Previous month:
May 2021
Next month:
July 2021

June 2021

Pronouns Were Stipulated

And over at the University of Alberta:  

As an academic drag queen, Tommy is uniquely embodied in their scholarship and praxis of teaching and learning and has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, including their forthcoming co-edited collection of essays on RuPaul’s Drag Race as it relates to teaching and learning. 

Tommy, we’re told, has a “decolonial, anti-racist, and equity-driven intersectional vision,” which is just the ticket, apparently. For an Executive Director of a Centre for Teaching and Learning. At a university with serious budget problems and supposedly gripped by austerity. Our cross-dressing educator will nonetheless bring to bear “strategies and resources for positive engagement with gender pronouns,” while prompting the less enlightened to “reflect on whiteness, marginalisation, trauma, and continued struggle.” Against reality, one assumes.

Also, open thread. Share ye links and bicker.

Our Standards Were Holding Us Back

Meanwhile, at Princeton, more “equity” in action

The Ivy League institution announced in April that it admitted 1,498 students for the class of 2025. A full 22 percent of admitted students are first-generation college students and 68 percent self-identify as “people of colour.” The record number of racial minority admittees comes after the school removed its standardised testing requirement.

Thereby giving the best possible impression.

The university now boasts that there are no longer “minimum test scores for admission,” as “the entirety of a student’s background” will be “considered in context.” Though based on efforts elsewhere, it seems reasonable to suppose that one particular - and academically irrelevant - aspect may weigh more heavily than most.

Having signalled a retreat from conventional metrics and expectations of ability, more ground may soon be ceded. Minority faculty are also demanding the removal of questions, for student applicants and potential employees, regarding “felony convictions,” as this is somehow unfair and an affront to “racial justice.” Other demands include an “additional semester of sabbatical” exclusively for “faculty of colour,” to ease the burden of their “invisible labour” and for being “emblems and spokespersons of diversity at Princeton.” In other words, a brown-person-only holiday to compensate for all of the work time they spend invoking “white supremacy,” claiming to be oppressed, and demanding special favours in enormous lists.

Update, via [+] in the comments:

Pitzer College in California has adopted a “test-blind” admission policy, meaning that standardised tests including the SAT and ACT “will be eliminated from the admission review process entirely.” [...] Yvonne Berumen, the vice president for admission and financial aid at Pitzer College, said in the press release that “The elimination of standardised test scores from our review process entirely has the potential to send a strong message about equity, access, inclusivity, and excellence.” 

Message received.

Friday Ephemera

All about the ass. || Rich in zinc. || Seemingly routine. || Glasses are inherently racist. || Correction of note. || Complications. || Let’s talk about the tuck. || A song about the police and their privileged horses. || Parenting in action. || Nommy-nommy-oh. || In middle-class leftist bedlamite news, “A period of deep shame for being white.” Cultivated neuroticism is very in right now. || Niche browser extension. || Bolton is vibrant. || Bat nursery. || Underside. || Unhappy educator. (h/t, Jeff) || Today’s word is degenerate. (h/t, Darleen) || Motoring 2.0 || Progressive motherhood. || How to lose money selling cannabis. || And finally, how to smuggle cocaine. Pro tip: don’t do cocaine before attempting this.

Deep Space, Baby

Or, Prattle Beyond The Stars

Physicists at MIT and SUNY Stony Brook recently announced findings that the total surface area of two black holes was maintained after the two entities merged. While this research was a welcome confirmation of both Stephen Hawking’s work and the theory of general relativity, it failed to address a crucial matter: what were its racial implications?

Heather Mac Donald browses an astronomy course at Cornell University, titled Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos, and premised on the question, “Is there a connection between the cosmos and the idea of racial blackness?” It seems unlikely that said course will enable any great scientific revelations, despite marshalling the combined forces of “Black Studies theorists” and the late jazz musician Sun Ra, who claimed to have visited Saturn; though it promises to “conjure blackness through cosmological themes.” 

And so, while some observe the merging of bogglingly massive astronomical objects, others regard themselves as a more fascinating topic, and “conjure” their own “blackness.” Via farce, contrivance, and racial narcissism.

Consider this an open thread. Share ye links and bicker.

Not That Kind Of Diversity

Robby Soave on achieving “equity”: 

The Vancouver School Board in British Columbia, Canada, is eliminating honours courses as part of a push to foster inclusivity and equity in the classroom. The board had previously eliminated the high school honours English programme, and maths and science will now get the axe as well. “By phasing out these courses, all students will have access to an inclusive model of education, and all students will be able to participate in the curriculum fulsomely,” said the school board in a statement.

By denying access, they are granting access, obviously. How terribly inclusive.

This is a spectacularly frank declaration: Education officials don’t like that some higher-achieving students are sorted into environments where they are more likely to succeed than their less-gifted peers, and would prefer to keep everyone officially at the same level to the greatest extent possible. The plan closely mirrors California’s recent efforts to discourage students who are proficient at math from taking calculus any earlier than their classmates; Canadian educators seem no less excited than their U.S. counterparts about naively pursuing equality of outcome at all costs.

Inevitably, the objections of students and parents were dismissed by educators, including Jennifer Katz, a professor of education at the University of British Columbia, as “nonsense” and perpetuating “systemic racism.” And so, the needs and prospects of gifted children will be sacrificed in the name of progressive piety. A piety that just happens to look like something else.

Terms And Conditions Apply (2)

Comet Melanie Mae – that’s what it says here – is in no way high-maintenance:

My gender changes depending on the day, or week, or even depending on the hour. It also means the pronouns I’m comfortable with can change too.

To avoid a pronoun gaffe, and crushing underfoot the meek and marginalised, you must first check the colour-coded bracelets.

Pink means she/her; yellow means they/them; and blue means he/him.

And because this arrangement isn’t sufficiently complicated, or enough of an imposition on your time and sanity, said bracelets can be combined. It’s fully customisable. So do pay attention. 

See also Laurie Penny and her ongoing project of self-description

Somewhat related

Via here

[ Shakes Glitter Out Of G-String ]

Time, I think, for an open thread. And while I’m being good to you, I’ll throw in one of these, as a bonus.

Because, yes, it’s time to remind patrons that this rickety barge, on whose seating your arses rest, is kept afloat by the kindness of strangers. If you’d like to help it remain buoyant a while longer, and remain ad-free, there’s an orange button below with which to monetise any love. Debit and credit cards are accepted. For those wishing to express their love regularly, there’s a monthly subscription option top left. And if one-click haste is called for, my PalPay.Me page can be found here. Additionally, any Amazon UK shopping done via this link or the search widget top right, or for Amazon US via this link, results in a small fee for your host at no extra cost to you.

For newcomers wishing to know more about what’s been going on here for the last fourteen years, in over 3,000 posts and over 100,000 comments, the reheated series is a pretty good place to start - in particular, the end-of-year-summaries, which convey the fullest flavour of what it is we do. A sort of blog concentrate. If you like what you find there… well, there’s lots more of that.

If you can, do take a moment to poke through the discussion threads too. The posts are intended as starting points, not full stops, and the comments are where much of the good stuff is waiting to be found. And do please join in.

As always, thanks for the support, the comments, and the company.

Now share ye links and bicker.

You’re A Monster, Just Admit It

Speaking, as we were, of rotundity, here’s a hot intersectional take, delivered with beaming certainty:

Actively not wanting to be fat is fatphobia, and therefore you’re fatphobic

You see, while “literally nobody is saying” that you must want to be fat, you should do nothing to avoid it or to delay the unsightly expansion of any body parts. Readers who find this a slim distinction must learn that “there is little to no evidence that we have any control over our size” and must therefore “just stop wanting size changes in general.” Readers who regard weight gain as a “size change,” and not a welcome one, should presumably say nothing and act casual. 

Your ignorance and wickedness thus identified, you must,

Commit to unlearning your fatphobia.

Now just stand there and be scolded, damn you.

Mr William Hornby, whose ponderings are shared above and whose pronouns are announced, is an “advocate, TikToker, actor and singer,” and is soon to graduate from Temple University with a degree in musical theatre. He is, of course, “raising awareness,” a mission that entails steering his followers to a Fat Liberation Syllabus For Revolutionary Leftists, where we learn that,

Fat liberation is a radical anti-capitalist, anti-colonial, anti-state movement that was started by fat Black and Brown disabled queer and trans people.

And where we’re told, quite emphatically, that a reluctance to become fat is,

intrinsically entangled with white supremacy, anti-Blackness, settler colonialism, and capitalism.

And therefore, obviously, really, really bad. The goal, then, for all chubby-and-enlightened people, is to “abolish capitalism and settler colonial states like the US,” along with “abolishing prisons and police,” and dismantling the “fatphobic logic of productivity, discipline, and personal responsibility.” One can only hope that this revolutionary project doesn’t involve stairs or significant exertion.  

Mr Hornby’s list of relevant resources also includes a therapist search engine. Though whether that’s for the weight issues or the revolutionary leftism, I couldn’t say.

Friday Ephemera

The concept of sideways. || The scene of the crime. || At last, high-speed hover cars. (h/t, STG) || “Social justice publishing.” || Related. || Perverse and insatiable, there is no cure. || Rolling with it. || Beer vortex. || If the Moon were a disco ball. A giant, somewhat terrifying disco ball. (h/t, Elephants Gerald) || Ladies at large. || Felt lemonade. || “A deadly presence.” (Or, when you’re being bullied and you don’t even realise it.) || When hypocrisy is a default. || Seeing-eye shoes. || I laughed and I’m not sorry. || Simpler times. || “Black people can’t be racist,” says big black racist. || Balloon versus orange peel. || A boy and his dog. || Suboptimal translation. || And finally, relaxingly, a foot massage of note.

Two Approaches To Life

Ms Kelly’s outlook, seen below, seems rather fraught and a tad contrived.

Your encouragement is fatphobic.

And so, if a friend or colleague is trying to lose weight, which isn’t always easy, and this friend or colleague makes visible progress, then, naturally, you shouldn’t encourage them. Lest they press on and become happy. You see, according to Ms Kelly, our expert in such matters, “anti-fatness” – i.e., complimenting a friend or colleague for losing weight and achieving a goal – is “a perpetuation and enforcement of white supremacist beauty standards.” Sheer beastliness. If you must acknowledge the accomplishment at all, it seems you’re only allowed to do it in a curiously roundabout way – say, by talking about their shoes

Other, perhaps more obvious approaches are of course available

Consider this an open thread. Share ye links and bicker.