Reheated

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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Reheated (69)

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

Our Betters In Distress.  

At the University of York, scenes of theatrical fretting.

Readers may note that the agonising – in which any depiction of a monkey immediately conjures thoughts of black people - does rather speak to the weirdly dogmatic assumptions of the agonised, rather than the object being agonised about, or how said object is generally understood. It must be those intersectional lenses we hear so much about. 

Our Betters Victorious, But Still Unhappy.  

Los Angeles Times columnist has considerate neighbours and is therefore, naturally, outraged.

As readers may be a little confused by the air of displeasure, I should point out that no history of neighbourly rancour is offered as an excuse – no disputes over hedges or noisy pets. Nothing of that sort is mentioned at all. Ms Heffernan’s neighbours are, it seems, to be frowned upon, indeed despised, in print, in a newspaper they may well read, simply for failing to vote for Mr Biden.

Modern Love

If it wasn’t complicated and unsatisfying, everyone would do it.

To illustrate this terribly progressive lifestyle arrangement, we’re introduced to a Brooklynite comedian and podcaster named Billy, his girlfriend Megan, and his girlfriend Megan’s other boyfriend Kyle.

Land Of The Before Times

An attempt is made to glamorise a fashionably radical hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

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Reheated (68)

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

Hush Now, Brown Person, I’ll Do The Talking.

Woke academic bemoans racism, while casually erasing agency from anyone brownish who happens to disagree with her.

For Ms Beltrán, then, those who tire of racial tribalism and identitarian drama, and who prefer to be engaged with as individuals, are merely surrendering to “whiteness” and “white supremacy,” and are therefore the enemy, traitorous, or at best, dupes. And for Ms Beltrán, the extremist is not the person who fixates on race as the overriding characteristic and sole basis for “recognition” - as the ideological mass around which all else must revolve - but the person who doesn’t.

Your Guilt Has Been Determined Via Pantone Colour Chart.

A mandatory course for dentists is announced. Confessions of pallor are expected.

If you plan to be a dentist and attend the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, it seems you must first submit to condescension and insults, and accusations of being either a bigot or an enabler of bigotry, based solely on unchangeable aspects of your appearance. Because apparently you can’t do dentistry without the weird political woo of dogmatic parasites who’ve managed to insert themselves into yet another sphere of life.

Her Unspeakable Woes (2)

Haughty bitches claim to be oppressed, while disdaining the little people who serve them drinks.

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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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Reheated (66)

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

Trump, Erections, And A Lack Thereof

Salon’s Chauncey DeVega and academic powerhouse Dr Susan Block get hot and bothered.

While I can boast no credentials as a high priestess of the erotic arts and sciences, unlike Dr Susan Block, “founder and director of the Dr Susan Block Institute for the Erotic Arts & Sciences,” a layman’s thought occurs. If the existence of Donald Trump is interfering with your sex life, bringing it to a standstill, then perhaps you’re thinking about Mr Trump a little too much. More than one ought, at least while under the duvet and attempting to get busy

Their Happiness Hurt My Feelings

Woke academic says evidence of a happy marriage is a “microaggression” and should therefore be hidden.

It turns out that the reckless visibility of a wedding photo may be crushing the self-esteem out of the touchily unwed. You see, the mere sight of a photo of someone’s happy day can “crowd out the experiences of people with minoritized social identities,” albeit in ways never quite explained. Other taboos include references to “simple activities like family dance parties,” which are apparently a thing, and “gardening with a spouse.” Curiously, given the stated importance of “sensitivity” and being mindful of what things might mean, we aren’t invited to ponder the kind of person who would resent someone else’s wedding photo. And then complain about it. Or whether such neurotic affectations, these unhappy mental habits, are something to be actively encouraged. In the name of progress. 

Please Stop Objecting To The Assault Of Your Person.

A professor of art education applauds the misbehaviour of his browner students.

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The Year Reheated

In which we marvel at the mental contortions of our self-imagined betters.

        The year began with an oddly specific medical diagnosis courtesy of the Guardian, where Afua Hirsch informed us that boob eczema is caused by “racist microaggressions.” Readers were left to suppose that the condition might only be resolved by lengthy grumbling about “structural racism” and the oppressive nature of “whiteness.” More prosaic solutions – say, a change of detergent, or indeed bra, were not explored. “Whiteness” also bedevilled Ms Cristina Beltrán, an associate professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University, who was both mystified and aggravated by the existence of non-white Trump supporters, and who identified “multiracial whiteness” as the only conceivable explanation. For Ms Beltrán, non-white voters who prefer to be engaged with as individuals, as opposed to racial mascots, are merely surrendering to “whiteness” and “white supremacy.” And so, Ms Beltrán bemoaned racism and “the debasement of others” while casually erasing agency from anyone brownish who happens to disagree with her.

Meanwhile, academics at the University of York were rendered fretful and distraught by an image on the website of an art history conference – specifically, of the seventeenth-century Buddhist figurine, the three wise monkeys – which, via much focussing of intersectional lenses, was construed by our academics as a caricature of black people, and therefore oppressive. And denunciations of “whiteness” and “white supremacy” also featured in a mandatory course at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. On grounds that, in order to be a dentist, you must first submit to condescension and insults, and accusations of being either a bigot or an enabler of bigotry, based solely on unchangeable aspects of your appearance

        In February, we beheld the chutzpah of our new downtrodden elite at the United Nations International School, where the children of diplomats and titans of international banking insisted that even a single mispronunciation of an unobvious name is a form of “racial trauma” inflicted by “the white man’s mouth.” Elsewhere, at the University of Minnesota, we heard one student recount his experience of racial profiling and police brutality – “the most traumatic thing I have ever experienced” – and then, thanks to dashcam video, saw what actually happened

And in the Los Angeles Times, the scrupulously progressive Virginia Heffernan aired her outrage at neighbours who cleared the snow from her driveway, but failed to vote for Joe Biden - the latter act requiring “absolution,” and thus excusing Ms Heffernan’s supposedly principled ingratitude for the former. You see, resenting neighbours’ acts of kindness, and publicly badmouthing those neighbours, in print, is the progressive way, and a basis for expecting applause.   

Oh, and we also learned how to turn toilet paper into drinkable alcohol.

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Reheated (65)

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

Loving Themselves.

Fat feminist students fight the patriarchy by gorging on doughnuts and thick, liquid pudding.

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 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. 

One For The Ladies.

Guardian writer tries his hand at saucy celebrity news. Things take a strange turn.

Apparently, “gay twink culture” is feeding into straight desire, albeit in ways never specified; and yet, complains our columnist, these ephebophile appetites are “nowhere to be seen in the People [Sexiest Man Alive] list.” Readers will doubtless be shocked by the revelation that the middle-aged ladies who buy People magazine, many of whom have children of their own, aren’t overwhelmingly aroused by the kind of skinny young men whose fame is based on playing skinny 17-year-old boys who get seduced by older men in the kind of art-house films loved by Guardian columnists.

The Psychology Of “Social Justice” Is A Thing To Behold.

Leftist professor advises students to say “fuck you” to potential employers. 

Readers with an academic bent will be thrilled to hear that Dr Strouse’s dissertation is titled Literary Theories of the Foreskin. This work of tremendous cultural and intellectual heft “investigates a school of thought in which the prepuce, as a conceptual metaphor, organises literary experience.” It also, apparently, “demonstrates that, within the school of preputial poetics, the male anatomy queerly embodies the plasticity and multiplicity of rhetoric.”

Should you want more, by all means click here. Also, open thread. Share ye links and bicker. 


Reheated (64)

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

Please Update Your Files And Lifestyles Accordingly.

Natan Last is a “fitful poet,” a Brooklynite, and a graduate of Columbia. Also, he will save us. 

The world of woke crossword-puzzlers - because that’s a thing that exists - is one in which enthusiasts, via social media, grumble about white men, bemoan the insufficient prominence of “queer or POC colloquialisms,” share “off-colour jokes about hypothetical titles for a Melania Trump memoir,” and fret about the exact ratio of male and female names used as clues. Because a lack of “gender parity” in crossword puzzle clues constitutes one of “the systemic forces that threaten women.” Crossword puzzles can do that, apparently.

She Feels Unclean

A woe is invented. A solution is discovered.

Gratuitous drama and “drenching guilt” aside, I’m not entirely sure why hiring a cleaner should obviously be more fraught than hiring, say, a gardener or roofer… But for the kind of middle-class feminist who as recreation writes for the Observer, life is apparently an endless moral torture inflicted by minor, everyday events, or at least an exhausting theatre of pretending to be tortured by minor, everyday events. Which of the two constitutes a more harrowing and nightmarish existence, I leave to the reader. 

And somewhat related,

Telepathy Not A Thing, Women Hardest Hit

Feminist titan Gemma Hartley bemoans the chore of getting her multiple bathrooms cleaned by someone else.

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Reheated (63)

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

The Sound Of Wringing (2).

The Guardian’s Theo Hobson sticks pins into his eyes, rhetorically.

Despite Mr Hobson’s claims, rejecting “liberal guilt,” as manifest all but daily in the pages of the Guardian, doesn’t require an indifference to, or denial of, real injustice, merely a dislike of pretension and dishonesty. As, for instance, when Mr Hobson’s colleague Guy Dammann looked at the stars and howled, “Am I fit to breed?” Or when Alex Renton told us, “Fewer British babies would mean a fairer planet.” Some Guardian regulars declared their plans to make us “better people” by making us poorer and freeing us from the “dispensable accoutrements of middle-class life,” including “cars, holidays, electronic equipment and multiple items of clothing.” While others chose to agonise over peanut butter residue.

And then there’s Decca Aitkenhead’s classic piece, Their Homophobia is Our Fault, in which she insisted that the “precarious, over-exaggerated masculinity” and murderous homophobia of some Jamaican reggae stars are products of the “sodomy of male slaves by their white owners.” And that the “vilification of Jamaican homophobia implies… a failure to accept post-colonial politics.” Thus, readers could feel guilty not only for “vilifying” the homicidal sentiments of some Jamaican musicians, but also for the culpability of their own collective ancestors. One wonders how those gripped by this fiendish dilemma could even begin to resolve their twofold feelings of shame.

Apocalypse Averted With Collective Juddering.

Just another day at the Guardian.

The paper’s leader writer, Susanna Rustin, is very much troubled by thoughts of impending catastrophe and is keen for your routine shopping - for groceries and maybe a pair of shoes - to be replaced, “painlessly,” with forms of “artistic expression and creativity.” Like dance lessons. It would, of course, be “a reordering of society.”

Passionate Attachments

The strange, tearful world of “water-bottle separation anxiety.”

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Reheated (62)

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

Imagine The Picnics

Emily Zak wants us to know that fresh air and countryside are, like everything else, terribly oppressive.

Naturally, Ms Zak has an extensive, at times bewildering list of excuses for why any outdoors recreation should be tinged with guilt and wretchedness. From the claim that, “our society leverages natural spaces as a tool for capitalism and colonialism,” to the “toxic binary expectations we have about gender.” To spare you the tedium, I’ll summarise: If you can’t borrow a tent or don’t have a pair of suitable shoes, and if you don’t see enough adverts featuring gay people kayaking, and kayaking in a discernibly gay-affirming manner, it turns out you’re being oppressed by society.

Pantomime

A balding, middle-aged transvestite, a sociology lecturer, wishes to confuse your children.

Dr Cremin doesn’t seem to grasp, or isn’t willing to admit, that his craving for public transgression – to, as he puts it, “sow gender confusion in kids” – by which he means young people over whom he has leverage - reveals quite a lot about his character. And his fitness to teach. I hate to sound prim, but if I were – God help me – a sociology student, I doubt I’d be reassured by the fact that my lecturer felt entitled to use the classroom as a venue for his transvestite fetish. It does rather suggest a pathological level of self-involvement and raises a suspicion that students may find themselves playing captive audience to - or being reluctant participants in - some personal psychodrama. A kind of power game. Some variation of, “I can do this and you can’t stop me without being accused of bigotry.” 

They Come To Teach Us

Polite man encounters Mao-lings. Mao-lings lose their minds, scream abuse, then assault him.

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Reheated (61)

For newcomers and the forgetful, two items from the archives:

The Blurting

A leftist compulsion is pondered.

A more subtle and common example occurred in January, when the family headed out to a Burns Night dinner at a restaurant adjacent to the university. Before the food appeared, we were treated to a brief poetry reading courtesy of a local academic. I was tempted to roll my eyes at the prospect, but he did get the crowd in good spirits. Until a poem about food and good company was somehow given, as he put it, “a political edge.” And so, we endured a contrived reference to Brexit - implicitly very bad - and a pointed nod across the ocean to a certain president, who we were encouraged to imagine naked.

At the time, I was struck by the presumption – the belief that everyone present would naturally agree - that opposition to Brexit and a disdain of Trump were things we, the customers, would without doubt have in common… The subtext was hard to miss: “This is a fashionable restaurant and its customers, being fashionable, will obviously hold left-of-centre views, especially regarding Brexit and Trump, both of which they should disdain and wish to be seen disdaining by their left-of-centre peers.” And when you’re out to enjoy a fancy meal with friends and family, this is an odd sentiment to encounter from someone you don’t know and whose ostensible job is to make you feel welcome.

Trust Me, I’m A Witchdoctor

Guardian columnist denounces Western medicine as “outdated,” champions use of bush dung.

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The Year Reheated

In which we marvel at the mental contortions of our self-imagined betters.

The year began with a display of the Guardian’s famed sense of proportion, with the paper’s Barbara Ellen informing us, emphatically, that, “We’re nearly all vegan now” - we being the general population - before asking with equal confidence, “Who isn’t vegan in some way these days?” The Vegan Society, meanwhile, acknowledged that the demographic in question amounts to barely 1% of the British population. Hungry for more fearless and irrefutable leftwing journalism, we turned to the pages of Salon, where the chronically breathless Mr Chauncey DeVega declared that “The American people” – and not just Salon columnists – “are in a manic state because of Trump’s regime.” 300 million citizens are, we learned, living in fear of Mr Trump’s “fascism,” his allegedly annihilationist tendencies, and of course his “secret police.” 

Meanwhile, Slate readers mulled the moral quandaries of progressive life, before being rewarded with somewhat peculiar and potentially disastrous advice, on subjects including sex tapes and prodigious weight gain. And via which, we learned that the best way for an insecure straight woman to find romantic and sexual satisfaction is for her to start dating polyamorists and gay people, on grounds that this will ease both her trust issues and her frequent panic attacks.

In February, we learned, via the Guardian, of the latest must-have status accessory – namely, dinner parties at which one pays $2,500 to be scolded as a racist, an upholder of “white supremacy,” based on nothing, by someone suitably brown and opportunist. Participants – “mostly Democrats” – are told to “own their racism,” however invisible, and are warned against having “unmonitored thoughts.” Elsewhere in the Guardian, we were assured by leader writer Susanna Rustin that a “reordering of society” is in order, to correct the apparently unendurable problem of some people having a standard of living not yet available to every single human being on the planet. “Lives of luxury” – defined by “weekly shopping sprees” – could be “replaced” – “painlessly” – with “artistic expression and creativity,” specifically, dance lessons.  

While in Salon, Bay Area progressive Nicole Karlis wrote of the “heartache, tears and stress” brought on by the loss of one’s plastic water bottle. A sentiment echoed by fellow progressives and non-specific activists, who shared their wrenching tales of “water-bottle separation anxiety,” a phenomenon that can apparently induce fits of weeping and feelings of “falling into chaos.” 

In March, readers of the Observer were invited to ponder the profound moral question, “Is it ever acceptable for a feminist to hire a cleaner?” Much fretting ensued regarding the acceptable sex and skin colour of the person doing the cleaning, with the paper’s Sally Howard deciding that the most feminist way to empower cleaning ladies - and to avoid the “structural devaluation of women’s work” - is to make said ladies unemployed. The views of Ms Howard’s former cleaners, fired in the name of feminism, were not deemed worthy of inclusion.

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