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December 2021

The Year Reheated

In which we marvel at the mental contortions of our self-imagined betters.

        The year began with an oddly specific medical diagnosis courtesy of the Guardian, where Afua Hirsch informed us that boob eczema is caused by “racist microaggressions.” Readers were left to suppose that the condition might only be resolved by lengthy grumbling about “structural racism” and the oppressive nature of “whiteness.” More prosaic solutions – say, a change of detergent, or indeed bra, were not explored. “Whiteness” also bedevilled Ms Cristina Beltrán, an associate professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University, who was both mystified and aggravated by the existence of non-white Trump supporters, and who identified “multiracial whiteness” as the only conceivable explanation. For Ms Beltrán, non-white voters who prefer to be engaged with as individuals, as opposed to racial mascots, are merely surrendering to “whiteness” and “white supremacy.” And so, Ms Beltrán bemoaned racism and “the debasement of others” while casually erasing agency from anyone brownish who happens to disagree with her.

Meanwhile, academics at the University of York were rendered fretful and distraught by an image on the website of an art history conference – specifically, of the seventeenth-century Buddhist figurine, the three wise monkeys – which, via much focussing of intersectional lenses, was construed by our academics as a caricature of black people, and therefore oppressive. And denunciations of “whiteness” and “white supremacy” also featured in a mandatory course at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. On grounds that, in order to be a dentist, you must first submit to condescension and insults, and accusations of being either a bigot or an enabler of bigotry, based solely on unchangeable aspects of your appearance

        In February, we beheld the chutzpah of our new downtrodden elite at the United Nations International School, where the children of diplomats and titans of international banking insisted that even a single mispronunciation of an unobvious name is a form of “racial trauma” inflicted by “the white man’s mouth.” Elsewhere, at the University of Minnesota, we heard one student recount his experience of racial profiling and police brutality – “the most traumatic thing I have ever experienced” – and then, thanks to dashcam video, saw what actually happened

And in the Los Angeles Times, the scrupulously progressive Virginia Heffernan aired her outrage at neighbours who cleared the snow from her driveway, but failed to vote for Joe Biden - the latter act requiring “absolution,” and thus excusing Ms Heffernan’s supposedly principled ingratitude for the former. You see, resenting neighbours’ acts of kindness, and publicly badmouthing those neighbours, in print, is the progressive way, and a basis for expecting applause.   

Oh, and we also learned how to turn toilet paper into drinkable alcohol.

Continue reading "The Year Reheated" »


Snowfall in Times Square. Filmed by Nomadic Ambience

As is the custom here, posting will be intermittent over the holidays and readers are advised to subscribe to the blog feed, which will alert you to anything new as and when it materialises. Thanks for another 1.5 million or so visits this year and thousands of comments, many of which prompted discussions that are much more interesting than the actual posts. Which is pretty much the idea. And particular thanks to all those who’ve made PayPal donations to keep this rickety barge above water. It’s much appreciated. Curious newcomers and those with nothing better to do are welcome to rummage through the reheated series in search of entertainment.

To you and yours, a very good one. 

Friday Ephemera

Like apple bobbing. || Modern problems, a possible series. || Limited edition of note. (h/t, STG) || Daddy-daughter time. || Dad moves deployed. || Maximum style points. || Meet the neighbours. || Snowball fights in art. || Life skills. || Flag mystery. || A lot can happen in a minute. || At last, a mushroom colour chart. || Size matters. || Sounds from around the world. (h/t, Things) || A guide to San Francisco’s street faeces. || Heh. || Not unlike eyes. || Butterflies. || He does this better than you would. || It almost sounds like a woke prayer, which I suppose it sort of is. || Why woke comics don’t sell. || Target lock acquired. || Today’s word is trajectory. || And finally, festively, via Damian, ‘tis the season of good cheer.

Service With A Snarl

Another candidate for our not-entirely-suited-to-the-job file:

The elderly couple ordered a “carefully budgeted” $50 of groceries to be delivered to their home last Sunday… Nothing was amiss until they went outside to meet the driver, Tara, for fear that she might struggle with her vehicle in their snow-covered driveway. When they opened the front door, Tara yelled at them… while rocking her vehicle back and forth in the driveway.

It turned out the issue wasn’t snow

The ostensible cause of Tara’s mental crisis can be viewed here.

Update, via the comments:

The individual in question, the one swollen with righteousness, is no longer employed.

Via I, Hypocrite, via Darleen. Also, open thread.

Begone, White Devils

Over at The College Fix, Dave Huber ponders the complications of being woke while simultaneously having a good time:

In [Swarthmore College student paper] The Phoenix, economics major Sameer Halepoto points to a pre-Thanksgiving party, hosted by the Swarthmore Queer Union, Swarthmore African Student Association, Swarthmore [Hispanic and Latino organisation] ENLACE, and the Swarthmore African-American Student Society, which had filled up rather quickly.

Filled up quickly. Must be the fun crowd.

Halepoto says “typical [Swarthmore] parties include an outsized number of white students (many of whom are athletes), making it harder for marginalised groups to feel welcome.” As a result, party organisers blared a repeating electronic message through speakers which warned that white people had to leave.

Vibeslayer. Or, as Mr Halepoto, our fretfully woke student columnist, puts it,

As the number of students at the party swelled, however, the organisers decided to clean house over fears of overcrowding. Specifically, it was time to kick out the white people. What followed was a message blaring through the speakers from Google Translate that looped for several minutes on end — telling white students to leave. By the time the message stopped playing, the party’s racial demographics had shifted significantly.

Mr Halepoto goes on to share his fashionable (and fashionably unsubstantiated) belief that being gay or brown or sort-of brown is a state of being “marginalised,” even on a modern, upscale, super-progressive campus, where annual tuition fees are north of $70,000. Being so cruelly downtrodden, such put-upon persons are, we’re told, entitled to “safe spaces.” In contrast, “white people” are defined, rather breezily, as a “non-marginalised group,” all party-going to the contrary. How white students who also happen to be gay should navigate student parties without risking looped and amplified racial scolding, and subsequent ejection, is not made entirely clear.

Continue reading "Begone, White Devils" »

Maybe Not Deft, But Certainly Bold

The dishonesty, I mean.

Speaking of which, he’s doing it for the students, you know. And he sometimes turns up to class in full drag. To make it a “safe space.”

Update, via the comments:

Regarding the second item, Jen quips, “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”

Ah, but you see, it’s “a place for them, by them,” while clearly being all about him and entirely his idea, and entirely dependent on his preferences on any given day. So, sometimes it’s full drag, and sometimes just big earrings, nail polish and wacky tart shoes. To make the children feel “safe.” I somehow doubt that any pupils or parents who find this educator’s behaviour, shall we say, distracting or not entirely reassuring, will be indulged anything like as much as he expects to be.

Update 2:  

I suppose the above raises the question of whether you think schoolchildren should be compelled to participate, daily, as a captive audience, in a teacher’s gender-bending psychodrama. Complete with beard, make-up, and ‘fuck-me’ hooker shoes. What matters, we’re told, is that he gets to “look how I wanna look” during office hours, on other people’s time, while teaching other people’s children, and while supposedly setting an example of adult behaviour. And, luckily for him, farcical self-indulgence is just so woke, baby. “I’m here to recruit you,” quips he.

According to our progressive educator, the spectacle of him parading around the classroom in clownish make-up and women’s clothes, his beard offset with stiletto heels – which he just happens to enjoy wearing - will somehow create a “safe space” for gay schoolchildren. All of whom, apparently, aspire to be narcissistic cross-dressers with terrible taste. As someone who was once a gay schoolboy, back in a darker, more primitive age, I have to say, the sight of my chunky, rather stern German teacher striding about the classroom in Joker makeup and five-inch stilettos would not have been particularly affirming, no matter how many Pride flags he waved about while doing it.

Update 3:

Continue reading "Maybe Not Deft, But Certainly Bold" »

Friday Ephemera

But what, I hear you ask, could possibly go wrong? || “I worship myself.” || You have to rotate the ‘w’. || Today’s word is irony. (h/t, DC) || Racism detected. || Christmas lights of note. || For Kubrick enthusiasts. Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. || Big cat music. || I was previously unfamiliar with this concept. || The thrill of fondling state-of-the-art sex toys. (NSFW) || Tiddler detected. || Sharks versus the internet. || Assorted slow-motion microbes. || Glassware of note. || The thrill of Geocities. || She doesn’t look the type. See also. And inevitably. || Trade of note. (h/t, Samizdata) || Challenge accepted. || Today’s other word is snugness. A debate ensues. || And finally, “I was the snowflake consultant for the movie Frozen.”

Gas Bill

The bill for gassing, that is. The last one for the year.

Because, yes, ‘tis 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.

So shop ye. Shop ye like the wind.

For newcomers wishing to know more about what’s been going on here for the last decade and a half, in over 3,000 posts and over 130,000 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.