Katherine Timpf on when blue hair and facial piercings just aren’t enough to get a girl noticed:
A Norwegian woman is claiming that she is actually a cat trapped in a woman’s body — and that the fact that she has a human body is a “genetic defect.” […] Because Nano believes that her true identity is as a feline, she sees no choice but to live her life as one, even wearing cat ears, a tail, and fluffy pink paws that she grooms herself with in order to express her true self. Nano claimed to have feline characteristics such as superior hearing, better night vision than day vision, the urge to hunt mice (although she’s never actually caught one), and a fear of water. In fact, she even said that some of her catlike behaviours are involuntary. For example, she claimed to have no real control over how she started hissing at a dog in the middle of her interview.
The protest rhetoric inevitably has been concentrated into a Twitter hashtag, #OscarsSoWhite, which invites the longstanding and sometimes uncomfortable question of who is white — and who decides. The 88th Academy Awards are hardly an all-Anglo affair: Alejandro González Iñárritu of Mexico has been nominated for best director; Rosa Tran, an Asian-American, shares a nomination for Anomalisa; Gabriel Osorio Vargas and Pato Escala Pierart of Chile share a nomination for Bear Story. There are Danes and Irish and Welsh and loads of Brits, and the nominations were announced by Guillermo del Toro of Mexico and Ang Lee of Taiwan… The convolution necessary to maintain #OscarsSoWhite–type thinking is substantial. If excessive whiteness is the offence, then “white” needs to be defined in such a way that it includes Alejandro González Iñárritu and Pato Escala Pierart.
And Jacob Kohlhepp on the farce and dishonesty of “diversity” classes:
[Psychology professor Anna] Lau recalled a situation during which a foreign student asked “what if the reason black males are incarcerated more than whites is because they commit more crimes?” She said there was a total silence in the room. She then stated she wished she knew how to answer, because hard questions should be asked. Shortly after, Assistant Professor Safiya Noble stated “we cannot let unsophisticated comments stand.” She said that as a faculty in residence for the “Afrikan Disapora” dorm floor, she has learned that “those questions outside the norm make black students feel not just microaggressed, but actually aggressed.”
MSNBC’s race-hustling bedlamite Melissa Harris-Perry wants to tell you about Star Wars:
I have a lot [of feelings] about the whole Darth Vader situation. Yeah, like, the part where he was totally a black guy whose name basically was James Earl Jones, who, and we were all, but while he was black, he was terrible and bad and awful and used to cut off white men’s hands, and didn’t, you know, actually claim his son. But as soon as he claims his son and goes over to the good, he takes off his mask and he is white. Yes, I have many, many feelings about that.
Marc Chacksfield steers us to this Guardian review of the film Legend, which the reviewer, Benjamin Lee, describes as “overflowing with bad dialogue,” “disappointingly shallow” and suffering from “a major lack of atmosphere and an overwhelming stench of inauthenticity.”
Ashe Schow on attempts to exacerbate campus “rape” hysteria:
One of the best tactics so-called researchers have used to conclude that fully one-fifth of college women will be sexually assaulted is to vastly expand the definition of what [rape] is… Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown dissects the [Rutgers University survey], noting the definition of “sexual assault” and “sexual violence” included everything from “remarks about physical appearance” and “persistent sexual advances that are undesired by the recipient” to “threats of force to get someone to engage in sexual behaviour, as well as unwanted touching and unwanted oral, anal, or vaginal penetration or attempted penetration.” There’s an ocean of difference between someone saying you look good today and someone physically pinning you down against your will. To include both under the category of “sexual assault” is just ludicrous, and certainly not a serious way of studying the issue.
These, though, are the standards of Rutgers’ School of Social Work.
At no point in the show’s history had Kirk or his colleagues treated the Klingons unjustly, whereas audiences for decades have watched the Klingons torment and subjugate the galaxy’s peaceful races. In “Errand of Mercy,” they attempt genocide to enslave the Organians. In “The Trouble with Tribbles,” they try to poison a planet’s entire food supply… Yet never does the Klingon leader, Gorkon, or any of his people, acknowledge — let alone apologise for — such injustices. Quite the contrary; his daughter tells a galactic conference, “We are a proud race. We are here because we intend to go on being proud.” Within the context of the original Star Trek, such pride is morally insane. Yet in service to Spock’s mission of elevating peace over right, the film [Undiscovered Country] portrays the Klingons not as thugs, but as misunderstood casualties of human bigotry. Kirk and his crew, says Gorkon’s daughter at the Enterprise banquet, represent a “homo sapiens-only club,” devoted to such chauvinistic values as “inalienable human rights.” “Why, the very name,” she quips, “is racist.”
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.