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July 2010

Reheated (11)

For newcomers, three more items from the archives

Postmodernism Unpeeled

A discussion with Stephen Hicks, author of Explaining Postmodernism.

Writing in Innovations of Antiquity, Ralph Hexter and Daniel Selden dismissed “transparent prose” as “the approved mode of expression for the society and values of the newly empowered middle class.” In the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Mas’ud Zavarzadeh denounced “unproblematic prose and clarity of presentation” as “the conceptual tools of conservatism.” The rejection of transparency as “conservative” is particularly odd, since transparency makes a claim amenable to broad critical enquiry, and thus public correction. Without transparency, what do we have? A private language shared only by likeminded peers in which one is free to assert largely unopposed? [...] Presumably, if you prefer arguments that are comprehensible and open to scrutiny, this signals some reactionary tendency and deep moral failing. On the other hand, if you sneer at such bourgeois trifles, you’re radical, clever and very, very sexy.

Blunting the Senses in the Name of Fairness

The Dalai Lama gets it wrong. Cultural equivalence debunked at length.

Rosie O’Donnell was happy to assert that, “radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America.” But while red-faced evangelists may say, for instance, that gay people are wicked, damned to hellfire, etc, I don’t know of any internationally renowned Christian leaders who are calling for the imprisonment and killing of gay people. Unlike the supposedly “moderate” Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who insists that gay men and lesbians should be “killed in the worst manner possible.” Not condemned, ‘corrected,’ prayed for or pitied, or any of the usual nonsense spouted by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson et al; but murdered - as brutally as possible.

The Flow of Ideas

Professor Sharra Vostral exposes the humble tampon as an “artefact of control.”

Note the professor’s confidence as she rushes to the podium on Mount Grievance. She is righteous and wise, and apparently telepathic. Non-literal uses of the term “patchwork” must assume whatever sequence of ideas suits Professor Vostral’s worldview. Used metaphorically, the word “patchwork” must signal disdain for quilt making, quilt makers and, by implication, an entire gender too. There can be no doubt about it. “Patchwork” simply is a “gendered insult” - one “based in derogatory understandings” of a “woman-based art form.” It’s “embedded,” apparently.

Excavate the greatest hits.


All facets of a person’s life - including employment, education, place of residence, access to medical facilities, and access to stores - are determined by a semi-hereditary system of social discrimination that classifies citizens into 53 subgroups based on their family’s perceived loyalty to the regime.

Kim Jong Il’s utopian North Korea, as described in The Least Free Places on Earth: 2010. From the Freedom in the World 2010 survey

Friday Ephemera

Electrons over Chicago. // Cardboard speakers. // Conan the Barbarian: the Musical. // A brief guide to boogers. // The hipster fashion cycle. // Ankle pony boots. // Eyeborg. // Bear rug. // Mandelbox. // Glenn Beck on lost American history. (h/t, dicentra) // “It wasn’t peace activists who liberated Auschwitz.” // Puffer fish. // Ventricle vase. // A collection of miniature heads. // Surfers and swimmers, seen from below. (h/t, Coudal) // Serendipity. // Going down, going up. // For people with partial hands. // At last, waffle lollies. // Shatner does War of the Worlds

Just Thwarted Sperm

Readers will recall Amanda Marcotte, a popular leftwing feminist whose wisdom has entertained us more than once. Not least with her famous publishing blunder and subsequent, rather competitive, displays of  racial consciousness. Nor should we forget Amanda’s belief that the inclination to reproduce is a dastardly social construct “preserved” by unnamed villains solely to ensure that women without children aren’t recognised as “complete individuals.” Some may treasure memories of Amanda’s evidence-free claim that critics of academic feminism, among them Daphne Patai and Christina Hoff Sommers, are “trying to oppress women.”

Ms Marcotte’s recent ruminations involve sympathy cards for men and women affected by abortion. Of particular interest to Amanda is the sympathy card for men whose partners have chosen to abort their child-to-be:  


The card is question is produced by the Fatherhood Forever Foundation, a religious organisation opposed to current abortion law. Now one might disagree with the motives of the organisation and one might find the cards grimly cheesy and a dubious commercial prospect, but that isn’t what caught my eye. What’s interesting are the reactions of Ms Marcotte and her readers in a post titled Thwarted Sperm Finally Have An Advocate. It goes without saying the Sisterhood isn’t thrilled:

Anti-choicers [are] pretending that they just discovered they oppose abortion because it violates men’s rights over their uterine property (established by the “poke it/own it” law laid down in beer commercials).

Apparently abortion must be – can only be – an issue of “uterine property” and patriarchal control. After all, what other considerations could possibly be in play?

If he cares about the embryo so much then he should get to work on inventing a way to transfer the pregnancy into his own body. Oh, you don’t want this thing to leech off your body for several months? Well, I don’t either.”

Won’t someone think of the Man-Child?

Your sperm is in our thoughts and prayers.


The special sort of douchebag who would get all butthurt because his sperm was rejected is probably likely to have behaved like a complete and utter cock before the decision to abort.

Because if a woman chooses abortion and her male partner isn’t entirely happy at this outcome, even if he agreed with it and would defend it in principal, he must be a douchebag, a deadbeat or a dick. Such things are simply known by the ladies at Team Pandagon, where righteousness prevails, prejudice is unheard of and telepathy is commonplace.

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