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October 2009

The Master’s Tools

Readers may recall a recent post on the wisdom of Margaret Jamison, a guru of sorts to a small circle of admirers. Ms Jamison is a lesbian feminist who defines rape as “all penile intercourse” on grounds that, “there is something wrong with this notion that a woman’s ‘consent’ is what separates a rapist from a non-rapist.” When not insisting that “all heterosex is rape,” Jamison’s thoughts turn a little too readily to the subject of harming children: “I believe male infanticide to be a better option than the current circumstances. I think it’s better than what we’ve got.”

Ms Jamison’s latest declarations concern a matter of some delicacy. It begins in the usual, rather grandiose way:

What I want more than anything is for women to achieve a state of being that is untainted. I especially want us to free ourselves from male rule and influence, for us to be unaltered in ways that are modeled on maleness.

Then it gets a little coy.

The reliance of women on various man-made implements to mediate their relations with other women, whether psychological constructs or manufactured goods, is an adulteration of the female.

Ms Jamison is very big on The Unargued Assertion and she likes to pile ‘em high. I’m not quite sure what the psychological constructs in question might be, but in case it isn’t clear, those “manufactured goods” include strap-ons, dildos and other such devices:  

Femaleness cannot be enhanced by maleness, only denied, suppressed, and degraded, lessened. The master’s tools inhabit our minds and the realm of our physical lives… And I don’t think that a tool forged by males or in their likeness is any less male when wielded by women.

Oh, I do like that - The master’s tools. Very good.

Given the all-pervasive nature of The Crushing Patriarchy and its Symbols of Dominion™ - and given the obligation of all women to shun such indecencies - this can create problems of an intimate nature. Penetration is patriarchal degradation, see? Even when the penetrator in question is a lady. So what’s a girl to do? Are fingers and tongues okay? Will scissoring suffice?

Continue reading "The Master’s Tools" »

Don’t Bother Me with Details

I see the Guardian has wheeled out Linda Bellos, another high priestess of identity politics, to air her umbrage at Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson, we’re told, “makes a living by being gratuitously offensive.” Unlike the elevated Ms Bellos, who makes a living by, among other things, being gratuitously offended. And saying things like this: 

Where, for instance, is the disabled community on our screens – either as drivers or presenters? When have we had the feature on Top Gear about cars and motoring for disabled drivers? You’ll have noticed from the supermarket car park that there are a few around. But, apparently, Jeremy Clarkson hasn’t.

As Tim Worstall notes, Ms Bellos might have fared better if she’d done a little research and actually watched the programme she presumes to criticise. In fact, Top Gear has addressed issues of disability on at least three occasions, including, in season 2, a search for the fastest disabled driver in Britain. Fans of the series may also recall a race involving hastily customised double decker cars, during which a driver’s artificial arm became detached from his person while still gripping the wheel.

Given Top Gear’s popularity outside of Guardian circles, it’s no great surprise the series has disabled fans. And it’s perhaps worth noting that Clarkson is a founder of the Help for Heroes charity which raises funds for those injured and disabled during military service. The Guardian actually mentioned the charity and its advertising earlier this year, prompting a reader to complain,

There are only two people who are not white in that commercial... possibly three, there’s someone totally covered in a wet suit.

Ms Bellos will doubtless be pleased to find others airing a worldview very similar to her own. And it’s always good to see moral one-upmanship and complaints of “the same sad old stereotypes” coming from a woman who abandoned her own children to live in a separatist lesbian commune. 

Related: Clarkson versus Monbiot

Friday Ephemera

“His Great Device Makes Him Famous” and other mistranslated movie titles. (h/t, Coudal) // Art made from packing tape. // It’s a shame to waste dead flies. // “MoD document on how to stop documents leaking onto the internet has been leaked onto the internet.” // Monster rugs. // Boob scarf. (h/t, Ace) // Black Hole. // “Moral exhibitionism... is generosity of spirit at other people’s expense.” // Photosketch. // A handsome amp. // Placenta teddy bears. // PC toys that failed. (h/t, Julia) // People in Syria are masturbating. // A solution is at hand. // And, via The Thin Man, it’s a sponsorship message from Mr Mel Tormé

Mutterings in Bedlam

Speaking of Beatrix Campbell and her rhetorical fellatio of Honecker’s GDR, here’s a taste of the pathological unrealism to be found at Socialist Unity

One of the GDR’s greatest achievements was the creation of a more egalitarian society… Pay differentials between different groups of employees were minimal so that even top managers or government ministers were hardly wealthy in Western terms... This lack of large wealth differentials and class privilege made for a more cohesive and balanced society. For some, such egalitarianism was not amenable and the lure of higher salaries and business opportunities in the West remained strong. This led to a steady haemorrhaging of skilled workers and professionals before the wall was built in 1961. The GDR was a society largely free of existential fears.

One more time.

The GDR was a society largely free of existential fears.”

Harry’s Place obliges with some helpful footnotes and illustrations.

It Tastes of Hyperbole

Here’s a product with no pressing need to exist. Wine… for gay men:  

Spanish UO! Wines is a line of three wines created with homosexual men in mind, and its descriptions, packaging and website imagery were all tailored accordingly. UO! Ánima Blanca, for example, is a Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo blend featuring earth tones and “wisps of flowers and fruit – the perfect accompaniment to a gathering of friends on a hot day, whether the heat comes from within or without.”

I swear I’m not making this up

It smells of ripe, dark fruits, fragrant, a steamy jungle… Taste it. Raise the glass to your lips and you’ll notice deep and balanced flavours, they are sumptuous, you can almost chew on them, they fill you.

Oh, there’s more.  

And Hadrian ordered that one thousand marble statues be built in his name… When you try it, shut your eyes and imagine that you are licking rivulets of syrup from his body


Mixed Feelings

Mr Eugenides and Dr Westerhaus have both steered my attention to this piece of arts news.

Artist Tracey Emin has said she is thinking of leaving the UK in protest about being overtaxed. In a Sunday Times interview she said she was “very seriously considering leaving Britain,” adding: “I’m simply not willing to pay tax at 50%.” The government’s 50p tax rate for incomes of more than £150,000 will be introduced in April. Referring to the new tax, she said: “I reckon it would mean me paying about 65p in every pound with tax, National Insurance and so on.”

What’s interesting is that Ms Emin couches her objection in terms of philistinism:

Emin said the Labour government had no understanding for the arts. “At least in France their politicians have always understood the importance of culture and they have traditionally helped out artists with subsidy and some tax advantages.”  

Typically unassuming, she appears to be suggesting that artists, and people who peddle tat masquerading as art, warrant some special dispensation. One not available to less elevated beings. The esteemed ambassador of the arts and creator of such mighty works as My Bed and Everyone I Have Ever Slept With could have been a little more to the point. She might, for instance, have argued that, “paying about 65p in every pound with tax” is objectionable - some would say immoral – artist or not. Readers may also note that while Ms Emin objects to her own indecent tax bill she also feels that artists should be subsidised by the government. Which generally entails subsidy by the taxpayer.

Friday Ephemera

Deserted Chernobyl. // The mummified Lenin. // 11-foot tapestry made entirely of spider silk. // Carl Sagan sings. (h/t, EQ-aliser) // A gallery of cork-lined soda caps. (h/t, Quipsologies) // Solid Potato Salad. // Promote yourself with tongue depressors. // A pretty impressive bookstore. // Banknotes. // The Blob (1958). // Project BLT. (h/t, Mr Eugenides) // Lichtzeichnungen. // The museum of DOS. (h/t, Coudal) // Remember Omni magazine? // The Prisoner returns. // How intermissions were. // Soundsculpture. // Made of wood. // Mechanical tumour feels your computer’s pain. // And, via The Thin Man, it’s Club Honolulu