The Mystery That Is Me

Meanwhile, in theological news:

He describes drag as a spiritual experience that allows him to connect with God. “Drag allows me to process the mystery of myself, the mystery of God, the mystery of love, and the mystery of pain,” he said. “When I walk the streets in six-inch heels and wear four pounds of hair, double-stacked wigs, the power which lies within my mystery is released into the world.”

When not releasing his mystery into the world, associate pastor Mr Isaac Simmons, aka Ms Penny Cost, performs slam poetry.

Also, open thread.  

Jam At The Intersection

At the switched-on woke paradise of Ontario’s Western University:

Western initially stood firm in keeping the picture up, noting it “understood ‘how complex and intersectional this topic is’ and that the ‘imagery may be upsetting to some Muslims.’” However, Associate Vice President of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Opiyo Oloya, announced on Wednesday the picture had been removed.

The pecking order of victimhood is still, it seems, under construction.

Update, two more via the comments:

It’s perfectly straightforward and nothing could ever go wrong.

Setting aside the practical, structural shortcomings of polyamorous entanglements, and the likelihood of insecurity and resentment, there’s also the fact that such arrangements tend to attract a very high concentration of, shall we say, psychologically marginal people. By which I mean, the kinds of people one wouldn’t generally wish to be in an intimate relationship with. Say, the kinds of people who need you to know just how fascinating and complicated their sexual arrangements are, and by extension how fascinating and complicated they themselves must be. 

Hey, kids! Come to the library for Pokémon, Lego… and drag queens.

I’m still not sure why proximity to drag queens – i.e., men performing grotesque parodies of women – is supposed to be both imperative and affirming for toddlers. But apparently these things are somehow aspirational and representative, a role model for later adulthood. As if cartoonish transvestism were an unassailable, not-at-all-insulting shorthand for being gay. As if “story time drag queens,” a remarkable number of whom turn out to be registered sex offendersthree in Texas alone - were natural objects of kinship. As if being lurid and grotesque, or mentally ill, would be an obvious ambition. A way to feel good about oneself.

Also, open thread

The White Outdoors

The British countryside remains a distinctly white and often intimidating place for BAME communities.

So says the Guardian’s north of England correspondent, Nazia Parveen.

The British countryside being the preserve of the white middle classes is a perception that is backed by stark figures, with ethnic minorities often deterred from heading into the outdoors due to deep-rooted, complex barriers… Only 1% of visitors to UK national parks come from BAME backgrounds, and statistics from the outdoor sector paint a similar picture, with only around 1% of summer mountain leaders and rock-climbing instructors in the UK from ethnic minorities.

I’m sure the relative scarcity of brown-skinned rock-climbing instructors plays a pivotal role.

The reasons behind this reluctance to venture out are complicated.

Ah, but of course. Though some may be more obvious than others. The concentration of minorities in urban centres and the consequent logistics of travel to the countryside being fairly self-explanatory. We’re also told of “a lack of culturally appropriate provisions,” though details as to what these culturally appropriate provisions might be, or indeed why they should be provided, seemingly at public expense, are left to the readers’ imagination. We are, however, steered to the distinct impression that these “last bastions of whiteness” are a very bad thing and that something must be done.

Continue reading "The White Outdoors" »

Magical Beings

Again, via Darleen in the comments:

It’s as if the movie Inherit the Wind had a different ending.

She’s referring to this intriguing academic development

Instructors at a prominent university in Australia have been warned not to lecture on the natural historical record of that country; instead, they should teach a creation narrative regarding the origin of indigenous Australian people. Lecturers at the University of New South Wales “have been warned off making the familiar statement in class that ‘Aboriginal people have been in Australia for 40,000 years’,” The Australian reports. Instead, they should state that “Aborigines have been here ‘since the beginning of the Dreaming/s’ because this ‘reflects the beliefs of many Indigenous Australians that they have always been in Australia, from the beginning of time, and came from the land’.”

It seems we’ve gone from “The aboriginal population is primitive and unable to think rationally about things,” which is a sentiment to be denounced, especially in academia, and progressed to “We must treat the aboriginal population as if it were primitive and unable to think rationally about things.” Which, apparently, is something to be applauded. Especially in academia.

It’s A Fractal Indignation

Meanwhile, in the world of clown-shoe education: 

Saying “God bless you” after someone sneezes is listed as a microaggression on a lengthy “anti-oppression” guide posted online by Simmons College. “This guide is intended to provide some general information about anti-oppression, diversity, and inclusion as well as information and resources for the social justice issues key to the Simmons College community,” it states, adding “this guide is by no means exhaustive.”

It does, however, have eight subsections and contains links to over 100 further sources of recreational agonising. Because the fever dream must never end

Apparently, the sneezing thing is fraught with oppressive potential because it implies an “assumption of one’s own religious identity as the norm,” and “conveys one’s perception that everyone is Christian.” (There is as yet no word on the injurious effects of greetings and gestures favoured by other religious groups, or on how offended one should be when, following a sneeze, someone says sahha or yarhamukom-Allah.) And that time when I sneezed in the checkout queue in a Marks & Spencer Food Hall and the lady behind me instinctively said “Bless you,” what she really meant, obviously, is “Convert to the one true faith or may The Lord damn your heathen carcass.”

Given the university’s Augean mission to catalogue and denounce all possible sin, however small and theoretical, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the act of compiling lists of things to complain about has itself proved problematic. Specifically,  

Labelling oppression with “phobia” suffixes is harmful, 

And so,

The guide’s authors explain that they replaced the typical suffix “phobia,” such as Islamophobia, with the term “misia,” because the term “phobia” is offensive to people with phobias.

At which point, the very fabric of spacetime began to boil.

Elsewhere (257)

Ed West on the ghosts of Christmas yet to come: 

I’ve noticed these ‘diversity bollards’ popping up everywhere, without a word spoken about it… Does anyone in a position of power believe this is going to get better and these security measures will ever be taken down? If not, perhaps they should explain to us why, how they led us down this route, and what they intend to do about it… No free society can maintain its liberal traditions with that sort of internal [terrorist] threat, so as the problem deteriorates the surveillance state will expand. We will be faced with the decision about whether to allow the government to monitor people’s internet activity, because the alternative would be asking serious questions about immigration and multiculturalism.

Heather Mac Donald and Mark Bauerlein on the fallout of absent fathers: 

One of the fallacies of leftwing ideology is to insist that differences between males and females are socially constructed, at the same times as females are demanding all sorts of privileges and quotas on the basis that, well, you’ve got to have a female there because apparently there’s something essentially different about her. But when it comes to acknowledging the unique and complementary roles of a father in raising a child, that’s all just out the window. Everything is interchangeable, and males are an afterthought. The tragic thing is the kids themselves understand this.

And Bruce Bawer on the demands and evasions of the Swedish Clown Quarter: 

Erik Ringmar, a 56-year-old political scientist at Lund University, had a problem. At Lund, he explained, it’s strongly recommended that 40% of the readings for every course be written by women. There’s a certain flexibility, but if your reading list contains no women at all, your chance of approval is near zero. Ringmar had wanted to teach a course on “the rise of right-wing ideas, and eventually fascism, at the turn of the twentieth century”… and wanted his students to read original texts by fascists themselves. The problem was that during the period in question, there were virtually no female fascist writers of consequence. Ringmar did manage to find one woman who, with a bit of a stretch, could be included on the course list, but that was it. It wasn’t enough. His department head told him so.

Accordingly, Ringmar expanded his course topic to include anarchists as well as fascists. Fortunately for his purposes, there’d been plenty of female anarchist authors back in the day. With this change, Ringmar’s course plan was approved – but just barely, and only on the condition that he also adds Judith Butler. Judith Butler, of course, was not a pre-World War I fascist or anarchist. Born in 1956, she’s a founder of Queer Studies and a propagator of the notion that gender is a social construction. By conventional standards, there was no sensible rationale for putting Butler on Ringmar’s reading list. But Ringmar agreed.

Needless to say, Dr Ringmar’s accommodation of such irrelevance proved insufficient and a campaign of slander and harassment ensued, led by leftist students, with the educator being denounced for his “insufficient focus on gender.” 

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

Elsewhere (256)

Heather Mac Donald on a certain newspaper of record: 

The day after the New York Times informed its readers about the “professional” world of astrology, it ran a front-page story about ICE agents’ alleged reign of terror in Atlanta, Ga., under the Trump administration. This reign of terror consists in targeted enforcement raids against individuals like an illegal Mexican who has been deported twice, served time in prison, convicted of two domestic-violence incidents, and charged with rape which he plea-bargained down to a lesser crime. The number of illegal alien law-breakers in Atlanta is so high that one is booked into a county jail every few hours, reports the Times. The Times notes with dismay that illegal aliens are being arrested for driving without insurance and without a licence. Apparently Times reporters would not mind if their car were totalled by an uninsured driver. A reporter for the Spanish-language newspaper Mundo Hispanico sends out Facebook alerts of sightings of ICE agents so that illegal aliens can evade the law. Yet we are supposed to believe that it is the Trump administration that poses a threat to the rule of law.

Apparently, readers of the New York Times are expected to concern themselves with the violation of their borders by illegal aliens only insofar as illegal alien status is to be construed as excusing other criminal activity.

Peter Wood on perverse art and its admirers: 

Take the elevator to the sixth-floor offices of the college president, however, and… you will find… a celebratory exhibit of art created by the friends and allies of the 9-11 terrorists… The paintings and the models in the show are unremarkable as art. They display no special skill or aesthetic sensibility. That has not stopped Erin Thompson and her two fellow curators from attempting to squeeze whatever portentous meaning they can from the paintings. For example, in reference to a painting of a glass vase, a bottle, and two cups, by Ahmed Rabbani (a member of Al Qaida who trained as a terrorist in Afghanistan), the curators observe in the exhibition notes, that the “empty vessels also serve as an oblique reference both to Rabbani’s absent family and to his acts of self-denial and resistance.” What you won’t find in these paintings is any trace of repentance. These artworks are by terrorists and their accomplices who seem untouched by the monstrousness of their actions. They can wax sentimental about their own families and can draft images of hearts and flowers, but pity for the victims of their jihad is beyond their imagination — at least their visual imagination.

Curiously, or perhaps not curiously at all, the reasons for detention are downplayed or entirely absent. Nor is there any mention of released detainees’ recidivism rates. And despite the claims of artistic and sociological heft, there is, as Peter Wood notes, a baser motive in play – the wearying, juvenile need to be seen as transgressing bourgeois proprieties: “What better way to rile people than to celebrate terrorist art at a college that educates students for careers in law enforcement?” In New York City, no less

Somewhat related, this video here, in which students share their views of the exhibit, and of course this somewhat revealing faculty profile

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

Elsewhere (229)

Rod Dreher on identity politics versus art: 

Schutz’s painting has been denounced by some black artists and others, because the painter is white. Hannah Black, a British-born black artist, has written an open letter demanding that the Whitney Museum not only take the painting down, but also destroy it. 

Mark Steyn on our tolerant betters: 

The left doesn’t want to win the debate. They want to cancel the debate… A case in point, [this headline]: “Citing security issues, the Somalian-born activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali calls off her scheduled Australian tour.” Let’s just expand that “Somali-born activist” précis a little. She’s not a dead white male like me or Charles Murray. As someone once said, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is everything the identity-group fetishists profess to dig: female, atheist, black, immigrant. But, because she does not toe the party line on Islam, her blackness washes off her like a bad dye job on a telly anchor-man - and so do her femaleness and godlessness and immigrant status. And in the end she is Charles Murray, or Geert Wilders - or even David Duke. A black Somali woman is, it turns out, a “white supremacist.”

And by way of timely illustration, at Villanova University, Charles Murray once again encounters the leftist welcome wagon

Political science professor and event coordinator Colleen Sheehan offered [the disruptive students] the first question during the Q&A. Nonetheless, all offers by the hosts were rebuffed by the protesters, who continued to interrupt the lecture.

Note how these attention-seeking clowns – who grin at their own lies and then demand applause - are indulged, effetely and at length, by university staff, as if the venue were a toddlers’ day-care centre. And note that the protestors, who wish to impose themselves on others and inhibit other people’s discussion, refuse to participate in the debate without ultimate veto and Disruptor’s Privilege.

Continue reading "Elsewhere (229)" »

Those Brown-People Ideas

In this push for ethnic, sexual and racial diversity - which I think is just a mask to enforce ideological homogeneity - there’s no understanding that ideational diversity is the only relevant value for a university. The rest of it is all predicated on the assumption that if you select people because of their ethnicity or racial background or gender, that will, in and of itself, produce diversity of ideas - which is really pernicious… The idea that you’re going to get a diversity of ideas because you have a diversity of classes of people assumes that ideas and identity are the same thing. And that’s an absurd proposition. In fact that’s an essentially racial – and racist – proposition.

Joe Rogan chats, at length, with psychologist Dr Jordan Peterson

Elsewhere (174)

Theodore Dalrymple on intellectual evasions: 

Sometimes the employment of a single word in common use gives away an entire worldview. There was just such a usage in the headline of a story in the Guardian late last month: “How the ‘Pompey Lads’ fell into the hands of Isis.” […] The word that implied a whole worldview was “fell.” According to the headline, the young men “fell” into the hands of Isis as an apple falls passively to the ground by gravitational force. The word suggests that it could have happened to anybody, this going to Syria via Turkey to join a movement that delights in decapitation and other such activities in the name of a religion — their religion. Joining Isis is like multiple sclerosis; it’s something that just happens to people. The word “fell” denies agency to the young men, as if they had no choice in the matter. They were victims of circumstance by virtue of their membership of a minority, for minorities are by definition victims without agency.

Mick Hartley quotes Anne Applebaum on the new titan of the British left: 

Jeremy Corbyn, would-be leader of the Labour party, is the latest in a long line of useful idiots. Corbyn has recommended that his Twitter followers watch the Russian propaganda channel Russia Today, which he has described as “more objective” than other channels. Never mind that Russia Today interviews actors who claim to be “witnesses” and invents stories — for example, that a Russian-speaking child was crucified by a Ukrainian.

When not describing Hamas and Hizballah as “friends” and declaring his “solidarity” with the regimes of Cuba and Venezuela, our Islington radical finds time to be a fearless supporter of taxpayer-funded homeopathy, which apparently “compliments ‘conventional’ medicine” because “they both come from organic matter.” 

And Tim Blair ponders the cultural and economic powerhouse that is taxpayer-funded interpretive dance: 

As Australia transitions from a mineral export-based economy to a dance-based economy, it is clearly important to make certain that the dance sector is as stable as possible. Choreographer Lucy Guerin told the [senate] hearings [into arts funding] that to do otherwise would risk us “eventually severing the future of artistic development in Australia and setting us back 30 years.” “It’s that serious,” she added, with all the gravity you’d expect from a choreographer addressing a bunch of senators.

Behold ye, wealth creation.

Feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments.