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A person capable of writing this unhinged poison should not be given car keys or left near children. Let me see here ... [Slips on spectacles onto nose ... Googles .... starts reading] Oh, my God. What the fuck is this that I'm reading? Whiteness embraces White ideology, and because Whites are at the apex of the racial hierarchy, whiteness becomes normalized and is invisible to those who benefit the most from it (Matias, Viesca, Garrison-Wade, Tandon, and Galindo 2014). This is particularly troubling because the normality of whiteness means that Whites do not believe that they are actively investing in White supremacy or racism, which keeps oppression intact. Ricky Lee Allen (2001) reminds us that with the globalization of White supremacy, we cannot rely solely on issues of classism and must work to decenter White voices and explore possibilities that form radical alliances with White people and people of Color to fight oppression. Thandeka (2009) asserts that the silence of whiteness stems from the expectation that White children adopt a colorblind ideology even though they do recognize racial differences as children. For Whites, whiteness operates in subtle, and yet, at times, not so subtle, ways to maintain White supremacy [ ... ] Take for example the emotionality of whiteness. Matias (2016a) describes how in her urban teacher education program that seeks to train teachers with cultural diversity the emotions of the mainly white female teachers when talking about race always shut down the learning and dialogue. Too often the emotion, themselves, become a strategic tool to silence racial dialogue and progress. As such, whiteness can be the everyday enactments that promote white hegemonic ideology. In that example of "the emotionality of whiteness", why is that I seem to be getting a mental image of something like army recruits undergoing a hazing ritual as part of a counter-insurgency interrogation resistance training programme? Problematizing whiteness in science education allows us to understand the White imagination [ ... ] If we are serious about an anti-racist science education, we must be critical of our own conceptions and emotions and how they stem from racist ideology [ ... ] This means that our White science educators must consider the following: 1. Recognize different forms of racism beyond the commonplace of explicit racism. Even though there have been decreases in blatant racist acts, humans carry many unconscious biases that allow racial disparities to exacerbate [ ... ] 2. Understand the importance of White heritage by acknowledging what it means to be White. For science educators beginning on this journey, we recommend Peggy McIntosh’s (2001) article on White privilege, which identifies common acts that Whites may take for granted. [ ... ] 3. Actively reject dominant racial ideologies such as deficit thinking, essentialism, and colorblindness. [ ... ] 4. Reimagine what science education spaces can look like [ ... ] Those committed to racial equity need to identify and understand their own whiteness and consider alternative views of science education in the creation of spaces that validate our students of Color. Within this re-imagination, we believe it is also important to consider that students of Color who decide to leave science are just as successful of those who continue. For example, students may be attracted to other disciplines during their studies and decide to pursue interests other than science (Strenta, Elliott, Adair, Matier, and Scott, 1994). Can anyone explain how point 4 works? What do they mean by the idea that students who do not study science can be as successful at science as those who do? And how does that not undermine what I assumed to be the whole point of the article - namely to improve participation and achievement rates of students of color in public science education?
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Oh, dear ...
Toggle Commented Mar 5, 2018 on Elsewhere (264) at davidthompson
The incoherence of the protesters’ responses and the fact that the walkout was scheduled in advance suggests something darker ... They will not engage ideas — they will not even hear ideas — because their minds are already made up. Something in that description reminded of a line I came across recently in Lorna Finlayson’s 2016-published Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy: An Introduction to Feminism: If I think you’ve got it wrong, I can’t very well afford to be tolerant. Finlayson is a Lecturer in Philosophy with a PhD from Kings College, Cambridge.
Toggle Commented Mar 3, 2018 on Elsewhere (264) at davidthompson
Fat woke-ling is outraged ... From the same larger than life individual 22 hours ago. Who saw that coming?
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2018 on Elsewhere (263) at davidthompson
The time-to-play reads 2:39. You would think that would be long enough, wouldn't you? But you'd be wrong - a subtitle at the end explains the actual duration was "14 minutes". 14 minutes. 14. Minutes - not seconds - minutes. Many people might be horrified that Schaefer managed to stretch that out to at least 28 times the duration it really required. Some, but not me. No, what horrifies is me is the mental image of Schaefer spending hours in various branches of Starbucks, face screwed up in intense concentration for hours and hours - hours on end - staring at a blank page of a notebook over the course of one, two, maybe even three or four days before having a 'Eureka' moment and passionately scribbling: Performance idea! Ambulation! Ambulation = walk; walk = Mexicans crossing borders(!) A wall! My ass - in the air - a wall of flesh! But not like Trump's wall - this wall has an opening - a passage way - this 'wall' is an inverted 'V' for 'Victory' sign - my eyes - upside down - see the audience through the opening in my legs! I see victory - they see ... ass(!) To me - my pussy at the apex of the 'V' for 'Victory' sign - an ironic mocking of the eye/pyramid on the dollar bill (capitalist bastards!!) ironic mocking of the Masonic compass - but this can only be seen if the audience puts themselves in my shoes(!!!) Masonic Compass! Compass = map; map =walk = walk = ambulation!! That's the real performance; the real work of art. Not that video, not even the 'happening', but Schaefer actually thinking she's actually doing something instead of someone doing something that merely looks like someone doing something that requires thought and effort - instead of just mooching around various coffee shops looking intellectual. And then imagine her at the bar afterwards - the kind of conversations she must have which refer to all her "hard work". I like to imagine something along these lines: "Yeah, well, you know. It took a long, long time to germinate. You know, the idea? I just ... Man, it was tough! I have a very rigorous process and I'm really strict with myself. I have to be disciplined - you know, for my process ... "
Toggle Commented Feb 20, 2018 on She’ll Ruin The Leather at davidthompson
Not quite ephemeral, but near enough: anyone in the UK with access to David Hare's Drama Collateral should absolutely make a point of watching it - it's an absolute scream. I mean, it is just so unbelievably and laughably awful I just can't stop alternating between laughing at it or shouting 'No! No, you've got to be kidding me!' as yet another predictable cliche stumbles its way into view like a half-drunk pantomime horse. All the leads are women - except that they're not really women, but different sides of that feminist fist-pump symbol dressed in clothes and wearing the faces of various famous actresses. In the space of about 20 minutes you come across three permanently irascible and angry women - a pizza shop manager, a well-to-do chain-smoking alcoholic single mother, and a lover - each one of which is seen continually scowling, scoffing or scolding anyone every man in 10 feet of them to demonstrate how in control they are (naturally all the men are pathetic simps or jolly fat guys). And then there's an elfin-like 30-something Carey Mulligan as the lead homicide detective - but naturally just being a lead homicide detective is not enough, so she is also about 6 months pregnant; also - it turns out - a former pole-vault champion; and also a former high school teacher. She drifts regally around the screen like swan princess. To cap it all, the "professional" contract killer who commits the murder that kicks off the drama is an Ann Coulter lookalike - make of that what you will. Oh, and then there's Nicola Walker as the conflicted lesbian C of E vicar and her young-enough-to-be-her-daughter illegal immigrant Vietnamese lover who's terrified of being deported yet enters the story coming back from a night out clubbing with a pocket full of speed. I mean it's such utter bollocks. The only male lead is played by John Simm - and like the women he's not a character in any normal sense of the word in a drama, but an 'emblem' - but what he apparently embodies is the Labour Party. No, really - this steaming turd of a drama really is not only that bad, but that transparent. Says the angry woman who is his latest lover: Look David, you just have to decide what you want - has it never occurred to you that Labour may not even get back? That there might be another Labour government? And then when it turns out he's the father of one of the children of the well-to-do chain-smoking alcoholic single mother, the metaphor becomes so cringingly obvious I couldn't stop laughing. I would love one day to see an honest fly-on-the-wall documentary of how these things go from script to screen and how no one ever seems to have looked at the plot or the rushes and said: "Wait a minute - I think this might be a bit shit?"
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2018 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
“The former Chief of Staff of Iran’s armed forces said that Western spies had used lizards which could ‘attract atomic waves’ to spy on the country’s nuclear programme.” I hate to be a party pooper, but I saw that and immediately assumed it was a translation error. And sure enough, according to Google translate at least, English 'lizard' translates to: یلی rounder, parasite, sponge, sponger, drone, lizard So it seems he was talking about drones, not lizards, which would kind of make more sense. Of course, none of that makes it any less likely that the former Chief of Staff of Iran’s armed forces is a major loon - he's just perhaps not that kind of loon ...
Toggle Commented Feb 16, 2018 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
We love it, that breath of fresh air. Until they’re a little too honest. Until they touch on something that ripples. Unraveling one lie isn’t enough, touching on one sends shivers through dozens more. It’s a sick, painful web we weave for ourselves, white folks. Why, put like that, it sounds almost like what they're selling is a spiritual experience; an open communication with ethereal spirits from another plane of existence. And it just so happens that The Spiritualist Association of Great Britain does in fact also offer workshops, such as this one, which do not sound all that different to those Everyday Feminism and others are flogging (well, apart from the clear absence of animus and invective against the reader that is): The power of unconditional love is a most powerful energy, and this enables those in the Spirit world to link with us on earth. This workshop will specifically explore the love energy within you through, firstly some guided meditations, and then by the students connecting with spirit and practising their own spiritual gifts in a strong and loving environment. A snip at £40. And also this one: This is a day for those who wish to strengthen their link with the Spirit World, in order to become a purer channel for their work on earth. Our loved ones who have passed to the Spirit World are still individuals who have their own style of communicating, and their own stories to tell. Spirit guides have wisdom, inspiration and philosophy that they wish to pass on to us. The focus of this workshop will be to provide the conditions so that they may do this. I think that last one has to be my favourite, but mainly because the convener of the workshop, Minister Suzanne Gibson-Foy, boasts an MA in Psychotherapy among her achievements and qualifications. You know, for a theoretical approach that is almost obsessive about the Other and the great evil that is 'Otherising' an individual on the basis of their belonging to group X or group Y, it seems powerful strange that the workshops of Scholl and her compatriots sound awfully like they are painting people of colour as if they were elves, sprites or faeries out from the depths of some mist-shrouded forest ready to impart magical secrets for the (white) child-heroine of the hour, the latter being the real protagonist of all the psychodrama.
Toggle Commented Feb 13, 2018 on She-People Of Pallor, Repent Ye! at davidthompson
Who’s gonna stop them? ... do Kirsty Wark and her production team not know of Laurie’s reputation as a fantasist and liar ... or do they simply not care? I think this may help answer both questions*: "Nice to see you!" Wark says as she warmly greets Penny (who is ironically quite literally sitting in a glass house) in a 2014 BBC documentary before Wark proceeds to to frown and gurn with intense gravity and concern over Laurie's cookie-cutter squeaking about how difficult it is to be Laurie Penny online. Honestly, I'm starting to wonder whether the BBC Newsnight editorial team have been looking on with jealousy at the Cathy Newman - Jordan Peterson interview and its now 6.4 million views and were asking themselves, "Where can we get some of that Newman-Peterson debate controversy action?" when they hit upon the wheeze of putting Penny and Coulter together. Naturally, they fucked it up: first, by having Wark as a moderator; second, by not having them in the same room; and third, as with all BBC Newsnight videos, including its 'Viewsnight' strand, by inexplicably disabling the comments. *I very nearly wrote "kill two birds with one stone", but no doubt that particular turn of phrase would later be used as proof of online misogyny requiring a security specialist to investigate.
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2018 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
There’s so much irony and projection, it’s hard to know where to start. You’re not kidding. This is a verbatim quote from Laurie Penny: ”What we’ve come to call fake news, which is actually lies, the point of that is not just to spread lies – it’s to make people unsure of the distinction between what is true and what is false. And when people can’t – . To erode trust in the news media [ ... ] in honest journalistic networks. And look, when people cannot trust their media they would often prefer to believe convenient lies to hard truths. You know, there are still people out there who believe in the power of honest journalism; believe in the power of, of, in real democracy which involves people being really informed. And there are people out there who believe that people in power shouldn’t just be allowed to dictate what is true and what is false [...] And some of those people are watching at home – people who believe there is a distinction between truth and falsehood and that distinction matters.” Those are Laurie Penny’s actual words. Laurie Penny.
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2018 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
"Ann Coulter and Laurie Penny debate 'fake news'"
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2018 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Heh. Perhaps if you open the envelope first you might find it contains something like this ... ... with a small token of appreciation inside. I fear you may have misunderstood the nature of the gesture(!)
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2018 on I Do Hope There’ll Be Cake at davidthompson
Many happy returns, David. < slides envelope across bar > Classy joint this.
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2018 on I Do Hope There’ll Be Cake at davidthompson
... a handy diversion from the substance of the interview ... Reading this astonishing take on the interview feels like crossing the threshold into a parallel dimension ...
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2018 on At All Costs, Paraphrase at davidthompson
(Please excuse the length – I hadn’t meant this post to be quite so long). "[T]teachers choosing a lesson plan based on what’s popular can be a problem" Yes, well, at the very least it most certainly can be problematic in the eyes of Dr Katy M. Swalwell, an Assistant Professor of Education at Iowa State University and author of Educating Activist Allies: Social Justice Pedagogy with the Suburban and Urban Elite, the Introduction to which begins (my italics; Swalwell’s capitalisation of White): A few years ago, I presented a workshop entitled "Addressing Wealth Inequality with Students in Affluent Communities" at the Northwest Teachers for Social Justice Conference . A wonderful event that can inspire even the most demoralized of educators, ... I wondered if my focus on affluent students would attract anyone among a group of such committed and talented social justice educators, I was stunned (and relieved) when the room filled to capacity with curious conference attendees. One by one, the teachers introduced themselves and shared why they had come to the session. Almost all of them worked at private suburban public schools primarily serving White students from affluent families. They expressed frustration with how to challenge their students' meritocratic perceptions of the world. They gave examples of student apathy, wilful ignorance, or missionary zeal in response to a social justice curriculum. And they talked of pushback to their teaching from parents, administrators, and fellow colleagues. Perhaps movingly, they expressed gratitude for a space to talk about doing this work with these kids. "I'm embarrassed to say where I teach when I come to things like this," one teacher told me. "It's like if I really cared about social justice, then I shouldn't be working in this kind of school." (As an aside, if the room for the workshop was “filled to capacity” and every participant “introduced themselves and shared why they had come to the session” one after another as well as discussing all the “pushback to their teaching” they had received, it’s a wonder there was any time left for Swalwell to give her workshop. Even with a relatively modest audience of say, 20 people, those introductions could easily have taken up at least 40 of the workshop’s 90 minutes, which makes me curious as to just how many people were actually there.) Swalwell goes on to describe the purpose of Educating Activist Allies as helping "[t]eachers committed to social justice ... open students' eyes to the world around them, even when they are reluctant to see things that are painful, disturbing, or in contradiction with their original beliefs about the world." (Chapter 4 of the book is ominously entitled: “Social Justice Pedagogy in Action: ‘Bursting the Bubble’ and ‘Disturbing the Comfortable’”). But anyway, back to those pesky teachers and their "choosing a lesson plan based on what’s popular" – the bastards. What Swalwell is busy ‘problematising’ in that quote is Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT), a website which "offer[s] more than 2.8 million free and paid resources, created by educators who understand what works in the classroom". According to this PBS report, "[t]he average TPT lesson plan sells for $5, and the company takes a cut of 20 percent or 45 percent" and according to the site’s owners, "TPT paid out more than $100 million to teacher authors across the country" last year. But despite this seeming to be a case of teachers ‘seizing control of the means of production’ from giant global educational publishing companies such as Pearson and others, or at the very least of sharing knowledge and expertise on a massive scale with little or no interference from hierarchical bureaucracies – both of which you might reasonably expect Swalwell to celebrate – she is nevertheless unhappy because (my italics): "teachers may focus on what’s cute and catchy, rather than on content that’s high-quality [...] It maybe is fun for some of the kids, but it isn’t ever just about fun. There’s always social lessons that are being taught underneath." Apart from wondering quite what Swalwell would consider high quality content, this seems to be rather arrogant and presumptuous about the ability of professional teachers’ to discriminate between what constitutes high and low quality materials for the specific group of students they teach in their particular milieu. Had this same comment been made by a Minister of Education, and especially one from a conservative administration, but from any administration really, it would inevitably have provoked howls of outrage and indignation. Referring specifically to an example of a lesson aimed at 3 and 4 year-old kindergarten children which uses the device of a mock wedding ceremony to teach the idea that the letters 'Q' and 'U' are 'married' to one another, Swalwell comments: "The girls’ vows were often pretty sexist, that they have to support the boys going out with other letters, that that’s what they need to do, that their job in the relationship is. They also talk about how the boy’s letter is what gave them a voice. Otherwise, they couldn’t make a sound in the world." To the uninitiated, that Q/U lesson seems to be little different from what Sesame Street has been presenting spelling to pre-school under 5's for decades now, but Swalwell demurs, reproaching kindergarten teachers who have bought the lesson for not exercising the appropriate degree of capital ‘C’ Criticality. You would think that the obvious solution to Swalwell’s problem here would be for her to create alternative lesson plans of her own and then launch them on TPT. But then as Swalwell herself adroitly observes in her book, Educating Activist Allies: While it may be relatively easy for academics and theorists to envision a "revolutionary critical pedagogy" that calls for an overthrow of a racist, capitalist state in theoretical terms (e.g., McLaren, Martin, Farahmandpur, & Jaramillo, 2004), ... Yes, that’s an actual quote. ... my time with these teachers in the field convinces me that grappling with how far to push their pedagogy in communities of privilege without alienating their students, being accused of indoctrination, or losing their jobs is an incredibly difficult task [ ... ] My analysis of these teachers should not interpreted as a defense of what McLaren et al. (2004) refer to as a "defanged and sterilized" pedagogy that works "to the advantage of the liberal capitalist state and its bourgeois cadre of educational reformers" (p. 140).
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2018 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
It’s like watching an episode of Brass Eye. That. Also this, which occurs within the first four minutes. Peterson has just finished outlining his reasons behind the statement that (western) men need to "grow the hell up" which Newman quoted to him in her opening question. She then goes on: Newman: What’s in it for the women, though? Peterson: Well, what sort of partner do you want? Do you want an overgrown child? Or do you want someone to contend with that’s going to help you? Newman: So you’re saying women have some sort of duty to sort of help fix the crisis of masculinity? This is not simply a strawman as many others have (rightly) pointed out - it is also arguably an attempt to dominate Peterson though emotional blackmail. It is the kind of response an abusive partner (or a partner in an abusive frame of mind) might make when out of the blue they suddenly explode: "Why did you leave your running shoes in the hall when you know I want them left by the kitchen door!?!?" despite the fact that the intimate other so accused has for many years left their running shoes in the hall with neither comment nor complaint. The accused partner must concede the fault or risk losing the respect, goodwill and love of the accuser The content of the accusation itself is therefore mostly if not wholly irrelevant - it is the import of the emotional outburst that counts. Given the superficial content of much of Newman's questions it seems particularly ironic that this is the approach she should have taken. That she should also have taken this approach with someone who for decades now has made his living as a clinical psychologist (including a stint at Harvard) was ill-judged to a really quite spectacular degree, as the video shows.
Toggle Commented Jan 18, 2018 on At All Costs, Paraphrase at davidthompson
It does get rather surreal. And it is, I think, instructive, though perhaps not in ways that Ms Newman would have wished. Seen in the light of the Newman-Peterson interview, this cartoon now seems particularly ironic.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2018 on At All Costs, Paraphrase at davidthompson
OT: I only have a vague idea of who Aziz Ansari is, only knowing him from a bit part in the movie Observe and Report, in what now turns out to be something of an ironic role. And I confess I have not read the original of the article that is said to have shot down the actor-comedian's career in flames. But what I do find fascinating is that this article here not only appeared in The Atlantic, but was written by someone who is "a contributing editor" and so presumably cannot be dismissed as one of those 'alternative viewpoint' voices, but to some extent is endorsed by the magazine's editorial board. If you have a moment to spare, I would recommend reading it in full. The fact that this came from the The Atlantic feels like some kind of premonition that a sea change is on the horizon and suggests that any momentum that the #MeToo 'movement' may have gathered to date is about to falter, stall, and halt - and much, much sooner than others have predicted. [ ... ] Eventually, overcome by her emotions at the way the night was going, she told him, “You guys are all the fucking same,” and left crying. I thought it was the most significant line in the story: This has happened to her many times before. What led her to believe that this time would be different? I was a teenager in the late 1970s ... the magazines and advice books and novels that I devoured .... were still filled with the cautionary advice and moralistic codes of the ’50s. With the exception of the explicit physical details, stories like Grace’s—which usually appeared in the form of “as told to,” ... —were so common as to be almost regular features ... . In fact, the bitterly disappointed girl crying in a taxi muttering “They’re all the same” was almost a trope. Make a few changes to Grace’s story and it would fit right into the narrative of those books and magazines, which would have dissected what happened to her in a pitiless way. When she saw Ansari at the party, she was excited by his celebrity—“Grace said it was surreal to be meeting up with Ansari, a successful comedian and major celebrity”—which the magazines would have told us was shallow; he brushed her off, but she kept after him, which they would have called desperate; doing so meant ignoring her actual date of the evening, which they would have called cruel. Agreeing to meet at his apartment—instead of expecting him to come to her place to pick her up—they would have called unwise; ditto drinking with him alone. Drinking, we were told, could lead to a girl’s getting “carried away,” which was the way female sexual desire was always characterized in these things—as in, “She got carried away the night of the prom.” As for what happened sexually, the writers would have blamed her completely: What was she thinking, getting drunk with an older man she hardly knew, after revealing her eagerness to get close to him? The signal rule about dating, from its inception in the 1920s to right around the time of the Falklands war, was that if anything bad happened to a girl on a date, it was her fault [ ... ] Perhaps she hoped to maybe even become the famous man’s girlfriend. He wasn’t interested. What she felt afterward—rejected yet another time, by yet another man—was regret. And what she and the writer who told her story created was 3,000 words of revenge porn ... Togethe[r], the two women may have destroyed Ansari’s career, which is now the punishment for every kind of male sexual misconduct, from the grotesque to the disappointing.
Toggle Commented Jan 15, 2018 on Empathy Test at davidthompson
Section 123 reads: 123. Google furnishes a large number of internal mailing lists catering to employees with alternative lifestyles, including furries, polygamy, transgenderism, and plurality, for the purpose of discussing sexual topics. The word plurality is linked to the following footnote, which I confess I am struggling to comprehend.
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2018 on Unsafe To Share at davidthompson
The details of the lawsuit can be read here and some of the allegations are worth perusing I'll say!
Toggle Commented Jan 9, 2018 on Unsafe To Share at davidthompson
Ah yes, Rebel Girls. I wrote about that book Good post. And like you, I found the reviews on Amazon to be more than just of passing interest: Keep in mind, a 6 year old doesn’t exactly understand the concept of gender identity. So since there are multiple stories in here regarding gender identity pioneers, it’s awfully strange to have to explain to my little girl that it’s perfectly ok to just be herself, she doesn’t have to change because the person in the story did. Of course, Amazon reviews have a certain reputation so it's worth bearing that in mind - especially when reading some of the politically partisan complaints about the politically partisan nature of the book, e.g.: I was disappointed, however, when it came to political figures. The book includes Hillary Clinton (listed as "presidential candidate"), Michele Obama, and Madeline Albright (Bill Clinton's sec'y of state). These are all democrats. Fine. But, how many republican political women are included? None. Condoleezza Rice was apparently deemed unworthy. No Republican first ladies. How come? The bias, sadly, is just too obvious. Then again, that reviewer might have a point. In any case, that would hardly account for these two comments: The ink smells horrible and I get an allergic reaction every time I touch the book. I bought the print version and it smells horrible. The ink smells so strongly that I cannot feasibly give this as a gift which was my original intent ... never in my life have I purchased a book that smells so strongly like this. Or these: I'm hoping someone could contact me about an issue with my book that came in. The cover is upside down. I was extremely disappointed that the edition I received was printed upside down (when holding the book so the cover is right-side up, the pages inside are upside down). Perhaps those glitches are just more evidence of the Patriarchy's underhand tac-tics? After all, we have it on good authority that: Men are afraid of the stories that aren’t written by them.
Toggle Commented Dec 19, 2017 on Elsewhere (258) at davidthompson
The writer is the engineer of the human soul. Possibly. Although I find it more likely to be the vast network of informers with a direct hotline to squadrons of secret police with powers to make individuals (and their families) vanish in the middle of the night that are doing much of the heavy lifting. Men are afraid of the stories that aren’t written by them. No. This, on the other hand, I do find mildly alarming: "Um, I feel kind of happy and kind of sad. "Because ... why I feel happy is because there's a book actually full of girls instead of just boys. "And why I'm kind of sad is 'coz ... is 'coz ... I'm sad 'coz I don't, because I didn't know most of these characters. And that I, that I mostly know famous men instead of women." It's not so much what is being said (though that too), but rather it's the manner in which it's spoken - there's an awkward forced tone in the voice as of someone trying to repeat something they have been made to say on many an occasion. It really has to be seen in the original context to get the full effect.
Toggle Commented Dec 19, 2017 on Elsewhere (258) at davidthompson
I do sometimes wonder what it must be like to be trapped in a head like that Based on his 'Meet Kevin Allred' page, I cannot decide whether Allred is a fraud, a hypocrite or merely a common-or-garden buffoon. For instance, talking about himself in the third person, here Allred says: He believes knowledge should be accessible to everyone--not just gatekeepers of the Ivory Tower--and that education should always also be fun. It is quite apparent from this statement that he therefore believes most people - the mainstream of society if you will - do not already have access to knowledge; I assume this is only possible on the grounds that by 'knowledge' he means the very specialised kind of 'knowledge' of which he is in possession, one that - quite perversely - is a type of knowledge that can only be validated by precisely the prestige status of the 'ivory tower' he presents himself as being in opposition to. The only possible way in which he could make 'knowledge ... accessible to everyone', therefore, is through his becoming one of the 'gatekeepers' he is supposedly disparaging. And so like many others who share his political views his issue is not so much with the system itself but with the apparent injustice that does not see total control of that system placed in his hands. In the very next paragraph, he then states that: Kevin's mission is to ... confront, question, and attempt to undo mainstream Amerika's racist and heterosexist status quo So let me get this straight - he is somehow claiming that 'knowledge should be accessible to everyone' and that 'education should always also be fun' while at the same time pledging himself to the dismantling of 'mainstream Amerika's racist and heterosexist status quo'? Assuming that the 'mainstream' of US society includes many (or even the majority) of those who do not currently have access to 'knowledge', and who he has therefore made it his mission to enlighten, in what sense (and for whom) could this project of his possibly be 'fun'? When has being harangued by a zealout to confess your allegedly 'racist and heterosexist' sins ever been fun for anyone? Perhaps Allred is a fraud and a hypocrite and a common-or-garden buffoon rolled into one? Because, for sure, if that rattlebag of contradictions is an attempt to deceive his readers, then he is clearly a fraud; if it is there to deceive himself, then he is obviously a hypocrite; and if he has no idea as to what he is actually saying then he is no better than a village idiot.
A certain bad Penny has rolled around again but rather than the kind of grim amusement and contempt she usually provokes in me this time I just feel thoroughly demoralised. In many ways it bears all the hallmarks her prose is known for. There is the same kind of overcooked sentimentality and melodrama she usually peddles in (not to mention the squirm-inducingly incoherent mixed metaphors - see her dismal attempt at trying to suggest embryonic rage with the 'egg + claws' formula) Something broke, is breaking still. Not like a glass breaks or like a heart breaks, but like the shell of an egg breaks — inexorably, and from the inside. Something wet and angry is fighting its way out of the dark, and it has claws. A great many abusers and their allies have begged us to step back and examine the context in which they may or may not have sexually intimidated or physically threatened or forcibly penetrated one or several female irrelevances who have suddenly decided to tell the world their experiences as if they mattered. There are the same kind of imbecilic attempts at clairvoyance: What happens when enough people stop believing that they ever wanted a world like this? What might happen to us as a society — hell, as a species — if enough of us begin to take consent seriously? What might happen if enough of us stood up together and refused to spend another second watching rich old white men do whatever the fuck they want to our bodies and call it freedom? Well, we might be about to find out. My guess is that it will be exhilarating, but first, it’ll be frightening as hell. Freedom always is. And of course there is the same kind of spiteful menace and threat she tries to pepper her prose with: “Freedom” is just another word for being under the thumb of a powerful white man — for now. But what makes this different this time - for me at any rate - is that it has really hit home - really this time - that there must be people out there who are paying her to write this anxious teenage doggerel and still others who are reading this shit. By whatever criteria you could possibly use you cannot in good conscience deny that what she writes is shit. And it's not even well-intentioned shit, but spiteful, vulgar, tasteless, overblown shit. Yet no matter how shit it gets, she continues to get airtime, conference panel-time, speaking invitations, podcast time, column inches, and publishing deals as if it was anything but shit. But it is shit. Utterly and completely shit. Who on Earth could possibly read this shit and sincerely believe it has any worth of any kind to anyone? In that same interview Daniel Ream mentions Dalrymple says of communist societies: When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. What on Earth does this say about the probity of people who are not forced but instead willingly embrace that silence? How can anyone read that shit? Or believe that she has anything of interest to say to anyone? Adrian Mole's angst-ridden teenage diary was at least funny. And fictional.
Toggle Commented Dec 5, 2017 on Elsewhere (256) at davidthompson
A homunculus speaks. Oh, how I did chortle.
Toggle Commented Nov 16, 2017 on Elsewhere (254) at davidthompson