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April 2017

Don’t Oppress My People With Your Time-Keeping Technology

There’s much you can learn during a “diversity” course for faculty at Clemson University. Including the revelation that punctuality is racist:

The online training presents a variety of scenarios featuring fictional characters…  [On one slide], a character named Alejandro schedules a 9:00 a.m. meeting between two groups of foreign professors and students. The first group arrived fifteen minutes early, while the second arrived ten minutes late [and wanted to “socialise” first].

According to the course material, any acknowledgement of this tardiness, or of the customary expectation that people arrive on time for meetings, and that they generally apologise when they don’t, is denounced as wrong, and is marked with a large ‘X’ to stress the deviation from the new moral purity. Because casually disrespecting your host – by turning up late and offering no apology and then wasting more of everyone else’s time - is fine, and indeed culturally enriching, provided those arriving late have sufficient racial otherness. And so, instead,

Alejandro should recognise and acknowledge cultural differences with ease and respect… Time may be considered precise or fluid depending on the culture. For Alejandro to bring three cultures together he must start from a place of respect, understanding that his cultural perspective regarding time is neither more nor less valid than any other.

Yes, punctual and tardy are equally valid, apparently. Which will be a huge comfort when all of Alejandro’s subsequent appointments run late as a result or have to be truncated. Thanks to the “respect” in question being entirely unilateral. According to the course literature, this commitment to “diversity” and “inclusion” - and with it, a freewheeling approach to time-keeping - can “lead to better decisions.”

Somewhat related: “We should disrupt Eurocentric notions of time.” 

Imagine The Picnics

Nature doesn’t have to be a rich, white playground. However, structures humans put in place – capitalism, colonialism, racism, sexism, and ableism – allow some people to access the outdoors and force others home.

Everyday Feminism’s Emily Zak wants us to know that the allure of fresh air and countryside is in fact, like everything else, terribly oppressive:  

Those of us who manage to get outside, we need to go beyond calling ourselves lucky. We need to understand ourselves as privileged.

Well, I suppose we all knew that was the predestined conclusion, the only permissible one, and that fretting about it theatrically is something we need to do. And naturally, Ms Zak has an extensive, at times bewildering list of excuses for why any outdoors recreation should be tinged with guilt and wretchedness. From the claim that, “our society leverages natural spaces as a tool for capitalism and colonialism,” to the “toxic binary expectations we have about gender.” You see,

Society actively discourages millions from playing outside, possibly stopping budding conservation activists. 

And then the inevitable list-cum-incantation:

Media paint a homogenous picture of who enjoys the outdoors, as well. They’re typically white, male, cisgender, slender, able-bodied, and assumed straight.

To spare you the tedium, I’ll summarise: If you can’t borrow a tent or don’t have a pair of suitable shoes, and if you don’t see enough adverts featuring gay people kayaking, and kayaking in a discernibly gay-affirming manner, it turns out you’re being oppressed by society.

Of course there’s also the issue of girth:

Only last year did anyone think to build a bike for someone who’s heavier than 300 pounds.

The inhumanity of niche markets. And if the limited availability of reinforced bicycles weren’t quite enough of a stretch:

Many outdoor jobs, like wildland firefighting and logging, remain hyper-masculine and painfully heteronormative.

You heard the lady. The logging industry is painfully heteronormative. And so – er, obviously - “marginalised people” can’t enjoy the great outdoors. “The barriers to outdoor recreation are very real,” says she.  

How Dare You Try To Educate Us

Again the audience erupted in shouting, with one young man saying he was upset at her audacity to speak to the audience with such information.

Further to this, Heather Mac Donald visits UCLA and attempts to share statistics with unhappy students.

Ms Mac Donald is of course scolded for her impertinence, loudly, repetitively and at length, and this sharing of relevant data and neglected perspectives is denounced as proof of her supposed embrace of “white supremacy,” and of her “capitalist, imperialist, fascist agenda.” Acknowledging statistics is, we’re told, “violent in itself.” Ah, academia, that temple of the mind.


And again, only more so, at Claremont McKenna College:

Thirty minutes into the speech, police officers told [Ms Mac Donald] to cut it short, and she was given a four-officer escort through a side door.

You see, if you’re invited to speak on campus and you say things that challenge leftist prejudice, there’s a good chance you’ll need an armed police escort to protect you from the mob of budding intellectuals.

Friday Ephemera

Actually, it makes a lot more sense when you see it upside down. (h/t, Damian) // The adventures of Department S. (1969) // The ladies of the Hell’s Angels. // He likes to move it, move it. // Artificial menstruation. // Welcome to the world, little human. // Woof. // Making cassette tapes. // Meet Alan. // That’s not a flashlight, this is a flashlight. // Because you’ve always wanted to see a gummi bear in a vacuum chamber. // Robot punishment. // Raccoons versus soap bubbles. // Kenneth Williams visits Bloomsbury and the Brentford Piano Museum. (1975) // The various interviewees of Unsolved Mysteries. // How to make gravel. // Springs being made. // Marketing campaign of note. // And finally, his homemade kerosene-powered personal jet suit prototype is better than yours.

Elsewhere (229)

Rod Dreher on identity politics versus art: 

Schutz’s painting has been denounced by some black artists and others, because the painter is white. Hannah Black, a British-born black artist, has written an open letter demanding that the Whitney Museum not only take the painting down, but also destroy it. 

Mark Steyn on our tolerant betters: 

The left doesn’t want to win the debate. They want to cancel the debate… A case in point, [this headline]: “Citing security issues, the Somalian-born activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali calls off her scheduled Australian tour.” Let’s just expand that “Somali-born activist” précis a little. She’s not a dead white male like me or Charles Murray. As someone once said, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is everything the identity-group fetishists profess to dig: female, atheist, black, immigrant. But, because she does not toe the party line on Islam, her blackness washes off her like a bad dye job on a telly anchor-man - and so do her femaleness and godlessness and immigrant status. And in the end she is Charles Murray, or Geert Wilders - or even David Duke. A black Somali woman is, it turns out, a “white supremacist.”

And by way of timely illustration, at Villanova University, Charles Murray once again encounters the leftist welcome wagon

Political science professor and event coordinator Colleen Sheehan offered [the disruptive students] the first question during the Q&A. Nonetheless, all offers by the hosts were rebuffed by the protesters, who continued to interrupt the lecture.

Note how these attention-seeking clowns – who grin at their own lies and then demand applause - are indulged, effetely and at length, by university staff, as if the venue were a toddlers’ day-care centre. And note that the protestors, who wish to impose themselves on others and inhibit other people’s discussion, refuse to participate in the debate without ultimate veto and Disruptor’s Privilege.

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Insufficiently Swiped

Meanwhile, in the chronically fretful, joy-sapping world of Everyday Feminism, where absolutely everything is politicised, and where politicised invariably means oppressive, Caleb Luna ponders the gay hook-up app Grindr, and why he – sorry, they - attracts so little interest

As a fat person, I have rarely received any messages on Grindr, and people frequently don’t respond to my messages.

Conceivably, some users may be familiar with Mr Luna’s written output and its wearying effect. I’m guessing that declaring oneself a they, and a writer for Everyday Feminism, isn’t widely regarded as a potent aphrodisiac.

The only times I’ve been approached on Grindr have been by people who come to the app knowing they’re attracted to my body type. This gives me reason to believe that the same is true for other Grindr users. Most Grindr users have a predetermined body type they are attracted to – a thin one.

In much the same way that pornography featuring fat ‘non-binary’ models remains a niche interest. A shocking revelation. Less shocking, however, is that the option of weight loss isn’t explored, at all. Instead, it seems, we should all “interrogate” and “expand” our desires via immersion in intersectional dogma:

You can start by diversifying the range of bodies you allow into your pool of sexual possibilities.

Thus empowered, we will overcome our “phobias,” which is to say our preferences, and consequently start lusting after “alternative bodies.” Specifically, bodies like Mr Luna’s. However, in the meantime, things are looking grim:  

So, while Grindr is discussed as a place where anyone who might be considered a man can find men to have sex with, who are (mostly) looking to have sex with men, this isn’t how my experience has played out.

It’s a sad tale, yes, and about to get sadder.

And while there is certainly nothing stopping me from staying on Grindr, when I get no conversation or dates, it ultimately only takes up space on my phone.

You’ll find tissues at the bar.

That space is better used for pictures of people who actually do love and want me,

Wait for it.

Continue reading "Insufficiently Swiped" »