David Thompson


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March 21, 2013



Are corn rows allowed, or are they a subset of 'locs'?


I was persuaded by her use of the word fuck.
I, a white man in my fifties, will never, ever make the mistake of having dreadlocks.

sackcloth and ashes

'The author of the piece, a self-described “white, queer, rural-identified, able-bodied+mentally ill Episcopal priest lady”'

Well she's right about the 'mentally-ill' bit.

Mr Grumpy

And there was me thinking that in being vaguely irritated by white people with dreadlocks I was affirming my self-identification as a member of the reactionary curmudgeon community. Must try harder.


Well she’s right about the ‘mentally-ill’ bit.

It’s getting hard to tell where learned dogmatism ends and mental unhingement begins. I was browsing the tweets and blogs of various “privilege” denouncers and I noticed how the term “trigger warning” has become quite fashionable. I’ve seen it applied to practically anything that a sufficiently pretentious person might conceivably take exception to. “Trigger lists” are often presented in a competitive way, as if the person with the longest list of “triggers” ought to win some kind of prize. (This one has just today been removed, presumably due to an avalanche of mockery.) And so, instead of acknowledging some horrific trauma – a plane crash, torture, shellshock, etc – the term is now used to describe a person’s irritation with blonde jokes, cake adverts or episodes of Doctor Who. Or being questioned about their choice of ice cream. Apparently that’s “extremely triggering” and a “microaggression.” And likewise, we have people who claim to be “bombarded by hate for my body” because of the name of a nail polish colour.

Apparently stoicism is no longer considered a virtue.

The Sage

I'm surprised she didn't also promote Kim Jong-Un's list of 28 approved hair styles.


To say nothing of the countless Sufis, Maoris, ancient Spartans and Hindu holy men, who have at various times worn their hair in a similar fashion.

Don't forget some medieval Irish people. And pirates.


O my fucking sweet Mary mother of God, SHE's an EPISCOPAL PRIEST lady? Does she have NO idea what that means?

Fucking sweet Mary mother of God, indeed.


You know what? I'm getting bangs. Mine, beyotch!


So, I wonder what she think of all the hot, successful black women that straighten their hair? Victims of White Normative Cultural oppression, I am sure.


Hm. Politics and hair. Laurie "politics of trainers" Penny will be on this in no time.


Are you ENTIRELY unversed in ways that it is a fucking day-to-day struggle to even exist and advocate for oneself in the hegemonic power structure of contemporary America

Into herself, isn't she?


This reminded me of a Tumblr blog I saw recently: http://yourfaveisproblematic.tumblr.com/

A blog devoted to telling you why you shouldn't like various celebrities for reasons that usually amount to "appropriation" of increasingly spurious racial or cultural characteristics/clothing items. Did you know Zooey Deschanel wore a Kimono-style top in some film she was in? I didn't either, but now I do I can denounce her. Lady Gaga "appropriated" (and, God forbid, "sexualised") the burqa, which is definitely a bigger crime against humanity than the burqa itself. The blanket characterisations of costumes and hairpieces they disapprove of as representing "yellowface", "redface", "brownface", etc., is also perhaps, "problematic".


Into herself, isn’t she?

But only because she’s so much better than us. It’s the egalitarian way.


The blanket characterisations of costumes and hairpieces they disapprove of as representing “yellowface”, “redface”, “brownface”, etc., is also perhaps, “problematic”.

I always thought it rather odd that in Star Trek the members of alien species were depicted as essentially generic. A Klingon was much like any other Klingon, with appalling hair and anger management issues. Cardassians and Romulans were never to be trusted, etc.

sackcloth and ashes

Following the thread is an interesting process.

The first two hints of the insurgent ambush to come are courtesy of two white South Africans who state that they can wear dreads without any negative comebacks from any of their black compatriots (who have a more recent, and brutal, experience of racial oppression than that experienced in the USA). 'locustsandhoney' responds with '[perhaps] you as a white people with dreads have a vested interest in maintaining the illusion that your choice is not at all culturally appropriative?'. Perhaps she thinks that black South Africans who accept dreadlocks on whites also have a 'vested interest' in preserving this act of colonialist, racist oppression against Afro-centric hair.

Then it all kicks off with 'Skizz', 'Mariah', 'Linze', 'marie' and 'DrNecropolis' piling in. Sample comments offered:

DrNecropolis: 'being white, by your own logic, you are just another white putting their input in on issues of the black people, so you are doing what you are claiming to be against. How funny..'

Skizz: 'Are you familiar with the expression “pissing into the wind”? ‘Cos that seems to be exactly what you’re doing, you’re expelling your rage onto a group of people who, in all reality are most likely to be on side with (some) of your beliefs'.

Mariah: 'While the term, “dreadlock”, hasn’t been around since time immemorial, corded hair has. Dreadlocks are the *natural* state of hair, they span ALL races and cultures. More important is what’s inside a person’s heart and mind ... dreadlocks are as old as humankind. The primitive peoples of Europe, Asia, Africa, etc., all had dreads at some point'.

marie: 'I have to say, I feel that many of the things you have said here are racist. Mocking white people and telling them what they can and cannot do. If you came up to my face and told me all this things, that I cant have my hair this way or that way, I’d proly be pretty pissed off, wouldn’t you? I’m sorry that the worlds history includes killing, slavery, colonisation and all that, but if you take a good look at the world, you see that that is not what the majority stands for, they stand for change, and making the world a better place where we can be equal. I would rather worry about the people who suffer, stop beiing so selfsentered! Ill stop here with a quote from a forum ; Maybe we should stop anyone who isn’t christian celebrating christmas and ban women from wearing trousers and woe betide anyone who isn’t in a tribe to stretch their ears and get tattoos !'

Linze: 'Please unplug your computer and bring it back to the store. It’s hurting Chinese people’s feelings cause, you know, they built it, and you’ve proven yourself too stupid even for the internet.
And did you REALLY just post rules on how to be a decent person? You forgot #6 – Mind your own business and quit tellin’ people what they should or shouldn’t be doing ...No one’s forcing me to comment. Just like no one forced you to write this post and toss it out for the world to read. Don’t want people to comment on your posts? Don’t want people to disagree? Stop posting, or make your little blog private so only you and people you have carefully selected and agree with you can read it ... I had an awesome conversation about dreads with an African American over the weekend – he was bald but really liked my dreads. I told him about you / this blog post. He laughed'.

This all gets a little bit too much for 'locustsandhoney', who ends up throwing her toys out of the pram and closing the thread.

Chris S.

What's a poor white guy to do? He's being told his entire life that he is racist, that every aspect of his "culture" is racist and opressive. Maybe he HAS to look to other cultures and appropriate whatever little pieces he can manage in order to hide his shame.

He's trying to change, re-make himself to be a global citizen, but no, his racisim/colonialism runs too deep, he can never be made pure.

After reading all sorts of things like this I keep wondering why hair shirts aren't in the vogue these days.


Racist hair? Just when you think they've run out of 'isms'. But apparently only 'white dudes' are able to exhibit colonialism in this manner. White women are members of the victim class, I guess.

...though I have to admit I share her disapproval of white people (or anyone) sporting dreadlocks - not for the contrived 'culturally oppressive' reasons, more for the 'ick' factor...


...and 'locs' WERE once used as a weapon, and by a 'white dude' so perhaps...



"they’re stealing the very essence of black people"

Purity of Essence!

Karen M

And so, should you encounter a pale person with politically incorrect hair...


I think she's got a bad case of noble savage syndrome.


Why do I have a sudden desire to buy one of these?


And take it for a walk near Ms 'Racially Enlightened Hair Corrector'..?

David Gillies

I'm somewhat conflicted. I know objectively it's a good thing that free-market capitalism generates so much surplus productivity that we don't all have to slave in fields all day just to get enough to eat, but then I see this ranting cretin and wonder if it's worth it. This is fatuousness of a density sufficient to warp spacetime. At some point, there are no open trajectories out of it and it pinches itself off from reality. Penny Dreadful is pretty close to the event horizon but Episcopal Priest Lady is hurtling towards the singularity. It's grimly humorous to pull a couple of old Peter Simple columns out of the archive and see how his absurdist satire has been so thoroughly overtaken by reality, and in such a short span of time. 'Racist hair' is too ridiculous even for the likes of Neville Dreadberg or Dr. Spacely-Trellis.


his absurdist satire has been so thoroughly overtaken by reality

Well, we seem to have reached a point where pretentious, dogmatic, passive-aggressive whining is regarded as both sophisticated and heroic. Which makes satire difficult, if not redundant.

Isn’t it wonderful what schooling can do?

Kevin B

Well I think she has a point. I mean don't you agree that this image is deliberately denigrating, (or to put it in technical terms, 'taking the piss out of'), white middle-aged male hairstyles?


his absurdist satire has been so thoroughly overtaken by reality

As Jeff notes over at Protein Wisdom, the gist of the grievance – the affected, vicarious grievance – seems to be: “Don’t dilute their Otherness with your faux honkey dreadlocks.” And I can’t help thinking that stressing how alien an entire category of humanity is, supposedly, is an odd thing for a non-racist person to do. It sounds more like something that a fixated bigot might do.

Dr Cromarty

“white, queer, rural-identified, able-bodied+mentally ill Episcopal priest lady”'

Poor old Justin Welby. The Anglican Communion really is up the Swanee. Still, I couldn't help chuckling when she described herself as a lady. I can't get that David Walliams character out of my head now.


...but is she the only “white, queer, rural-identified, able-bodied+mentally ill Episcopal priest lady” in the village?

Sanity Inspector

I once thought that the stupidest possible hair style was middle-aged bald guys with little rattails in back. Pathetic, and so 90s. But one day I saw a style even stupider than that: A bald guy with dreadlocks. Dude looked like the monster from the Predator movies.

Nate Whilk

"O my fucking sweet Mary mother of God, SHE's an EPISCOPAL PRIEST lady? Does she have NO idea what that means?"
Posted by: WTP | March 21, 2013 at 15:47

Actually, it's YOU who have no idea what that means. She's just given you an advanced lesson. Sometimes I think that Episcopal clergy believe in God about as much as Richard Dawkins.


White people have this terrible, awful, no-good habit of trying to take everyone else’s “authenticity” because they feel so like lost and indie and culturally dislocated

If only white people were allowed to admit they have culture, let alone a valid culture, they wouldn't feel lost and culturally dislocated.

Spiny Norman

Racist hair? Oh gawd, it gets worse:

A major cultural phenomenon in need of immediate re-educationalist intervention

No, not the increasingly surreal lionization of the inherently noble welfare class and its valiant, underrepresented struggle against the predations of private sector capitalist villains who hoard all the money and resources that might otherwise be distributed in ways far more socially just (from each according to his ability, to each according to his need!). That’s a cultural phenomenon worth promoting. Because of the fairness.

Instead, what I’m talking about is even more pressing: namely, the overdetermined attraction of “queers” to their white queer counterparts...


The world (at least the alternate universe inhabited by soft-science academics) has gone mad.


Does the Internet cause this or just expose it?


Does the Internet cause this or just expose it?

The internet may amplify the psychodrama by presenting opportunities for people to display their credentials. Which is to say, their conformity. But ultimately it’s taught. Generally by pretentious and resentful idiots to make more pretentious and resentful idiots. Which is why dogmatic tools like Arun Smith aren’t one-off aberrations; they’re the ideal end result of an unhinged education.


'White people have this terrible, awful, no-good habit of trying to take everyone else’s “authenticity” because they feel so like lost and indie and culturally dislocated'

I do sense a certain 'inverse racism' becoming the trend among some young whites - oblivious to the contradiction of what they are saying. Possibly they've swallowed whole the dubious argument that only white people can be accused of racism.

This justification and the inverse racism are of course profoundly racist, and my well reflect such tendencies in the people saying them. What is disturbing is the enthusiastic espousal by so many kids.

I remember a character in the film The Commitments asking if he was "too white" to play soul music. These days I overhear girls saying it's great that they're the only white kid in class, I see Diane Abbott casually criticizing white people (and the chorus of self-righteous people defending her), and now this.

At what point do we wake up from this silliness?

Dr Cromarty

The there's the old Alexei Sayle line:
"Weekend white Rastafarians, living on the frontline in Hemel Hempstead", though I suspect that applies more to yer queer-white-able-bodied-vicar-lady than it would to a dude with 'locs.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Or being questioned about their choice of ice cream.

To be fair, David, we've got a lot of nasty politicians and "right-thinkers" questioning other people for their food choices and wanting to legislate it.


"white, queer, rural-identified, able-bodied+mentally ill Episcopal priest lady"

State your caste and sub-castes. If we don't know where you rank on the pc-oppression totem, we can't tell how important and correct your arguments are.

"Because we’re seeing white boys… maintaining and justifying racist hair."

On an unrelated note, I'm mentally ill. Can you tell?

"Are you ENTIRELY unversed in ways that it is a fucking day-to-day struggle to even exist and advocate for oneself"

A white woman presuming to advocate on behalf of black people without being asked to is angry that blacks are involved in a day-to-day struggle to advocate for themselves. In creating a coherent argument, consistency and self awareness are clearly not as important as overuse of the caps lock key and the word 'fuck'.

"And having dreads as a white person in the public eye IS A POLITICAL STATEMENT. And that political statement is “I don’t give a shit who I make feel unwelcome in this space, because obviously my personal expression is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT EVER HAPPENED."

I psychically know that single white person with dreds is making this exact same statement. With their hair. On an unrelated note, I'm mentally ill. Can you tell?

"I especially don’t give a shit if the person I make feel unwelcome is a black woman. And I will intentionally seek out black women who are not bothered by white people having dreads in order to make myself feel better"

Someone really needs to tell Ms Continuity here that these two sentences are a direct contradiction of one another.


I think someone should agree with her enthusiastically that it's a shame when nice white boys try to look like negroes.

[ Edited by DT ]

An American at the end of his patience.

white, queer, rural-identified, able-bodied+mentally ill Episcopal priest lady,”

Identity as a Venn diagram. The intersection of all these circles has to result in a set with only one member, if there were more we would have to doubt the existence of a merciful God.

Imagine getting up every morning having to cart around all those categories, talk about exhausting.

Bless her heart.

Quintupleheaded Budda

Slightly OT, but here's another victimhood poker example, this time at software development conference:


zeppo shemp

I love how the promotion of "power analysis" is promptly followed by commands that a specific class of people "shut up".


If I had the time I would change the focus. Should white men be allowed to sing the blues? Or in fact any music displaying non Aryan origin. Surely that is a more pressing concern. And god knows, it's not as if no one has noticed Jimmy Page has "borrowed" things without accreditation.

Goodbye to .... well to virtually everyone from the Animals through to Zappa.

I mean its just obvious that progressivists would demand that we expunge all black cultural elements.


*** [ TypePad’s spam filter is still a little twitchy. If anyone has trouble with their comments not appearing, email me and I’ll shake them loose. ] ***


State your caste and sub-castes. If we don’t know where you rank on the pc-oppression totem, we can’t tell how important and correct your arguments are.

It’s a popular manoeuvre. You aren’t allowed to speak unless you’re clutching the Stone of Grievance™. And because of your “privileged body” (and its privileged hair) you aren’t allowed to touch the Stone of Grievance™, ever. So stand there quietly while your betters berate you.


Should white men be allowed to sing the blues? Or in fact any music displaying non Aryan origin.

From now on, the Volk may listen only to Wagner and other authentic Teutonic composers, because otherwise we're practically race traitors!

I guess for us Yanks that limits us to Gershwin and Copeland and Delius and John Williams soundtracks.

Oh, and Bluegrass.


"I mean its just obvious that progressivists would demand that we expunge all black cultural elements."

If wearing ethnic fashions is cultural appropriation and therefore an act of racist colonialism, then it surely follows that playing, or indeed owning, music by non-white artists is too. As is eating non-white food.

If one were to follow her thesis to its logical conclusion, whites who wish to be unracist should boycott Indian and Chinese restaurants. And you ought tell the owners of such places that you're boycotting their businesses solely because they're not run by whites. If crazy lady here's correct, this act of racial sensitivity will make them feel less oppressed and exhausted.

I really don't think she's thought her unhinged ravings through.


Everyone involved in that Python story, EVERYONE, is utterly pathetic. These people apparently are adults.

Contrast these people with two generations ago. These are almost a different species. Homo Patheticus.

And no, the 'homo' reference is not about homosexuals, before the professionally offended try and get me fired.


I blame Sideshow Bob.


“white, queer, rural-identified, able-bodied+mentally ill Episcopal priest lady,”

Well that pretty much explains everything. If you need a set of labels to see how you fit into society then it stands to reason that you will apply labels to everybody else. She needs to go back and listen to MLK as "judge by the content of their character".


If you need a set of labels to see how you fit into society then it stands to reason that you will apply labels to everybody else. She needs to go back and listen to MLK…

Indeed. But treating people as categories and symbols, instead of individuals, allows so much more scope for scolding, neurosis and pretentious guilt. Which some people seem to enjoy.


Makes you long for the comparative innocence of the days when self-righteous ladies went around jabbing at offending chaps with umbrellas. Okay, those days probably never existed. But it sounds fun.


Normally I'm all for the pedantic unearthing of recondite connections between hitherto unrelated subjects, so the politics of hair sounds quite interesting generally - it's just the combination of that idea, and the extreme self-righteousness of the blogger, makes the whole thing deliciously absurd.


In view of this article, baldness is the true progressive answer.

What a bunch of post modern, Luddite losers.


This seems somehow relevant. If you can, do stick with the video. The clucking outrage gets a little competitive.

As Ace says,

The main problem here is that we have three Major Players who each claim to be the Most Marginalised. Whoever is the Most Marginalised is permitted, according to the rules of Leftism, to say whatever he or she likes without challenge and have his or her assertion simply accepted without any backtalk. And the problem is that Lesbian Avenger, Shirtless Transgendered, and Gay Guy/Lesbian all claim the status of Most Marginalised simultaneously and ergo argue that each one’s Unquestionable Truth must trump all others. Which leads to a lot of frustration and confusion among all the players, as literally none of them can fathom why their “I Win” trump card isn’t being honoured.

And remember, these people are students, intellectuals, our hope for tomorrow. Truly, we live in an age of heroes.


"You're not allowed to interrupt."




It’s a conversational car crash that keeps on crashing, over and over again. It’s practically burlesque. But it’s a logical endpoint of being schooled in identity politics and competitive victimhood. If your precious misfit status has been cultivated and dramatized to such an extent, where else can it go? The standard techniques – feigned outrage, dogmatic browbeating, quoting Judith Butler – may work on people who aren’t familiar with the pantomime and can’t claim any victimhood points. Being shrieked at and scolded by a bare-breasted lesbian can, I’d imagine, be a tad unnerving.

But as Ace notes, all of the participants claim the same right to win by default, on account of their being “marginalised” and, by their reckoning, automatically fabulous. The initial crux of the argument – whether lesbian #1 must think of a trans woman as equally female and part of the lesbian’s tribe – is lost in the performance. It’s just a pretext for some grandstanding. And so we get the flimsy gay guy in the jaunty hat insisting he’s a lesbian too. (Because… well, extra points!) Amid all the bluster and theatrical exasperation, it just becomes a row over whose Rules of Pretending™ should prevail.

As I’ve said, it helps to think of these things as a social positioning exercise. And this little pantomime hasn’t been arrived at by accident. It’s a drama they’ve been taught.


To be fair angry lesbian "accepts" that baseball hat gay / lesbian guy / girl "exists" so she's much nicer than the average Palestinian.


Wow, so many rules.
Cameras stealing their souls was bad enough, now they have to put up with loc copyright violations.

Don't tell the Celts.


"White, queer, rural-identified, able-bodied+mentally ill Episcopal priest lady"

Nyah, nyah I'm victimier than you.


"Are you ENTIRELY unversed in ways that it is a fucking day-to-day struggle to even exist and advocate for oneself in the hegemonic power structure of contemporary America"

Why, yes. Yes I am entirely unversed in whatever it is you said. And for that I fall on my knees and thank God.

John Henry

If Black people love their kinky hair and dreadlocks so much that they deny white folks from having them too …. why are so many black hoes wearing white girl wigs, including America's first lady hoe the Mooch herself.

Black girls all envy white girls, they have nose jobs, lip jobs and wear wigs or use a flat iron so they don't look so African ugly.


Blacks are so fortunate to have this white woman looking out for their interests.

Next week on the chopping bock: White boys who play the blues.

Basic rules for being a decent person: 1. If people who are marginalized or oppressed say, “Do not call us this name”, do not call them that name. 2. If people who are marginalized or oppressed say, “Do not steal our traditions for your amusement,” do not steal their traditions for your amusement. ... 5. Learn how to do the most basic power analysis.

6. If people who are marginalized and oppressed say "Do not presume to speak for us," do not presume to speak for them.


An American:

Identity as a Venn diagram.

Sorry, I'm going to have to steal that line. Without accreditation. Just try to stop me.

Unless of course you're marginalized or oppressed.


So are blacks infringing on white culture when they straighten their hair?

Spiny Norman

No, Gearbox, it's just another unfortunate expression of white oppression and black self-hatred.


This seems relevant too:

Just as Pinocchio went off to school with high hopes, only to be waylaid by J. Worthington Foulfellow, minority students are met on the way to campus by hard-left radicals who claim to have the interests of the newcomers at heart but in reality prey on them to advance their own selfish interests. Of course, what black students need is the same solid traditional education that had raised Irish, Italians, and Jews to full equality. But that would not serve the campus radicals’ purpose. Disaffected radicals wanted to swell the ranks of the disaffected, not the ranks of the cheerfully upward mobile. Genuine progress for minority students would mean their joining and thus strengthening the mainstream of American society - the mainstream that campus radicals loathe…

As thinkers, campus radicals are poor role models for students. Their ideas are simple and rigid, and they rely heavily on conspiracy thinking that infers far too much from too little. They are powered by emotional commitments that are highly resistant to the lessons of experience. As a result, their cherished ideas are now virtually obsolete, and strike any reasonably well-informed observer as downright silly. The minority students that they attract into their orbit are dragged down to this low intellectual level.

And so we get students exaggerating their precious misfit status and bitching about which of them is more put-upon than the other. And likewise, we arrive at arguments about racist hair.

Joseph Shmeau

"What are you going to do next? Wear a hijab?"

The scariest line in the whole damn thing, David -- becuase that might just be what they are going to do. Crazy people tune right in to the zeitgeist sometimes.

Rob De Witt

People who were deluged with political correctoids in places like Berkeley, Madison, etc over 30 years ago learned fairly quickly that justifying yourself to these harpies was merely feeding into their madness.

It quickly became apparent that the only suitable response was "Do go fuck yourself."


Being shrieked at and scolded by a bare-breasted lesbian can, I’d imagine, be a tad unnerving.

There must be a website for that.

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