Politics

Elsewhere (313)

Jonathan Kay on woke mysticism and the latest must-have identity niche:  

[O]ne of the main themes of the 32-page document is that the task of defining the Two-Spirit concept is (quite literally) beyond the powers of Western language and epistemology. And in any case, the category is almost completely open-ended: The act of proclaiming oneself Two-Spirited could be a statement about one’s gender, or sexual orientation, or both, or neither. Or 2S can be a statement about one’s politics, spirituality, or simply one’s desire to present as “anti-colonial.” […]

While the authors of the report were careful to source their work to Indigenous writers and interviewees, it’s interesting to note that all of the listed societal roles attributed to ancient Two-Spirited people align uncannily with the avant-garde outlook of a white 2022-era environmentalist who’s embraced intersectional conceptions of gender… We are told no fewer than nine times, for instance, that the authors are following an “anti-oppressive” approach. Colonialism is denounced more than a dozen times, including in its “heteronormative” (three times) variant.

Needless to say, the whole thing is a bit of a two-legged stool and, shall we say, not entirely consonant with anthropological evidence.

Libby Emmons on cheated female athletes and transgender overreach:

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Dancing As Instructed

Both literal and ideological:

I love to dance, but I’m a bit picky about music. If Motown is playing, I’m guaranteed to have a transcendent in-my-body experience, whereas electronic dance music is hit and miss. I was, however, determined to shake and sweat and twitch, and so I did. My new friend danced beside me, trying to talk to me through the foam plugs in my ears—I nodded along with a smile, hearing nothing.

I do have one or two questions – not least regarding the use of foam earplugs – but let us hasten on. The gyrator in question is a seemingly ungendered being named Kier Adrian Gray, who “went to a queer dance party with someone I’d met online.”

We’d had a nice time chatting over sodas at the city’s catholic themed bar before we headed to a warehouse full of slippery, glittering gays, adorned in fishnet and sequin, leather and lace.

Sequins and glitter, and a companion of indeterminate sex, another ungendered being. So far, so flaming. But for a night out to be progressive and fully intersectional, it does need some more improbable complications. And so,

After a while, they [our narrator’s companion] wanted to move closer to the stage and I followed. Before we could make it to the front, though, they explained how the dance floor closest to the DJ was for black and indigenous femmes only.

There we go.

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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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Marking Their Territory

And in totally-radical-toilet news

Female students at one of Latin America’s top Universities say trans activists staged a coup of a single-sex washroom on their campus, 

It started, you see, with feminist students painting a lesbian pride symbol on a wall near a campus library. As one does. This act of fearless self-involvement apparently inflicted nerve-shredding trauma on the trans activist contingent, who promptly denounced the lesbians as “TERFs, colonial fascists, and transphobes,” before announcing that lesbians are only permitted to use symbols of lesbianism that they, the trans activists, find congenial.

Shortly after, as a result of the lesbian symbol that had been painted, the trans students reportedly declared that they “did not feel safe” on the campus and went to administrators to demand a gender-neutral washroom be established in that area. While administrators agreed to create one, the students did not wait for it to be designated. Less than 24 hours later, the activists took over the largest female restroom, which was on the second floor of the Faculty of Philosophy.

Ah, the life of the mind.

Naturally, the first task was to give the toilets a makeover via the uplifting medium of graffiti, thereby communicating the life-enhancing qualities of prostitution:

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Vote For The One With The Mental Health Problems

Canada’s interim Green Party leader, a dysmorphic woman who expects everyone else to refer to her as “he” and “they,” but also sometimes “she,” apparently at random, was recently rendered tearful and distraught by an electronic caption:

On Saturday, September 3, at a public media event kicking off the Green Party of Canada’s leadership contest, the wrong pronouns were presented beside my name in a way that I could not change myself. I acknowledge that mistakes can happen and the need to learn from them. What happened here impacted me much more than a slip of the tongue. It made me feel hurt and isolated at a moment that should have been filled with inspiration and anticipation.

You see, a captioning oversight – or if you prefer, an accidental acknowledgment of reality – is part of a “system of oppression” and therefore a basis for a grand project of social correction. One that must address the seemingly bottomless sorrows of “Black, Indigenous and racialised people and 2SLGBTQIA+ people,” and thereby prevent a fearless politician from feeling “hurt and isolated.” “I am assumed male nearly always by strangers,” says Ms Kuttner, which, frankly, seems a tad implausible. We’re also told that perceiving her as a man, not a woman, requires “effort,” an effort that is expected by Ms Kuttner - which would appear closer to the truth, if not entirely consonant with the previous claim.

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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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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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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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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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Reheated (70)

As I’m a little busy, more items from the archives.

How Dare You Not Defer To My Lack Of Self-Possession.

A “queer person and educator” is asked not to swear and scream in the workplace. Loud outrage ensues.

Objections to being shouted at, and sworn at, are framed with great haste as a sign of complicity in oppression: “Tone-policing is rooted in colonialism and white supremacy,” we’re told. In short, then, when a suitably black or gay person shouts at you, you “need to be quiet and listen” - and by implication, you should promptly defer, however wrong or ridiculous, or nakedly opportunist, the shouting person may be. You must “validate” their rage, and any incoherence, with lots of silent nodding, before rolling submissively onto your back. Because, being members of a Designated Victim Group, even if irrelevant or based on nothing whatsoever, they matter, and clearly, you don’t. What with all that “privilege” you apparently have. And because reciprocal courtesies just ain’t woke. It’s the progressive pecking order. Know your place. 

You’re A Monster, Just Admit It.

If you aren’t keen to become fat, activist William Hornby thinks you must be racist.

Mr Hornby is, of course, “raising awareness,” a mission that entails steering his followers to a Fat Liberation Syllabus For Revolutionary Leftists, where we learn that, “Fat liberation is a radical anti-capitalist, anti-colonial, anti-state movement that was started by fat Black and Brown disabled queer and trans people.” And where we’re told, quite emphatically, that a reluctance to become fat is “intrinsically entangled with white supremacy, anti-Blackness, settler colonialism, and capitalism.” And therefore, obviously, really, really bad. The goal, then, for all chubby-and-enlightened people, is to “abolish capitalism and settler colonial states like the US,” along with “abolishing prisons and police,” and dismantling the “fatphobic logic of productivity, discipline, and personal responsibility.” One can only hope that this revolutionary project doesn’t involve stairs or significant exertion.  

It Says ‘Poison’ In Large Red Letters

A reminder that the absurd and the sinister aren’t mutually exclusive.

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