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January 2019

Old Photo Seen, Umbrage Ensues

Via Darleen in the comments, a tale of coal dust and woe

A few weeks ago, I attended a holiday party at a downtown Phoenix restaurant. I walked around to view the photographs on the wall. Then a photograph caught my attention.

This one here, since you ask. 

Friends said, “It’s coal miners at a pub after work.” It was a photograph of coal miners with blackened faces. I asked a Latinx and white woman for their opinion. They said it looked like coal miners at a pub after work. Then they stepped back, frowned and said it’s men in blackface.

The author, incidentally, a “poet and essayist” named Rashaad Thomas, seems determined to racially categorise every person who features in his tiny drama. And so, we’re informed, pointedly, that this person is white, and this other person is not.

I spoke with a white restaurant owner. I explained to him why the photograph was offensive.

He was white, you see. Be careful not to trip over the implications.  

Yet the photograph remained on the wall.

Feel his pain, you heathens.

My concern that the photograph of men in blackface was a threat to me and my face and voice were [sic] ignored.

For once, rather surprisingly, the world did not bend to the demands of a whiny, racially neurotic narcissist.

A business’ photograph of men with blackened faces culturally says to me, “Whites Only.” It says people like me are not welcome.

If we peel away the affectations of racial victimhood, clung to so tightly, and instead take “people like me” to denote something more specific – say, a poet of limited talent whose every other tweet mentions race, who refers, seemingly without irony, to “Amer’KKKa,” and who claims that an old photo of coal miners drinking beer threatens his wellbeing - then Mr Thomas may be onto something.

You’ll Get Your Shoes Back When You’ve Watched The Whole Thing

Swollen with anticipation, we turn our attention to the self-refuting world of Ms Sandrine Schaefer. This time, our inexplicably underfunded performance artist has taken her talents to the streets of Belfast, where her attempts to disconcert the natives with mind-shattering concepts can be witnessed below. The featured work, Pace Investigations No. 9, reveals “tensions between mechanical, cyclical, and felt time, shared in a site of historic trauma.” Tensions that are, we’re assured, “palpable.”

Continue reading "You’ll Get Your Shoes Back When You’ve Watched The Whole Thing" »

Elsewhere (288)

James Kirkup on modern policing and the case of Harry Miller: 

The cop said he was in possession of 30 Tweets by me. I asked if any contained criminal material. He said…. No. I asked if any came close to being criminal… and he read me a limerick. Honestly. A limerick. A cop read me a limerick over the phone. I said, I didn’t write that. He said, “Ah. But you liked it and promoted it.” I asked why he was wasting his time on a non-crime. He said, “It’s not a crime, but it will be recorded as a hate incident”… The cop repeatedly called the complainant “the victim.” I asked how there could be a victim if, as he’d established, there was no crime. He said, that’s just how it works.

Allen Farrington on when accusations of “white privilege” are revealed for what they are: 

When challenged to defend her accusation [of “white privilege”], but before she was informed by [David] Webb that he is black, [CNN analyst, Areva] Martin retorted that “this is a whole long conversation I don’t have time to get into.” But if she were confident in her position, she would be able to explain it in plain English. Instead, she assumed that by simply invoking this concept, the discussion would be resolved in her favour. Because she was using the term as an ideological cudgel and not an argument, she didn’t want to explain at all, and was noticeably annoyed when asked to do so. “By virtue of being a white male, you have white privilege” has the appearance of an explanation, but she was really just rephrasing her previous assertion using more words.

As Farrington notes, Ms Martin seems to have assumed Mr Webb’s skin colour based solely on his reference to personal responsibility, which no non-white person would ever invoke, you see. So, no racism there, clearly.

Somewhat related, the second item here

And Katherine Birbalsingh on the fallout of pretentious racial guilt:

Continue reading "Elsewhere (288)" »

Friday Ephemera

At last, shoe drawers. || He draws cities. || How do you draw an X? Anything but #8 is just wrong. || Real-time travel. || “You don’t imagine Romans in socks.” || The Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading, Rio de Janeiro. || At all times, dignity. || An animated collage of Google Earth images. (Photosensitive types beware.) || Golden boulder of note. || Sacred substance. || He does this better than you do. || A snug fit. || A work of evil genius. || Knitted village. || These are some of those. || Thrust. || She can’t hear men. || “The Crippens’ marriage was not a happy one.” || Petals and stems. || He chose poorly. (h/t, Holborn) || Pregnant with no vagina. || And finally, instructively, “How to make thin hamster.

Alone With His Patriarchy

Via Farnsworth M Muldoon, a tale of feminist romance:

Wooing the intersectional way.

A discussion ensues. The teller of said tale, Ms Kelly Jo-Bluen, describes her interests as “feminism, international justice,” and “coloniality.” “White supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy” is, we’re told, “the problem.”

Consider this an open thread, in which to share links and bicker.

Friday Ephemera

Star Trek: TNG as it was meant to be seen. || Cats sitting on glass tables, a photographic study. || Crafting With Cat Hair. || Ladies ogling men in old movies. (h/t, Damian) || “Trying to lure women.” || A short history of the long-necked theorbo lute. || Skillz. || Stump. || Simpler times. || This collection of synthesizers is way bigger than yours. || No, you first. || Etruscan dentures. || Oh dear. (h/t, Dicentra) || “Truthful statements can… meet the definition of hate speech.” || Heroism detected. || When you’re worried about your voice-activated device. || You want a pair and you know it. || Lambeth scenes. (h/t, O&G) || Outdoor elevator. || Hairy and dilated. || Partial eclipse. || And finally, a tough crowd to please.

Zack Is Upset

In crime news:  

A 25-year-old Chicago woman with a concealed carry license shot and killed a man who attempted to rob her at gunpoint last week. Police say the armed 19-year-old man approached the young woman at a bus stop in Chicago’s Fernwood neighbourhood Tuesday morning. Surveillance video captured across the street from the bus stop shows a struggle between the two before the woman pulls out her own firearm and shoots the man in the neck.

One less rat, you might think. However, a woman defending herself from an armed male mugger is, it turns out, terribly problematic: 

But that poor sweet mugger.

If she had let him rob her” is an interesting series of words. “She should not have had a gun in the first place,” says Zack.  

Mr Ford, now busy deleting tweets, is “LGBTQ Editor” at ThinkProgress. And, says he, a “proud SJW.

Update, via the comments:

Continue reading "Zack Is Upset" »

Elsewhere (287)

Christopher DeGroot on attempts to pathologise masculinity: 

Published this week, the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines for Psychological Practice for Boys and Men is a remarkable and frightening document. Throughout, value judgements are expressed under the guise of “science.” Social constructivism is assumed to be true, the implication being that “gender roles” don’t represent anything deeper, such as biology or an enduring human nature. Thus, if most nurses are women, and if most engineers are men, the only explanation is the patriarchy, that insidious, mysterious, inescapable evil. One is struck by the facile, trendy cant that the authors take for granted. Three sentences in, we read this assertion: “Boys and men, as a group, tend to hold privilege and power based on gender.” There is no recognition here of male accomplishment — that falls into the category of “privilege and power,” words which, like “patriarchy,” we encounter with mind-numbing frequency.

Readers who can bear to plough through the entire APA document, supposedly thirteen years in the making, will note the framing of masculinity (or “traditional masculine ideology”) as entailing violence, bullying, sexual harassment, “dominance and aggression,” ableism, ageism, racism, and outright sociopathy. Or as Stephanie Pappas says in a summary here: “Traditional masculinity… is, on the whole, harmful.” In poking through the document, readers may also note the absence of any meaningful reference to biology, testosterone, evolution, etc., as if such details were irrelevant to fathoming male behaviour. However, the word privilege occurs 19 times, and the word transgender no fewer than 60.

As DeGroot points out, it seems unwise to redefine masculinity in order to flatter the resentments and insecurities of the fringe and maladjusted – say, “social justice” enthusiasts who consider themselves “marginalised” by expectations of competence, competitiveness and emotional self-possession. Or those who describe themselves as transsexual, non-binary or “gender non-conforming.” As if a proclivity for adventurousness or risk-taking, and a desire for achievement, were fundamentally a problem, something to be fixed. And it goes without saying that the writers of the APA’s guidelines would be unlikely to enjoy lives of comfort and status without a great many others embracing the values and inclinations - including ambition, stoicism and courage - that our self-imagined betters strive to pathologise.

Continue reading "Elsewhere (287)" »

Friday Ephemera

If fruit could move. || Uncanny mom powers. || Progress. || How to optimise your roast potatoes, mathematically. || Miracle breakthrough. || Bee waves. || Windblown snow, from above. || She does this better than you do. (h/t, Tim) || Rolling below. || Brain coasters. || “The effort of vomiting pressed out about half a teacupful of the brain, which fell upon the floor.” || Fridge-and-houseguest-related idea of note. Do let us know how it goes. (h/t, Julia) || Fixing the world one step at a time. || Safety first. || Wheels. || You want one and you know it. || Scenes. (h/t, Dicentra) || Extra strong. || Woodland. || Comb-over. || On the domestication of cats. || Incoming. || And finally, a caption competition.

Amateur Dramatics

The Lower Merion School District in Pennsylvania sent out an email to parents after a photograph of a student in a white hooded robe made the rounds on social media and caused some sort of panic. The individual was in a hallway in Lower Merion High School.

Run, children! The Klan are in town! 

The student was wearing part of a monk costume from the play Romeo and Juliet, which was being used by a 9th grade class. The student appeared to be returning to the classroom.

The image, of a child dressed as a monk for a school play, was deemed “disturbing” by school administrators, and as a result of this mind-shattering trauma, “The costume will not be used in future enactments of Romeo and Juliet.”