Big Hooped Earrings

Reheated (54)

For newcomers, more items from the archives.

You Look Like You Need Some Art

In which we thrill to the creative eruptions of Ms Sandrine Schaefer.

The pretence of intellectual heft and critical discernment is quite funny, given the unspoken rules of pretend artists and their pretend art. Like practically all of her fellow hustlers, Ms Schaefer tells us that she “investigates” and “questions” things, and presumably interrogates them; but despite this allegedly relentless curiosity, I doubt that any specific insight or profundity is ever conveyed to her audience, such as it is, via the art, such as it is. And of course, we’re not supposed to notice this, or notice the comical mismatch of arch rhetoric and inept flummery. And so, in order to feign discernment, one has to not discern any number of really obvious things.

Don’t Oppress My People With Your Big Hooped Earrings

On the woes of radical accessorising at Pitzer College, Claremont, California.

It does, I think, take a particular chutzpah to publicly claim to be oppressed - by other people’s earrings - while spending more than the median household income at a glorified holiday resort.

Fashionable Malice

Woke educators attempt to inculcate dishonesty, bemoan pockets of resistance. 

“White fragility” is the unremarkable fact that people by and large don’t like being slandered as racists and then assigned with some pretentious collective guilt, the supposed atonement for which requires deference to actual racists and predatory hokum merchants.

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The Year Reheated

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

The year began with searing insights from the world of academia. Specifically, London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, where black student activists denounced objectivity as an “alienating” concept, and issued numerous demands, allegedly to challenge stereotypes of student laziness and inadequacy. It turns out that the way to avoid any appearance of such things is to complain about the “stress and anxiety” of being corrected, or disagreed with, especially by people who are insufficiently brown and deferential. Elsewhere, the psychological reverberations of Donald Trump’s election victory continued to be felt, as when a charmingly progressive lady sensed a fellow plane passenger’s failure to vote as she did and promptly threatened to vomit on him. Other pious lefties signalled their moral superiority by planning to sabotage transport infrastructure, stranding and distressing countless random people, and thereby reminding us that “social justice” posturing is often difficult to distinguish from petty malice or outright sociopathy. Meanwhile, Laurie Penny preferred to advocate “spite” as a guiding progressive principal, as if this were a new and novel development.

February provided further illustrations of this fashionable malice, as when educators at the University of Cincinnati bemoaned the fact that their attempts to inculcate unrealism, dishonesty and pretentious racial guilt were still being met with pockets of resistance. Objecting to slander and brow-beating by bigoted mediocrities is, we learned, merely “white fragility” and therefore, somehow, damning proof of racism. Racial fixations were also in play at the Writing Centre at the University of Washington, Tacoma, the stated goal of which is to “help writers succeed in a racist society,” a goal to be achieved by denouncing grammar as “an unjust language structure,” and the correction of punctuation as “an oppressive practice.” Because those ungrammatical job applications, the ones enlivened with incomprehensible sentences and lots of inventive spelling, will do just fine. We also learned of the steep price to be paid for small acts of courtesy – namely, holding open a door for a Guardian contributor with weight issues and a gift for hysterical screaming

Accessorising was an unexpected topic of discussion in March, when the crushingly put-upon students at Pitzer College, Claremont, California, informed the world that “winged eyeliner and big hoop earrings” are “an everyday act of resistance,” and should therefore be the exclusive ornamentation of the slightly brown and radical. Elsewhere, at Middlebury College, Dr Charles Murray attempted to give a lecture on, among other things, the dangers of tribalism and social fragmentation, only to be met with tribal hysteria and an actual riot, complete with slanderous chants, hospitalised staff and students wearing ski masks

In April, the immense, frustrated love machine Caleb Luna wondered why his Grindr profile attracts so little interest. Carefully sidestepping the possibility of weight loss, Mr Luna decided that the rest of us must “interrogate” our “phobias,” which is to say our preferences, and consequently start lusting after “alternative bodies.” Specifically, bodies like Mr Luna’s. Avoiding the obvious was also a theme in the world of performance art, where Shannon Cochrane and Márcio Carvalho unwittingly entertained us with their deep thoughts, shifting paradigms and heads wrapped in meat. Another highlight of the month came via Everyday Feminism’s Emily Zak, who wanted us to know that the allure of fresh air is, like everything else, terribly oppressive, due to the “painfully heteronormative” nature of wildland firefighting, and a shortage of adverts featuring gay people kayaking in a suitably gay-affirming manner. 

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Caliban’s Mirror

Elliott Dordick reports

Several faculty members at Pitzer College recently discussed launching an “investigation” of a student paper for accurately reporting a student’s public comments about “cultural appropriation.”

These comments here, about the chest-crushing oppression of seeing white people wearing big hooped earrings.

Professors and administrators at the Claremont Colleges took to public Facebook posts to vent their frustrations, proposing free speech limits on campus and an “investigation” to shut down the conservative student journal.

Because that’s what grown-ups do now. At least on campus.

“We have a serious problem with the Claremont Independent bullying young women of colour and illegally posting their emails, exposing them to violence,” Suyapa Portillo, an Assistant Professor of Chicano-Latino Studies at Pitzer College, recently posted to her public Facebook page. 

Quoting verbatim public comments - comments that were directed at the entire campus via the Student Talk listserv and sprayed onto a wall - is now “bullying” and “violence,” apparently. At least on campus.

“This is dangerous, irresponsible slander and [is] unacceptable. The minute one of our women of colour students feels unsafe on campus ALL of our students of colour and faculty of colour are unsafe. #STOPBullying #TitleIX #ShutItDown #StopHate.”

“Shut it down,” she hashtags, seated proudly on a pile of non sequitur. Because accurate and undisputed quoting is, via some unspecified mental contortion, now to be regarded as slanderous and hateful, and a mortal threat to every brownish person within a ten-mile radius, and thus something to be stopped.

At least on campus.


Don’t Oppress My People With Your Big Hooped Earrings

Attention, all you white women

If you didn’t create the culture as a coping mechanism for marginalisation, take off those hoops[;] if your feminism isn’t intersectional, take off those hoops[;] if you try to wear mi cultura when the creators can no longer afford it, take off those hoops[;] if you are incapable of using a search engine and expect other people to educate you, take off those hoops[;] if you can’t pronounce my name or spell it, take off those hoops.

So rants Ms Alegria Martinez, a member of the Latinx Student Union at Pitzer College, Claremont, California, in a campus-wide email. When not struggling with oppressive punctuation, Ms Martinez spends her time fretting about the fact that she and her peers are “not taken seriously” as the radical titans they so obviously are. According to fellow umbrage-taker Jacquelyn Aguilera, who also emailed the entire campus, “winged eyeliner, lined lips, and big hoop earrings” are “an everyday act of resistance” by the brown and virtuous, “especially here at the Claremont Colleges.”

Where students are forking out $60,000 a year in the hope of being terribly downtrodden. Possibly by the pool