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November 2019

It Was Monday And So There Was Psychodrama

“My oppression is not a delusion.”

So chanted students at the College of the Holy Cross, a private, and rather handsome, liberal arts college in Worcester, Massachusetts, and for which parents fork out $54,000 a year in order to have their children brutally oppressed. In this case, by a talk by Heather Mac Donald.

Being righteously engorged, the protestors disrupted Ms Mac Donald’s lecture, refused repeated offers to engage in debate, and prevented would-be attendees from entering the venue, telling those outside that the guest had left the building, when in fact she hadn’t. This being what righteous people do, you see.

The demonstrators… left, yelling: “Your sexism is not welcome!” “Your racism is not welcome!” “Your homophobia is not welcome!” “YOU are not welcome!”

Evidence of said vices was not, it seems, forthcoming.

Needless to say, the protestors denounced Ms Mac Donald’s alleged “privilege,” while somehow not noticing their own air of entitlement and obvious leverage, deployed with recreational glee, and their own, seemingly routine expectations of impunity. And again, as so often, it’s worth noting the protestors’ mix of vanity and casual spite – choosing lies and mob coercion in order to cheat other students of their chance to hear Ms Mac Donald and ask her questions. An overt display of disdain for those who might dare to demur. And who, by extension, are presumably unwelcome too.

Update, via the comments:

Continue reading "It Was Monday And So There Was Psychodrama" »

Friday Ephemera

Wonders of the world. (h/t, Neocon Servative) || Well, they wanted proof. || How to do woke manners. (h/t, Damian) || Today’s words are teaching assistant. || Attempt no landing there. || Things dads do. || Usually done at night. || I don’t think that should be there. || A bit close. || Rebuttal of note. (h/t, Dicentra) || Get your hands on Nefertiti’s bust. || Blackberries say hello. || How menfolk pass the time, a possible series. || Peeling at speed. || More joys of public transport. || Real-time Twitter emoji use, because you need to know. || “Human faeces is viscoelastic and sticky in nature, causing it to adhere to conventional surfaces.” || Forbidden love. || And finally, and under pressure, fingering the perp.

You Can’t Afford My Radical Life

Belatedly, and via pst314 in the comments, Rob Henderson on luxury beliefs and conspicuous convictions:

The chief purpose of luxury beliefs is to indicate evidence of the believer’s social class and education. Only academics educated at elite institutions could have conjured up a coherent and reasonable-sounding argument for why parents should not be allowed to raise their kids and should hold baby lotteries instead. When an affluent person advocates for drug legalisation, or anti-vaccination policies, or open borders, or loose sexual norms, or uses the term “white privilege,” they are engaging in a status display. They are trying to tell you, “I am a member of the upper class.”

Affluent people promote open borders or the decriminalisation of drugs because it advances their social standing, not least because they know that the adoption of those policies will cost them less than others. The logic is akin to conspicuous consumption—if you’re a student who has a large subsidy from your parents and I do not, you can afford to waste $900 and I can’t, so wearing a Canada Goose jacket is a good way of advertising your superior wealth and status. Proposing policies that will cost you as a member of the upper class less than they would cost me serve the same function. Advocating for open borders and drug experimentation are good ways of advertising your membership of the elite because, thanks to your wealth and social connections, they will cost you less than me.

Unfortunately, the luxury beliefs of the upper class often trickle down and are adopted by people lower down the food chain, which means many of these beliefs end up causing social harm.

Take polyamory. I had a revealing conversation recently with a student at an elite university. He said that when he sets his Tinder radius to five miles, about half of the women, mostly other students, said they were “polyamorous” in their bios. Then, when he extended the radius to 15 miles to include the rest of the city and its outskirts, about half of the women were single mothers. The costs created by the luxury beliefs of the former are borne by the latter. Polyamory is the latest expression of sexual freedom championed by the affluent. They are in a better position to manage the complications of novel relationship arrangements. And if these relationships don’t work out, they can recover thanks to their financial capability and social capital. The less fortunate suffer by adopting the beliefs of the upper class. 

Needless to say, many of the issues raised by Mr Henderson have, over the years, been given a chewing here. From the unconvincing contrarian Laurie Penny and her suboptimal lifestyle advice, and the naked hypocrisies of Simon Schama and Clive Stafford Smith, to our mulling of the 1970s sitcom The Good Life, supposedly a moral lodestone for the modern anti-capitalist.

You May Cross My Palm With Silver

For the last time this year, and with infinite subtlety, I’m going to remind patrons that this rickety barge, on whose seating your arses rest, is kept afloat by the kindness of strangers. If you’d like to help it remain buoyant a while longer, and remain ad-free, there’s an orange button below with which to monetise any love. Debit and credit cards are accepted. For those wishing to express their love regularly, there’s a monthly subscription option top left. And if one-click haste is called for, my PalPay.Me page can be found here. Additionally, any Amazon UK shopping done via this link or the search widget top right, or for Amazon US via this link, results in a small fee for your host at no extra cost to you.

For newcomers wishing to know more about what’s been going on here for the last twelve years or so, in close to 3,000 posts and over 100,000 comments, the reheated series is a pretty good place to start - in particular, the end-of-year summaries. If you like what you find there… well, there’s lots more of that.

If you can, do take a moment to poke through the discussion threads too. The posts are intended as starting points, not full stops, and the comments are where much of the good stuff is waiting to be found. And do please join in.

As always, thanks for the support, the comments, and the company. Also, open thread

Friday Ephemera

Reciprocation is a lovely thing. || She reeks of class. || Intruders detected. || It is damaged. || The undead. || Because you demanded it, four decades of Argos catalogues. (h/t, Things) || Caption unnecessary. || Kitchen nightmare of note. (h/t, Elephants Gerald) || If you’ve ever wondered what would be published in a journal of “feminist geography.” || Girls’ night in. || This may amuse. Do try it out for yourselves. || Slightly underwhelming library books. Includes Bowling for Women and How to Make a Mystery Smell Balloon. || The size of space. || The Crawling Eye (1958). || Crisis averted. || Cutie. || It’s called a guqin. (h/t, Elephants Gerald) || And finally, via Dicentra, the eternal struggle.

They’re Perfecting Society, You Know

When they put up the posters [advertising the event]… the campus completely melted down. They had two campus-wide meetings attended, according to reports, by hundreds of students, faculty, and administrators about what to do with me coming to campus... The rumours were spread - not just rumours, emails, including from the student government - that I was a white supremacist coming to campus with my white nationalist followers to target minorities… They organised safe spaces for my visit. They organised safety teams to guide people to safe spaces with glow sticks if they couldn’t find the safe spaces. In the library, which was the main safe space, they had colouring books for students—college students. It was the craziest thing.

William Jacobson recounts a lively visit to Vassar College.

Other subjects touched on include blogging versus Twitter, and the Oberlin College / Gibson’s Bakery court case:

It’s just an example of a powerful left-wing entity, which essentially runs the town and is not used to people standing up to it, and which has reacted, in my view, completely irrationally… Oberlin moved to transfer the case out of… their home county, because they didn’t think they could get a fair trial… I think that should tell you something of the bubble that the college community is.

Professor Jacobson explains the Oberlin saga in more detail in this video.  

Readers unfamiliar with the incident and its elaborate, rather farcical inversions of reality, can find a short but informative overview here. As I wrote at the time,

It’s worth noting that Oberlin College is the Clown Quarter writ large, a leftist fiefdom, where woke psychodramas are normative, encouraged and institutional. And hence the delinquency and moral inversion - the ripened fruit of all that leftist psychology. Such that students were encouraged by staff to side with a trio of physically aggressive shoplifters - people stealing for fun - and to actively destroy the livelihood of a baker who would rather not be preyed upon by thieves. The expectation of lawfulness, of common civility, being repaid with libel, harassment and ruin. Activities that Oberlin’s administrators were happy to enable, using college funds, and often with bizarrely adolescent behaviour of their own.

Our betters at large.

Friday Ephemera

Back yard scenes. (h/t, Holborn) || Synchronised boobies. || Hey, baby. || Being proud, they filmed it. || “Grandma always wanted a pig.” || Twitter indignation. || Twitter done well. || Dental nerves. || He does this better than you do. || Documentary idea of note. (h/t, Damian) || Unmix your music. Not there, but not bad. || Always respect the media. || Teachable moment. || Teachable moment 2. || The longest sight-line? || Unexpectedly. || New shoes, I see. || On Soviet cannibalism. || “I heard about McDonald’s never decaying so I wanted to find out whether this was true.” || Underclass scenes. || Everything wrong with The Shining. || And finally, if you laugh at this, you’re a terrible, terrible person.