Friday Ephemera
A Rich Seam Of Suckers

Getting Over Herself Was Never Really An Option

The last person I had to correct for the misspelling of my name was someone from my own employer, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

So writes journalist – and, it seems, attention-seeker - Tahlea Aualiitia:  

I was invited to join a panel on representation in pop culture by the ABC News Channel earlier this month, and because the name super (the strap with my name at the bottom of the screen) was added during production, I wasn’t aware my name was spelled incorrectly until after the interview had finished and I was informed by my family and friends.

Faintly ironic, perhaps, at least if you squint. But as claims of victimhood go, and as a basis for an article on how terribly oppressed one is, it needs a little work.

Typos happen and I understand how a slip of the finger on the keyboard turned my surname from Aualiitia into Auakiitia.

Ah, forgiveness. How refreshing. An apology was forthcoming, too, so I’m sure we’re all ready to move on.

But while it was the first time I had done a TV interview, it wasn’t the first time I had seen my name spelled wrong in the media.

Scratch that. Incoming.

Just a month ago, my name was spelled incorrectly by a producer in my own department, the Asia Pacific Newsroom.

Yes, another misspelling of a phonetically unobvious Samoan name. That’s two whole times. A scarring experience, it would seem, one that “can have big impacts among communities that often don’t see themselves reflected in the media.” “I knew I had to call them out,” says Ms Aualiitia, rather proudly.

The next morning, I sent an email to my manager asking to write this piece.

Selflessly, of course, for the greater good.

It’s no coincidence I’m speaking up about this during the latest wave of the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s hard to explain what racism feels like to someone who has never experienced it.

Oh, come on. You knew it was time for some bizarre dramatic ratcheting.

For me, it feels like walking around with a big target hanging around my neck.

Someone misspelled her name, you see.

You don’t know where the next attack — verbal, physical or systemic — might come from, and lived experience means you know it has to do with the colour of your skin.

Systemic name misspelling. It’s a thing now. A racist attack.

And when you're on a public platform like national TV or social media, it feels like that target triples in size.

A sense of proportion is not, I fear, Ms Aualiitia’s strong suit.

We’re then informed, pointedly, that some people can be obnoxious on Twitter and that ABC’s Asia Pacific Newsroom, Ms Aualiitia’s current employer, doesn’t at the time of writing have specific “measures” in place to “support POC talent after a media interview.” To punish obnoxious tweets, one assumes. We’re also told that “research from Deakin University in 2019 found that more than a third of Australian media articles reflected negative views of minority communities.” However, we’re not told the particulars of those articles, the actual subject matter, or whether a negative view might therefore be justified or difficult to avoid.

As grounds for a drama of racial victimhood, it all seems a little unsteady, not entirely load-bearing. But apparently, we’re to believe that two occasions of an incorrectly spelled name constitute racial oppression - systemic racial oppression - and a basis for public weeping and some kind of corrective activity. Such is the fearlessness of our heroine in her ongoing fight against racial bigotry.

There are countless times where the POC talent I’ve met have audibly exhaled in relief when they saw that me, a brown woman, was the one interviewing them.

I’ll just leave that there, I think.

Oh, and if the umbrage above sounds a little familiar, yes, we’ve been here before.

Via Rafi.


Heavens, a button. I wonder what it does.



I like the way he painted one right-handed swastika and one left-handed one. Either he wasn't sure which was the bad one, or he wanted to make out it was the work of Hindu Nazis.

He probably doesn't know there is a difference or that one isomer of the symbol has something to do with a religion that he knows nothing about.


Mercedes to race all-black F1 livery to support diversity

See, this is why I follow F1 over (American) football and basketball these days. They were always a bunch of lilly-livered pansy Euro douches who sign on to any moronic craze, virtue-based or otherwise, so long as the cars keep moving. So it's less "betray the long time and core fans" and more "yep, F1 is stupid".

And F1 actually tried "grid hunks" to balance out the "grid girls" before succumbing to the feminazis, and that shows me there's a few atoms of good faith still swirling around the paddock. What? Stop laughing.

Steve E

And F1 actually tried "grid hunks"

Sounds like something they sell in the food court at a Nascar race. Chunks of sauce¹ slathered pork flesh pulled from the hickory fired smoker after 16 hours of low and slow.

1. Vinegar-based in Carolina, tomato-based everywhere else.


“grid hunks”… Chunks of sauce¹ slathered pork flesh… 16 hours of low and slow.

If anyone’s getting aroused by this thread, I’m flicking the lights on and off.


Thanks to Computing Forever for this oldie but goodie:

Parody or genuine batshit feminism? You decide.

Joe Ego

Miss Aualiitia has evidently never heard of Hanlon's Razor: "Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity."

I'd say Miss Aualiitia could be in a terrible predicament if any of the responsible staff were not so pale as she imagines, but she has clearly been designated the latest savior and her assertion is less about accusing any particular person than it is about accusing all of the pale people in Australia (and around the world, really) who must do better at spelling. Because her feelings are important and misspelling to hurt her feelings is as bad as the systematic extermination of blacks in America that we must keep believing. And we'll ignore spelling is a white thing and she'd never get her name spelled properly in her imagined utopian future.

How about she just gets fired for unprofessional conduct? Then she could get deported back to Samoa for degrading civic relations. Then the ABC could be sanctioned for publishing poisonous crap. With any luck the managers and HR reps would also be sacked for 1) allowing said crap to be published and 2) permitting staff to think this was an acceptable way to address the issue.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

I have a two-syllable first name, and a one-syllable last name. Both English (ok, the first name is Irish, but not spelled all funny). All my life people, from teachers to employers to colleagues to students to almost everyone, have misspelled and mispronounced it. I GET OVER IT every time without going on some prejudice-banshee fit. This bitch can suck my non-existent dick.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

Interesting news from Reddit, via my Gab newsletter:

"Reddit has purged some of the most popular communities on the site today after a recent announcement that they will be cracking down on "hate speech." Over 2,000 communities were purged including the pro-Trump community r/The_Donald and the popular left-wing community r/ChapoTrapHouse."

Reddit last year accepted 150 million from the Chinese. Surely there's no connection.

"Reddit is not only purging thousands of communities from the site, but they are also banning users who "upvote" content which breaks their new "hate speech" rules. Meaning even if you don't post the content yourself, Reddit will ban you if you engage with it."

Reddit's CEO struggles with what to do about that free speech bugaboo: “I have to admit that I’ve struggled with balancing my values as an American, and around free speech and free expression, with my values and the company’s values around common human decency,” Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said.

I'm sure he has trouble sleeping at night.


Over 2,000 communities were purged including the pro-Trump community r/The_Donald and the popular left-wing community r/ChapoTrapHouse."

Okay, "The Donald" is obvious but what the heck is a "Chap Trap House"???

Chester Draws

Most of us can't spell Tchaikovsky's name

We Anglophones all spell it wrongly, because for historical reasons we use the French spelling. But we call the playwright Chekov, not Tchekov.

Chaikovskii is the most normal transliteration. Which is how we spell the city of the same name, the politician of the same name, etc.

Governor Squid

We Anglophones all spell it wrongly

Heh. Now I want to ask Ms. Aualiitia how her named is spelled in her native alphabet. Or would that be crass?


Has anyone remarked how odd that she quotes -- with approval -- the 19th-century American showman Pete T. Barnham, who said, "I don't mind what you print about me, just spell my name right." Meaning, in his jovial view, there's no such thing as bad publicity. Yet after her screed appeared, various people did print various things about her (spelling her name right, even) -- and still she grumbles.

And we are to believe she is sincere?


"My last name, Matthew"
Another problem that I, and I'm sure, Maureen, has had is last name mistaken for first name and vice versa. It was bad enough for me, but I can just picture poor Maureen trying to explain that her name is NOT Matthew.

Daniel Ream

They lost me when they piously began each performance with the "unceded land, stewards of the land" yada yada.

For me it was the 2018 season, with its rampant race and gender swapping. I don't think they really thought too carefully about the optics of making Julius Caesar a white woman who resembles Hilary Clinton. By the end of the season they were giving away tickets at BOGO $15, less than a seat at the local movie theater.

I enjoy responding to those acknowledgements by pointing out that the natives were great practitioners of slavery and torture before the British Empire showed up and put a stop to it.


How many times is Jon spelt as John, Iain as Ian, Sean as Shaun, Gerry as Jerry and so on. It's trivial. End of.


Sean as Shaun

As Paul Fussell comments regarding the labeling of hipster spawn, sometimes spelled "Shawn" to make sure everyone gets it. . . .

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