A Fear Of Cheese
Friday Ephemeraren’t

The Year Reheated

In which we marvel at the mental contortions of our self-imagined betters.

The year began with searing insights from the world of academia. Specifically, London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, where black student activists denounced objectivity as an “alienating” concept, and issued numerous demands, allegedly to challenge stereotypes of student laziness and inadequacy. It turns out that the way to avoid any appearance of such things is to complain about the “stress and anxiety” of being corrected, or disagreed with, especially by people who are insufficiently brown and deferential. Elsewhere, the psychological reverberations of Donald Trump’s election victory continued to be felt, as when a charmingly progressive lady sensed a fellow plane passenger’s failure to vote as she did and promptly threatened to vomit on him. Other pious lefties signalled their moral superiority by planning to sabotage transport infrastructure, stranding and distressing countless random people, and thereby reminding us that “social justice” posturing is often difficult to distinguish from petty malice or outright sociopathy. Meanwhile, Laurie Penny preferred to advocate “spite” as a guiding progressive principal, as if this were a new and novel development.

February provided further illustrations of this fashionable malice, as when educators at the University of Cincinnati bemoaned the fact that their attempts to inculcate unrealism, dishonesty and pretentious racial guilt were still being met with pockets of resistance. Objecting to slander and brow-beating by bigoted mediocrities is, we learned, merely “white fragility” and therefore, somehow, damning proof of racism. Racial fixations were also in play at the Writing Centre at the University of Washington, Tacoma, the stated goal of which is to “help writers succeed in a racist society,” a goal to be achieved by denouncing grammar as “an unjust language structure,” and the correction of punctuation as “an oppressive practice.” Because those ungrammatical job applications, the ones enlivened with incomprehensible sentences and lots of inventive spelling, will do just fine. We also learned of the steep price to be paid for small acts of courtesy – namely, holding open a door for a Guardian contributor with weight issues and a gift for hysterical screaming

Accessorising was an unexpected topic of discussion in March, when the crushingly put-upon students at Pitzer College, Claremont, California, informed the world that “winged eyeliner and big hoop earrings” are “an everyday act of resistance,” and should therefore be the exclusive ornamentation of the slightly brown and radical. Elsewhere, at Middlebury College, Dr Charles Murray attempted to give a lecture on, among other things, the dangers of tribalism and social fragmentation, only to be met with tribal hysteria and an actual riot, complete with slanderous chants, hospitalised staff and students wearing ski masks

In April, the immense, frustrated love machine Caleb Luna wondered why his Grindr profile attracts so little interest. Carefully sidestepping the possibility of weight loss, Mr Luna decided that the rest of us must “interrogate” our “phobias,” which is to say our preferences, and consequently start lusting after “alternative bodies.” Specifically, bodies like Mr Luna’s. Avoiding the obvious was also a theme in the world of performance art, where Shannon Cochrane and Márcio Carvalho unwittingly entertained us with their deep thoughts, shifting paradigms and heads wrapped in meat. Another highlight of the month came via Everyday Feminism’s Emily Zak, who wanted us to know that the allure of fresh air is, like everything else, terribly oppressive, due to the “painfully heteronormative” nature of wildland firefighting, and a shortage of adverts featuring gay people kayaking in a suitably gay-affirming manner. 

Artistic innovations were at the forefront of May, when performance artist Sarah Hill shook our tiny mental worlds with a “temporal historical rupture” that is “cathartically dialogical,” and achieved by falling over repeatedly while dressed as Wonder Woman. No less impressive were the attempts to “transform” middle-school children by making maths lessons “intersectional,” thereby furthering the cause of “social justice.” A process that entailed reducing the time available for humdrum things like trigonometry and using it instead to teach children to “subvert power,” while scorning maths itself as a “dehumanising tool.” 

June brought us a “guerrilla performance” by “artist, healer and dancer” Shizu Homma, who “interrogates the human condition” with her creative tremendousness. The month also brought us not one, but two illustrations of what happens when leftwing student psychodrama is allowed to run its course. And not entirely unrelated, we also pondered news that expired pet owners are sometimes eaten by their own dogs, cats and hamsters

In July, we once again witnessed the educational benefits of “an academic background in gender studies,” and self-declared activist and single mother Jody Allard impressed us with her exemplary feminist parenting, and a determination to humiliate her own teenage sons, publicly and in print, for the sins of being white and male, and therefore, obviously, potential rapists.

Google software developer James Damore rose to notoriety in August by politely questioning the gospel of identity politics, promptly getting fired for it, and triggering a truly boggling display of near-total media dishonesty. Elsewhere, at the University of Florida, identity politics devotees complained about the “violence” of not being taken seriously, while demanding the construction of two entirely separate buildings to house the university’s black and Latino student groups, because sharing a building, or at least an entrance lobby, would “erase and marginalise their black and brown bodies.” August also provided several vivid insights into the psychology of “social justice,” as when a mob of severely educated student Mao-lings demanded “empathy” while laughing at accounts of random beatings and then assaulting people themselves, in the name of tolerance. In the pages of The Atlantic, educator Alice Ristroph watched a total eclipse and somehow saw nothing but racism; while fellow educator Dr A.W. Strouse, whose works include Literary Theories of the Foreskin and deep ruminations on the preputial connotations of aluminium cans, signalled his radicalism by advising students to say “fuck you” to potential employers during job interviews. 

Our sexual horizons were broadened in September when we learned of the phenomenon of “ecosexuality” and the orgasmic delights of rock rubbing, tree licking and frottage al fresco. Meanwhile, academia’s Clown Quarter continued to bewilder. Dr Michael Isaacson, an adjunct professor specialising in “anti-capitalist economic theories” at CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, repeatedly tweeted his enthusiasm for the murder of random police officers, and of future officers, including his own students. And Harvard-educated sociology professor Crystal Fleming championed the looting of trainers while the law-abiding were distracted by an oncoming hurricane

October brought us more unhinged educators, among them, University of Pennsylvania teaching assistant Stephanie McKellopp, whose areas of expertise include “self-marriage” and “racial blame,” and who signalled her wokeness by announcing her classroom policy of ignoring white male students. We were also told, by Charles Davis, a professor of education at the University of Southern California, that any hint of consequences for acts of thuggery on campus is “racist” and “unfair,” as it creates “an unsafe and threatening environment” for students who like to indulge in coercive and threatening behaviour.  

At the University of California, Irvine, the identity-politics contingent displayed its mental brilliance again in November, and also at Ballou High School, Washington, DC, where, thanks to “social justice,” students who are barely literate and rarely seen in class all somehow graduated and were promptly waved through the gates of a college or university. And at Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, the sadistic, fever-dream world of leftist educators was caught on tape quite shockingly, when teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd found herself being accused of “targeted violence” and of being “threatening,” for remaining politically neutral and politely presenting both sides of an argument.

As the year drew to a close, we witnessed the mental disarray wrought by competitive virtue signalling, wherein racial wokeness veered towards Gorillas in the Mist territory. And we learned that standards of diligence and proficiency are racist and oppressive, according to Purdue University’s Dr Donna Riley, who congratulates herself for her own “alternative ways of thinking,” and who scorns expectations of rigour and competence as “exclusionary,” mere tools of “privilege,” and therefore unfair to women and minorities, for whom rigour and competence are presumably impossible.

So. Quite a year.

Comments

jabrwok

201st!

R. Sherman

"This is a service only qualified people should perform."

Because the training received by Oregon gas pump dudes is second only to some of the upper level medical specialties. Alas, based upon my relatively recent purchase of gas in Pendleton, Oregon, the Oregon Gas Pump Dude training regimen should probably include a lecture or two about personal dental hygiene and "how to avoid smelling like pot."

R. Sherman

Comment eaten apparently.

David

201st!

I’m out of town for a day and this happens.

I knew I should have put down traps.

Pogonip

If I’d known stations in Oregon were full serve I’d have tried to move there years ago. I liked full serve. Not going to NJ, though, too much snow.

PiperPaul

Pretty sure that Oregon gaspumpocalypse will be the tipping point for ClimateChange™.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

If I’d known stations in Oregon were full serve...

They are not full serve, they only pump gas. If you want your windshield cleaned you have to find a bum with a bucket of dirty water and handful of newspapers as they are a separate union.

Oil and tire pressure check are advanced courses at Oregon Petroleum Pumping Institute of Technology and require an undergraduate degree in math or physics as prerequisites and as they are subject to random drug screening, it is needless to say no one has ever completed the courses.

dcardno

Development of the Oregon self-serve business will be interesting. I live in Richmond, BC, a community which has prohibited (through a by-law, I guess) self-serve gas stations; every station has to be full-service at all pumps. We are immediately adjacent to Vancouver and other cities that have no such prohibition. When we moved here I thought that we would see a difference in gas prices - perhaps the posted price would be equivalent to the "full-serve" price in Vancouver. I was amazed to find that there is no difference in price - the posted price here is equal to the posted (self-serve) price across the river (full-serve prices are slightly higher than self-serve, as expected)

I don't know whether operators are accepting slightly squeezed margins to retain market share versus their Vancouver competitors, or whether the number of gas stations per capita (or per automobile) is slightly lower to produce higher volumes and thus maintain profitability (which presumably had to happen over time after the measure was implemented). It happened before we moved here, so I didn't hear the arguments at the time, or see the transition, but it seems that we are eating a free lunch.

R. Sherman

Development of the Oregon self-serve business will be interesting.

Full service, pure "gas/service stations" went the way of the dodo with the advent of self-service gas, because no one--or at least not enough--wanted to pay the higher price for full serve. That change however caused the rise of a)mini-marts, which generate more profit that gas sales and b) specialty endeavors like quick oil change businesses, etc., because the "service" portion of "service stations" disappeared with full-serve pumps.

My experience in Oregon was the worst of all worlds. I pulled off the interstate needing gas and wanting soda and snacks. I pay in cash. The number of hoops I had to jump through to get all this done was astounding and time consuming. What would have been maybe 10 minutes tops anywhere else was stretched into 20 minutes and the entire time my vehicle was occupying a space at a pump which someone else couldn't use. All to mandate that some stoned dude has a job.

Hal

Oh yeah. She mentioned "safety" concerns, as if tens of thousands of unqualified people die every year from pumping their own gas.

. . . . What was his name . . . Ch . . D, something D, Dr, Da, Darw . . . Darwin?, yeah, I think that was it, something about some guy named Darwin.

Hal

I miss Bloom County.

Errr, miss(?????), Bloom County????

Which Bloom County?

Do you mean the original edition, or do you mean the current edition?

Yes, that current edition started in July of 2015.

I expect we'll still be here once you resurface . . . .

Hal

Yes, that current edition started in July of 2015.

Oh, and the intermittently occurring(1) new stuff is found on the FB Bloom County page, which the earlier post came from . . . Judging from the traffic and commentary there, Breathed or his wife, or so, run that page, and so that's where all the new material goes first, before then getting fed elsewhere.

(1)---apparently somewhat intermittently occurring, as long as it comes out soon and steadily enough for the online comics' feed---

R. Sherman

Hipsters gonna hip. (Via Ace.)

pst314

Hipsters gonna hip.
Darwin Awards pending.

pst314

Do you mean the original edition, or do you mean the current edition?
I'm holding out for the Director's Edition, with unreleased strips, commentary by the cartoonist, and interviews with his postal carrier and auto mechanic.

R. Sherman

"Darwin Awards pending."

Headline in about a month:

Authorities Puzzled by Uptick in Giardiasis Cases in Bay Area.

Hal

Hipsters gonna hip.
Darwin Awards pending.

So we know that Colon and Nobby aren't hipsters. Or at least Nobby might only get mistaken for one.

What was riding at anchor before the city of Al-Khali wasn’t a fleet. It was a fleet of fleets. The masts looked like a floating forest.
Down below, Lord Vetinari took his turn to peer through the pipe.
. . .
The Boat surfaced in the scummy dead water under a jetty. The lid opened slowly.
“Smells like home,” said Nobby.
“You can’t trust the water,” said Sergeant Colon.
“But I don’t trust the water at home, sarge.”

Oh, and back in the argument of whyinthehell would perfectly sane stormtroopers go charging into a ship though the hatch?

Fred Colon managed to get a foothold on the greasy wood. It was, in theory, quite a heroic enterprise. He and Nobby Nobbs, the bold warriors, were venturing forth in hostile territory. Unfortunately, he knew they were doing it because Lord Vetinari was sitting in the Boat and would raise his eyebrows in no uncertain manner if they refused.

Colon had always thought that heroes had some special kind of clockwork that made them go out
and die famously for god, country and apple pie, or whatever particular delicacy their mother
made. It had never occurred to him that they might do it because they’d get yelled at if they
didn’t.

. . . and the stormtroopers only have Vader to deal with . . .

---All quoted, btw, from Jingo.

Hal

I'm holding out for the Director's Edition, with unreleased strips, commentary by the cartoonist, and interviews with his postal carrier and auto mechanic.

'k, fine, here y'are.

The first volume of IDW's "Bloom County: The Complete Library" collects all the strips--every last single one, including many that haven't been reprinted before--from the debut strip in December 1980 through September 1982. . . . Besides all the strips, there's a healthy introduction to the volume, led by a foreword from the strip's creator, Berkeley Breathed, who recounts the harrowing tales of flying to his editors while finishing inking the strip in the air, to the reason why he thinks the strip found popularity early on. That's just the first two pages. There follows a three page background piece by series editors Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell, that places the strip in the context of its time period.

---The first volume, with volumes two and three also available near that page.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Hipsters gonna hip.

John Snow found to be whirling in his grave like a runaway gyroscope.

Zionist Overlord #73

I'm pretty sure Leia's ship was still in vacuum, even though it had been towed into the star destroyer's bay. Otherwise, how would R2D2's escape pod get away? Through one of the star destroyer's airlocks?

David

And this is your brain on “social justice.”

Farnsworth M Muldoon

A nice compilation of the man made global cooling scare of the 1970s.

pst314

I'm pretty sure Leia's ship was still in vacuum, even though it had been towed into the star destroyer's bay. Otherwise, how would R2D2's escape pod get away? Through one of the star destroyer's airlocks?

Your comment prompted me to find the opening sequence on YouTube: It shows Leia's ship being drawn into the huge airlock, but it does not show the airlock doors closing: the film cuts from that to a corridor as rebels prepare to resist the inevitable boarding party. So my memory was actually just an inference from the bits that were explicitly shown.

PiperPaul

Found at Aces's:

"Measure people not by the quality of their arguments, but by the pungency of their hatred, and you will get exactly what we have gotten: generations of narcissistic nihilists who see themselves as right by virtue of the intensity of their feelings. For decades now, valid-looking academic credentials have been awarded for little more than unsupported posturing."

More: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/01/deconstructing_marxist_critical_theory.html

Pogonip

225th!

David

“For decades now, valid-looking academic credentials have been awarded for little more than unsupported posturing.”

Well, yes. Remember this? Some background here. These are the fruits of all that critical theorising.

pst314

Well, yes. Remember this?

Related:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdeBSHKmdFI

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Oswald%20Bates

The character protrayed by Damon Wayans in the sketch comedy In Living Color who talks nonsense using a lot of big words and has no idea what he's talking. He usually talks to himself with gestures and facial expressions as if he is arguing with someone else.

"First of all, we must internalize the 'flatulation' of the matter by transmitting the effervescence of the 'Indianisian' proximity in order to further segregate the crux of my venereal infection. Now, if I may retain my liquids here for one moment. I'd like to continue the 'redundance' of my quote, unquote 'intestinal tract', you see because to preclude on the issue of world domination would only circumvent - excuse me, circumcise the revelation that reflects the 'Afro-disiatic' symptoms which now perpetrates the Jheri Curis activation. Allow me to expose my colon once again. The ramification inflicted on the incision placed within the Fallopian cavities serves to be holistic taken from the Latin word 'jalapeno'."

-- Oswald Bates, In Living Color season 1 ep 3

Spiny Norman

pst314,

The character protrayed by Damon Wayans in the sketch comedy In Living Color who talks nonsense using a lot of big words and has no idea what he's talking.

If you've ever watched "true crime" shows, like Cops, Live PD and The First 48, you'd see the denizens of the ghetto inner city outdo that by light years. They know they're big words, and they know they're "impo'tant" 'cause they've all heard police, lawyers, judges and Rev'rund Jesse Jackson use them, but in practice, it's obvious they have no idea what they mean.

Darwin Awards pending.

Re: "Live Water". Well, we all know Giardia and Cryptosporidium are natural, so ...

PiperPaul

Wasn't Norm Crosbie one of the original malaproperists? Perhaps he was Wayans' inspiration.

Governor Squid

I'll pay a dollar to anybody who can get Oswald Bates invited to speak at a Postmodern Studies conference. A hundred if he's the keynote.

champ

Well, here's another one to go with the arse-hole bleaching...

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/thai-penis-whitening-fad-drives-social-media-nuts-9832428

David

Well, here’s another one

So far, the 21st century isn’t turning out quite as I’d expected.

Hal

So far, the 21st century isn’t turning out quite as I’d expected.

Oh, don't worry, the flying cars will arrive any moment now. Everyone says so.

WTP

Oh, don't worry, the flying cars will arrive any moment now. Everyone says so.

No they won't. I am actively engaged in a conspiracy tasked with preventing this from happening. Can't talk about it. All hush-hush, IYKWIMAITTYD. Doubt we can hold out for more than another dozen years or so, though. You can thank me then.

Spiny Norman

No they won't. I am actively engaged in a conspiracy tasked with preventing this from happening.

Considering how bad the average driver is, this is probably a good thing.

(O_O)

[Quietly shuddering at the thought of constantly digitally-distracted millennials driving in three dimensions.]

Hal

IYKWIMAITTYD

????????

If Yeltsin's Kleenex Will Ignite My Ass In The Tutu, You Direct???

Why are you wearing a tutu and what would I direct?

Oy. Such convolutions. Yes, I know, the pendulum keeps swinging and the bunch of you keep having to chase it around.

Oh, wait, Google wants to know if you actually meant If You Know What I Mean, And I Think You Do.

Spiny Norman

champ,

Well, here's another one to go with the arse-hole bleaching...

[ clicks link wondering "What fresh hell is this?" ]

The same hospital stirred controversy last year for touting a cosmetic procedure called a "3D Vagina" in which the customer's own body fat is used to make genitalia more plump.

Wait, wha...? Do they have an "outie" fetish there now? Here in the West, women are getting those parts of their lady parts reduced...

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Here in the West, women are getting those parts of their lady parts reduced...

Not to get exceedingly anatomical, but it is plumping of the majora, and trimming of the minora, both of hich happen in the West, and, I suspect, the Orient.

David

Tweet of note:

Via dicentra.

R. Sherman

Not to get exceedingly anatomical...

The comment section has gone rogue! Time for a new post.

David

The comment section has gone rogue! Time for a new post.

You’ll have to hold on for two hours twenty minutes.

Pogonip

After bleaching and plumping, how much more rogue can it get?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

The comment section has gone rogue!

Seriously ? No problems with people posting about bleaching and lasering naughty bits, but I, as an educational service, merely point out the differences between two plastic surgery practices using correct anatomical terms and I am going rogue ?

I guess we need a safe space...

David

After bleaching and plumping, how much more rogue can it get?

Getting ready for a night out will soon require 48 hours in the bathroom, gallons of bleach and a quick visit to the nearest accident and emergency department.

Spiny Norman

I, as an educational service, merely point out the differences between two plastic surgery practices using correct anatomical terms...

Well, I for one am grateful for the clarification.

Spiny Norman

On the other hand, I really didn't need to learn about Silicon Valley cuddle puddles.

For what it's worth, Iowahawk assumes "100% Stephen Glass-style fiction".

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Getting ready for a night out will soon require 48 hours in the bathroom, gallons of bleach and a quick visit to the nearest accident and emergency department.

On top of that, the poor unfortunates with vitiligo of the nether regions will require an affidavit from the party of the second part as to what the preferred color is, and then the hiring of a trompe l'oeil artist to get it all to match.

Sporkatus

Late to offer remark, I know, but I seem to recall that canonically the Tantive VI's hull was breached by a TIE boarding craft after being drawn into the shuttle bay. Very similar to the TIE bombers in the asteroid field, but with a personnel hull instead of a bomb bay.

Not strictly necessary for a ship already in the bay, but allows operations in vacuum, so both on hand and convenient for more than just small captures.

Hal

For what it's worth, Iowahawk assumes "100% Stephen Glass-style fiction".

Um. I've only skimmed through the article. However, of people I've met and know, quite ranging from hipsters to adult and several varieties of variations, and of assorted party invitations, descriptions, whatnots, to me, what's described in the article seems quite plausible.

champ

I haven't been keeping track, but it seems to me that this thread has the most comments on David's blog...

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I haven't been keeping track, but it seems to me that this thread has the most comments on David's blog...

Nope, we've busted 500 before.

champ

Nope, we've busted 500 before.

OK, so maybe I haven't been around that long...

WTP

Ah, yes... I remember it as if it were just last year...

(Shameless dig soley for purpose of pumpimg up the numbers...)

WTP

254, btw...i think...

Hal

I haven't been keeping track, but it seems to me that this thread has the most comments on David's blog...

Nope, we've busted 500 before.

And Lo, There Came A Great Bunching Of The Panties

Judging from the commentary there, and only going by memory of what to search for(1), that post and following commentary managed to be both the longest ever thread of comments as well as being only just this last August . . .

For a more certain answer of what does actually have the most comments, that is another round of someone else can go look up Wookiepedia. I'm not going to bother to troll through all the years of posts. David will, or should, have quite easy access to that sort of thing, and can sort that out from where he's sitting once he's back to awake and sitting---or at least once he's awake and staring at a computer screen again.


-----------------------


(1)
A) Do a search for 300, as in the phrase I'll always remember where i was the day we hit 300 comments..., B) while doing so, get distracted by a movie reference. C) Rather quickly get back to doing research and type up the notes, because that distracting post had only seven (7) comments. C1) Yes, that post---on this blog---had all of 7 (seven) comments, and even has clearly all important reference tags of Comics, Film . . . Apparently our predecessors back in 2007 were a rather anemic lot . . .

And speaking of movie references from back in 2007, I remember being amused by a note from some movie magazine I seem to recall being subscribed to at the time;

300. The movie named by answering the question of On a scale of one to ten, how gay is this movie?

The main issue with the movie that I remember was of some lot announcing that 300 was utterly and absolutely worthless because it had absolutely zero historical accuracy, the Greeks and the Persioan weren't at all like that, the soldiers were all different, Etc, Etc. . . . . with, of course, the complete problem with that complaint being that the movie is quite actually a totally accurate recreation and staging of the graphic novel called 300 . . . Now if someone wants to complain about the graphic novel, that's a different story, albeit one with a very easy punchline of Ah . . . scuzzi, you do realize, don't you, that you are making vehement complaints about about a comic book . . .

Hal

Oh, and apparently I've now run into a repeat of the Firefox problem that Ted S. ran into back in December, and apparently I and ftumch also ran into back in 2016.

This time my workaround is to pull up a copy of Chrome and work from that, and I'll see what occurs over time . . .

pst314

Hal: Are you using a JavaScript blocker like NoScript? Try disabling it and see what happens.

Hal

Hal: Are you using a JavaScript blocker like NoScript?

Oh, I'm rather expecting that something of the sort is what's going on, currently I'm monitoring while juggling assorted, and will see---either it "fixes itself", or I approach the vicinity of something in the area of getting irked and start looking up references.

For a variety of reasons, I go bouncing between browsers anyway, this is just another item on the Use that screen instead list . . . .

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