Signal Received

On the subject of ostentatious hair colouring, Emil Kirkegaard has some thoughts:

For those not into memes: the idea is that poisonous animals advertise their dangerousness by [using] bright colours to scare away predators. Humans appear to do the same, as those who are poisonous -- mentally ill -- colour their hair in bright, dangerous-looking colours. Since this meme was made in about 2014, we’ve seen a strong increase in the number of people with unnatural hair colours. In the same time, we have seen a rise in mental illness in left-wingers…

Is unnatural hair colour associated with mental illness, or are we being misled by a few prominent people with this hair style who appear very mentally ill? We decided to find out using the venerable OKCupid dataset.

Charts and number-crunching ensue.

The full paper - Blue Hair and the Blues: Dying Your Hair Unnatural Colours is Associated with Depression - can be downloaded here

The Lockdown Diaries (7)

An open thread, in which to share links and bicker.

As a sweetener, I’ll include a free blessing: Should you hear the news of a second lockdown, may your hairdresser send you a late-night text asking if you’d like an unscheduled cut the very next day, before said lockdown kicks in and she has to shut up shop.

Oh, and as some of you may be shopping from home a little more than usual, please bear in mind that 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.

It helps to keep this place here.

For those in need of further diversion, the Reheated series is there to be poked at.

My Kingdom For A Haircut

Yes, it’s 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, use of which almost certainly earns you a place in heaven. 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.

For newcomers wishing to know more about what’s been going on here for the last thirteen years, in close to 3,000 posts and over 100,000 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. Also, open thread

Decolonise Your Mind

A title I’ve stolen shamelessly from Orwell & Goode:

A new superstitious belief has emerged in some areas of Mozambique - that bald men have gold in their head. However, the head has to be taken to a witchdoctor who will use magical powers to extract the gold - and make them rich. As a result, police say five bald men have been killed in central Mozambique.

Adjust those holiday plans accordingly, baldies.

Not entirely unrelated.

Loving Themselves

A student group at a California university is hosting a month-long “Body Love” celebration, which includes events about how “menstruation and environmentalism go hand in hand.”

Not, I think, an entirely happy image. But apparently, students will be “empowered” and “feel more comfort” by exploring the “intersection” – because you knew there was going to be an intersection somewhere – of “body love and Earth love.”

Students could also attend a “Self-Care for Body Hair” event that offered answers to questions such as: “What do you do with your body hair? Does your relationship with your body change when you’ve shaved recently? Do you shave at all?”

Because when you call yourselves The Student Assembly for Gender Empowerment at the University of Southern California, and proudly declare a mission to fight for those “oppressed by the patriarchy,” while “working towards intersectional, collective liberation,” then obviously you’re going to focus on the big, meaty issues of the day. And so,

At the group’s “signature event,” a “body love fair,” students were treated to “crafts, donuts, boba, music, and self-lovin’ vibes!” At that event, attendees were also invited to “release your anger at our Scale Smashing!”

Yes, students with weight issues – issues of such magnitude that they have anger to release - will be encouraged to gorge on doughnuts and thick sugary drinks containing various types of pudding and requiring an extra-wide straw, before hating themselves all over again, while pretending to be empowered and totally okay with it. You see, the way to help overweight people is to encourage the kind of high-sugar consumption that results in weight gain, and inviting them to smash objects that remind them of how unhappy they are about being fat. A situation that they’ve just made slightly worse.

It’s intersectional science, people.

Elsewhere (281)

Further to recent rumblings in the comments, Helen Dale on the massive oversupply of negligibly-talented artists and writers: 

There are too many artists, too many people who want to be artists, and most of them aren’t very good… Meanwhile, universities (yes, you can go to university, rack up student debt, and ‘learn’ to be a writer) tell some people – depending on skin tone, sex, orientation, or something else – that as a matter of routine they have an important and luminous story to tell because of what they are… These people are everywhere in the economy, living hand-to-mouth and doing idiot things like demanding “luxury communism now.”  

Via Tim, James Delingpole and David Craig on low standards in higher education: 

When we were at university, probably one out of six school-leavers went to university. Now it’s about one out of every two. The number of people going to university has gone up from about 700,000 thirty years ago to over 2.3 million now… The way we’ve achieved that is not by increasing the intellectual capacity of British youth. For example, now, around 51% of all people going to university are getting in on three ‘D’s at A-level, or worse. Leeds Metropolitan University during one year had 97 courses for which you only needed two ‘E’s at A-level… We’ve increased the number of students with a huge drop in the bar you need to get over to get a place at university, and to be able to borrow up to £50,000 of taxpayers’ money.

There are currently around £100bn in outstanding student loans, of which, according to some estimates, 83% are expected to be in default to varying degrees.

Continue reading "Elsewhere (281)" »

The Laurie Penny Chronicles

Following a number of enquiries as to why I don’t have a specific tag for items involving the cartoonish Laurie Penny, I thought I’d compile a few of my posts on the British left’s foremost unreliable narrator. It’s necessarily incomplete – there are several short posts and endless, lengthy comments I haven’t included – but it should convey a flavour of Laurie’s intermittent relationship with reality, her ongoing struggles with logic, and her delightful personality. 

Continue reading "The Laurie Penny Chronicles" »

Woker Than Thou

Lifted from the comments because… well, apparently, this is where we are now as a culture

Full marks for woke contrivance.

You see, it’s not enough for a blockbuster film to feature lots of heroic women being no less feisty and capable than their male counterparts, or for said film to end with a call for help to a cosmically powerful female superhero. No, these ass-kicking female characters must also have certain woke-approved hairstyles. Which in fact at least four of them do. But that doesn’t count, somehow. Because what matters is contriving an excuse, however slim and improbable, for some feigned indignation. And the words “gender fascism.”

A Forehead’s Empty Without Them

From the pages of Cosmopolitan, I bring you fashion news:

The halo brow, the brainchild of 16-year-old Hannah Lyne, took inspiration from one of this year’s brow trends on Instagram. “I was having a conversation with a friend trying to come up with a new idea for a look, and all of a sudden it came to me that I should connect my brow tails,” Hannah said in an interview with PopSugar. “This look was influenced by fishtail brows; seeing the way my brow flicked upwards inspired the idea of just carrying the brow on until it met in the middle.”

They’re “strangely beautiful,” it says here

Via dicentra

Reheated (50)

Or, So Empowered, Yet Oppressed By Everything. 

Faced as we are with the news that Everyday Feminism may soon flicker out of existence, leaving a gaping void in our intellectual lives, perhaps it’s time to revisit some of the many offerings to have entertained us, albeit inadvertently:  

Lofty Beings

Feminist “creative” and “multi-dimensional creature” Katherine Garcia attempts to justify her sub-optimal life choices. Things go badly wrong.

The Mouthing Of Bollocks

Rachel Kuo tells us how to order takeaway in a suitably fretful and intersectional manner.

Undone By Her Radical ‘Do.

A “white grrl with dreadlocks” atones for her “whiteness” and “appropriated” hair.

An Intellectual Being

Melissa Fabello is a feminist intellectual and therefore terribly oppressed. How dare you question her?

Fat We Can Fix, The Excuses Are Trickier

An empowered feminist of girth says not being fat makes you complicit in her oppression.

Poverty And How To Get There

“Social justice” devotee describes herself to employers as “a political troublemaker,” and wonders why employment is hard to find.

Do Not Date Bedlamites

Melissa Fabello shares her interracial dating advice with those less enlightened. Naturally, it’s complicated.

Unseen Energies

“As a witch,” says Kris Nelson, “it is my responsibility to engage in radical politics.” She’s also clairvoyant and sells magic sea shells.

Oh, you laugh now, but who will scold us when they’re gone?

We Live In Strange Times

Katherine Timpf:

Rachel Dolezal, the white lady who got busted pretending to be a black lady, has somehow managed to get herself invited to be a feature at a rally for natural black hair.

But of course there’s a rally for natural black hair. And of course the star turn is a blackface enthusiast who, being white, doesn’t have any.

Naturally Isis is a black hair salon founded by Isis Brantley, a “natural hair stylist” who, according to the description on her salon’s website, “has been a vibrant spokeswoman for black ancestral culture for over thirty years” and has been “actively involved in the fight for preserving cultural identity for African Americans.”

Says Ms Dolezal, 

It’s a justice issue and I’ve been a social justice activist for years. It’s really that simple.

That is all. Carry on.