David Thompson
Subscribe

Categories

Blog powered by Typepad

« Know Your Readership (2) | Main | The Unsayable »

June 19, 2018

Comments

Jacob

She sounds nice.

Clam

Calling her 'madam' isn't polite? I'm confused.

Hal

She'll just have to get used to being called "madam".

Calling her You is right out, that's already taken.

David

She sounds nice.

Well, quite. As I understand it, Cambridge porters, who see hundreds of people a day, including students, staff, faculty and visitors, tend to address people as “sir” and “madam.” (Porters are not generally expected to remember the names and formal titles of every member of staff and faculty, numbering in the thousands, at Cambridge’s 30 or so colleges.) Contrary to Dr Gopal’s faintly hysterical tirade, this courtesy - being called madam - is not obvious and damning proof of “aggression,” let alone “racial profiling and unconscious bias.” A more obvious explanation is that Dr Gopal is a preening, delusional cow.

Note that people who disagree with Dr Gopal’s latest persecution fantasy, including the head of the campus visitor service, are dismissed by her as “presumably white.” So no racism there, obviously.

David

Calling her ‘madam’ isn’t polite? I’m confused.

Apparently, it isn’t sufficiently deferential for Dr Gopal, who prefers the servants to avert their eyes as she glides past them. It’s because she’s so progressive and egalitarian, you see.

Fred the Fourth

It's simple. She's trying to colonize Cambridge. The natives must learn their place.

Alice

Has she checked her privilege lately?

David

As we’ve seen, academic lefties can get rather touchy about social status.

Fen Tiger

College porters have to deal with many conceited and irritating people, and generally they do so with great patience; but some do become somewhat gruff.

My own favourite porter story is when Lord Nuffield was leaving one of the Oxford colleges after some large occasion and the porter gave him his hat: "I must ask, there are so many - how do you know that's mine?" "I don't, sir; but it's certainly the one you came with."

David

Has she checked her privilege lately?

I’m now imagining myself walking into the nearest department store and taking umbrage at being called “sir,” rather than “Mr Thompson” - as if every member of staff should somehow memorise the names of every single customer - and then accusing the bewildered sales assistant of obviously being homophobic.

David

And I wonder whether Dr Gopal, our high priestess of hair-trigger indignation, knows the name of the porter. Because given her demands to be recognised by name, it sort of matters, doesn’t it? Or is he just “porter”?

Pogonip

The porters should all call her “sir” from now on, and when she gets mad about that, go to “Hey, you.” I would not dream of suggesting that they use “Bitch, please.”

David

The porters should all call her “sir” from now on,

Thing is, given her less-than-charming disposition, you can imagine the porters deliberately calling her “madam,” knowing it will irritate her, even if they do remember her name.

Because it’s either that or pushing her into traffic.

Rob

In a monstrous hissy fit she has gone on strike. No postcolonial indoctrination of fools for the foreseeable future! Cambridge reels.

Burnsie

What's the Indian word for "bint?"

Rob

These days you can dress any personal peeve as a political cause and people lap it up.

David

When your life is just one crushing, racist experience after another.

Pst314

“a preening, delusional cow”

What are the traditional iconic names for cows in the UK? Here in the States they are “Bossy” and “Elsie”. (I realize that in academia they are “Professor” and “Dean”.)

R. Sherman

I've always thought that there is an inverse relationship between one's personal emphasis on titles, degrees, etc. and one's actual competence & security. Competent, secure people don't need to preface every human action by reciting from their C.V.

David

Competent, secure people don’t need to preface every human action by reciting from their C.V.

Well, yes. Absolutely.

And once again we see that there’s no pretext too trivial, too microscopic, that it won’t be exploited shamelessly by such people. If it’s not spellcheck software or innocuous gardening programmes, it’s the word “madam.”

It’s neurotic.

R. Sherman

It’s neurotic.

My long-suffering spouse has a Ph.D. in linguistics but never, ever refers to it outside of an academic setting. She doesn't see how it's relevant. Contrast with a vacuous woman I knew who's personal stationary--not professional, personal-- was headed, "Dr. 'Jane Doe,' Ed.D." Yeah, we get it. You have to tell the world twice in four words you believe you're really, really smart and want us to believe it, too.

Sam

Don't know how to include pics in comments and in general have trouble following Twatter troughs but I read one of her 140-character shits and am confused:

"[The] Head Porter who then launched into a tirade about how people treat him...He'd never talk like this to actual white men who behave badly."

I must be missing something because it looks like she's admitting to being a bitch and suffering consequences therefrom. Can someone unravel this nonsense?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I also need to take this action because most people aggressed by the mostly white doorkeepers and all white all male Porters (as far as I can see)...

Let me see if I have this straight - this professor, who is high up the social and economic ladder, is being oppressed by white men who do her dirty work ? Right; the other way around, were she a PoP and the porters PoCs that would be racist too. Behold the power of The Pyramid of Racism™ from the other day.

...I attempt to complain to address me as anything other than 'madam.'...

Anything ? OK.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

"Dr. 'Jane Doe,' Ed.D." Yeah, we get it. You have to tell the world twice in four words you believe you're really, really smart and want us to believe it, too.

OTOH, it is useful so that no one could confuse her with a doctor who could cure your epizootis, or one a degree in a real subject, say, nuclear physics.

Daniel Ream

Competent, secure people don't need to preface every human action by reciting from their C.V.

That. Much in the same way that anyone telling you they're a strong, independent woman isn't; or anyone telling you that they're "empowered" has none.

Mike

I must be missing something because it looks like she's admitting to being a bitch and suffering consequences therefrom.

Same here.

PiperPaul

"140-character shits"

I've seen these described as thought-turds.

David

I must be missing something because it looks like she’s admitting to being a bitch and suffering consequences therefrom.

Yes, I think that’s the meat of it. It’s a cliché, and true, that you can often tell a lot about someone by how they treat waiters, checkout assistants, etc. - anyone they imagine to be of lower social standing.

David

Don’t know how to include pics in comments

Thus, with the image URL tucked snugly between the quotation marks. Just keep the image size within reason. Otherwise I’ll have to faff about resizing it to fit, and then I’ll hate you with the righteous fire of a thousand supernovas.

R. Sherman

OTOH, it is useful so that no one could confuse her with a [real] doctor...

Any such confusion was dispelled within the first thirty seconds of conversation. My interactions with this person were professional and outside the area of her (nominal) expertise. Nonetheless, she seemed to believe that the letters fore and aft of her name granted her some sort of universal knowledge not seen since Gottfried Leibnitz. I cannot tell you how much perverse joy I experienced the many times I would listen to her expound for five or ten minutes on some legal question then turn to me for affirmation, only for me to reply, "Well, no, actually."

R. Sherman

David, the sizing of your html tutorial above seem a little . . . aggressive.

David

David, the sizing of your html tutorial above seem a little . . . aggressive.

Er, that’s Mr Thompson, if you don’t mind.

R. Sherman, A.B., M.A., J.D.

David Thompson's Blog: No one admitted with a proper honorific.

Darleen, BS, Mrs., M.O.M.,

What's that you say, R. Sherman?

R. Sherman

OMG, Darleen, you're right. I should have appended to my name, "kurfürstliche Markgraf von und zum Oil Trough and all-around dumbass."

My apologies to our host.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Competent, secure people don't need to preface every human action by reciting from their C.V.

Indeed, or wearing them. Taken from real life...

Memorandum For: All personnel

Subject: Uniform Policy

1) Effective immediately all personnel will wear either all ribbons, or one row of three, on the Class B uniform or service equivalent.

2) Skill and/or warfare badges are at the wearers discretion.

A short while later...

Memorandum For: All personnel

Subject: Uniform Policy

1) It has come to the attention of the Senior Enlisted Advisor that certain personnel are not taking the new policy regarding ribbon wear seriously.

2) If a service member elects to wear only three, it will be the top three. The lowest three, or a random three, are unacceptable for wear.

3) There will be an All Hands Class B or service equivalent inspection at 1600 tomorrow.

David Thompson's Blog: No one admitted with a proper honorific.

As a friend once said, if you can put more initials after your name than are in your name, you are overeducated.

Hal

Thus, with the image URL tucked snugly between the quotation marks. Just keep the image size within reason.

. . . and be warned that reason in HTML as handled by Typepad is a variable. Using the Preview button is always recommended, but even that can get a well formed post that does indeed have all of a picture, where the picture then starts disappearing out the right side once actually arriving in the comments . . .

Sporkatus

I think we can make do with not having to go all the way down to "hey, you!".

I recommend "Bub" and "Chickie".

Hal

. . . zum Oil Trough and . . .

I've always been fond of Bug Tussle.

Relatively near me is Placerville, which had a change of names. Given what's apparently a quite benign and reasonable history, I don't see what was wrong with being called Hangtown . . . !

Anthony

Talking of preening, delusional cows from Cambridge...

Dr Victoria Bateman

David

Dr Victoria Bateman

I’m not entirely convinced that she isn’t unwell.

Hal

I've always thought that there is an inverse relationship between one's personal emphasis on titles, degrees, etc. and one's actual competence & security. Competent, secure people don't need to preface every human action by reciting from their C.V.

There's a Doctor of Chemistry I've read of, a fellow named Isaac Asimov, where as I recall, he's stated that the one time that he's actually cited his doctorate was in replying to a letter where doctorates were insistently getting waved about.

In turn, there is a friend of mine who has his own doctorate in crystallography or so, had a long career running a Uni lab and regularly consulting with other assorted related doctors, is one of the cofounders of a fairly large and quite thriving international organization, has piled up rather a few major titles and awards in that organization. At times, I have heard The Titles get pulled out, pretty much only in the particularly relevant circumstances, and only to make certain of Are you [name and title]?.

And quite for the most part, even down to his Uni email address, he introduces himself as, and everyone refers to him by, a nickname he got as a teenager when he took a spectacularly flying tumble over the bars of a bicycle.

jabrwok

Dr Victoria Bateman

I wonder if she'd support a man's right to control his own body. Specifically his erection. His penis, his choice, right? Rape, on demand and without apology! And no one even has to die, so it's win-win!

Daniel Ream

I’m not entirely convinced that she isn’t unwell.

No. Not tripping my BPDar. Just a typical over-indulged emotional adolescent pulling the "I hate you Dad/Pay attention to meeeee" routine.

Sam

Dr Victoria Bateman

"There goes the bloody male gaze again. Hello! My face is UP HERE! By the way did you notice my feminist fashion?"

Nice bod. I wonder if she'd be so bold if she had pancake tits and flab for days. Also, why does she have to cover her snatch? It's like the goddamned Handmaid's Tale over there!

David

Just a typical over-indulged emotional adolescent pulling the “I hate you Dad/Pay attention to meeeee” routine.

Well, I think that counts as unwell. If a person is acting out their psychodramas using incongruous confrontational nudity – i.e., nudity intended to unnerve, embarrass or annoy, followed by disingenuous accusations of prudishness – then something went wrong somewhere. And we’ve seen much the same mindset before.

It wasn’t pretty then either, physically or psychologically.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Nice bod.

Adjust your monitor.

David

Adjust your monitor.

I too seem to be immune to her attributes. Must be my piety and all that clean living.

Sam

I thought "for a feminist harpie" goes unsaid. I expected Trigglypuff and got your best friend's mom. Stop raping me with your normative white supremacist capitalist patriarchal judgement.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Must be my piety and all that clean living.

I have neither of those, but if there was ever a case for avoiding crazy with ones johnson (or not even with your worst enemy's), this is a textbook example.

Daniel Ream

Well, I think that counts as unwell.

That's fair enough. I might use the term "not well-adjusted" rather than unwell, which I tend to associate with diagnosable mental illness. This woman simply comes across as spoiled and indulged. So far, it appears she's gotten away with this; if she were summarily fired for shockingly unprofessional behaviour and found herself scraping for grocery money, I expect she'd refrain from doing this kind of thing right quick.

Lou

OK, I'll throw in my support for Sam's assessment. And subsequent, er, research confirms that since this lady likes to show up in the buff in the silliest of places, e.g., https://twitter.com/ayeshahazarika/status/961596486864732160

"Pointless" doesn't begin to describe it.

Adam

Doctor Gopal does not like the help to display attitude, which is what the porter was doing. It is one of the small perks of the job that you are Lord of a small bit of territory and rule it any way you like. A Porter is a not a servant of those who enter and exit. He is the Master of the Door.

ComputerLabRat

"Pointless" doesn't begin to describe it.

True, but the look on her face in Lou's link kinda says it all. Daring someone to have a reaction to her naked display - other than fawning praise, of course.

A more obvious explanation is that Dr Gopal is a preening, delusional cow.

This!

Which is why I find the group logo, under which this Bateman person is nakedly preening, so amusing.

I am going to guess that "amused" is not the reaction she was going for.
I hereby denounce myself.

Lou

Daring someone to have a reaction to her naked display

Well, she certainly picked a venue free of the dreaded male gaze in that case.

Anthony

Well, this meeting would of had more of the male gaze - http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/07/02/cambridge-don-attends-meeting-nude-protest-brexit/

David

Re Dr Gopal and her manufactured woes, an update from King’s College, Cambridge:

We have investigated the incident and found no wrongdoing on the part of our staff. Every visitor was asked to show their card during the course of that day, as the College was closed to everyone except King’s members. Non-members such as Dr Gopal were asked to take alternatives routes, around the College. This was a matter of procedure, not discrimination… We categorically deny that the incident referred to was in any way racist.

See also the Telegraph article here, which has some additional background on Dr Gopal and her various, often baffling pronouncements.

Thomas Fuller

She's in the Daily Mail now as well. As you can imagine, the comments are all solidly in her favour :-)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5860265/Cambridge-don-sparks-racism-row-refusing-supervise-Kings-College-students.html

Is this woman a British citizen? Can we kick her out? After all, India is such a tolerant and unstratified society that she'd be bound to feel better there.

Richard Powell

I think you're all far too harsh on Dr Bateman. I see her as an exemplar of Oxbridge traditions of idiosyncracy which extend back at least as far as the 17th century. She does no-one any harm and we would all be the poorer without people like her. Her articles about her specialist field of economics seem accessible, relevant and sensible. Her answer to the question of whether capitalism is immoral is a resounding "no", for example, which isn't true of many academics who feature here: https://www.piqd.com/boom-bust/is-capitalism-immoral?r=homepage

Spiny Norman

As you can imagine, the comments are all solidly in her favour :-)

Well, there are a few complainers who snivel:

No, the insecure ones are those who are jealous of people who have earned a title and try to belittle their achievement.
Or
It's my experience that people who don't understand how hard it is to be awarded a PhD are deeply thick individuals. You don't just get given the title.
Perhaps Mr snowonthebeach does not realize that "Dr" Gopal's doctorate is in Education, which usually attracts those students who can't hack the rigors of Sociology or Gender Studies.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

She does no-one any harm...

Except for people who take her rantings and cloddery seriously, and those whose eyesight has been ruined. There is a difference between being idiosyncratic and an egocentric nitwit.

lotocoti

"Madam" smacks of Empire, clearly an anathema to someone immersed in post colonialism.
Might I suggest "numb slunt" instead?

Hans Tholstrup

She's lucky it wasn't the porter Skullion, from Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharpe. He might have given her something real to complain about!

Kevin

Dr Who?

Daniel Ream

Dr. Who.

Angus

Dr Victoria Bateman

D Thompson’s blog, come for the intellectual discussion, stay for the boobs...

David

I must be missing something because it looks like she’s admitting to being a bitch and suffering consequences therefrom.

What’s funny, or sort-of funny, is the obliviousness to how the complaint might seem to anyone outside Dr Gopal’s tiny bubble of intersectional howler monkeys. Even her own telling of events, which you’d think would present her position in the best possible light, still makes her sound obnoxious, petty, vain and paranoid. But then this is someone who claims that vandalism, thuggery and setting fire to occupied buildings isn’t “real” violence when leftwing people do it, and is no more objectionable than “hypocritical language.”

David

What’s the Indian word for “bint?”

Dr Gopal clearly imagines herself as more statusful than the porter, and entitled to greater deference and customised indulgence, while also feeling a need to depict herself as somehow oppressed by him. On account of her “brown body.” And then there’s the irony that the terms “sir” and “madam,” which are used regardless of professional status and are therefore levelling, are being railed against by a self-styled radical egalitarian.

The word bint scarcely covers it.

Captain Nemo

I am not a Marxist, but I'm beginning to think that when it comes to class, he might have had a point. This blog documents many examples of well-to-do middle class people, some of them (and I'm quoting Dr. Gopal's words here) "brown", who've been berating members of the working class for some imagined racial/sexist/homophobic/whatever slight or other, trying to get them fired. And, like the two ladies in the Portland bakery, occasionally succeeding. But note in all the examples that it's always the middle class professional who's the (imagined) victim.

WTP

JP Sears about sums it up.

https://youtu.be/1_d4ntkiDMk

J Square

I like the irony in David's previous blog post being called 'know your readership' and then in the next post: bang! Tits.

I'd lay out the tip jar now, if I were you, Mr Thompson.

David

I’d lay out the tip jar now, if I were you, Mr Thompson.

[ Points to top left corner of page. Resumes wiping bar with nonchalant air. ]

David

Dr Gopal’s psychodrama rumbles on.

Apparently, being addressed by a porter as “madam” is “outright racist treatment” - and “history will come for a reckoning one of these days.”

The words that come to mind are: Get over yourself, love.

Dr Cromarty

The porters are Dalits

Thus she treats them like scum.

Patrick Brown

An awful lot of what passes for left-wing behaviour these days is dripping with snobbery. Anti-Brexit sentiment is full of contempt for the working class, and so much of the opposition to Trump is focused on how vulgar he is rather than any of his policies. Jordan Peterson is attacked on the basis of the supposed low character of the audience he attracts. And the less said about #MeToo the better.

When Jeremy Clarkson had his "don't you know who I am" tantrum, he lost his job, and he didn't double down - he realised he'd been a dick and kept his head down. At least Madam hasn't thumped anybody. But when you have less self-awareness than Jeremy Clarkson, that probably ought to give you pause.

David

But when you have less self-awareness than Jeremy Clarkson, that probably ought to give you pause.

Note too the fellow educators rushing to Dr Gopal’s defence - and denouncing both “institutional racism” and those damnable “white guys” - as if her pompous, self-flattering tirade were in no way questionable. Clearly, she’s not a lone anomaly or outlier.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Sorry, one PS: the arrogant, dismissive denialist attitude of King's Officers, including & especially its Provost who was hostile, bullish & loud at me during our phonecall--is far worse than anything Porters might do.

If it so hellish for Miss Dr. Bhopal, sorry, Gopal, at King's she could always leave and find "work" at a place she finds more salubrious for her tender feels and suitable for her alleged skills.

Of course then she would have to find something else about which to kvetch, and Starbucks is closing 150 stores.

jabrwok

she could always leave and find "work" at a place she finds more salubrious for her tender feels and suitable for her alleged skills.

There's always Evergreen College, though I don't think it's hiring right now.

Chester Draws

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't ma'am the correct address for the Queen, after an initial "your majesty"?

She's higher status than the Queen?

Governor Squid

She's higher status than the Queen?

Well, she's browner, so I'd say yeah.

LW
I don't see what was wrong with being called Hangtown . . . !

I live in Slaughterville. PETA tried to get us to change it one time. We told them to go play in traffic.

Hal

PETA tried to get us to . . .

Ah yes, good ol' People Eating Tasty Animals . . .

Pinkeen

So much attention has naturally been paid to the 'call me Dr' part of this that the 'racial profiling' complaint at the root of it has been slightly overlooked. The complaint seems to be based on the fact that she was asked to show her ID to enter the college. Like everybody else.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blogroll