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May 2021

Friday Ephemera

A keyboard drama unfolds. || Cheeeldren of the night. || Heat conductor of note. || Today’s word is Italian. || News to me. || Spare room. || An inexpensive scientific demonstration. (h/t, Noah Carl) || A stretching definition. || The jeans you’ve always wanted. || Just like normal people, a thread. || “Of the 86% of white liberals that have heard at least ‘a little’ about Antifa, 59% think it’s been a ‘somewhat’ (41%) or ‘very good’ (18%) thing for the country.” || Somewhat related. || Bling. || Big leggy. || The displays of Infinity War and The Expanse. || A present for doggo. || Pig versus vacuum cleaner, the eternal struggle. || Meanwhile, in fashion news. || And finally, if they learn to make fire, we’re, like, totally screwed.

*Now with functioning comments.

We’re Here To Care About You

As a Boston high school sophomore, Keondre McClay said he was pressured by the head of a district-sponsored youth advocacy programme to attend an overnight retreat in Newton, where white adults asked the black teenager to wrestle out his emotions on a gym mat with them. They said it would help him purge his trauma from experiencing racism.

Um. A little odd. But hey, we mustn’t judge. After all, these are progressive, caring people, tumescent with compassion for the brown-and-therefore-downtrodden

McClay fled to his room. Jenny Sazama, the programme leader, and other retreat participants chased after him. For more than an hour, he recalled recently, they hugged him on his bed and entreated him to return to the group “counselling” session while he hid under the covers screaming, “Please leave me alone!”

As you can see, they care an awful lot. 

When they eventually left, he locked the door, but someone got the facilities manager to unlock it. McClay called someone to help him get home at midnight. “I was, for lack of a better word, assaulted,” said McClay, now 21.

Boston Public Schools saw fit to endorse this programme of “Re-Evaluation Counselling” for fifteen years. And the counsellors declare that they are “dedicated to eliminating racism in the world,” thereby enabling “deep relationships across racial lines.” Hence, one assumes, all the chasing and screaming.

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Rhetorical Wheelies

Cyclists and the cycling industry must come to terms with the reality that cycling is a powerful narrator in the power of whiteness that feeds anti-Blackness.

Via Instapundit, news from the frontier of woke sports, where “the power of whiteness within cycling” is, we’re assured, a thing that exists:

It’s time for cycling to think beyond white fragility, white privilege, implicit bias, and microaggressions, and begin to think about its root cause. Cycling must reject interventions that continue to individualise anti-Black racism, and work to break down the structures that allow whiteness to retain power in the sport.

As is the custom, assertions soon pile high, albeit unsteadily, and questions are begged at a rate of knots. The “system of privileges and advantages afforded to white people” is denounced more than once, along with “the whiteness of cycling,” though, as so often, the particulars remain unobvious and unconvincing. Apparently, “white privilege” is a phenomenon to be taken as a given, always and everywhere, and in which we must believe. For instance,

In late September, many in the sport turned a blind eye when it came to light that world-champion Chloe Dygert ‘liked’ several racist and transphobic tweets. 

I’m unfamiliar with Ms Dygert or her views, but the sole, supposedly damning, example of her “transphobia” is her liking of the statement “Men who identify as women are not actually women.” This does not strike me as phobic, or scandalous, or indeed inaccurate. And for a female athlete to prefer competing against other women, i.e., fairly, should not be controversial - in a sane world. As for alleged racism, the only evidence provided is the liking of a tweet that says, “White privilege doesn’t exist; good choice privilege does.” But even to dispute woke conspiracy theories is, it turns outs, itself proof of racism and a basis for “disgust,” which seems enormously convenient, for the accuser, and must save a lot of time. And so, this liking of a tweet is framed as,

an expression of the violent normality of anti-Black racism in the world.

Which is in no way hyperbolical or ludicrous, obviously.

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It Says ‘Poison’ In Large Red Letters

And yet they say you must gargle it.

In her blueprint, [Tigard-Tualatin School District Director of Equity and Inclusion, Zinnia Un] describes the new oppressor as an amalgamation of “whiteness,” “colour-blindness,” “individualism,” and “meritocracy”… For Un, they are the values of white society, the primary impediment to social justice.

What is the solution to pathological whiteness? According to Un and the Tigard-Tualatin School District, the answer lies with a new form of “white identity development.” In a series of “antiracist resources” provided to teachers, the Department of Equity and Inclusion includes a handful of strategies for this identity transformation… Couched in the language of professional development, the process assumes that whites are born “racist,” even if they “don’t purposely or consciously act in a racist way.” The first step in the training document is “contact,” defined as confronting whites with “active racism or real-world experiences that highlight their whiteness.” The goal is to provoke an emotional rupture that brings the subject to the next step, “disintegration,” in which he or she feels intense “white guilt” and “white shame,” and admits: “I feel bad for being white.” 

Christopher F Rufo on the indoctrination of children, and their teachers, in Portland schools

Once suitably ashamed and disintegrated, the victim – and the word victim is entirely apt – is quizzed on whether their submission to this psychological abuse has resulted in sleep deprivation and broken relationships – these are good signs, apparently. Signs of “change-making” and “solidarity.” Of emerging wokeness.

At which point, readers may recall the openly sadistic ravings of “diversity” pioneer Jane Elliott, another psychological molester of children, and who described, with satisfaction, how one of her younger victims went from being a “brilliant, self-confident, excited little girl to a frightened, timid, uncertain little almost-person. This state of demoralisation and neurosis – of children being manipulated and bullied, and bullied again, until they feel “discomfort, guilt, shame, embarrassment and humiliation” - is an achievement, you see. The way white children should feel - if they are to be saved.  

If the prospect of eight-year-olds being told that they are “of course” racists, by definition, and that they are, on account of being white, complicit in oppression and murder… if that sounds too grotesque to actually be happening - in taxpayer-funded schools - do read Mr Rufo’s article in full.

Update, via the comments:

Continue reading "It Says ‘Poison’ In Large Red Letters" »

Agency And Its Enemies

The more problems they made for themselves, the more they were rewarded [by the welfare state]. We had a peculiar demoralisation… I mean, an actual removal of morality from all human consideration.

I remember, I had a patient with multiple sclerosis, and her husband worked, but he didn’t earn a lot of money, and they needed some adjustments to their house so that she could get out of the house more easily and so on. It seemed to me this was a place where the welfare state could actually help. So, I phoned a social worker… and I made a grave mistake. I said, “I have a particularly deserving case…” And there was a stony silence on the other end. And then the social worker said that all cases were deserving. In other words, you couldn’t distinguish between this case of need, which was nobody’s fault, and someone who took drugs and set fire to his house in a state of intoxication. There was no difference.

And since, of course, people who behave badly become more needy, they actually gain more attention and more sympathy. If you remove desert from all considerations, this means that one source of meaning in life is completely removed. 

Jordan Peterson interviews Theodore Dalrymple.

Plenty to chew on and at times darkly funny. Regarding the quote above, this isn’t entirely unrelated.

Update, via the comments, another snippet: 

I was trying to persuade intellectuals that a lot of their world outlook was bad and was doing harm rather than good. So that the destruction of the family, which rich people can perhaps survive, is devastating for people who need social solidarity more than anybody else.

At which point, this came to mind

Elsewhere (305)

Noah Carl on the undiscussable: 

Consistent with earlier studies, [Louis Jacob and colleagues] observed a moderately strong negative association between IQ and obesity… The authors also found that the association remained statistically significant when adjusting for a range of other variables. However, their findings were not warmly received in all quarters. On 26 February, the journal [Lifestyle Medicine] published a letter to the editor titled ‘Concerns regarding “Association between intelligence quotient and obesity in England” and unjustifiable harm to people in bigger bodies.’ Despite comprising only a couple of thousand words, the letter has thirteen authors, which tells you something really needed saying.

After introducing themselves as “academics, health professionals, health psychologists and lay experts in weight stigma and discrimination, public health, patient advocacy and risk communication,” the critics assert that “the contents of this paper are likely to cause unjustifiable harm to people in bigger bodies.” I had assumed that ‘obese’ was the correct medical term, but that is evidently no longer the case. Perhaps if the original authors had referred to the “association between intelligence quotient and bigger bodiedness,” they could have forestalled some of the criticism.

Note the signatories’ conceit that “people in bigger bodies” should have some kind of veto over research into obesity.

Via Captain Nemo, Damian Counsell on race, facts, and fervour: 

[A] senior elected representative in two of the most powerful institutions of the establishment Left has invoked the phrase [“institutional racism”] to justify telling a non-white woman occupying one of the three great offices of state that she should be expelled from the country of her birth. For a segment of the self-proclaimed Left, the words “institutional racism” conjure a threat so cryptic that it requires no evidence, and so evil that it excuses overt racism. [Howard] Beckett deleted the tweet, but his subsequent apology is even more revealing. “I’m very sorry for my earlier tweet,” he wrote. “I was angry to see Muslim refugees being deported on the morning of Eid Al Fitr.” At the time of writing, the immigrants in question are believed to be Sikhs, not Muslims; but such distinctions matter little to a particular kind of crusader.

And Simon Webb on black “microaggressions”:

Continue reading "Elsewhere (305)" »

Friday Ephemera

If Columbo were anime. You’d watch and you know it. (h/t, Script Doctor) || Today’s word is indignity. || London scenes. || Rutherford splits atom, Shanghai. || Have you swallowed your molecular tweezers? || Troublesome minority. || I think it’s fair to say mistakes were made. || A UFO sightings map. || Shrooms. || Cannabis bonsai. || Made of bananas. || He does this better than you do. || “Live your life” with a Bluetooth-enabled animatronic tail. || Love in unlikely places. || Repurposed piano. || Japanese jazz. || Confection of note. || And finally, an obliging bird.

Don’t Oppress My People With The Way You Walk

From the world of campus wokescolds, where innovation never ends

The opinion editor of the Northwestern University’s student newspaper recently published an article asserting that white people walk awkwardly on sidewalks because of their internalised racism. 

The editor, Kenny Allen, who is black, is quite confident on this point.

Laying out the claims by University of Richmond sociologist Bedelia Richards for determining “whether one’s university is racist” -- such as which groups feel most “at home,” whose “norms, values and perspectives” are legitimated, and “who inhabits positions of power” -- Allen concluded that “White people” meet most of the criteria. 

A shocking twist. Feel free to gasp.

You see

People at this predominantly White school would not move out of our way on the sidewalk. This was one of many reminders that diversity does not mean inclusion at NU.

Sadly, and perhaps oddly, no particulars or examples are offered to support this claim. Despite the alleged ubiquity, Mr Allen shares no damning anecdotes of obstinate white people failing to accommodate the brown and downtrodden-by-default. Apparently, we are to accept as obvious, as beyond question, that any such failures of politeness and spatial reciprocation are exclusively the fault of white people, on account of their being white, and therefore oppressive. Indeed, we’re told that pavement users of pallor are actually re-enacting “the rules of Jim Crow,” which “required Black people to yield to White people whenever possible.”  

Many White people walk around campus having unknowingly absorbed this particular facet of White supremacy, and the leaders of the institution do little to make us believe that White supremacy is something worth challenging in the first place.

That the cultivation of a chippy, racially paranoid attitude may itself increase the likelihood of pavement collisions and general frustration, and be a self-reinforcing phenomenon, is a possibility that has seemingly eluded Mr Allen, who instead directs his energies to bemoaning the “violent feedback” to his pronouncements. A violence that includes gentle mockery and, it would appear, demurral of any kind.

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Our Betters Solve Our Problems

We don’t deserve their insights.

Also, stealing is, like, totes radical

“They/them. 22.”

Update, via the comments:

With the above in mind, some candidates for woke non-binary barista de-escalation.

And here’s a challenging, though increasingly common, scenario.

In you go, love.

It would, I think, have the makings of a compelling reality TV show. With preening, mouthy woke-lings encountering the realities they’ve so carefully ignored. The subsequent tears and meltdowns could constitute a drinking game.

We’ve touched on this before, of course.

And yes, open thread. Share ye links and bicker. 

Mind Control Not Yet Achieved, Weeping Ensues

Further to this lively exchange, a new form of “violence” has been conjured into being

You must now actually hallucinate.


Or, “Yes, you pretend what I tell you to pretend, but I can still tell that you’re pretending.”

Or, “Your perceptions are still your own and this outrages me.”

Update, via the comments:

Continue reading "Mind Control Not Yet Achieved, Weeping Ensues" »