David Thompson
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March 22, 2020

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Joan

Because a lack of “gender parity” in crossword puzzle clues constitutes one of “the systemic forces that threaten women.”

Only mad women.

Squires

Kill.

Karl

I'm now torn between which offers the greatest existential threat to our just and equitable utopia - racist knitting or bigoted crosswording.

sk60

bemoan the insufficient prominence of “queer or POC colloquialisms,”

How many letters in YAS(SS) KWEEN?

David

How many letters in YAS(SS) KWEEN?

Inspired by those stunning and brave sentiments, I attempted a sassy finger-snap. I may have dislocated something.

Novus

Her body and dignity endlessly violated by covert prejudice (6,7)

WTP

Wasn't that NYT freakout about "beaner" covered here previously? I seem to recall commenting that I had confused it with a slur against residents of Boston.

David

Wasn’t that NYT freakout about “beaner” covered here previously?

I don’t believe so, at least not by me. Though what you heathens get up to in the comments while I’m distracted or unconscious, I couldn’t say.

Adam

This is an example of the deleterious effects of forced confinement during the coronapanic.

Up to now I mistakenly thought that crosswords were intended for harmless mental stimulation and enjoyment to pass the time. I completely overlooked its role in maintaining the oppressive bigotry of Western English-speaking life. The people demand that henceforth crosswords must have as their primary mission uprooting and overturning White Supremacy. Crossword puzzles must now contain only words chosen by direct democracy in meetings open only to POC and LGBTQX persons.

While we are on the subject of demolishing white supremacy, what about Scrabble? Problematic on its face because it contains the word rabble!

David

Crossword puzzles must now contain only words chosen by direct democracy in meetings open only to POC and LGBTQX persons.

You jest, but if you follow the ‘apologies and prostration’ link, above, and rummage about a bit, you’ll find several indignant Twitter users insisting that crossword puzzles should not include any word that could conceivably be misconstrued or taken wildly out of context by people determined to do so for the purpose of recreational outrage.

Which is to say, people such as themselves.

Adam

...feminist puzzle-writer, Rebecca Falcon, wrote, “I can’t feel good about putting my work into an outlet that I feel has very different values than my own.”....

Just wondering how the blatant racism of the NYT crosswords escaped the woke feminist until now...or wasn't I supposed to notice? My bad.

Adam

Would a better clue to 'beaner' have been "applied by racists to migrants, informally." ?

"mansplaining" - clue: "assumption of privilege by white males, verbally."

"manspreading" - clue: "assumption of privilege by white males, seated on public transportation"

"turnstile jumping" - clue: "occupation of white-spaces by POC, relentlessly"

...

Adam

...indignant Twitter users insisting that crossword puzzles should not include any word that could conceivably be misconstrued or taken wildly out of context...

Better - use only words which have no possible interpretation or context including any relationship to Whiteness. That would save a lot of time in making the puzzles.

Publish a blank square every morning. Users would fill in whatever they pleased then toss the paper in the recycling bin.

Paul Carlton

There is actually a decent article on PG Wodehouse and Crosswords in the Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/crosswords/crossword-blog/2012/may/24/crosswords-in-fiction-pg-wodehouse - which seems strange to say even though it's almost eight years old.

At least the columnist lives up to the Guardian's reputation by being unable to spell Peter, even though it's in the quote he has just given.

Anon a mouse

you heathens

Ah, the heartwarming sentiments abound...

Paul Carlton

"Almost every USA Today byline has been a woman or a person of color, thanks to Agard’s active recruitment. “It’s a model people would talk about as ‘Surely you can’t mean this; [surely we’ll] compromise along the way,’” Kravis says, and yet, under Agard’s stewardship, the USA Today puzzle is unmistakably diverse."

Maybe check what "diverse" actually means in a real dictionary.

Squires

...puzzles should not include any word that could conceivably be misconstrued or taken wildly out of context by people determined to do so for the purpose of recreational outrage.

I.e. they will tell you how many fingers you held up, and you had better agree with willing humiliation and enthusiasm or else.

Killer Marmot

In other news, radical activist Andrea James has created the Transphobia Project, meant to track transphobic remarks and attitudes on platforms and by journalists, giving each entity a rating. Just what constitutes transphobia will presumably be left to James' finely honed sensibilities, but apparently innocently "misgendering" someone counts as a violation, even if corrected afterwords.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andreajames/the-transphobia-project

It'll be interesting to see if this modest site gets on her list. Probably not. James has a lot of territory to oversee.

aelfheld

One of the most depressing aspects of present day 'culture' is how absolutely everything must be seen through the kaleidoscope of politics.

H

Instalanche.

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/362280/

JuliaM

I'm waiting for the first 'social distancing is the white man attempting to stifle our gregarious native culture' article. Just can't decide if it'll be in a US media outlet or the'Guardian'....

David

One of the most depressing aspects of present day ‘culture’ is how absolutely everything must be seen through the kaleidoscope of politics.

Presumably, the urge to politicise anything that moves, often with lots of squinting and elaborate contrivance, is imagined as proof that one is terribly clever, a woke sophisticate. But it typically suggests a narrowness and inflexibility, a dogmatic parochialism. A lack of imagination. To say nothing of the joy-sucking twattishness of it all.

And to go through life railing against the supposedly oppressive nature of everything from spellcheck software and barbecues to cupcakes, gardening programmes and ordering takeaway food sounds like a recipe for neurosis and an unhappy life.

Steve Levy

This will not end well.

Reg Orion

Surely this is just a practice run to keep the outrage juices flowing during a boring stay at home. We will probably see more (and more insane) examples while the virus threat keeps people isolated from their familiar groups of non-diverse diversity.

David

Instalanche.

[ Sends sk60 to the gents’, armed with a can of Oust. ]

RockThisTown

"The popular puzzles are largely written & edited by older white men, who dictate what makes it into the grid—and what is kept out."

No doubt, crossword puzzles will go down in history as one of the most, if not the very most, oppressive forces of the early 21st Century. Joe & Bernie hardest hit.

David

The spam filter is, as usual, being hypersensitive. If anyone has trouble with comments not appearing, email me, top left, and I’ll shake the bloody thing.

Squires

For the love of God, David, I cannot recall a time when this rickety barge did not have spam malfunctions. Does the filter have the words “Lucas Electronics” printed on it?

I can understand a certain amount of patriotic sentiment, but that is too far man.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

Does the filter have the words “Lucas Electronics” printed on it?

I thought it was "Acme."

David

For the love of God, David, I cannot recall a time when this rickety barge did not have spam malfunctions.

It’s become a local tradition, like the bad food, the short measures and the questionable state of the toilets. And on the upside, very little actual spam gets through.

Hopp Singg

What about crosswords in gendered languages? I presume they're completely verboten, right?, since there would be no acceptable words at all.

David

What about crosswords in gendered languages?

Not entirely unrelated.

RebeccaH

Surely the wokescolds will run out of things to be outraged by sooner or later. If it happens, I predict a crisis of nomorepearlstoclutch.

Bill Rudersdorf

Why should any paper hire men, white or otherwise, to manufacture crossword puzzles?
I’ve heard somewhere that women can be hired for 79¢ on the dollar.

pst314

I'm waiting for the first 'social distancing is the white man attempting to stifle our gregarious native culture' article.

I'm sure you are right: Remember the crackpot "sun people/ice people" theory invented by some black racists?

Patrick Brown

Mr President, we must not allow... a crossword clue gap!

Hal

. . . bemoan the insufficient prominence of “queer or POC colloquialisms,” . .

And the complainer's complete lack of cultural self knowledge and research.

---I'm straight and I knew that one . . . .

Hal

One empowered feminist puzzle-writer, Rebecca Falcon, wrote, “I can’t feel good about putting my work into an outlet that I feel has very different values than my own.”

Hmmm. She must not be empowered, then.

If she takes up math, she can learn about the concept of presenting a mathematical proof for review . . .

David

Mr President, we must not allow... a crossword clue gap!

[ Rummages in archive. ]

There we go.

Hal

Wasn't that NYT freakout about "beaner" . . . confused it with a slur against residents of Boston.

Boston was also my first thought . . . .

Hippogryph

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYebIy93ens

A relevant South Park clip.

In my part of the U.S., it's usually "beanball" rather than "beaner", though both do mean (usually) a baseball directed at a hitter.

Johnny Caustic

Transgressions include clues for ... HOOD (“Place with homies”).

Waitasecond. Didn't they just "bemoan the insufficient prominence of `queer or POC colloquialisms'"? I guess my meager engineer's IQ is not sufficient to infer the rules of prominentizing POC colloquialisms without offending the omnioffendable. Wait, I've got it! All citizens should be required to get a B.A. in Black Studies to raise their awareness of how to promote POCisms without committing cultural appropriation or othering. With mandatory annual refreshers afterward, as the rules change every year.

Unfortunately, being liberals, they haven't thought through the unintended consequences of awaring every human being to every slur ever invented, from "beaner" to "bum bandit" to "numbered lampshade".

Farnsworth M Muldoon

When you stop and think of it, the whole structure of a crossword is rayciss. First, there are white squares, and Squares of Color. There are, of course, generally more white squares than Squares of Color.

Next, only the white squares contain words, which is a dog whistle that SoC are illiterate, plus the SoC block or end words, yet another dog whistle.

The clear solution is to have equal numbers of white and SoC, and to have words on both. It is only fair.

Fnord

The clear solution is to have equal numbers of white and SoC, and to have words on both. It is only fair

*Ahem* You are not atoning for centuries of oppression of nonYT, you racist.To make up for it there must be 95% non-white squares until the historical imbalance has been redressed (ie. in perpetuity), you racist.

Oh, don't forget the millions to be deposited with your local race-hustler so they can implement "restorative justice",you racist. In the States that still comes down to Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, I don't know who would be the equivalent in Blighty although I'm certain they exist, you racist.

Steve E

It’s become a local tradition, like the bad food, the short measures and the questionable state of the toilets. And on the upside, very little actual spam gets through.

Yelp: Quaintness 4.5 Stars; Charm 5 Stars; Cleanliness 1 Star; Food 0 Stars (Pickled Eggs and Camel Fat, I mean really)

Trip Advisor: Quaintness 5 Stars; Charm 4.5 Stars; Cleanliness 0 Stars; Food 5 Stars (Pickled Eggs and Camel Fat, I mean really!)

S&M Daily: 10 out of 10! Henchlesbians and Regrooving! Need I say more? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
Comments: The Scold-O-Matic took my breath away! Anonymous

David, I think it's pretty clear why people come here.

Zach

Beaners is canceled? Better let Cheech and Chong know. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=cheech+and+chong+beaners&qpvt=cheech+and+chong+beaners&FORM=VDRE

Ray

There's obviously a pressing need for a dictionary of acceptable words. That rings a bell for some reason although I can't put my finger on it.

pst314

There's obviously a pressing need for a dictionary of acceptable words.

New edition required every day.

Chester Draws

I'm waiting for the first 'social distancing is the white man attempting to stifle our gregarious native culture' article.

NZ has hit a major issue here.

Maori have culture which values large communal gatherings, including food and sleeping. The current restrictions on such things have caused some issues then, where the Maori culture runs headlong into safe practices. Some people are extremely conflicted.

There were Maori who were effectively saying "We will not obey your restrictions, because it isn't our culture." That they would be, potentially, killing lots of their old folk was apparently not an issue though.

David

The author of the Atlantic piece, Natan Last, is a “fitful poet,” a Brooklynite, and a graduate of Columbia. His idea of a “diverse” and “inclusive” crossword puzzle, one free of “bias,” can be found here.

Note the interviewer’s use of the term “keywords of millennial socialism.”

[+]

Note the interviewer’s use of the term “keywords of millennial socialism.”

"Beach house" natch.

David

“Beach house” natch.

Heh. Quite. As someone quips in the YouTube comments, “This is the single most liberal thing I’ve seen in my life.” And the air of self-satisfaction is hard to miss. But remember, the way to make crossword puzzles more “diverse” and free of “bias” is to fill them with implied endorsements of ruinous and unworkable socialist claptrap, lots of question-begging feminist buzzwords presented as self-evident, and the naff lyrics of rapper Lil Wayne.

Onwards, comrade!

Trevor

... the naff lyrics of rapper Lil Wayne.

Yet another entity completely unbeknownst to me. I really must start reading Gramophone more closely.

Trevor

Note the interviewer’s use of the term “keywords of millennial socialism.”

I could barely take in anything she actually said. By no means the worst exponent of vocal fry, but nonetheless eminently eradication-worthy.

David

I really must start reading Gramophone more closely.

Still, it’s always a pleasure to see our self-imagined betters admiring themselves for their own terribly subversive fabulousness.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

... you racist.To make up for it there must be 95% non-white squares...

You are, of course, correct on both counts. I hang my head in my non-woke shame. I shall report for yet another regrooving.

David

You’re in luck. I’ve just had the Moral Realignment Lounger hosed down.

I think we got rid of the stains. It’s the bite-marks that are hard to shift.

pst314

I’ve just had the Moral Realignment Lounger hosed down.

I found that photo in a collection of 19th Century exercise equipment. Not sure what theories of health were behind it.

Steve E

Note the interviewer’s use of the term “keywords of millennial socialism.”

I knew she was serious because she spoke with that low millennial growl denoting earnestness and gravity.

Sam
One empowered feminist puzzle-writer, Rebecca Falcon, wrote, “I can’t feel good [snip]"

FTFY

Sam

Note the interviewer’s use of the term “keywords of millennial socialism.”

Outrageously unaware, as others have pointed out, though I had to stop the video after the question "Does being a drummer help you create crosswords?". I can tolerate, nay, appreciate vile libtards - after all I come here every day to sample the recent vintage - but I draw the line at middle-school interview questions.

Anon a mouse

"Surely the wokescolds will run out of things to be outraged by sooner or later. "

Snortworthy, that is.

David

after all I come here every day to sample the recent vintage

No refunds. Credit note only.

Fred the Fourth

Sigh. but there's a bright side.

https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2020/03/23/the-people-our-loser-elite-look-down-upon-are-saving-our-bacon-n2565443

Am I just engaging in wishful thinking to believe that some memory of what's important will remain after COVID lets fo of everyone's attention?

aelfheld
[...] is imagined as proof that one is terribly clever, a woke sophisticate.

Or proof that one is a sanctified victim, beatified by the fact of existing.

A murrain on the lot of them.

JuliaM

There’s a COBRA meeting tonight in merrie old England. No, not a gathering of snakes, it’s actually the Cabinet meeting to dec...

Oh, ok. Forget I said that!

But I suspect Boris is going to be forced in to EU style lockdowns of the populace. We live in interesting times. As the Chinese say.

...

...

Oh. Yeah.

Fnord

Am I just engaging in wishful thinking to believe that some memory of what's important will remain after COVID lets fo of everyone's attention?

Post Chinese Virus, if man is still alive, if woman can survive, would it be gauche to point out that recent experiences demonstrate that Deans of Diversity and Inclusion are surplus to requirements.

pst314

Deans of Diversity and Inclusion are surplus to requirements.

We're going to need a bigger Golgafrincham Ark B.

Fred the Fourth

Pst314,
Yeah, true. But. Remember, the clever Golgafrinchams who stayed behind were wiped out by a disease caught from a dirty phone.
Me, I'm expecting to be eaten by the giant mutant space goat.
Also, I'm finding that quarantine is having no effect on my mental stability. Or the wombats.

Chester Draws

We're going to need a bigger Golgafrincham Ark B.

If only to fit all the panic-stricken epidemiologists that we are going to have had enough of.

Still, one more end-of-the-world to add to my list of mega-disasters that never happened -- in no apparent order, Y2K, the Return of Christ in 1996 and 2000, Climate Thermageddon, the New Ice Age, the population bomb, nuclear war etc. And those are the sensible ones, unlike: comet Niburu, quite a lot of Nostradamus, the Pyramid prophecy, the Mayan calendar ending, etc.

I think a line of "I survived Covid-19" T-shirts might sell. And too late -- they're already up on Amazon.

MC

Remember, the clever Golgafrinchams who stayed behind were wiped out by a disease caught from a dirty phone.

Essential cleaning staff should never have been on that ark.

Not a problem for us. Lord knows how we're going to fit everyone in the Liberal Elite Escape Barge as it is...

Ray

I found that photo in a collection of 19th Century exercise equipment. Not sure what theories of health were behind it.

It's for strengthening one's pelvic thrust.

Rocky!
Brad!
Janet?

Etc.

pst314

Remember, the clever Golgafrinchams who stayed behind were wiped out by a disease caught from a dirty phone.

If Hitchhiker were being written today, I would replace "advertising accounts executives" and "telephone sanitizers" by "diversity deans" and "professors of feminist studies".

WTP

Still, one more end-of-the-world to add to my list of mega-disasters that never happened

Yes, but this one comes with layoffs and economic lockup on a large scale. At least Y2K created jobs. Yes, I kid. I definitely know better, but I couldn't help myself. I need whatever humor I can get right now. Even as lame as that.

Ray

Does the list include polywater? That's the first one I remember and it has a special place in my affections.

Jack Klompus

I'm glad Brooklyn exists to serve as a herding pen for twits.

The Sanity Inspector

Modern progressivism is a sliding scale consisting of screaming louder and louder about less and less.

David

Modern progressivism is a sliding scale consisting of screaming louder and louder about less and less.

As noted here before, it’s a self-ratcheting status game and fundamentally pretentious. Absurdity is inevitable.

felicity

Just read this panicky article:

https://www.watoday.com.au/politics/federal/really-unusual-times-how-school-closures-will-affect-students-20200324-p54der.html, it was the last couple of paragraphs that made me uneasy, even queasy:

"Don't worry about them regressing in school," Mr Kingsley posted in an open letter on Facebook. "Every single kid is in this boat and they all will be ok. When we are back in the classroom, we will all course correct and meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this!"

He also advised parents not to reprimand their kids if they did not "follow the schedule" at home.

"If I can leave you with one thing, it's this: at the end of all of this, your kids' mental health will be more important than their academic skills. How they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those weeks is long gone."

If we were suddenly facing a WW II style scenario, how would they cope? We are constantly telling kids to look after their mental health - how about teaching them some resilience and telling them to toughen up.

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