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February 2022

And Always Return Your Shopping Trolley

Currently doing the rounds and worth saving for posterity

Continue to practice social distancing by wearing a mask and by keeping a distance of at least six feet between yourself and people who are not part of your household.

What to do when a thermonuclear device has been detonated nearby.

And because a cake needs icing:

Many people may already feel fear and anxiety about the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). The threat of a nuclear explosion can add additional stress. 

Consider this an open thread.

Friday Ephemera

Why ducks don’t rule the Earth. || Unloading. || The thrill of archery. || Third time’s a charm. || He does this better than you do. || That’s exactly how I would’ve done it. || Do let her know if you have any questions. || How to make Nordic Gold. || How to make green fire. || And it fits the hand perfectly. || Kind of Bloop, with apologies to Miles Davis. || If the Doctor Who theme were Belgian jazz. || “Get bent,” she said. || She’s sending you blessings. || She does this better than you do. || Squid egg sac detected. || Japanese custom cars. || Adjusting ear orientation. || Just how low can you go? || If you like that kind of thing. || Thrilling scenes. || And finally, please update your files and lifestyles accordingly.

Oh, and a reminder that I now have a Gettr account.

I Blame Those Evil Towel Conglomerates

From The Independent, a new moral crisis:

A plus-size content creator and traveller who said seatbelts on planes cause “emotional damage” is now sharing tips on how to avoid the trauma.

It occurs to me that the thing causing the annoyance – sorry, emotional damage – is not in fact the seatbelt, or asking for an extender. If, say, a person of average proportions found that all plane seatbelts had suddenly been reduced in size by 38%, this might well be irritating, and somewhat surreal, but it would not, I think, be a likely cause of similar “emotional damage,” let alone psychological trauma.

Likewise, if you’re rendered incensed by the fact that a plus-sized bath towel is still insufficiently commodious, then the cause of any sorrow and agitation probably isn’t the towel, but rather what you’re trying to fit in it. However, it seems that certain obvious realities must not be acknowledged - and so we get performative indignation about how oppressive towels are.

Update, via the comments:

Regarding airborne stowing dramas, readers may recall the delightful and ladylike Lindy West, a “fat activist” whose “work focuses on pop culture, social justice and body image.” In a tearful tale shared in Jezebel, Ms West insisted that she should always be accommodated, regardless of practicality and inconvenience, as if her own choice to be, and remain, notably overweight could have no bearing on the issue. While struggling to squeeze into her plane seat, Ms West decided to pick a loud verbal fight with an adjacent male passenger, and then amused herself by deliberately knocking him with her luggage as he tried to sleep. She then complained, seemingly without irony, that “nobody wants to sit next to a fat person on a plane.”

When not writing about herself for Jezebel and the Guardian, or testing the endurance of plane seats and fellow passengers, and insisting that her difficulties fitting into seats and other spaces are nothing whatsoever to do with her choices, Ms West makes videos of herself eating biscuits and junk food.

How To Prove Yourself Superior

Be the ‘quit’ in equity.

Noah Carl has a proposal:

What we need is a “Resign for Diversity” campaign…

Any academic from an overrepresented group who advocates more “diversity” is directly contributing to the lack of “diversity” by remaining in his position. Assuming the number of jobs is relatively fixed, such an individual is effectively saying, “I want the percentage of academics who have the same demographic characteristics as me to go down, but I am not willing to give up my job in order to achieve that goal. Rather, I want other academics with those demographic characteristics to give up their jobs, or to lose job opportunities.” Needless to say, this is not a principled stance…

If you can’t explain why you haven’t resigned, then don’t expect others to partake in this foolish “diversity” charade.

The goal wouldn’t be to encourage mass resignations; since most people look out for themselves, we shouldn’t expect many to actually resign. Rather, it would be to “get the incentives right” – to internalise the externality of advocating “diversity.” At the moment, white academics who have jobs can go along happily, waxing lyrical about “diversity,” while white academics who don’t have jobs bear the consequences. If those incumbents were pressured to resign, they might start to rethink their ideology.

A longer, more detailed airing of the idea, with much to chew on, can be read here

Also, open thread.

Clowns Ousted, Conspiracies Invoked

The progressive San Francisco school-board president recalled by voters earlier this week claimed her ousting was a “consequence” of fighting for racial justice, and represents a victory for “white supremacists.”

Yes, those “white supremacists” for which San Francisco is famed - i.e., local parents, including hundreds of “non-citizen immigrants,” who happen to have skin of many different colours.

More than 70 percent of voters elected to recall [board president, Gabriela] López and two other progressive board members, Alison Collins and Faauuga Moliga. 

The trio’s history of mismanagement and self-indulgence is pretty much what you’d expect of leftist monomaniacs given power and a seemingly endless supply of other people’s money, with a budget deficit of $125 million, and two hours spent debating whether a gay white dad was sufficiently “diverse” to join a volunteer parent committee.

One of the ousted ladies, Ms Alison Collins, has of course been mentioned here before, when disdaining pupils of Chinese or Korean ancestry as “white” or white-adjacent, and therefore suspect, and when insisting that a parental preference for academic rigour is “racist,” and that the way to fight for “high-quality schools” is to abandon expectations of competence.

An educator, you see.

Elsewhere (308)

Andrew Gutmann and Paul Rossi on the woke indoctrination that parents aren’t supposed to see:  

In workshops such as “Integrating Healing-Centered Engagements Into a DEIA School Program” and “Racial Trauma and the Path Toward Healing,” we learned how DEI practitioners use segregated affinity groups and practices such as healing circles to inculcate feelings of trauma. Even students without grievances are trained to see themselves as victims of their ancestors’ suffering through “intergenerational violence.”

The next step in a school’s transformation is “inclusion.” Schools must integrate DEI work into every aspect of the school and every facet of the curriculum must be evaluated through an antibias, antiracist, or anti-oppressive lens. In “Let’s Talk About It! Anti-Oppressive Unit and Lesson Plan Design,” we learned that the omission of this lens—“failing to explore the intersection of STEM and social justice,” for instance—constitutes an act of “curriculum violence.”

Children of kindergarten age are defined, enthusiastically, as “natural social-justice warriors” and “small activists.”

Regarding the above, a professor of political science doesn’t want you to notice

Please stop noticing what is happening.

Dr Tabachnick, above, also thinks that “critical race theory,” of which we’ve spoken many times, is being targeted with a “smear campaign.” As opposed to, say, being revealed as stupefying and pernicious, and its boosters and practitioners quoted verbatim.

Continue reading "Elsewhere (308)" »

Friday Ephemera

Subway scenes. || Putty want ball. || Adventures in Magnetism with Professor Julius Sumner Miller. (h/t, Elephants Gerald) || What if the Moon spiralled inwards towards the Earth? || He doesn’t respect you, alas. || Gusto detected. || Now wiggle yours. || Printed GIFs. || The thrill of teapot-making. || AI-generated 1970s sci-fi pulp covers. (h/t, Things) || The progressive retail experience, parts 414, 415, and 416. || “The universe will expand by 527,250 kilometres” in the blink of an eye. || Between bites and sips. || Beverage of note. || Cable guy. || The thrill of mental illness. || You shall not escape. || Headline of note. || I hadn’t considered this. || Old-school alternative. || And finally, a service is offered.

He Just Wouldn’t Stop Banging On

Those of you who keep track of these things will know that today is this blog’s fifteenth birthday. I started doing… this, whatever it is, on the same day that the original iPhone was announced, back when the Blackberry Curve was a desirable thing, and 200 million people had a MySpace account. After close to sixteen million pageviews, it seems I’ve joined the ranks of the Old Guard, at least as measured in internet years. Happily, I have moisturiser. 

During those fifteen years, we’ve chewed on many topics, from Laurie Penny’s lifestyle advice for terribly radical leftwing women, and the assorted lamentations of that same demographic, to the London riots of 2011, and the Guardian’s oddly selective agitation about litter inequality. We also marvelled at Melissa Fabello’s somewhat neurotic guide to interracial dating, witnessed the mental contortions of the scrupulously woke, and pondered the claim, by a Marxist academic, that conscientious parents reading to their own children are causing “unfair advantage” and are therefore an affront to “social justice.” Oh, and then there was that time when two dozen leftist artists sailed to the Arctic, at taxpayer expense, bent on saving the world with their fearless, selfless creativity.

All of which is, of course, a tissue-thin pretext 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 PayPal.Me page can be found here. Additionally, any Amazon UK shopping done via this linkor 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 decade and a half, in over 3,000 posts and 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.

Oh, and for those that don’t know, I now have a Gettr account.

As always, thanks for the support, the comments, and the company. Now share ye links and bicker.

And Each Time, The Hoops Get Smaller

Lecturers at a leading university are being given guidance on neopronouns, which include emoji labels and catgender, where someone identifies as a feline.

The University of Bristol, since you ask, where staff are urged to perform this season’s modish contortions in “verbal introductions and email signatures.” Say, by starting each meeting and conversation, presumably every day, with an ostentatious declaration of their own pronouns, lest there be massive and widespread confusion as to which sex they actually are.

Bristol lecturers are also directed to neopronouns which include “emojiself pronouns,” where colourful digital icons - commonplace on social media - are used to represent gender in written and spoken conversation.

While not mandatory, but merely encouraged, one university employee who expressed objections has been “invited to a meeting with a senior diversity manager.” A nourishing mental experience, I’m sure.

Another section explains how noun-self pronouns are used by “xenic” individuals whose gender does not fit within “the Western human binary of gender alignments.” The webpage adds: “For example, someone who is catgender may use nya/nyan pronouns.” Catgender, it says, is someone who “strongly identifies” with cats or other felines and those who “may experience delusions relating to being a cat or other feline.” The word nyan is Japanese for “meow.”

Because if you’re bent on humiliating your employees, and unmooring them from probity and any lingering realism – and if you want to make them routinely dishonest and pander to delusions, narcissism, and competitive pretension – then hey, why not go all-in?

Bristol’s guide says that if staff make a mistake by using the wrong pronoun, “it is important not to become defensive or make a big deal out of it. Simply thank the person for correcting you, apologise swiftly, and use the correct pronouns going forward.”

Other, less dementing options are, of course, available. At the time of writing.

Also, open thread.

Friday Ephemera

“Oh, this isn’t so bad.” || Dinner is served. || Dude. || On human biodiversity, a series of documentaries. || Helping hands. || Her pronouns are “a little bit too complicated” to fit in her bio. || At last, tiny power tools. || That’s the spot. || There may have been an explosion. || What’s under the pavement? || The progressive retail experience, parts 411, 412, and 413. || Never say never, they say. || Internet vending machines. || Nice save, sir. || Nice save 2. || Insufferable twat detected. || I think there’s something in the dark. || Creature comfort. || They congratulate themselves. || How to make colour-changing cabbage juice. || “He gets very excited when he sees food.” || And finally, rather briskly, scenes of forbidden love.

Oh, and a reminder that I now have a Gettr account.