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November 2017

Panic Sweeps Nation

Lifted from the comments, an intriguing choice of adjective:

It's alarming  I tell you.

This discovery of general preference, some 71%, is not only deemed “alarming,” but also “startling,” and what’s more, it apparently constitutes a “masculinity crisis within the LGBTQ community.” Says a website quoting a magazine, the front cover of which looks like this

As Ted S notes in reply, “How dare you gays not like the type of man we think you should like!”

I realise it may be difficult to feel great concern for the kinds of people who base their worldviews on the high and noble teachings of the publications Attitude and Queerty, but still. The unstated contortion required to achieve the indignation that is now social currency – in this instance, a belief that not being aroused by overly effeminate men is obvious and damning proof of “misogynist attitudes” and “toxic masculinity” – is a thing to behold. We’re also informed - quite confidently, yet with no elaboration - that, “[Gay men] enjoy the privilege of being male in a patriarchal society that for some reason values our genitals way above a woman’s.”

Update, via the comments: 

Continue reading "Panic Sweeps Nation" »

Friday Ephemera

Cat kneads bread. || His garbage chute says no. || Action figure of note. || The future is now. || Beneath that old yellow varnish. || Assorted, temporary snow globes. || Samorost 3 is a game. || Why toenails and fingernails tend to grow at different rates. || His name is Lucas. || Some Soviet control rooms. || Michelin men of yesteryear. (h/t, Damian) || Mural of note. || Amanda Marcotte struggles with numbers. || Somewhat related. || Such lovely pantaloons. || Iceland has colour. || Meanwhile, in Madagascar. (h/t, Kate) || Planes, from above. || Bamboo bugs. (h/t, Julia) || Build your own 3D zoetrope. A project for the weekend. || A big fan of said devices. || Computer-generated jigsaw puzzles. || And finally, a strange object has been found, its origin and purpose still a total mystery.

Elsewhere (253)

Toby Young on things you mustn’t acknowledge, even politely, at least among educators: 

Unfortunately, [education charity] Teach First decided my blog was unacceptable. In spite of the fact that it was billed as part of a ‘debate’, and appeared alongside another piece expressing an alternative point of view, the organisation decided to remove it from its website and issue an apology. That’s right, it apologised for publishing my piece. “It was against what we believe is true and against our values and vision,” Teach First explained… The most disappointing thing about the whole affair is that… I was attempting to show how teachers could remain evangelical about raising standards without denying the mainstream scientific understanding about the heritability of IQ and the impact of IQ on educational outcomes. Teach First’s reaction and its description of my piece as “against what we believe is true” suggests it doesn’t share my view that its values are compatible with mainstream science. 

Toni Airaksinen on the Clown Quarter’s high standards: 

An academic journal on “white privilege” has apparently stopped publishing articles following a Campus Reform investigation in September. The journal, Whiteness and Education, published by Routledge, claimed to publish peer-reviewed research on issues including “critical discussions of White racism, White identity, privilege, power, and intersectionality.” However, a closer inspection revealed that the majority of published articles were “accepted” for publication within two days of being “received” — a very short time frame that could not allow for proper peer-review, according to professors consulted by Campus Reform. 

And further to rumblings in the comments, Michael Jones notes an inspired exercise in trolling and what it reveals: 

Signs declaring “It’s okay to be white” have been spotted on college campuses across America and even in Canada over the last week, prompting outrage… Others have questioned why saying “it’s okay to be white” is automatically racist… Even though the campaign has been widely identified as a troll attempt, many took the bait. “I am deeply disgusted that this organised online campaign to divide university communities across the country has come to our campus. It is shameful that anyone would use these posters to promote a racist agenda,” University of Kansas’ student body president, Mady Womack, told the Kansan. The flyers were denounced as “racist” and the school’s Multicultural Student Government convened an “emergency meeting” over it, according to the report.

Given the endless courses and faculty proclamations denouncing “whiteness” as both “oppressive” and a “problem,” something that pale-skinned students should atone for ostentatiously, while promising not to produce children as pale and sinful as themselves, the accusations of racism and divisiveness – because of a small notice suggesting that, actually, “It’s okay to be white” - may ring a little hollow and seem absurdly dishonest. And it’s hard not to admire the economy of the trolling, whereby a modest and unobjectionable statement, one that if applied to any other, comparable group would be utterly innocuous, is denounced, and denounced immediately, as if it were scandalous. Which suggests that there’s no position a pale person could take, short of continual deference and self-abasement, that would keep such people free of doctrinaire convulsion. And which in turns suggests a kind of madness.

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

Friday Ephemeraren’t

Yes, another opportunity to throw together your own pile of links and oddities in the comments. Being a generous guy, I’ll set the ball rolling with some suspicious-looking trousers; some people looking at art; a demonstration of how to have fun with blood and magnets; and Mr Tom Baker sharing tales of tingling titties and poisonous bottled farts.  

Oh, and a visit to the world of competitive grave-digging