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April 2020

Reheated (58)

For newcomers and the nostalgic, more items from the archives:

Don’t Oppress My People With Your Public Libraries.

Woke librarian denounces “so-called ‘knowledge’” of pale people. 

Ms Leung airs her distaste for “white men ideas” – as if they had been uniform across continents and throughout history - while reminiscing about attending a “white AF conference” two years earlier. I was unsure what the “AF” might refer to and searched for some literary or scholarly explanation. It then occurred to me that a “white AF conference” is, to borrow the woke vernacular, a white as fuck conference. Which is how not-at-all-racist academic librarians convey their thoughts, apparently.

It’s Petty When It Happens To Someone Else.

Atlantic columnist Lauren Smiley excuses chronic thievery via rhetorical limbo-dancing.

Ms Fairley - who invokes racism as a cause of her local notoriety, and whose extensive cache of stolen belongings included other people’s credit cards - is described to us at length and in the softest possible light. We learn of her dysfunctional upbringing, her struggles with a mouldy apartment, and her various drug habits, including “trekking daily to a methadone clinic” - a heroic feat, apparently. Ms Fairley’s failure to attend numerous court dates – for petty theft, mail theft, receiving stolen property, possession of heroin, and child endangerment - is, we learn, due to her having “a lot going on” in her life. In at least one instance, it turns out that what was going on was stealing from a resident she’d previously targeted and who, while being robbed again, was waiting to see Ms Fairley appear in court.

Your Standards Are Holding You Back.

Brooklynite lefties launch socialist-only dating platform. Things do not go well.

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.

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

Content Goes Here

Yes, an open thread. In which to share links and bicker.

I’ll set the ball rolling with some augmented reality and an offer of possible interest.

Oh, and your weekly reminder that members of Antifa are just like normal people and in no way unhinged or likely to be afflicted with quite serious personality disorders. 

[ Added, via the comments: ] 

As I’ve said before, Antifa is not so much a political movement as a metastasising personality disorder, a Cluster B contagion. Which is to say, I think the root motive is psychological - a desire to do harm to other people, to cow, obstruct, frighten and assault, while feeling important and, via mob coercion, powerful. The politics, such as it is, is largely a pretext, a focus, a convenient excuse. Which would explain why its glaring idiocies, routine inaccuracies and inversions of reality do nothing to impede participants, and why the victims of Antifa aggression include disabled old ladies trying to use a pedestrian crossing. And who find themselves being gleefully harassed, physically intimidated and screamed at as “Nazi scum.”

A less deranged person might register the optics of such behaviour, the nakedly opportunist sociopathy. Menacing little old ladies, because you can – and hey, why not? - is a strange expression of “social justice” or “anti-fascism” or “resistance” or whatever. But the creatures typically drawn to Antifa, which include an extraordinary concentration of resentful misfits and the mentally unwell, are enjoying themselves far too much to care. The screeching, thuggery and harassment isn’t principled or political so much as compulsive and recreational. They do it because they enjoy it, because they want to, and because it makes them feel powerful.

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Friday Ephemera

Dr Lecter’s twilight years. || The underwater hotel suite you’ve always wanted. (h/t, Dicentra) || Witchcraft. (h/t, Tim) || Cinema takes its toll. (h/t, Ben) || Motion-sensor flower lamps. || Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster, 1965. || Joys of parenthood, part 604. || Parasite fighters. (h/t, sk60) || Contemporary tape use. || What coronavirus does. || 100 minutes of nest-building. || Icy door of note. || Pudding of note. || Tempting fate. || Important question, answered. || How to remove a wisdom tooth. || The thrill of grooming. || The worm dance. || Do you see bush? || The chairs of Blake’s 7, an illustrated guide. || Related, the assorted seating of Doctor Who. || And finally, today’s word is suboptimal.

Now Wash Your Hands

It’s with an almost nascent nostalgia that I recall the coining of the Gen Z “sexual recession”: a patronising concern that our youngest generation would be rendered psychosexually stunted, unable or unwilling to fornicate due to over-exposure to smartphones, social media and porn.

Yes, it’s the Guardian, where almost nascent nostalgia is a thing that exists.

Ciara Gaffney, a resident of Los Angeles and a “brand strategist,” is very excited – all but rendered incoherent – by a “cybersexual revolution” that, during the pandemic, is apparently occurring.

Flinging the Gregorian calendar into irrelevance, humanity will be bisected into pre-Covid-19 and post-Covid-19, and although many will ruminate on how we have changed, one thing is indisputable: the rose-coloured epoch before the coronavirus bitterly shamed the sending of nudes.

There’s more of that, a lot, in fact. You’d better used to it.

They were perceived as gauche, even pathetic. In the lockdown era, however, thirst traps and nudes are not only making a glorious, unrepentant comeback, but are now a form of emboldened agency in Gen Z’s blossoming sexual liberation.

For affirmation, Ms Gaffney links to Buzzfeed, where we’re told of an unattached lady named Alicia who sent nude photos to a female friend because she “wanted some validation.” Said friend was expected to “say nice things” and, as Alicia puts it, “hype me up.” Neurotic neediness, it turns out, is the new empowerment. What’s more, the coronavirus lockdown is “galvanising” this new “sexual revolution,” in which seemingly unhappy people share photos of their genitals, often far and wide, in the hope of being validated. It’s all terribly exciting, and radical, and brings our narrator to a state of agitation:

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The Lockdown Diaries (4)

An open thread, you cry, in which to share links and bicker. Okay, then. I’m obliging that way.

I’ll set the ball rolling with an unenticing offer; ten hours of Dune; a notable absence of handrails; via Darleen, some lively scenes; and via Damian, a cunning use of peanut butter.

Oh, and as some of you may be shopping from home a little more than usual, please bear in mind that 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.

It helps to keep this place here.

For those in need of further diversion, the Reheated series is there to be poked at. Good and hard.

Garbage Detected

At the University of North Texas, a small act of mockery proves revealing:

When [maths professor, Nathaniel] Hiers noticed “a stack of flyers” on microaggressions in the department faculty lounge in November, he read them and found the ideas wanting. Then he wrote “Don’t leave garbage lying around” in jest on a chalkboard, with arrows pointing to the flyers.

Those of a delicate disposition may wish to avoid this image of un-woke waywardness.

Do remember to breathe.

Needless to say, such demurral – promptly construed as “upsetting” and even “threatening” - could not go unpunished:

Hiers claims that the reasons he was given for his firing trace back to the microaggression fliers: He wouldn’t subject himself to “additional diversity training” or retract his criticism of the fliers, and his “actions and response are not compatible with the values of this department.”

Professor Hiers’ claim regarding the reason for his firing appears to be confirmed, in writing, by the maths department chairman Ralf Schmidt, who cites the incident as pivotal in his decision and describes Hiers’ mockery of the flyers as “cowardly.”

The department-endorsed leaflets insist that statements such as “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” are in fact racist, sexist “microaggressions” and, in ways somewhat unclear, terribly oppressive, even a grave health risk, allegedly “targeting” the “marginalised group membership” of theoretical persons. Persons who, we’re told, consequently endure all manner of hardships, from poverty and migraines to heart disease and eating disorders. And so, it turns out that airing a belief in the importance of competence - as opposed to a preoccupation with a person’s sex or skin colour – is some kind of malevolent incantation, a powerful curse.

Professor Hiers is now suing the University of North Texas.

Friday Ephemera

Potato game upgraded. || Starfish tippy-toes. || The thrill of pond water. || I’m pretty sure I’ve done this. (h/t, Dicentra) || The pieties of our betters, a brief compilation. || Possibly related. || Police escort. || Steep. || Explorers. || A project for the weekend. (h/t, Beagle) || Modern problems that your parents didn’t have. || Distancing technology. || I don’t think cats do this. (h/t, Damian) || Don’t tell your mother. || Music machines of note. || We Will Rock You. (h/t, Open Culture) || Savings. || Cheers. || Bloopers of yesteryear. || Parisian balloons, 1914. || Boys and girls. (h/t, Dicentra) || Webslinger. || Not entirely successful wildlife photography. || And finally, somewhat alarmingly, scenes of forbidden love.

Land Of The Before Times

As we confront the reality of COVID-19, the idea of living self-sufficiently in the woods, far from crowds and grocery stores, doesn’t sound so bad. 

From the pages of Outside magazine, the romance of the primitive:

I’m on my way to meet Lynx Vilden, a 54-year-old British expat who, for most of her adult life, has lived wholly off the grid. The slick roads don’t help my apprehension about what lies ahead: a three-day, one-on-one experience of “living wild.” The details are hazy. I’ve been advised to prepare for bracing climes and arduous excursions. “Wear sturdy shoes,” Lynx told me. “Bring meat.”

You may want to keep those last two words in mind.

I send a text message to Lynx telling her I’ll be late. Only later do I realise how presumptive this is: she doesn’t have cell service or WiFi.

Feel free to scream quietly into your sleeves.

Until about ten years ago, Lynx also possessed no credit card, nor fixed address; her previous abodes—a tepee in Arizona, yurts in Montana and New Mexico, a snow shelter on the Lappish tundra—had neither electricity nor running water.

As an attempt to glamorise primitive living, away from all those grocery stores, we aren’t, it has to be said, off to the most promising start.

This all changed when she received a modest inheritance from her mother’s estate in Britain that allowed her to purchase a remote five-acre plot some 12 miles outside Twisp.

Primitive living, it turns out, is so much easier with an inheritance. 

When I finally arrive at the property in the early afternoon, she welcomes me to her wooded outpost wearing hand-stitched leathers. She heats her 900-square-foot log cabin—also the handiwork of the prior owners—by tending a wood-burning stove.

Again, if you’re into Stone Age role-play, then spare cash and pre-built property, complete with solar panels, power outlets and rudimentary plumbing, does seem rather handy, perhaps a prerequisite. Such that our fearless disdainer of modernity can “divide her time” flying between continents as mood suits, from Sweden to France’s Dordogne Valley and back to the mountains of Washington, USA. It’s the prehistoric way.

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The New Hotness

In the pages of Teen Vogue.

Because masked misfit sociopaths are inspirational and totes dreamy.

According to Teen Vogue, Antifa’s behaviour, a collective Cluster-B disorder, is merely “militant self-defence.” A construal that, shall we say, bears little relationship with the videos linked above, or others in the archives. It seems we’re supposed to believe that seeking out gratuitous confrontation and gleefully threatening to kill onlookers, simply for onlooking, is the height of bravery now. And harassing and physically threatening random elderly and disabled people, for trying to use a pedestrian crossing, is totally where it’s at, cat.

It’s a “woke brand,” you see.

Update, via the comments, where Liz notes this,

In one year, Teen Vogue’s readership has nearly halved. Less than 5% of their audience consists of actual teenagers.

Then adds, rather pithily,

So what kind of creeps are reading this shit then?

Well, indeed. What kind of adult searches out a magazine with lots of sexualised content – how to masturbate, use sex toys, etc - and which is supposedly aimed at teenage girls? I doubt there’s an answer that isn’t at least somewhat unsavoury. That unhinged and heavily-airbrushed far-left politics, from Marx to Antifa, should be the new connective tissue at Teen Vogue, the obvious and complementary glue, to the extent that its editors describe their readers as “activists,” is possibly something to ponder.

Also, open thread.

Friday Ephemera

Hog toys. || Big Bob ahoy. || Witches’ brew. || Build your own engines. || Dog versus leaf blower, metamorphosis begins. || At all times, dignity. || Godzilla versus Mito Komon. || A gift for the mother-in-law. || Good idea. (h/t, Perry) || Day 14. (h/t, Damian) || Moon whales detected. || The sounds of cake. || Customer service. || Cat chatter. || Leader of the pack. || A project for the weekend. (h/t, Dicentra) || Her missing shoes. || I think they may be wombles. (h/t, Julia) || Today’s word is intervention. || Lively scenes. (h/t, Neontaster) || Minus 7 Celsius. || Paranormal car crashes. || The transparent jigsaw puzzle you’ve always wanted. || And finally, quite instructively, on the proprieties of video conferencing.

Telepathy Not A Thing, Women Hardest Hit

For Mother’s Day I asked for one thing: a house cleaning service.

In the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, Gemma Hartley bemoans the chore of getting her multiple bathrooms cleaned by someone else. Actually, the clean bathrooms are, it turns out, a secondary concern:

The real gift I wanted was to be relieved of the emotional labour of a single task that had been nagging at the back of my mind. The clean house would simply be a bonus.

It’s been said, here at least, that when someone uses the term “emotional labour” unironically, the person doing the mouthing is most likely a bit of a nightmare. Say, the kind of woman who complains about the “emotional labour” of hiring a domestic cleaner. Or the kind who bitches about her husband and his shortcomings in the pages of a national magazine, where friends and colleagues of said husband, and perhaps his own children, can read on with amusement.

My husband waited for me to change my mind to an “easier” gift than housecleaning, something he could one-click order on Amazon. Disappointed by my unwavering desire, the day before Mother’s Day he called a single service, decided they were too expensive, and vowed to clean the bathrooms himself. He still gave me the choice, of course. He told me the high dollar amount of completing the cleaning services I requested (since I control the budget) and asked incredulously if I still wanted him to book it.

Details ensue.

What I wanted was for him to ask friends on Facebook for a recommendation, call four or five more services, do the emotional labour I would have done if the job had fallen to me.

Many details.

I had wanted to hire out deep cleaning for a while, especially since my freelance work had picked up considerably. The reason I hadn’t done it yet was part guilt over not doing my housework, and an even larger part of not wanting to deal with the work of hiring a service. I knew exactly how exhausting it was going to be. That’s why I asked my husband to do it as a gift.

This, it seems, was unknown to said husband and so, alas, ‘twas not to be.

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