For newcomers and the nostalgic, more items from the archives:
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.”
Polite man encounters Mao-lings. Mao-lings lose their minds, scream abuse, then assault him.
While professing their compassion and high-mindedness, and therefore their superiority, the Mao-lings seem determined to out-group Polite Guy and tar him as an interloper, a “white supremacist,” etc., based on nothing at all, except for the fact that he’s white. When this characterisation fails as implausible, and Polite Guy remains polite and pointedly unthreatening, the Mao-lings then get even more hostile and menacing, before assaulting him from behind as he’s trying to leave. Presumably because he made their preposterous self-image more difficult to sustain. And so, he must pay.
And feel free to tickle the tip jar.