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September 2020

Night Terrors

Like lots of women I know, I have anxiety. And, like lots of women I know, my anxiety manifests itself in ways that are unique to me. Namely, my strongest attacks occur in my sleep. 

In the pages of Scary Mommy, a publication all about “empowerment,” Michaela Brown shares a tale of adversity and heroism: 

The other night was particularly rough. I shot up in bed, heart pounding, feeling terrified and not knowing where I was… It took me several minutes to calm my mind and slow my heart rate before I could comfortably lie back down again.

It’s all rather dramatic. One wonders what the cause of such nocturnal torments might be. The coronavirus pandemic is mentioned in passing, along with an allergy-prone son. But these things, it turns out, are manageable and routine, and merely a prelude to the real sleep-shattering trauma.

What’s causing the latest round of panic in my sound-asleep mind?

You may want to clutch the arms of your chair.

My paperwork for my absentee ballot had arrived in the mail that day.

Which is to say,

It’s the election. That’s my primary source of anxiety right now, and I don’t know how to turn it off. Because I’m fucking terrified of Trump winning again. 

Not merely terrified, you understand, but fucking terrified. A fear capable of inducing rhetorical incontinence and a chronic loss of sleep.

And not like the anxiety I felt in 2016—that was nothing compared to these fears. That anxiety barely scratched the surface of what 2020 feels like. 

Once again, it occurs to me that politics really shouldn’t occupy that much space in a person’s life. It isn’t the kind of stuff a life should be filled with, such that it dominates one’s outlook and everyday activity, even one’s dreams. The result is very often a kind of bad mental opera. 

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Elsewhere (300)

Charlotte Allen on the farcical racial pantomime of Jessica Krug: 

On September 9th, Krug abruptly resigned from her job as associate professor of African history at George Washington University. Apparently fearing imminent exposure, she confessed that she had passed herself off for more than a decade as being of black-African descent from an ever-shifting range of backgrounds. In graduate school, she told fellow students she was of Algerian origin with a German father. Later, she claimed that she was from the inner-city “hood” with a spiritual kinship to the late rapper Biggie Smalls… Her final self-proclaimed provenance seems to have been the South Bronx slums, where she identified as a “boricua,” or Stateside-dwelling Puerto Rican, whose mother had been a drug addict. She also moonlighted as a salsa-dancing community activist with the tag “Jess La Bombalera” and was videoed at a New York City Council hearing in June 2020 berating the police for violence against “my black and brown siblings.”

In fact, Krug is white, Jewish, and from suburban Kansas City. She attended a Jewish day school growing up and then the preppy Barstow School in Kansas City, where 12th-grade tuition is currently more than $22,000.

Needless to say, things then get a little odd. And rather telling, not least regarding the widespread pretensions and woke neuroticism, and the dismal intellectual standards, of academia’s Clown Quarter.

Seth Barron on the cost of noxious woke pretensions: 

The Department of Education has called Princeton’s bluff on the question of systemic racism, and not a moment too soon. The entire country has been forced to listen, for months now, as a parade of elite institutions—universities, banks, media outlets, a national political party, entire professions—issue laments about systemic American racism and their own complicity in the perpetuation of whiteness. This orgy of recrimination is patently insincere. Does anyone believe these people, or imagine that their contrition is real? Of course not. Qui s’accuse, s’excuse, the French say: who accuses oneself, excuses oneself. The whole rigmarole is a self-justifying performance by whites for an audience of likeminded other whites: beatified souls who have achieved a state of grace. They stand in opposition to bad whites, who refuse to apologise for their privilege.

And Heather Mac Donald on avoided truths:

Continue reading "Elsewhere (300)" »

Friday Ephemera

A moment of new-parent panic. || De-pouching. || Somehow, I’d never seen a punt gun. || Full points for grip. || Atop a turbine. || Our betters are the clever ones. || Bathing scenes. || Beware of the dog. || All-you-can-eat buffet-discount technology of note. || Come closer, kissy face. || I do quite like this idea. || Chicago clouds. || Effective, yes, but just a tad excessive. || “Even at lightspeed, it would take you 8.7 hours to travel around it once.” || When women do it. || WandaVision. || Now is the time. || Historic newspaper photos, a searchable archive. (h/t, Things) || The thrill of the arts. || Overalls of note. || Entirely unrelated, a refuge for sinners. || Forbidden love. || And finally, gloriously, a thing of beauty.

The Jacking Of The Body

Among the many calamities of the pandemic, one of the under-reported ones is the sweeping obliteration of social dance, particularly in its most popular form: dancing to the selections of a DJ.

Yes, it’s the ever-groovy Guardian. Specifically, a piece by Tim Lawrence, a professor of Cultural Studies at the University of East London: 

Party culture exists on a continuum alongside other activities whose communally based, psycho-acoustic underpinnings provide participants with a dose of natural serotonin, among them music concerts, theatrical performances, sporting events, religious gatherings, choirs and walks in the park.

In terms of “party culture,” I’m not entirely convinced that natural serotonin has been doing the heavy lifting.

Party culture’s kaleidoscopic, connecting potential arguably outstrips these other experiences in terms of immersion, duration and joy.

With the apparently kaleidoscopic joy-inducing effects of natural serotonin, it’s a wonder anyone bothered with ecstasy, cocaine, and nitrous oxide balloons. A few sentences later, Dr Lawrence links to this piece, also from the Guardian, on unauthorised lockdown-era raves - a source of “transformational meaning,” Dr Lawrence informs us - and in which we’re told about “saucer-eyed teenage girls,” who are also doubtless invigorated by that natural serotonin.

David Mancuso, pioneering host of the Loft in New York, even believed that communal dancing amounted to humankind’s best attempt to tune into the underlying essence of the universe, which was born out of sound and amounted to one big party of constantly, intensely vibrating atoms.

Cosmologists take heed.

Further Lamentations Of Unstable Leftist Women

The Other Half thinks that some of you may be amused by this


Update, via the comments:

Joan asks, drily, “Is it performance art?”

Well, in a manner of speaking, I suppose it is. It’s all rather performative and narcissistic, and the theatrical breathlessness is presumably for the benefit of a like-minded audience – one that won’t find such behaviour strange or unflattering. I mean, if you were actually having some kind of meltdown, an unpremeditated psychological crisis, would your first thought be to film yourself in order to share the screeching with your equally woke peers, and thereby accrue status?

It’s not just the ladies, of course. Quite a few leftist chaps seem a tad unstable too:  

I wrote earlier about trying to express my reasons to my dad in a calm and intellectual manner. I actually thought I had been calm and well-reasoned. I thought I might even be making progress. Today I found out he put a Trump sign in his yard. I got pissed. Really pissed. And I sent him and my mom a text message. Hands shaking, tears in eyes.

From an item titled, rather triumphantly, Today I Gave My Dad A Choice: Trump or His Grandkids and His Son.

Pronouns declared, obviously.

Update 2

As with Ms Christina Cauterucci, a “gender and feminism” enthusiast whose Slate article is poked at here, you have to wonder whether fantasies of coercion and sadistic emotional punishment, and blackmailing your own parents in order to purge them of non-leftist views – using the threat of never seeing their grandchildren - is really a sign of a well-adjusted adult. And not, say, someone exhibiting a kind of cult-like behaviour. And remember, these things are announced publicly, with pride. “What a clever and principled leftist I am.”

Further unspoolings can be found here and here. Also, open thread. Share ye links and bicker.

Friday Ephemera

That was not what I was expecting. || Speck at speed. || Pattern detected. || Peekaboo. || Because you like a project: How to make a brass and steel 8-ball. || Old bill. || Jellybean corn. || Boyfriend material. || Meatbird. || Because style points matter. || Frankly, I’m concerned by the lack of legroom. || When you may have joined a cult. || He likes coffee and lives in an abandoned elementary school. || Doll’s house of note. || She’s a lady. || On the evolution of the human arse. || Tiny treehouse kit. || Skeletons in the closet. || A compendium of cheap Irish houses. (h/t, Things) || Highway kaleidoscope. || Mystery solved. || More anarchist genius. || And finally, in prosthetics news, the thrill of receiving your artificial toes.

I Was Only Going To Stab You

Heather Mac Donald on the new woke rules:

Sunday’s anti-cop riots in Lancaster, Pa., have made the current de facto rules of engagement clear: Officers may never defend themselves against lethal force if their attacker is a minority. They should simply accept being shot or stabbed as penance for their alleged racism.

Mr Ricardo Munoz, 27, the noble, oppressed citizen in whose name our betters rage, can be seen being lively here. Mr Munoz had a history of involvement in stabbing incidents, including the stabbing of women and children, and a history of resisting arrest. 

The stuff of sainthood, clearly.

One could easily get the impression that as a civilisation we’re suffering the equivalent of kidney failure, in that the toxins that inevitably accumulate are no longer being expelled. We even have a loud and influential demographic, including children of the elite, telling us, quite forcibly, that kidney failure is a good thing, something we should want. Such is wokeness.

Update, via the comments:

The implications of the unrest that followed the demise of Mr Munoz fit rather well with an all-too-common strain of leftist thought - or posturing, at least – according to which, we should not defend ourselves against habitual predation and malevolence, even if our lives may be in peril. And according to which, the creatures violating us, treating us as mere prey, people from whom things can be taken, are the ones most deserving of our sympathy and indulgence. Pretentious sympathy, of course. But still. 

See also the second item here, on leftist theories of crime, and the airy pronouncements of Mr Clive Stafford Smith - a man who believes that the wellbeing of burglars is more important than the wellbeing of their numerous victims, especially if the burglar is a “young black person.” And who regards anger at being burgled and the subsequent sense of violation as plebeian and unsophisticated, while disdaining the victims’ expectations of justice as, and I quote, “idiotic attitudes.”

Update 2, via Ed at Instapundit:

Continue reading "I Was Only Going To Stab You" »

Elsewhere (299)

Theodore Dalrymple on pretentious guilt and moral grandiosity: 

But posing and posturing have become a mass phenomenon, the tattooing of our time. Of nothing is this more true than contemporary Woke morality. Whereas not long ago young people of the middle classes sought to express their sympathy for the lower and supposedly oppressed orders by imitating their tattoos and way of dress, imitation being the highest form of empathy available to egotists, they now express the same desire by making Wokeness the touchstone of their morality. They think they are rebelling when, of course, they are conforming. They do not realise that it is more difficult, and more courageous, to contradict a friend than to criticise a society.

Douglas Murray on denunciation hysteria and societal malware: 

It is unsustainable that we are held hostage as a nation by a minority of fanatics, who have fanatical views that we have never voted in… You do not have to pay your tithes to Black Lives Matter; you do not have to pay your Danegeld to the latest LGBT thing. You don’t have to do any of this. […]  

I don’t care if [the media] say [Tony Abbott] is a misogynist. I don’t care if they say he’s a homophobe. I don’t care about any of it now and nor should anybody else. They’ve overused their currency. They’ve hyperinflated – we’re in Zimbabwean situation. And it’s time that we say, ‘We don’t care. Your magic spell-words don’t work anymore.’ […] By the way, it has to be said, if you are Kay Burley and watching this, I’ll play that game back to her. 2009, she throttled a female reporter round the neck until the woman was bruised. Okay? Fine, Kay Burley, want to play that game? ‘No-one should appear in a studio with Kay Burley because she’s someone who throttles women ‘til they’re bruised. And if you appear in a studio with her, you approve of the throttling of women.’

And G. Thomas Burgess on the perverse, dystopian outpourings of Ibram X. Kendi:

Continue reading "Elsewhere (299)" »

Friday Ephemera

I’m not entirely sure what’s happening here. || Plaything of note. || Today’s word is ambition. || A searchable archive of old book illustrations. (h/t, Things) || The village of upside-down boat houses. (h/t, PiperPaul) || Premature greeting. || Snout patting of note. || “Something needed to be done.” || Scenes. || No, don’t thank me. || You’d never tire of this. || Continue the research. || The thrill of the circus. || The thrill of Tesco. || The thrill of mould. || Sounds of the forest and a nature sound map. (h/t, Things) || Struggle session detected. || When the circus comes to town. || Self-censoring font. || Found reading the book laborious, but anyway, this is coming. || Flamingos feed. || And finally, in fly-related news.

An Experiment Is Conducted

“I have a gender studies degree.”

So boasts Ms Kyl Myers in the pages of Time magazine. I’ll give you a moment to experience the inevitable hushed awe.

Having, as she does, a degree in gender studies, Ms Myers is vexed by many things. Such as being asked, kindly, while pregnant, whether she was expecting a boy or a girl. This, we’re informed, is not “a simple question with a simple answer.”

My partner Brent and I had found out our child’s sex chromosomes in the early stages of my pregnancy, and we had seen their genitals during the anatomy scan. But we didn’t think that information told us anything about our kid’s gender

No, of course. No clues there. No information at all, in fact. Just random noise.

The only things we really knew about our baby is that they were human, breech and going to be named Zoomer.

Being enlightened and conscientious parents, Ms Myers and her partner Brent have chosen for their child the name Zoomer. Readers may wonder whether that detail tells us something too. Other fruits of this “gender-creative parenting” include pointedly not “assigning” a gender to their child – though experiments of this kind tend to be inflicted on boys – and instead insisting on “the gender-neutral pronouns they, them and their.” A contrivance whose modishness we’ve touched on before

We were committed to raising our child without the expectations or restrictions of the gender binary.

And as trans activists keep telling us, continually interacting with people who aren’t sure what gender you are – in this case, thanks to mommy’s niche fixations - is in no way stressful or aggravating, and could never, ever result in demoralisation and psychological problems. And pretending that your son or daughter isn’t actually a boy or girl will, somehow, in ways never quite specified, “eliminate gender-based oppression, disparities and violence.” It’s “preventative care,” we’re told.

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