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Guardian columnist denounces Western medicine as “outdated,” champions use of bush dung.

Continue reading "Reheated (61)" »

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.

Continue reading "The Year Reheated" »

Reheated (60)

For newcomers, more items from the archives:

Artists For Gaia

Our betters sail north at taxpayer expense. Gas is released courageously.

Such was the level of inspiration, some of the assembled artists began to work their creative magic immediately: “Tracy Rowledge constructed three series of ‘automated’ physical drawings, mapping the movement of the boat during the expedition.” For readers of a technical inclination, these ‘automated’ drawings involved suspending a felt-tip pen from the underside of a chair, resulting in random scribble on numerous sheets of paper positioned underneath. This feat was “REALLY exciting,” we learn, as it “explored movement, time, place and permanence.” The radical innovation also freed the artist to leave the dangling pen and do something more interesting. According to her two brief blog entries, the sum total of her commentary, Ms Rowledge spent much of this liberated time struggling with Greenlandic place names and making sure her fellow passengers knew how “overwhelmed” she was. 

I Don’t Deserve This Shabby Treatment

On the routine vainglory of the academic left.

Professor Surber’s self-regard continues to tumesce. He has fathomed all of history and it validates him. Liberal-arts professors tend to be leftwing, we’re told, “because we liberal-arts professors... have carefully studied the actual dynamics of history and culture; and we have trained ourselves to think in complex, nuanced, and productive ways.” In short, if you haven’t reached a similarly leftwing conclusion, then you haven’t achieved sufficient complexity and nuance in your thinking, you peasant. Luckily, we can count on Professor Surber and his peers to guide us to the light, such is their benign magnificence. They may be cruelly underappreciated, but by God they’re better than us and they will save us from ourselves.

You’ll Notice They All Wear Shoes.

The unhappy sights at San Francisco’s 2012 radical nude-in:

Continue reading "Reheated (60)" »

Reheated (59)

For newcomers, more items from the archives:  

The Cupcake Menace

Tiny cakes are exploitative, demeaning and emotionally crippling. You didn’t know?   

After telling us at length just how terrible and mind-warping these tiny fancies are, at least among women, Mr Seaton adds, “I don’t want to ban cupcakes.” And yet he feels it necessary to say this, as if banning miniature sponges would be an obvious thing to consider, the kind of thing one does. And after banning them in his own office.

The Humble Among Us

Attention, world. Novelist Brigid Delaney wants a nicer flat. 

You see, creative people, that’s people like Ms Delaney, must live in locales befitting their importance, not their budget. You, taxpayer, come hither. And bring your wallet. Creative people, being so creative, deserve nothing less than special treatment. I mean, you can’t expect a creative person to write at any old desk in any old room in any old part of town. What’s needed is a lifestyle at some other sucker’s expense. 

Monbiot And The Morlocks

The Guardian’s George Monbiot encounters the underclass. Things go badly wrong.

George believes in sharing, by which of course he means taking other people’s stuff. Yet he’s remarkably unprepared for that favour being returned. Say, by two burly chaps with neck tattoos and ill-tempered dogs. And as these burly chaps were members of a “marginalised group,” and therefore righteous by default, George was expecting noble savages. Alas, ‘twas not to be.

There’s more, should you crave it, in the greatest hits. Also, open thread.

Reheated (58)

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

Don’t Oppress My People With Your Public Libraries.

Woke librarian denounces “so-called ‘knowledge’” of pale people. 

Ms Leung airs her distaste for “white men ideas” – as if they had been uniform across continents and throughout history - while reminiscing about attending a “white AF conference” two years earlier. I was unsure what the “AF” might refer to and searched for some literary or scholarly explanation. It then occurred to me that a “white AF conference” is, to borrow the woke vernacular, a white as fuck conference. Which is how not-at-all-racist academic librarians convey their thoughts, apparently.

It’s Petty When It Happens To Someone Else.

Atlantic columnist Lauren Smiley excuses chronic thievery via rhetorical limbo-dancing.

Ms Fairley - who invokes racism as a cause of her local notoriety, and whose extensive cache of stolen belongings included other people’s credit cards - is described to us at length and in the softest possible light. We learn of her dysfunctional upbringing, her struggles with a mouldy apartment, and her various drug habits, including “trekking daily to a methadone clinic” - a heroic feat, apparently. Ms Fairley’s failure to attend numerous court dates – for petty theft, mail theft, receiving stolen property, possession of heroin, and child endangerment - is, we learn, due to her having “a lot going on” in her life. In at least one instance, it turns out that what was going on was stealing from a resident she’d previously targeted and who, while being robbed again, was waiting to see Ms Fairley appear in court.

Your Standards Are Holding You Back.

Brooklynite lefties launch socialist-only dating platform. Things do not go well.

Ms Isser’s indignation at the thought of socialist women being romantically shunned, even by fellow socialists, was aired in December in a Twitter howling session, during which extensive use was made of exclamation marks. After much exasperated rumbling, Ms Isser concluded that the fault must lie solely with men, and that “straight men are shallow and sexist even when they’re socialists.” Thereby proving that, contrary to legend, ladies of the left are in no way high-maintenance or difficult to please.

There’s more, should you crave it, in the greatest hits. Also, open thread.

The Year Reheated

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

The year began with several displays of exquisite sensitivity by our woke betters, including the “poet and essayist” Rashaad Thomas, who managed to take umbrage at an old photograph in a restaurant, a photograph of miners drinking beer while covered in coal dust, which Mr Thomas promptly construed as “blackface,” a message of “whites only,” and therefore a “threat” to his wellbeing. And Zack Ford, the “LGBTQ Editor” at ThinkProgress, was traumatised by crime news. Specifically, on hearing that a woman alone at a bus stop in Chicago was able to defend herself from an armed mugger on account of herself being armed and shooting her attacker. According to Mr Ford, who declares himself a “proud SJW,” women being attacked on their way to work should not attempt to defend themselves: “If she had let him rob her, even at gunpoint, both likely would have survived.” And apparently, the well-being of the mugger – who was mugging while on probation - trumps any imperative for self-defence, even if the victim fears for her life. 

In February, we learned how to “shatter capitalism” and explode “fragile masculinities” with emojis, courtesy of the scrupulously woke Vice magazine, which, in entirely unrelated news, was simultaneously laying off hundreds of scrupulously woke employees. We also marvelled at the the creative outpourings of Ms Angeliki Chiado Tsoli, whose attempt to “challenge the existence of social, economic, cultural, and class-based inequalities” is both difficult to describe and a thing to behold. Other delights included the discovery of intersectional knitting, a subculture in which the merest deviation from the latest woke pieties can result in staggering levels of spite. And we mustn’t forget the news, courtesy of Salon, that many progressives are now suffering from “Post-Trump Sex Disorder.

In March we encountered Dr Deborah Cohan, a mistress of “embodied medicine” and “shamanic healing” employed by the University of California, and who rails against the “tendrils of white supremacy” - the ones in her head, presumably - while indulging in a kind of theatrical ethno-masochism. Such that we’re told, quite emphatically, that white doctors are a clear and obvious danger to non-white patients: “Health care is not safe for people of colour as long as the overwhelming majority of U.S. physicians are white.” A claim one might categorise as paranoid, invidious and wildly irresponsible. Though it did rather highlight the overlap of wokeness and ludicrous New Age woo

Dr Charlotte Riley, currently employed by the University of Southampton, unveiled her latest feminist innovation, which she titled Patriarchy Chicken, and which entails deliberately and repeatedly colliding with random male commuters. For the Sisterhood, you see. Mr Claude Boudeau thrilled us with his seemingly limitless artistic talents, namely a performance piece titled Cascade. We also witnessed the phenomenon of Brookylnite lefties in search of love via a socialist-only dating platform, with the fiercely egalitarian declaring their revolutionary ambitions to each other, along with their preferred pronouns and various mental health issues. Alas, said platform has not proved an enormous success, resulting instead in disgruntlement, mutual loathing, and demands for romantic quotas.

Continue reading "The Year Reheated" »

Reheated (57)

For newcomers, more items from the archives:

Her Loveliness Revealed.

Slate’s Christina Cauterucci has discovered a “brilliant new weapon of progressivism.”

You see, those “right wing, centrist, or politically complacent parents” - the parents you love, presumably - must be purged of their “ill-informed allegiances” and made to conform politically, with the threat of never seeing grandchildren. Which is how well-adjusted adult offspring behave, of course… Ms Cauterucci’s parents are no doubt proud of their daughter and her charming, terribly enlightened fantasies of coercion, in which children are imagined primarily as a form of political leverage, a tool of rather sadistic emotional punishment. And all in the name of progressive piety.

Your Failure To Enthuse Is Violence, Apparently.

Roy G Guzmán is oppressed by the “violence” of people not liking his poetry.

After dismissing the recent, rather negative appraisals of his work as driven by “toxic masculinity” and “(white) male fragility” - no other possibilities being conceivable, of course - Mr Guzmán has apparently retired from Twitter. We are, it seems, a terrible disappointment to him.

Hear The Lamentations Of Unstable Leftist Women.

Their marriages failed, they have psychiatrists on speed-dial, and it’s all Trump’s fault. Oh, and white men, obviously.

Continue reading "Reheated (57)" »

Reheated (56)

For newcomers, more items from the archives.

Weepy And Hysterical.

A philosophy lecturer, a specialist in “critical whiteness studies,” apologises, at length, for his own heterosexuality.

Professor Yancy goes on to denounce, on behalf of all men, “our sexually objectifying gazes… our pornographic imaginations.” Our “dominant phallic economy.” Indeed, he continues, “we are collectively complicit with a sexist mind-set and a poisonous masculinity.” You see, being aroused by women, while not quite rape in itself, is nonetheless, as it were, rape-adjacent, and constitutes “a violent, pathetic and problematic masculinity.” One wonders how a species of suitably corrected human beings, purged of such heterosexual inclinations, might propagate and flourish. Such that we can indulge the theatrical sorrows of woke philosophy lecturers.

The Perils Of Jogging.

Zoe Williams warns Guardian readers that exercise “makes you rightwing.”

According to Zoe, if you visit a gym, or cycle, or merely take the occasional brisk walk with a dog in tow - or presumably have any kind of goals, however modest, and then achieve them - you’ll become boastful, consumed with “self-love” and wicked delusions of “self-sufficiency,” a gateway to the greatest sin of all: not being leftwing. Because leftwing people, like Zoe, are free of vanity and unblemished by urges to signal superiority of one kind or another. Say, by telling us, quite often, that they’re not at all rightwing.

Still, it’s strange just how readily Zoe leaps from ‘people can be a bit tedious when banging on about their enthusiasms’ – the word blogging comes to mind – to ‘regular jogging will make you vote Conservative because feelings of achievement and capability are politically corrupting’. Presumably, leftist piety is arrived at via indolence, whining and half-arsed flummery. Though it’s not, perhaps, as strange as declaring one’s own piety and compassion – as opposed to all those dreadful rightwing people - while sneering at a cancer charity because its most direct beneficiaries are men.

How To Impress Your Boss, An Intersectional Guide

Self-described “educator” Sophia Stephens says that minority employees shouldn’t have to be reliable or competent.

Continue reading "Reheated (56)" »

Reheated (55)

For newcomers, more items from the archives.

Among The Little People

Feminist academic Dr Jane Bone has “intra-active encounters” with children’s furniture.

This traumatic and “haunting” experience – being a grown-up among lots of small chairs – apparently reveals “the undervalued nature of teaching young children.” A point Dr Bone underlines with an anecdote involving a teacher who, during a meeting, perched on a chair intended for children, rather than searching out a more suitably proportioned one. Damning and conclusive, I think you’ll agree. And Dr Bone’s mental reach extends beyond mere anecdote: “In order to recapture this [experience]… I went to IKEA to sit on some small chairs.”

Turf War

Charles Murray attempts to speak on campus. A riot ensues.

As one of Middlebury’s sociology professors noted, “few, if any” of the protestors had ever read Murray’s books. Evidently, he’s nonetheless someone to be ‘othered’ and to whom the students can attach the usual out-group labels – denouncing him as “sexist,” “racist,” “anti-gay” and a “white nationalist.” (As even the briefest use of Google would reveal, Murray married a Thai woman while in the Peace Corps, has mixed-race children, has tutored inner-city black children for free, and was an early advocate of gay marriage - hardly the most obvious markers of a supposedly anti-gay white nationalist.)

Feign Diabetes, It’s The Only Way

The Guardian’s Sarah Marsh is being oppressed by free cake.

Continue reading "Reheated (55)" »

Reheated (54)

For newcomers, more items from the archives.

You Look Like You Need Some Art

In which we thrill to the creative eruptions of Ms Sandrine Schaefer.

The pretence of intellectual heft and critical discernment is quite funny, given the unspoken rules of pretend artists and their pretend art. Like practically all of her fellow hustlers, Ms Schaefer tells us that she “investigates” and “questions” things, and presumably interrogates them; but despite this allegedly relentless curiosity, I doubt that any specific insight or profundity is ever conveyed to her audience, such as it is, via the art, such as it is. And of course, we’re not supposed to notice this, or notice the comical mismatch of arch rhetoric and inept flummery. And so, in order to feign discernment, one has to not discern any number of really obvious things.

Don’t Oppress My People With Your Big Hooped Earrings

On the woes of radical accessorising at Pitzer College, Claremont, California.

It does, I think, take a particular chutzpah to publicly claim to be oppressed - by other people’s earrings - while spending more than the median household income at a glorified holiday resort.

Fashionable Malice

Woke educators attempt to inculcate dishonesty, bemoan pockets of resistance. 

“White fragility” is the unremarkable fact that people by and large don’t like being slandered as racists and then assigned with some pretentious collective guilt, the supposed atonement for which requires deference to actual racists and predatory hokum merchants.

Continue reading "Reheated (54)" »

The Year Reheated

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

The year began on a highbrow note as the University of Denver’s Professor Ryan Evely Gildersleeve informed the world that laziness is a “a political stance,” a way to “combat the neoliberal condition,” and a “tool for contributing to social justice.” Half-arsed incompetence is, we were assured, both radical and empowering. The professor also shared his belief that plastic is sentient. Inanimate objects also troubled Dr Jane Bone, a senior lecturer at Monash University, Melbourne, who specialises in “feminist post-structural perspectives” and the political implications of problematic furniture. Dr Bone’s research involves quite a lot of “embodied knowing,” i.e., visiting IKEA and sitting on chairs. Her work, she revealed, is “not necessarily logical.” Further feminist insights came via Phoebe Patey-Ferguson, whose feminist fight club is “a mode of resistance,” because the spectacle of unhappy ladies body-slamming each other and breaking each other’s ribs is an obvious way to “destroy the Conservative government” and “bring down the patriarchy.”

In February, we turned our attention to the world of aesthetics, where performance artist Sandrine Schaefer presented her buttocks to the world then waited for applause. We also learned that space exploration is all about “abuse” and “male entitlement,” thanks to Women’s Studies educator Marcie Bianco. Ms Bianco, who claims that sending spacecraft to Mars is akin to grabbing ladies’ genitals, teaches “social justice courses” at Rutgers University and John Jay College.

The ability of Jordan Peterson to trigger fits of theatrical hysteria among leftwing students was a highlight of March, when an attempt to speak at Queen’s University, Ontario, resulted in memorable and telling scenes, as students unleashed their inner screeching id. Also memorable, though for very different reasons, was this short, rather lovely film by Alex Gorosh and Wylie Overstreet. And at Simmons College, where recreational indignation is very much in fashion, and annual tuition is a mere $40,000, we learned that responding to a sneeze with the words “bless you” is problematic and oppressive, and that compiling lists of things that are problematic and oppressive, and therefore to be avoided, is itself problematic and oppressive.

Continue reading "The Year Reheated" »

Reheated (53)

For newcomers, some items from the archives:

Do Not Feed The Narcissists.

“Social justice” howler monkeys prove difficult to please.

So, to recap. Forty or so “social justice” activists disrupt a keynote address at DePauw University, holding signs that scold the audience for being insufficiently deferential to the protestors’ racial fixations and delusions of being oppressed. Being schooled in “privilege and identity,” and therefore suitably cowed and pretentious, the audience starts applauding the disruption, and applauding the scolding being aimed at them. And then those applauding are promptly scolded for doing so.

But I Am Not Androgynous

Salon’s Silpa Kovvali insists that gendered pronouns must be abolished. Everyone, she says, is a “they.”

Ms Kovvali believes that gendered pronouns and honorifics are an “outdated linguistic tic.” And not a useful, rather concise source of information, a signal of respect, and a way of clarifying who it is we’re talking about. Despite her claims, almost all of us seem quite happy to be referred to as either male or female, as if it were in fact “relevant,” and the demand for gender-neutral pronouns remains, to say the least, a niche concern. I’d even venture to suggest that some of us might feel slighted by the wilful omission of – diminishing of – our respective maleness or femaleness. However, Ms Kovvali feels a need to inform those less enlightened, i.e., the rest of us, that, “The goal is greater inclusion… to be respectful to those we write about, and to be clear to our readers.” By risking affront on a daily basis and introducing a clumsy and needless ambiguity. Because vagueness is the new clarity.

It’s A Fascist Groove Thang

Leftist students indulge in thuggery. Laurie Penny lies about it.

Continue reading "Reheated (53)" »