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April 2018

Friday Ephemeraren’t

Due to your host being sleep-deprived, you’re getting a precious opportunity to throw together your own pile of links and oddities in the comments. I’ll set the ball rolling with a demonstration of inadequate planning; via Holborn, the thrill of knitting patterns; some New York City scenes circa 1911; a photogenically frozen Siberian lake; and, because you deserve it, some high-quality cinema

Oh, and a headline of possible interest

Planet Of The Bedlamites

Rafi steers us to this article by Charlotte Allen on the ever-narrowing parameters of leftist tolerance. The following extract, on her attempts to cover a “white privilege” conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, may be of particular interest:

I had already covered the White Privilege Conference for the Weekly Standard in 2013, when it had met at a Seattle airport hotel. Back then, the conference had struck me strictly as a subject for laughs… So my story had highlighted the conference’s most salient feature: that although minority-group victimologists were robustly represented, many of the speakers, and certainly most of the audience, consisted of white people feeling guilty for being white.

I gently poked fun at the George Mason University professor who got up onstage to apologise that his pants had been stitched in a sweatshop in Bangladesh; the soi-disant American Indian activist who had been ousted as tribal chief for financial mismanagement after a large sum of money went missing; and the large percentage of conference workshop leaders who seemed actually to be flogging their books and hustling for participants to sign up as paying customers for their own white-privilege conferences elsewhere. […]

I returned to the scene in 2018 because during the intervening five years “white privilege” seemed to have mushroomed from a zany preoccupation of far-left professors into a mainstream pedagogical trend. Just a few days ago elementary-school teachers in Raleigh, N.C., sent second-graders home with a sheet for their parents titled “11-Step Guide to Race, Racism, and White Privilege.” The sheet proffered such injunctions as “Drop ‘colourblindedness’ (which is arguably an ableist term anyway)” and “Only white people can be racist.” The white-privilege movement had become serious — and a serious threat to those who declined to be indoctrinated or to have their children indoctrinated.

Do read the whole thing.

Previously on the Planet of the Bedlamites.

Elsewhere (268)

Will Gu on the deep and worldly wisdom on offer at Scripps College: 

The college will be hosting two Venezuelan officials next week at a three-day speaker series praising the “grassroots initiatives” of the country’s totalitarian government. The officials, Venezuelan Consul-Generals Antonio Cordero and Jesús Chucho García, will be speaking to students on “African solidarities,” “coups and imperial wars,” and the country’s vision for “a new society rooted in political participation, communal economies and democracy.” The description adds that the event is “for all who are interested in economics that serve people not profits.” Venezuela is still facing mass food shortages as a result of its government’s economic illiteracy. People in Venezuela have lost an average of 19 pounds from recent food shortages… The event description does not mention whether the two Venezuelan officials will discuss their country’s rampant corruption problem, the government’s dire financial situation, or the rapid devaluation of Venezuela’s currency to the extent that the government cannot afford to pay for money printing services.

Related: this, and, rather tellingly, the first item here

Cathy Young on debate and its enemies: 

When about 30% of college students favour censorship, it should be a cause for alarm — especially because that’s up from 22% two years ago. Moreover, 53% of students believe “promoting an inclusive society” is a higher priority than protecting free speech rights. Over a third say it is sometimes acceptable to shout a speaker down, and one in 10 approve of violent disruption. The last figure may seem small, but it means some 2 million collegians in the United States believe it can be okay to use violence to stop speech they don’t like. That’s not good news.

Gail Heriot on racial discipline quotas and perverse media narratives: 

Continue reading "Elsewhere (268)" »

Friday Ephemera

Skillz. (h/t, Damian) || Look behind you, Dr Floyd. || Feminist academia. || Battleships solitaire. || Just Marvin. (h/t, Obo) || Commemorative coin of note. || “Agnes Richter densely embroidered her standard-issue straitjacket.” || I have to say, those really are impressive balls. || Intrigue. || Grain. || Tiny origami. || Shoreditching redux. || A small drama in three parts. || He does this better than you do. || How to cook a potato. || Poseable miniature birds. || Peeg. || Charcoal chicken. || I’d watch and so would you. || You want one and you know it. || They’re gaining on us. || An archive of antiquated sounds. (h/t, Coudal) || Four minutes of concentrated YouTube. || That’s an awful lot of faeces. || And finally, via Things, jars of handcrafted hump fat and other unappealing products.

Public Servant

Apparently, we live in post-satirical times:

According to [Rochester City Court Judge, Leticia] Astacio, the raise was deserved and the media are “biased” in their reporting on her because they are “racist.” “Why’s my name in the headlines?” she asked via Facebook. “You’re mad because I’m a young minority getting paid.”

While poking through the news coverage, readers may entertain other, perhaps more obvious reasons for interest in Ms Astacio’s career and taxpayer-funded compensation, as when the words “parole violations” and “alcohol ankle monitor” make an appearance. And do watch Ms Astacio’s Facebook video, in which she mentions, at some length, how “inspirational” she is to those less statusful than herself, while applying generous amounts of lip balm, before asking her critics, “What makes you feel so entitled?”

Elsewhere (267)

Douglas Murray on crime, migration and modern dishonesties: 

In Germany, friends and readers describe to me how they are learning anew how to read their daily newspapers. When the news says that ‘A person was killed by another person’ for instance, and no names or other identifying characteristics are given, people guess – correctly – that the culprit is probably of migrant background. For the time-being serious crimes are still reported, but the decision has been taken that the public should not really be informed about them.

Related: “Vibrant and diverse.” And of course these items here

Heather Mac Donald on “diversity” versus merit: 

Sometimes meritocracy will yield diversity; sometimes it won’t. The point is that it doesn’t matter. Diversity should not be an end in itself; excellence is the goal. Rejecting the primacy of diversity constitutes a head-on assault on the received wisdom of Washington and elite American culture. Gender and racial quotas have been the order of business for the last three decades… The result: wasted resources, the side-lining of merit, and ever more virulent and irrational identity politics. The rule of the diversity regime is that you’re required to be fanatically obsessed with race and gender until you aren’t — because at that unpredictable moment, whenever it comes, noticing race and sex becomes racist and sexist.

And Roger Kimball on being outraged by the obvious-but-unmentionable: 

Professors Amy Wax and Larry Alexander were roundly condemned by their university colleagues. Thirty-three of Wax’s fellow law professors at Penn signed an “Open Letter” condemning her op-ed. “We categorically reject Wax’s claims,” they thundered. What they found especially egregious was Wax and Alexander’s observation that “All cultures are not equal.” […] As William Henry argued back in the 1990s… “Every corner of the human race may have something to contribute. That does not mean that all contributions are equal… It is scarcely the same thing to put a man on the moon as to put a bone in your nose.” True, too true. But in a pusillanimous society terrified by its own shadow, it is one thing to know the truth, quite another to utter it in public.

And then Professor Wax mentioned other obvious things, much to the agitation of people who like to pretend.

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