David Thompson
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November 23, 2007

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Dr.Dawg

I've missed this place--just a little pressed for time. But that Durex clip tells me it's time to come back soon. Thanks for that, David.

David

Dr Dawg,

You’re welcome, any time. But of all the things to entice you back… a squeaky condom gag?

Dr.Dawg

Didn't require thought. Thought is generally necessary in this place. : )

David

And, lo, my muffin is buttered.

Dr.Dawg

Too much information! :)

Vitruvius

Thanks for picking up Jonathan Kay's excellent essay, David, it was in the one newspaper I still subscribe to. However, the link you provided doesn't work any more, try this one: http://tinyurl.com/38ejvq

I have to admit, the Sunset Webcams are cool. Shall we now say, "The sun never sets on the Internet empire?" I think we want Michael Palin's accent from the Germans sketch when saying "Authentic British-style town". Interesting use of web technology though. I'd like to see a Global Incident Map of all the things that aren't going wrong. Oops, I don't have near enough pixels for that ;-)

The "Dance of the Seven Veils" cigarettes - http://tinyurl.com/yotnh7 - are delightful. Be sure to bring them up next time the topic of veils comes up. And next time "house of cards" come up, bingo, another droll comeback (when ironically appropriate) is at our fingertips: "That's not a house of cards [...] this is a house of cards!"

I think the Conversation Clock is too complicated. I'd just use a Cartesian presentation with a reverse log time scale on the x axis. Here are some other notes on teeth - http://tinyurl.com/29htwc - and thanks Thin Man and David for the Alpert.

Speaking of pencils, I note that the RapiDesign #40 Circle Template has an annotation on the lower edge that reads: "Pencil Allowance On All Holes". You can see this and more at my just published "Vitruvius's Drafting Templates Collection" at http://tinyurl.com/2znscz

I hope you enjoy those templates, I scanned them in explicitly for this Friday Ephemera (though I will peddle them elsewhere too ;-) and there is a punch line at the end.

David

Vitruvius,

The drafting templates are mighty fine and will be put to use next week.

By the way, the Jonathan Kay link is, it seems, still working.

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=ae1b9b58-4f38-461f-83d0-c006505b9865

This caught my eye:

“By the time my turn was up, I’d thrown out my rather tame prepared speech in favour of a strenuous take-down of what I’d just heard. All of it, I said, was proof that radical anti-racism had become not only a cult of censorship, but a mental toxin as irrational and destructive as racism itself.”

As reported, Kay’s experience matches other examples I’ve highlighted and my own, limited, experience. Whatever the claims of “balance” in such conferences, it’s often the case that to dissent from certain assumptions is to invite not only accusations of racist intent and inexcusable wickedness (see Joseph Harker, Shakti Butler), but also to invite hoarseness and exhaustion. The framing of the issue is often so circular, tendentious and dishonest that a great deal of time and effort has to be spent unpacking the dubious claims and loaded language that now suffocate the issue.

My own discussions on this subject have entailed sifting through preposterous theorising and fact-free hyperbole in order to clarify the underlying assumptions. Given the volume of horseshit involved, this can take some time - and this is before a vaguely realistic discussion can even begin. The more the issue is framed in terms of collective guilt, phantom influences and “invisible knapsacks of white privilege”, the more tedious (and thankless) this process is. Insofar as conferences on the subject reflect the blatherings of, say, Peggy McIntosh or Caprice Hollins, the objective appears to be to make the subject impossible to discuss except in the most loaded, predictable and prejudicial terms.

Vitruvius

Hmm, perhaps the Post was doing DB maintenance last night. I've deleted my copy of Kay's essay so as not to push my fair use luck.

Vitruvius

I see now that the National Post was indeed deploying a new version of their web site last night - http://tinyurl.com/27appx - so that probably does explain the intermittent availability of archived pages then.

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