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August 2020

For Wear And Tear On The Upholstery

Yes, it’s time to remind patrons that this rickety barge, on whose seating your arses rest, is kept afloat by the kindness of strangers. If you’d like to help it remain buoyant a while longer, and remain ad-free, there’s an orange button below with which to monetise any love. Debit and credit cards are accepted. For those wishing to express their love regularly, there’s a monthly subscription option top left, use of which almost certainly earns you a place in heaven. And if one-click haste is called for, my PalPay.Me page can be found here. Additionally, 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.

For newcomers wishing to know more about what’s been going on here for the last thirteen years, in close to 3,000 posts and over 100,000 comments, the reheated series is a pretty good place to start - in particular, the end-of-year summaries, which convey the fullest flavour of what it is we do. A sort of blog concentrate. If you like what you find there… well, there’s lots more of that.

If you can, do take a moment to poke through the discussion threads too. The posts are intended as starting points, not full stops, and the comments are where much of the good stuff is waiting to be found. And do please join in.

As always, thanks for the support, the comments, and the company. Also, open thread

Friday Ephemera

In the land of the ludicrous. || Yes, darling, it’s an emerald. || Dolls for the different. || Lion-deterring technology. || Tommy and Tuppence: By the Pricking of My Thumbs. || Imperfection detected, solution devised. || I did not know these existed. || “Nail-scratching genuine-tapestry weave.” || Woke engineering class. || Guardian not happy. || His skateboard is longer than yours. || Houseguests ahoy. || Harrods for everything. (h/t, Things) || A real-time map of lightning strikes. || Explanatory graphics of note. || Beach fashion of note. || Volleyball from above. || The snore of the hummingbird. || October 30, 1961. || “Soon the Earth will be smashed to atoms!” || And finally, a very short quiz.

Two Items, Possibly Related

Lifted from the comments, and further to thismore Mao-ling loveliness.

As someone quipped on Twitter,

If you’re comfortable screaming in someone’s face, for any reason, it means you haven’t been hit in the mouth enough.

Which sounds about right.

And that’s the thing about the kind of tribal, collectivist psychology we’re seeing – there’s no interest in, and an overt denial of, personal responsibility. In the eyes of those possessed, people – at least white ones - are merely types. The cells of some identitarian organism. Something to poke and abuse. There’s no reciprocity, at all, and no regard for personal boundaries, except as something to violate, repeatedly and gleefully. It’s a game of domination and quite literally dehumanising

Also, sealing doors with concrete and trying to burn people alive.

For “social justice,” no doubt.

Shamelessly, He Quotes Himself

Lifted from the comments, regarding recent scenes from Portland. Though it applies to the Mao-ling left more generally. 

This is what happens when malevolent narcissists don’t get slapped and thrown to the ground. The kind of psychology we’re seeing, over and over againoverwhelmingly from the left, is an exercise in bad faith, a fundamental dishonesty. It therefore isn’t amenable to correction with facts or debate, or appeals to reciprocity or some higher purpose. Tolerating such behaviour - and worse, deferring to it – will only encourage an escalation of vanity, malice and sociopathy. It may, however, be discouraged with reminders of physical consequences. Ideally, physical humiliation. A reminder that nasty little egos can be publicly broken.

These are people who will lie as readily as breathing in order to excuse their antisocial urges. They aren’t being obnoxious reluctantly, in desperation, or under duress. They harass, provoke and delight in domination because it gives them pleasure. It makes them feel important and powerful. Power being conceived solely as power over others. It’s a focus for their spite. Anything else is a fig leaf, a pretext. Among Portland’s mentally uniform radicals, the ones exulting in the alarm and misery of others, there is no good faith. And so, you can’t engage with such creatures on their own ostensible terms.

Because that’s not what it’s ultimately about.

Update, via the comments:

In the video linked above, note the planning, the efforts to maximise the imposition and its somewhat menacing implications. Someone sat down and thought, “How can we really aggravate hundreds of random people, ordinary families, about whom we know nothing, and make them feel unsafe in their own homes?” And then, other, like-minded people agreed, presumably with enthusiasm.

This isn’t politics. This is recreational sociopathy.

Continue reading "Shamelessly, He Quotes Himself" »

Friday Ephemera

They’re not sure what it is. || She loves her little figurines. (h/t, Holborn) || Effort-saving measure of note. || 1940s New York. Click a dot, any dot. || They do this better than you. || Bonus points for the dog. || Remember, kids. Antifa are just like normal people. || “The Chinese language, with its 70,000-plus characters, couldn’t fit on a keyboard.” || Cherry-blossom chillfest. || Ventilation malfunction results in chocolate snow. || Charming house with charming basement jail. || Shops for mice. || Highlights from Australia’s Mulletfest 2020. || “The glass allegedly becomes opaque after you lock the door.” || Venn diagram of note. || Vortex detected. || And finally, their décor crisis is probably worse than yours.

Elsewhere (298)

From the archives, Amy Wax on the contortions of “affirmative action”: 

On the one hand, all good people are for affirmative action. That’s a sign of virtue. On the other hand, to talk about the predicate, the reason that affirmative action is needed, which is that there are these gaps in educational achievement and proficiency, is verboten. So, we kind of twisted ourselves in knots that we have to embrace something but deny the factual underpinning of it.

And Heather Mac Donald on pantomime claims of “systemic racism” and their corrosive and farcical effects:

It has been taboo to hint at the reason that the millions of dollars already expended on campus diversity initiatives have yet to engineer exact proportional representation of blacks in the student body and on the faculty: the vast academic skills gap. Now this truth will be even more professionally lethal to anyone who dares mention it. The highest reaches of the university have declared as a matter of self-evident fact that systemic racism is the defining feature of American society, one that explains every inequality. Fighting against that racism has now officially become colleges’ reason for being…

The dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego, pronounced himself “absolutely dedicated” to turning the engineering school into an “anti-racist organisation.” Doing so “crucially includes unconscious bias work we must do within ourselves,” he added. How that work will interact with research on nanoparticles and viral transmission, say, was unspecified… The chairman of the earth and planetary sciences department at the University of California at Davis announced an “anti-racist reading group” for faculty and students. The group’s purpose was to confront the “structural racism that pervades” the field of geology. Such structural racism in the study of igneous rocks is apparently so obvious that the chair did not bother to elaborate further. Failure to attend the reading group would undoubtedly count against any faculty member during his promotional review, as a sign of insufficient enthusiasm for “diversity.”

Worth reading in full. As Ms Mac Donald notes, with the question of disparities in academic performance effectively short-circuited, and “systemic” but unspecified “racism” the go-to explanation, the all-but mandatory conclusion, any hope of addressing underlying behaviour and suboptimal choices recedes even further. Instead, we can look forward to more unearned resentment and grandiose entitlement, quotas for the unqualified, and more pretentious self-incrimination. In the name of “social justice.”

As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.

Friday Ephemera

An appreciation of snugness. (h/t, Damian) || Who invented toast? || Justified reversal of note. || You may begin feeling ancient... now. || Norwegian kayaking. || Saint-Saëns in his pyjamas, circa 1900. || Burbles, can be stroked, and doesn’t poop. || He’s bad. || The thrill of bread-making. || Flying train, 1902. || This layer cake is more complicated than yours. || Hoss pop. || Antifa are just like normal people and in no way unusual. || Non-essential component detected. || Knitwear of note. || The upscale low-noise massager you’ve always wanted. || Meanwhile, in Sheffield, romance blooms. || Rethink of note. || Bat discotheque caught on camera. || And finally, athletically, an excellent use of the buttocks.

The Humiliations Will Continue Until Morale Improves

“A can-do attitude,” “striving toward success,” being “results oriented,” and “operating from principles and conscience.” At first glance, these sound like the kinds of qualities one might appreciate among employees – say, among employees at a nuclear research and development lab.

But no, dear reader. How foolish you’ve been.

Apparently, these things constitute, not a basis for workplace success, but merely of “success in white male terms.” Which, we’re told, not only “limits white males’ ability to hear and understand others” and “dampens their curiosity,” but is also “devastating” to “people of colour, gays/lesbians, women, and non-Christians.” You see, expectations of competence, “hard work” - and a concern for whether actions actually produce the desired result – these things are problematic and to be viewed with suspicion, and ultimately undermined. On grounds that they cause “people of colour” to “feel they are living out of context with who they really are.”

If this sounds a tad unhinged, not to mentioned racist, that can only be because you’re insufficiently schooled in “critical race theory” and the ways of the woke. Happily, Christopher Rufo has risked his mental wellbeing by poking through documents issued at a taxpayer-funded, three-day mandatory training session organised by the aforementioned research lab, Sandia National Laboratories, during which white male executives found themselves subjected to some lovely psychological abuse.

An introductory “thought-work session” encouraged reluctant attendees to associate their whiteness and maleness with “white supremacists,” the KKK, and “mass killings.” As one does, of course. With equal obviousness, employees of pallor were expected to recite - which is to say, confess - an extensive list of benefits of their supposed “white privilege.” Benefits including “the ability to dominate language,” and the fact that “no-one is afraid to come to my garage sale.”

A chief benefit of the aforementioned “privilege” is summarised in the documents as, “I don’t wonder if people judge me on the colour of my skin.” This, then, while white male employees found themselves singled out as morally suspect, and while being overtly and triumphantly judged, and by default found wanting. Complete with orders to produce hand-written apologies – based solely on their maleness and the colour of their skin. And the pernicious racial woo of spiteful bedlamites.

Journey To The Centre Of Attention

It occurs to me that it’s been a while since we marvelled at the mind of Laurie Penny. We must correct that immediately:  

Laurie and her novelty pronouns.

She “earned that pronoun with a lot of hard work,” you know. While also, rather suddenly, becoming a being of indeterminate gender. A they, depending on who’s nearby, and how fashionable they are. 

Update, via the comments:

Continue reading "Journey To The Centre Of Attention" »