Reheated (73)

Some items from the archives:

How Dare You Not Pretend.

On pronouns, politeness, and the strange mental rumblings of Ms Laurie Penny.  

Regarding rudeness, I’m generally polite by default, at least in person, and don’t go out of my way to needlessly put a kink in someone else’s day. I’ve had perfectly civil chats with people who regard themselves as transgender or gender-non-conforming or whatever. Nobody got upset. But what is often being asked – or demanded – is not a small thing, not in its implications.

Taken broadly, we are being asked to affirm, wholesale, a bundle of phenomena that includes not only actual gender dysphoria, whether the result of developmental anomalies or childhood molestation, but also autogynephilia, serious personality disorders, adolescent pretension, and assorted exhibitionist and unsavoury compulsions. The expectation seems to be that we should take these different phenomena, with very different moral connotations, as being one and the same thing, and then defer to them, habitually and uncritically. Which is asking rather more than can readily be agreed to.

Turf War.

At Middlebury College, woke piety erupts. A 74-year-old scholar is quite literally chased off campus.

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Reheated (72)

Some items from the archives:

No Black Lights Were Available.

New York Times contributor is oppressed by pedestrian-crossing traffic lights.

Mr Kaufman - who can doubtless detect racism in the motions of subatomic particles - would have us believe that his friend was using the word white as a racial descriptor, rather than, as seems more likely, an unremarkable acknowledgement of a traffic light’s colour when talking to a child. In light of which, Mr Kaufman’s claims of being “bombarded” with racism – daily, everywhere – become at least explicable, if not convincing. 

The pedestrian crossing signal that so distresses Mr Kaufman – a rudimentary humanoid figure, made of white lights on a black background – can be seen here, from a safe distance. You may want to steady yourselves. It’s all very upsetting, at least for the exquisitely sensitive. Mr Kaufman then goes on an investigative journey, in which he learns why, in a society with lots of non-English speakers, crossing signals with words are being replaced by simple, universal graphics, calibrated to capture attention – say, by using lights of a certain hue. Which all sounds quite sensible. Rather than, say, a nefarious racial conspiracy intended to break the will of the negro.

You May Clap When Moved.  

Mr Reed Altemus rubs his trousers, awaits applause.

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Reheated (71)

As I expect to be busy over the next few days, some items from the archives.

Something About The Tone.   

Urban Studies lecturer bemoans litter inequality, suggests bulldozing homes nicer than his own.

Our postcode class warrior also thinks that “deprived” and “marginalised” communities can be elevated, made less dysfunctional, by “the provision of services… such as… street cleaners.” Meaning more street cleaners, cleaning more frequently. He links to a report fretting about how to “narrow the gap” in litter, how to, “achieve fairer outcomes in street cleanliness.” But neither he nor the authors of said report explore an obvious factor. The words “drop” and “littering” simply don’t appear anywhere in the report, thereby suggesting that the food-smeared detritus and other unsightly objects just fall from the clouds mysteriously when the locals are asleep.

The report that Mr Matthews cites, supposedly as evidence of unfairness, actually states that council cleaning resources are “skewed towards deprived neighbourhoods” – with councils spending up to five times more on those areas than they spend on cleaning more respectable neighbourhoods. And yet even this is insufficient to overcome the locals’ antisocial behaviour. A regular visit by a council cleaning team, even one equipped with military hardware, won’t compensate for a dysfunctional attitude towards littering among both children and their parents. And fretting about inequalities in litter density is a little odd if you don’t consider how the litter gets there in the first place. 

The Dunning-Kruger Diaries, Part Two

Behold the creative outpourings of Ms Angeliki Chiado Tsoli.

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Elsewhere (312)

Anna Slatz on when an 80-year-old lady encounters the pointy end of transgender ideology:  

When [Julie] Jaman asked… why no signs had been posted informing women that males could potentially be in the locker rooms, she says she was told: “‘We post pride signs, and we assume that lets women know what to expect.’”

What is expected, it seems, is that women who are not entirely comfortable with dysmorphic men using ladies’ changing rooms and showers, and watching small girls undress, should simply pretend that it isn’t happening. As is the custom, a kind of farce ensues, including accusations of “hatred,” bigotry, and being “unscientific.”  

Heather Mac Donald on the woke capture, and corruption, of medicine:

Medical schools and medical societies are discarding traditional standards of merit in order to alter the demographic characteristics of their profession… Black students are not admitted into competitive residencies at the same rate as whites because their average [second year ‘Step One’] test scores are a standard deviation below those of whites. Step One has already been modified to try to shrink that gap; it now includes nonscience components such as “communication and interpersonal skills.” But the standard deviation in scores has persisted. In the world of antiracism, that persistence means only one thing: the test is to blame. It is Step One that, in the language of antiracism, “disadvantages” underrepresented minorities, not any lesser degree of medical knowledge…

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Those Critical Faculties

Come, let us dip a toe in the world of woke theatre criticism. From the pages of Intermission magazine, where the Toronto Star’s theatre critics, Aisling Murphy and Karen Fricker, applaud each other, and thereby themselves, for seeing an indigenous play and submitting to conditions on what they may say about it:

We both responded really positively to the show. But the reason we’re not writing a traditional review is because [playwright and director] Kim Harvey did not invite reviews of this Toronto premiere production of Kamloopa. This follows on from the world premiere production in 2018 in Vancouver in which she invited Indigenous women to write love letters to the show but did not invite traditional reviews.

You see, for Ms Harvey, our unflinching and very indigenous creative person, “staging theatre productions is a form of Indigenous ceremony,” and is therefore, conveniently, exempt from customary feedback, i.e., reviews of a kind that paying customers might have found useful, had they been available. And so, reviewers of pallor, should they be permitted, must first attend a circle, in which they will be told, in advance, how artful and profound the work in question is, and what they should say about it. After all, it’s so much easier on the ego, and any teetering vanity, if no acknowledgement of any shortcoming is permitted.

Despite not being brown and magical beings themselves, Ms Murphy and Ms Fricker are keen to show their approval of, and deference to, this artistic innovation:

Here, white critics were invited, but with the caveat of listening and bearing witness to Kim’s artistic philosophies first: to me, that felt not only fair but really rich. 

Bearing witness, you say. To artistic philosophies. Because you can’t just turn up with tickets in the hope of entertainment.

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Reheated (67)

For newcomers and the nostalgic, more items from the archives:

Damned If You Do.  

How dare you like, or not like, her aboriginal-feminist poetry:

We’re told that being a “coloured” or “Indigenous” writer is fraught with “structural oppression,” on account of being “marginalised” – as when being invited to literary award parties and then swooned over by pretentious pale-skinned lefties. “Whiteness” and “white men” are particular burdens to Ms Whittaker and her peers, whose suffering – their “collective plight” - is seemingly endless and endlessly fascinating, at least among those for whom such woes are currency. As Ms Whittaker’s world is one of practised self-involvement, her point is at times unobvious. However, our unhappy poet appears to be annoyed both by “underwhelming responses” to her own writing and by insufficiently convincing displays of approval. All that “endless patronising praise.” At which point, the words high maintenance spring to mind.

She Does All This For Us, You Know

Or, The Thrill Of Hand Dryers:

I thought I’d cheer you with another chance to marvel at the mind-shattering talents of Ms Sandrine Schaefer, a performance artist whose adventures with lettuce and underwear have previously entertained us. Ms Schaefer, who teaches performance art to those less gifted than herself, has been described by the senior curator at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art as “amazing,” “compelling” and yet inexplicably “underfunded.”

You Can Either Concur Or Agree

At Edinburgh University, performative neuroticism reaches new heights:

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The Sound Of Shoehorning

Granted, hanging up spoons in straight rows isn’t quite as impressive as the oeuvre of Rembrandt. But if we pretend hard enough, maybe it will seem as if it were?

Steve Sailer spies some farcically woke art-exhibition notes

Photographs of which can be found here. This one in particular is quite a feat


In the comments, Joan adds, “They want to spoil everything.” Indeed, the tone of the exhibition notes is reliably sour and anhedonic. Only the contrivance is amusing, albeit unwittingly. And it occurs to me that it would save a lot of time and rhetorical straining to simply stamp each artwork with the words “BAD WHITEY.” The effect would be much the same and with little loss of meaningful content. It’s also worth pondering the term “white degeneracy,” and whether any other racial demographic would be subject to similar usage in the official display notes of a mainstream art exhibition.

Update 2:

It seems to me that juxtaposing Rembrandt’s paintings with half-arsed tat by the ungifted-but-heroically-brown - an unremarkable frame, some spoons in rows – is not a great way to establish the implied artistic parity. But in order to be woke and right-thinking, we must somehow will the equivalence into being. Or at least pretend.

And this is why wokeness is corrupting. It eats away at realism, and at honesty.

Also, open thread

Please Stop Objecting To The Assault Of Your Person

Robert Schmad spots more Clown Quarter contortion:  

An assistant professor at Appalachian State University recently argued that enforcing behavioural standards in public high schools is rooted in racism and unfairly affects Black students. In the article “‘Press Charges’: Art Class, White Feelings, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” [assistant professor of art education, Dr] Albert Stabler writes that the desire to punish students for violating school rules, especially when the police are involved, is the result of “the overvaluation of White feelings.”   

The article, which you can poke at here, contains many wonders, generally of a kind only the woke can conjure into being. It begins with the obligatory confession of innate wrongness - i.e., “I am a white teacher” – and includes much gushing about non-white students’ “life experiences and cultural knowledge,” before which our educator is eager to prostrate himself, and which have apparently resulted in Dr Stabler’s own “learning and growth as a person.” Particulars on this point - the deep insights of teenagers - are, alas, unclear. And amid the gushing, there are notes of disharmony: 

There were many students who regularly received in-school and out-of-school suspensions for what were perceived as disruptive actions.

Not actually disruptive, you see. Merely perceived as disruptive. For no reason whatsoever.

While my classroom materials and my dignity were sometimes damaged by rambunctious behaviour, more dire consequences were regularly enacted on students by school officials (not to mention parents).

We’ll get to some of that “rambunctious behaviour” in a second.

“In… schools,” we’re told, “the desire to punish is racialised,” and “white people’s feelings often have outsized consequences on People of Colour.” The example given to illustrate this alleged phenomenon is of a white, female art teacher - Dr Stabler’s immediate predecessor - who “was said to have wept at the end of every school day” and who pursued assault charges against a black student who forcibly cut said teacher’s hair. This assault, presumably intended to humiliate the woman and assert dominance over her, is passed over with remarkable ease by Dr Stabler, as if the “white feelings” of the teacher, and the implications of such behaviour - and its accommodation by leftist educators - were unworthy of exploration.

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Elsewhere (305)

Noah Carl on the undiscussable: 

Consistent with earlier studies, [Louis Jacob and colleagues] observed a moderately strong negative association between IQ and obesity… The authors also found that the association remained statistically significant when adjusting for a range of other variables. However, their findings were not warmly received in all quarters. On 26 February, the journal [Lifestyle Medicine] published a letter to the editor titled ‘Concerns regarding “Association between intelligence quotient and obesity in England” and unjustifiable harm to people in bigger bodies.’ Despite comprising only a couple of thousand words, the letter has thirteen authors, which tells you something really needed saying.

After introducing themselves as “academics, health professionals, health psychologists and lay experts in weight stigma and discrimination, public health, patient advocacy and risk communication,” the critics assert that “the contents of this paper are likely to cause unjustifiable harm to people in bigger bodies.” I had assumed that ‘obese’ was the correct medical term, but that is evidently no longer the case. Perhaps if the original authors had referred to the “association between intelligence quotient and bigger bodiedness,” they could have forestalled some of the criticism.

Note the signatories’ conceit that “people in bigger bodies” should have some kind of veto over research into obesity.

Via Captain Nemo, Damian Counsell on race, facts, and fervour: 

[A] senior elected representative in two of the most powerful institutions of the establishment Left has invoked the phrase [“institutional racism”] to justify telling a non-white woman occupying one of the three great offices of state that she should be expelled from the country of her birth. For a segment of the self-proclaimed Left, the words “institutional racism” conjure a threat so cryptic that it requires no evidence, and so evil that it excuses overt racism. [Howard] Beckett deleted the tweet, but his subsequent apology is even more revealing. “I’m very sorry for my earlier tweet,” he wrote. “I was angry to see Muslim refugees being deported on the morning of Eid Al Fitr.” At the time of writing, the immigrants in question are believed to be Sikhs, not Muslims; but such distinctions matter little to a particular kind of crusader.

And Simon Webb on black “microaggressions”:

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