Friday Ephemera
They Follow You Round The Room

Craving Persecution

Or, The Minefield Of Modern Progressive Manners:

How dare you take an interest.

A thread ensues, with much rumbling about “othering,” “whiteness” and “racism.” Needless to say, Ms Vasudevan’s own website merrily tells us where she’s from. The thing we’re not allowed to take an interest in, however fleetingly. 

Being fashionably progressive, and a New York Times contributor, Ms Vasudevan has learned to use the words “white” and “whiteness” quite a lot, generally with pejorative connotations. On account of her not being racist, you see. Her interests, we’re told, are “colonialism, race, and climate change.” She also makes a point of telling us that she lives on “Arapaho and Cheyenne land,” i.e., in Denver.

Update, via the comments:

As noted before, following this somewhat related item, the people who insist on these woke protocols act as if they themselves had never had to make polite, albeit clumsy conversation, or had to get to know someone with, at least initially, some pretty simple, even dumb, questions.

A couple of years ago, I was at a family party, to which a niece had brought a Spanish exchange student who was staying with her. It was a large gathering, and the young woman looked a little daunted and left-out. Her English was fairly limited and my Spanish non-existent, so our conversation, such as it was, was fairly basic. In between offering her drinks and sandwiches, etc., and several awkward smiles, I distinctly recall asking some pretty inane questions. I like to think she understood that I was trying to make her feel welcome. Rather than just some bigot, or a dumbass with no conversational flair.

Again, as so often, the umbrage seen above is pretentious and implicitly non-reciprocal. If I were to migrate to live in, say, South Korea and Korean people sometimes asked me where I was from, even if they did this several years after my arrival, I wouldn’t think it inherently impolite or malicious. It might get a little hackneyed, a little boring, but I very much doubt that it would make me feel “sick, frustrated, and uncomfortable.” And were I to get all pissy and indignant about being asked this humdrum question, I suspect Ms Vasudevan and her peers would be ready to scold me for my “privilege” and “fragility,” my “whiteness.”  

And yet even this simple role-swapping isn’t considered - or isn’t considered an acceptable line of thought. Which possibly says something about wokeness. And the kinds of people it attracts.

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

Comments

Min

Craving Persecution

That.

David

That.

As noted before, following this somewhat related item, the people who insist on these woke protocols act as if they themselves had never had to make polite, albeit clumsy conversation, or had to get to know someone with, at least initially, some pretty simple, even dumb, questions.

A couple of years ago, I was at a family party, to which a niece had brought a Spanish exchange student who was staying with her. It was a large gathering, and the young woman looked a little daunted and left-out. Her English was fairly limited and my Spanish non-existent, so our conversation, such as it was, was fairly basic. In between offering her drinks and sandwiches, etc., and several awkward smiles, I distinctly recall asking some pretty inane questions. I like to think she understood that I was trying to make her feel welcome. Rather than just a dumbass with no conversational flair.

Stephanie Richer

""Everyone's a victim these days ... There are real victims in the world, they deserve to be heard, they deserve our love and compassion. But if everybody claims to be a victim, then no one hears the real victims. ... We say the world is addicted to opioids, no... the world is not addicted to opioids. The number one addiction in the world is attention. One of the easiest ways to get attention is to be infamous, to try to stab Dave Chappelle on stage. Or you can be a victim."

-- Chris Rock

Comedian AND sage.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

TBF, it would make me sick, frustrated, and uncomfortable too, it should be "From where are you?".

David

Again, as so often, it’s so blatantly non-reciprocal. If I were to migrate to live in, say, South Korea and Korean people sometimes asked me where I was from, even if they did this several years after my arrival, I wouldn’t think it impolite or malicious. It might get a little hackneyed, a little boring, but I very much doubt that it would make me feel “sick, frustrated, and uncomfortable.” And were I to get all pissy and indignant about being asked this humdrum question, I suspect Ms Vasudevan and her peers would be ready to scold me for my “privilege” and “whiteness,” my “fragility.”

And yet I suspect that even this simple role-swapping isn’t considered, or isn’t considered an acceptable line of thought. Which says something about wokeness. And the kinds of people it attracts.

Richard

I would not be surprised if she were another Brahmen on the make.
The horrible Cambridge professor was from a Brahmen family and they treat 99% of humanity as beneath their dignity.

David

Post updated.

Mags

And were I to get all pissy and indignant about being asked this humdrum question, I suspect Ms Vasudevan and her peers would be ready to scold me for my “privilege” and “fragility,” my “whiteness.”

That.

Arkadiy

To be fair, the question can be painful. Our family comes from a place where our kind is a disliked minority. I did not have it so bad, so I don't care about the question either way. My wife had a much tougher time there, so she hates answering that question.

Drive-By Shooter

Is it just me, or do these two search engines produce notably different results?
https://www.google.com/search?q=pandemic+treaty+WHO

https://html.duckduckgo.com/html/?q=pandemic+treaty+WHO

Burnsie

Coming soon, Chapter Two: "My passengers won't talk to me. This country is so racist."

David

To be fair, the question can be painful. Our family comes from a place where our kind is a disliked minority.

I don’t think I’ve ever asked where someone is from, not in many years, at least – either it hasn’t cropped up or I’ve not been sufficiently interested to ask – but it isn’t something that on principal I would anxiously avoid. When I’ve heard it asked, the intention has generally seemed either friendly and genuine or an expression of routine politeness.

For most of us, even progressive New York Times contributors who live in Denver - sorry, on “Arapaho and Cheyenne land” - I’m not sure why it would be so emotionally crushing.

sH2

She's now deleting her tweets.

#SoBrave

David

She’s now deleting her tweets.

That’s a shame. Some of the replies were quite pointed and entertaining. Which is possibly why they disappeared.

[ Note to self: always take screengrabs. ]

Farnsworth M Muldoon

If I were to migrate to live in, say, South Korea and Korean people sometimes asked me where I was from...

Don't know about the UK, but here in the US&A it happens frequently within the US&A. Being a Son of the South and having gone to undergrad and worked in communist states the northeast I was frequently asked where I was from, or the corollary, "You're not from around here, are you?" (or "You don't sound like you are from around here, are you?").

Same overseas where, being obvious I was from the US&A, the question was "what part" or "what state". At gatherings of strangers here in the US&A people routinely ask where someone is from, it is just a way of establishing some form of rapport.

Asking where someone is from is nothing, it is a polite human equivalent of dogs sniffing each other butts.

asiaseen

TBF, it would make me sick, frustrated, and uncomfortable too, it should be "From where are you?".

Or even "From where do you come?"

Princess Cutekitten

“From whence comest thou?”

A fine fisking, David. Thanks!

Ulla

Do we notice that you, a foreigner, are foreign? Yes, implicitly, instantly, every time. We notice by your racial characteristics that all or some of your ancestors didn't come from here. We notice when you talk that you're not a native speaker

You're offended because you think we're not allowed to notice that you're foreign, or bring it up that you're foreign, or have a concept of nationality where you're not a member.

Do our apparently offhand questions have a more systematic agenda of trying to place you, to check your background, to calibrate how much trust or distance to treat you with? Absolutely, that's how ice breaking works. We're not asking for one word answers to fill in on a form, we want to hear your story and know what kind of person you are. With a local, I might be trying to place which high school they went to and whether we have acquaintances in common. With a visible foreigner like you I'm naturally trying to place where you're from and how you got here.

You're offended because you think you can come here and be entitled to be trusted like a native, that the natives aren't entitled to inquire into your background, and that the unfamiliarity of your background isn't going to be an obstacle.

Behind our friendly curiosity about where you're from and whether you're happy here, do we sometimes ponder thoughts like was it in our interests to let this guy and all of his descendants in? Not always but sometimes, and it might depend on what sort of impression you give. Are such doubts aimed at you as an individual or collectively at millions of other immigrants from your background? Sometimes one, sometimes the other, sometimes both. We're entitled to treat you both as an individual and as a group member as we think appropriate. By the way, you're pretty quick to swap individual and group hats when it suits you.

You're offended because you think you and your people are so wonderful that you should not only be welcome in any country as a guest, but be invited to become a citizen, and that anyone who doesn't think so is at approximately the same level of evil as a child molester. Who's entitled here? Who's got the superior airs? Who's putting up signs about what the natives shall not speak of?

David

Asking where someone is from is nothing, it is a polite human equivalent of dogs sniffing each other butts.

A mental image to treasure.

I don’t doubt that the question can be asked in an unkind way, as almost any question can, given sufficient ingenuity, but mostly, almost always, it’s either a routine ice-breaker or a polite overture. To assume that “Where are you from?” means something like “What business do you have being here, you foreign-looking tosspot? Let me pack your bags” is… well, a bit of a stretch.

anon a mouse

Ah yes. Typical recent folk assuming that the then tribal location was for all time. Even as a yute I was regaled with tales of how "the people" moved.

*as an aside, it seems that every tribe referred to themselves as the one true representation of human (the people being a good translation of a common title), while all others were, well,a bit of undeclass...*

Fenris Badwulf

Gosh. Runs a cab, eh? Lots of contact with the public. Fishing for that incident that will get them into a graduate program.

Lemmi

I spent many years travelling to the US from the UK for work, sometimes for up to 3 months. My colleagues and I were always asked where we were from, it caused much amusement when we were mistaken for Aussies.

On several occasions our interlocutor would inform us they were Irish, to which one of my colleagues would reply' Really, which part of Ireland are you from?' It would appear that it was 4 or 5 generations ago and I'm more Irish than they, approx 8% according to a well known genealogy site.

David

it caused much amusement when we were mistaken for Aussies.

Roll with the punches, they say.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

Americans have a reputation for being friendly to everyone, even servants. In any other culture (English upper-class for example), they would be ignored and condescended to (for good reason but I need not get into that now).

But, no, we like talking to everybody and asking questions and generally passing the time, and for doing that in our own country we get to be the ones condescended to. And most of us will accept that, because we like to be nice about it.

Which reminds me of the Borat movies, and the news that leaked out that its "star" had to work hard to offend people into reacting to his boorish behavior.

Lemmi

Roll with the punches, they say.

We would try out different UK accents just for amusement, I reverted to my native Scouse, even my colleagues couldn't understand me.

There was never any problem, we realised people were just being friendly and genuinely interested. I never thought, however, that I would be considered 'exotic'

Killer Marmot

By any reasonable global or historic standard, life in the western democracies is pretty damn good.

This leaves activists with a dilemna. They are left with few worthwhile causes to get their tail in a knot over. So they get upset over trivialities and figure they're Martin Luther King.

David

I reverted to my native Scouse,

[ Backs away slowly, searches for something with which to make fire. ]

Farnsworth M Muldoon

A mental image to treasure.

OK, touching noses if you prefer something more genteel, but I have no doubt that when Thag met Zog for the first time something similar went on, we just found more polite ways to establish who was whom.

The whole thing is stupid beyond belief, unless someone is asking the uber driver or Miss Vasudevan in an Apu accent, they are just being asses.

Darleen

I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you. Anyone else shocked?

David

I’m shocked, shocked, I tell you.

Why, it’s inconceivable.

No wait. The other thing.

Darleen

I spent many years travelling to the US from the UK for work, sometimes for up to 3 months. My colleagues and I were always asked where we were from,

On the few overseas vacations we've taken, we got that question all the time. And were delighted because it meant another opportunity to chat with locals (who are more than happy to let you know the best non-tourist places to see or dine at).

The funniest experience was in southern France (20+ years ago) where we were shopping and trying out our rusty high school French on the shopkeepers. The couple between the counter were very amused and asked us where we were from ...

"United States - California"

Their smiles got broader and they said, in unison "BAYWATCH!!"

Oh, dear. ;)

anon a mouse

"Anyone else shocked?"

No. Next question?

aelfheld

I would quibble slightly with the heading.

Those, such as Vasudevan, in perpetual high dudgeon crave the appearance of persecution (and the privileges such appearance brings) knowing all the while they are in no danger of actual persecution.

It's all mummery.

Daniel Ream

Americans have a reputation for being friendly to everyone, even servants.

Can confirm. I just started a new remote-only job with a firm in Detroit; I'm the first Canadian employee (which entailed much consternation when it came to filing paperwork).

The difference is night and day. Everyone treats me like the beloved brother they haven't seen in two years. It's disconcerting.

aelfheld
Is it just me, or do these two search engines produce notably different results?

They know their audiences.

David

Everyone treats me like the beloved brother they haven’t seen in two years. It’s disconcerting.

As a callow twenty-something, I spent a week in New York. The people I encountered there – including a pair of be-heeled seven-foot drag queens – seemed terribly excited by my accent, which was a tad unnerving. Mercifully, no-one mistook me for an Australian.

Johnny

I'm asian and I work in hotels. I get asked where I'm from all the time from other ASIANS. People who make it racial are just dumb.

Sam Duncan

“From whence comest thou?”

Just “Whence...“; the “from” is superfluous.

Alex

Sam: not necessarily. The KJV translation of Psalms 121:1 has “…from whence cometh my help.”

Fred the Fourth

I'm of English, Welsh and Swedish ancestry, and I look it. In London, I got asked for directions by tourists all the time.
I will always treasure my memories of their faces when they heard my rusty US Midwest twang accent, denying any local knowledge.
Smiles all round after, of course.

Fred the Fourth

The last time I came right out and asked someone where they were from was at a seminar, and I just could not quite understand the french(?) accented English I was hearing.
He said he was from Provence. He offered to switch to Parisian accented English, which was 1) easy to understand, and 2) an amazing feat of linguistic magic.

pst314

Our family comes from a place where our kind is a disliked minority.

And in sad irony your name, Arkadiy, is the Russian form of the Greek Arkadia (Arcadia in English), which has the ancient connotation of a pastoral utopia of peace and plenty. The fertility and productivity of the Steppes is phenomenal, but we humans seem to have a talent for pissing in paradise.

pst314

I will always treasure my memories of their faces when they heard my rusty US Midwest twang accent, denying any local knowledge.

Hey, I can speak 'Murican and English. [ Waits for indignant refutation from David. ]

pst314

Amid the wreckage of Russian attack helicopter is...a washing machine.

Actually, I suspect it is not but enjoy the trolling.

pst314

More trolling.

And still more.

pst314

The horrible Cambridge professor was from a Brahmen family and they treat 99% of humanity as beneath their dignity.

...which calls to mind the old expression "Boston Brahmin".

Steve E

I got asked for directions by tourists all the time.

Another one of the brethren. Some of us must have a certain look. It doesn't matter where I am in the world, it's a given that someone will ask me for directions.

Doonhamer

The "native" who is upset about being asked where he/she/it is from does not grasp the nuances of local accent. Just be proud of your origins and answer a friendly question.
As for the Uber person, hand him a note saying
"I appreciate your feelings and I will not ask you where you are from. You will understand if I ask that you do not ask me where I am going. "

Steve E

(Arcadia in English), which has the ancient connotation of a pastoral utopia of peace and plenty.

From Canada's Humorist Laureate Stephen Leacock, Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich. Oddly, Utopias are most often to be avoided. Samuel Butler's Erewhon (nowhere spelled backwards) is my favourite name for Utopia.

ccscientist

Asked a Korean where from --young man--he had been mostly raised here so he took offense but then I said I have friends living in Seoul (where he was from). He was mollified.
Taxi driver from Africa. I guessed which country but missed it. He was delighted I tried to guess.
The "where from" question often leads to connections. Maybe you have visited that country, or love the food, or wish you could go there or have a relative from there. To get pissy about it indicates no understanding of human conversation. And what about the question is offensive anyway?

pst314

The "where from" question often leads to connections. Maybe you have visited that country, or love the food, or...

My most frequent first thought is that I am missing so much fine literature and poetry by only seeing it in translation.

pst314

I am missing so much fine literature and poetry by only seeing it in translation.

Or there is no English language edition in print: The latest example: Somebody mentioned the Gunner Asch novels of Hans Hellmut Kirst: They are all out of print in English, although paperback editions were widely available in the 60's/70's.

Daniel Ream

a Brahmen family and they treat 99% of humanity as beneath their dignity

This is, incidentally, why you see so many Indian transplants at the top of the woke pecking order. India has an incredibly rigid, stratified caste structure and the only Indians who can afford to emigrate are from the upper castes. They bring their "I am naturally better than you" attitude with them.

Dan C

Setting up boobytraps is illegal. That doesn't mean it's not ethical and funny:

https://twitter.com/WhaleOilBeefukdSet/status/1525960702799671296?s=20&t=IsyCZrKG5X6LvQsPdkXrzQ

Adam D

To be fair, the question can be painful. Our family comes from a place where our kind is a disliked minority. I did not have it so bad, so I don't care about the question either way. My wife had a much tougher time there, so she hates answering that question.

This is a really interesting point that I think gets under appreciated. There are 2 options here:

1. Your wife deals with her discomfort to the question or

2. Everyone in the world changes to accommodate your wife.

Unfortunately too many people in the world think the second one is not only the correct option but a realistic one as well

(Just using your example not inferring anything about you guys personally)

pst314

This is a really interesting point that I think gets under appreciated. There are 2 options here...

It's awkward to suggest how someone should deal with something like this, but here is something that may help her:

Americans are sympathetic to these traumas: Not only is the spirit of America one of welcoming immigrants, many Americans (or their ancestors) came here to escape persecution. The German side of my family fled the political persecutions of the mid- to late-1800's. The French side of my family escaped Revolutionary France (they lost everything but their lives.) I know, and my parents knew, people who fled the Nazis, the Soviets, etc, etc. And that is not even considering the many people who came her to escape poverty and social hierarchies that denied them opportunities for advancement. That's not to say that Americans will aggressively ask about these things, but the sympathetic attitude is there.

pst314

Heck, we're even tolerant of the English and their inability to pronounce aluminum. [ rim shot ]

Speaking of fake insults fired back and forth across the Atlantic, I ran across a derisive comment about the English tradition of eating Christmas cake with a slice of cheese. What's so odd about that? It sounds like it fits exactly with the tradition of serving apple pie with a slice of cheddar.

pst314

David, the blog continues to have intermittent trouble: slow page loading and occasional errors. Did somebody change the hamsters' chow? According to All Creatures Great and Small a constant diet is very important.

Fred the Fourth

Steve e,
My look is really only local-looking in the UK.
Pallor, Red hair (used to be really flaming red),
Freckles.
I never got asked for directions in Japan.
But once an elderly Chinese immigrant relative of a girlfriend asked her, quietly, how long I had to live.
Apparently my freckles were a real novelty.

Fred the Fourth

An unusually large proportion of the sites I frequent have been having server problems recently.
No idea why, but it's definitely odd.
(Hmm. Is it "have" or "has"? There's never a pedant around when you need one.)

Karen M

She's now deleting her tweets.

You're not supposed to answer back.

David

You’re not supposed to answer back.

I can’t help but wonder at the thought process behind deleting the thread. As yet, there’s no follow-up, no reply to her critics. It’s simply gone away. At the time, Ms Vasudevan seemed quite proud of her pronouncements, one might say smug. But then, alas, things didn’t go her way. I browsed the thread several times before it disappeared and didn’t see any replies that were particularly obnoxious, though quite a few were pithy and pointed out some of the logical shortcomings of Ms Vasudevan’s position. Perhaps she’s unaccustomed to being disagreed with. Perhaps she’s come to expect a certain deference.

Which makes me wonder whether her views on the matter will consequently be modified, even slightly, or whether she’ll just go on mouthing the same sounds and acting as if no serious rebuttals had actually been shared. A phenomenon we’ve seen many times.

Answers on a postcard, please.

Stephanie Richer

It's Monday morning here in the States and I have two things that should brighten it:

1. The Depp-Heard trial continues with cross-examination of Amber! https://www.instagram.com/reel/CdcAbySp_if/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D

2. It is an opinion release day at the Supreme Court. They do not pre-announce which opinions will be handed down but I am hoping Dobbs comes out, Roe v. Wade gets overturned, and the summer rioting season begins so we can get it over with.

I have desk work at hand so I'll have on Rekieta Law on YouTube and monitor Scotusblog on Twitter.

Waxy

A phenomenon we’ve seen many times.

That post is hilarious. :-D

Lemmi

I reverted to my native Scouse,

[ Backs away slowly, searches for something with which to make fire. ]

Don't worry, I've lived on the South Coast for 38 years, not quite gone native but enough to be understood.

David

That post is hilarious.

It does, I think, capture Ms Fabello’s mental contortions.

She’s cropped up here before, several times.

You see, being an empowered feminist, she is of course traumatised by people disagreeing with her.

David

And remember, she was the managing editor of what was allegedly one of the foremost feminist publications, with tens of thousands of readers. A guide to us all.

Tom

The horrible Cambridge professor was from a Brahmen family and they treat 99% of humanity as beneath their dignity.

I was in an online 'training'* session run by Microsoft and the man giving it and his manager were both Indian. I'm reasonably certain from his name that the trainer was Sikh, but I can't say that the manager was Brahmin. I can say however, that in the short bit when they had a mini-meeting that the attendees were privy to, the manager treated the trainer with rudeness that would have resulted in a complaint to HR in the US or UK.

Having lived and worked in the UK for 9 years I worked for and with many different people from the subcontinent and found them generally nice and easy going, but they occasionally treated each other abominably. Caste systems die hard.

*I think training deserves the scare quotes because if you've ever attended one of these things and actually learned something long-lasting, God bless you.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...she he is of course traumatised...

...you just misgendered this woman [sic]...

David

you just misgendered this woman [sic]...

Did you not see his nail polish?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Did you not see his nail polish?

No, but the "she/her" patch he didn't know what arm it was on was a dead give away.

Meanwhile, back to the original topic, sometimes best not to ask the question.

pst314

Pro-abortion activist says it's "a woman's right to choose" to abort her baby after it's born, even years later. Moloch replies: "Now, that's a sacrament!"

Trolling? Maybe but not necessarily. I've known leftists who enthusiastically supported every horror that communist regimes have perpetrated, including genocide.

pst314

She’s cropped up here before, several times.

"Melissa Fabello, the managing editor of Everyday Feminism, the one who told her readers that feminism is a Joy-Bringing Total Explanation For Everything In The World..."

Small minds and defective minds are attracted to totalizing theories.

David

Small minds and defective minds are attracted to totalizing theories.

One might, in theory, pity her. She is, after all, a neurotic middle-class woman who, like so many of her type, has wasted a small fortune on a worthless pseudo-education, a parody, during which she has been led to believe that wild, laughable assertion and a disregard for facts and even basic logic is the very measure of being clever. She regurgitates her lecture notes and waits for applause – and gets quite upset when people dare to correct her. She’s just another dupe who still doesn’t realise it. Or at least can’t admit to it.

Farnsworht M Muldoon

Meanwhile in the antipodes, Greens & Labour want the government to pay for all this surgery and therapy so that chaps like this can have their "gender affirmed".

"The 6 Million AUD Man, we can rebuild him..."; "scalp advancement", a procedure to hide male pattern baldness, and "voice therapy", because he is a woman, don't you know.

Jack Klompus

Yes, polite conversation starters expressing an interest in another person's story are literally violence, as we know.

I would travel throughout Beijing with another American teacher-couple and their very blonde, very adorable little kids. On buses and subways their kids were mobbed by the smiling adoring locals who would, without any permission granted, take photos of them and try to touch their hair. The kids typically just stood frozen and smiled politely and nervously.

The wife was constantly taking days off to appear in local commercials for every consumer product on the shelves. Her directions on set were typically, "Just smile and be white."

pst314

She’s cropped up here before, several times.

David, you quote her in one of those links:

"If you’ve ever been a marginalised person on the internet, you may recognise this phenomenon as 'The Facebook Comment Thread Effect' – and it’s the reason why so many people choose to bow out of these arguments entirely: not because they can’t defend themselves, but because they shouldn’t have to."

Far be it from me to defend a feminazi lunatic, but Facebook comment threads do tend to be toxic: Lots of trolls, lots of crazy people, lots of ignorant/stupid/dishonest people. As a result those threads can be exhausting and unpleasant. I'm sure a feminazi like Melissa Fabello sees all disagreement as toxic, but the reality is that Facebook is a socially poisonous world.

David

but Facebook comment threads do tend to be toxic

I can’t speak to the merits of Facebook debates – I’ve never used it – but Ms Fabello very much regards almost any demurral - say, from anyone not in her contacts list, and from “straight, white, cis men” in particular - as some kind of personal outrage. The traffic, apparently, should only go one way. Such that she can insult and dismiss vast swathes of humankind, based solely on immutable characteristics, their maleness, skin colour, etc., but she feigns emotional injury should any of those people complain about the insults. Even if they do it politely. It’s one of the things that catches the eye. She conflates defending a stated position – such-and-such is the case - with defending herself and so, disagreement is, we’re told, an assault on her very being. Yet more “oppression.”

Which is a bit of problem if you’ve spent years and a small fortune investing your ego, your identity, your self-imagined gloriousness, in demonstrable claptrap.

pst314

I can’t speak to the merits of Facebook debates...

You're fortunate. I used to think that Facebook groups would be a good way to find discussions of authors I liked, but quickly found that a significant fraction of the commenters were fanatical worshipers and kooks, with a noticeable sprinkling of intentionally-misunderstanding-what-you-write trolls. My advice is to use Facebook only to follow specific people you like.

pst314

For your viewing "pleasure."

Daniel Ream

the manager treated the trainer with rudeness that would have resulted in a complaint

If the trainer was Sikh (all Sikhs have the surname Singh) then there's longstanding sectarian resentments in the mix as well. Think Northern Ireland.

She conflates defending a stated position – such-and-such is the case - with defending herself

Well, yes. Just to turn this into Daniel's Gaming Blog for a minute, you see this a lot in the gaming (tabletop/video/board) community, and the nerdfan community generally. When you have extremely neurotic, low self-esteem people who can't handle the real world, they tie their identity and self-worth to some external interest that's emotionally "safe". The external interest can be controlled, has no unpleasant bits, and was selected to cater to the neurotic's dysfunctions. Any "attack" on the external interest is therefore by proxy an attack on the neurotic themselves, and even mild disagreement is an attack.

It's interesting (and/or horrifying, choose your adjective) how similar the reaction is from trans activists, the generally woke, and nerdfans. I saw a Facebook thread the other day where someone expressing the opinion that he did not like board games that required a phone app to play was roundly excoriated, complete with references to Kickstarter metrics for previous app-driven boardgames.

It also explains why the nerdfan community fell so quickly to the woke invaders: it's not that hard to convince a neurotic to swap one safe haven for another. What's important is having the haven; the colour of the wallpaper is irrelevant.

Daniel Ream

Apropos of nothing, if you have a last-gen gaming console Immortals: Fenyx Rising is an absolute blast to play. It's just fun.
If you imagine Pixar made a Greek mythology movie stuffed full of old-school Pixar humour and obscure mythology references, and absolutely top-notch voice work, that's Immortals. Also it's boldly and brightly coloured, which is a welcome respite from all the grimdark.

"Quake I, Quake II, Quake III - three games united by a common theme, and that theme is: brown." ~ Old Man Murray, c.2001
pst314

I saw a Facebook thread the other day where someone expressing the opinion that he did not like board games that required a phone app to play was roundly excoriated

That sounds like a good example of the toxicity I encountered.

It also explains why the nerdfan community fell so quickly to the woke invaders...

Also: the traditional fan culture--dare I say cult?--of extreme tolerance: Fans have always tended to be socially awkward, maladjusted and eccentric. As a result they developed a doctrine of tolerance for every sort of personality quirk. This made them vulnerable to indoctrination into tolerance of the intolerable.

Fred the Fourth

I first read "managing editor" as "maligning editor".
Perhaps that's Ms. Fabello's actual role?

Sam Duncan

"Quake I, Quake II, Quake III - three games united by a common theme, and that theme is: brown."

It was like a foreshadowing of that trend during the PS3/XB360 era of slathering “gritty” and “realistic” post-processing effects over everything, which basically amounted to “make it all brown”.

('Course, going back even further, there's a sort of meme in the ZX Spectrum community* to the effect that while, yes, the Commodore 64 had sixteen colours to the Speccy's eight, most of them were shades of brown. Hmm. I wonder if the Id guys grew up with C64s...)

*What? It's a thing.

Jack Klompus

"United States - California"

Their smiles got broader and they said, in unison "BAYWATCH!!"

I had an Israeli near Tel Aviv tell me his dream was to move to Los Angeles and get into the porn industry.

Daniel Ream

move to Los Angeles and get into the porn industry

It's actually staggeringly boring. For the male talent it's grueling work that requires amounts of Viagra and steroids that would choke a horse, they don't get paid very well, and the drugs end up destroying their bodies. To make a living as male talent you have to do gay porn, which pays a ton more, or else be an independent contractor/producer in addition to performing.

The whole industry is completely mobbed up as it fronts for prostitution, money laundering and sex trafficking. The only people getting rich are the publishers, who are generally "respectable" media types owning the independent contractors through a series of cutouts and dummy holding companies.

...what?

Daniel Ream

This made them vulnerable to indoctrination into tolerance of the intolerable.

GSF #1: Ostracizers are evil.

I find it fascinating that this has completely flipped in recent years, with Evil Hat explicitly saying that if you don't agree with their ludicrous woke politics they don't want your money and the wokesters bringing cancel culture to the community. The deplatforming of "Zak Smith", Adam Koebel, the increasing numbers of prologues to indie RPGs that say "if you are a fascist, you're not allowed to play this game", etc.

There are a few designers standing up to the mob, but they pretty much have to have a side source of income or be otherwise uncancellable.

David

To make a living as male talent you have to do gay porn, which pays a ton more, or else be an independent contractor/producer in addition to performing.

[ Peers over spectacles. ]

Rxc

I live in Florida, and one of the very first questions that is asked when two people meet for the first time is "Where are you from?" It exchanges information that helps start a conversation. Even the natives have non native roots, unless they are Seminole or sone other lost tribe.

Jim Whyte

Not that a rebuttal to Ms. Vasudevan's position is really needed, but anyone with a sincere attachment to roots finds others' roots enriching. To quote W.L. Morton: a conservative "is interested in family; he instinctively wants to know who your people were and where you came from."

Some miscellany less germane to the topic:

Lemmi: I reverted to my native Scouse

And you said you're only 8% Irish?

Farnsworth: it should be 'From where are you?'

Hope you're joking...the "preposition rule" is a high-school-English-teacher pedantry.

It was once a cherished superstition that prepositions must be kept true to their name and placed before the word they govern in spite of the incurable English instinct for putting them late....The fact is that the remarkable freedom enjoyed by English in putting its prepositions late and omitting its relatives is an important element in the flexibility of the language....The legitimacy of the propositional ending in literary English must be uncompromisingly maintained....In avoiding the forbidden order, unskilful handlers of words often fall into real blunders....Follow no arbitrary rule. (Fowler, Modern English Usage).

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Follow no arbitrary rule. (Fowler, Modern English Usage).

International in scope, the Dictionary provides in-depth coverage of both British and American English usage, with reference also to the English of Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, and South Africa. The entries are packed with usage examples, some from established literary figures such as Chinua Achebe, Raymond Carver, Iris Murdoch, Harold Pinter, and Vikram Seth, and others from a vast range of newspapers, journals, books, broadcast material, websites, and other digital sources from across the globe, and include references to topical personalities such as Stephen Fry, Prince Harry, Jeremy Paxman, and Wayne Rooney.

With that list of luminaries, small wonder no rules are followed, so basically it is wikipedia for English and likely also allows that splitting infinitives is just peachy.

Barbarians.

Directrix Gazer

Farnsworth, I seem to remembery my copy of Strunk and White making more or less the same point as the Fowler excerpt. The preposition rule was only lately grafted onto English by Latin-obsessed grammarians; it's hardly a tragedy that it has failed to flourish.

Also, lest I forget: ovophobes delendum est!

Ahem.

pst314

The preposition rule was only lately grafted onto English by Latin-obsessed grammarians

That is my understanding.

P. S. Bacon and eggs: Yum. With extra eggs. Yum, yum.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

The preposition rule was only lately grafted onto English by Latin-obsessed grammarians...

I see, so you mean people with standards, unlike the Asao B. Inoue school of English that Fowler and Strunk et al. have let into the room.

BTW, ovum is Latin, phobos, Greek, regardless of that unholy mashup, I have no timorum ovi, for I simply know ova sunt Diaboli stercora, and inedible.

Ameen.

Jim Whyte

FM: On the contrary, I am no weak-willed grammatical descriptivist; neither was Fowler; and I wholly concur that the 1996 and later Fowlers (which that blurb is sourced from) are evil and mischievous heresies that tempt the weak.

In the matter of split infinitives - yet another superstition - I divide (with Fowler, 2nd ed., 1965) the world into the following categories about the split infinitive:

1. Those who neither know nor care, "a happy folk to be envied";
2. Those who do not know, but care very much, out of "tame acceptance of the misinterpreted opinions of others...who subject their sentences to the queerest distortions, all to escape imaginary split infinitives";
3. Those who know and condemn;
4. Those who know and approve, after the manner of Raymond Chandler: "I split it so it stays split";
5. Those who know and discriminate.

Unfortunately I keep running into Group 2 in places they should not be; and would observe that in English, all infinitives are split, by the typespace that intervenes between "to" and the verb's citation form.

Captain Nemo

Don't know about the UK, but here in the US&A it happens frequently within the US&A

Not just the USA, Farnsworth, it happens here in the UK too. For example, I went to university in Scotland. I wasn't local and so I was often asked where I was from. But not once do I ever recall feeling particularly oppressed by the question.

Directrix Gazer

ovum is Latin, phobos, Greek, regardless of that unholy mashup

Ah, so I have managed to identify at least one situation in which you disapprove of mashing together bits of only distantly related languages. You've fallen right into my trap, Mr. Muldoon!

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...neither was Fowler...

Yeah, but who died and made him arbiter of all things English? Probably was in cahoots with agents of the the sub rosa remnants of the Hanseatic League and Mensheviks to debase he language.

...all infinitives are split, by the typespace that intervenes between "to"...

Not really, as the "to" is what defines a verb as an infinitive, as opposed to a finite verb, and why inserting words between the "to" and the verb, contrary to what God intended, makes Baby Jesus cry.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

But not once do I ever recall feeling particularly oppressed by the question.

Nor I, even when (people in the communist states northeast often being rude) my revelation I was from Missibamasee was followed by some comment about us still marrying sisters or the like.

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