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October 2017

September 2017

We Can Only Aspire To Their Mental Heights

A Harvard-educated sociology professor named Crystal Fleming - whose areas of expertise include “critical race theory” and “mindfulness and spirituality” – wishes to share her wisdom. Specifically, that we shouldn’t judge people who smash the windows of local stores and loot multiple pairs of trainers while the owners of said stores are distracted by an oncoming hurricane.

Because white people

And if you don’t understand why Everything Is Racist, Including You™ and why looting local stores for half a dozen pairs of expensive fashion items is therefore totes okay, it’s “very, very sad.” You see, “white supremacist racism” is all about “hoarding resources.” 

Elsewhere (246)

Further to this item here, on the academic heresy of affirming bourgeois values, Aryssa Damron has more: 

The National Lawyers Guild chapter at the University of Pennsylvania Law School condemned Penn professor Amy Wax’s recent op-ed, in which Wax, along with a co-author, lamented the “breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture” and declared: “All cultures are not created equal.” The members of Penn’s National Lawyers Guild wrote that Wax’s comments are a “textbook example of white supremacy and cultural elitism” and alleged she is a “segregationist” with “bigoted views.” “We call on the administration,” Penn’s National Lawyers Guild wrote, “to consider more deeply the toll that this takes on students, particularly students of colour and members of the LGBTQIA community, and to consider whether it is in the best interests of the school and its students for Professor Wax to continue to teach a required first-year class.”

When asked for evidence of Professor Wax’s supposedly “segregationist” views and her alleged endorsement of “white supremacy,” the indignant students chose not to oblige. But hey, witches must be burned.

Entirely unrelated, Pamela Paresky on things that mustn’t be thought, or at least articulated: 

Today, for what seems to be an increasing proportion of the educated left, even the mere willingness to discuss certain kinds of facts is “harmful.” The data in the [Google] memo… was beside the point. Or perhaps more accurately, the fact that [James Damore] was willing to cite it was the problem... As John McWhorter has pointed out, “certain questions are not to be asked.” And when they are, they are received “with indignation that one would even ask them.” Even more pernicious, however, they inevitably lead to the implication that not only is asking these questions a symptom of the problem, but the presence of the asker is, too… Perhaps what makes the Google scenario stand out from even the most astounding campus reactions is that Google is not a college campus, but a company. And not just any company, but one responsible for much of the scientific, historical and objective facts that many, if not most of us find online.

Charles Cooke on academia’s mental agoraphobia: 

If our colleges continue down this road, they are going to create a host of extremely weird, hyper-sensitive people who have no earthly idea how to converse and interact with the sane… Ideally, universities would be far more tolerant, open, and intellectually diverse than the “real world.” Ideally, they would host genuine and untrammelled free inquiry, and in a manner that is hard, if not impossible, to replicate elsewhere… The old archetype is of the student who leaves his stuffy parents and has his mind expanded by learning. “You don’t understand,” he says, when returning home. The new archetype, by unlovely contrast, is of the student who can only express himself when outside of his professors’ earshot. 

And Berkeley’s fainting couch has been wheeled out once again. Because apparently Ben Shapiro endorses “white supremacy, misogyny and xenophobia,” and engages in “fascist intellectual thuggery.” Which I suppose means acknowledging facts. The trauma-inducing event featuring Mr Shapiro can be viewed online here on September 14.

Feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.

Friday Ephemera

Today’s word is suboptimal. (h/t, Damian) || “Breast support for side sleepers” and other boob-related wonders. || Birds. || Big things at sea. (h/t, drb) || Tokyo street photography. || About Devils Tower. || The radium girls. || The real-time alignment of very large objects. || Jupiter. || How Stanley Kubrick ventured beyond the infinite in 1968. For fans, the entire playlist may be of interest. || Thomas Sowell on freedom versus equality. || Firing Line playlists. || Oh come on, ladies. How can you resist? || Designer desserts. || Assorted thresholds, in handy graph form, set to music. || Modern horrors. || Modern horrors, part two. || This. (h/t, Obnoxio) || Compton car repossession is livelier than planned. || Crime news. || And finally, as first dates go, I suppose it could have been worse.

Those Social Sciences

Meanwhile, in the Clown Quarter of academia, things rumble on as normal

An anthropology professor at a community college in California has instructed her students that stereotyping someone in class is a punishable offence — on the same day that she handed out a four-page “white privilege” checklist listing common generalisations about white people.

Only four pages? It must’ve been very small print.

“Identity-based stereotypes will be considered an interruption,” reads the syllabus, and students voicing such assumptions will, we learn, “(a) be barred from participating in class, (b) lose all participation points for the day, and (c) [be] referred to the Dean of Students.” The educator in question, Amanda Zunner-Keating, is, however, keen to impress on those same students the numerous failings of All White People™, whose “privileges” include being able to go shopping without being “followed or harassed,” and the ability to find a bandage or adhesive plaster that “more or less matches” their skin colour. Such are the “unearned benefits,” the smug luxuriations, of the melanin-deficient.

And remember, making cartoonish assumptions about other students, based solely on their pigmentation, is an act of wickedness.

A Rustling In The Bushes

Four years ago, when art professor Elizabeth Stephens filmed the documentary Ecosexual Love Story, in which she and her partner licked trees, 

I could just stop there, really.

the term “ecosexuality” was still somewhat unknown.

If, by some chance, the term is unfamiliar

Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens… authors of The Explorer’s Guide to Planet Orgasm… describe being ecosexual as this: “You don’t look at the Earth as your mother, you look at it as your lover.”

And so, inevitably,

We shamelessly hug trees, massage the earth with our feet, and talk erotically to plants.

Interest in this form of auto-erotic activism - a sort of frottage al fresco - has apparently been spreading:

The concept was recently featured in Teen Vogue, for example, which told its young readers about a concept called grassilingus, which was accompanied by a description of a musician laying face-down in grass and licking it. “Whether it’s masturbating with water pressure, using eco-friendly lubricant, or literally having sex with a tree — a person of any sexual proclivity who finds eroticism in nature, or believes that making environmentalism sexy will slow the planet’s destruction, can be ecosexual,” the magazine explained.

Readers are invited to ponder the question of consent, and whether the ladies are in fact advocating tree molestation.  

Those whose appetite has been whetted will be thrilled to hear that the trailer for the aforementioned documentary can be viewed here. For the delicate among us, I should point out that said trailer does feature scenes of suggestive rock rubbing, references to coal mining as “a protracted form of genocide,” and free-swinging breasts being daubed with mud. A second, more recent film, on the delights of “ecosexual” weddings, complete with displays of hardcore Gaia-loving, can be savoured here

Elsewhere (245)

Jonathan Haidt on the academic heresy of defending bourgeois values: 

[Law professor, Amy] Wax was correct, based on the available evidence and expert opinion, to argue that “a strong pro-marriage norm” would reduce poverty and blunt or reverse the pernicious social trends she described at the beginning of her article… Marriage, and norms promoting marriage-like behaviour, are among the most powerful known antidotes to American poverty… Now Wax is being pilloried for… saying that marriage and culture really matter, and that some norms, some cultures, are more conducive to success in modern America than others. Does anyone seriously believe that all cultures are equal – either morally or as packages of norms and practices that are likely to lead to success?

Somewhat related, this item from the archives, and this one too, and contrarily, this interview here. Readers will note which of the authors favours evidence over rhetorical breathlessness.

Bob McManus on the consequences of race and gender quotas: 

[Federal judge, Nicholas] Garaufis declared the New York Fire Department “a stubborn bastion of white male privilege.” He ordered that two of every five new city firefighters be black and one of every five be Hispanic. The jurist also ordered the FDNY to pay $129 million in retroactive salary and benefits to unsuccessful black and Hispanic recruits. The results of all this quota-setting and bean-counting were predictable. FDNY insiders say that the department struggles to fill the minority quotas despite degraded hiring standards. Standards for women have grown so lax… that one female recruit failed entrance exams six times and was hired anyway. Nine felons — each a beneficiary of Garafulis’s quotas — graduated in a class of probationary firefighters from the city’s fire academy last November.

And via Darleen, another ‘progressive’ experiment in crime prevention:  

After a violent weekend of suspected gang-related shootings, Tuesday the Sacramento City Council took action to reduce the bloodshed. It approved a controversial programme called Advance Peace, which offers cash stipends to gang members who remain peaceful… The programme targets key gang agitators, offering them cash stipends to graduate school and remain peaceful. 

We’ve been here before, of course, and claims made for the effectiveness of similar programmes – using taxpayers’ money to bribe local vermin and assorted sociopaths, with each receiving up to $1000 a month – were, shall we say, somewhat overstated. A scheme in Pittsburgh initially coincided with an increase in the murder rate; one in Chicago has been “overshadowed by escalating homicide numbers,” and a project in Boston is described as “ending disastrously.” 

As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.

They Come To Teach Us (2)

Further to this, here’s a short but telling scene from an “anti-racist” rally in Vancouver, where young people are swollen with righteousness, and where even the most jarring irony escapes detection. Think of it as another illustration of what it’s like to be severely educated

You don’t have a fucking culture! We’re fucking white. We don’t have a goddamn fucking culture!

Longer video here. You may want to bite down on something.

Friday Ephemera

Deploy. || Disgorge. (h/t, Matthew) || Luna Lee does Game of Thrones. || Neural network attempts to finish the Game of Thrones saga for George R. R. Martin. It’s a mixed bag. || Giant gummy squid kit. || Gyroscopic balancing buses. (h/t, Things) || ‘X-ray’ maps of New York subway stations. || “The wall stabilised East Germany’s economy, by preventing its workforce from leaving.” || The decline and fall of the Walnut Whip. || Title sequence of note. || Signage of note. (h/t, dicentra) || Today’s word is prang. || Their flower parade is better than yours. || Mixing mercury and aluminium. || Harsh. || This. || How Siri’s voice has changed. || Colouring and activity books for David Lynch’s Dune. || Furnishings of note. (h/t, Julia) || And finally, a secret VIP rave hidden inside a toilet.