From the Times, a tale of evil seen, if you tilt your head and squint:
The three wise monkeys have been a cultural trope throughout the world for centuries as a symbol of seeing, hearing and speaking no evil. Academics at the University of York have decided that they could be seen as an oppressive racial stereotype, and pulled an image of the animals from their website to avoid offence.
Organisers of a forthcoming art history conference apologised for using the picture in their call for submissions. “Upon reflection, we strongly believe that our first poster is not appropriate as its iconology promulgates a longstanding visual legacy of oppression and exploits racist stereotypes,” they wrote. “We bring this to your attention, so that we may be held accountable for our actions and, in our privileges, do and be better.”
I doubt that doing better is on the cards, somehow. Just more of the same.
The fretful academics - who deploy the words “Orality, Aurality, Opticality and Hapticity” and then applaud themselves - claim to be concerned for the feelings of others – others who may, hypothetically, be offended, indeed oppressed, by a seventeenth century Buddhist figurine showing three helpers of the divine, and whose monkey form is a phonetic pun to speakers of Japanese.
Readers may note that the agonising – in which any depiction of a monkey immediately conjures thoughts of black people - does rather speak to the weirdly dogmatic assumptions of the agonised, rather than the object being agonised about, or how said object is generally understood. It must be those intersectional lenses we hear so much about. Which is to say, lefties project.
Via Mr Muldoon.