Leftwing people have “enlightened comedians” who make jokes on “panel games.” These are broadcast on the television and BBC Radio 4. The enlightened comedians make people laugh at rightwing people, whom they consider stupid. In the olden days, comedians made jokes about Irish people, but these comedians weren’t clever like the enlightened comedians.
Instead of the Irish people, the enlightened comedians make jokes about working-class people. Because they care, they use special words like “Glaswegians,” “Sun readers” and “UKIP supporters,” so the working-class people will not notice.
Working-class people do funny things like drinking Monster energy drinks, eating Haribos and watching television. This is funny and the enlightened comedians are helpful because they point at them and laugh, so we know who to laugh at as well. It is very funny and we all laugh because we are enlightened too.
Spotted by Chester in the comments - Fintan O’Toole, literary editor of the Irish Times, calls for a “national arts strike” to extort further cash from the taxpayer. “The public has to be reminded that it really does care,” says he. And until more wallets land on the bonfire of publicly funded art, the nation’s creative titans should “close the arts centres” and “hold no poetry readings.”
Isolation almost invariably means poverty and backwardness. You’re not aware of how the basic things of life are done differently in other parts of the world, and so people who are isolated will keep doing things the same way for centuries or thousands of years. For example, when the British landed in Australia, they found the Australian aborigines living at a Stone Age level. The aborigines had no idea of iron. Australia is one of the great sources of iron ore in the world.
Thomas Sowell discusses retrogressive culture, the importance of geography, and leftism versus success:
The 50s post-war man could read Fleming’s Bond books and dream not only of adventure and villains in far-off lands, but of an exciting lifestyle of fast cars, beautiful women, finely tailored clothes, and exotic gourmet meals from around the world. Sadly these meals were missing from the cinematic adaptations.
Eugene Volokh on the now-official “microaggression” of criticising leftist assumptions:
I’m happy to say that I’m just going to keep on microaggressing. I like to think that I’m generally polite, so I won’t express these views rudely. And I try not to inject my own irrelevant opinions into classes I teach, so there are many situations in which I won’t bring up these views simply because it’s not my job to express my views in those contexts. But the document that I quote isn’t about keeping classes on-topic or preventing personal insults — it’s about suppressing particular viewpoints. And what’s tenure for, if not to resist these attempts to stop the expression of unpopular views?
If, for example, you don’t regard a person’s melanin level as both a fascinating detail of their being and an inexhaustible license to invoke victimhood and deference, then you’re probably committing a microaggression. And the publicly-funded University of California thinks you may be “sending denigrating messages” and “creating a hostile learning environment” because you aren’t awed and enthralled by how brown a person is.
“We don’t want to hear about these bourgeois writers like Shakespeare,” says [Californian school teacher, Dana] Disbiber. “Worry not, teaching him helps the progressive cause,” replies [New Republic columnist, Elizabeth Stoker] Bruenig… When politics is everything and everything is politics, nothing escapes the commissar’s judgment. It is one thing to analyse art for its political content — critically necessary even – but it is quite another to subjugate one’s view of that art to one’s politics.
Of course Orwell, like Shakespeare, is - to use Disbiber’s parlance - a dead white male, and worse, a critic of piously narrow attitudes like those of Dana Disbiber. We must therefore regard both authors as insufficiently progressive and entirely devoid of relevance.
Readers of this blog will, over the years, have marvelled at the outpourings of one Polly Toynbee, the Guardian’s foremost social commentator and hand-wringer in chief, a woman voted “the most influential commentator in the UK” and whose views regularly grace the programming of the BBC, for which she was formerly a newsroom social affairs editor. “Polly Toynbee’s influence is perceived to be huge in British public life,” wrote Julia Hobsbawm of the media analysts Editorial Intelligence. “Her columns resonate in Whitehall and beyond.”
From high atop those resonating columns, Ms Toynbee delivers her various pronouncements, including a conviction that “left-wing people are more intelligent and just generally better people,” i.e., better than thee and me, and a demand that taxes must be raised “to pay the state to become the best possible nanny to all babies.” There’s also her belief that “disruptive 16-year-old boys” should be taken out of class to spend a term being taught the finer points of dance, thereby resulting in a “transformation in the whole year group.” When not curing inner-city classroom delinquency with the thrill of modern tap, Polly tells her readers that obesity isn’t chiefly a matter of inactivity and overeating but instead has a more pernicious cause, i.e., a lack of socialism:
It is inequality and disrespect that makes people fat.
To bolster this radical insight Ms Toynbee made a number of further claims regarding economic inequality and expanded waistlines, each of which proved to be either misleading or untrue. And chunkier readers should note that waiting for a socialist revolution probably isn’t the best way to lose those extra pounds.
Our imperious champion of the poor has a famously intermittent relationship with facts, logic and mathematics, such that an entire website, Factchecking Pollyanna, was devoted to providing detailed corrections of each week’s errors and distortions. Sadly, this effort to bring factual accuracy to the finest Guardian journalism became dormant some years ago, its anonymous author possibly having collapsed under the weight of the endeavour.
Happily, however, Tim Worstall has now published the best of that legendary blog in book form, so that another generation may bathe in Ms Toynbee’s blunders and fumbling with numbers. Amid various examples of Polly inverting statistics and misreporting figures by several orders of magnitude, as when she inflated council tax benefit changes by a mere 5,100%, the volume includes such moments of high journalism as Ms Toynbee telling the world that 142% of people were dissatisfied with Tony Blair, and a 21-word sentence containing no fewer than five factual errors.
Novelist Brigid Delaney wants a nicer flat in order to write about those non-creative people. You, taxpayer, come hither.
As a member of our creative caste, Ms Delaney wants to capture the buzz and thrum of city life. She wants to inspire “recognition” and above all “empathy.” It’s just that she’d prefer not to empathise too much with those non-creative people. Say, by working for a living and paying her own bills. And who will write about those ordinary people and their non-artistic lives if we don’t encourage Ms Delaney and her peers to live way above their means, at our expense, in places they can’t afford? Places they can’t afford because what they create isn’t as vital to the public as they might wish.
Campus feminists combat “male-centricity” by making unerotic pornography and rubbing eggs on their breasts.
As some readers may be intrigued by the notion of all-female feminist pornography, here’s a brief description: “It begins with a group of girls sitting around a library table taking their shirts off. As the film progresses, the girls engage in activities including kissing, rubbing eggs on their bodies and twerking around a chicken carcass.” The finished political opus, titled Initiation, also features the somewhat lacklustre use of a riding crop and extended scenes of floor-wiping.
A San Francisco “nude-in” reveals more than intended.
Some may register a whiff of disingenuousness in exhibitionists accusing their critics of being repressive and stuffy. Exhibitionists may be eager to dispense with clothing in incongruous locations – say, a traffic island in the middle of a busy intersection - but they desperately need an audience, preferably one that’s embarrassed and unwilling. San Francisco is remarkably well-equipped in terms of nude-friendly clubs and amenities, including a nude beach and nearby nudist colonies. What’s revealing is that such venues weren’t deemed sufficient for our wrinkly radicals. And while I doubt many readers here are prone to fainting at the sight of withered genitals and subsiding buttocks, they may conceivably object to being made an accomplice to someone else’s psychodrama. As one young lady points out, “Unwanted exposure to scrotum is never okay.”
And I’m told it’s possible, if not wise, to while away an hour in the greatest hits, now updated.
Tim Worstall reads The Lancet, where socialism trumps reality:
Lifespans are still getting longer, communicable disease continues to reduce, age adjusted cancer rates are falling: there’s simply no evidence at all that the health of the population is declining. So, given that we’ve not got any sign whatsoever of declining health, it’s very difficult indeed to say that increasing inequality is causing something that isn’t happening.
And again here. When supposedly learned people talk unironically about “social justice,” a good mental response is “yellow alert.”
In Thomas Piketty’s highly-praised new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, he asserts that the top tax rate under President Herbert Hoover was 25 percent. But Internal Revenue Service records show that it was 63 percent in 1932. If Piketty can’t even get his facts straight, why should his grandiose plans for confiscatory global taxation be taken seriously?
Uh, man’s sole “jabringing” object disfigure religion trauma and nubs, uh, the, inside the trauma of representation that turns into the black child devouring and identifying with the stories and into the white culture brought up, uh, de de de de de, dink, and add subjectively like a white man, the black man!
Go Team Dada. Embrace the jive.
As always, feel free to share your own links and snippets below.
A radical publishing house, Lawrence & Wishart, which at one time was connected to Great Britain’s Communist Party, is demanding the removal from the Marxists Internet Archive of the Marx-Engels Collected Works — hardcover books that sell for up to $50 a pop… “What they are doing is actually restricting the masses’ ability to get these writings because they found a potential revenue flow by digitising the works themselves and selling some product to universities,” [said David Walters, a marxists.org volunteer]. “We think it’s the opposite of a Marxist approach.”
It seems counterproductive, in that you may have to live with capitalism in day to day affairs, but you would think the one item that you would work towards absolutely free, society ownership of is the instruction manual for making your desired mode of existence come to fruition, when that mode of existence depends on an informed, versed-in-Marxist-theory populace.
Mr Piketty urges an 80% tax rate on incomes starting at “$500,000 or $1 million.” This is not to raise money for education or to increase unemployment benefits. Quite the contrary, he does not expect such a tax to bring in much revenue, because its purpose is simply “to put an end to such incomes.” It will also be necessary to impose a 50%-60% tax rate on incomes as low as $200,000 to develop “the meagre US social state.” There must be an annual wealth tax as high as 10% on the largest fortunes and a one-time assessment as high as 20% on much lower levels of existing wealth. He breezily assures us that none of this would reduce economic growth, productivity, entrepreneurship or innovation.
Mr Piketty also writes things like this. Let that one sink in for a moment. And Instapundit reminds us that the threshold for “earning too much” is very often, rather conveniently, “just above what a two-earner journalist or academic couple can plausibly make.”
Caleb Bonham on the things you can be taught in a creative writing class:
A professor at Eastern Connecticut State University was caught on audio telling his class that Republicans will close colleges if they prevail in 2014 and that “racist, misogynist, money-grubbing people” want to suppress the liberal vote. In a four-minute recording of a classroom lecture Professor Brent Terry is heard strongly suggesting that conservatives are greedy racists who want to suppress the vote of anyone who might vote liberal.
There is, as every petty official knows, a great deal of pleasure to be had from the obstruction of others, especially if they appear to be more fortunate, better placed, richer, or more intelligent than oneself. There is a pleasure in naysaying, all the greater if the naysayer is able to disguise from the victim the fact that he is not only doing his duty but gratifying himself. Indeed, there are many jobs, meaningless in themselves, in which the power to say no is the only non-monetary reward. More to be feared even than the secret sadist, however, is the person who genuinely believes in the intrinsic value and even indispensability of his absurd task. He is as dangerous as any true believer.
As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments.
At least we are according to the aesthetes behind Swansea’s taxpayer-funded art festival Art Across the City, which improves the locals with things like this, and specifically conceptual artist Jeremy Deller, whose work, above, is sited in a car park behind a shopping centre. The press release for this mighty piece tells us, “Deller’s plaintive request gets straight to the point. Everybody and everywhere could do with more poetry.” Likewise, presumably, “everybody” could “do with” more conceptual art too.