This is Nikw211's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Nikw211's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Nikw211
Recent Activity
Years ago a thread on here took a turn into explaining how intelligent people (generally on the left) can look at the world and get things so wrong. you’d have to narrow it down, at least somewhat Obviously, I don't know which ones in particular, but these two both seem likely candidates: It Pays To Be Unobvious From which comes this extract from a post by Professor Jere Surber: In many arts subjects, especially those tethered only loosely to evidence, logic or practical verification, there’s often pressure to avoid the obvious and prosaic, even when the obvious and prosaic is true. The obligation to be unobvious, if only for the benefit of one’s academic peers, may help explain the more fanciful assertions from some practitioners of the liberal arts. And this from a review of Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Society by Theodore Dalrymple: Intellectuals, like everyone else, live and work in a marketplace. In order to get noticed they must say things which have not been said before, or at least say them in a different manner. No one is likely to obtain many plaudits for the rather obvious, indeed self-evident, thought that a street robber cannot commit street robberies while he is in prison. But an intellectual who first demonstrates that the cause of an increase in street robbery is the increase in the amount of property that law-abiding pedestrians have on them as they walk in the streets is likely to be hailed, at least until the next idea comes along. Thus, while there are no penalties for being foolish, there are severe penalties (at least in career terms) for being obvious. And speaking of Thomas Sowell: Consequential knowledge In which David remarks (amongst other things): Oddly enough - or not oddly at all - Marx was also fond of apocalyptic scenarios. (“I will wander godlike and victorious through the ruins of the world,” etc.) In the same general vein, I can highly recommend the following work by Daniel Kalder known in Europe as Dictator Literature: A History of Despots Through Their Writing and in North America as The Infernal Library: On Dictators, the Books They Wrote, and Other Catastrophes of Literacy I should mention that the author is a friend of mine, it's true, and I was a reader for several early drafts as it was in development, but I hope that does not put anyone off - I think it's a fascinating read.
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2018 on Because You Deserve No Less at davidthompson
Okay, I’ll go first. Holy shit! Joanna Simons ... had been at the centre of that Council's 'care' programme for nearly a decade: that is, throughout the period in which the mass rape of local girls (subsequently investigated under the name 'Operation Bullfinch') was carried on [ ... ] At the time that Operation Bullfinch broke, Ms Simons was receiving an annual salary of over £196,000, before other benefits were included. To put this into some context, the average annual salary in the UK sits at just over £27,000. The annual salary paid to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for running the country stands at just under £150,000 per annum [ ... ] In 2015, the Oxfordshire County Council chose to abolish Simon's role ... at which stage she received a pay-off from the Council amounting to the sum of £259,000 [ ... ] But Oxfordshire did not lose Simons for long. Last July, the organisation which promotes tourism in the area -- 'Experience Oxfordshire' -- announced Joanna Simons as the new head of their board. It would be interesting to compare the reporting of this with the reporting of negligence and wrong-doing of senior management in the private sector. Dick Fuld, say.
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2018 on Because You Deserve No Less at davidthompson
Sociology Professor Suzanna Danuta Walters has a message for 49% of the population: So men, if you really are #WithUs and would like us to not hate you for all the millennia of woe you have produced and benefited from, start with this: Lean out so we can actually just stand up without being beaten down. Pledge to vote for feminist women only. Don’t run for office. Don’t be in charge of anything. Step away from the power. We got this. And please know that your crocodile tears won’t be wiped away by us anymore. We have every right to hate you. You have done us wrong. #BecausePatriarchy. You will no doubt be shocked to discover that the author of this well-balanced and reasonable plea is also the Director of a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.
Toggle Commented Jun 9, 2018 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
For his gratuitous and public humiliation of a progressive scholar, Whitten was not only afforded a warm reception at the event but he was thanked by his target, who was evidently grateful to have been shamed in this way. Blazack even wrote a follow-up post restating his craven apology once more, in response to which Whitten received more donations from supporters. Here's Nick Cohen writing in 2005 on Gerry Healy's Workers' Revolutionary Party: In truth, terms such as 'left' and 'right' can only take you so far if you're trying to understand groups such as the Workers' Revolutionary Party. They are far closer to the messianic religious sects that obey the orders of semi-divine leaders. Gerry Healy, the leader of the WRP, didn't appear charismatic at first glance. He was a squat and ugly man, who maintained his personal domination by isolating his members from the outside world and their families [...] In her autobiography, [WRP member] Vanessa Redgrave described how her six-year-old daughter Natasha 'appealed to me to spend more time with her. I tried to explain that our political struggle was for her future and that of all the children of her generation. She looked at me with a serious, sweet smile. "But I need you now. I won't need you so much then.'" One woman said she barely saw her husband and four children ... She shook herself out of [the WRP] when Healy forced his way into her bedroom ... She left but most stayed until 1985 when the tabloids let rip with a 'reds in the bed' exposé of how Healy had abused dozens of women and stolen party funds. An audit of the books showed that he had taken about £500,000 from Muammar Gadaffi and £20,000 from Saddam Hussein [ ... ] [W]hat was fascinating was that a handful of members, including the Redgraves,... stuck by Healy until his death in 1989 and continued to revere his memory thereafter. Nothing could shake their faith, not the rapes and beatings of party members or the grovelling before tyrants. I think I see a theme developing.
Toggle Commented Jun 6, 2018 on Rise Of The Bedlamites at davidthompson
The cost of lowered standards. From Greg Ashman, an Australian education blogger: We have all heard the arguments: Formal written examinations only measure performance on one day, not what students can do over a sustained period. They have a narrow academic focus that does not take into account ‘non-cognitive skills’ such as social skills and creativity [ ... ] So we need to replace formal examinations with something else that better reflects all of our students' abilities. This is a flawed argument [ ... ] Once we begin to take account of ‘non-cognitive’ skills, we introduce bias based on class, ethnicity and gender, because these skills overlap so much with bourgeois manners. In an exam, nobody can tell that you have a Birmingham accent or that your upbringing means that you are a little rough around the edges. Unfortunately, we have now introduced these factors as legitimate reasons to discriminate against you. It’s tough luck if your quirkiness means that you don’t gel with your team-mates in a collaborative task because it will be used to judge your collaborativity or some such made-up nonsense. The Australian National University (ANU) has had the idea of judging students on their, ‘contribution to family, school and community.’ This is the kind of extracurricular requirement favoured by American universities ... Does this sound reasonable? If so, have a think about who is in the best position to game such a requirement. Is it the public-transport-using child of a single working mother from Western Sydney or the car-owning child of sharp-elbowed parents from an affluent suburb with plenty of connections at the local church and no need of a part-time job? The rest is here.
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2018 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
An anonymous group ... There's no way of knowing this for sure of course, but I suspect that the letter is an inside job and was written by a person or persons working from within one or more of the organisations to whom the letter was sent (i.e. "Portland's5 Centers for the Arts, Metro, the Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission and the City of Portland"). My suspicions were aroused by the last paragraph of the article: If Portland5 does not cancel the event, the group says it is prepared to organize protests and call-in campaigns, including disrupting the Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Committee's June 6 meeting at the Oregon Convention Center. Why would the anonymous group want to disrupt that particular meeting? And why mention it? Even today, journalists have a habit of occasionally slipping in hints of things they know, but are unable to state in print so I checked on the website of the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission and one of the first things I noticed on the sidebar there was that the Commission includes a Committee on Racial Equality. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself of course - I think the vast majority of people can agree that racism is both iniquitous and harmful and that it is also an enduring presence in our societies. Unfortunately, there also appear to be a number of people who are determined to find it in places where it simply might not exist. I feel I can say with confidence that whatever else Peterson might be, he is not a racist. In that light, the comments that the committee members have written to introduce themselves on their personal profiles are suggestive of people who strongly sympathise with that "anonymous" letter (if indeed they were not the letter's actual authors): Martine Coblentz, Clackamas County Resolution Services Pronouns: she/her/hers Equity hashtag: #StayWoke #StayWoke? Says Coblentz (amongst other things): I know on both ends what it is like to be of privilege and to have committed micro aggressions toward my own sibling, processing that, humbling myself and working on my own implicit biases AND, I have had to process the discrimination I face in the outside world and micro aggressions toward me Another member, Duncan Hwang, includes the following details on his career: I was politicized while studying at the University of Michigan and on paper I received degrees in Political Science and Asian Studies. In reality though, I spent most of my time as a campus activist leader ... Didn't the University of Michigan get a mention on this blog just yesterday? Three other members' profiles include Equity superpowers. No really. Pronouns: she/her Equity hashtag: #AccessForAll Equity superpower: My super power would have to be my Advocate shield. I really don’t know how to take no for an answer. When I see an injustice, I tend to stick with it until the opposition gives up. Ummm ... Pronouns: she/her Equity hashtag: #browngirlsresist Equity superpower: I’m like Nymphodora Tonks in the Harry Potter world – the research/data voice in social justice spaces; and the social justice voice in research and data spaces. Nymphodora Tonks? As someone who has not followed the Potter series, is that a real character? Nymphodora? In a children's book? Pronouns: she/her/hers Equity hashtag/superpower: This #FierceJusticeDeva can maneuver hard conversations with strong differences of opinion on tough race topics to a solid engaged meeting of the minds – in one round. I must stress that the idea that one or more inside members of the Commission wrote this letter is complete conjecture on my part - it is perfectly possible that a group of radical students wrote the letter independently. However, the article also states that (my bold): Portland5's executive director Robyn Williams says she is aware of the "controversy regarding this upcoming event at the Keller Auditorium," but that "Portland'5 Centers for the Arts may not legally refuse to rent our theatres to a group due to the content of a performance." If the Commission is therefore unable to legally prevent Peterson from booking the venue, then such an anonymous letter would certainly be a solution to their inability to control who gets to speak in the venues they preside over. Presumably, that original rule was written in the 1980s or 1990s to allow people to throw crucifixes into buckets of piss or stage theatrical versions of 120 Days of Sodom and so on - you know, to support freedom of expression however offensive or objectionable that expression might be to some people. The people who wrote that rule probably found the idea that a Christian and moderately conservative Canadian professor and clinical psychologist might one day be perceived to be a 'dangerous' radical with 'harmful' ideas absolutely inconceivable. So if that letter was in fact authored by members of the Commission itself, it would have been as a way getting around their own rules in order to prevent Peterson from speaking. If that were the case, then I would find that to be not a little disturbing But again, I am just idly speculating here.
Toggle Commented May 26, 2018 on Against Hate, You Say at davidthompson
Kinder, gentler politics indeed. Remind me: Didn't the French Revolution end with most of the major revolutionary protagonists turning on one another in an orgy of executions, ultimately opening the door to Napoleon's dictatorship, decades of total war across continental Europe, and a template for modern Fascism? Perhaps Penny junior was letting on far more than she intended ... out of the mouths of morons, and all that ... May hedge trimmers never disturb your crafty afternoon nap. Why thank you, sir.
Toggle Commented May 19, 2018 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Eleanor Penny, by the way, is not only an editor for Red Pepper, but also a senior editor for Novara Media Happy Royal Wedding Day all! What's this? Bar bill? [reads] You mean you charge for those pickled eggs? I'll just leave this here while I go to the cash machine.
Toggle Commented May 19, 2018 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Little Owen Jones appears to be a tad confused.
Toggle Commented May 4, 2018 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
... there’s something heartening about seeing the Mao-lings who’ve disrupted an event being loudly mocked and out-chanted ... Oh, don't get me wrong - I'm no Ghandi. I am certainly not against pushing back in the face of brazen thuggery. Tolerance has a limit, for sure. And I am absolutely not defending the message of the original 'installation' (as I said above, it is "both nasty and gratuitous as well as devoid of anything even remotely approaching creativity or original thought") It's just that I think there is a significant difference between removing a cheeky sign from a work where it does not belong and, say, the many instances of flyers advertising events (for e.g. Cassie Jaye or Ben Shapiro) that have been posted with permission in public places being torn down - sometimes literally seconds after going up by some malcontent creepily stalking the bill poster. That is something that has happened on a number of occasions as I'm sure you're all too aware. I think I'm just trying to point out that there are so many actual instances of people with differing viewpoints being roundly abused and/or silenced that I just don't see the removal of that particular sign as being all that significant in the scheme of things.
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2018 on Today’s Word Is Symbolism at davidthompson
I know. I'll write them a stern letter. That'll show 'em. Yes, it will. Remember 'Mizzou'? Freshman enrollment at the Columbia campus, the system’s flagship, has fallen by more than 35 percent in the two years since. The university administration acknowledges that the main reason is a backlash from the events of 2015, as the campus has been shunned by students and families [...] Tyler Morris, a white student from St. Louis, said he was afraid of being stereotyped as a bigot if he went to Missouri. So he decided to go to Missouri Valley College, “just down the road” in Marshall. Any institution that makes it a priority to denigrate the larger part of its population while that population has alternative options open to it is not an institution that is very likely to survive, let alone thrive.
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2018 on Today’s Word Is Symbolism at davidthompson
Expressing disagreement in proximity to what you disagree with is vandalism? Really? Yes, really. Is this form of “Expressing disagreement in proximity to what you disagree with” in any way acceptable to you? Or this perhaps? Because to me those forms absolutely are not. Of course, sticking up that handwritten note is hardly in the same league as those two examples. But that was precisely why I was careful to point out that it was “mild” and “not nearly in the same league as throwing red paint … or setting fire to it, etc.”. But if you choose to ignore that and only see and react to the word “vandalism” as if I had made no distinction, then you are clearly misinterpreting what I was saying. Such as? Making a formal complaint to the USC authorities would be a start for one. Alerting the alumni would be another. I’m not sure why. Although we can never really know what someone intended, the aim of posting that particular message in that particular place makes it hard to imagine what other purpose the hand-written note might have had other than to upset the apple cart as it were. For instance, I would be very, very annoyed to turn up at the National Gallery in London one morning only to find that members of a collective such as When Women Disrupt had got there before me and had plastered Post-it notes with messages such as “Rubens was a rapist!” or “Velazquez was a white male capitalist whore!” or whatever – not on the works, but only in proximity to them – and otherwise not damaging the actual paintings. I also don’t think it would come as much of a surprise to anyone if the gallery attendants removed them. And yet that College Fix piece asks the question: Guess which one is still up? If you said “Dismantle Whiteness,” you are correct. Although that question is rhetorical, they do seem to be generally of the opinion that it should have been left up and that there is something amiss that it was taken down. I suppose it touches on a broader issue, i.e., at what point normal proprieties are inadequate, and one has to play by rules not altogether dissimilar to one’s opponents’, who seem to have the enthusiastic backing of the institution and use it as a fiefdom. All of that.
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2018 on Today’s Word Is Symbolism at davidthompson
Yet, when someone else wanted to spark some dialogue with a counter-protest exhibit of sorts, that was quickly removed. Well, yes – and so it should have been in my opinion. While scotch-taping up the handwritten message “White Male Privilege Is A Myth” is not nearly in the same league as throwing red paint all over the sign and/or mural, or setting fire to it, etc. it is nevertheless a form of vandalism if it was pasted right next to the DISMANTLE WHITENESS AND MISOGYNY ON THIS CAMPUS sign (as seems to have been the case in fact). It can’t be all that surprising that it was therefore taken down, surely? I cannot agree with student commentator Shauli Bar-On’s argument that: If the true intention is to initiate conversation, then USC should have allowed this poster to stay up alongside the mural regardless of whether or not the faculty agree with its message. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it seems quite clear that the Dismantle Whiteness ‘installation’ is both nasty and gratuitous as well as devoid of anything even remotely approaching creativity or original thought.And past experience also tells me I have every reason to believe that anything resembling actual dialogue or an exchange of views resulting from the 'installation' would be the absolute last thing the When Women Disrupt collective had in mind. But even so, mild as it was in terms of vandalism, there are better and more appropriate ways of addressing this than graffitoing it.
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2018 on Today’s Word Is Symbolism at davidthompson
Ephemeral: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"
Toggle Commented Apr 8, 2018 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
3) Your ideas aren't [worth] debating What Noah Berlatsky says of Kevin D. Williamson in that Huffington Post piece: The right columnist, Kevin D. Williamson, is a writer formerly at National Review who has referred to a nine-year-old black child as a ”primate.” What Kevin D. Williamson actually wrote in the National Review: ‘Hey, hey craaaaaacka! Cracka! White devil! F*** you, white devil!” The guy looks remarkably like Snoop Dogg: skinny enough for a Vogue advertisement, lean-faced with a wry expression, long braids. He glances slyly from side to side, making sure his audience is taking all this in, before raising his palms to his clavicles, elbows akimbo, in the universal gesture of primate territorial challenge. Luckily for me, he’s more like a three-fifths-scale Snoop Dogg, a few inches shy of four feet high, probably about nine years old ... What is truly mindboggling is that not only did Berlatsky, or his Huff Po editor, print a blatantly slanderous falsehood about Williamson, asserting him to be an unapologetic racist, but they also - apparently - hold their readership in such total and utter contempt that they even link directly to the National Review piece which unequivocally demonstrates that they lied. Why would anyone do that? Why would you lie directly to your reader about someone while giving them a link proving you to be a liar? Who does that?
Debating is problematic ... It can be and has been used in the past to destroy the humanity of certain genders, ethnic groups etc. Also this (my italics): White fragility (n): "A state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves [including] behaviours such as argumentation ..." So argument is problematic, too. And talking back to someone who has just declared you a racist is verboten on the grounds that as a white person you are ineluctably a racist regardless of whether you actually are one or not. ... because white people are socialised and live in white supremacist societies, they are more invested in upholding white supremacy (which will ensure that their privileges are safe) than they are challenging it. This is why rather than prioritizing continued engagement, constructive exchange, reflection, and learning from their mistakes when they are challenged on their complicity in racism, too many white people prioritise deflection and avoidance. Oddly enough, that passage - which to me looks to be quite unambiguously a case of racial bigotry and prejudice - was published yesterday on the Racial Justice Network while promising to "promote[e] racial justice across Leeds City Region" ("War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." as they say ...).
Boys massaged each other’s feet. Girls were led in barefoot walks in the snow, and told to throw open the window and scream. This is highly suggestive of the mental world that these "social engineers" inhabit - and the view from here shows that world to be something Hieronymus Bosch would have been proud to paint. For instance, why am I not even remotely surprised to find that these "social engineers" - supposedly engaged in a programme designed to "counteract traditional gender roles and gender patterns” - are using such laughable stereotypes of what gender means? Sweden or no, what kind of a fucking moron thinks 4 and 5 year-olds walking barefoot through the snow in sub-zero temperatures to be an example of what it means to be a boy? Or that being a girl means gently massaging someone else's feet? The only possible outcome I can see of such recklessly irresponsible idiocy is to create and then perpetuate wholly absurd ideas of all men as hyper-masculine and all women as hyper-feminine - the very ideas these buffoons are ostensibly trying to dismantle. After all, what other conclusions are 4 and 5 year-olds likely to draw about the differences between men and women other than something like the grotesque caricature that being a man means not crying or complaining when being made to wander barefoot in the snow and being a woman means staying indoors and tending to the physical and emotional needs of others? Who in the hell are these fucking clowns and how on Earth did they manage to institutionalise their clownery? And reading that also put me in mind of this - "The racism of some anti-racists" by Tom Owolade, where he says: The zealotry of these anti-racists means that they cannot, ironically, countenance a plural society – because brown people, believe it or not, can be progressives, conservatives, liberals and fascists. The beliefs of black and brown people do not derive from their identity like a linear well. They are human, and as human should be free to believe whatever they want without accusations of treachery. I think something similar could be said about the zealotry of these anti-gender-normists.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2018 on Your Children, Their Politics at davidthompson
“Their role as social engineers.” Because social engineering in the name of 'progress' worked out so well for Sweden previously - as the Economist reported way back in 1997: ... a series of articles in an influential Stockholm newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, has been shocking the Swedes to the core and making other Nordics look back nervously at the not-so-recent past. Between 1935 and 1976, the newspaper says, no fewer than 60,000 young Swedish women deemed mentally defective or otherwise handicapped to a degree “which makes them incapable of looking after their children” were sterilised. More embarrassingly, this happened under laws passed in 1934 by a vigorous new Social Democratic government—a hitherto esteemed forebear of Sweden's present rulers. The laws lapsed only in 1976. To its many supporters in the 1930s, [one of the purposes of the policy was] to be kind—yes, that is how it was rationalised—to people who needed “protection” against propagating their own weak genes; and lastly, as the Stockholm newspaper explained, to save the state the heavy cost of welfare for the very dim. ... until Dagens Nyheter took up the story few of today's Swedes knew anything about it. Which also explains the sudden interest of the international media, taken aback that a country renowned for its generosity to the weak and needy should until quite recently have subjected its most vulnerable citizens to such demeaning treatment. "[T]o be kind ... to people who needed “protection”" in "a country renowned for its generosity to the weak and needy". So I suppose this means some time around 2038 we should expect reports of much wailing, hand-wringing and Swedes shocked to the core?
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2018 on Your Children, Their Politics at davidthompson
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 Mar 18, 2018 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