David Thompson
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November 04, 2014

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Ian

As for the NY street harassment incident, this video made me chuckle:

http://tinyurl.com/oeof7pd

For the feminists, however, I'm sure that there's no equivalence: just shut up and do what we say, you patriarchal oppressor…

Anna

the superintendent suggested that Da'von's punishment could actually have been much worse: an entire year's suspension.

See how moderate they are? Not crazy at all. Apple cutting must be punished!

formertory

Poor Da'von Shaw clearly knew not what a risk he might have run when he said: “When I took out the knife the teacher then told me that I couldn't use it, so I didn't hesitate I just gave it to her”.

From Wikipedia: (Lord Chief Justice Goddard) sentenced Bentley to death based on an interpretation of the phrase "Let him have it" (Bentley's alleged instruction to Craig), describing Bentley as "mentally aiding the murder of Police Constable Sidney Miles".

Zero tolerance, see. It's all in the tone of voice......

David

Apple cutting must be punished!

I’m trying to imagine how else you can chop an apple into slices. Can you tear an apple into neat bite-size sections? Anyway, thank goodness it wasn’t a partly-nibbled pastry. That shit can get heavy, dude.

Ray

A teacher dumb enough to regard a fruit knife (or for that matter, a plastic cake slice) as an offensive weapon is dumb enough to be replaced by a machine. So there's that.

formertory

I always have my penknife in my pocket. Well, almost always - it goes in checked baggage when flying. It's expressly excluded from S139 of the Criminal Justice Act by virtue of having no lock on the blade and a blade edge less than 76mm; I need no reason to carry it. It's a nice wee thing, handy to have for all sorts of trivial reasons - apples too. In the terrified UK, though, the looks of horror when I open and use it in public are something to see; braver souls will ask if I know "it's illegal!" and many will argue that it is even after I've explained that it isn't. People who apparently thought I was a reasonable-enough bloke suddenly find subjects of absorbing interest elsewhere.

What a sad, pathetic society we've become.

Jonathan

In the Game of Victimhood, you win or you die:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/magazine/when-women-become-men-at-wellesley-college.html?_r=1

Pellegri

Can you tear an apple into neat bite-size sections?

I heard Marilyn Arsem did some valuable research into that.

WTP

I work for a defense contractor. I have to keep the butter knife in my desk a deep dark secret. Last week or so they had an "active shooter" seminar as a lunch-and-learn. Some people might question why we would need such a seminar if even butter knives are prohibited. I'm trying to learn not to think like that. I'm trying real hard. Much like this guy. No not Ringo, the other guy.

http://youtu.be/vMN5uQhF-Ro

witwoud

Nick Cohen on the feminist critics of Gone Girl:

http://standpointmag.co.uk/node/5775

[ Link fixed, DT. ]

DH

Behold, the best and brightest from our university system.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/weird-news/students-aim-to-raise-6m-to-buy-a-castle-for-asylum-seekers-9832094.html

It would be almost worth seeing this come to fruition just to see how quickly a left-wing radical community living in a gentrified commune called Comrades of the Glen would descend into a Jonestown-style cult.

oldwhiteguy

the level of stupid continues to expand exponentially.

David

to see how quickly a left-wing radical community living in a gentrified commune called Comrades of the Glen would descend into a Jonestown-style cult.

Apparently the place has its own laboratory. The screenplay writes itself.

R. Sherman

Does someone wish to explain to me how the Bedord, Ohio school system teaches home economics or shop classes without the use of sharp objects? Or hammers? Suffice it to say, every day brings new affirmation to my decision years ago to send my children to private parochial schools.

Rob

As soon as he gave the knife to the teacher he should have called the police and had her arrested for possession of a knife

Anna

those who had celebrated the video [for its feminist stance] had been denounced as unreconstructed bigots.

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh.

David

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh.

Well, as Mr Cooke says, “so reflexive has the search for complexity become” – and with it, higher moral ground from which to scold others – “that even the most straightforward of questions are now twisted and bent into more pleasingly distressing shapes.” Shapes more useful to bizarre identitarian fixations. And so several commentators insisted that the video should have been re-edited to show fewer black and Hispanic men either saying hello or acting like creepy jerks (regardless of who was actually acting like a jerk, or most like a jerk, during the filming). And after much contortion, Salon’s Emily Gould wanted us to believe that catcalling random white women is a way for “marginalised groups” to “talk back” to “white gentrifiers.”

DH

...catcalling random white women is a way for “marginalised groups” to “talk back” to “white gentrifiers.”

I'm surprised the Guardian hasn't applied this buckled logic to the issue of Asian grooming gangs.

Something along the lines of:

Tabloid-fuelled Islamophobia, the rise of Nigel Farage and an uncaring Tory government - is it any wonder that our young Muslims are turning to child rape to make their voices heard?

Lancastrian Oik

I'm surprised the Guardian hasn't applied this buckled logic to the issue of Asian grooming gangs.

Vikram Dodd has an explanation.

RY

Re: Vikram Dodd's article - and professional commentators on NYC video

What I still cannot fathom is, whether they are *knowingly* trying to avoid some kind of 'uncomfortable' truth? Or whether they are so fixed into an ideological position, that they believe what they write?

Hal

the level of stupid continues to expand exponentially.

A few days ago an associate and I compared notes in passing regarding separate sections of the assorted collective occurrences that we wind up encountering.

Our assessment is that we're having to deal with dedicated, demanded, deliberate, and ongoing practices of those who are blind doing sight reading on behalf of the deaf.

I certainly look forward to returning to working with the sane, I rather expect my associate does as well.

"One of the disadvantages of being a patrician is that occasionally you are obliged to act like one."

dicentra

there weren’t enough white guys doing it.

News flash: In Latinoamérica, "catcalling" is a time-honored tradition. Called echando piropos (tossing rubies), it happens much more than twice an hour on the Latino city streets, and it isn't just young women who get it: it's every woman, and sometimes you even get it from children.

I was horribly insulted by it at first. Latin culture is most definitely saturated in machismo — men feel entitled to react to women howsoever they see fit, whether that means muttering something explicit under their breath at a passing babe or setting up another household with a common-law wife that they keep secret from la legítima.

Lucky for me, my Spanish never was good enough to understand all the catcalls, some of which made my Colombian companions turn green with embarrassment. And then after I got used to it, I started feeling insulted when we didn't get the mutter-mutter as we passed a fella or two.

That said, I prefer a culture without the catcalls. On Jerry Doyle's radio show, he asked "So how do you let a woman know you think she's got it going on without being a pig?"

I ask, "why do you need to?" Men going after women is predatory enough that the catcalls, rather than feeling like compliments, seem more like the appreciative licking of chops. There's a reason it's called a "wolf whistle," and that catcallers are portrayed in cartoons as literal wolves.

Regardez that dude that kept pestering her for not saying hi. Since when is a woman obligated to pay any degree of attention to a man on the street? She doesn't owe him jack, not even an acknowledging nod. And yet there's this idea among non-housebroken men that they do?

Time and place, gents. At a party, in a bar or nightclub, on the boardwalk where people are there to see and be seen — that's when you can go on the hunt. Walking down the street, going about one's business, not dressed in a way to attract male attention?

Nope. And definitely not at work.

dicentra

Is child grooming and sexual abuse a race issue?

No, it's a cultural one, moron.

And avoiding the fact that most of the Ummah is extremely screwed up, sexually, is a national sport in the West.

Where else do you think that murderous rage comes from, if not child sexual abuse? Poverty? Guatemala is poor. Burkina Faso is poor. The Navajo are poor. None of them are beheading their enemies.

Poverty is more likely to engender despair, helplessness, and resignation. Sexual molestation affects the most intimate, sensitive, and core aspect of our selves, and when it's accepted and ingrained in the culture and family, the people can't turn their rage at Self so they turn it against Other.

The back of this vile culture must be broken for no other reason than this: the Q'uran and Hadith aren't the problem: buggering their kids is.

dicentra

two seniors at Columbia … claimed to find all sorts of “disturbing” anti-Semitic allegories in … Batman Returns.

Frozen is also The Shining, ICYMI.

Dan

@Dicentra

"Nope. And definitely not at work."

I met my wife at work. Plus I was in a position of authority over her, too. Still together seventeen years later, and thoroughly happy, though the authority thing has switched round a bit.

Come to think of it, most of my friends met their wives or husbands at work.

David

Russell Brand shares his wisdom.

Henry

The Nick Cohen Standpoint thing is interesting. People have noted "stereotypes" in popular culture for some time, sometimes no doubt with more than a grain of truth.

Sometimes films, books or TV shows are made to counter perceived prejudice. The motive is a noble one, but fiction that is constrained by philosophical ideas is likely to be moving further away from reality of people and real relationships.

As I repeatedly stress, the BBC's journalism is tainted by

a) the fear of offending certain 'groups', and
b) the fear of stirring up prejudice in certain other groups, whose members are too stupid to be given the facts straight.

Similar constraints work on it's drama. Too much BS has been said about creating eg: "Strong female characters" and too much attention paid to the BS. Viewers of shows like Borgen or the film Hannibal (or a thousand other examples) will know that this is hardly confined to the Beeb

I think that this is the background to the feminist control-freaks who now demand that any negative depictions of women (especially on the subject of rape/sexual assault) be banned, as someone might view the drama and accidentally think a thought of which they disapprove.

They think they're fighting prejudice. In fact they're trying to control what you see, hear, think and say.

David

Sometimes films, books or TV shows are made to counter perceived prejudice.

And sometimes the attempt to play against expectations (and statistics) can be quite jarring and disrupt the suspension of disbelief. As noted before, the Joan Smith piece in the Guardian was basically arguing that no thriller should ever be permitted to depict a female character lying about rape or physical abuse without a big Guardian-approved disclaimer onscreen. Because non-Guardian readers lack the necessary subtlety of mind. And by extension, no film should ever be made in which a woman is the perpetrator of physical abuse, and no gay character or black character should ever be depicted as less than admirable, and so on.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

I am fascinated by this idea that Batman Returns is the live action version of Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.

I saw Batman Returns in the pictures when it came out, and my thoughts on it, as far as I can remember, were that it was a pile of steaming guano.

Michael Keaton's Batman seemed tired and bored with himself, even in Bruce Wayne playboy billionaire mode. Danny DiVito's Penguin was both pitiful and disgusting. Christopher Walken played Christopher Walken.

Michelle Pffffeifer was sexy but also a little bit scary because she seemed drunk and looked like she'd claw you in places that you'd rather weren't scratched. And she probably wouldn't be happy to have a night in watching a video with you. She'd probably want to go to one of those night clubs where a little foreign guy lives in the toilets to guilt trip you into tipping him every time you go for a pee.

I completely missed the whole Jew-hate message, but that just shows you what a sly propagandist Tim "Leni" Burton is.

Looking back at his filmography, OF COURSE! It's obvious he's been up to shenanigans.

Beetlejuice was about the Jew as a trickster and the corrupting influence of dusky calypso music on our teenaged white daughters.

Edward Scissorhands was about the Jew as a freakish outsider and eternal foe of the Goy and his waterbeds.

Mars Attacks! was a blistering critique of the State of Israel.

Sweeney Todd was a cri de coeur against Hebraic hairdressers.

I'm surprised Burton hasn't announced that his next project is Hitler's Big Adventure. But I bet he's working up to it. The bastard.

According to the latest research on Wikipedia:

Burton was born in 1958, in the city of Burbank, California, to Jean Burton (née Erickson), the owner of a cat-themed gift shop

I've never met Tim Burton's mum but she sounds brilliant. I like to imagine her shop was called "Paws for Thought", or perhaps "The Catwalk". And then Tim Burton's dad walked in one day, looking for a poster of a kitty hanging from a washing line. And their eyes met over the rack of Cat Stevens records, and it was love.

If I owned a cat-themed gift shop, I would call it "Purrecious Things", and I would be so happy.

Lancastrain Oik

"Russell Brand's wisdom" is right up there with other all-time great oxymorons such as "Microsoft Works", "Vauxhall Frontera Sport" and "elegant combover".

David

Sometimes films, books or TV shows are made to counter perceived prejudice.

And conversely there are shows like the recent iterations of Doctor Who, the scripts for which conform – one might say eerily - with many Guardianista conceits, in that commerce and military service are frequently disdained and people running successful businesses are quite likely to be evil, or at least in the service of it. Though we do get frequent and lingering reminders of the heroine’s preferred reading matter. So there’s that.

simplius

Russel Brand earns his Parklife meme.

Lancastrian Oik

No, it's a cultural one, moron.

Which, I think, skewers Dodd. Disingenuous to a fault, he begins by inviting the reader to consider the issue of "race", but then addresses the matter as though it were a cultural problem- "it's the world of grotty takeaways and filthy minicab offices that these people inhabit which cause this" whilst simultaneously ignoring another evidently salient factor. Later, he references the case of Stuart Hazell, ignoring the fact that such instances are clearly utterly morally repugnant but nevertheless completely distinct phenomena.

So dishonest is the article that Bott trips himself up in his final paragraphs- why, if this is not a "race"(sic) issue, should the MCB et al. feel the need to take such action?

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Lancastrian Oik - I agree with you 100% about the ineligance of the combover.

Combovers make me angry. They signal that the comboverer thinks he can trick you into believing he has hair. See: Arthur Scargill.

There are two good options for the folically challenged:

The wig - much maligned in popular culture, but Sean Connery and Burt Reynolds proved they can work. You just need to avoid the type William Shatner wore in the Star Trek movies, that thing looked like budget office carpeting. I kept expecting it to turn out to be some sort of alien symbiote.

The slaphead - black men have an advantage here because it usually looks good on them, unless they have a weirdly shaped head. But it can work on white men too - see Captain Picard, Moby, Ben Kingsley, and Bruce Willis. As long as your bonce doesn't look like Humpty Dumpty or Fantasy World Dizzy, it's fine to be bald.

The trick with being bald is to be bald like a boss. Combine it with a well-tailored suit and a bold silk tie. Use only the finest of waxes to polish your pate to a lambent gleam. Buy a luxurious-looking white Persian cat and pet it while chuckling menacingly.

RY

'Doctor Who': Like 'The Guardian' - for the Whole Family.

RY

Lancastrian Oik

Dodd's article is phenomenally dishonest to read, but does he sit down at his laptop ( or whatever ) and actually write the piece , in the same way a barrister might make an argument, to achieve a desired effect? Does he know how illogical and mendacious the whole exercise is? Or is he 'lost' somewhere in his own mindset, that certain things must not be true? I see a lot of reporting, on particular issues, in which I know the reporter is being misleading and that their 'sources' are wholly unreliable, but also that they are deeply partisan. In which case , however untruthful they are - it may be that what they 'want' to be true, for them, has effectively 'become' true. I'm sure a lot of the time journalists are spouting complete drivel, but sometimes they may have 'lost the plot' perhaps...

pedant2007

How is one supposed to pronounce Da'von? Is the "inverted comma" a sign that the second syllable bears the stress, or is it a glottal stop?

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Pendant - I believe Da'von created the Daleks on Doctor Who. He probably reads the Telegraph.

Charlie Suet

I'd get on better with Nick Cohen if he didn't feel the need to shoe-horn a "but the Tories are just as bad" paragraph into every article. Presumably he's trying to show that he's independent from the editorial line of the Speccie and Standpoint, but it's stylistically very poor.

If he wants to write a specific article about the vices of right wingers then fine, but attacking the left and adding in a non sequitur about the right is just sloppy.

The original Mr. X

David:

"And sometimes the attempt to play against expectations (and statistics) can be quite jarring and disrupt the suspension of disbelief."

Yes indeed. It reminds me of an episode of the late and un-lamented TV show Bonekickers, in which the main antagonists were a bunch of Christian self-styled crusaders who went around beheading Muslims in order to bring about a fundamentalist Christian theocracy. Because, I suppose, the other way around would have been totally implausible...

RY:

I suspect that they've managed to consciously convince themselves that what they're saying is true, but that deep down they know they're just spouting nonsense. I also suspect that this is behind a lot of the left's hysteria when it comes to being contradicted -- can't let their precious illusions be shattered, after all.

RY

I've got to the point, where I am harbouring a sneaking desire that the Daleks ( or cyber men ) will win.

Probably treasonable.

Joan

Guardian on midterm results: "Obama didn't lose."

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/04/republicans-win-big-election-midterms

Lancastrian Oik

Russell Brand- "PARKLIFE!!"

sackcloth and ashes

'As noted before, the Joan Smith piece in the Guardian was basically arguing that no thriller should ever be permitted to depict a female character lying about rape or physical abuse without a big Guardian-approved disclaimer onscreen'.

So we can't watch 'A Passage to India' anymore?

Novus

On the topic of combovers, I saw a doozy on the tube the other day. The passage of 15 years since the rise of the Shoreditch Twat means inevitably that some of those at the vanguard of the movement have had to find ways to deal with hair loss and the consequent inability to create the obligatory fauxhawk. Nothing daunted, the chap I saw the other day had grown hair from both sides, carefully combed them up to meet in the middle, then swept them up into a luxuriant comb-o-fauxhawk atop a gleaming pate. In this case the ghastly effect was completed by the tenacious vestiges of a widow's peak peeking out at the front. It was really quite an effort to keep from laughing openly. Fortunately my stop came quickly.

Nikw211

a circus of competitive indignation

I see Mackay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is once again in urgent need of a new appendix devoted to Twitter.

This week - the Witches of Twitterwick flock together in an attempt to destroy Goody Dunham.

Can't imagine why.

[ Link fixed, DT ]

David

This week - the Witches of Twitterwick flock together in an attempt to destroy Goody Dunham.

I’m not sure who to root for.

DH

Lemon sucker in chief, Zoe Williams, dusts down her sanctimonious, wagging finger and directs it this time towards space tourism.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/02/richard-branson-space-tourists-obscene-inequality-free-market

When rich people burn huge sums of money on fun, it wakes us up to the excesses of the free market, she says.

Imagine living next door to Ms Williams. You'd never get a moment's peace over the garden fence.

You spent money on a box of fireworks just so your children can have FUN?, she would shriek, Why can’t you quarry these insights from your own imagination?

Nikw211

I’m not sure who to root for.

Personally, I'm happy to sit back and watch them devour each other.

David

Lemon sucker in chief, Zoe Williams, dusts down her sanctimonious, wagging finger and directs it this time towards space tourism.

You have to wonder how many industries, employment options and technological conveniences would never have come into existence, and in many cases ubiquity, had people not used their money in ways that make Ms Williams suck her teeth.

Lancastrian Oik

In defence of Russell Brand, where Ioan Marc Jones applauds the actor/comedian/whatever because he "...has undoubtedly empowered some of the politically apathetic young to criticize and question - like Tony Benn did (on 'Da Ali G Show') - and such an achievement shouldn't be denigrated simply because one man doesn't have all the answers".

Mr. Jones appears not to have noticed that, whilst Ali G was a fictional construct, Brand is real and apparently sincere, and not only does he not "have all the answers", he doesn't even have any decent questions beyond "Why can't we just all be nice to each other?".

Nevertheless, that may indeed appeal to "some of the politically apathetic young"- those in the 7-9 age group perhaps, and one of the more astute members of which might well respond by saying "Nice? What, like you were being when you left those disgusting messages on Andrew Sachs' answerphone?".

RY

MrX:

So, the hysteria is not because an argument is being contradicted - but because if the illusion is shattered, they are in freefall...

This is not unrelated.

http://pjmedia/tatler/2014/1104/lena-dunham-says-her-use-of-sexual-predator-was-comic/

Tim Newman

Nope. And definitely not at work.

This. When I worked in Russia I witnessed appalling behaviour on the part of wrinkly old expats trying to get stuck into their much younger and prettier female Russian colleagues, most of which went unremarked by the expat management. It was an utter disgrace. Then I move to France, and I find my Russian female colleague being pestered by wrinkly old men on the internal messenger system.

As you say, if a woman is in a bar or club then (within the limits of politeness and good manners) she is fair game for an approach. But at work they're there to work, not be chatted up. I imagine it must be pretty unpleasant to be in the office and having unwanted attentions from somebody you have to work with, particularly somebody senior.

Tim Newman

I met my wife at work. Plus I was in a position of authority over her, too. Still together seventeen years later, and thoroughly happy, though the authority thing has switched round a bit.

I don't think meeting at work is a problem, half a graduate intake pair off with one another in large firms. It's all in the approach. Women have a habit of getting the attention of a man in whom they are interested, so if a woman in the office is not giving you any interest then it is a near certainty she is not interested. And I think a skillful man can easily find a method of discovering whether a woman is interested without her even knowing what he's doing: simply read the body language.

The problem is idiots who either cannot read the "not interested" signals, or believe they don't need to heed them. And those who lack the skill to probe the question subtly and put the woman in a very uncomfortable position.

Tim Newman

all-time great oxymorons such as

Socialist worker

Tim Newman

'As noted before, the Joan Smith piece in the Guardian was basically arguing that no thriller should ever be permitted to depict a female character lying about rape or physical abuse without a big Guardian-approved disclaimer onscreen'.

That's Ian McEwan's Atonement banned, then. And To Kill a Mockingbird!

Lancastrian Oik

"The illusion is shattered".

So cocksure (oops! *snork*) is Dunham, it appears not to have occurred to her that:

(a) actually, she is "that kind of girl";

(b) despite their impeccable prog credentials her family are actually bat-shit crazy;

(c) because of her upbringing (see(b)) she lacks the kind of moral compass which usually means that, on the whole, people tend to shy away from revealing disturbing episodes of child sex abuse involving other members of one's family because of the effect such revelations have upon the victim. It's why we have anonymity in court proceedings, duh;

(d) arrogance, stupidity, sheer moral vacuity or a combination of all three meant she could not see the "backlash"* coming.

*"Backlash"- known in most households around the world as "being aware of the natural consequences of your actions".

David

This headline made me chuckle. Note the order of words.

Hal

So we can't watch 'A Passage to India' anymore?

Ewwwwwww.

We couldn't watch See The Posturing Hipsters, Err, Yuppies/Preppies/Sloanes At That Time even when it first got decanted.

Remember, that was the depths of the Nineteen Empties, and the first of this latest round of what's now being called the hipsters, and the accompanying fantasy that making some declaration means that there is no assessment of the declaration, just blind and deaf adulation of obvious crap . . .

I'm not up on Russell Brand, but apparently from what I read he's doing much of the same . . .

So, no, no, no, one does not waste one's time with A Passage Though India With The Result On Screen.

Instead, the actual movie that Passage and any of its partisans would like to imagine that someday there might, maybe, be a resemblance for being nearby is Heat And Dust.

Lancastrian Oik

"Heat And Dust"- now you're talking.

sackcloth and ashes

'I think that this is the background to the feminist control-freaks who now demand that any negative depictions of women (especially on the subject of rape/sexual assault) be banned, as someone might view the drama and accidentally think a thought of which they disapprove'.

In the typically-bad BBC SciFi drama 'Outcasts' (cancelled due to poor viewing figures), one of the female cast sanctimoniously declares that women had never ordered genocides or built WMD.

With the advantage of my memory and tinterweb I found the examples of Agatha Kanziga, the wife of the former Rwandan President and one of the key instigators of the 1994 genocide, and two Iraqi scientists integral to Saddam's bio-war programme, Rihab Taha and Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash.

Three women, none of whom are white. Enough to make a Guardianista's head explode.

RY

There's a wonderful takedown of Russell Brand's book, over at Mick Hartley's...

'Bejeweled Bulls*it, Michael Moynihan reads Russell Brand so we don't have to.'

http://mickhartley.typepad.com/

Steve 2: Steveageddon

sackcloth and ashes - I never saw "Outcasts", but I can picture exactly how that played out.

Sort of like the various rants against sexism and racism in "Life On Mars", a show about a time-travelling policeman whose most implausible plot device was the idea that skinny little John Simms is hard.

Or "Survivors", where a diverse group of achingly right-on middle class people ticking all the right racial and sexual boxes survive Fluageddon and the baddies are evil white chavs who probably eat Pot Noodles and don't read The Guardian.

"Survivors" was also interesting because it would have us believe puffy-faced Julie Graham is some sort of badass natural leader, like Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead but a lot better fed and more emotionally incontinent.

Even the black guy from Peep Show came across as a whingeing, passive-aggressive, self-loathing pain in the backside. He should have played Johnson from Peep Show in "Survivors", that would have been brilliant.

jimmy

As you say, if a woman is in a bar or club then (within the limits of politeness and good manners) she is fair game for an approach. But at work they're there to work, not be chatted up. I imagine it must be pretty unpleasant to be in the office and having unwanted attentions from somebody you have to work with, particularly somebody senior.

Heh, doesn't leave much room for meeting women, does it?. Some of us would never consider a bar/club as suitable for meeting wife material.

DH

Survivors.

I persisted with that show because I liked the premise, but it just got worse and worse. You obviously gave up before their adventures took them to some kind of military compound run by the, predictably, black Prime Minister.

Dr Cromarty

predictably, black Prime Minister.

predictably, black woman Prime Minister.

There. Fixed that for you.

Hal

Well, remember everyone, Real communism has never been tried.

WTP

Basically the problem boils down to the folly of knowledge-inquiry instead of the superior wisdom-inquiry:

The extraordinarily successful pursuit of knowledge and technological know-how has been of immense benefit, and has made the modern world possible. It has also made possible all our current global problems. Modern science and technology have made possible modern industry, agriculture, medicine and hygiene, which in turn have made possible global warming, lethal modern warfare, explosive population growth, the destruction of natural habitats and rapid extinction of species, pollution of earth, sea and air, vast inequalities of wealth and power around the globe.

The problem is the gross and very damaging irrationality of knowledge-inquiry. What we need is a kind of academic inquiry that puts problems of living at the heart of the enterprise, and is rationally designed and devoted to helping humanity learn how to make progress towards as good and wise a world as possible. The basic intellectual aim should be to seek and promote wisdom, understood to be the capacity to realise what is of value in life, for oneself and others, thus including knowledge and technological know-how, but much else besides. ‘Wisdom-inquiry’ along these lines would differ dramatically from what we have at present, academia organised in accordance with the edicts of the false philosophy of knowledge-inquiry.

http://philosophypress.co.uk/?p=1213

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

OK, OK, I sent you money! Geez, lay off the guilting....

David

Quint&Jessel,

Gratuities always appreciated.

Lancastrian Oik

WTP- yes, but who gets to define "value"?

WTP

Why those possessed of wisdom, of course. It's a kind of academic inquiry, donchaknow.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

WTP - fascinating.

This article appears in Issue 62 of The Philosophers’ Magazine.

If I know anything about Philosophy, it's closely aligned to magic as per "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone". It's good to see them set their sights above turning base metals into gold.

Universities around the world have, built into their intellectual/institutional structure, a seriously defective philosophy of inquiry we have inherited from the past. This holds that, in order to help promote human welfare, academia must devote itself to the pursuit of knowledge.

Stupid knowledge! What has it ever done for us?

modern industry, agriculture, medicine and hygiene

Oh.

which in turn have made possible global warming, lethal modern warfare, explosive population growth, the destruction of natural habitats and rapid extinction of species, pollution of earth, sea and air, vast inequalities of wealth and power around the globe.

Boooo! That's quite a densely packed charge sheet against knowledge, so it may be worth taking each in turn:

global warming - the case for which is getting shakier every day, even as global warmers grow more desperate in their rhetoric. I can't even remember how many days we have left to "save the planet". Or to "claim my PPI". They sound very similar.

lethal modern warfare

Sure, but Ghengis Khan wasn't much less lethal, and I seem to recall some unpleasantness in Rwanda that had nothing to do with modern arms.

And do you know what the most lethal weapon on the planet is, by body count? It's not super-duper high-tech cruise missiles, or MOABs, or the B-2 Stealth Bomber, or even the ICBM. It's the humble and relatively primitive AK-47.

explosive population growth

An essay titled "Does Philosophy Betray Both Reason and Humanity?" is asserting that more humans is a Bad Thing. I'm obviously not clever and philosophy enough to work that one out.

the destruction of natural habitats and rapid extinction of species

See also: global warming. The rapid extinction of species meme is a similar sort of Ehrlichian myth. As for protecting natural spaces, it's the more knowledge-intensive societies that do it best. The USA protects wild habitats better than Uzbekistan does.

pollution of earth, sea and air

See above. Is London more or less polluted now than it was 100 or 200 years ago? Answers on a lump of coal or some dried horse poo, please.

vast inequalities of wealth and power around the globe

Because inequality wasn't a thing in Caesar's day. Or Pharoah's time. Or whatever.

And what's wrong with inequality? Are people in China - who can now reasonably expect three square meals a day, electricity, clean clothes and consumer trinkets - supposed to be pissed off because they're not one bad harvest away from starvation, like their ancestors were?

Would they prefer medieval serfdom, as long as it meant Russell Brand had all his money taken off him too?

What we need is a kind of academic inquiry that puts problems of living at the heart of the enterprise, and is rationally designed and devoted to helping humanity learn how to make progress towards as good and wise a world as possible.

A sort of... scientific socialism. If only somebody had tried that before so we'd have some idea of how it's likely to pan out!

The basic intellectual aim should be to seek and promote wisdom, understood to be the capacity to realise what is of value in life, for oneself and others, thus including knowledge and technological know-how, but much else besides.

The irony of someone advocating for wisdom, when a mere paragraph ago he was uncritically regurgitating shonky climate change theories, Malthusian misanthrophy, and Marxesque bewailing of "inequality".

The central intellectual tasks of wisdom-inquiry are (1) to articulate, and improve the articulating of, our problems of living, and (2) to propose and critically assess possible solutions – possible actions, policies, political programmes, philosophies of life. The pursuit of knowledge and technological know-how emerges out of, and feeds back into, these fundamental intellectual activities. A transformed social science, devoted to helping humanity tackle problems of living in increasingly cooperatively rational ways, is intellectually more fundamental than natural science.

Translation: all those bastards doing actual science get more prestige and better job offers than we philosophers! Get 'em!

And while we're at it, the world needs some sort of priestly caste of... philosopher kings... to tell people what to do. For their own good, you understand.

A basic task of the university is to help people discover what is genuinely of value in life, and how it is to be realised.

None of this can be done as long as our universities are dominated by knowledge-inquiry. [...]

The case for the urgent need for an academic revolution, from knowledge to wisdom, has not been taken up, criticised, proclaimed, attacked, fought over. It has been ignored.

The success of critical studies degrees tells us the opposite. Universities are retreating from knowledge, from rationalism, from empiricism. Universities are the most dogmatic, intellectually censorious environments in the western world.

The end result of this retreat from knowledge isn't wisdom, though.

Lancastrian Oik

Why those possessed of wisdom, of course. It's a kind of academic inquiry, donchaknow.

Unfortunately , I don't share the idea as to what is valuable in life with some of those wise American academics whose doings are examined on here from time to time.

So that's a bit of a non-starter for me, unfortunately.

The Lurker on the Threshold

I can't even remember how many days we have left to "save the planet".

IIRC the deadline was several years in the past, so it's too late to worry now.

wtp

Ghengis Khan wasn't much less lethal

Yes, Mr. Khan once put a city of 1.2 million to the sword. It was a fairly simple process really. Just assign 24 citizens to 50,000 of your soldiers and the job is done in a day. Think of all those people working all those years on the Manhattan Project and you'll see the beauty and efficiency of the old ways. Plus no tell-tale nuclear waste to bother with.

And then there was the Khan wanna-be, Tamerlane. Wiped out 5% of the world population and he didn't have an AK. Much gentler on the environment they both were, you'll note.

Lancastrian Oink: I believe TPM is a UK production (hence philosophypress.co.uk) , though the more...ummm...pedestrian philosophers there do tend to be the Americans. Or perhaps that's by design, I'm not sure.

Nikw211

Another milestone passed on the long march to Stupid.

David

Another milestone passed on the long march to Stupid.

Though I was amused by Ms Marcotte’s mugshot, with its full-on Compassionate Head Tilt™. As regular readers will know, compassion is Amanda’s defining characteristic.

Nikw211

full-on Compassionate Head Tilt™

Yes, it's almost as if she's telling you that she's an Openly Liberal Fascist.

Speaking of marches:

    "it’s alright for you, not all of us have mummies and daddies to look after us,’ and then he lunged at me"

Allegedly.

David

Allegedly.

Who knew the Russell Brand Brains Trust / Vivienne Westwood Tendency would attract obnoxious people?

Nikw211

Who indeed?

DH

"it’s alright for you, not all of us have mummies and daddies to look after us,’ and then he lunged at me"

But it's not only the unspeakable evil of a well spoken accent that upsets our radical friends, it's that other symbol of capitalist oppression - the well built German car.

In one section they surrounded a man driving a new Mercedes car and sprayed the back of it with an aerosol, pushing their tubes at him as he opened windows to remonstrate with them.

http://www.london24.com/news/pictures_anonymous_million_mask_march_causes_chaos_in_central_london_1_3835410

Presumably, people with heavy east end accents driving battered 15-year-old Citroen Saxos were given safe passage.

Karen M

full-on Compassionate Head Tilt™.

MSNBC: "Those old white people? They’re going to die someday."

http://freebeacon.com/politics/msnbc-old-white-people-in-the-south-who-vote-republican-are-going-to-die-some-day/

Gene

Haven't the aims outlined at TPM been the concerns of vast numbers of philosophers, theologians, poets, writers and psychologists for thousands of years? A lot of that sounds damned familiar.

Lancastrian Oik

"Thwarted sperm"....

Earlier in my "career" I had the misfortune (mine, and society's) to have been a criminal lawyer.

At a rather bibulous lunch with ex-colleagues today (we are, fortunately, now all retired and past child-bearing age), this case was mentioned, because we are full of fun and glee and love and stuff.

Should the plaintiffs succeed then they will criminalise abortion....

That's not what they want, obviously. They will protest that they still uphold the woman's right to choose, but once that choice is made (i.e. to go ahead to term) their case would nevertheless effectively mean that once the mother's choice is made it becomes subject to the intervention of the state.

And what if, having made her choice to have the child, the mother-to-be who doesn't smoke 40 a day and/or drink a bottle of vodka every night refuses to give up:

(a) extreme sports;

(b) going to live in a Latin American country where healthcare is shit because that's where hubby has just been posted;

(c) continuing to take the existing kid(s) to school in of of those cute little trailers which sport a tiny Day-Glo flag that you tow behind a mountain-bike down a dark and dangerous country lane from November to March to that lovely little church school in that darling little village they've just moved to;

(d) anything else that is deemed to be hazardous to foetal health?

None of the foregoing is currently covered by "administering a noxious substance" (section 14 of the Offences Against The Person Act 1861, and also unlike abortifacients which would continue to be exempt, obviously), but you get my drift, I hope.

RY

This might be of interest to Ms Marcotte and the MSNBC crew...

http://ricochet.com/asians-new-republicans/

Those pesky Asians.

sackcloth and ashes

'Sort of like the various rants against sexism and racism in "Life On Mars", a show about a time-travelling policeman whose most implausible plot device was the idea that skinny little John Simms is hard'.

It may be just a rumour, but the story is that the Beeb's commissars were less than happy about the public reaction to 'Life on Mars'.

The punters were supposed to see Sam Tyler as the hero, and Gene Hunt as just some unreconstructed thug. The trouble was that it was the boozy, punchy copper who used one liners like 'This investigation is making as much progress as a spastic in a magnet factor' that the viewers warmed to, rather than the touchy-feely metrosexual detective from the noughties.

Tim Newman

Heh, doesn't leave much room for meeting women, does it?. Some of us would never consider a bar/club as suitable for meeting wife material.

Good point!

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

"A basic task of the university is to help people discover what is genuinely of value in life, and how it is to be realised."

Conan, what is best in life?
Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.

I would be sad if students did not immediately think of this.

Surreptitious Evil

In the terrified UK, though, the looks of horror when I open and use it in public are something to see; braver souls will ask if I know "it's illegal!" and many will argue that it is even after I've explained that it isn't

Response from London lass in office to seeing my penknife* "How come you're allowed to carry that and I'm not allowed pepper spray?"

* Victorinox "Climber" - nothing mahoosive.

David

I felt a sudden urge to post a link to this.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Well, THAT wasn't at all disturbing.

Nikw211

That's not what they want, obviously. They will protest that they still uphold the woman's right to choose …

Well, let's face it, they're not really the kind of people who set a great deal of store in the idea that actions have consequences.

Speaking of all matters legal, this is a marvellous quote:

    A male student told me my insistence that individuals suspected of a crime must be fairly tried and found convincingly guilty before we ruin their lives — and being expelled from a prestigious university for rape would undoubtedly be life-ruining — was evidence that I had fallen for the “liberal paradigm” of justice, which tends to benefit white, well-off men.

More of such impeccable logic can be read here.

Hal

Sure, but Ghengis Khan wasn't much less lethal, . . . .

and

Conan, what is best in life?
Crush your enemies.. . . .

Of course, while noting that, unsurprisingly, Conan wasn't the original source of that one . . .

Speaking of reading the great literature of the period, my current binge read is the original 181 stories of the Doc Savage canon, where I suppose I should also get around to all of the original Conan in time, but first will be all of Nero Wolfe and Shakespeare's plays . . .

Jimmy

Lancastrian Oik

Should the plaintiffs succeed then they will criminalise abortion...

Can you elaborate on how that is the case? For the ignorant like myself :). I suppose it has something to do with the legal status of the foetus?

RY

More of such impeccable logic can be read here


'The speeches made by students from the mattress -strewn steps leading up to the beautiful Low Library were chilling. Many focused on the need to believe women who make accusations. "I believe!" they hollered, to cheers from the crowd. This casual assertion of belief in all accusations of sexual assault mirrors the gullible fanaticism of the 17th.Century Salem trials, where, likewise, claims and denunciations were taken at face value...
...It would have been a brave student indeed who stood up at the Salem-like belief-fest at Columbia last week and said 'We have to prove accusations, not naively accept them.'


How on Earth would you begin to go about turning this tide?

Lancastrian Oik

Jimmy- yes, that's the point.

The matter was considered in Attorney-General's Reference No. 3 of 1994, where the Law Lords affirmed that a foetus, although having certain legal protections, is not a separate entity in law until it has been born alive and the umbilical cord severed.

For this case to succeed, the foetus would have to acquire the same status as a ""a life in being", i.e. an autonomous person. Were that to be the case, then to kill a foetus by whatever means would amount to homicide.

Hal

Also elsewhere, Denying Problems When We Don’t Like the Solutions

There may be a scientific answer for why conservatives and liberals disagree so vehemently over the existence of issues like climate change and specific types of crime.

. . . . .

When the policy solution emphasized a tax on carbon emissions or some other form of government regulation, which is generally opposed by Republican ideology, only 22 percent of Republicans said they believed the temperatures would rise at least as much as indicated by the scientific statement they read.

But when the proposed policy solution emphasized the free market, such as with innovative green technology, 55 percent of Republicans agreed with the scientific statement.

. . . .

The researchers found liberal-leaning individuals exhibited a similar aversion to solutions they viewed as politically undesirable in an experiment involving violent home break-ins. When the proposed solution called for looser versus tighter gun-control laws, those with more liberal gun-control ideologies were more likely to downplay the frequency of violent home break-ins.

As I've noted here and there, the actuality is more right wing liberal deniers vs left wing liberal deniers, rather than conservative vs liberal, but overall, the study does rather illuminate why the right and left wing liberal extremes keep screaming so vehemently . . .

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