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July 2018

Elsewhere (276)

Via Darleen, Terry Newman on life among the Mao-lings at Concordia University: 

For readers, Alice’s journey in Wonderland is amusing. But to be Alice is something altogether different. The experience is hard to pin down with words. With few exceptions, no one on campus is officially censored. But the culture itself exerts power. One feels constantly judged. One is always on-edge. To perceive nuance, to be sceptical, to ask questions, gets one quickly accused of moral deficiency. The students are zealous, the professors often unprepared, fearful, or complicit. And make no mistake — to be told unendingly that the whiteness of one’s skin is disqualifying, one’s morals questionable, one’s words offensive, one’s opinions invalid, has a significant cumulative psychological effect.

John Ellis on presumptuous and revolting male feminists: 

I understand that Dr Michael Kimmel is accomplished in the non-scientific field of sociology and traffics himself as a gender-studies expert. And I understand that some consider him “the world’s most prominent male feminist.” But why does he get to speak for me and my fellow “heterosexual white ones” at a condescending conference with a priori commitments to the silliness called intersectionality? 

And Andy Ngo on the inexplicable demise of an intersectionally feminist bookstore: 

The customer wasn’t always right. In fact, he was expected to “abide by” seven “guidelines” including this one: “Cishetero-patriarchy exists, white supremacy exists, ableism exists, racism exists, colonialism never ended, capitalism is bad. This is not a space where we argue about the basics of the situation.” […] Signs denouncing police, the U.S. military and immigration authorities lined the windows. Inside, I looked at some of the merchandise for sale. There were “Riots not diets” buttons and a “Fuck patriarchy” T-shirt. The latter was double-extra-large—too big for me. One piece of merchandise carried a label that read “Trigger warning: gendered and patriarchal language.” The offending verbiage? Instructions for using a feminine-hygiene product. I attempted to make a small purchase but didn’t have any cash. A sign at the counter declared: “Due to patriarchy we require a $5 minimum on all debit/credit card purchases.”

No, he’s not kidding. 

I left empty-handed.

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

Friday Ephemera

A stolen credit card, a convenience store and a getaway that doesn’t go quite to plan. (h/t, Gary) || The sizes of penises. Avert your eyes, ladies. || Look at these lovely kitchens instead. || Disney’s robot stunt doubles. || The basics, explained. || An airbag for your phone. || Meanwhile, at the Bolshoi. || Kindness of note. || Photographs of note. || Explore phantom islands. (h/t, Things) || Hardcore joinery. (h/t, Franklin) || He reviews sidewalks so you don’t have to. || Today’s word is testicondy. || Unrelated. || Not actually what it says. || Whoa, whoa! Be careful, dad! || Dispute of note. || How to operate your dining table. || Ride. || And finally, a tale of ambition and madness. His wife only wanted a potato storage pit.

How Dare You Not Feel Oppressed

When questioned, some Hispanic students took responsibility for their own shortcomings and successes, citing the importance of hard work, rather than blaming “white privilege.” 

A sociology professor is not happy about this:

Maria Isabel Ayala interviewed 50 Latino(a) students at Midwestern University, and was dismayed to find that they attribute their success to hard work and self-reliance while shunning affirmative action.

[ Added via the comments: ]

By failing to pretend that they’re oppressed at every turn, crushingly and invisibly, the Hispanic students are, we’re told, perpetuating “colourblind racism.” Which is to say, by choosing not to become irresponsible and neurotic, and instead getting a grip on their lives, they are now the villains of the drama. Or put another way, “I’ll tell you what to feel, you uppity brownling.”

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Elsewhere (275)

Zareer Masani on artefacts, treasures and preservation: 

Before the British came [to India], there was no indigenous tradition of exploring or conserving antiquity. The wonderful Buddhist stupas of the Mauryan empire (circa 2nd century BC) were destroyed, abandoned and forgotten during the Hindu revival, and then many Hindu temples met a similar fate during Muslim invasions from the 12th century… The fact is that we have no idea what would have become of the world’s ‘looted’ antiquities if they hadn’t been preserved in Western collections. Would the treasures of Beijing’s Summer Palace have survived Mao’s Cultural Revolution? Would the Elgin marbles have survived Turkish tour guides chopping off chunks to sell as souvenirs? Would ISIS have spared those Middle Eastern artefacts that survive in European museums?

Readers may care to speculate as to whether, for instance, the Natural History Museum of Berlin’s famous Brachiosaurus, the tallest mounted skeleton in the world, which was discovered and excavated by German palaeontologists in 1909 and is currently maintained by German taxpayers, would have fared better had it remained in Tanzania

Jonah Goldberg on “affirmative action” and its victims: 

If Harvard lifted its anti-Asian [admissions] criteria, Harvard’s own Office of Institutional Research said the share of Asian students at Harvard would more than double, from 19 percent to 43 percent. But that 43 percent wouldn’t be distributed equally among all courses and disciplines. It would be a boon for computer-science and biology classes, but even more seats would go empty in women’s history or poetry courses. And I can’t help but think that the faculties in the humanities and the softer social sciences have disproportionate sway on the cultural and political assumptions of the school’s administration. They are, after all, the talkers.

Related: Law professor Gail Heriot on the same, and on other campus dramas: 

Continue reading "Elsewhere (275)" »