Victimhood Invoked, Victory Lap Indulged In

TIME spoke to Gender Queer author and illustrator Maia Kobabe about eir work, the efforts to restrict access to eir writing, and what ey make of the current cultural moment.

Captain, your signal’s breaking up. I’m getting a lot of static. Must be solar flares. That, or dangerously high levels of pretension caused by the proximity of Ms Kobabe, an activist and supposedly ungendered being, complete with boutique pronouns, and TIME’s Madeleine Carlisle. Given what follows, the words “restrict access” - and the subsequent claims of persecution - may seem a tad misleading. Ms Kobabe’s book, we learn, explores,

Questions around how to introduce nonbinary pronouns to people who might not be familiar them. And also how to be a role model as a nonbinary adult, especially in a setting like a classroom.

You see, our aspiring role model has produced a book combining hardcore self-involvement with dysmorphic cartoon pornography, with the results being made available to schoolchildren, including 11-year-olds. As one might imagine, there have been some, shall we say, reservations regarding whether a book of this kind should be circulated among children without their parents’ knowledge or consent. Readers may recall scenes in which parents attempted to read aloud passages from the book among fellow adults at school board meetings, typically resulting in reprimands, the shutting off of microphones, and threats of physical removal. Apparently, “vagina slime,” fellatio and “strap-on hotness” are inappropriate topics for adult discussion, even as an attempt to specify a problem, but totally fine for kids. Who apparently need to know about the joys of masturbating while driving.

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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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Friday Ephemera

The price of happiness. || Postmodern Pong. || Paragliding DJ. || The ideal male body. || Logo of note. || Have you licked your eyes today? || Clearly, his are way stretchier than yours. || The thrill of waxing (or, One Man’s Woes). || Nook-dweller detected. || When autogynephile men get off in ladies’ bathrooms. (Not, needless to say, suitable for work). || And nobody helps. || I’m not entirely sure what’s happening here. || Posh pad. Hit ‘walkthrough’ and turn left. (h/t, Julia) || The joys of public transport, part 4,868. || “It’s time to talk about my pronouns.” Because she’s just so damn fascinating. || The progressive retail experience, parts 440, 441, 442, and 443. || Only recruiting the cream. (h/t, pst314) || A cat’s conscience is at best intermittent. || First contact. || And finally, how Marvel shat the bed - one woman’s point of view. 

Also, I now have a Twitter account.


Just A Thought, But Hear Me Out

Maybe the racially neurotic should not be teaching children.

Say, the kinds of people who insist that maintaining discipline in class and ejecting those who seriously misbehave - thereby enabling the rest of the class to have some chance of learning something - is merely “upholding white supremacy,” and so, by implication, very, very bad. The kinds of people who, when their own words are quoted verbatim and they consequently encounter pushback, seemingly for the first time, complain about the stress of being disagreed with. 

As we’ve seen many times, when said neuroticism is made modish, statusful, and an institutional obligation, the practical results are not entirely inspiring. With six experiments in racial immunity from discipline, in six different cities, resulting in six surges in violent classroom assaults, up to and including actual riots. And with apologists for the policies doubling-down and subsequently claiming that “African-American boys” are more “physical” and “demonstrative,” and so punching teachers in the face, and groping them, and setting other students’ hair on fire, is how those students “engage in learning.”

And when educators have practised such dishonesties and have learned to perform the required mental contortions, the results can be quite eye-widening. We might, for instance, turn to Dr Albert Stabler, an assistant professor at Appalachian State University, whose thoughts are much aligned with those of our TikTok teacher linked above.

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Impermissible Notions

Or, Things That Will Not Be Tolerated On Twitter.  

The thing in question this time is a cartoon, an illustration of an idea. It was shared, briefly, yesterday by biologist and Quillette contributor Colin Wright, and was promptly censored by Twitter’s moderators. Mr Wright has apparently been suspended from said platform until a confession of hateful wrongdoing – as yet unspecified hateful wrongdoing - has been extracted. Given the cartoon’s scandalous properties, I’ll reproduce it below the fold. Do feel free to grip the arms of your chair.

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Friday Ephemera

A good nose. || Dinner and a show. || The spread of dumplings. || He does this better than you do. || And she does this better than you do. || Meme density. || Discussing TV. || Temporal anomaly detected. (h/t, Tim) || Speaking, as we were, of Scientific American. || A point is made. || What CPR does. || Paedophile Pride, you say. || And of course we mustn’t forget the terribly put-upon animal-shaggers. || Incoming. (h/t, Perry) || Inevitable, I suppose. || The thrill of houseplants. || Hiring decision of note. || “Gender-affirming surgery,” you say? || In our brave, progressive tomorrow, white devils will be laid off first. || Not commissioned, just a fan. || From charcoal and water. || And finally, for adventurous motorists, another what-if scenario

Also, I now have a Twitter account.  


In Space No-One Can Hear You Scream

“Decolonizing” the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI) could boost its chances of success, says science historian Rebecca Charbonneau.

From Scientific American, obviously.

You see,

Increasingly, SETI scientists are grappling with the disquieting notion that, much like their intellectual forebears, their search may somehow be undermined by biases they only dimly perceive—biases that could, for instance, be related to the misunderstanding and mistreatment of Indigenous peoples and other marginalised groups…

But of course. Some editorial trajectories are, I guess, inevitable. As one might imagine, the author of the article, Camilo Garzón, is keen to signal his own modish sensitivities, and so the interview with Ms Charbonneau begins as it means to go on: 

“Decolonisation” seems to be a problematic term,

This prompts much rhetorical nodding, along with the news that space exploration is “a stand-in for encounters with Indigenous peoples.” Sadly, before this claim can be explored or tested in any way, we shift sideways in search of a point. Says Ms Charbonneau:

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Not In Fact An Optimal Situation

It was, like, so awesome.” 

Or, “Woman with mental health problems craves validation from other people’s eight-year-olds, whom she manipulates, seemingly with impunity.”

Readers may wish to devise captions of their own. 

Update

Via the comments, and somewhat related, this illustration of ideological capture.  

And so, a woman who has been raped and is understandably uneasy about cross-dressing men venturing into female-only intimate spaces, including changing rooms, showers, and rape support groups, is patronised and scolded – at length, on her own doorstep, by a female police officer - for not believing that “trans women are women.” And the police officer, this rambling fool, the one doing the patronising, is the one who claims to be offended. On behalf of dysmorphic and autogynephile men. “You’ve got in your head that a trans woman is not a woman. You need to educate yourself,” says she.

In another context, it could pass for black comedy.

Also, open thread. Share ye links and bicker.


Friday Ephemera

Bubbling detected. || An abundance of ladybirds. || Singled out. || Monkey see, monkey do. || Mahi-mahi. || “It’s mango, don’t you like it?”  (h/t, Ben) || The shadow of the Moon. || Magic show of note. (h/t, Desert Rat) || Signage. (h/t, Perry) || Summon the worms. || Today’s word is uncrossable. || Kiss of life. || I foresee accessibility issues. || Steals car, kidnaps child, when caught invokes victimhood. || As cabin views go, it’s pretty decent, actually. || Treasuring the good times. || Hardcore teacher. || Two types of home security, exchanging looks. || Stealth tech in action. || He was sent to buy curtains. || That’s exactly how I would’ve done it. || How to enhance your viewing of vampire-romance movies. || And finally, via Paul Johnson, when the Space Age met the Stone Age, in 1964.

Oh, and a reminder that I now have a Twitter account.  


Only Doing It For The Betterment Of Us All

Time to revisit the world of “queer studies,” via the academic journal Qualitative Research:

I wanted to understand how my research participants experience sexual pleasure when reading shota, a Japanese genre of self-published erotic comics that features young boy characters. I therefore started reading the comics in the same way as my research participants had told me that they did it: while masturbating.

Hey, I’m just reading what it says here.

In this research note, I will recount how I set up an experimental method of masturbating to shota comics, and how this participant observation of my own desire not only gave me a more embodied understanding of the topic for my research but also made me think about loneliness and ways to combat it as driving forces of the culture of self-published erotic comics.

It’s embodied, you see. And before you go getting any untoward ideas, it’s all being done selflessly, high-mindedly, for the greater good:

Untangling this largely unresearched knot of desires for fictional boy characters will give us a better understanding of human sexuality and provide a more solid basis for policymaking.

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