Tidings
I Heard A Crash From The Lab

The Year Reheated

In which we marvel at the mental contortions of our self-imagined betters.

The year began with several displays of exquisite sensitivity by our woke betters, including the “poet and essayist” Rashaad Thomas, who managed to take umbrage at an old photograph in a restaurant, a photograph of miners drinking beer while covered in coal dust, which Mr Thomas promptly construed as “blackface,” a message of “whites only,” and therefore a “threat” to his wellbeing. And Zack Ford, the “LGBTQ Editor” at ThinkProgress, was traumatised by crime news. Specifically, on hearing that a woman alone at a bus stop in Chicago was able to defend herself from an armed mugger on account of herself being armed and shooting her attacker. According to Mr Ford, who declares himself a “proud SJW,” women being attacked on their way to work should not attempt to defend themselves: “If she had let him rob her, even at gunpoint, both likely would have survived.” And apparently, the well-being of the mugger – who was mugging while on probation - trumps any imperative for self-defence, even if the victim fears for her life. 

In February, we learned how to “shatter capitalism” and explode “fragile masculinities” with emojis, courtesy of the scrupulously woke Vice magazine, which, in entirely unrelated news, was simultaneously laying off hundreds of scrupulously woke employees. We also marvelled at the the creative outpourings of Ms Angeliki Chiado Tsoli, whose attempt to “challenge the existence of social, economic, cultural, and class-based inequalities” is both difficult to describe and a thing to behold. Other delights included the discovery of intersectional knitting, a subculture in which the merest deviation from the latest woke pieties can result in staggering levels of spite. And we mustn’t forget the news, courtesy of Salon, that many progressives are now suffering from “Post-Trump Sex Disorder.

In March we encountered Dr Deborah Cohan, a mistress of “embodied medicine” and “shamanic healing” employed by the University of California, and who rails against the “tendrils of white supremacy” - the ones in her head, presumably - while indulging in a kind of theatrical ethno-masochism. Such that we’re told, quite emphatically, that white doctors are a clear and obvious danger to non-white patients: “Health care is not safe for people of colour as long as the overwhelming majority of U.S. physicians are white.” A claim one might categorise as paranoid, invidious and wildly irresponsible. Though it did rather highlight the overlap of wokeness and ludicrous New Age woo

Dr Charlotte Riley, currently employed by the University of Southampton, unveiled her latest feminist innovation, which she titled Patriarchy Chicken, and which entails deliberately and repeatedly colliding with random male commuters. For the Sisterhood, you see. Mr Claude Boudeau thrilled us with his seemingly limitless artistic talents, namely a performance piece titled Cascade. We also witnessed the phenomenon of Brookylnite lefties in search of love via a socialist-only dating platform, with the fiercely egalitarian declaring their revolutionary ambitions to each other, along with their preferred pronouns and various mental health issues. Alas, said platform has not proved an enormous success, resulting instead in disgruntlement, mutual loathing, and demands for romantic quotas.

In April, we turned to the pages of Library Journal, a “global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators,” where academic librarian and intersectional feminist Ms Sofia Leung railed against “white men ideas” and the “so-called ‘knowledge’” of the male and melanin-deficient, which, we’re told, she finds oppressive. It turns out that public libraries are “sites of whiteness” and crush the very breath out of the heroically brown. We also encountered a “diverse group of thought leaders” - all leftwing, inevitably - who shared their thoughts on space travel and the need for deaf and disabled astronauts, before pondering whether a mission to Mars would benefit Black Lives Matter. Oh, and we revisited the pages of the Guardian, where lawyer and activist Clive Stafford Smith airily dismissed burglary as “really quite inconsequential” and unworthy of punishment, especially when the perpetrator is a “young black person,” before disdaining the victims of such crimes and their expectations of justice as, and I quote, “idiotic attitudes.”

“A brilliant new weapon of progressivism” was unveiled in May, thanks to Ms Christina Cauterucci, writing in the pages of Slate. You see, those “right wing, centrist, or politically complacent parents” - the parents you love, presumably - must be purged of their “ill-informed allegiances,” and made to conform politically - i.e., made leftwing - with the threat of never seeing grandchildren. Which is how well-adjusted adult offspring behave, of course. Other fruits of progressive mental activity were offered by Ms Saira Rao, “one of the country’s strongest voices for social justice,” and by W. Benjamin Myers, an enthusiast of “queer theory,” whose scholarly ponderings include “straight and white teeth as a metaphor for a straight and White identity” – with a focus on the “uninterrogated Whiteness” of routine dental hygiene.

In June, we felt the pain of competitively woke film critics, for whom a children’s animation about talking animals was in fact an “ode to heteronormativity, toxic masculinity and patriarchal worldviews.” Particular agony was inflicted by a character choosing to get married and have a child, which the agitated reviewer, Mr Carlos Aguilar, dismissed as “conservative” and therefore detrimental, if only to the wellbeing of competitively woke film critics. Mental distress was also evident in the mutterings of feminist “theorist” Ms Sophie Lewis, who insisted that the foetus, a nascent human being, is “violent,” and that abortion, via drugs or dismemberment, is a form of “anti-violence,” a way of “going on strike against gestational work.” “We need,” said she, “to move away from… arguments around when human life begins.” And the Guardian invited us to imagine the horror of the Earth’s feminists departing the planet, never to return.

Superhuman sensitivity was displayed in July, when Mr Zack Ford again caught our attention, this time with a first-hand tale of enormous personal suffering. Namely, being “emotionally wounded” by a patriotic hat, “a hat that embodies evil.” Mr Ford, a gay activist, revealed that he is challenging prejudice and “educating the world about queer identities.” By indulging in overwrought dramas more typically associated with fourteen-year-old girls – i.e., policing what his friends wear on Facebook, and then being hysterical about it. Elsewhere, in the pages of the Philadelphia Inquirer, “fat-positivity” activist and “Instagram therapist” Ms Sonalee Rashatwar proposed a bold solution to the problem of obesity – namely toppling Western civilisation. A project more righteous, and somehow less difficult, than cutting back on carbs. Ms Rashatwar’s own impressive girth and consequent health issues were of course blamed, not on her frequently announced love of doughnuts, consumed in bulk, but on “white supremacy.”

In August, we were offered a front-row seat to the wearying psychodrama of Ms Rosanna Arquette, an “actress, poet and activist” who wants the world to know how terribly ashamed she is of being white. A display that prompted the question of which is more neurotic and contemptible - actually believing such things, or merely pretending to believe them, repeatedly and compulsively, in order to signal in-group status. A kind of political jewellery. The inherent evils of “whiteness” also tortured the mind of Western Connecticut State University’s Dr Daniel Barrett, who claims to be “blinded” by his own pallor, a unspeakable condition that, we’re told, corrupts and befouls everything it touches, including “integrity, honesty… common sense,” and must therefore “dissolve into oblivion.”

Fellow educator Adam Kotsko insisted that reservations about mass third-world immigration and rapid demographic change can only be explained by racism, and not, say, by the unhappy realisation that your neighbourhood has been enlivened with back-garden abattoirs and Congolese machete gangs. And educator and anti-racism activist Dr Asao Inoue insisted that universities should no longer judge the quality of students’ writing when grading papers. This is in order to purge “white racial habits of language,” by which the good doctor means such trivialities as grammar, punctuation and comprehensible spelling. Dr Inoue went on to explain that grading a student’s ability to convey their thoughts in writing - and to formulate thoughts by writing – is a manifestation of “white language supremacy,” and therefore to be abandoned in the name of “inclusive excellence.

September brought us ruminations on a phenomenon that I’ve chosen to call The Blurting, whereby the left-leaning feel compelled to announce their political persuasion seemingly at random and regardless of incongruity, while expecting agreement, or at least hushed deference. Other feats of leftist cogitation came to our attention, including scenes of the elderly and disabled being physically harassed by masked members of Antifa, which is not so much a political movement as a metastasising personality disorder, a Cluster B contagion. And then there was the desire, aired by Vox’s Kelsey Piper, to “eradicate the voting age entirely,” thereby allowing socialists to exploit the unworldliness of children, whose conscientiousness and forethought are of course renowned, and with whom, it would seem, they have much in common.

The Guardian was especially Guardianesque in October, thanks to a piece by Ms Ngaree Blow, an employee of the University of Melbourne, who denounced modern healthcare as “fundamentally colonial,” plagued by “Western paradigms,” and therefore “not fit for purpose.” Ms Blow, we were told, has instead “embraced disruption,” championing aboriginal medicine, including a reliance on healing songs and bush dung, and seemingly irrespective of its rather limited effectiveness. Untroubled by any flickering of irony, Ms Blow went on to denounce “outdated approaches to health.” We also pondered the unfashionable nature of shame, and common efforts to deflect it.  

With November came more scenes of student hyperventilation, this time at College of the Holy Cross, a private liberal arts establishment in Worcester, Massachusetts, and for which parents fork out $54,000 a year in order to have their children brutally oppressed by Heather Mac Donald and statistics they don’t like. The aggrieved students denounced the “privilege” of Ms Mac Donald, who dared to disagree with their claims of victimhood, while carefully overlooking their own air of entitlement and obvious leverage, deployed with recreational glee, and their own seemingly routine expectations of being disruptive and abusive with impunity.

This practised hysteria was ramped up several notches at Binghamton University, where conservative students were reminded, quite vividly, that by advertising a lecture by the economist Arthur Laffer and offering passers-by free hot chocolate – by simply daring to exist – they should expect to be harassed and physically threatened, while their property is either vandalised or stolen, and racial and sexual profanities are screamed in their faces. Until they, not their assailants, are escorted off campus by police, along with their invited speaker. And before they, not their assailants, are denounced by university administrators as somehow “provocative.”

And Atlantic columnist Lauren Smiley performed some neat rhetorical limbo-dancing in her attempt to avoid the obvious while excusing brazen and habitual thievery.

As the year drew to a close, we attempted to define “social justice” and trace the elaborate mental contortions it regularly entails, while noting its appeal for those inclined to acts of petty malice. We supped once more at the teats of performance art, with some of the “best projects” currently available, including the stirring works of Amanda Kleinhans, who thrilled passers-by with her radical rotundity, “explorations of the fat body,” and questions of pressing import, among which, “Can I fit in that seat?” and “Do I fit into these pants?” And we paid another visit to the pages of Slate, where the woke and well-adjusted mull the issues of the day – in this case, “Do I have to tell my new girlfriend I’m going to keep seeing sex workers?

Answers on a postcard, please.

Heavens, a button. I wonder what it does. 

Comments

Rafi
Mental distress was also evident in the mutterings of feminist “theorist” Ms Sophie Lewis, who insisted that the foetus, a nascent human being, is “violent,” and that abortion, via drugs or dismemberment, is a form of “anti-violence,” a way of “going on strike against gestational work.” “We need,” said she, “to move away from… arguments around when human life begins.” And the Guardian invited us to imagine the horror of the Earth’s feminists departing the planet, never to return.

Punchline of note.

David

Punchline of note.

Hey, I’m only human. And it was right there, waiting to be said.

David

Chris Snowdon has his own end-of-year review.

Doubting Rich

What so often springs to mind reading these pieces is that stringing words together in grammatically sound sentences does not mean those words mean anything at all. Utter gibberish need not be ungrammatical, and that something can be written does not mean it makes sense even on the most basic level.

pst314

Leftist lets the mask slip. Liberal audience applauds:

"Today I saw a thing and it said a lot of men…a lot of white men were committing suicide, and I almost thought, ‘Yeah, great,’ Then I thought about it little more and I thought maybe I shouldn't say that out in public."
--Richard Fochtmann, Chairman of the Leeds Democratic Committee and former State Senate candidate.

Willa

“Instagram therapist” Ms Sonalee Rashatwar proposed a bold solution to the problem of obesity – namely toppling Western civilisation. A project more righteous, and somehow less difficult, than cutting back on carbs.

LOL. Thanks for a year of good reads, David. *hits tip jar*

David

*hits tip jar*

Bless you, madam. May you never emerge from the hairdresser, a radiant being, into a sudden, full-on downpour.

Lancastrian Oik

Regular subscriber here.

It's been a bit of a vintage year in which to marvel at the fatuity of the Left- at this splendid establishment, specifically and also in the wider world where I have a sneakin' suspicion (coupled with a faint bat squeak of hope) that the decade we're about to leave may also mark the high-water point of wokeness. It really is no more than that, but the result of the general election this side of the pond was wonderful to behold, not least because since that night several Lefties of my acquaintance have gone very, very quiet.

The Blurting... was timely, not least because I celebrated a Significant Birthday and one of my guests was a lovely chap whom I've known for years, who came over from the USA to join in the fun. Slight problem: he's literally a card-carrying Democrat and still in denial. One or two of my more sly-minded drinking mates soon had him sussed and marvelled at the fact that the mere mention of the word "Trump" would have our American friend "going off like a bottle of pop" as they say around these parts. I'll be seeing him in the summer for their own Fourth of July celebrations, hopefully, so it seems that that there was no harm done.

A Happy New Year to one and all, and once again thanks to our host and the contributors- this is a place where you can have fun, get snarky at the pompous and learn stuff at the same time. Well done, everybody, and best wishes from the Oik for the forthcoming decade.

David

Regular subscriber here.

That’s why you get a stool with legs of equal length.

Daniel Ream

The Blurting

Yeah. I've turned down all the New Year's Eve invitations this year because every one of them will be infested with multiple Trump Tourette's sufferers and I just don't have the patience for it any more.

Doubting Rich

Dr Charlotte Riley, currently employed by the University of Southampton, unveiled her latest feminist innovation, which she titled Patriarchy Chicken, and which entails deliberately and repeatedly colliding with random male commuters.

So her clever idea is repeatedly assaulting strangers who have never, to her knowledge, done anything wrong. Because other people with the same genital arrangement have done. Does she know why collective punishment is a war crime during international conflict, under the Geneva Conventions?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

The Year Reheated

Alas, there are three days left to cram in the crazy, and the competition for the gold still in full swing.

Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat

A happy 2020 to all! 🥂

sH2

Fellow educator Adam Kotsko insisted that reservations about mass third-world immigration and rapid demographic change can only be explained by racism, and not, say, by the unhappy realisation that your neighbourhood has been enlivened with back-garden abattoirs and Congolese machete gangs.

Related…

https://twitter.com/NorfolkGTI/status/1210920326340710400

David

Related…

Heh. It’s a pretty good example of when someone says that a topic being raised is “very interesting,” but actually wants to get the hell away from it as hastily as possible.

It’s very now.

David

I’ve turned down all the New Year’s Eve invitations this year because every one of them will be infested with multiple Trump Tourette’s sufferers and I just don’t have the patience for it any more.

For this year’s festive gatherings, The Other Half wore a pair of rather striking “Trump 2020” socks, purchased from Amazon especially for the occasion.

They did not go unnoticed.

David

I’m getting quite a bit of traffic from the Australian Daily Telegraph, but it’s paywalled, so I can’t see the article in question. If anyone has a subscription, a screengrab would be appreciated.

David

Oh, and here’s a dog playing Jenga.

Via Damian.

TimT

I’m getting quite a bit of traffic from the Australian Daily Telegraph

That’d be from Tim Blair’s blog. I’m no subscriber either but the relevant post is currently third on his wall.

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair

Ted S, Catskill Mtns, NY, USA

So, a machete-wielding man stabbed several Hasidic Jews at a synagogue.

But, apparently the attacker was caught and wasn't your stereotypical skinhead, so Twitter has a whole bunch of people trying to make excuses and minimize what happened.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

From Orwell & Goode we learn that wypipo have ruined yet another thing.

David

That’d be from Tim Blair’s blog.

“The great David Thompson…”

That’s about all I can read without a subscription. As you can imagine, my vanity is tantalised.

David

[ Rummages in box for cape and jewels. ]

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...Twitter has a whole bunch of people trying to make excuses and minimize what happened

Meanwhile in Brooklyn, the judges say "here, hold our gavels".

David

Right, I’m heading out for lunch at Beloved Sister-In-Law #1’s.

Play nicely. Use coasters.

pst314

the attacker wasn't your stereotypical skinhead

A photo of the Amish Terrorist™ can be seen here: https://nypost.com/2019/12/29/multiple-people-stabbed-in-attack-at-rockland-county-synagogue/

Joe

I enjoyed reading this, and very much agree.
But please, please, PLEASE find a way to increase the size of the font used, or at least, use black instead of (somewhat) grey text color. My old eyes are finding it difficult to read.

pst314

A darker font would be nice, although in the meantime you can tell your browser to adjust the font size.

Daniel Ream

They did not go unnoticed.

I wish I still had his chutzpah.

It's just so tedious, when for no reason they suddenly begin expositing on American[1] politics in the middle of a board game about growing grapes in 19th century Tuscany.


[1] In a room entirely composed of Canadians

Uma Thurmond's Feet

Congrats, David, your mention of the Philly Inquirer drew the attention of Frank Wilson, former Inky book reviewer, who added: "I remember when The Inquirer was a serious newspaper."

https://booksinq.blogspot.com/2019/12/social-dadaism.html

Hellnoway

All foretold in Kurt Schlichter’s fiction: People’s Republic
Fiction: that word

[+]

Instalanche!

David

But please, please, PLEASE find a way to increase the size of the font used

You can alter the size in your browser. In Chrome, if you click the three vertical dots, top right, a menu appears, one item of which, halfway down, is ‘zoom’.

David

Instalanche!

[ Hands out breath mints. ]

ACTOldFart

David:

You have now also scored a mention in Catallaxy Files, the Australian libertarian blog

http://catallaxyfiles.com/

International super-stardom (well, a couple of mentions in Australia) is now yours.

David

International super-stardom (well, a couple of mentions in Australia) is now yours.

I need more jewels. And a bigger cape.

Michael Spencer

An eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious summary of a seemingly increasing mental health problem among those who, it would seem, are generally financially quite well-off, and probably inner-city suburban dwellers!

Oh! Woe is us!

P.S. I hope I haven't offended anyone .....

Tony Moclair

In all this celebration of 2019, let's not overlook the year 1897.

It was the Year of the Cat. In a Pneumatic tube, that is.

thttps://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/08/that-time-people-sent-a-cat-through-the-mail-using-pneumatic-tubes/278629/

WTP

Stupid, stupid world.

Ms Rashatwar’s own impressive girth and consequent health issues were of course blamed, not on her frequently announced love of doughnuts, consumed in bulk, but on “white supremacy.”

In other health news, it has recently been revealed that calories consumed whilst making a salad do not count. Don't ask me how I know this, I just do.

Jay  Guevara

“fragile masculinities”

Are we the ones who bleat about needing safe spaces?

Mike P

a socialist-only dating platform… has not proved an enormous success, resulting instead in disgruntlement, mutual loathing, and demands for romantic quotas.

Ms Isser’s indignation at the thought of socialist women being romantically shunned, even by fellow socialists, was aired in December in a Twitter howling session, during which extensive use was made of exclamation marks. After much exasperated rumbling, Ms Isser concluded that the fault must lie solely with men, and that “straight men are shallow and sexist even when they’re socialists.” Thereby proving that, contrary to legend, ladies of the left are in no way high-maintenance or difficult to please.

Thanks for the laughs, David. Your tip jar has been hit. Have a happy new year.

David

Thanks for the laughs, David.

Well, that’s the thing about leftism. You start gathering it in a pile and its defining features, and defining psychology, become harder to miss.

Your tip jar has been hit. Have a happy new year.

Bless you, sir. When giving teenage nieces a lift home from an out-of-town party, may your in-car playlist be met with both bewilderment and awe, resulting in Cool Uncle status.

Hal

In which we marvel at the mental contortions of our self-imagined betters.

Practically seems to be rather an ongoing hobby there . . .

David

I wish I still had his chutzpah.

I sort of alternate between, on the one hand, a reluctance to risk derailing otherwise amiable social events, which challenging The Blurting generally entails, thereby turning a meal or wedding party into a debate about politics; and on the other, finding the phenomenon so selfish and aggravating that some kind of response, some pushback, seems in order.

The latter can sometimes reveal just how many other people have been quietly tolerating the same preening and obnoxiousness.

pst314

In other health news, it has recently been revealed that calories consumed whilst making a salad do not count.

Also calories consumed while Making The Revolution.

Liz

In which we marvel at the mental contortions of our self-imagined betters.

E.g. https://twitter.com/GamesNosh/status/1211646415652323330

Sam Duncan

Happy new year*, everyone!

*According to certain provisions of ISO 8601.

WTP

I sort of alternate between, on the one hand, a reluctance to risk derailing otherwise amiable social events, which challenging The Blurting generally entails, thereby turning a meal or wedding party into a debate about politics; and on the other, finding the phenomenon so selfish and aggravating that some kind of response, some pushback, seems in order.

This is why everyone should get themselves an Evil Jesus.

Hal

Syd Mead, Visionary ‘Blade Runner’ Artist and Futurist, Dies at 86

David

On this New Year’s Eve, do spare a thought for those less fortunate.

TimT

Merry new year, sentient life forms!

(Did I do this right?)

David

A map to mull.

Via Holborn.

WTP

On this New Year’s Eve, do spare a thought for those less fortunate.

Well I tried to hit the gym this morning before work, as per my usual, only to find that this being Morning of New Year's Eve Day, they were closed. Went to McDonald's to use their restroom to take an Irish bath and change clothes, a homeless-looking man sees me getting out of an Acura going into the McD's with my gym bag and says that that's a nice car I have to sleep in. 2019 can't go away fast enough.

David

And another.

David

sees me getting out of an Acura going into the McD’s with my gym bag and says that that’s a nice car I have to sleep in.

Still, could be worse.

WTP

Still, could be worse.

Who keeps urine around for 180 years? I've heard 30-40 years tops before it turns to vinegar.

David

Who keeps urine around for 180 years?

Would you care to peruse our list of vintage wines?

TimT

” Who keeps urine around for 180 years?”

Well....

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lant

“ Lant is aged urine. The term comes from Old English land, which referred to urine in general. Collected urine was put aside to ferment until used for its chemical content in many pre-industrial processes, such as cleaning and production of gunpowder.”

Kevin B

For those of you at various New Year's parties here's a polite response to any TDS sufferer who might be looking to spoil the evening with an anti-Trump remark.

(via Paco via Clarice at AT from Ace's comments. So it has a good pedigree.)

TimT

Is that what you pickle the eggs in, David?

WTP

Would you care to peruse our list of vintage wines?

See, this is what is great about the classics. Thunderbird, Night Train, MD 20/20 (the perfect wine for the New Year), and even (a fave of the ladies) Boone's Farm. They're ready to be consumed the minute that you step outside the liquor store.

David

a polite response to any TDS sufferer who might be looking to spoil the evening with an anti-Trump remark.

A tad vigorous, perhaps, but he does have a point.

David

And who here among us can say they haven’t?

Via Damian.

Charlie Suet

Any vote is divisive if you refuse to accept its outcome.

Happy New Year all.

Hal

Who keeps urine around for 180 years?

According to the article, it's a witch bottle.

Baceseras

The New Year

Pox on't! the last was ill enough,
This cannot but make beter proof;
Or, at the worst, as we brush'd through
The last, why so we may this too;
And then the next in reason shou'd
Be superexcellently good . . .

[  Charles Cotton (1630-87)  ]

Darleen

When the perp of Jewhating violence doesn't fit the narrative

So, treating violent attacks on Jewish people by Black people like they are equivalent to white antisemitism is intellectually lazy, disingenuous, anti-Black, and dangerous both to non-Jewish Black people and to Jews.

David

When the perp of Jewhating violence doesn’t fit the narrative

Ah. But of course. “It’s ultimately about whiteness.” All sin is, apparently.

It goes without saying, Ms Prescod-Weinstein has been mentioned here before. A twitchy, neurotic creature with tedious rote pretentions, and whose inability to answer a pertinent question can be seen at the end of this embedded video, around 20:45.

Also, note The Blurting.

When not randomly disdaining Donald Trump, and badmouthing Whitey as the source of all earthly wickedness, Ms Prescod-Weinstein and her peers insist that we must have deaf and disabled astronauts. Because space exploration just isn’t difficult enough and dangerous enough as it is. And choosing astronauts with hearing problems, poor eyesight and motor-control issues will make things much more exciting.

“Thought leaders,” you see.

David

Oh, and Happy New Year, everyone.

Paul Dover

First review from the Atlantic's, "The 15 Best Books of 2019"

The Old Drift, Namwali Serpell

Staggering in its complexity, The Old Drift resists easy categorization. It is, in some measure, all of the following: historical epic, surrealist adventure, interpersonal (and interspecies) study, dystopian warning, anthropological commentary. It is also, most impressively, a story that grips the reader from its first pages. The debut novel from the Zambian author Namwali Serpell, The Old Drift follows three families across several generations, zigzagging through time as it tracks their lives (and how their outcomes differ across demographic lines). The novel’s characters ache and pine; they rail against an acute awareness of their own bodies. Serpell is a tremendously gifted writer who can retain narrative cohesion even as she weds stories of love and terror to casual observations about the state of the world. A favorite: “Progress is just the word we use to disguise power doing its thing.” — Hannah Giorgis

That should have them queueing up at the tills.

Spoiler - it turns out that the butler did it.

Ben

whose inability to answer a pertinent question can be seen at the end of this embedded video, around 20:45.

This is the clown timeline.

Paul Dover

And for those who couldn't get enough of Marc Bolan's poetry, here's another:

Wrote for Luck: Selected Lyrics, Shaun Ryder

That a slim volume of the selected lyrics of Shaun Ryder is almost an oxymoron only adds to the attraction of this lovely little book. Ryder was the shambling imagist at the front of Manchester’s Happy Mondays, a band whose demented underclass disco—like the Jonas Brothers crossed with the Butthole Surfers—was one of the soundtracks of ’90s Britain. He weaved his dodgy reveries; he mouthed his nonsense manifestos. “Got a schizophrenic acquaintance patient with no place to go / Stuck with his dick through my Afghani window.” These were the kind of lyrics that came out of him. “I just got back from a year in the sack / It must have been something I’m eating.” Brilliant, obviously. Wrote for Luck is a thrilling ruffian hybrid of prose and verse, cutting the lyrics themselves with chunks of rough-and-ready explication. “I took to dribbling, dribbling down my front” runs a line in “Performance.” “This,” Ryder clarifies, “is a drugs reference.” — J.P.

All the reviews are of a similar high standard.

It makes me realise how much of my life I've wasted, sticking to books that are well written and enjoyable.

David

This is the clown timeline.

As noted in the subsequent thread, these alleged “thought leaders” seem remarkably unengaged by the ostensible topic, utterly unrealistic, and ignorant of even rudimentary practicalities – the first questions one might ask. Instead, they waste everyone’s time with rambling, self-satisfied irrelevance. While any realistic question, any question of practicality and usefulness, is met with nervous squirming and long stretches of silence. As if to return to the topic at hand were some kind of social gaffe, a sign of being unsophisticated.

This is the standard now, at least in their circles.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

OK it is from last year, but a late entry from the Clown Quarter;

Shot: 4 December; Police violence and the health of black infants

This study examines the impact of in utero exposure to police killings of unarmed blacks...the findings show that police killings of unarmed blacks substantially decrease the birth weight and gestational age of black infants residing nearby.

Chaser: 12 December, same journal, same author; Nevermind.

Subsequent to publication, a reader discovered classification errors in the data openly shared as part of the publication. After learning about these errors, I conducted a thorough investigation focusing on a larger sample of cases that revealed further classification errors. A reanalysis of the data leads to revised findings that do not replicate the results in the original paper.

A reader discovered. Pal Peer review, what would we do without it ?

WTP

As noted in the subsequent thread, these alleged “thought leaders” seem remarkably unengaged by the ostensible topic, utterly unrealistic, and ignorant of even rudimentary practicalities – the first questions one might ask. Instead, they waste everyone’s time with rambling, self-satisfied irrelevance. While any realistic question, any question of practicality and usefulness, is met with nervous squirming and long stretches of silence.

Most concerning is that it is through the eyes of such people, and the eyes of the acolytes of such people, that young people are taught to see the world. And the cycle continues.

Sam Duncan

“A map to mull.”

Oh. I expected this. And for the Dutch to be rather more hygienic.

(Happy actual New Year, folks.)

David

(Happy actual New Year, folks.)

For the new year, I’ve resolved not to find fault.

What?

Rick H

“eradicate the voting age entirely,” thereby allowing socialists to exploit the unworldliness of children, whose conscientiousness and forethought are of course renowned

When I first read that I thought the link was going to be Lord Of The Flies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_the_Flies

Perhaps it is the Left's lack of real-world experience and hardship that give rise to its childlike simplification of human nature ie: Imagine

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/johnlennon/imagine.html.

Somehow it seems appropriate that adults who live a naive existence, devoid of any of the consequences of their proclaimed ideology are ingenuous enough to express their affinity and approval of other humans that are as immature as they are ie children.

Trevor

... a late entry from the Clown Quarter...

An assistant professor. From Harvard. You know, that institution whose mere name inspires awe and admiration.

Apparently his work '...builds on rigorous causal inference...' Perhaps his next project might involve researching the meaning of the word 'rigorous'. But I've a feeling it won't.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

And for the Dutch to be rather more hygienic.

An Army guy and an Air Force guy are in the latrine (powder room to the USAF) taking a leak, Army guy zips out and starts to walk out, AF guy says "In the AF they teach us to wash our hands after", Army guy says, "In the Army, they teach us not to piss on our hands".

Looking at the map, and ignoring the obvious liars, one cannot help wondering if the Dutch received a similar block of instruction as the Army guy.

Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat

I tried Patriarchy Chicken. It was tough, dry, way too salty.

Happy New Year to the Thompson household or the Half household, whichever is correct.🥂

Geoff

Dr Inoue went on to explain that grading a student’s ability to convey their thoughts in writing - and to formulate thoughts by writing – is a manifestation of “white language supremacy,” and therefore to be abandoned in the name of “inclusive excellence.”

'1984' was not a how-to guide.

David

‘1984’ was not a how-to guide.

The inversion of reality is quite remarkable. One might say shameless. And so, “critical information literacy,” a term deployed with great satisfaction, actually entails not being critical, or indeed literate. Because brown-skinned students will somehow benefit from leaving university sounding uneducated and being unable to write in an adult manner.

It’s worth considering just how dysfunctional an environment must already be for such ideas to gain traction, and funding, and institutional support, instead of being laughed out of the room.

sH2

When the children make the rules.

https://vdare.com/posts/starting-in-2020-public-schools-across-california-will-no-longer-suspend-students-for-disobeying-teachers-because-too-many-students-of-color-non-whites-get-suspended

David

When the children make the rules.

What could possibly go wrong?

Today’s words are refuses to learn from experience.

Darleen

to formulate thoughts by writing – is a manifestation of “white language supremacy,” and therefore to be abandoned in the name of “inclusive excellence.”

It's a feature to make the little people incoherent so only philosopher-kings like wannabe Inoue-will be able "interpret" the real wants and needs of the people.

David

It’s a feature to make the little people incoherent so only philosopher-kings like wannabe Inoue-will be able “interpret” the real wants and needs of the people.

It’s a kind of narcissistic sabotage. As I said at the time,

Apparently, the way for minority students to flourish as writers is for them to dismiss any criticism of their prose, and any attempt to improve it, as a racially motivated “microaggression” and an “oppressive practice,” and thus proof of “an inherently racist society.” You see, students with brown skin needn’t be articulate, verbally self-possessed, or precise in their thoughts. And that ungrammatical job application, the one enlivened with incomprehensible sentences and lots of inventive spelling, will do just fine. And by the time the real-world consequences of this “social justice” posturing become difficult to avoid, Dr Inoue will have been paid - and be merrily exploiting the next batch of suckers.

Again, as so often, the dynamic is fundamentally parasitic.

Governor Squid

And by the time the real-world consequences of this “social justice” posturing become difficult to avoid, Dr Inoue will have been paid - and be merrily exploiting the next batch of suckers.

It's not just that he's paid by the suckers (or their parents, or the unfortunate taxpayers who underwrite it all), but also the support he gets from the Legislature for setting up another group of entitled unemployables who can be leveraged for easy votes as a way of getting revenge on "The Man" for the crime of expecting an employee to be able to write in a professional manner.

I still struggle to decide whether the whole thing is a colossal conspiracy, or if it's just a big symbiotic system of dysfunction. I guess it boils down to whether the actors realize that they're participants in a giant scam, or if they've just found an environment conducive to their particular variety of incompetence.

Happy new year, all!

Governor Squid

The Blurting

Not too much of such nonsense over the holidays, though I may have remarked over the dinner table along the lines of "You're right, Paul -- another four years with all this economic growth and low unemployment might be the death of us all!"

Turns out that scholarly uncles really, really don't like it when the sneering condescension is turned back upon them. I fear I may not get a Christmas card from Paul and Linda next winter. Alas!

David

I guess it boils down to whether the actors realize that they’re participants in a giant scam, or if they’ve just found an environment conducive to their particular variety of incompetence.

Yes, I suppose it does.

Place your bets.

Darleen

Please don't give them any ideas ...

"It’s difficult for academic standards to get any lower than this."

David

Link fixed.

[ Resumes wiping bar, whistling nonchalantly. ]

Sam Duncan

“When the children make the rules.”

Book now for the Californian Teacher Recruitment Crisis. Which will probably be blamed on racist teachers not wanting black kids to learn, or something.

It's always the lag that gets you; if the downsides of idiotic legislation aren't immediate and unavoidable, it's assumed they don't exist. When it takes a decade or more for the higher-order effects to become apparent, as it usually does, the connection isn't made and something else takes the blame.

Employment didn't take an immediate nosedive the day the UK introduced a minimum wage, so clearly all those dumb free-market economists were worrying their little heads about nothing. Self-service supermarket checkouts and filling stations manned by a single employee? That's just the normal march of technological change, obviously. And zero-hours contracts are the work of evil cigar-chomping capitalists who hate The Workers, therefore requiring even more government intervention. Market failure, innit?

David

I’ll just leave this here, I think.

Via Holborn.

pst314

And by the time the real-world consequences of this “social justice” posturing become difficult to avoid, Dr Inoue will have been paid - and be merrily exploiting the next batch of suckers.

And when pressed, they will assert that this was "not real social justice", just as communists try to tell us that all their previous "experiments" were "not real communism".

Daniel Ream

I may have remarked over the dinner table

My default response nowadays is "not your country, not your President, nothing he does affects you in any way. Please stop."

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Meanwhile, in the Great White North, the first rule of Antifa Violence Club is you don't talk about Antifa Violence Club.

David

When the perp of Jewhating violence doesn’t fit the narrative

Regarding Ms Prescod-Weinstein and her blatherings, it seems there’s a lot of it about:

Only the Left can offer a real alternative, because only we can offer a political analysis of antisemitism. That analysis must emphasize the fact that, especially when the perpetrators are poor and black, the culprits are white supremacy and capitalism…

Apparently, only white devils have agency. Everyone else is at the mercy of white devils and their uncanny powers.

And yes, the author, Raphael Magarik, is an educator. A Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Via Ben Sixsmith.

David

Heh.

pst314

A Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Funny how English departments seem to have been the first to be taken over by leftist morons. Probably because that is the field where, traditionally, there are "no wrong answers".

The comments to this entry are closed.