David Thompson
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September 26, 2017

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Sam

Why the Artist Ragnar Kjartansson Asked his Mother to Spit On Him.

I'd like to volunteer my services.

Sam

Upper middle class families have a lot of social and financial capital to draw on when a kid flunks out, loses a job, gets pregnant outside of marriage, or gets in trouble with the law. For people with less, these experiences are likely to be disastrous and life-ruining.

That.

David

That.

It’s not unlike the middle-class, privately-educated Laurie Penny urging her young readers to “destroy marriage,” to reject romantic love as “a systemic lie,” to champion “polyamory,” and to wage “war” on capitalism. As if such things couldn’t possibly have sub-optimal consequences. As if employers will favour job applicants who want to wage “war” on capitalism.

David

Not entirely unrelated to the above, this sorry tale. Because if you come from a modest background and your family could use some extra income, getting heavily into debt for a Masters in Gender Studies is, obviously, the way to go.

Jen

this feat of aesthetic phlegm projection

"It’s not a video of a mother spitting on an artist the Hirshhorn has obtained. It’s evidence our incompetent, entrenched culture industries don’t even bother to hide their disdain anymore."

That.

Jonathan

Research into people who regret having gender reassignment surgery? That might not be good for your career, or our University.

A British University has blocked an academic studying a reported surge in people regretting transgender surgery, claiming a “social media” backlash to the “politically incorrect” research could harm the institution.

sH2

Antifa documentary.

https://youtu.be/EuNKs0RKHtw

R. Sherman

...[T]he academy exists largely because others still embrace bourgeois virtues of hard work, education, and upward social mobility.

I'm not sure "upward social mobility" is a "value" as much as a goal which is obtained by exercising the virtues of hard work and education, among others. Simply handing over the accouterments of a middle class life to those without those "bourgeois" virtues never works as intended.

David

Simply handing over the accoutrements of a middle class life to those without those “bourgeois” virtues never works as intended.

Quite. Though despite the phrasing, I’m assuming the intended meaning is of social mobility as a consequence of those values.

Of course, Laurie Penny, linked above, wants her readers to “fuck” even the idea of social mobility, which she disdains as a “small ugly ambition.” Quite where that leaves people, especially those from modest backgrounds, I’m not sure.

Tom
Simply handing over the accouterments of a middle class life to those without those "bourgeois" virtues never works as intended.

Quite right, see the wonderful result of making mortgages easy to obtain in the U.S. The middle-class had mortgages so ensuring the poor could easily get mortgages they were unable to repay would automatically make them middle-class, or something.

R. Sherman

I would also suggest that the hypocrisy of the academy and the Progressive Left exemplified by Laurie Penny is not really the main issue. Rather, the given that the Left believes it is intellectually and morally superior to the rest of us and therefore entitled to be in control over all aspects of our lives, the desire to better oneself pursued by the hoi polloi is a threat their power and dominance. Sure it's hypocritical, but it's hypocrisy in the deliberate service of attaining raw power. After all, for them the worst case scenario/nightmare is hordes of poor people becoming tax-paying members of the middle class at which time said former poor join the TEA Party.

David

And in other “let’s-make-every-inch-of-the-culture-tediously-political” news, this and this.

Burnsie

Call that spitting? Amateur. Dilettantism at its worst.

http://wnep.com/2017/07/03/tobacco-spitting-competition/

Burnsie

And in other “let’s-make-every-inch-of-the-culture-tediously-political” news, this and this.

Incredibly tedious.

They're free to do whatever they want, but don't they understand that this gesture is a giant middle finger to half of their market?

David

but don’t they understand that this gesture is a giant middle finger to half of their market?

Previously.

R. Sherman

And in other “let’s-make-every-inch-of-the-culture-tediously-political” news...

“Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato”

For "Stato," please feel free to substitute "new orthodoxy."

Trevor

The middle-class had mortgages so ensuring the poor could easily get mortgages they were unable to repay would automatically make them middle-class, or something.

Quite. And somewhat akin to the apparent belief that mere attendance at something called a college or university enhances attendees' cognitive abilities. That magical thinking seems to be gaining ground does not bode well.

Joan

"Meat should be treated like tobacco with a public campaign to stop people eating it, Jeremy Corbyn's new vegan shadow farming minister has suggested."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/agriculture/food/11887317/Treat-meat-eaters-like-smokers-warns-Jeremy-Corbyns-new-vegan-farming-minister-Kerry-McCarthy.html

David

Apparently, this elevating spectacle is what’s known as “acid Corbynism.”

Via Holborn.

David

Well, I suppose it’s one way of looking at it.

Daniel Ream

don't they understand that this gesture is a giant middle finger to half of their market?

My thesis is that this stuff only happens in media that are financially struggling to begin with. Look at the two shows: a relic of the 90's that failed a relaunch, and a franchise crank-turner that's been siloed on a dedicated streaming service and barely advertised. There's been some interesting commentary on how the NFL was in financial decline before this crap ever started.

David

“Meat should be treated like tobacco with a public campaign to stop people eating it, Jeremy Corbyn’s new vegan shadow farming minister has suggested.”

I’m now picturing people huddling in doorways in the wind and rain, sharing a pasty of dubious provenance. “Is it a Ginsters?”

David in Michigan

I wouldn't go to the museum to see some goof get spit on by his mother every couple of years or so. Pointless and tame. Now if she were to knee him in the 'nads that often, I might go. I'm certain the expression of pre-kick fear and post kick agony on his face over the years would capture an emotion that I'd like to see for him.

PiperPaul

Young Frankenstein:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws9QxOMfmwI

Rafi

Antifa at Berkeley.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3i6J2fcrKi8

Governor Squid

The middle-class had mortgages so ensuring the poor could easily get mortgages they were unable to repay would automatically make them middle-class, or something.

This is essentially a restatement of Reynolds' Law, named after something the Blogfather said back in 2010:

The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle-class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.

David

Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.

Testify!

Dom

"Bath Spa University stopped Psychotherapist James Caspian from examining cases of people who had surgery to reverse a “gender reassignment” after finding they regretted the decision."

Oh, come on. I'll accept that there's a Bath University, but Bath Spa? That has to be a joke.

Pogonip

Dancing around The F Word...

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/25/white-women-husbands-voting

No, not THAT "F" word. The "F" word, Feminist. Over here political wisdom is that feminists don't have fathers, brothers, husbands, or sons, that to get their vote you have to attack men. And that's why the world doesn't have to worry about President Hillary shooting down Russian planes over Syria.

(A prospect that really scared me. I thought, and still think, that Trump is much less dangerous. He is not likely to risk nuclear war destroying his entire audience.)

WTP

Made me look

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_Spa_University

David

Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.

See also squatting. As when the Guardian’s Lucy Cosslett imagined that violating and occupying someone else’s expensive London property – an “impossibly grand house” on Park Crescent – would somehow result in a utopian elevation of the mind, rather than the usual squalor, freeloading and selfishness.

dicentra

It is unreasonable to expect that some arenas be free from politics. https://twitter.com/dicentra33/status/912478214261374976

Daniel Ream

Oh, come on. I'll accept that there's a Bath University, but Bath Spa? That has to be a joke.

Like Ryerson here in Canada, it appears to be a jumped-up community college/vocational school. They seem to mostly train artists, writers and teachers.

champ

And in other “let’s-make-every-inch-of-the-culture-tediously-political” news, this and this.

And this...

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/georgetown-law-faculty-take-a-knee-to-protest-jeff-sessions-campus-visit/ar-AAsuvoi?li=BBnb7Kz

This shit never ends...

David

It is unreasonable to expect that some arenas be free from politics.

I’m sorry that bringing awareness to the unequal treatment of poc in the US ruins your sport, except not really, bc that’s kinda the point.

Your sparring partner, Virginia, seems to believe that the unattractive compulsion to signal some unearned moral superiority trumps anyone else’s expectation of escapism, pleasure or respite. Of course all this knee-bending business doesn’t actually establish whether the premise is true, or that the ostentatious moral preening is actually justified.

Which is how, I suspect, people like Virginia like it.

PiperPaul


You will be forced to have an opinion and it had better be the right one

WTP

It ain't easy being me, I tell ya. Last night I went to a political rally. They asked me to speak and a football game broke out. I don't get no respect. No respect at all.

Pogonip

Did anyone watch the latest version of Star Trek? Here at Pogonip Palace, we forgot about it.

WTP

This is what I was speaking of in regards to Tim Newman's mercinary friend last week.

Spenser Rapone

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/371740.php

Joe Ego

Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.

Surely a variation of a cargo cult.
https://infogalactic.com/info/Cargo_cult

jabrwok

Spitting is boring. If you want TRUE Aht, you need to go to Moleman Productions!

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

jabrwok

Regarding Antifa at Berkeley, I kept hoping someone would respond to the woman screaming "Punch a Nazi" by punching her in the snoot.

Alas, it was not to be:-(

Spiny Norman

I’m now picturing people huddling in doorways in the wind and rain, sharing a pasty of dubious provenance. “Is it a Ginsters?”

In the wind-whipped rain, a hooded figure approaches. The sputtering light above the doorway reveals a face stricken with fear, and he says in an ominous voice, "Soylent Green is people!"

Vince N

After all, for them the worst case scenario/nightmare is hordes of poor people becoming tax-paying members of the middle class at which time said former poor join the TEA Party.

Which is why the left pushes the $15 minimum wage: to throw vast reams of people out of work, so the left can attempt to recruit them.

Hal

Quite right, see the wonderful result of making mortgages easy to obtain in the U.S. The middle-class had mortgages so ensuring the poor could easily get mortgages they were unable to repay would automatically make them middle-class, or something.

Actually, for the 2007 and such housing bubble, see the wonderful result that the complete reverse is pretty much what really happened.

Analyzing a huge dataset of anonymous credit scores from Equifax, a credit reporting bureau, the economists—Stefania Albanesi of the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Geneva’s Giacomo De Giorgi, and Jaromir Nosal of Boston College—found that the biggest growth of mortgage debt during the housing boom came from those with credit scores in the middle and top of the credit score distribution—and that these borrowers accounted for a disproportionate share of defaults.

As for those with low credit scores—the “subprime” borrowers who supposedly caused the crisis—their borrowing stayed virtually constant throughout the boom. And while it’s true that these types of borrowers usually default at relatively higher rates, they didn’t after the 2007 housing collapse. The lowest quartile in the credit score distribution accounted for 70% of foreclosures during the boom years, falling to just 35% during the crisis.


See also:

In this post, we present new findings from our recent New York Fed study that uses unique data to suggest that real estate “investors”—borrowers who use financial leverage in the form of mortgage credit to purchase multiple residential properties—played a previously unrecognized, but very important, role. These investors likely helped push prices up during 2004-06; but when prices turned down in early 2006, they defaulted in large numbers and thereby contributed importantly to the intensity of the housing cycle’s downward leg.

. . .

We conclude that investors were much more important in the housing boom and bust during the 2000s than previously thought. The availability of low- and no-down-payment mortgages in the nonprime sector enabled investors to make these bets.


Bets.

Not investments, which is what the poor were doing.

See also squatting. As when the Guardian’s Lucy Cosslett imagined that violating and occupying someone else’s expensive London property – an “impossibly grand house” on Park Crescent – would somehow result in a utopian elevation of the mind, rather than the usual squalor, freeloading and selfishness.

And that to provide that complete contrast to the lower income actual investor who just wants to own a home. Such indeed echoed by Joe Ego's cargo cult note, where there really is a hipster born every minute, For you will always have the hipster among you.

And then along came the nineteen-empties. Naturally, the decade will never be remembered as the nineteen-eighties. Because of the weak and deluded, the 'empties wound up instead being the undoubted, bar nothing, butt-ugliest decade of the entire 20th century. Early on in the nineteen-empties, a very minor bit of social satire was published, called "The Preppy Handbook" The powerful uniformly noted the satire as being satire, where a redundant indicator is that it always was, still is, and always will be filed under humor. On an other hand, the weak and deluded rather uniformly delineated themselves as the weak and deluded by totally missing the point, subsequently fantasizing that the book is an actual guide, and as the weak and deluded do, they also additionally fantasized that if they called themselves preppy, that any of the powerful might someday thus mistake them for any form of capable adults.

As it was, while the pretension of the weak and the deluded had already been documented and confirmed them as being ongoing complete failures; they weren't even able to be original failures. By that point and continuing on, the sapeurs of the Congo area of central Africa had already totally established themselves as the undeniable older cousins of all weak and deluded who claimed they must be called "preppy". Starting in the 'fifties or so, and definitely continuing on through the 'seventies and 'eighties and later, the sapeurs had already started to worship the idea of being mistaken for the middle classes. Like the other weak and deluded, the sapeurs had already fantasized that mere brand names instead of actual capability and intelligence could have any meaning or value. In addition, earlier even than the sapeurs, the cargo cultists of the South Pacific had already started insisting that if assorted gestures and appearances existed and were practiced---with no attention at all to where they came from or how reality actually functions---clearly such would make the cargo cultist admired and successful. And then, years and years later, the ongoing failure of the cargo cultist and the sapeur continued to be repeated daily by those later editions of the weak and the deluded who made any claim of or being impressed by being "preppy".

Hal

The German schoolboy jailed for writing to the BBC

"You should be happy to live under socialism," were the words of welcome from a young officer as he arrived at the prison.

"Under the Nazis we'd have had you up in smoke a long time ago."

Those words have stuck in his head. The identification with the Nazis.

"The Stasi terminated biographies," says Susanne Schädlich, also drawing links with the methods and terminology of the Third Reich. "The way they went after people, for example, and shut them up."

David

It is unreasonable to expect that some arenas be free from politics.

Regarding all that knee-bending, this may amuse:

An NFL player is arrested, on average, every seven days. Did you know, that as of this writing, it’s been 24 days since an NFL player was arrested? The odds that we would go that long in between player arrests are 25 to 1! In case you were wondering, there’s an entire website dedicated to tracking all the NFL players who have been arrested. Oops. I just checked again. It’s now been zero days since an NFL player was arrested. Thanks, Los Angeles Ram Ethan Westbrooks! Westbrooks was arrested this weekend for speeding and being in possession of an unlicensed firearm. This is the second time in bracelets this year for Westbrooks, who was arrested in March on suspicion of domestic violence.

You’d think some rudimentary shame might kick in at some point.

David

And Star Trek: Discovery’s mission to insult and alienate half its audience continues.

Charlie Suet

I can't claim to have watched much Star Trek, but isn't being surprised by the fact that it's pushing a 'progressive' agenda a bit naïve? I thought that was the point of the exercise?

David

but isn’t being surprised by the fact that it’s pushing a ‘progressive’ agenda a bit naïve?

So far as I can recall, the PC woolliness of, say, TNG, while sometimes aggravating and dramatically tedious, didn’t actually veer into open contempt for Republicans, conservatives, etc., by name, in the real world. We seem to have gone from ‘interracial kissing is no big deal’ to ‘anyone who doesn’t vote Democrat and believe in the existence of white supremacy is ignorant and evil.’ Which is quite a journey.

[ Edited. ]

Tom
Actually, for the 2007 and such housing bubble, see the wonderful result that the complete reverse is pretty much what really happened.

Are you suggesting the media pulled the wool over my eyes Hal? I refuse to believe it I tell you.

Analyzing a huge dataset of anonymous credit scores from Equifax...

Given Equifax's recent security breach *cough*incompetence*cough*I imagine that those scores are not as anonymous as they used to be.

David

Meanwhile, in the socialist paradise of Venezuela.

WTP

The lowest quartile in the credit score distribution accounted for 70% of foreclosures during the boom years, falling to just 35% during the crisis.

Don't see how this is "complete reverse". Significant foreclosures, at a 70% rate, is not a good thing for the lender nor the borrower. That this rate dropped to 35% during the crisis is not surprising as the weakest borrowers had been flushed out of the system by then. Either way, leaning on banks to loan money to people who have little chance of paying it back is bad policy and the guaranteeing of those loans by the Feds created the moral hazard. That the banks wanted to salve their losses earlier in the boom by doubling down with the flippers trying to make it back is no surprise given the federal backing.

The point that subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them still holds. It is the values that make people successful. The stuff that they eventually own is a reflection on the success of those values, not a cause. See cargo cult.

Governor Squid

I believe you're misreading the statistic. It's not about the number of borrowers who defaulted, but rather their share of total foreclosures. I would imagine that the number of defaults among low-credit borrowers probably remained fairly consistent, while defaults among the middle two quartiles doubled.

The crisis didn't happen because a low-credit family bought the house across the street from me; it happened because all of my middle-class neighbors were buying properties they couldn't actually afford, either to flip them or to carry them as investments. Great party while it lasted!

WTP

Ah...yes, my mistake. There are numerous other factors involved as to what the dollar value of that 70% is vs. the other 30%, etc. However, it still stands that of all foreclosures before the crash, 70% were sub-prime borrowers and that they had been weeded out by the time the 35% number comes into play.

Either way, loaning money to people who lack the means for paying it back, be they rich or poor, flippers or normal home owners, is folly. There are many people in the home owner domain who lack the desire, skills, or understanding of the responsibilities of home ownership, the maintenance required, the ability to see a potentially compromising repair need, how to hire a viable contractor and not simply the cheapest available.

As for "middle-class neighbors were buying properties they couldn't actually afford, either to flip them or to carry them as investments", who do you suppose came along after the crash and picked up some of those foreclosures? Other middle class investors and such. Hopefully this time they are ones who can afford them but based on what I'm seeing in housing prices and such, while that may have been the case shortly after the crash, it seems less so now.

Also note that moral hazard is the greatest, and a still on-going, problem. Ultimately, housing/real estate/etc. is not a good indicator of economic health, especially when it is being subsidized by the government. It is a leaf factor, not a root. A society can only afford bigger houses, fancier cars, dinners out, tickets to plays and sporting events if they are producing wealth to a degree that disposable income is increasing.

Hal

There's been some interesting commentary on how the NFL was in financial decline before this crap ever started.

The immense, far reaching, and universal gravity of the NFL, summarized.

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