David Thompson
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May 25, 2016

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Rafi

Can we just build a wall around DePaul University?

sk60

So DePaul is the new Mizzou.

David

In a video posted to Facebook early Wednesday, Ward said he had no remorse for disrupting the event. “Let me be perfectly clear, I do not apologise for my actions on DePaul’s campus,” Ward said. “I don’t apologise for refusing to allow a racist, bigot to spew his hatred on DePaul’s campus. I don’t apologise for shutting the event down. I don’t apologise.”

Mr Ward is, it seems, tumescent with his own righteousness.

TheTooner

"Can we just build a wall around DePaul University?"

Or a two-foot thick concrete ceiling .01 inches above ground level.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

“I don’t apologise for refusing to allow a racist, bigot to spew his hatred on DePaul’s campus."

The SJWs are racist bigots spewing their hatred. Imagine what would happen if anybody tried to shut them down the way this guy tried to shut Milo down.

rjmadden

The agitated young lady, the one screeching hysterically and jabbing her fists in Milo’s face, claims to have been silenced “for 200 years.”

That's no lady.

Nikw211

Just one of the many things that aggravates me about this is how easy it is to find people willing to argue that by calling his series of talks The Dangerous Faggot Tour, Yiannopoulos is somehow the real author of all these provocations - 'What else does he expect?’ they ask, somewhat disingenuously, ‘He’s brought it on himself. He should expect push back.’

In a moment of strategic amnesia, this quite forgets the fact that - rightly as it turns out - Yiannopoulos evidently realised he would have been treated this way regardless of what he’d called his tour and whatever its contents.

Have Janice Fiamengo, Christina Hoff-Sommers or Ben Shapiro, to name just a few, acted in a similarly deliberately provocative way? Or have they simply expressed opinions different from those of the protestors?

No, they haven’t.

And has there been any difference in the way Fiamengo, Hoff-Sommers and Shapiro have been treated despite the fact that they include no obvious provocations such as saying “Feminism is cancer” and so on?

No, there hasn’t. They have all been accused of ‘violence’.

After all, if even Bernie Sanders can get exactly the same kind of treatment as Yiannopoulos received, what does that say about the sincerity of these odious and repulsive little jackbooters?

David

Imagine what would happen if anybody tried to shut them down the way this guy tried to shut Milo down.

It’s hard to avoid the suspicion of a pronounced (and tacitly understood) double standard based on politics and race. The protestors were warned beforehand that any disruption would result in their removal from the venue… and yet, despite the disruption, threats and physical intimidation, all caught on camera… nothing was done.

We’ve seen this double standard before, of course, at Dartmouth College. As you say, imagine the same behaviour, the same thuggery, but with the melanin levels reversed.

Stuck-Record

Compare and contrast.

Someone writes 'TRUMP 2016' in chalk on the pavement. Cue hysterical outrage. Tears. Panic. University authorities leap into action. CCTV. Extra security patrols. Safe spaces. Twitter warnings. Hunts for the culprits who committed this heinous crime.

Gay man speaks publicly in favour of reality v feelings. He is physically intimidated. Threatened. Abused. All like on-stage, on-camera, public record. Guilty parties identifiable. University authorities do absolutely nothing.

Welcome to the future. You can have any opinions you like - as long as they are the same as ours.

Liz

The agitated young lady, the one screeching hysterically and jabbing her fists in Milo’s face, claims to have been silenced “for 200 years.”

Every time they do this they prove his point.

David

Every time they do this they prove his point.

Which I suppose would only matter to these budding intellectuals if one assumes that they’re unwittingly undermining a legitimate claim of victimhood, a position that would otherwise withstand frank and vigorous debate. I.e., if one assumes good faith. It seems to me more likely that the grievance theatre is its own reward and is essentially an excuse to strut, intimidate and behave obnoxiously.

R. Sherman

A necessary condition for this sort of nonsense is the general civility of those being subjected to the assaults and disruption. Mr. Ward and company rely upon the audience not responding in kind, as well as the collusion of authorities who are willing to ignore laws which nominally protect everyone in order to punish certain groups. N.B., those lessons are being learned, albeit slowly. The Wards of the world will not be able to engage in this sort of behavior forever and ultimately will pay a price for their "tumescent righteousness."

Adiabat

Every time they do this they prove his point.

I’ve literally had discussions with people like this where I’ve said “you never respond to arguments, you only attempt to discredit the speaker” only to have them respond with the usual list of ‘evil’ things I am and ‘evil’ groups I’m apparently associated with, unbeknown to me. These are often people and groups that aren’t even bad but have previously been discredited by “SJW’s”, or whatever you want to call them.

They have absolutely no self-awareness, and don’t realise how easy it would be to make people like Milo go away if they really wanted to. He repeatedly states, clearly and unambiguously, that he says the things he says in the way he says them to demonstrate how they shut down opinions they don’t like. Yet their only response is to try and shut him down anyway, proving his point.

R. Sherman

Somewhat related.

pst314

DePaul University has a well established reputation for intolerance. I'm not sure how long ago the leftists took over that old Catholic institution, but the decay is quite advanced.

The original Mr. X

@David:

The agitated young lady, the one screeching hysterically and jabbing her fists in Milo’s face, claims to have been silenced “for 200 years.”

Goodness, she must be awfully old.


@Nickw211:

Just one of the many things that aggravates me about this is how easy it is to find people willing to argue that by calling his series of talks The Dangerous Faggot Tour, Yiannopoulos is somehow the real author of all these provocations - 'What else does he expect?’ they ask, somewhat disingenuously, ‘He’s brought it on himself. He should expect push back.’

I wonder how many of them would be willing to accept the same reasoning about a woman who goes out on her own wearing a miniskirt, gets drunk, starts flirting with strangers and ends up being sexually assaulted?

David

Previously, at the University of Minnesota.

And previous to that at Rutgers University.

David

Somewhat related.

More than thirteen hundred students signed a petition calling for the college to eliminate any grade lower than a C for the semester.

Will the trauma and oppression never end?

Katherine Timpf and Robby Soave have more.

BackwardsBoy

I remember when fomenting a riot was against the law. *sigh* I miss the old days...

David

A black student, Kati Danforth, a maths major, asks the BLM protestors to be civil and grown-up – and is immediately called a racist, a bigot and a “white supremacist.” This is a few seconds before the hysterical lady with the hot-pants-fanny-pack combo, the one who jabbed her fist in Milo’s face, resumes blowing a whistle into a microphone, for several minutes, thus ensuring that no-one else can be heard.

favill

The fact that Angelina Jolie will be a prof at the London School of Economics hints at the demise of all these post-secondary institutions.

R. Sherman

A black student, Kati Danforth, a maths major . . .

Well, there you go.

At my son's STEM university, a professor remarked that their campus had been blissfully unaffected by the events occurring ninety miles north at Mizzou. In response, a black student stated, "We're engineers; we don't have time for that shit."

Dom

A perfect symbol of the demise of American education: "We good", and she does a dance.

Thomas Fuller

she does a dance

Mea culpa, but I had the unbidden mental image of her wearing, instead of her culturally appropriated garb, those feathery anklets, beads and whatnot sported by Zulu ladies when inspired by Terpsichore.

Mr Ecks

Purge and Close. Purge and Close.

All leftist staff and Red Guard "students " sacked /expelled. No compensation for staff and pensions confiscated. Students to have their debt surcharged 10x--so as to ruin the rest of their lives under a crushing burden of aggressively collected debt. All of the above legally blackballed (new laws--the left love those) from ever going into media/law/politics the rest of their lives.

Let them sling their poison in the marketplace and see who buys.

Jeff Guinn

More guidance from our progressive betters:

ALBUQUERQUE — Protesters outside a rally for Donald J. Trump in Albuquerque threw rocks at police horses and lighted fires on Tuesday night, according to the police and postings on social media.

It's hard to escape the feeling that if this sort of nonsense keeps up, some faces are going to get punched. Hard.

pst314

"It's hard to escape the feeling that if this sort of nonsense keeps up, some faces are going to get punched. Hard."

Increasingly it appears that not only is the hard left determined to silence and destroy all who oppose it, the so-called "liberal" Americans will happily go along with that. As more and more Americans come to realize this, they will lose interest in respecting the civil rights of those who obviously want to take away their rights.

pst314

Funny thing: Quite a few Catholic universities have become hotbeds of political correctness and leftist thuggery. One wonders how Catholicism could go so far astray.

Daniel Ream

Isn't that exactly what the Left wants, though? To provoke a violent response? That gives them their Kent State moment. Look at the aggressively thuggish young....lady is an entirely inappropriate term, shaking her fists in Milo's face. She's clearly trying to get him to respond first. That's an old feminist tactic - fake a head punch, then shriek and take a dive when your target defends himself. Absent eyewitnesses and clear video, the other guy threw the first punch, your honour.

This is Alinskyite tactics playing out on a grand scale, and I fear that Purge and Close isn't going to do it; it's going to take some Pinochet-level oppression to retake the cultural battlefield, and I don't much care for suppressing liberty in order to defend it.

David

According to Mr Ward, Milo’s presence on campus could cause shootings, massacres, possibly thunderstorms.

PiperPaul

"We're engineers; we don't have time for that shit."

The whole SJW spectacle thing is a form of La Revenge des Incompetents!

Rafi

According to Mr Ward, Milo’s presence on campus could cause shootings, massacres, possibly thunderstorms.

Racist idiot jumps onstage and threatens to punch Milo.
Racist idiot's friend waves her fist in Milo's face.
Next day racist idiot says Milo is "a threat to my safety".

As our host says, lefties project.

David

As our host says, lefties project.

Certainly, the ‘protestors’ don’t seem amenable to any rational argument, which they actively and zealously suppress wherever possible. To the extent of screaming abuse at a black student and denouncing her as a “white supremacist” - on grounds that she dared to ask for civility.

As so often, it’s about intimidation and provocation, power and display. For instance, if you watch the fist-jabbing woman throughout the video, watch her face closely, she’s obviously enjoying her repeated efforts to intimidate, regardless of the target. The physical intimidation isn’t a secondary effect, an incidental result of momentarily losing her temper. The intimidation, the thrill of it, is the sweetest cherry. It’s why she’s there.

Daniel Ream

I think there's some truth to that. In large organizations, HR departments tend to attract women with very little in the way of hard skills, and it's a well-known phenomenon that they become jealous of the other departments that actually do meaningful things for the company. Hence the slow creeping arrogation of powers to HR all out of proportion to their value, via various forms of harassment and policy compliance legislation.

I think something very similar is going on with many of these arts and humanities students.

Hedgehog

it's going to take some Pinochet-level oppression to retake the cultural battlefield

Indeed, and somewhat unfortunately, this is the usual course of events. When lawlessness reaches epidemic proportions (and what we see on campuses across the nation as well as in cities such as Baltimore and anywhere Trump holds a rally is lawlessness, pure and simple), the population eventually longs for a strong man to make it stop. Pinochet is actually somewhat of a best case scenario, since after all he allowed for a referendum to take place on the continuation of his presidency, he stepped down after he lost, and he transferred power to a political opponent. Not usually what happens once a totalitarian regime has taken hold.

dicentra

Milo Yiannopoulos, an out-and-PROUD gay man with a loudly stated preference for black men, is a bigot.

Sweet Meteor of Death, delay no more your coming.

Liz

The physical intimidation isn’t a secondary effect, an incidental result of momentarily losing her temper. The intimidation, the thrill of it, is the sweetest cherry. It’s why she’s there.

That.

David

That.

The wildly flailing arms, suddenly deployed to invade her victim’s space, are a bit of a giveaway.

And ditto Mr Ward, who stormed onstage to have his moment and fight the power… but didn’t have much to say either, apart from a muttered threat of violence. He did, however, do a lot of strutting back and forth across the stage, as if marking territory, and hoping to intimidate, and possibly waiting to be admired as a moral colossus.

Contrary to their imaginings, these are not good people.

jabrwok

Re: Pinochet.

I've read (though I have no citation to hand) that he killed fewer people during his decades in power than Castro did in his first year. Wouldn't surprise me.

rabbit

These protesters aren't angry at Milo. They're angry at their own future, which will mostly involve making mocha cappuccinos for people with careers.

David

These protesters aren’t angry at Milo.

The things that apparently anger them, or that result in them acting out as if they were angry, are numerous and often implausible. And there’s a hair-trigger rage threshold, one that shifts unpredictably, such that even a call for civility can result in screamed abuse and wildly flailing limbs. Which makes me suspect that they like being angry, or pretending to be angry, and like what that allows them to get away with.

Watcher in the dark

The man blowing the whistle and pacing the stage in front of Milo gave every appearance of a man who had reached the limit of his intellectual ability. I expect he thinks he will get a job one day, though not I fear as a public speaker.

Bill Elder

I hope Milo joins/leads "Gays for concealed carry" after this.

Hedgehog

I've read (though I have no citation to hand) that [Pinochet] killed fewer people during his decades in power than Castro did in his first year. Wouldn't surprise me.

Wouldn't surprise me either. He certainly killed fewer than Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, or any other Communist worthy you can think of. But he was on the wrong side of history, i.e. not on the one favored by our purported betters. As you know, killing people in the service of leftist ideology is just an unfortunate occurrence - these people had it coming, after all; eggs, omelettes, etc. While killing people as you are trying to fix an economy that is moribund because of the depredations of the preceding Marxist government is, of course, inexcusable.

Don't get me wrong - I don't condone the killings allegedly committed by the Pinochet regime. But certainly the double standard is amazing, and galling.

Chester Draws

I've read (though I have no citation to hand) that he killed fewer people during his decades in power than Castro did in his first year. Wouldn't surprise me.

Irrelevant and misleading both.

Firstly, there should be no calculus of evil. Pinochet was not a good man, and pointing to worse men does not fix that problem.

Secondly, the "best" repression is that which is so effective that which rarely needs to shed blood. By the time the Soviet Union fell it was rarely killing its people. That doesn't make it even remotely a good institution. It had merely so crushed the spirit of its people that they no longer even tried to fight for good.

That the Cubans have continued to fight Castro says more about the Cubans than it does about Castro.

Joan

The agitated young lady, the one screeching hysterically and jabbing her fists in Milo’s face, claims to have been silenced “for 200 years.”

"Kayla Johnson is an African and Black Diaspora Studies major at DePaul University. Her mother, Juanita Johnson, serves as the Director of Administration II for the Chicago Police Department."

http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/05/25/meet-depaul-protester-waved-microphone-milos-face/

Elrond Hubbard

Looking closely at the video it's apparent that no one was hit by the demonstrators. They were trying to provoke a violent response to their provocations thus giving them the opportunity to: 1)punch out Milo, 2)claim victimhood (two hundred years of oppression continues), 3)demand more concessions from the university. The DePaul administration and the MSM would certainly support them.

Hal

I hope Milo joins/leads "Gays for concealed carry" after this.

Well, there are the Pink Pistols, and have been for some years . . .

David Taylor

I used to come here to have a laugh. Now I just get angry. These people have it coming, but as everyone says we have to wait for them to 'throw the first punch'. They've been overstepping the bounds of decency for ages now but we are still bound by our own restraint to not give them what they need.

I'm probably more socialist leaning than most here, in as far as I'm in favour of state funded health, education (at least for K-12), utilities etc and I'd prefer to see some restraint on the market rather than unfettered capitalism as the only law, but even I think these clowns need some severe reality checking.

Jeff Guinn
Isn't that exactly what the Left wants, though? To provoke a violent response? That gives them their Kent State moment.

Sure, they want their Kent State moment.

But that's no reason to give it to them. When security failed to act, a couple gentleman from the audience could have, should have, gone on stage, grabbed both those self-propelled cloacas by the belt and scruff of the neck and tossed them off the stage before frog-marching them out the door.

That would be humiliation. Bullies can't take humiliation.

David

It seems that no amount of loutish and threatening behaviour will embarrass some of the DePaul faculty. The department chair of political science, who specialises in “urban education,” was terribly impressed and sent supportive tweets to her fist-jabbing protégé.

David

That would be humiliation. Bullies can’t take humiliation.

A public lesson of some sort does seem in order.

And there’s an aspect of these self-indulgent dramas that’s sometimes overlooked and which bears repeating. It isn’t just a case of our rote radicals being threatening and abusive to a given speaker. The ‘protestors’ refused to allow anyone else to hear that person speak (or to respond during the customary Q&A afterwards). As seen in the videos linked above, neither Mr Ward nor Ms Johnson had anything to contribute. Having stormed the stage and strutted about, having seized the microphones, they had nothing to say, no lofty insight to articulate. They just wanted to stop a debate from happening. And so their behaviour is an act of disdain for, and aggression against, everyone present.

[ Edited. ]

Vince N

The criminal protesters "threw the first punch" by interrupting the event. Those who staged the event are entitled to respond in kind.

If the security that was paid for did not do its job, they should be sued.

Tim Newman

The whole SJW spectacle thing is a form of La Revenge des Incompetents!

Slightly off topic, but I recently got involved with a 32 year old New Yorker who I met in Paris who called herself an "artist". She spoke passionately and at length about the "art" scene she belongs to in Brooklyn, and the Burning Man festival she attended most years and other "art" events in New York and elsewhere. She took it upon herself to educate me in the ways of the arts, and dragged me around a few "art" galleries and exhibitions in Paris. At one of them a French film producer asked each of us what we do: I said I'm an engineer, she said she was an artist (she in fact works as an interpreter translator, thanks to her having grown up trilingual). It dawned on me much later that she wasn't an artist at all: she was a reasonable photographer, but no better than thousands of other hobbyists out there. She worked for a time as a "graphic designer" for a magazine which went bankrupt. And she dabbled with taxidermy and, having stuffed a single rat during a workshop, describes herself as a taxidermist.

She no longer speaks to me, in part because I pointed out that she had never shown me a single thing she'd produced or achieved which was the result of talent, skill, dedication, patience, and vision. She showed me a heart she had tattooed onto a piece of broccoli one evening, and that was about the best of it. And this seemed to be true of all her friends in the artsy scene in New York: they all considered themselves artists and creatives, but none of them appeared to have produced anything which couldn't be knocked up in a few hours by practically anybody. The contribution of her and her friends to the "arts" world appeared to consist of:

1. Helping people construct plywood artifacts at Burning Man, then setting them on fire.
2. Dressing up in silly costumes at various themed events: Santa Claus, Zombies, etc. where assorted weirdos "take to the streets" getting drunk and taking drugs.
3. Having parties which look like your average student party, i.e. lots of costumes, drink, and drugs.
4. "Arts" events which involve running about wearing strap-on dildos (yes, really).
5. Having sex with each other: she boasted of going to orgies, and was quite happy to admit to sleeping with her friends, often concurrently.

All of these people were in their 30s and 40s. None had a proper career, none owned any property or seemed to have any tangible assets. Some were married, but I don't think any had kids. Most - with one or two exceptions - were unattractive, overweight, tattooed, facial piercings, etc. The whole bunch appeared to have achieved almost nothing, but she spoke about their "artistic" lifestyle almost with pride. I asked her whether any of her artistic, creative friends played a musical instrument - something that requires dedication, discipline, and practice. Not a single one of them did. I concluded that there is a section of society which is not completely stupid (but not particularly bright either) who lack the talent, work ethic, and discipline to enter into the professional or corporate environments and attach themselves like parasites to the genuine arts world in order to give themselves some sort of identity - which they then shout from the rooftops in the most childish, crass, and sexually overt manner possible. The problem with the arts world - as opposed to say, engineering or music, is there is no quality control: anyone can tag along, dress up in costumes, get drunk, and claim they're an "artist".

And then there was the politics. She was a self-declared feminist, a claim that she didn't feel was in the slightest bit undermined by the fact that at 22 years old she had married a guy 20 years her senior for the sole purpose of obtaining a US residency visa (she was originally Russian). She divorced him 2 years later just when she was eligible for permanent residency. Yet she saw no irony in talking about how women in NY have it rough. I asked her what options a 21 year old Russian guy would have had, and she claimed she married for love and the question was irrelevant. Only she was in an "open relationship" when she got married, and both he and her were with multiple partners at the time. She was - naturally - a registered Democrat, she voted in the primaries for Hillary, and was a firm supporter of the living wage, arts subsidies, and all manner of left-wing causes. To her credit, she used to respond quite well to my counter-arguments, but she had an annoying habit of demanding proof (for example, of the myth of the gender pay gap) and when I'd send it to her (in the for of a Christina Hoff-Summers article) she would ignore it completely rather than acknowledging it or conceding the point. And she believed open, sexual promiscuity (usually with much older men) was a form of female empowerment, and any future partner (she'd hadn't had a normal, functional relationship in 10 years) who didn't like it could "go fuck himself" and she despised "slut shaming".

Since graduating university and associating myself mainly with professionals and military types, I was largely unaware that branches of society like the one I describe above existed. I certainly hadn't come into contact with them, let alone associate with them. I confess, encountering somebody who lived this sort of lifestyle knocked me for six, particularly because on a superficial level I got on pretty well with the girl. But it made me realise there is a whole swathe of people out there with no talent, class, standards, or self-respect who are to a man (and woman) left-wing voters and whose whole way of life depends on the continuation and furthering of the same ding-bat behaviour and politics that is the subject of this post.

jones

Hi Tim,

Sounds to me like she had a borderline personality disorder.

Any history of self-harm when the tragedies of artistic existence plunged her to the dark depths of despair?

David

I was largely unaware that branches of society like the one I describe above existed.

Yet they do, and it isn’t a particularly small minority. Those I’ve met over the years tended to be from fairly comfortable backgrounds, or very comfortable backgrounds, with access to parental cash should the self-inflicted squalor eventually become too dreary – say, around their fifties when certain humdrum practicalities become harder to avoid. The problem, I think, is when others much less fortunate, with no access to parental bailouts and no property to inherit, are encouraged to follow the same supposedly bohemian template. Many of whom may find themselves stranded in a very unhappy place.

Tim Newman

Sounds to me like she had a borderline personality disorder.

Oh hell, she was so much in denial she might has well have been in Egypt. She said she suffered terribly at the hands of her husband, who was an alcoholic and a pathological liar, and she sought therapy to deal with it after her divorce at age 25. Yet consider the circumstances: she met the guy in an "open relationship" whereby each person agrees to certain "ground rules" whereby they may sleep with other people. So before she got married (as age 22) she was sleeping with a 35 year old married guy, whose wife was sleeping with other people, etc. And her 41 year old husband was seriously into another woman, who he spent most of his time with. She also said this 41 year old guy used to take her to orgies, but it was completely consensual and she was "exploring her sexuality". She insists to this day that the relationships were based on real, genuine love and the whole setup did not in any way compromise the quality of the relationships. She also said it was great because she could meet guys who she shared an interest with and be able to have sex with them but still keep her other relationships. She said the reason she stopped it was because it was "exhausting" having to manage the logistics so that no partner found themselves alone for a night or a weekend. And yes, I've seen the wedding pictures: all of the various No. 1 and No. 2 lovers attended, a rather tacky affair in Central Park after a brief visit to City Hall.

According to her, the problem came when her husband broke the ground rules by sleeping with women and not approving it with her first, leaving her alone for nights. He wasn't spending enough time with her, or his No. 2 woman, and this was a problem for both of them. The two women became friends apparently, and sat this guy down and tried to organise his life so he would not be sleeping with other women and breaking the ground rules (he also didn't use condoms with these other, unapproved women, which meant the girl I knew had to insist on his wearing them during her marriage). Eventually his drinking and lying and sleeping with unapproved women and leaving her alone (although she was still sleeping with other men, only within the ground rules) made her so miserable and depressed that she filed for divorce and left him: but all her friends and lovers were all mixed up in the same small, rather incestuous social circle in Brooklyn, so it was very difficult for her afterwards.

At no point in her telling the story does she attribute any blame for poor decisions on her part. She defends to the hilt her decision to get involved with older men in open relationships and marry a guy for the purpose of obtaining a visa (although she was dating him at the time: she was facing deportation, because her own visa application had gotten screwed up), and insists this - the orgies, the multiple partners - had no bearing on the failure of her marriage and her subsequent misery. She's managed to convince herself, with the help of therapy and her mates, that the *only* reason for it all going wrong was her husband's behaviour. I gently tried to persuade her that entering this sort of setup is likely to put one into contact with these sort of men, but she angrily insisted that he was an exception and the other, married guy was "lovely" and "loved her". So even angrily rejected my suggestion that she was perhaps young, daft, and unprepared and perhaps regretted or was somewhat ashamed of her earlier life choices (which we all have, it's part of growing up).

In other words, she made the decision at 21 to get involved with what to me sound like pretty fucked-up and rather exploitative older guys, egged on by fat, tattooed, feminist "artsy" mates, and inevitably the whole thing ended in misery. But rather than engage in some self-reflection and evaluate her own choices in this, she's found a handy item to pin the whole problem on - her ex-husband (who was undoubtedly a world-class prick) - and excuse herself of any culpability. I don't think I've ever come across somebody who is so deluded by their own narrative, and I distanced myself from her pretty damned quickly. She sounded dangerous as hell, and scared the hell out of me.

Tim Newman

Many of whom may find themselves stranded in a very unhappy place.

This! From the final email I sent to her:

[You need to] get off this path which is leading you to a pretty dark and lonely place.

But as others have pointed out to me, she's so deep in her delusion and invested so much of her life in believing it, that there is no way on earth at age 32 is she going to go through the pain of unpacking it.

I think I came as a shock to her: she'd never told anybody all this outside the narrow circle of friends which already knew, and she said it with a confident air as if expecting validation. That she didn't get it, and instead I started asking questions and making remarks that shook the very foundations of her delusion, hit her really hard. I advised she either sticks within her circle or shuts the fuck up about her past life or invents a better story.

Franklin

Yet they do, and it isn’t a particularly small minority.

You get perverse consequences when you pursue non-conformity for its own sake. Realizing a vision and thinking for yourself, which is necessary to making art, may end up making you far-out. But just trying to be far-out throws you into a crowd which is short on ideas, and consequently consists of everyone trying to be far-out (or worse, "radical") in roughly the same ways. Thus you end up with this monotony of "creatives." I encounter a lot more passion and original thinking by hanging out with computer programmers.

Watcher in the dark

Allow me to say this about people with wide-ranging sexuality. I know a person who lives in what was called once a 'ménage à trois' and plans to have children one day through what may appear a complex relationship. This person however has served in the Army and has defended Britain to the point of a bayonet on more than one occasion, having survived firefights with muslims in far off places (with the added rejoinder that the world had less bad guys afterwards than it has before.) Whatever you think of military matters and those who would do violence in the name of Queen and Country, this person has faced war against an enemy who would think nothing of wiping out everything you and I may hold dear, and came home to tell the tale.

However, he has a need for relationships that are beyond what some may consider normal. So it goes: it is a private matter. But I regard this person as a warrior, and his reaction had a huge impact on me when I was telling him about my grandparent's own military experience in WW1 and he unexpectedly asked whether, in honour of my family, they might add my grandfather's name to a list of potential names should they have a boy (I did suggest that the female version of the name would be even more fitting for a girl, and he agreed.)

What people do in the bedroom is up to them. What people do in public service does however affect us all.

Nikw211

Tim,

I've just read the story of your encounter with this 'artist' and found it strangely fascinating/horrifying. So much so that it's actually prompted quite a long response.

I wonder if, by any chance, you have seen the movie About a boy?

Regardless of its entertainment value (or lack thereof), there is a rather wonderful (and pivotal) scene in which the protagonist, Will Freeman (Hugh Grant) meets Rachel (Rachel Weisz) at a dinner party on New Years Eve.

Will is a trust fund kidult who has literally never worked or needed to and Rachel is a professional with a career. You can see it here, but the reason I think it's relevant to your former acquaintance is this segment:

    Will (VO): On New Year's Eve, I met Rachel. She was interesting, and smart, and attractive, and for about 5 minutes I had her convinced that I was too. […] It was torture. For 5 minutes I realized what life would be like if I were in any way interesting; if I had anything to say for myself; if I did anything. But I didn't do anything. And in about 30 seconds she would know. And she'd be gone like a shot.

    Rachel: So, what do you do?

    Will: Well, I'm sort of erm, taking a bit of time off at the moment

    Rachel: Sounds good, yeah. Time off from what?

    Will: Well, to be absolutely honest, um, time off from … time off. In fact, the, er, most interesting thing about me is I don't actually do anything.

    Rachel: You don't do anything?

    Will: Actually, no.

    Rachel: Nothing?

    Will: Nope

Just as Rachel is about to turn away, Will suddenly calls her back by inventing a fictitious son and pretending to be a single parent as a way of explaining his lack of occupation.

I think it's relevant because the person you met – and likely her whole circle of friends – are basically people who do nothing or when they have done something it is likely something shameful.

I mean, apparently the most significant thing she has ever 'done' is to marry a man twice her age for green card. Stated as baldly as that it really doesn't make her sound particularly appealing. And as she spent most of her 20s not getting a career, she's a little bit late to start a new one. It's a hard truth for some people to accept that they are rather less special in the eyes of others as they think they ought to be.

So inevitably, the only option left, I suppose, is to invent a career and being an artist fits the bill perfectly as it's one which can be thought to confer a certain degree of social status – it implies someone creative, passionate, sensitive, driven – all qualities she is conspicuously lacking in, apparently – yet without the burden of requiring evidence of any particular professional or financial success.

You don't have to be represented by a gallery to call yourself an artist, and you may even convince people that the gallery system is so much about who you know rather than what you do that it sounds plausible that you can both be an 'artist' yet not have any exhibitions or sell any work.

Incidentally, in the film About a boy, Will does eventually gain a real family of his own and become a real father to a real boy as an ironic consequence of his fantasies. That, of course, is a work of fiction.

If she and others like her tell you they are an artist in the hope that, somehow, they will eventually succeed in becoming one, that is magical thinking.

It's not surprising therefore that she believes earnestly in the kind of radical politics that are grounded in fantasy or that she only feels comfortable around other people who live by the same kind of fantasies that she apparently indulges in.

David

What people do in the bedroom is up to them

I’m not overly concerned with what consenting parties do under the duvet or how they structure their romantic entanglements. It is, though, worth pointing out that some configurations are inherently complicated and more difficult to sustain as one gets older. It’s also worth noting that following the lifestyle advice of, say, Laurie Penny, for whom radical posturing is a drug of choice, isn’t the most plausible path to later happiness. And it’s hard to imagine Laurie’s own lifestyle and career trajectory being quite so viable without her parents’ stable, presumably monogamous, rather bourgeois background and the residual effects of the very values she claims to despise, and which she urges others to reject.

Tim Newman

NikW211,

You've nailed it absolutely, particularly this:

So inevitably, the only option left, I suppose, is to invent a career and being an artist fits the bill perfectly as it's one which can be thought to confer a certain degree of social status – it implies someone creative, passionate, sensitive, driven – all qualities she is conspicuously lacking in, apparently – yet without the burden of requiring evidence of any particular professional or financial success.

Sums her and her ilk up perfectly. And yes, the About a Boy reference is apt: short of any achievements, they resort to crass, childish, and crude displays of "edgy" behaviour.

But this:

And as she spent most of her 20s not getting a career, she's a little bit late to start a new one.

She is extraordinarily fortunate that she was raised partly in Canada speaking English and French and partly in Moscow speaking Russian, so she has managed to find work as an interpreter/translator (to be fair, she is very good at it) and looks to be getting a pretty good gig interpreting at the UN. But as I rather cruelly pointed out, this has been gifted to her by an accident of childhood rather than any application of dedication and commitment on her part (I learned two foreign languages to conversational level as an adult, which required both).

Tim Newman

I’m not overly concerned with what consenting parties do under the duvet or how they structure their romantic entanglements.

Nor am I. But when people brazenly splurge forth details of the sexual history almost as an act of defiance, seeking either validation or daring me to object, and that person wishes to involve themselves in my life in some capacity, I will respond how I see fit.

David

But when people brazenly splurge forth details of the sexual history almost as an act of defiance, seeking either validation or daring me to object,

Yes, that’s what brought Laurie to mind. She feels a need to repeatedly announce her preference for fashionably complicated, somewhat unstable, polyamorous relationships, as if this were a credential of some kind. And so she presents absent fathers and single parenthood as preferable to more conventional arrangements, despite all statistics to the contrary, and urges her young readers to “fuck marriage, mortgage, monogamy and every other small ugly ambition.”

Tim Newman

Oh, and it's worth mentioning that this artist ex-friend of mine is the offspring of well-to-do Russian diplomats whose way of life and political views she despises. She proudly mentions she was a goth and rebel as a teenager, and the raging against the parents who gave the best possible start in life continues to this day. She has sensibly kept her lifestyle choices from her parents and sister, because "they wouldn't understand". But apparently I was supposed to. I never asked her what the Russian term is for "daddy issues", but I suspect I'd have initiated a small nuclear explosion.

She does sound a lot like Penny, complete with the red stripe in the hair and the facial piercings.

Tim Newman

Incidentally, Chateau Heartiste described polyamorous relationships thusly:

Consensual polyamory is a contrived hookup service for undesirable sexual market rejects.

I find it hard to believe - outside of a few genuinely "different" people and the odd alpha male who is cleaning up - that the people who get involved in this in their early 20s have many options. I could possibly see it might appeal to middle aged couples whose marriages have gone stale, but girls in their 20s? C'mon.

David

I do like it when threads take an unexpected turn.

David

The ostentatious rejection of conventional coupling brought to mind this Guardianista’s ode to communal squatting, in which a shifting household of “art students from Berlin,” unemployed poets and other exotic transients is deemed sufficient compensation for damp walls, constant mooching and unreliable electricity. And which apparently stands as a glorious rebuttal of “our materialistic obsession with property ownership,” which is selfish and beastly.

I don’t doubt that communal squatting can sound terribly edgy and exciting, for some, say, when you’re a student, but the realities become harder to ignore, and harder to tolerate, as your thirties come and go.

Watcher in the dark

'and urges her young readers to “fuck marriage, mortgage, monogamy and every other small ugly ambition.”'

I am confident that Ms P will have several small, ugly ambitions she certainly doesn't want anyone else to fuck with.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

The department chair of political science, who specialises in “urban education,”

Start 'em young, high school "Racial Justice" Day wth 50, count, 'em 50, classes !

Some samples to encourage you to explore the rich tapestry of learning that spans the entire spectrum from far leftist to extreme leftist these will impart:

Yoof [sic]Activism and Engagement!
What does it mean to be an activist? This workshop centers around what it means to be a yoof activist in the Twin cities, as well as a discussion on the state of policing and criminalization here in Minneapolis.

Know Your Rights! Empower Yourself When Dealing with Police
Come to this interactive workshop to learn about the "magic words" and actions that can empower you during encounters with police.

White Allyship STUDENT LED
The workshop will include learning about our privilege and how to identify it, key do's and don't's for being a white ally, and much more! [Yay ! Moar !]

THE WORLD WE ALL WANT TO LIVE IN
Racial justice requires fighting against racism, and it also demands a clear vision of a shared future. [Vision, theirs - boot, face, assembly required]

Race and Capitalism
This workshop will articulate some fundamental ways racism works and how is intricately tied to capitalism, the dominant political economic system.

Of some relevance to the recent discussion here:

Poetry, Identity, & the Beautiful Struggle This workshop will include a brief lecture, creative writing exercise, and group discussion to focus on themes of self-identity and social justice, and how they can intersect with artistic expression. Leader: My name is Alexei Moon Casselle, born and raised in South Minneapolis, South High alum. I have been a musician/ lyricist/ rapper for two decades, and a youth worker/ educator for half of that.

The Power of Art in Immigration (led in spanish and english)
What brings immigrants from every walk of life together? Immigrant with different countries, cultures? Art; art expands everywhere and it can be understood even without speaking the language. [Yessiree Bob, no conceit here, everyone knows that the best way to bring cultures together is "art" as practiced by this lot.]

To change the old cliché a bit, those who can do, those who can't, stir the burn out barrel.

Is our children learning ?

David

Is our children learning?

They must really hate black kids.

Trevor

Is our children learning?

One wonders: when the eagerly-anticipated 'browning of America' (and other Western countries) has resulted in the advent of a glorious Melatopia, who will maintain and repair the power plants and sewage sysyems, develop and manufacture medications, etc? 'Diaspora Studies' professors? 'Intersectionality' mavens? Perhaps then there will be an 'Oops, we done messed up' moment, although I wouldn't bet on it. Such enclaves of civilisation as may endure (China, Japan?) may feel uninclined to keep the cargo-cultists supplied with stuff, and are unlikely to be propitiated by any amount of twerking or rapping.

Hedgehog

I am confident that Ms P will have several small, ugly ambitions she certainly doesn't want anyone else to fuck with.

Given that every single pronouncement of hers is the sign of a small, ugly mind, that certainly isn't in doubt.

Hedgehog

They must really hate black kids.

Actually I think it's worse than that. I think they are utterly indifferent to black kids. They view them purely as cannon fodder, as a population that needs to be kept in ignorance and subjection so that they can keep their sinecures going. The resentment of black kids is what gives them their moral authority as well as their jobs, and so they lovingly nurture it to make sure they can continue with their despicable careers.

Thomas Fuller

HR departments tend to attract women with very little in the way of hard skills

H R Clinton for President, anyone?

Hedgehog

About the eagerly-anticipated 'browning of America': I think that day has come. La Griffe du Lion makes a cogent argument that there is a minimum proportion of the population that has to have a sufficient IQ (he(?) puts it at 106) in order for a developed country to be able to sustain the systems (infrastructure, processes, laws, etc.) that allowed it to become developed in the first place. The breakdown that we see in America currently, with all aspects of government being revealed to be corrupt, incompetent, actively malevolent, or all of the above, is, I believe, a direct result of the affirmative action programs that have led to government agencies being staffed by individuals who were not objectively qualified for the positions they hold.

WTP

One interesting thing I'm noticing is how often the most aggressive and physically intimidating of these SJW are women. Not just in these videos right here but generally, at least the ones of the "educated" college campus crowd. Anti-Trump rioters a little less so but even there women seem to be over represented relative to your more common garden-variety riots.

Watcher in the dark

Trevor wrote: 'who will maintain and repair the power plants and sewage sysyems, develop and manufacture medications, etc?'

I seriously think the prospect of the collapse of the sewage system (and heaven knows, it is pretty old already) because few of our newly imported friends will want to wade in the deep doo-dah will very much result in, er, having to wade in the deep doo-dah. And then some.

pst314

"often the most aggressive and physically intimidating of these SJW are women."

I have read that during Mao's Cultural Revolution, many of the most vicious and cruel of Mao's thugs were women. Does that agree with what the rest of you commenters have read?

the wolf

Ah, my alma mater doing itself proud again. I once had an insanely leftist economics professor who would often spar with the Young Republicans in the class. At that time, civility prevailed and he would even graciously announce upcoming events that the YR hosted. I fear those days are long past.

BackwardsBoy

But that's no reason to give it to them. When security failed to act, a couple gentleman from the audience could have, should have, gone on stage, grabbed both those self-propelled cloacas by the belt and scruff of the neck and tossed them off the stage before frog-marching them out the door.

Imagine the humiliation of being grasped by the ear and led outside like Grandma would've done.

Geezer

Imagine the humiliation of being grasped by the ear and led outside like Grandma would've done.

I strongly suspect that the otherwise useless "security" personnel in the back would pull their thumbs out of their asses and arrest the guys who escorted the barbarians out.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Speaking of artists and art that requires no ability, and art that isn't.

Soon, people began to surround them, maintaining a safe distance from the ‘artwork’ and several of them taking pictures.

The picture of the guy contemplating a similar previous work is excellent.

Fred the Fourth

David: The "unexpected turn" thing is a principal reason why this site is my new favorite read.

"fuck marriage, mortgage, monogamy and every other small ugly ambition": i.e. any commitment. These folk are mayflies, with a time horizon measured in hours. Unfortunately, they are the social-disease-carrying kind of mayfly.
In the real world, mayflies at least serve as trout food. I have yet to identify a use for the human sort.

Fred the Fourth

Oh,and in light of the artist theme, you might enjoy this: A couple weeks ago I was wandering the UC Berkeley campus, waiting for an evening meeting with some entrepreneur types. I saw a typical street denizen, probably 30 but looking 50, with that grayish cast of mien and attire that comes from urban living with no real means or purpose. And then (as Dave Barry would say: I Am Not Making This Up) as I passed him, I overheard him mutter "Mommas, don't let your babies grow up to be artists."

Allan

Not sure if it was already mentioned in the comments above or not, but did you guys see the "healing space" video where they discuss methods of stopping people like Ben Shapiro appearing on campus?
http://www.yaf.org/news/csula-healing-space-shapiro/

Silly woman calls Ben a Neo-Nazi and then says that's "ironic" because he's Jewish...Nooo it's fucking stupid and offensive (eh, if you're one given to taking offense that is.)

Tim Newman

Interestingly I met an American photographer in Paris last night at a small gig. At first I was skeptical, given that every second person I meet with an Instagram account calls themselves a photographer if (as discussed above) they have little by way of other achievements to fall back on. She rather indignantly told me she owns a 400sqm studio in San Diego and has run her own full-time photography business for 10 years. Which was nice to hear.

What was also interesting is that she was gay, and the partner of the girl playing the gig. It was interesting because she said she was actually very conservative and doesn't go in for the whole promiscuity and public displays of crude sexuality which is a feature of much of the gay scene: she was a normal, conservative woman who just happened to like chicks. She also surprised me by saying she going to vote for Trump: he is pro-gay, and as a businesswoman she wants somebody who is going to put America first and not tax her out of existence.

If Trump can persuade lesbian photographers in California to vote for him, I have a feeling Clinton might be in a spot of bother.

David

she was a normal, conservative woman who just happened to like chicks.

I’d say that was progress, no?

Tim Newman

I’d say that was progress, no?

Indeed. But I bet the "progressive" rad-fems hate her.

David

Well, from what I can make out, hate is their go-to emotion.

theresa

I wonder if we are seeing the results of fatherless families here, with these stupid, undisciplined children, especially the radfembots. Just a thought, a scary scary thought...

Trevor

I wonder if we are seeing the results of fatherless families here

Fathers, schmathers. Haven't you heard? It takes a village to fail to socialise a child. Hilary, Oprah, all the Great Ones have said so.

Splotchy

A ha - a welcome resignation! Although it is peppered with semi-intelligible words of madness. From a professor, no less, responsible for educating students:

http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/27/depaul-professor-offended-by-milo-resigns-calls-free-speech-delusional/

Hal

I wonder if we are seeing the results of fatherless families here, with these stupid, undisciplined children, especially the radfembots. Just a thought, a scary scary thought...

No. This is from the wall to wall hipster/yuppy/preppy variety of "parents" that go for awards for just showing up, get the label of helicopter "parents". . .

Remember: Back when the hipsters started claiming to be called preppies, that was the early nineteen empties . . . and a little after that is when those fails started to breed. Twenty to thirty years after that, the spawn have now appeared and are in the news . . .

jones

"Is our children learning?"

This would depend on what the meaning of "is" is.

Innit?

abacab

Race and Capitalism
This workshop will articulate some fundamental ways racism works and how is intricately tied to capitalism, the dominant political economic system.

Aah, yes, because it is so intricately tied to capitalism that it didn't exist under feudalism, nor under "actually existing socialism". Which just proves that Soviet Russia's racist Russification programs and North Korea's racist supremacism are just the fault of the US and the CIA. Or something.

Johnnydub

Sargon of Akkad on Youtube does a masterful deconstruction on who is actually pulling the strings behind the DePaul event:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXIT5w_k4mA

Chester Draws

This workshop will articulate some fundamental ways racism works and how is intricately tied to capitalism, the dominant political economic system.

The most annoying thing about this is that capitalism is pretty close to race free. I don't know the race of the owners of anything I buy. I will buy Japanese, if it is value for money, without even knowing it -- despite not being much of a fan of Japan as a country.

The aspects of our society that are racist are almost always corporationist, not capitalist at all. Education systems can be racist, stock markets not so much.

When these people say "racist" they really mean it doesn't seem to work for Blacks. Jews and Koreans, for example, have overall been favoured by Capitalism.

David

Sargon of Akkad… does a masterful deconstruction on who is actually pulling the strings behind the DePaul event

Heh. Yes, Professor Johnson is exactly who and what you’d imagine – an “affirmative action” mediocrity, an incompetent, someone unfit to teach, and who exploits the credulity of her equally mediocre “affirmative action” students to further her own ego and career, and who invokes phantom “racism” whenever her own shortcomings are in danger of becoming too obvious. As noted before, “affirmative action” hires and admissions are unfair, divisive and demeaning, a license for failure and institutional corruption, and frequently harmful to their supposed beneficiaries.

And yes, when stated plainly, it’s quite extraordinary that the university administration believes it’s role is to “assist and enable” such protests and to subsequently “explore” the “differences around race, gender and orientation” allegedly being highlighted. Though the most glaring and dominant “difference,” the double standard of behaviour and the racial impunity so obviously in play, at DePaul and many other campuses, seems likely to remain taboo. Or, as Sargon puts it: “Unlike you, I don’t think that’s okay because they’re black.” To “explore” that assumption, which is apparently very common indeed, would risk the unravelling of too many careers, too much unearned status, and an awful lot of funding.

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