For newcomers, some items from the archives:
“Social justice” howler monkeys prove difficult to please.
So, to recap. Forty or so “social justice” activists disrupt a keynote address at DePauw University, holding signs that scold the audience for being insufficiently deferential to the protestors’ racial fixations and delusions of being oppressed. Being schooled in “privilege and identity,” and therefore suitably cowed and pretentious, the audience starts applauding the disruption, and applauding the scolding being aimed at them. And then those applauding are promptly scolded for doing so.
Salon’s Silpa Kovvali insists that gendered pronouns must be abolished. Everyone, she says, is a “they.”
Ms Kovvali believes that gendered pronouns and honorifics are an “outdated linguistic tic.” And not a useful, rather concise source of information, a signal of respect, and a way of clarifying who it is we’re talking about. Despite her claims, almost all of us seem quite happy to be referred to as either male or female, as if it were in fact “relevant,” and the demand for gender-neutral pronouns remains, to say the least, a niche concern. I’d even venture to suggest that some of us might feel slighted by the wilful omission of – diminishing of – our respective maleness or femaleness. However, Ms Kovvali feels a need to inform those less enlightened, i.e., the rest of us, that, “The goal is greater inclusion… to be respectful to those we write about, and to be clear to our readers.” By risking affront on a daily basis and introducing a clumsy and needless ambiguity. Because vagueness is the new clarity.
Leftist students indulge in thuggery. Laurie Penny lies about it.
In Laurie’s mind, presumably, nothing you see in this video actually happened. Nobody laid siege to someone else’s property, terrorising staff and trapping them in their offices. Nobody barricaded fire escapes and used mob force repeatedly, while denouncing any kind of physical retaliation or attempt to enforce the law. No, the thuggery and shoving, the attempts to intimidate and impose on others… that somehow didn’t happen. It was, in Laurie’s mind, “a peaceful occupation.” Like so many of her comrades, Laurie relies on a kind of faux naiveté - according to which, laying siege to a building and trapping staff for hours while chanting “Fuck the police” is in no way provocative or an invitation for scuffles and violence.
The signature vainglory of the academic left.
Professor Surber’s self-regard continues to tumesce. He has fathomed all of history and it validates him: “It is because we liberal-arts professors... have carefully studied the actual dynamics of history and culture; and we have trained ourselves to think in complex, nuanced, and productive ways about the human condition that so many of us are liberals.” In short, if you haven’t reached a similarly leftwing conclusion, you haven’t achieved sufficient complexity and nuance in your thinking, you peasant.
There’s more, should you want it, in the greatest hits.