Friday Ephemera
Elsewhere (290)

Reheated (55)

For newcomers, more items from the archives.

Among The Little People

Feminist academic Dr Jane Bone has “intra-active encounters” with children’s furniture.

This traumatic and “haunting” experience – being a grown-up among lots of small chairs – apparently reveals “the undervalued nature of teaching young children.” A point Dr Bone underlines with an anecdote involving a teacher who, during a meeting, perched on a chair intended for children, rather than searching out a more suitably proportioned one. Damning and conclusive, I think you’ll agree. And Dr Bone’s mental reach extends beyond mere anecdote: “In order to recapture this [experience]… I went to IKEA to sit on some small chairs.”

Turf War

Charles Murray attempts to speak on campus. A riot ensues.

As one of Middlebury’s sociology professors noted, “few, if any” of the protestors had ever read Murray’s books. Evidently, he’s nonetheless someone to be ‘othered’ and to whom the students can attach the usual out-group labels – denouncing him as “sexist,” “racist,” “anti-gay” and a “white nationalist.” (As even the briefest use of Google would reveal, Murray married a Thai woman while in the Peace Corps, has mixed-race children, has tutored inner-city black children for free, and was an early advocate of gay marriage - hardly the most obvious markers of a supposedly anti-gay white nationalist.)

Feign Diabetes, It’s The Only Way

The Guardian’s Sarah Marsh is being oppressed by free cake.

It’s strange how the empowered, progressive ladies at the Guardian seem forever at the mercy of every small social expectation, however trivial and weightless: “What’s more,” says Ms Marsh, “some people (myself included) simply do not have the willpower.” And so, we’re told: “We’ve rallied against turkey Twizzlers in school, the fast food industry and ready meals – so why do we ignore the rising amount of cake and sweets that are filling our workplaces?” Apparently, something must be done to save us from our passing appetites and gestures of goodwill. Because adult responsibility is just too much to ask. Perhaps we should make the partakers of baked goods stand outside with the smokers? Until scientists discover a way to make cake-eating optional.

There’s more, should you want it, in the greatest hits. Also, open thread.