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April 2021

Friday Ephemera

An impressive stash. || Hardcore pecking. || The endless acid banger. || She’ll be late for work. || Air worm. || You want one and you know it. || “He ran his experiment by putting a non-toxic lipstick on his cats’ anuses.” || Just like normal people. || Shoelace knot innovation. (h/t, Things) || Always respect the media. || Repent at leisure. || A brief guide to black holes. || Glass barn for sale, $1,700,000. (h/t, Things) || Attempted super-casual door-closing of note. || The sound of fun being had. || A vision of things to come. || Incoming, not outgoing. || “Cat trapped in sofa” and other rescue dramas. || “I wanted to be in a car accident.” || I’ll just leave this here. || And finally, tastily, “I just figured the skin is thick.”

Those Meddling Parents

Faced with complaints from parents about the indoctrination of children, an official in Rockwood School District, Missouri, instructed teachers to create two sets of curriculum: a false one to share with parents, and then the real set of curriculum, focused on topics like activism and privilege.

These instructions were sent to all middle and high school principals in the district. “This is not being deceitful,” wrote Natalie Fallert, the official in question, before adding, “I hate that we are even having to have this conversation.” 

It occurs to me that when your solution to such complaints includes the words “so parents cannot see it,” it may be time to revisit your assumptions. A subsequent non-apology, issued by a different official when the instructions to deceive became more widely known, insisted that the school district views parents as “allies” in the education of “our children.”

An unhappy phrasing, all things considered. 

And Workplace Harmony Will Doubtless Ensue

Pronouns, obviously:

The posturing must never end.

You see, the tiresomeness of it all is for your own good. And besides, escape is forbidden. 

Update, via the comments:

Readers may, I suspect, have reservations. But do bear in mind that ostracising people and engaging in petty workplace spite – calling them Nazis, for instance - is so much easier when you know who they voted for. And do take a moment to consider the oppressed in this equation, by which, of course, I mean the needy and neurotic, those whose status and self-worth hinge on mouthing - and being seen and heard to mouth - the most fashionable political opinions. Now, imagine these poor souls being denied the opportunity to bore others with them, at eye-watering length, during office hours.

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Friday Ephemera

We live in strange times. || Words of wisdom. || Cat is wise. || Confounded cat. || Accessories plus case, circa 1900. || When you’re all fired up and righteous but it’s the wrong colour carjacker. || Cover version of note. || Why beavers don’t rule the… oh. || Gibsmedat. || Loveliness detected. (h/t, Captain Nemo) || Duck-related drama. (h/t, Damian) || Transparent lifeform. || Suboptimal sofa situation. || A brief history of gin and tonic. || The gods, they mock us. || Radical solution, bound to work. || I believe they’re called sneakers. || Type detected: “I’ve been trying to educate you.” || Feel the love. || No pushing, form an orderly line. || And finally, from Brazil, please remain calm while you are being rescued.

Reheated (62)

For newcomers and the nostalgic, more items from the archives:

Imagine The Picnics

Emily Zak wants us to know that fresh air and countryside are, like everything else, terribly oppressive.

Naturally, Ms Zak has an extensive, at times bewildering list of excuses for why any outdoors recreation should be tinged with guilt and wretchedness. From the claim that, “our society leverages natural spaces as a tool for capitalism and colonialism,” to the “toxic binary expectations we have about gender.” To spare you the tedium, I’ll summarise: If you can’t borrow a tent or don’t have a pair of suitable shoes, and if you don’t see enough adverts featuring gay people kayaking, and kayaking in a discernibly gay-affirming manner, it turns out you’re being oppressed by society.


A balding, middle-aged transvestite, a sociology lecturer, wishes to confuse your children.

Dr Cremin doesn’t seem to grasp, or isn’t willing to admit, that his craving for public transgression – to, as he puts it, “sow gender confusion in kids” – by which he means young people over whom he has leverage - reveals quite a lot about his character. And his fitness to teach. I hate to sound prim, but if I were – God help me – a sociology student, I doubt I’d be reassured by the fact that my lecturer felt entitled to use the classroom as a venue for his transvestite fetish. It does rather suggest a pathological level of self-involvement and raises a suspicion that students may find themselves playing captive audience to - or being reluctant participants in - some personal psychodrama. A kind of power game. Some variation of, “I can do this and you can’t stop me without being accused of bigotry.” 

They Come To Teach Us

Polite man encounters Mao-lings. Mao-lings lose their minds, scream abuse, then assault him.

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How Dare You Not Defer To My Lack Of Self-Possession

People often don’t like the words I say or write because they don’t like the way I say or write them. They don’t like the emotion, intention, passion, and words I use to emphasise all of the above. 

In the pages of Scary Mommy, Ms Amber Leventry, a “queer person and educator,” is telling us how it is:

When folks become uncomfortable, they focus on the tone of the words being said and label it as unprofessional, angry, off-putting, or inappropriate. Rather than actually hearing what I’m saying, they try to avoid accountability or problem-solving by advising me to be more approachable or calm. This is tone policing, and it happens most often to marginalised groups and women — especially Black women — and it happens everywhere. It’s bullshit.

At risk of being difficult - and making claims of “bullshit” seem a tad premature - other possibilities come to mind. It is, for instance, generally easier to process calm speech and to formulate a meaningful response. Dealing with agitation and temper isn’t often conducive to mutual understanding, and it’s hard not to be defensive when someone is shouting and swearing at you. Needless to say, fits of vehemence and impatience aren’t the most obvious path to nuance and the clear communication of detail. And it may, of course, be the case that the person doing the shouting and shrieking is simply a bully and accustomed to getting their own way by means of decibels and arm-flailing.

However, Ms Leventry is much too busy to engage with such humdrum possibilities. Instead, we get a hint of the regard in which she holds her peers and employers:

I recently provided a training for K- through third grade teachers about how to make their classrooms more inclusive for transgender and gender nonconforming kids. It was LGBTQIA+ allyship 101. The principal asked me not to swear during the training because some of the elementary school teachers don’t like swearing. This wasn’t a threat; it was an admission that some of her staff would be policing my words and then shutting down if they became offended when I didn’t spoon-feed them G-rated language and in a way that didn’t disrupt their naïve view of the world... Instead of focusing on the content, they would only be able to focus on the tone or package in which the content was delivered.

A pretty good reason, one might think, to prioritise effective communication over any satisfaction to be had in unnerving strangers with incongruous coarseness and bellowed epithets. Assuming, that is, that what matters is the aforementioned content, not adolescent self-indulgence or displays of domination.

Continue reading "How Dare You Not Defer To My Lack Of Self-Possession" »

Files Of The Severely Educated

Part 2,036

An Antifa member in Portland who was charged with felony arson and riot crimes has been revealed to be a journalism student at the University of Oregon. Alma Yesenia Raven-Guido, 19, of Beaverton, Ore., has been charged… with two counts of felony rioting, second-degree felony arson and first-degree felony criminal mischief. A serial riot arrestee, she was arrested again Tuesday night at a Black Lives Matter-Antifa riot in north Portland where the police union hall was set on fire. 

Journalism, baby. Unbiased and impartial, bringing you the truth.

Upon arrest, Raven-Guido was found to be carrying multiple lighters and three plastic bottles, including one that was melted, in her backpack. She was also in possession of a crowbar and spray paint. Beyond her involvement in militant Antifa activities in the Portland-area, she has also been prominently featured in government diversity programmes. In 2019, she was part of the Beaverton Organising and Leadership Development programme, which exists to train emerging leaders of colour in Beaverton’s city government. She listed “racial justice” as one of her areas of interest in the programme’s survey.

And hence, of course, the vandalised Japanese restaurants. And the assaulted Asian-American journalists. And the Apple Store being on fire, again. And the targeting of local churches, whose meal programmes for the homeless were apparently deemed offensive.

Update, via the comments:

Ms Raven-Guido, being educated, is someone who seems to think that “racial justice” is enhanced by wrecking someone else’s neighbourhood with vandalism and fire, thereby ensuring the closure and withdrawal of local businesses and amenities – a phenomenon we’ve seen many times - and consequently reducing opportunities for employment, and degrading the quality of life for local residents, many of whom will be minorities, and whose homes were put in danger by the aforementioned fires.

It’s a lunatic conceit, and yet quite common among the severely educated.

And among those doing the educating

Also, open thread. Share ye links and bicker.

Friday Ephemera

You want one and you know it. || Nommy nommy nom. || Protest scenes. || The islands of planet Earth. || The insides of planet Earth. || Their 3D-printed gummy vitamins are more deluxe than yours. || How to make mug brownies. || Bouncy castle, sort of. || I’m betting they do this better than you do. || Body positivity. || Our betters howl. || Our betters boast. || Our betters stand firm. || “The biggest seizure of human organs in history.” || The rules of the game. || “Conservatives were far less likely to be diagnosed with mental health issues than those who identified as liberal or very liberal.” || Hot stuff. || Café of note. || Fashion crisis detected. || And finally, loftily, “We are not moving in the atmosphere.”

When Your Colleagues Have Joined A Cult

Maths teacher Paul Rossi shares his experience of “anti-racism training” at a Manhattan high school, during which he questioned the alleged imperative to foreground each student’s racial identity, and questioned the value of racialising human attributes – including the claim that “objectivity” is somehow a characteristic of “white supremacy”:  

When my questions were shared outside this forum [a mandatory, racially segregated Zoom meeting], violating the school norm of confidentiality, I was informed by the head of the high school that my philosophical challenges had caused “harm” to students, given that these topics were “life and death matters, about people’s flesh and blood and bone.” I was reprimanded… He further informed me that I had created “dissonance for vulnerable and unformed thinkers” and “neurological disturbance in students’ beings and systems.” The school’s director of studies added that my remarks could even constitute harassment.

And then the strange became stranger, one might say sinister


Very much related. Or, Knowing That It’s Creepy And Immoral, And Harmful To Children, And Doing It Anyway.

We’ve been here before, of course, on more than one occasion.