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September 2018

Friday Ephemera

Wingsuits and a cloud tunnel, above Toogoolawah, Australia. || Elephant Rock, Iceland. || It’s a head-scratcher. || Sea slugs and stolen venom. || Today’s word is inevitable. || Cuttings from the Clown Quarter, #3,096. || For Martian coin collectors. || A map of corruption. || A museum of web design. (h/t, Coudal) || Behold this year’s finalists in World Championship Death Diving. || Dubai’s desert highways. || On the edge(s) of the Universe. || 2001 in tweet form. (h/t, Things) || Spare arms. || Smoothly done, Mr Burke. || Heh. || How to keep the cat downstairs. || Yes, it sagged and was prone to melting, but on the upside, it was easy to lift when hoovering. || And finally, a crafty peek at a butterfly’s genitalia.


Elsewhere (282)

Lionel Shriver on recreational outrage and the corresponding theatre of atonement: 

The defence of an infinitely multiplying list of ‘marginalised groups’ is a predatory movement… and its pleasures are those of hunting: spotting your prey, stalking, going in for the kill. Any source of umbrage thus presents an exulting opportunity to score a trophy, stuff it, and hang it on your (Facebook) wall. Mainstream institutions straining to be with-it give credence to this pretence of injury and vulnerability, when no one’s feelings actually have been hurt. So the victory is two-pronged. You take down the sinner, and you humiliate the editors of the Nation by forcing them to participate in an emotional theatre that every-one knows is fake…

When, during that Evergreen foofaraw, a rabid convocation of students cowed the college president into lowering his arms at the podium because they found his hand gestures ‘threatening’, those students didn’t feel jeopardised; they were dominating and emasculating a man supposedly in authority. The students cowering in ‘safe spaces’ don’t feel endangered; they’re claiming territory… Progressives seem especially prone to disguise one feeling as another. Reliably entwined with self-deceit, the problem isn’t solely among the young. 

William Ray on the pernicious hokum of “white privilege” guru Peggy McIntosh: 

Peggy McIntosh was born into the very cream of America’s aristocratic elite and has remained ensconced there ever since. Her ‘experiential’ list enumerating the ways in which she benefits from being born with white skin simply confuses racial privilege with the financial advantages she has always been fortunate enough to enjoy. Many of her points are demonstrably economic. One is left to wonder why, given her stated conviction that she has unfairly benefited from her skin colour, there seems to be no record of her involvement in any charity or civil rights work…  

[McIntosh] simply reclassified her manifest economic advantage as racial privilege and then dumped this newly discovered original sin onto every person who happens to share her skin colour. Without, of course, actually redistributing any of the wealth that, by her own account, she had done nothing to deserve. All of which means that pretty much anything you read about ‘white privilege’ is traceable to an ‘experiential’ essay written by a woman who benefited from massive wealth, a panoply of aristocratic connections, and absolutely no self-awareness whatsoever. 

And Heather Mac Donald on Clown Quarter credentials and keeping out the riff-raff: 

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A Malevolent Hysteria

In the video below, Janice Fiamengo reports on recent events at the University of Chicago, where Rachel Fulton Brown, a professor of Medieval history, dared to suggest, briefly, that, as a notional group, white men aren’t entirely awful, and that Western civilisation isn’t wholly without merit. The professor has consequently been denounced by her peers as a “fascist white supremacist” and a “violent” menace to the wellbeing of anyone whose skin is heroically brown. And do note the number - 1,300, cited towards the end of the video - the significance of which will, I think, become apparent.

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