David Thompson
Subscribe

Categories

Blog powered by Typepad

« Mountain High | Main | It’s a Good News/Bad News Thing »

March 10, 2015

Comments

Lancastrian Oik

"Socialism means no toilet paper."

"...if the auto loan system was like the school loan system, almost everyone would have a car but you'd be forking over six digits to drive a Hyundai Accent".

I like him a lot already.

AN

don’t forget the moral boneyard to which such posturing leads.

Wow. That's one twisted noodle.

David

I like him a lot already.

It’s our very own Franklin, commenter of this parish.


Wow. That’s one twisted noodle.

It’s difficult to see how you could have a rational debate on the subject with someone who shuns facts and logic in favour of posturing and psychodrama. Someone who insists we live in a “white supremacy,” that “all white people are racist” but no-one else can be, and that the way to help black people and purge oneself of sin is to abandon poor neighbourhoods to thugs, muggers and other criminal predators. I mean, there’s just no way in to a mind like that. And remember, Sunny Drake’s worldview wasn’t arrived at randomly. It was taught.

The Lurker on the Threshold

OT: Is this a Guild of Evil project? And will it have a glowing globe at the top which emits a death ray?

Ten

There's celebrity involved? Ivory-towered scribblers and jumped-up journo wannabees? Academics who perish in the presence of the breathable air of reality? Oligarchs?

You know, if not for the damage they do, you'd almost have to feel sorry for them.

David

And will it have a glowing globe at the top which emits a death ray?

Oddly enough, those seem to crop up on every blueprint I get handed. Even the new bathroom suite came with hot, cold and violent disintegration.

R. Sherman

Regarding racism and white privilege, the latter of which we are supposed to "inventory:"

I did. All I could come up with is that I'm not lactose intolerant. Otherwise, I spend my days worrying about making sure my bills are paid, my wife is happy and my kids are decent human beings. Oh, and I also pay a lot of taxes and have a business which helps support or completely supports twenty families.

A cold glass of milk occasionally doesn't seem to be that much of an upside.

rjmadden

Franklin Einspruch implores his fellow artists to try a little maths

I like Franklin's idea that learning some economics would be a radical thing for lefty artists to do but I don't think many will take up his challenge (good as it is).

David

I like Franklin’s idea that learning some economics would be a radical thing for lefty artists to do but I don’t think many will take up his challenge (good as it is).

Well, perhaps not. If an artist’s political worldview is premised on a disdain for markets and for economics generally – and, not unrelated, premised on a sense of entitlement to other people’s earnings - there’s not much of an incentive. Things might come unravelled.

I know of one group of artists whose chosen lifestyle has been subsidised by the Arts Council - by the taxpayer - for more than two decades. We’re talking figures north of £250,000 a year, every year. The extorted income via publicly funded bodies dwarfs any earned income from ticket sales, etc. Despite this rather dubious arrangement, the group has insisted that attempts to reduce (albeit slightly) the number of artistic freeloaders on the taxpayers’ teat were due to “hostility… towards challenging and innovative work.” Rather than, say, an objection to self-flattering parasites.

They also issued a press release claiming that their chronic and self-inflicted dependency is “a good argument for the importance of arts funding in England.” Because confiscating millions of pounds of taxpayers’ earnings and throwing it at commercially unviable art, thereby getting back only a tiny fraction of what’s paid out, somehow benefits the British economy. Apparently we should be thanking them.

Civilis

From Is Everyone Really Equal?: An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education via Goad's article: There is no such thing as reverse racism or reverse sexism (or the reverse of any form of oppression). While women can be just as prejudiced as men, women cannot be “just as sexist as men” because they do not hold political, economic, and institutional power.

The most powerful person in the US, perhaps in the free world*, is half African-American (and identifies as such). Hillary was a Secretary of State; to claim she didn't hold political and institutional power is ludicrous. Her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, doesn't count because she's a Republican, obviously she was actually Dick Cheney in a very clever disguise.

*One could reasonably make a claim that Barack Obama, the President of the United States, is the most politically, economically and institutionally powerful man in the world, but evaluating that is a definitional issue as to how you evaluate power. For example, Kim Jong Un has more power in North Korea than Obama has in the US, but that's like being the smartest kid on the short bus. My nominee for most powerful man in the world would be Putin, but only if he has his shirt off.

Sam Duncan

Ah, but Civilis, you're not thinking like a collectivist. In the collectivist mind, if a particular group doesn't hold the majority of power, it holds no power at all. Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Christina Kirchner, Condi Rice, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Ghandi... they're all completely irrelevant because Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, David Cameron, Steven Harper, Francois Hollande, Winston Churchill, General de Gaulle, Napoleon, and Henry VIII.

Richard

Throwing something in from another space, but here is some performance art! With sarcastic commentary...

http://youtu.be/_lbece7RqZU

David

here is some performance art!

Oh bravo, sir. Help yourself to cake and liquor.

Richard

And thank for you the Artblog. Reading with much pleasure at the moment!

Hal

My nominee for most powerful man in the world would be Putin, but only if he has his shirt off.

Well, no, not according to the Putin government's own legislation.

The original Mr. X

Lancastrian:

"Socialism means no toilet paper."

That reminds me of an anti-communist propaganda poster I once saw. It went something along the lines of "Occasionally, supplies of toilet paper ran out. Luckily there was no food either."

Sam Duncan:

Ah, but Civilis, you're not thinking like a collectivist. In the collectivist mind, if a particular group doesn't hold the majority of power, it holds no power at all. Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Christina Kirchner, Condi Rice, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Ghandi... they're all completely irrelevant because Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, David Cameron, Steven Harper, Francois Hollande, Winston Churchill, General de Gaulle, Napoleon, and Henry VIII.

It works in reverse too: white farmers in Zimbabwe, say, or Christians in the Middle East aren't at all persecuted, because of privilege.

I'm sure this is a great comfort to them when they're forced to watch vicious thugs gang-rape their wife and children before their eyes.

wtp

re Richard's link, if I might elucidate...or more accurately, appropriate the elucidation of another:

Interior Semiotics is the kind of content that can lay on YouTube for years without getting more than 30 views. And that’s what actually happened until August, 2010, when someone posted the video on 4chan. In 48 hours, the video accumulated over 200,000 views, entered the “Most Viewed” page on YouTube, and was posted on many other blogs and content aggregators. On 4chan, the video elicited some extreme responses, a reaction caused not only by the performance, but more often by the people watching it, described as “hipsters.” While image macros and many other kinds of derivative content were created and circulated online, some 4channers were able to find Stolz’s Facebook account and befriend her, in order to appropriate and manipulate personal content and threaten her by email and by phone.17 Yet, 4channers weren’t the only responsible party for all the reaction materials that the video produced. When it went viral, many other people started posting comments, reaction videos (videos in which a YouTube user records herself while watching a given video), mash-ups, and parodies. While I’m writing, the original video has been watched on YouTube by 1,112,221 people, and gained 1,539 “I like it” and 15,680 “I don’t like it” clicks.

This visibility, along with the number and kinds of reactions the video produced, is pretty amazing for a work of contemporary art, and much more for a student’s artwork. And, together with the previous examples, it raises many questions, most of which remain unanswered at the present time. What does it mean for contemporary art to be viewed and discussed on such a broad platform? What happens when it gets out from the safe niche culture that produces and supports it? Can this reception be considered an art practice in itself, a perfect example of relational aesthetics, as Troemel suggests? Or, possibly, a new form of art criticism? Can a video or an image be turned into a form of public art just by publishing it on the Web? Can all this change the source code of contemporary art, making it less a thing for hipsters and more a thing for broader, less passive, and more participative, audiences? And, last but not least, can all of this make us forget the context-based definition of art-it is art because it happens in the art world-that takes course through the XXI century and opens a new era in which art could take place everywhere, involve everybody, and enter everybody’s home at zero costs?

To find an answer, we just have to sit down and wait. Possibly, in front of our computers.

http://artpulsemagazine.com/internet-semiotics

Let us all, everyone, sit down and wait.

Civilis

If Shirtless Putin no longer gets his +10% power bonus versus squeeing totalitarian fangirls (and I haven't seen the latest geopolitical rules errata) I guess Xi Jinping is the Most Powerful Man In the World, with Putin 2nd and Obama, the Pope and whichever Koch brother isn't a space lizard in a cunning disguise fighting for 3rd. Then again, the Chinese are still Honorary White People, so the natural order of things is left intact.

Civilis

Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Christina Kirchner, Condi Rice, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Ghandi... they're all completely irrelevant

Listening to the feminist political brigade, I keep hearing that 1) males and females are completely interchangable and would be exactly the same if it wasn't for the patriarchy, 2) it's vitally important that we have female leaders because females are more enlightened than men, and 3) those female political leaders that have actually had power (esp. Thatcher and Rice) have been all completely horrible people.

On an unrelated note, I'm going to make a point of extensively hyping Winston Churchill as an exemplar par excellence during the next Native American History Month...

dicentra

In the collectivist mind, if a particular group doesn't hold the majority of power, it holds no power at all.

I'd amend that to say that if the group doesn't hold the majority of power, the behavior of its members is exempt from condemnation, whereas those individuals in a group that holds the power are by-definition culpable, regardless of behavior.

Having thus removed the locus of accountability from the individual to the group, the "oppressed" group gets to unleash its barbarity on the "oppressor" group without restraint or consideration.

Like my perennial favorite, "false consciousness," those vicious little snotrags have concocted extraordinary amounts of weapons-grade sophistry as to justify any imposition, any violation, any violence that they may wish to visit upon the rest of us.

Nice work if you can get it, I guess.

Serena

I have no doubt Chavez loves the poor, that's why he makes more of them.

Surreptitious Evil

Even for a commie hero, being dead is a bit of an obstacle both to loloving and to impoverishment.

dicentra

Speaking of performance art, there's this from yesterday.

Captain Nemo

Men, give it up. We just can't win. Being polite to women is now sexist. More proof if needed of the oppressive patriarchy to which we all subscribe as a result of our gender.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/11461901/Chilvary-could-indicate-hidden-sexism-study-finds.html

Hal

Chilvary could indicate hidden sexism, study finds

. . . . Chilvary?!?!?!?!?!

Is that one of those pointlessly pretentious and dead on arrival hipster things?

Although I am reminded of an Oakland Tribune article back about '97, when a French scientist was visiting Cal to discuss her grandparents named Curie, and to enthusiastically advocate for more female scientists . . . . . Or, as the Tribune headline stated in really large print;

Curies' Ancestor Advocates Women In Science

sk60

If an artist’s political worldview is premised on a disdain for markets and for economics generally – and, not unrelated, premised on a sense of entitlement to other people’s earnings - there’s not much of an incentive. Things might come unravelled.

No one wants to hear why they should be ashamed.

David

No one wants to hear why they should be ashamed.

Heh. Well, quite. And so they’ve arrived at the conceit that their marginal art – the audience for which is a few thousand middle-class lefties - is somehow a vital function of the welfare state. And that the artists themselves are heroic and oppressed – facing “hostility… towards challenging and innovative work” - rather than opportunist freeloaders with an urge to self-flatter. And a subscription to the Guardian.

It’s unclear whether the artists in question actually believed the claim that their decades of mooching were a benefit to the economy, and that therefore taxpayers should be grateful for being fleeced. But their economic ignorance – of even basic causality – is, I think, convenient for them. The woolliness of their claims suggests they aren’t often confronted with a contrary view expressed in plain language. But then presumably their peers and supporters think in similar terms, with similar blind spots, for similar reasons.

[ Added: ]

I think it’s telling that so many defenders of coercive subsidy for art resort to vagueness and rhetorical sleight-of-hand. As when the Arts Council published an infographic in which it appropriated (and implicitly took credit for) all “arts and culture” in the UK, including commercial, unsubsidised cultural activity - things that people will happily pay for, directly, without coercion.

Or when Polly Toynbee, Charlotte Higgins and Jonathan Holmes, all writing for the Guardian, used the terms “creative industries” and “creative economy” to blur distinctions between actual businesses that make a profit – games developers, advertising agencies, etc - and “avant-garde theatre groups” that don’t and never will. Indeed, readers were expected to believe that a failure to be self-supporting, year after year, was a measure of “success” in the “creative industries.”

The bad faith is shameless, and it’s become a standard lie.

John D

Tim Worstall spots a good one:

http://www.timworstall.com/2015/03/11/yet-is-not-the-right-word-here/

David

Tim Worstall spots a good one

Heh. It does rather illustrate the gulf that often exists between Guardian columnists and much of the general public.

RY

No one wants to hear why they should be ashamed

Apologies - off topic:

Is Hillary Clinton the only person who doesn't know you can have two separate email accounts on one device?

Link from Ricochet has 27 second long video.

https://ricochet.com/telling-truth/

Franklin

I don't think many will take up his challenge (good as it is).

In most cases they won't. One has to grant that if artists had excellent economic instincts they would go into another, more sensible field. That's fine until they get the idea that they're entitled to their opinions about fiscal matters. If nothing else I have a post to direct them to, instead of explaining some things for the umpteenth time.

David

If nothing else I have a post to direct them to, instead of explaining some things for the umpteenth time.

It’s noble, if thankless, work.

Tim Newman

Via Tim Blair, more thuggish behaviour by dimwitted academics, this time in Australia.

David

more thuggish behaviour by dimwitted academics,

And they’ll keep on being thugs because it apparently costs them nothing. When the students concerned are expelled and the professor fired in disgrace, then – and only then – can we even hope for a change in their behaviour.

Hal

Via Tim Blair, more thuggish behaviour by dimwitted academics, this time in Australia.

Heh.

A)

The lecture was being given by retired British military officer Colonel Richard Kemp, a world-renowned expert on armed conflict, the Middle East and a prolific media commentator,

Colonel Kemp had been invited by the University to speak on “Ethical Dilemmas of Military Tactics” and “Dealing with non-state armed groups,”

B)

Before he could go into any detail or discuss any other issues, he was interrupted by over a dozen students bursting into the lecture hall screaming “Richard Kemp, you can’t hide, you support genocide.” . . . After about 20 minutes of shouting, the protestors were finally removed from the hall, having objected loudly to their treatment by the security guards and some others present. Kemp, resuming as if nothing had happened, . . .

Gee . . Some lecturers show up with maps and props and a laser pointer. I suspect that not everyone lecturing on ethics of military tactics also manages to include an exemplary riot . . . !

PiperPaul

...thuggish behaviour...

Those damn engineering students disrupting things again, no doubt.

What, me read article?

dicentrara

But their economic ignorance – of even basic causality – is, I think, convenient for them.

I'm reminded of those old pre-photography books that purported to show drawings of flamingos and rhinos but the artist had very obviously only heard descriptions of the critters.

That's what it's like to listen to a lefty sputter on about the iniquities of the free market: they've only heard about it from people who have spent their entire lives, kindergarten through dotage, in school.

Jimmy

Capitalism, the armour plated rhino of oppression.

David

Those damn engineering students disrupting things again, no doubt.

Now with video.

It’s worth noting that Professor Jake Lynch, whose “studies” are based in part on the ravings of a Marxist anti-Semite and conspiracy theorist named Johan Galtung, was once a BBC employee. Apparently, he found its coverage insufficiently leftwing and insufficiently concerned with “root causes,” which are, oddly enough, the usual menu of factually dubious Marxoid talking points. Reporters who don’t draw conclusions that Professor Lynch feels they should are, he says, “insufficiently curious” and lack “critical self-awareness.”

No doubt that’s why the professor’s own protégés, who are schooled in such self-awareness, opt for shouted slogans, censorship and thuggery over rational argument. And why they believe that Hizb ut-Tahrir is merely “an outspoken Islamic organisation.” Albeit one with totalitarian fantasies and whose literature has such jolly titles as And Kill Them Wherever You Find Them. “Them” being Jewish people, all of them, and infidels like thee and me.

Dr Cromarty

The good general has been slandered very publicly. Australia is a common law jurisdiction. I hope for all our sakes he identifies the miscreants and sues them for every penny they possess.

Nikw211

Related, I think: students at London universities feel compelled to ask "Why is my curriculum white?" because they are:

    "… acting on recommendations from the National Union of Students (NUS) and Universities Scotland that state ‘institutions must strive to minimise Euro-centric bias in curriculum design, content and delivery, and establish mechanisms to ensure this happens’." (In defence of the ‘white’ curriculum)

Now with video.

That they are asking this question at all would seem to raise an even more pertinent question: the kind of politics that lies behind asking why the curriculum is white is more than five decades old, and for at least 30 of those years that same Marxoidal/pseudo-revolutionary politics has been overwhelmingly dominant in the very same departments whose curricula these students and staff are venting against. So the question is:

How long is it going to take before it dawns on these dunderheads that surely there can be no clearer or more evident sign of the total and utter failure of the invasion of the Marxoids than to have these students asking that question?

As one young woman says in the LSE video, while railing against the Euro-centic bias in European higher education - on a video filmed in Europe at a leading European university -:

    "Um, yeah, a lot perspectives are missed out … and the worst part is it isn't shown as a perspective, it's just shown as what is the truth"

She might just be onto something there ...

Nikw211

… acting on recommendations from the National Union of Students (NUS) and Universities Scotland …

I was suddenly struck by the reference to 'Universities Scotland' and what kind of challenges there must be in walking the Nationalist/Universalist tightrope while wearing a blindfold woven from Marxist can't, so decided to look further into just what it is that Universities Scotland recommends in this area.

I'm glad I did now, as I just came across this absolute gem, which begins:

    Science is often thought of as the knowledge of nature where proof is acquired through scientific methods and analysis e.g. the use of quantitative measures of physical variables. An anti-racist approach to science teaching …

Uh-oh. With an introduction like that, I fear this isn't going end well.

    An anti-racist approach to science teaching is introduced so that students can consider different world views or cosmologies prior to the scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Critical consideration is given to the impact of the scientific revolution, which separated faith and values, matter and mind, mechanism and purpose, and a mechanical philosophy of science is compared to a more organismic way of thinking about science.

Another young woman from the 'Why is my curriculum white?' videos helpfully demonstrates that the plan is already in action:

    "Last year I was learning about the history of medicine. And in the introductory lecture, the ancient medicine was taken to start from, like, what I guess what we would, like, know now as the 'Greek' world. And, immediately, medicine from Africa, from Egypt, from the Middle East was like, completely dismissed. And, um, the reason for this was because, um, there was not enough evidence to say there was rational behind their, um, their medical interventions. And so we didn't count them."

I'm guessing that's another example of critical thinking in action they're so big on these days.

David

As one young woman says in the LSE video, while railing against the Euro-centric bias in European higher education - on a video filmed in Europe at a leading European university

The students seem miffed that what they describe, rather bigotedly, as “white” knowledge is so effective in the world. That what works, what does the job, succeeds. As if the success of that “white” knowledge had nothing whatsoever to do with its tendency to incorporate and synthesise good ideas from around the world. And it’s quite odd, seeing students – would-be intellectuals – denouncing the word “savage” as something that could never apply to anyone, ever, and then complaining that incantations and charms are regarded as medically less valid than, say, antibiotics.

It reminded me of the Guardian’s “post-colonial theorist” Emer O’Toole, who looks down on people who feel culturally superior to illiterate cannibals.

Nikw211

As if the success of that “white” knowledge had nothing whatsoever to do with its tendency to incorporate and synthesise good ideas from around the world.

Well of course to such Great Minds of our Times, things like nuance, complexity, a more generous and empathetic reading and an attempt to, perhaps, understand why people in the past behaved in the way they did (which does not mean to excuse them necessarily) is all seen as just so much ephemeral, bourgeois sentimentality - as if it were a lace doily for a tray of teacakes rather than a muscular slab of worker's bread.

All the would-be Commissar class of tomorrow needs is an effective eschatology so they can sort the wheat from the chaff, the politically hygienic from the politically polluted.

And for that you need big, easy-to-understand primary coloured categories and classes. The cosmology of the Dogon or the Yoruba are infinitely richer than this piss-poor Marxoid twaddle. They are the ones who are your real 'primitives'.

I've really had enough of this crap - these people have got to be pushed aside to at least make room for some frikkin' sense to enter higher education.

I am in a bad mood apparently(!)

David

I am in a bad mood apparently(!)

I recommend the redubbed Age of Ultron trailer in today’s ephemera. Or the “evil corporations” link. Or 20 minutes on the acid house generator. Though in fairness that one could go either way.

Serena

Surreptitious Evil, not for Kim Il-Sung, who still officially rules over the People's Paradise of North Korea despite the handicap of being dead. The impoverishing evil of commies tends to outlive the length of their worthless lives, maybe that's why they're always mummifying their leaders.
That being said I should have used the past tense. Oopsie.

Hal

Siiiiigggggghhhhhh

Stupid Tweets, er, twits.

Communication by adults is with essay and email, and only silly children and genuine and actual mass uprisings use twitter . . .

sackcloth and ashes

If it's any consolation, it appears that Jake Lynch got one in the happy-sacks as a consequence of his thuggery:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/strewth/strewth-david-leyonhjelms-lovin-feline/story-e6frgdk6-1227259053102

His decision to wave some money in the face of Jewish woman during the 'protest' (stay classy, Jake), may also get him into a spot of bother:

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/sydney-university-investigating-after-associate-professor-waves-money-in-the-face-of-a-jewish-woman-at-a-recent-protest-on-campus/story-fni0cx12-1227262070596

WTP

I've been seeing an unusual amount of anti-semitism from Oz. Unusual in that I don't ever recall seeing any such thing reported there, but perhaps also because I've been engaged these last few months on another blog with a seemingly average intelligence person who I've come to discover is a conspiracy theorist with a significant hair trigger for the Jews. Curious to know if this is something new/rising or just a result of wider access via the internets.

David

Re the thuggery at Sydney University, linked above, here’s a letter to the SU vice chancellor from Colonel Richard Kemp, whose lecture was sabotaged by leftist students:

Associate Professor Jake Lynch, the Director of your Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, and Dr Nicholas Riemer, one of your senior lecturers… were both apparently leading and encouraging the protesters [and] screamed at the security officers to desist [their efforts to remove the protestors]. This seemed to be a clear attempt to impose their own authority as faculty members, thereby hoping to intimidate the security officers into allowing the abusive demonstration to continue. At one point I observed Associate Professor Lynch waving money in the face of a Jewish student, a clearly aggressive and insulting act that seemed to invoke the stereotype of the ‘greedy Jew’. Although not Jewish myself, I found Associate Professor Lynch’s behaviour deeply shocking and offensive… On the basis of my observations… Associate Professor Lynch and Dr Riemer sought to incite and encourage the student protesters. Can it be right that members of your university staff should indulge in such disgraceful action?

The whole thing is worth a squint.

And remember, when it comes to leftist educators encouraging thuggery, even indulging in it, it’s a pattern we’ve seen before. Several times.

mac

Confessions from the left via Rod Dreher. Good Read.
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/the-sacred-beliefs-of-the-left/

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blogroll