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June 2020

May 2020

Friday Ephemera

Scenes. || Scenes 2. (h/t, Darleen) || Quality time. (h/t, Damian) || The somewhat extended shipping forecast. || Their internet connection is faster than yours. || Cat distraction of note. || Birds on public transport, a thread. || Otters versus butterfly, a battle of wits. || When amphibians attack. || Dog balloons. (h/t, Samizdata) || She does this way better than you. || Neighbourly decisions. || There goes the neighbourhood. || Today’s word is glamorous. || Luxurious and inviting. (h/t, Dicentra) || This, on Renaissance fertility weasels, is one of these. (h/t, Things) || Long shot. || Chemistry. || Made of sand. || “Modern toilet restaurant.” || Four-dimensional toy box. || And finally, lunchtime interruptus.

The Lockdown Diaries (6)

An open thread, in which to share links and bicker.

I’ll set the ball rolling with some lunchtime blues and a memorable encounter.

Oh, and added via the comments, some weird scenes

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

Our Betters Hold Firm

And so, Dr Louise Raw, a suitably woke BBC-employed writer and historian, denounces “virulent class prejudice” as a self-evidently bad thing, and then, in the very next tweet, is publicly amused by the thought of “rich, white, middle-aged men” being killed in disproportionate numbers, complete with smiley-winky face

Smiley winky and woke.

And when other Twitter users point out this contradiction, with varying degrees of liveliness, our woke historian and BBC employee doubles down and dismisses those objecting, en masse, as “fascists,” “neo-Nazis” and “right-wing” crayon-eaters. Presumably on grounds that no-one else, none of her enlightened leftist peers, would register a contradiction. Or anything unsavoury. 

Update, via the comments: 

It’s worth taking a moment to ponder what it must be like to inhabit a milieu in which public expressions of racial disdain are not only aired with expectations of impunity, but also as a marker of status. A way of signalling one’s social credentials and general modishness. And being so accustomed to this environment, so steeped in its values, that, when challenged, the obvious response is to construe any demurral – all of it, wholesale - as the work of “neo-Nazis.”

It’s a complicated dance. Quite a contortion.

Via [+] in the comments.

Friday Ephemera

Crank the volume for some inter-species punishment. || Today’s word is interloper. || Today’s other word is ambition. || His is better than yours. || Hey, DJ. || Pattern detected. || Apology of note. || Assorted Peel Sessions. || Concerned pet. (h/t, Damian) || Angela Lansbury paired with teapots. || Unexpected nesting. (h/t, Julia) || Headline of note. || Star Wars, “The original radio drama,” 1981. || Do bear this in mind. (h/t, Dicentra) || You have mail. || Farmland. || From Everest. || Scenes. || Got length. || At last, iridescent chocolate. || Assorted string quintets. || Contrasting attitudes. || Hours of fun for lockdown evenings. || And finally, a quiz for all the family: Antidepressant or Tolkien Character?

Insufficient Kink Detected

Wisdom of the woke:

Meliisa approves with her super woke brain.

So, to recap. You should, like, totally get Big Sexy with whomever - even people you aren’t attracted to, apparently - but if your sexual and romantic appetites are insufficiently niche and radical, and more or less in line with mainstream leanings, then you should probably assume that there’s something wrong with you. Please update your files and lifestyles accordingly.

Ms Fabello and her throbbing feminist brain have been noted here before.

Their Happiness Hurt My Feelings

Attention, woke citizens. During the current lockdown, do you feel a need to “challenge microaggressions” – those “verbal, behavioural or environmental indignities that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial slights”? Specifically, those committed during video conferencing?

According to Michigan State University’s Amy Bonomi, director of the university’s Children and Youth Institute, and Neila Viveiros, associate vice chancellor for academic operations at the University of Colorado Denver, the expanded use of virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom and Skype has created “a ripe setting for unconscious bias.”

But of course. The frontier of indignation must forever expand.

“Unconscious bias includes using language, symbolism and nonverbal cues that reinforce normative social identities with respect to gender, race, sexual preference and socioeconomic status,” Bonomi said. “For example, when the virtual background of a Zoom meeting attendee has pictures of his or her wedding, it unintentionally reinforces the idea that marriage is most fitting between opposite sexes.”

It turns out that the reckless visibility of a wedding photo may be crushing the self-esteem out of the touchily unwed. You see, the mere sight of a photo of someone’s happy day can “crowd out the experiences of people with minoritized social identities,” albeit in ways never quite explained. Other taboos include references to “simple activities like family dance parties,” which are apparently a thing, and “gardening with a spouse.”

Curiously, given the stated importance of “sensitivity” and being mindful of what things might mean, we aren’t invited to ponder the kind of person who would resent someone else’s wedding photo. And then complain about it. Or whether such neurotic affectations, these unhappy mental habits, are something to be actively encouraged. In the name of progress. 

Update, via the comments:

Continue reading "Their Happiness Hurt My Feelings" »

Thursday Ephemeraren’t

In a shocking plot twist, I’m taking a long weekend and leaving you heathens to devise your own entertainment. To soften the blow, here are some photos of woodland; a suboptimal ceiling fan; the retro pleasures of Poolside FM; a chap who made poor choices; and a documentary about the quest to reach absolute zero.

Oh, and via Damian, a possible caption competition.

Play nicely. Use coasters.

The Lockdown Diaries (5)

An open thread, in which to share links and bicker.

I’ll set the ball rolling with a clarification of note; some feline curiosity; an augmented cat; via Julia, some contemporary scenes; and via Damian, a wondrous feat involving carrier bags

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

Friday Ephemera

Shower music. || Backyard scenes. || Easy on the yeast. || You want one and you know it. || The new order. || It’s not quite what I’d imagined. || Bad news and good news in close proximity. || Stuck good. || You may gasp when ready. || Drive-in rave, Germany. || Smoking is hard. || Today’s word is hankering. || Continue the research. || Creamy filling. || A four-hour discussion of the film Aliens. || Interspecies sports. (h/t, Damian) || Pigeon in UV. || Just like tiny puppies. || The pleasures of rubber. || He brings leaves. || And finally, the sights, and the sounds, of quality time.

Elsewhere (296)

Robert Murphy on the pathologies of the leftist campus:   

This is not a matter of “Oh, gee, there’s a bunch of people who have different views about whether health insurance should be provided by the government.” That’s not what I’m talking about. [These are people whose reaction is,] “Oh, there’s a speaker coming to campus and we don’t like that person’s views. We are going to credibly threaten that we will break stuff and hurt people, we will set things on fire and smash windows.” And so, then the school has to cancel because of security concerns. And then that gets spun as “Oh yeah, the reason that speaker couldn’t come here is because he would incite violence.” The kind of mindset that would do that and would see nothing weird about that. “Yeah, the reason the speaker can’t come here is because he promotes violence – by us, his enemies.” 

Which rather calls to mind the tenderly whispered wife-beater’s lament: “Don’t make me hurt you, baby.”

Needless to say, examples abound. And do note the role of their academic enablers.

Cathy Young on Lenin and his admirers: 

Many leftists in places like Jacobin magazine see Lenin as the “good communist” to Joseph Stalin’s “bad communist” — the revolutionary wrongly maligned as an authoritarian. Indeed, Lenin’s birthday this year was marked on Twitter by New York State Senator Julia Salazar, a member of the new crop of young progressive politicians. The “Lenin good, Stalin bad” formula was also popular among Soviet reformers, both in the late 1950s-early 1960s and in the late 1980s. It was wrong then; it is wrong now... As independent Russian historian Nikita Sokolov recently told Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, Lenin’s only consistent position throughout his political career was that “he was a fundamental believer in violence as the solution to any problem.” 

Based on history, and their own writings, it seems entirely possible that devotees of Marxoid fantasy typically start with the ideal of violence and coercion, the titillating rewards of having power over others, and then work backwards in search of a pretext.

Oh, and Dr Jennifer Cassidy is an Oxford University politics lecturer who has thoughts on what kind of books you’re allowed to have on your shelves.

Continue reading "Elsewhere (296)" »

A Bold Use Of Talc

We have of late been neglecting the arts, and that simply won’t do. By way of correction, here’s another chance to behold the feats of the Austrian choreographer and performance artist Ms Doris Uhlich, filmed earlier this year at Vienna’s Rabenhof Theatre. The video of Ms Uhlich’s performance – which, we’re assured, is a “vigorous and critical” work, a “bodily and textual discussion of flesh and opulence” - is presented below the fold. For reasons that may well become apparent.

Continue reading "A Bold Use Of Talc" »