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April 2019

March 2019

Friday Ephemera

“Sport and the territorial anus.” || On making Dr No. (h/t, Elephants Gerald) || Snacking snails. || Effective but inadvisable. || Young love. || Look at me, I’m fascinating. || Add length to URLs. || Or I guess we could go the long way round. || Tweaked Hitler. || The Wall Street Journal. || When you’ve a hankering for stairs. || The feminist dance. || Tree house. || Karma. || Rymdkapsel is a game. || Population growth, by region, over 12,000 years. || GauGAN is an app that will upgrade your doodles. || The Thompson Twins Adventure, 1984. (h/t, Things) || Saved with a pint of tea and several lemonade enemas. || Meatless Japan. || Paranormal scenes. || And finally, the 10-hour sax solo you’ve always wanted.

Another Balanced Individual

“You should be more conscious,” says she.

The young intellectual quoted above - Denisse Moreno Melchor, the one apparently having some kind of episode - can also be seen here. On Twitter, Ms Melchor describes herself as a “Brown Magic Womxn.” Her pronouns, should you care, are “they/elle/she/ella.”

What’s interesting isn’t the content of the rote psychodrama so much as the dynamic, which is one we’ve seen before. Faced with a seemingly demented woman, one from a Designated Victim Group, other students attempt to appease and accommodate, only to be met with more psychodrama and overtly racial animosity. The targets of this abuse then back away, understandably, as interactions with demented people rarely go well. And so, again, ground is ceded, both symbolically and literally. Until the invited speakers, there to give careers advice, are followed to their cars and shooed from campus.

And, emboldened, the bedlamite claims victory.

We Are Enriched

Via the BBC, some vibrant multicultural news:

Breast ironing awareness should be made part of the mandatory school curriculum to protect young girls from abuse, the National Education Union has said. The practice involves ironing a girl’s chest with hot objects to delay breasts from growing, so she does not attract male attention.

Given the perversity of the phenomenon, readers may not be entirely surprised to learn,

There is no specific offence for breast ironing.

There’s more, though it doesn’t get any less grotesque.

Her Unspeakable Woes (2)

Struggling with unfamiliar pronunciation is a “racist practice,” apparently.

Please update your files and lifestyles accordingly.

Listening to the broadcast, the dogmatic vanities are hard to miss, and the ladies appear oblivious to how they might seem. At least beyond the circle of the severely educated.

It’s also interesting how the grievances of the recreationally indignant – these self-regarding young women who wear victimhood like jewellery and complain about the emotional travails of ordering coffee – so often read as an assertion of class status. As if a modestly-paid coffee-shop worker, with whom they interact for a few seconds, and whose own name they don’t share, or presumably recall, should somehow automatically divine the unobvious pronunciation of an unfamiliar name, and then remember it, forever, despite interacting with hundreds of people every day, and having a life and priorities of their own.

We’ve been here before, of course.

Update, via the comments: 

While invoking Alex Haley’s slavery novel Roots as a guide to their own suffering, the ladies insist that, if you aren’t instantly sure how to pronounce Ms Ali’s Somalian first name, or Ms Roy’s Indian first name, then you’re a “vehicle of racism” and are “damaging” their “self-worth and sense of confidence,” and should, one assumes, prostrate yourself at the nearest Temple of Woke Sorrows. Given this kabuki of the implausibly downtrodden, it occurs to me that the charming lady who runs the local Chinese takeaway, and for whom English is at best a second language, has struggled to pronounce my surname for close to two decades. Presumably, I should storm in there one evening and publicly berate her for oppressing me and invalidating my personhood. Delicate flower that I am.

In the comments, Daniel Ream notes,

Teenagers gonna teenage, but for some reason we’ve decided to grant ignorant adolescents whose brains haven’t fully formed yet bizarrely elevated status and moral authority.

Readers may wish to ponder why it is that modern leftism dovetails so neatly with the psychological shortcomings of adolescents.

Friday Ephemera

Serendipity. (h/t, Holborn) || Forbidden love. || “The latest frontier in denim.” (h/t, Julia) || A guide to public transport seat cover design. || Calling Dr Strange. (h/t, Obnoxio) || Scenes. || Clouds. || Beating organ. || He does this better than you do. || Things “we need to talk about,” #204. || Urine wheels and other pee-related wonders. || The pebble palace and other art gardens. || Evergreen. (h/t, Dicentra) || It’s called making an entrance, darling. || Piety displayed, then sudden difficulties. || Rotational drama. || Slo-mo Taekwondo. || “Weighed only slightly more than a pack of butter.” || Word-pile detected. || At last, competitive slapping. || And finally, I bring you some next-level performance art.

Damned If You Do

Being a “queer feminist poet” schooled in “critical race theory,” Ms Alison Whittaker is, of course, unhappy:

We’re in the midst of a renaissance in First Nations literature. I should be elated… So why do I feel this restlessness? 

Appearing as a headline guest at Australia’s recent Stella Prize longlist party, “a celebration of women’s writing,” Ms Whittaker felt a need to air her “itching discontent” and “confront” the “majority white audience” for the sin of pretentious enthusiasm – namely, their enthusiasm for works by people such as herself:

I talked about the “endless, patronising praise” I got from white audiences, and how I salve it with the frank reading of Indigenous women who “do you the dignity of taking you seriously.”

Fun night. We must do this again.

We’re told that being a “coloured” or “Indigenous” writer is fraught with “structural oppression,” on account of being “marginalised” – as when being invited to literary award parties and then swooned over by pretentious pale-skinned lefties. “Whiteness” and “white men” are particular burdens to Ms Whittaker and her peers, whose suffering – their “collective plight” - is seemingly endless and endlessly fascinating, at least among those for whom such woes are currency. As Ms Whittaker’s world is one of practised self-involvement, her point is at times unobvious. However, our unhappy poet appears to be annoyed both by “underwhelming responses” to her own writing and by insufficiently convincing displays of approval. All that “endless patronising praise.”

At which point, the words high maintenance spring to mind.

Continue reading "Damned If You Do" »

Friday Ephemeraren’t

Feel free to assemble your own pile of links and oddities in the comments. I’ll set the ball rolling with some tempting real-estate photographs, of which this one is rather special; some thoughts on the statistical proximity of the planet Mercury; ducks in a row; via Dicentra, a job worse than yours; and some cannabis-infused peppermint fondant, covered in dark chocolate, and gold, obviously.

Oh, and how to entertain your stoner neighbours.

Better Late Than Never

As a teenager and self-proclaimed militant feminist, it was simple to fight the patriarchy; I just had to pick fights with my father.

Why, yes, it is a Guardian article. Specifically, A Feminist’s Guide to Raising Boys by Bibi van der Zee.  

In the 1970s, from my child’s-eye point of view, it seemed pretty much agreed that boys and girls were essentially the same; it was just society that turned us into “boys” and “girls.” Simone de Beauvoir had said: “One is not born a woman but, rather, becomes a woman,” and the whole planet had nodded in agreement, and that was that.

Readers of a certain age may find that their memories of the 70s, and of boys and girls being supposedly interchangeable, and of the whole planet nodding at this conceit, are somewhat different.

In the early years of my career in journalism, being a woman was no brake on being able to work as late, be paid as little and drink as much as any of the male reporters I knew. Then I had sons. It may sound naïve, but I hadn’t really thought about how that would work. I had a vague plan that… my life would more or less carry on as before.

It does sound a tad unrealistic.

This was not what I had expected… Because I was the one with the womb and the mammary glands, I would be the one carrying the children and then feeding them.

At which point, readers may wish to remind themselves that Ms van der Zee writes political commentary, and guides to activism and protesting, in order to share her insights with the world.

It was a startling window into other times and worlds, where, if you had no birth control and your body belonged to your husband by law, then you could just be impregnated over and over again, side-lined and kept at home. 

Ah, yes. The modern marriage.

Continue reading "Better Late Than Never" »