David Thompson
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March 28, 2015

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sH2

Confused souls, he says.

David

Ah, but if you were to ask a humanities professor, one of the Ancient Guardians Of All Secret Knowledge™, you’d see how you’re the confused one.

sackcloth and ashes

I sense clickbait.

The 'Indie' is after all losing readers hand over fist, and I suspect that articles like this are just trolling to get views. Why else is the author anonymous?

Notice the fact that this 'article' is getting a malleting in the comments. Just like the crap that appears on CIF.

Jimmy

The righteous indignation dollar. That's a good market, they're very smart.

sackcloth and ashes

It's suddenly occurred to me that if the 'Indie' are printing this piece from an anonymous 'British journalist', it's either one of their staff who is too ashamed to put his or her name to this crap, or the 'Indescribablycrap' has printed something by a writer whose identity might be something of an embarrassment to them.

Could this piece possibly be written by Johann Hari?

David

As more than one Indy commenter points out, the author expresses views that are hardly unheard of in the pages of the Guardian or in any number of student newspapers. And with that in mind, what’s interesting is that our nameless intellectual is basically admitting that he or she doesn’t regard a dislike of racism as a reciprocal value, but as a unilateral means to an end, i.e., a way of gaining power and retaining it indefinitely. Which rather makes me wonder what other values they don’t regard as reciprocal.

Watcher In The Dark

"cry the assembly chorus of confused souls"

I may cry and I may be confused but I do not read the Indignation and thus do not worry over the trivial rubbish they publish. Turns out then I am happy. (Inserts smiley here and gets on with more valuable things)

David

Turns out then I am happy.

He’s being well adjusted and keeping things in proportion! We must chase him from the village!

sackcloth and ashes

Link is now broken. I think the Indie's dropped it down the memory hole.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

It always seems to be projection from the progressives, doesn't it?

Ben

To most students, the Union is essentially a branch of Wetherspoon.

Student politics has no relevance to anything, even things like accommodation and teaching quality, which is why it is so idiotic and disconnected from student interests.

The only committee of importance is the Ents committee.

David

Link is now broken. I think the Indie’s dropped it down the memory hole.

Yes, it seems to have vanished. Still, this chap here, apparently the Independent’s former student editor, the one who published the piece, seems convinced that “all the right people” are being “narked” by it. Says he, “The more white men angry about this the more I know it’s right.”

He also says, “You really can’t be racist to white people.”

Clearly, the Independent hires only the brightest.

David

Here’s the archived text of the (now-vanished) article:

University is supposed to be amazing, a transformative experience which is informed by student unions across the country. Yet people don’t give a toss about their student unions, no one cares about the NUS, and activism is dying at all but a few hardcore universities. This generation of students has been pissed on by the government and fees, and privatisation, and all anyone seems to want to do is roll over and let it happen.

Do you know why this is? It’s because our universities and student unions are too similar to our government; they are too stunted by white men. White men might want to appropriate injustice as theirs, desperate for something to struggle against, but it’s a hobby they’ll pick up and drop as soon as the first comfortable finance job beckons them over.

We need to ban white men and their activism dilettantism from student unions. We need powerful women and minority ethnic people to bring their passion back to the heart of student politics. Being a student union president should no longer be a place for privileged whiteboys to swing their dicks around before graduating into a world that is in no way affected by what they claim to fight for.

More importantly, we obviously live in a world that looks favourably on white men. In order to bring about change in our racist and sexist society, it must start in our universities. If women and minority ethnic people were in positions of leadership across all universities in the country, we would have a diverse graduating class of future leaders in every industry.

“Oh but, it’s racist to ban someone on the basis of their skin colour, and sexist to ban them on their gender,” cry the assembly chorus of confused souls trying to turn the language of progress into a weapon to further entrench the establishment. It’s not. You’re at university, go and ask a humanities professor. Learn something.

White men have had the last several millennia in charge, and it’s been a s***show from start to finish. A new generation of powerful women and minority ethnic people is ready to lead and change. It is time for you to bow down.

And remember, if you find any of that remotely obnoxious or absurd, then according to the Independent’s Mr Mendelsohn that only proves the author is right.

sackcloth and ashes

I think the author is Johann Hari. Firstly, there's the fact that it's an unhinged rant. Secondly, there's the expletives dropped into the text. Compare the following:

'White men have had the last several millennia in charge, and it’s been a shitshow from start to finish and 'people] don’t give a toss about their student unions'.

With the following (http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-israel-is-suppressing-a-secret-it-must-face-816661.html):

'Whenever I try to mouth these words, a remembered smell hits my nostrils. It is the smell of shit'.

Thirdly, there's the staccato style of writing intended to convey a sense of urgency to the reader. Compare:

'It’s not. You’re at university, go and ask a humanities professor. Learn something' and [a] new generation of powerful women and minority ethnic people is ready to lead and change. It is time for you to bow down'.

With the following (http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-lies-kidnapping-and-a-mysterious-laptop-861286.html):

'Sometimes you hear a stray sentence on the news that makes you realise you have been lied to. Deliberately lied to; systematically lied to; lied to for a purpose'.

Fourthly, ask yourself why the 'Indie' will want to remain so coy about the author's identity.

dw

student unions are too similar to our government

Both attract power-hungry wankers?

David

Both attract power-hungry wankers?

It’s been my experience that the personalities most attracted to student union politics – which generally means some shade or other of leftist politics - tend to be tiresome and obnoxious, certainly more often than is explicable by chance. More to the point, they tend to be people you really don’t want to have any kind of power over the lives of others. Which is all too often the only kind of power such people can imagine.

mojo

Life's too short to worry about student union idiocies. Ask a Philosophy professor.

Lancastrian Oik

"Hardcore... Pissed on... Swing their dicks..."

My guess is he/she is reading German.

Bart

"Yet people don’t give a toss about their student unions, no one cares about the NUS, and activism is dying at all but a few hardcore universities"

Activism can only be dying now if it was once strong and vibrant in the past. And in every past era, white men comprised of a far higher proportion of the university population than they do now. The poor hapless sap who wrote this has debunked the entire premise of their article before they've even mentioned it.

I don't know who wrote this, but it's a safe bet that they're not studying a course in logic.

"but it’s a hobby they’ll pick up and drop as soon as the first comfortable finance job beckons them over"

Lucrative early employment should exclude you from the NUS leadership? Female graduates under 30 earn more than their male counterparts. I don't think the author's studying economics either.

"We need powerful women"

You mean women who are traumatised by clapping?

"and minority ethnic people to bring their passion back to the heart of student politics"

It's the only way to reclaim the passion from back when university was overwhelmingly white and male.


"Oh but, it’s racist to ban someone on the basis of their skin colour, and sexist to ban them on their gender,”

Probably because that's a textbook description of what those two words mean and anyone telling you otherwise is being shamelessly dishonest.


"You’re at university, go and ask a humanities professor. Learn something"

Judging from this example, that 'something' won't include economics or how to process logic competently.


"White men have had the last several millennia in charge"

Hooo boy. Not studying world history either.

"and it’s been a s***show from start to finish"

White men founded pretty much any university you care to mention, in the Western world at least. You know, those places of amazing transformative experiences. Again, your humanities professors appear to have neglected to teach you how to form a coherent argument.


"A new generation of powerful women and minority ethnic people is ready to lead and change"

Providing nobody claps.

Sam Duncan

I can't remember where I read it - it might even have been here - but a particular quote has stuck in my mind (probably slightly inaccurately, but it's the gist): “You can't erase the iniquities of the past by repeating them with the roles reversed”. Morons like this nut and his imaginary humanities professor think you can.

Or like to pretend you can, in order to gain power. David, your first comment is almost better than the post itself. It always comes down to power.

The original Mr. X

"White men founded pretty much any university you care to mention, in the Western world at least. You know, those places of amazing transformative experiences. Again, your humanities professors appear to have neglected to teach you how to form a coherent argument."

Not to mention the computer she's writing this on.

Hal

"We need powerful women"

Cool. However, the physics get a bit complicated.

D'ye mean instead competent, capable, reliable people who, by the way, happen to be women?

ac1

"We need powerful women"

You got them, and you hated them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_II
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher

Jimmy

You got them, and you hated them.

There must be a certain amount of projection involved. This hypothetical powerful women must share their ideological and political assumptions and will work the levers of society to help construct their vision of a socialist gender/race utopia. What else can be said, when so many arguments I've seen demanding women make up 50% of powerful organisations and roles, because men can't possibly represent women properly and always privilege "white men's interests" at the expense of everyone else. The conclusion being that women in power will be transparently bias in favour of women's interests. If they're not, then no 'balance' of views and representation is achieved. Basically, they want to usurp democracy and fairness and thrust a cadre elite female chauvinists into power.

R. Sherman

It’s been my experience that the personalities most attracted to student union politics – which generally means some shade or other of leftist politics - tend to be tiresome and obnoxious, certainly more often than is explicable by chance.

Quite so. I recall in 1980 at my large, midwestern U.S. state university, using a lot of rubber surgical tubing to fashion a slingshot which we used to lob water balloons over the commons into the crowd of serious and besuited young worthies trying to get a spot in student government.

Good times.

Nikw211

And remember, if you find any of that remotely obnoxious or absurd […] that only proves the author is right.

More questions for your nearest humanities professor in this right here. Random quote from "An Open Letter to the White Fathers of Black Daughters":

    I have always known you were white, Dad, at least on a descriptive level. I did not see you as a “white heterosexual male” with all the privilege this historically and institutionally connotes until your whiteness started hurting me.

And another:

    Do you remember the first time I went to a black hair salon? … You came to pick me up … I couldn’t let these “real” black women see me cry as I apologized to them for allowing a white man into their sacred space. It was theirs, not mine. You were mine, you were a white man, and I was a liability.

Now, how's that for progress?

David

Now, how’s that for progress?

Wow. What a bitch. Why, it’s almost as if identity politics is the perfect excuse for chippy self-involvement and petty malevolence.

Dirk

I can see exactly what happened. The same thing as happened to our ABC in Australia. I suspect it was a hoax, where someone took the Indy's nonsense to its logical conclusion. The. They found out and pulled it.

Nikw211

Wow. What a bitch.

Looks like someone needs to start dusting off that correction booth again.

dirk

Reminds me of this one:
http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/composed_an_alene_composta_timeline/

David

Looks like someone needs to start dusting off that correction booth again.

I was once scolded for using the word bitch and accused of being sexist, misogynist, etc. Apparently, and for reasons that aren’t clear, epithets, even deserved epithets, mustn’t be gendered. But men and women are often objectionable in quite different ways, ways that are gendered. Such that, say, dickishness or bellendery isn’t necessarily interchangeable with bitchiness or being a cow. There may be overlap, of course, but there are areas of psychological difference, ways of being objectionable, that are worth acknowledging.

David Gillies

When I was at Imperial at the end of the 80's/early 90's, we were pretty much unique in that the Student Union was not affiliated with the NUS. This was quite a point of pride with the IC Union; they claimed that the money they would have had to remit to the national body would either have meant lower subsidies in the bars or higher dues from the students. Every now and again some cadre of Sparts would try to force a vote to affiliate and would be roundly defeated. The general obnoxiousness of student politics was thereby greatly ameliorated.

I think NUS politics are really a result of Sayre's Law taken to its natural conclusion: they are so toxic and unmoored from reason precisely because they are of such vanishingly small importance. You're free to indulge in cant, hypocrisy and vituperation when nothing you do has any wider significance.

ac1

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31820783

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aqNBEpdao4

I'll leave it as an exercise to join the dot..

Darleen

ask a humanities professor. Learn something

Pfffft ... for the really deep stuff, ask a art professor

AL: What does it mean to radicalize one’s anus?

MWB: My anus or any anus? A genderless, nationless floating anus that can be possessed by any and all and none is qualitatively different than my anus- which has been embedded in this biologically female, white skinned, American body. Furthermore, mine is not a “Professional Anus”…it does not earn money; lazy asshole?

So, are you asking me to reveal the radical potential of a universal anus, as category? Do you wish for me to firstly locate it within the European Art History pantheon: to frame it as the flip side of Courbet’s “Origin of the World” which would consequentially move against a hetero-normative grain, eh?

David

What does it mean to radicalize one’s anus?

I think it may be time for a glass of red.

witwoud

I think it may be time for a glass of red.

On me — Garcon!

David

On me — Garcon!

May your sandals remain fragrant on the hottest of days.

ACTOldFart

MWB: My anus or any anus? A genderless, nationless floating anus ...

"Look there, in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane, its ... "

... that can be possessed by any and all and none is qualitatively different than my anus- which has been embedded in this biologically female, white skinned, American body. Furthermore, mine is not a “Professional Anus”…it does not earn money; lazy asshole?

Oh don't sell yourself short, dearie. Its the only part of you that most of the drivel you spout could possibly come from.

So, are you asking me to reveal the radical potential of a universal anus, as category? Do you wish for me to firstly locate it within the European Art History pantheon: to frame it as the flip side of Courbet’s “Origin of the World” ....

Did you really mean to say 'flip side'?

... which would consequentially move against a hetero-normative grain, eh?

Is this woman fundamentally nuts?

Jimmy

Is this woman fundamentally nuts?

No, she's educated. From experience I can see certain give-aways in her prose: 'possessed', 'locate it within', 'embedded', and the throw away comment about the 'hetero-normative'. The stupefying incredulity of the subject matter combined with the lack of self-awareness suggests that she is a high-priestess of the order.

Anna

He also says, “You really can’t be racist to white people.”

Is it because we don't have souls?

David

Is it because we don’t have souls?

Supposedly it’s because the white devils, all of us, have “structural” power, which apparently overrides who did what to whom, or why, in any actual given instance. And this practised stupidity is quite common.

It’s interesting how some people are drawn to so-called moral principles that are conveniently non-reciprocal and which require words to be redefined in hugely tendentious and question-begging ways. With the result that incidents like this one, in which a lone white tourist is set upon by a gang of ten black thieves while other black people film his beating and molestation with audible amusement – can’t possibly be racist. Because he, the white guy having his teeth kicked out while being assailed with racial epithets, is the one with all the power.

It’s “critical thinking,” you see. And for people like Mr Mendelsohn, and there are lots of people just like him, it’s a marker of sophistication, of intellectual status.

Jimmy

The despicable power + prejudice argument gets my vote for most dangerous and morally bankrupt idea of our times.

David

The despicable power + prejudice argument gets my vote for most dangerous and morally bankrupt idea of our times.

It does suggest that some people finish their university education more obstinately stupid than when they began it.

By such thinking, the hapless white guy mentioned above, the one being robbed, beaten and sexually humiliated by a black gang, couldn’t ever be a victim of racism, all reality to the contrary. Including the fact the perpetrators declared an explicitly racist intent when uploading their phone camera video of his unprovoked assault. And one wonders how the “prejudice + power” formulation would address incidents like this one. Who has the power? The random Hispanic guy being menaced and pummelled by a gang of black youths purely because he’s Hispanic?

And presumably, when gangs of black sociopaths targeted random white people and started beating them with hammers while screaming homicidal racial epithets this couldn’t possibly be racism either. Because, obviously, the thugs with chains, guns and hammers had no power at all over their unarmed, outnumbered and terrified prey.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

It does suggest that some people finish their university education more obstinately stupid than when they began it.

Not stupid, David, but evil.

David

Not stupid, David, but evil.

Well, the effect is certainly dulling to any moral sense. What’s interesting to me isn’t just how perverse the “prejudice + power” position is, but how feeble it is, how demonstrably untrue. It doesn’t stand up to a moment’s real-world scrutiny. And so in order to mouth it, and thereby appear righteous among other idiots, one has to become pathologically unrealistic. And then not care about that.

Rob

"You’re at university, go and ask a humanities professor. Learn something".

Or a better, more accurate statement:

"You’re at university, go and ask a humanities professor. Or learn something".

dicentra

Because I totes outrank Sasha and Malia.

I can berate them in public, to their faces, for something they did not do and they have to sit there and take it because of my white privilege.

It's actually 1915, folks. I guess the trip through the temporal anomaly erased itself from our memories.

Hal

Pulling from a Google news feed

The hidden racism of young white Americans
PBS NewsHour - Mar 24, 2015

. . . except you get to the article, and just the opening line is;

Recently, chilling videos surfaced online of young University of Oklahoma students, members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, reciting a racially-charged chant.

Ah, No, not even close.

Frats tend to be young, yes, can be white, there are others, tend to be American, yes, and are everyone else?!?!?!?

Nope.

Perhaps The open racism and other issues of frats would be more the truthful headline . . .

Jimmy

Here's a convinient colour-coded graph showing what whites really think of Blacks

Joe

Hating happy, normal people makes leftists feel smart. It also fills the deep well of remorse they have for their own personal screw-ups.

So it's perfectly logical to throw these kinds of assertions around about banning those of one sex or race or another, when people (real people that they might actually know personally) mean little more to them than a breed of dog.

They seem to hate human nature because it's so complicated and confusing to them.

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