Elsewhere (233)

Glenn Reynolds on when crime doesn’t count: 

Black Lives Matter might more accurately be named White Killers Matter, because it only seems to care about black lives that are ended by white people. And that, of course, is because Black Lives Matter isn’t about justice, but about racial agitation.

Heather Mac Donald on the conceits and inversions of modern academia: 

If ever there were a narrative worthy of being subjected to “stubborn scepticism,” in [Yale president, Peter] Salovey’s words, the claim [by Salovey] that Yale was the home of “hatred and discrimination” is it... Yale has been obsessed with what the academy calls “diversity,” trying to admit and hire as many “underrepresented minorities” as it possibly can without totally eviscerating academic standards. There has never been a more tolerant social environment in human history than Yale (and every other American college) — at least if you don’t challenge the reigning political orthodoxies.

And utterly unrelated to anything above

Harvard senior submits rap album as thesis, gets an A.

It would appear that Harvard’s English department is now intersecting with the even loftier department of hip-hop racial caricatures. The thrillingly original opus in question – which can be savoured here - is “a dark and moody take on what it means to be black in America… tackling topics ranging from police violence to slavery.” But of course.

As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.

But You Mustn’t Call Them Bitches

Here’s yet another example of leftist student protest bearing a remarkable resemblance to opportunist spite:   

The Whiffenpoofs, “one of the most prestigious a cappella groups in the United States,” last November chose to remain exclusively male.

I’m sure you can see where this one is headed. This male-only line-up has been both a musical aesthetic and the group’s identity for over a century. Whatever the prevailing politics on campus, male and female voices are, by and large, not entirely interchangeable, and I’d imagine that, say, close-harmony work, a signature of the group, is probably easier if the voices are in the same range. However, 

As the Yale Daily News notes, this did not thwart females and “nonmales” from protesting that policy during their auditions.


Student Sydney Garick used her try-out time to criticise the group’s male-only tradition.


A gender nonbinary student… told the News that four Whiffs walked out in the middle of the audition as the student stood in silent protest rather than performing a solo.

Well, given the imposition on others’ time, and the limited number of audition slots available, stage hogging in silent protest is fairly dull to watch, to say nothing of being selfish and insulting.

And because a cake needs icing

Before auditioning for the Whiffs, students are required to sign a contract committing to the group’s demanding travel schedule. The student told the News they signed the contract with the pronouns “they/them/their” rather than a name.

But of course. Because pissing about with the paperwork and refusing even to give a name shows everyone just how serious you are, how genuine in your interest, and how terribly radical. For some people it’s just politics über alles. Imagine the fun on tour. Oh, and do note that the protest, the petitions, and the hectoring about inclusivity were aimed only at the university’s all-male singing group. The university’s all-female singing group, which doesn’t admit male singers, was strangely exempt from similar fuss and umbrage.


Speaking of wordplay, we’re once again being told that Baby, It’s Cold Outside is actually an ode to date rape. As so often, the umbrage-takers display a remarkable level of tin-earedness regarding the sentiment of the song. And as noted in the comments over at Instapundit, “There was a time progressives would have said it was about a woman who obviously wants to have sex, but is being oppressed by slut-shamers through fear.”


The Dunning-Kruger Diaries

I bring you art. Twelve minutes of it. In which Ms Eames Armstrong and Matthew Ryan Rossetti thrill onlookers at the 2015 MIX NYC Queer Experimental Film Festival with a terribly radical rendition of music from Les Misérables. As readers will no doubt be aware, the MIX NYC Queer Experimental Film Festival is where gathered artistic juggernauts “create queer experimental media through an ever-changing constellation of means.” The participants, we’re told, “make art for ourselves and our community, not for markets or museums.” Consequently, the festival is a “decisive launching pad for emerging talents.”

No skipping ahead to the good bits.

The festival, including the soul-engorging splendour of the piece featured above, was sponsored by both the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. An earlier performance by Ms Armstrong and Mr Rossetti, in which Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is, um, enhanced and made transgressive, can be found here. You lucky, lucky people. 

Elsewhere (201)

Robert Tracinski on socialist Venezuela and the imaginings of John Lennon: 

Before you judge Venezuela’s looters, consider what you would do if your children were starving. So much for “no hunger.” What about the “brotherhood of man”? Not only is looting soaring in Venezuela, but so are all forms of crime. It has gotten so far out of control that mobs of vigilantes are burning people alive in the streets over petty thefts. It turns out then when people are starving, there’s not a lot of brotherhood. Instead, they fight like dogs over a bone.

Mick Hartley quotes Nick Cohen on Venezuela’s leftist cheerleaders: 

Venezuela, cried Seumas Milne in the Guardian, has “redistributed wealth and power, rejected western neoliberal orthodoxy, and challenged imperial domination.” What more could a breathless Western punter ask for? Never underestimate the power worship of those who claim to speak for the powerless, or the credulity of the supposedly wised-up critical theorist. […] The show is over now. Their fantasies fulfilled, the western tourists have left a ruined country behind without a guilty glance over their shoulder. Venezuela looks as if it has been pillaged by a hostile army, though there has been no war.

Theodore Dalrymple on charity and welfare: 

Charity given as of right, for that is what the welfare state does, favours the undeserving more than the deserving, in so far as the undeserving have a capacity and even talent for generating more neediness than the deserving. (They also tend to be more vocal in their demands.) The welfare state in fact dissolves the very notion of desert, because there is no requirement that a beneficiary prove he deserves what he is legally entitled to. And where what is given is given as of right, not only will a recipient feel no gratitude for it, but it must be given without compassion — that is, without regard to any individual’s actual situation. In the welfare state, the notion of a specially deserving case is prohibited, for it implies a distinction between the deserving and the undeserving.

And Katherine Timpf on sartorial innovation in the name of “social justice”:

The New Hanover County School System in North Carolina has proposed a ban on wearing tight pants in its schools because apparently “bigger girls” are getting bullied for the way that they look when they wear them.

Snug jeans and leggings would only be permissible if a looser secondary garment, say, a long shirt or dress, “covers the posterior in its entirety.” Freddie Mercury and Sir Mix-A-Lot could not be reached for comment.

Feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.

Tidings (9)

Some festive fingering courtesy of Ms Luna Lee and her mighty gayageum:  

As is the custom here, posting will be intermittent over the holidays and readers are advised to subscribe to the blog feed, which will alert you to anything new as and when it materialises. Thanks for over a million visits this year and thousands of comments, many of which prompted discussions that are much more interesting than the actual posts. And particular thanks to all those who’ve made PayPal donations to keep this rickety barge above water. Ditto those who’ve done shopping via the Amazon UK widget, top right, or via this Amazon US link, which results in a small fee for your host at no extra cost to you. It’s what keeps this place here and is much appreciated. Curious newcomers and those with nothing better to do are welcome to rummage through the reheated series.

To you and yours, a very good one.