family,” thus signalling its countercultural radicalism and general sexiness. We were told, based on nothing much, that “a couple cannot raise a child better than one [person] can.” Apparently, the “diffusion” of the family unit – which is to say, absent fathers, hardship and subsequent dependence on the state – “is one of the most exciting things to happen to the American social pattern since sexual liberation.”

Ms Schwartz was careful to avoid actual data and striking correlations - say, between absent fathers and children’s educational failure, poverty, dependency and criminality – and so, for her, the “diffusion” of the family unit sounded very thrilling indeed, as woolly abstractions can. Buoyed by her own imagined radicalism, Ms Schwartz went on to claim, again based on nothing, that conventional family structures “isolate” people, rather than, say, introducing them to a potential support network of aunts, uncles, sisters-in-law, etc. You see, raising a child without a partner - and therefore without at least half of that familial support structure - isn’t isolating at all. Because somehow the “community” will fill in the gaps. Or more typically, the state and its bureaucracy, at other people’s expense. And gosh, how radical is that?

There are links in the original.

Joan

Apparently, the “diffusion” of the family unit – which is to say, absent fathers, hardship and subsequent dependence on the state – “is one of the most exciting things to happen to the American social pattern since sexual liberation.”

It's like they're actually *trying* to ruin people's lives.

David

It’s like they're actually *trying* to ruin people’s lives.

As noted many times, self-styled radicals have little to gain from their followers becoming happy and successful. They feed on disaffection; it’s what gives them their status.

Hugo

Progressives like to quote Marx, but there's precious little evidence that they ever think about the implications.

The "capital requires a surplus population" argument is that an over-supply of workers will put downward pressure on wages, reduce the influence of trade unions, and generally give managers more freedom to hire and fire as they wish.

One could end up thinking that large scale immigration would create just such a surplus population, and thus benefits the Evil Capitalist Swine that Laurie Penny and friends are resolutely opposed to.

jones

"That’s where the fun is. For me, I mean."

Huh! Is that what we pay you for?

Whatever happened to the principles of service to your parishioners.?

Jib Halyard

I'm confused. "Capital requires a surplus population", yet mass-market consumerism is evil.
Which is it?

WTP

So she was raised by wolves.

Actually, worse. Like tyrants, wolves will stop when their bellies are full. As C. S. Lewis said, those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. So I'm still not clear, have we ruled out Lutherans?

Dr Cromarty

I'm confused. "Capital requires a surplus population", yet mass-market consumerism is evil.
Which is it?

It's North Korea - lots of people, not much consumerism. But I bet the fields crackle with laughter. "AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

When the guards are around, anyway.

Rob

She's at Harvard, isn't she? Could she be more bourgeois than that?

"capital requires surplus population.”

Yet she supports unlimited mass immigration. Not particularly rational, is she?

David

But I bet the fields crackle with laughter.

I see what you did there.

Burnsie

It seems like the biggest cheerleaders for single motherhood are childless feminists. And yes, it certainly is "exciting" when those kids face greater risk of every social pathology that could befall them, if "exciting" means marching them through a minefield just so you can get your ideological jollies.

The risk of poverty, sexual abuse, physical abuse, adolescent drug use, academic failure, behavioral issues, criminal activity, depression, suicide, even murder--at the hands of mom's new boyfriend--all are notably higher among children of single mothers. But you know what? I don't think feminists care. Not one iota.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

This silly bitch would be one of those totally at a loss if capitalism did collapse. "I can't go on without my smartphone, o woe is me! Where's my Twitter account, why won't my credit card work, what's wrong with the cable???"

the wolf

One can only imagine the wrath that would be visited on the fellow unfortunate enough to have become involved with Ms. Penny who decides to take her up on her endorsement of polyamory.

David

This silly bitch would be one of those totally at a loss if capitalism did collapse.

Given that Laurie apparently can’t imagine living without Facebook, I doubt she’d fare well in a post-revolution Britain, in which capitalism and the family unit had been rendered unto dust, bourgeois proprieties were a distant memory and large parts of London looked like Mogadishu.

Fred Baumann

Repeated exposure to Laurie Penny and her ilk through this blog --- briefly amusing until one realizes just how widespread is the syndrome and how impermeable the willful ignorance of those afflicted --- has proven to be been deeply unpleasant but enlightening. It gives us a chance to see one of the most pathetic manifestations of the collapse of Western civilization: the cretinous inability of its greatest beneficiaries to recognize their good fortune, let alone show the slightest gratitude for their gifts. That they are so bitter and angry about the hard lives they imagine they lead guarantees that, like the parasitic offspring of many a hard-working tycoon, the wealth and society that created them is likely to be gone in a generation, as will they themselves. No one will mourn.

AnGiogoir

What is it about upper middle class life that turns people's kids into Leftists?

WTP

What Fred said. Typepad really needs it some up buttons.

David

Speaking of foolish, obnoxious women.

David Taylor

@Fred Baumann

At least all the huffing is unlikely to lead anywhere. I admint appalling amounts of money are wasted and that annoys me. But most people who 'grew up' when they should have, even if that just means having taken on the usual responsibilities of a proper job or family aren't going to give these people the time of day. Or perhaps they would give that, just being polite.

I do get upset that these people are basically paid to broadcast their teenaged philosophy and a vast amount of university level resources are wasted on it. People shouldn't be rewarded for not growing up but who have we to blame but ourselves?

David Taylor

Oh FFS, Van Badham is Australian? What is the point of all the deadly wildlife we have if people like that aren't taken care of and at least given a good scare into common sense?

Speaking of sweet sorrows I notice Van frets over what part of her will be lost if she can't put all 60 types of tea on the sideboard.

Hal

Laurie Penny is once again unhappy.

. . . she stopped at some point?

I had the impression that unhappy was the permanent state . . .

Hal

Oh, in parallel news;

Mizzou professor who pushed reporter away from protesters is fired
Washington Post - ‎38 minutes ago‎

and other sources...

mojo

Yes David, Frightbat One (as I like to refer to Ms. Badham) is indeed a lefty of the Aussie variety, and even more loud, rude and generally annoying than most of her ilk. Clammy Ford might give her a run, but it's iffy.

Greg Allan

"Both lawyers IIRC.

So she was raised by wolves."

Sharks, I believe. Grandparents had a line in reptile oils.

pst314

"Sharks, I believe."
Lamprey eels?
Ichneumonid wasps?

Darleen

I don't know, but has Penny weighed in on the scandalous controversy surrounding Adele confessing she has found purpose in motherhood?

The bitch.

David Gillies

One of the biggest problems Penny Dreadful and her ilk have is that if one is arguing from false premises, one is very unlikely to find oneself in close proximity to the truth, even by accident. I think the fact that it's seldom hard to distinguish between young Laurie and a ray of sunshine is because reality is so damned uncooperative. Cognitive dissonance is unpleasant for everyone, but her life must be as dissonant as a Harrison Birtwhistle symphony being played in a steel foundry.

Dr Cromarty

Seeing Laurie Penny unhappy about everything makes me understand finally Aquinas' comment about the blessed being able to observe the punishment of the damned in Hell.

David

the blessed being able to observe the punishment of the damned in Hell.

I suppose you could think of it as a peculiar kind of self-torture. There must be some extensive, endlessly updating mental checklist of things one has to pretend to be outraged by, theatrically, in public, and regardless of evidence and internal contradiction. One might almost be sympathetic towards the sufferers of this neurosis, if not for the fact they want the rest of us to pretend too and thereby become equally neurotic and dishonest.

David Taylor

Frightbat One :) That's pretty good.

David

One of the biggest problems Penny Dreadful and her ilk have is that if one is arguing from false premises, one is very unlikely to find oneself in close proximity to the truth, even by accident.

I once had a conversation with someone who banged on, at some length, about the evils of “the class system,” which, he insisted, had to be destroyed. I pointed out that there’s a thing called assortative mating, which describes the tendency of people to pair off with spouses of broadly comparable intelligence. (In news that will shock no-one, brain surgeons and architects don’t often marry night-shift cleaners or bin men.) And because IQ is largely heritable, these couples will tend to have children with levels of intelligence broadly similar to their own and who in turn will tend to search out partners as clever or dim as they are.

And so this has consequences. The freer a society is - the freer its citizens are to use their talents fully and to marry whomever they wish, not their cousin or the slim pickings of their own tiny village - the more likely you are to see social stratification, which the chap was angrily disdaining as a class system, an evil imposition by (unspecified) dastardly forces. And so I suggested that, while one might want to ensure social mobility - that able people can escape humble beginnings and exploit whatever skills they have – there will, however, always be social stratification because it’s what free people do. And any class warrior umbrage that doesn’t take these natural tendencies into account is likely to be flawed, possibly comical.

It’s fair to say we didn’t reach much agreement.

Burnsie

It’s fair to say we didn’t reach much agreement.

Of course you didn't. He was saying "I want your stuff" and you simply weren't listening. "Shut up and stop making sense," they would say if they had a shred of honesty.

Rob

"large parts of London looked like Mogadishu."

It won't need a revolution for that, just carry on importing large parts of Mogadishu as we are now.

A_Nonny_Mouse

Is there NO WAY, at all, that some sane person(s) might gently hint to the Leftist Dolts that "Sweetheart, much as you might disapprove, Reality is that thing which dispenses Consequences for any/all Actions Taken. If you would just settle your umbrage down for a bit and pay attention to the data, you would find a pattern of actions that lead to prosperity, and a pattern of actions that lead to squalor. Want to give it a try sometime?"

I'm tired beyond belief of ProgLibIdiots assuming/insisting that --because they don't WANT there to be unpleasant consequences for their actions-- The Great Benevolent Universe has guaranteed that henceforth there will BE no such consequences, at least for Special Snowflakes.

Aaargh.

dicentra

Is there NO WAY, at all, that some sane person(s) might gently hint to the Leftist Dolts that "Sweetheart, much as you might disapprove, Reality is that thing which dispenses Consequences for any/all Actions Taken.

Not until said Leftists are placed into a context in which Reality Holds Sway.

In universities, show business, news media, and other left-wing hangouts, the rubber never really meets the road. All consequences are handed out by one's peers, most of whom are petty, small, and backstabbing. Ms. Penny has only to Play The Game Properly to get what she wants: consequences in her world are therefore contingent, not inevitable.

IOW, Ms. Penny and her ilk have never experienced a true consequence their entire lives.

See Bill Whittle's seminal essay on TRIBES">http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000129.html">TRIBES for a good explanation of this phenomenon.

dicentra

That link above is supposed to go to the wayback machine:

http://web.archive.org/web/20150613082639/http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000129.html

David

Link fixed.

Boose

I wonder if Penny dreadful ever reads this blog. :-)

David

Cognitive dissonance is unpleasant for everyone, but her life must be as dissonant as a Harrison Birtwhistle symphony being played in a steel foundry.

She does seem to be forever juggling contradictory ideas, different faces for different crowds, and then being obliged to lie about them, depending on who’s listening. Maybe inside Laurie’s head there’s a continual, very loud buzzing noise. It might explain the rather pronounced mood swings and general air of spite.

Rafi

It’s like they're actually *trying* to ruin people’s lives.

Leftism. Just say no.

David

I so want that to be real.

sH2

We were told, based on nothing much, that “a couple cannot raise a child better than one [person] can.” Apparently, the “diffusion” of the family unit – which is to say, absent fathers, hardship and subsequent dependence on the state – “is one of the most exciting things to happen to the American social pattern since sexual liberation.”

How to ruin your life and your kid's life thanks to the left.

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