David Thompson
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May 15, 2012

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rjmadden

Not quite grasping the issue.

Dear Zohra Moosa,

Rich people aren't living way above their means in big London houses at my expense.

http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/waste/2011/08/unemployed-housing-benefit-claimants-multi-million-pound-house-benefits-scandal.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2107036/Housing-benefit-caps-100-families-receiving-1MILLION-mortgage.html

David

Yes, but Ms Moosa seems to imagine that deservedness – in this case, of a spacious house in an agreeable location - is utterly unrelated to being the one who has to work to pay the bills. We’ve long had a situation in which modest households making, say, £20,000 a year are seeing an amount equivalent to their total annual income being paid in housing benefit to just one household. And when the average taxpayer’s bill for housing benefit is roughly equivalent to the cost of an extra average mortgage payment, people start asking questions.

But when some working people ask why it is that other people get to live in much nicer and more expensive houses in locations of their choosing by virtue of not paying the bills, or by virtue of having more children than they can plausibly support, and who get to do this on an indefinite basis at the expense of the people asking these questions… well, this confuses Ms Moosa.

Dr Cromarty

What a wonderful thing - to watch Brahmins working so hard at what Brahmins do. Good that they're really covering the ishoos of the day: an economy down the toilet, an uneducated lumpenproletariat, Mohammedan child rape gangs.

svh

Oh god DON'T use that term (fishy), it's sexist and cissexist.

What the...?

JuliaM

Like svh, I can't quite see the issue with that one. But I've no doubt there is one, and a burning one, to boot...

Jason Bontrager

On "fishy". The joke when I was an ignorant High Schooler (mid-teens) was that the nether regions of women were supposed to smell like fish. Hence using the term "fishy" presumably means "like a vagina". Not sure how that's "cissexist" (what a horrid neologism), but I doubt there are any words at which Penny and her ilk can't, or at least *won't*, take offense.

Dr Cromarty

I doubt there are any words at which Penny and her ilk can't, or at least *won't*, take offense.

Right
Conservative
Moral
Ownership
Beauty
Holiness
Charity


Just for a start

David

Jason,

But when people say such-and-such sounds (or smells) a bit fishy, they aren’t implying that such-and-such sounds (or smells) like a lady’s panty parts. What are a lady’s nethers supposed to sound like, anyway?


[ Added: ]

I suppose, then, the thinking goes like this: Some schoolboys have at some point laughingly imagined that vaginas smell like fish. Therefore no-one must ever be allowed to use the term ‘fishy’ to suggest that something is suspicious or questionable. Lest the rest of us immediately assume that ladies’ nethers are also suspicious, questionable or seething with pure evil.

Seems rather presumptuous and a tad doctrinaire.

Trimegistus

That's a technique the Right should embrace. Choose random English words and have a total drama-queen freakout when liberals use them in ordinary discourse.

"FOLLOW?! WHAT KIND OF HURTFUL, BIGOTED MONSTER ARE YOU?!! Until you can overcome your unexamined assumptions about causality and your chrono-privileged perspective I'm afraid meaningful dialog is simply impossible! Healing only begins when you admit you've got a problem, MS PENNY!"

David

It seems to me it’s the kind of passive-aggressive browbeating that so many lefties seem to enjoy. For some, it’s practically a sport. As when the Guardian’s Zoe Williams insisted that “hoodie” is in fact a “sleight-of-hand” and a “sinister racial code word.” Apparently, it’s “a way to be racist without having to appear it.” She later insisted that public concern about dangerous dogs has “a political subtext” and actually signals a fear of “young, ideally black, men.” In neither case was any evidence deemed necessary.

Mike James

I don't know if I really, really want to talk about gender, sex, and the experience of being male in a safe way.

Does it count if I sit in windowless beer joints with George Jones playing on the jukebox and tell the barmaid how much I like that new top she's wearing?

mojo

"Let these two asses be set to treading grain."

Chris S.

When they say that they want you to "really, really want to talk about gender and sex and ...."

they really mean: "appologize and then shut up".

Katabasis

This is precisely what atheist and secularist groups on university campuses across the UK are currently on the receiving end of. Those who dare to criticise Islamists, especially the hate preachers who promote the killing of gays and Female Genital Mutilation, are accused by the far left nutters of being racist.

Btw Trimegistus - that comment was absolute gold. Really made me chuckle.

David Gillies

The rarefaction of language on the Left seems to be inversely proportional to the degree to which it has anything useful to say. After a point it becomes nothing more than sterile exegesis. It's like the pointless hermetic 'scholarship' of Kabbalah or, as a friend of mine used to more mundanely call it, two bald men arguing over a comb.

Bart

"I wish we were at a point where we could admit we're all shaped by societal racism, and could discuss that."

Oh, if only we had reached a point where leftists felt at ease to drone on and on and on and on about racism continuously, at the slightest provocation, on the feeblest pretence, and to see the hidden hand of racism in the most bizarre and ridiculous of places, and habitually accuse people who try to argue with them of being racist in order to silence them.

Just imagine how different such a society would be to ours. Just imagine...

TimT

"It seems to me it’s the kind of passive-aggressive browbeating that so many lefties seem to enjoy. For some, it’s practically a sport."

In the first case it seems Laurie Penny's respondent is one of those left-wing chaps who agrees to everything a pretty left-wing woman says, out of some forlorn fantasy of future romance.

TimT

The 'generally speaking' is a bit of a giveaway. He's able to speak on behalf of 'we' (all men) but is much better than the rest of us, by virtue of his acquiescence to standard lefty politics.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

The rarefaction of language on the Left seems to be inversely proportional to the degree to which it has anything useful to say.

Didn't George Orwell write about this in his essay on Newspeak that's an appendix to 1984? It's deliberate.

JAMES ROBERTS

Men that really, really want to talk about, gender,sex, and the experience of of being a male (all in a safe way) are not really men, at least in the way us traditional hunter-gatherer, woman loving types like to think of ourselves. Maybe in the metro-sexual sense they are. I'm sure PennyRed would be appalled if one of the former ever stumbled into her world of leftist navel gazing narcissism. Or perhaps more correctly if she ever looked up from her navel gazing at the world around her and caught sight of one.

David

TimT,

“He’s able to speak on behalf of ‘we’ (all men) but is much better than the rest of us, by virtue of his acquiescence to standard lefty politics.”

As noted previously, it’s best understood as a social positioning exercise. It’s an insincere display of class and moral elevation. It can get quite competitive and a little surreal. At times, it’s almost a grown-up version of “you said poo. I’m telling.”

And when I say ‘grown-up’ I mean not grown-up at all.

Bart

And speaking of the competitive side of leftist rhetoric slinging, I vote Laura Terry as the winner of this particular flurry of conspicuous pc peacocking.

The tetchy scolding attitude, the finding of offensively oppressive terminology in the most innocuous of phrases, the discovery of ever more obscure and ridiculous forms of hitherto unrealised oppression (cissexist? Seriously? Did it not occur to you that a normal might read your tweets and give you the merciless mocking you so thoroughly deserve?) and the arrogant conceit that if only Ms Penny followed her tweets, the pearls of wisdom therein would elevate her to ever greater heights of enlightemnent.

Congratulations, Ms Terry! You are officially more absurdly pretentious than the other posturing buffoons you hang out with.

Katabasis

I recently stopped donating money to the Open Rights Group because they tolerate this kind of Orwellian post-normal nonsense:

"You can support the Open Rights Group as long as you're not white and male"

http://i-squared.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/you-can-support-open-rights-groupas.html

David

Further to my comments about Zoe Williams and her ability to hallucinate racist intent, it’s worth bearing in mind how the absurd becomes quite sinister when played for bigger stakes.

Earlier this year, Nation editor Christopher Hayes tweeted: “When people use the word ‘illegal’ as a noun, it sounds to me like saying ‘coloureds’.” For Hayes, then, criticism of illegal immigration is little more than a pretext for racial bigotry because regardless of context or the speaker’s intent, that’s what he chooses to hear. The current crop of House Democrats are actually being trained in how to race hustle and denounce phantom subtexts using much the same tactics. It’s a strategy for power. And so any number of statements, even statements of fact, can be attacked as “racially coded” and therefore malign - regardless of mere logic or the speaker’s intent. And if an opponent’s statement can be construed as “racially coded” - given sufficient squinting and contortion - it almost certainly will.

David Gillies

Dog whistle political statements are usually thought to be aimed at one's supporters. Typical Leftist inversion that this 'racial coding' seems to be discernible only by the speakers' opponents. It's part of the standard labelling of dissent from 'progressive' opinion as evidence of bad faith and false consciousness.

Rob

This weeks tasks:

1. Learn what 'cissexism' is.
2. Come up with some cissexist jokes and statements.
3. Find a sufficient number of far-left hags who have the first clue what it is.
4. Deploy jokes.

Squires

"1. Learn what 'cissexism' is."

I had to look that one up as well. However, there was something familiar about that prefix, "cis".

You see, back in the golden days of my adolescence like most likely lads I had a penchant for pinching anything buried in the hidden recesses my parents closet that appeared remotely, potentially pornographic. Amongst the more interesting finds was a sizable softcover book that covered a wide range sexual issues and general naughtiness, from "happy hooker" conventions and Napoleonic courtesans to the very latest Age of Aquarius NewAge babble. Somewhere in the same vicinity as a piece brilliantly championing the "sexual rights of children" was an article on the need for gender-neutral pronouns - pronouns designed not to oppress poor children with any form of concrete sexual identity. "Cos" and "co", iirc, were suggested.

"Every generation likes to think it invented oral sex," they say. The same holds true, it would appear, when it comes to the cutting-edge of intellectual masturbation as well.

It is greatly entertaining to see these brave Titans of Tomorrow recycling the empty pathologies of the silly 1970s pornography of their grandparents' generation.

mojo

Cis: Latin, for "inside" or "this side of": opposite of "Trans" - "Cisalpine Gaul"
example: "Cislunar space" would mean inside the moon's orbit

Rich Rostrom

Or "Cisleithine Hungary": that part of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary which was left to the Hapsburgs as Kings of Hungary; "Transleithine Hungary" being the area conquered by the Ottoman Turks. (The border was at the Leitha River.)

"Cismontanism": favoring the autonomy of national churches against the authority of the Papacy.

The 1827 "Cisplatine War" between Argentina and Brazil.

Getting back to demented leftist jargon, "Cisgendered": someone who doesn't think he or she has the body of the wrong sex - a backformation from "Transgendered".

You can read the definition at Gender Wiki; you can also view the "The Cisgender Privilege Checklist".

Ya can't make this stuff up, can ya?

Franklin

19. As a woman, I am unlikely to lose my hair before middle age.

It's amazing how much you can inflate the idea of privilege before it pops.

21. As a woman, I don't have to dilate the rest of my life.

Say what?

22. I am more likely able to achieving orgasm.

Grammar is an oppressive social construct, I see.

David

One problem of “privilege” checklists is the tendency to venture into unintended comedy, e.g.,

27. At my funeral, it is unlikely that my family would present me crossdressed against my living wishes.

Another problem is that the people who compile and recite them often displace a grievance with, say, their own physiology onto other people, as if they were oppressive by default, regardless of how they behave towards the Designated Victim Group. So we get,

28. I never worry about passing gender wise. I am oblivious to the consequences of someone failing to do so and consequently loosing [sic] my cisgender (non transgender) privilege. In fact, I have the privilege of being completely unaware of my own cisgender privilege.

The term “privilege” and the general tone imply that one is not only dense but has some kind of special or unfair advantage, for which one should atone and feel guilty.

It’s interesting just how readily transgender activism travels from the unremarkable – i.e., try not to be an asshat towards people with gender dysphoria – to heights of surrealism. Not too long ago, we ended up discussing a scenario in which an apparently female person with two X chromosomes, breasts and a uterus was pregnant and in stirrups undergoing an abortion and still objecting emphatically to any assumptions of femaleness or female pronouns. As I said at the time, given the irregularity of the situation and the vividly clashing perceptions, the person undergoing the procedure might allow that they are, to say the least, in an area of some dispute.

Henry

TimT

"In the first case it seems Laurie Penny's respondent is one of those left-wing chaps who agrees to everything a pretty left-wing woman says, out of some forlorn fantasy of future romance"

I think so, though I doubt that saying "We fail to see our privilege" will do the trick, but what do I know...

I think this was when LP did a Twitter survey of men on 'talking about sex' or whatever. She claims she was 'inundated' with responses, and duly wrote a piece in the Independent the next week which I'm sorry to say I read.

What she doesn't realise is that her responses will have been from this limited group, and with this sort of dynamic, or from followers who want to get an approving response for whatever reason. So hardly a representative sample

Lovegoats

27/ At my funeral, it is unlikely that my family would present me crossdressed against my living wishes

Fuck. He's giving my family ideas. That's exactly their sense of humour.

"It was his last request"

Simen Thoresen

Damnit! I can't fly like a bird by flapping my wings. Who can I blame for oppressing me this way?

Thank you for making this Friday morning a little more ephemeral, David.

-S

Mike James

"At my funeral, it is unlikely that my family would present me crossdressed against my living wishes."

Now I'm worrying if my younger brothers will regard my passing as opportunity to get back at me for some things I might have done in my childhood that I have already apologized to them for.

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