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@Captain Nemo I think that that @Abbott4Labour account is a parody/satire. < Goes back and looks more carefully > Oh, bollocks. The problem is it's so hard to tell these days. True, but no excuse really. "Put him in the cone of shame"
Toggle Commented Dec 22, 2019 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
So there was this ... “FUCK THE GOVERNMENT FUCK BORIS” Harry and Stormzy on stage tonight. via lovedangel— Harry Styles Updates. (@TheHSUpdate) December 19, 2019 To which within less than 24 hours Diane Abbott MP commented this (my italics): Yes comrades! No more politeness from us, let’s call out Toryism everywhere we find it— Abbott4Labour (@Abbott4Labour) December 20, 2019 But then upon seeing #OwenJonesIsAWankerDay trending on Twitter in the same 24-hour period, she has commented this (my italics): Awful bullying of a wonderful, intelligent and principled man. I’m so happy that we on the left don’t engage in unacceptable behaviour like this#OwenJonesIsAWankerDay— Abbott4Labour (@Abbott4Labour) December 21, 2019 The mind boggles ...
Toggle Commented Dec 21, 2019 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Well, that didn't take long ... As BAME Officer for London Young Labour, I utterly condemn Jess Phillips' overt racism. Our movement is broad, but there's no space for transphobia, anti-blackness, or the frankly weird levels of ignorant white feminism and self-obsession she exhibits.— Faiza (@fzjmmd) December 16, 2019 Jess always seems to have it in for the black women.— Kerry-Anne Mendoza (@TheMendozaWoman) December 16, 2019
Toggle Commented Dec 16, 2019 on And In Foreign News at davidthompson
The 'Indy' has a column today on how transphobia is really down to capitalism Malicious wokeness (in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago.) If anyone were still to doubt that things may have gone just a little too far and got just a little too out of hand, they may want to take a peek at this.
Toggle Commented Oct 30, 2019 on Elsewhere (295) at davidthompson
You’ve been loitering here longer than these bar snacks. And there was me thinking albino olives were some kind of exotic delicacy. [ Takes Johnny Walker and returns to darkened corner ]
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2019 on How Dare You Defend Yourselves at davidthompson
Yet still the camel's back is unbroken. Some camel. Some back.
Toggle Commented Sep 30, 2019 on Titans Walk Among Us at davidthompson
This "I'll tell you what happens with impossible promises. You start with far-fetched resolutions ... "
Toggle Commented Sep 22, 2019 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Belated as it is, I hope you and your partner had the wedding of a lifetime and wish you both the very best for the years yet to come. Hopefully, you will have by now received a small token of my appreciation (and celebration) of your nuptials, not to mention this fine [wipes layer of dust from cherry red leather bar stool top] establishment. In fact, to mark the occasion in proper style, I won't say no to one of the more recent additions to the jar of pickled eggs. No, not that one. Goodness, no. Yes, that one will do nicely. Again, (belated) congratulations!
Toggle Commented Sep 5, 2019 on The Blurting at davidthompson
start his own blog I don't think there's anything like the quantity of whisky I'd need for such an undertaking ...
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2019 on Her Big Fearless Self at davidthompson
From The Guardian's 1-star rated review of Titania McGrath: Mxnifesto I’m not sure why, but McGrath is depicted as a Sloaney trustafarian: messianic, snobbish and dim-witted. It’s a decision that completely undermines the satire on wokeness, given that this character doesn’t resemble any social justice warrior you have ever, or will ever, meet. That's odd. Because I would honestly have expected "a Sloaney trustafarian" who is "messianic, snobbish and dim-witted" to be either mostly or even wholly apt as a description for the likes of Caroline Criado-Perez (daughter of a former CEO of Safeways and educated at £30,000+ per annum Oundle School and Keble College, Oxford) Laura Bates (educated at St. Johns College, Cambridge), and the Penny sisters, Laurie (educated at £23,000+ per annum Brighton College, then Wadham College, Oxford, and later the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard) and Eleanour (presumably also educated at Brighton College and then University College London). Caroline Criado-Perez's own website explains that she "specialises in social justice", as in her article "The tech industry's toxic bro culture is failing women" and Eleanour Penny's describes her as "an alumnus of the Barbican Young Poets programme" and "member of Barbican Young Poets all-woman collective Men Are Trash". Miss Rothstein, meanwhile, writes and performs poetry with titles such as Bro Code (which is pretty much as you'd expect, and not a million miles in sentiment from Men Are Trash) while in the rather narcissistic and personalised myth creation she likes to refer to as her 'journalism' Rothstein has made demands for "a dismantling of the Diet-Industrial Complex" which should involve "work rooted in racial and economic justice[,] queer rights [a]nd fat positivity" - all of which sounds quite social justicey. And while, like the others, I assume, she earns her living and is not a trustafarian, she would certainly count as Sloaney if she'd been born on this side of the Atlantic: In 1987, amidst a lucrative year as a Bear Stearns stockbroker, my father became one of only a few dozen people on earth to purchase an unlimited, lifetime AAirpass. A quarter of a million dollars gave him access to fly first class anywhere in the world on American for the rest of his life [ ... ] He (and our whole family) was featured on NBC’s Today Show in 2003, and then on MSNBC in 2006. and Dad was an airport celebrity, and when we traveled together, it embarrassed the shit out of me. Like riding a cart from security to the gate (because as a family, we ran late — Dad has a knack for rushed arrivals). I would bow my head so I couldn’t make eye contact with anyone we passed. Or walking into the Admirals Club locations and having the folks at the front desk know us by name ... Actually, it is quite striking that "the middle-aged white man" attempting to help her sounds an awful lot like her father. Or would do, if it weren't for the fact that, in her own words, while she "was socialized to fly in first class" as a child and therefore her "feelings about travel are biased" she says that "I fly economy now". So, you know, a "middle-aged white man" like her father - except with a lot less money.
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2019 on Her Big Fearless Self at davidthompson
The comments from user "Jeremy Farage" and, somewhat surprisingly to me, MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy, which run underneath shed an interesting light on what is quite possibly a far more significant issue.
Toggle Commented Jul 28, 2019 on Failure To Celebrate Detected at davidthompson
Can't they hear themselves? It turns out that Kerry-anne Mendoza is a co-founder as well as current Editor-in-Chief of "independent non-profit news website" The Canary. Amongst her various duties are apparently a Devil-may-care approach to unintended irony as this from the The Canary's About & FAQ section clearly shows: Our Vision A free and fair society where we nurture people and planet. Our Mission To achieve this, we deliver campaigning journalism that informs and empowers people to change their world. Our Values The Canary is progressive, open and rigorous. We work with respect, courage and generosity. She takes the same approach to her biodata, which includes this: Her passions are politics, economics and current affairs, which she examines with the basic question: “How do we build a world that works for everyone?” Clearly, "everyone" means something quite different to Mendoza than it does to me. Honestly, the content of that Tweet is quite possibly the most disgusting thing I've seen in a good long while. Surely Twitter will shut down her acc- oh, no wait.
Toggle Commented Jul 26, 2019 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
This was when I knew Boris was destined for greatness Yes, but greatness in what field exactly? I'm sorry, but I think he's a complete and utter arse.
Toggle Commented Jul 23, 2019 on I Can Feel The Art Improving Me at davidthompson
What right have you to give your child an unfair advantage over mine simply because you have more money? Related: My closest friends had parents much like mine: most had been educated at the same small collection of public schools and knew each other well from either Oxford or Cambridge and then through their work [ ... ] They made the conscious decision to give their children a radically different childhood from their own. We were sent to the local state schools, where we could mix with children from every walk of life ... That’s William Miller writing there, in his childhood memoir, Gloucester Crescent. (Miller is one of Jonathan Miller’s children). Dad always says [the reason for this decision] is because everyone in Gloucester Crescent votes Labour and that only Tories go to private schools [ … ] I don’t understand that because Mum, Dad and all their friends went to private school and they never stop talking about how great it was and how important it is to get a good education. The problem with experiments of any kind, of course, is that they tend not to work out very well the first dozen or so times while you try to work out which particular variables need manipulating to get the desired result. As each child is unique and has only one childhood, this presents something of a problem for trials such as the one the Millers and the other progressive parents living on the same road were trying out. Inevitably, William goes on as we got older many of us found ourselves left behind and struggling to keep up. It began to seem that we’d been part of an experiment driven by their principles, rather than their care. In fact, what happens to William Miller is that he is bullied so mercilessly by other children at school, some of whom literally threaten to kill him - especially after a brief appearance on a TV documentary written and presented by his father - that he soon becomes agitated, withdrawn, and depressed. Eventually, unable to cope, he has a kind of breakdown after which he refuses point blank to go back to his state school. After so many years of hoping they could make a difference, they’d finally had to agree that the route they had chosen had been something of a failure for their children who had ended up paying the price for their choices. In the end, Miller’s parents agree to send him to an exclusive private school - albeit one run on progressive principles, called Bedales in Hampshire. However, having already fallen so far behind in his schooling, at least according to his own account, he is unable to catch up even in the much more pleasant atmosphere of Bedales and fails all of his A levels (his high school leaving / university entrance exams). A few years later, the producer of the documentary in which William briefly appeared (and which worsened the bullying) sets up his own television production company and offers Wiliam a job as a production assistant (possibly at the prompting of Jonathan Miller, though this is speculation on my part). Later still, William Miller has become a TV executive in his own right, producing Nigella Lawson. It turns out that he had known Nigella since they were teenagers when Nigella’s mother Vanessa married the Oxford and UCL philosopher A. J. Ayer whose London residence happened to back right onto the Miller’s in the same North London Oxbridge colony and in whose house William used to play as a boy. Despite the fact that William’s entry into television and subsequent success seem to have relied on more or less the kind of Old School tie-like connections an Old Etonian might even blush at, Jonathan Miller took exception to his son's success because as William explains (my italics): I’d chosen a career path that neither he nor his friends fully approved of. Although I’d gone into an industry they were familiar with, I’d joined what they felt was the opposing team: the one on the top floor, who wore suits and ran the business - the Establishment. In their eyes this was somewhat grubby and should be treated with an element of suspicion. We were the ones who stopped people like them from getting on and doing the important and worthwhile things.
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2019 on Escape Is Forbidden at davidthompson
So I decided to try and salvage our faltering marriage by using every resource I could think of: for over a year, I plunged into research, consulted countless experts, divvied up chores with the help of time management experts and brought (well, dragged) my husband to couples therapy. The result was an upward spiral: when Tom began to help me out, I was happier, which in turn made him happier. Boy, that Patriarchy sure does work in mysterious ways.
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2019 on Progressive Manners at davidthompson
And let’s not forget Ms Wolf’s history of unhinged conspiracy theories. The author of the Vox article on Wolf concludes (my italics): This is not to argue that all of Wolf's earlier work must be discarded on the basis of these Facebook posts, but rather to urge others to see the broader context of Wolf and her thinking. In other words, it is important for readers who may encounter Wolf's ideas to understand the distinction between her earlier work, which rose on its merits, and her newer conspiracy theories, which are unhinged, damaging, and dangerous. If the writer hopes to to suggest that Wolf's earlier work is somehow more reliable, this is simply not the case. In fact, Wolf's cavalier approach to the use and interpretation of sources apparently dates all the way back to 1990 with the publication The Beauty Myth as this 2004 critical review paper from the journal of Eating Disorders makes dazzlingly clear: [I]n her chapter “Hunger” [the] eating disorder figures were dramatically high: according to Wolf (1990), 20% of American female students suffered from anorexia and 60% from bulimia. Only [a] small minority had no eating disorder! Her mortality figure — 150,000 deaths from anorexia each year in the U.S.— caught the most attention in the media [...] All 23 statistics on anorexia nervosa (see pp. 181–183 in the newest edition of The Beauty Myth [Wolf, 1991a]; p. 148–150 in the first edition [Wolf, 1990a] were compared to statistics in recent reviews of epidemiological studies (Hoek, 2002; Van Hoeken et al., 2003). [ ... ] When her mortality statistic (150,000 annual deaths) is divided by the true statistic (525), her exaggeration can be quantified [as] 150,000/525 =286 ... almost 300 times as high as the real statistic. [ ... ] On closer inspection only five out of 23 statistics (22%) were accurate ... Once she underestimated a little, three times she mentioned the same correct percentage of female patients. For one statistic there was insufficient evidence ... More than three-quarters of her statistics were too high. Half of her statistics were more than ten times overdone [ ... ] It has been suggested that the Wolf statistics were not refuted, because in 1990 the experts did not have access to good data on incidence, prevalence, and mortality of anorexia nervosa. This is not true, however. At that time, Williams and King (1987) had already questioned the “anorexia epidemic” in the Lancet. Several well-designed studies on prevalence and incidence of eating disorders had been published (for a review, see Hoek, 1993). Sixteen studies on outcome (including mortality) of anorexia nervosa had been reviewed in 1980 (Hsu, 1980). In fact, this outcome review was refered to by Wolf herself (see statistic 11 in Table 1). Hsu stated: “The mortality in the different series varied from 0% to 19%. In over half the studies, mortality was below 5%” (p. 1042). This finding was summarized by Wolf as:“Researcher L.K.G. Hsu gives a death rate of up to 19%” (Wolf, 1991a, p. 182).
Toggle Commented May 25, 2019 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
The moment when I suddenly realized the retro-flowerchild cum fascist at the audience mic was actually a professor. Your "retro-flowerchild" in the John Lennon glasses is a British animator and graduate of London's prestigious Royal College of Art. The following comes from a recent interview she did: Q Your current animation is centered around female sexuality. What was it like to research this topic? The research stage [...] was the biggest literary adventure of any of the films I’ve ever made. I had a lot of questions when I started so I read a lot, and what I learned from the reading went on to inform the script for the film. The initial question came from a quote by Oscar Wilde: ‘Everything in life is about sex, except for sex, which is about power’ I became obsessed with trying to figure out what this meant, and it if it was true. Not so obsessed that she paused for a moment to wonder whether or not Oscar Wilde - as intelligent as he was - would have actually had the prescience to be able to speak so fluently and naturally in the idiom of late 20th and early 21st century cultural studies departments. And evidently also not so "obsessed with trying to figure out what this meant, and it if it was true" that she spent the 10 seconds it takes to search on Quote Investigator and learn the following: Quote Investigator: QI has found no substantive evidence that Oscar Wilde wrote or said this remark. It is not listed in the valuable compendium “The Wit & Wisdom of Oscar Wilde” assembled by quotation expert Ralph Keyes. The earliest close match located by QI appeared in the “Provincetown Arts” journal of 1995. Author Michael Cunningham employed the saying during an interview conducted by fellow author Paul Lisicky. Cunningham is now best known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Hours”. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: If you’re writing about what people do to and with one another, it’s sort of crazy to leave sex out. I think Oscar Wilde said, “Everything in human life is really about sex, except sex. Sex is about power.” And I think he’s got something there. Cunningham disclaimed coinage and provided an attribution that was both tentative and implausible. Hence, the saying remains anonymous. None of us are perfect and we all of us make mistakes ... but I find this notable mainly because if she was unable to spot the implausibility of Oscar Wilde having made a Foucauldian quote about sex/power and, worse in my opinion, if she likewise did not make the effort to trace the source of the original quote about which she was to develop the central concept of a film project, one which incidentally has been "generously supported by The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at California State University Los Angeles", then what does this ultimately say about how well-informed she is about other issues outside of her discipline on which she may also wish to pontificate?
Toggle Commented May 4, 2019 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Snow Apparently, Gillette's less well-known forerunner to "The best men can be".
Toggle Commented Apr 17, 2019 on I Was Reminded Of Rice Krispies at davidthompson
This is dated March 27 2019: George Eaton, deputy editor of The New Statesman, talks to Lucy Skoulding about breaking into the profession and why, now more than ever, we need skilled journalists to advance the truth and shape the debate. The boy George, in his own words, on "why, now more than ever, we need skilled journalists to advance the truth and shape the debate." Well, this should be good (my italics)... When asked about the importance of social media, George said it “helps huge amounts, I’m a very active tweeter [ ... ] Twitter is incredibly useful in helping me think about subjects to write about but you also need to be reading widely. Try to understand your opponents’ arguments and think about what you can learn from them.” Shurely shome mishtake? George said his favourite part of his job is “the chance to interview so many interesting people ... Well, I suppose that part has some truth to it. “In some ways, I think [distrust of the mainstream media]’s entirely justified,” George said, ... “A challenge for journalism is the rise of social media and the fact it allows false information to spread like wildfire. Why, you don't say? I think it’s an important time for trusted, credible titles to remain relevant and prominent. Journalists must win the trust back they have lost. It’s not enough to lecture the public, you need to earn that trust and have a degree of mutual respect and I think one benefit of social media is that if something is wrong, audiences have a platform to call this out.” There's an awful lot that could be said about that particular paragraph in light of his Scruton interview and the subsequent fall out - especially as these comments were published a mere two weeks ago. But one of the most telling to my mind is the underlying assumption that journalism involves "lectur[ing] the public". That, I think, speaks volumes.
Toggle Commented Apr 12, 2019 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
causing minor accidents and harassing drivers... The video embedded in that website includes a scene that starts around 13:19 that is likely to raise a few questions about their behaviour, not to mention an eyebrow or two. Firstly, the video editor(s) evidently thought the scene so important that it needed emphasising with a slow-motion effect as it starts off. But what we are then treated to is the sight of four tall, fairly well-built scruffy-looking white men blocking in the driver of a car who soon turns out to be a well-dressed black woman on her own. While I am not suggesting the Critical Mass activists in that scene are racists (I don't imagine they are), it is nevertheless striking how the optics do not cast them in what I suspect most people would consider to be a good light. Yet rather than leave this shameful embarrassment to their cause on the cutting room floor of the editing suite, they seem to actually have seen it as some kind of victory worthy of celebration. ... and generally exulting in the sense of mob power While the woman gives as good as she gets, you're still left with the image of four fairly big guys behaving like the worst kind of football hooligan, jeering and cursing at a lone woman who they have almost completely surrounded and whose path they have blocked. One of the men seems to be complaining that she ran into him deliberately - but given that the video shows the cyclists swarming around the moving traffic such a minor collision must have been inevitable (and not a deliberate attempt to knock someone down, which seems to be their assumption). The fact that all this is going on while dozens more of them are sweeping by whooping and cheering only makes it worse. How they could ever imagine that this ugly, thuggish and barbaric episode would actually gain sympathy for their cause is quite the mystery.
Toggle Commented Apr 8, 2019 on Saddle Monkeys at davidthompson
There ... that should wipe the slate clean - be a good chap, and re-open my tab, would you? So, what's new around h- ... [ spots date and timeline ] ... my that is somewhat on tart side(!) Still, a bit of sharpness keeps the senses keen.
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2019 on Damned If You Do at davidthompson
Not entirely unrelated, I don't think: I am afraid of those who will punish others for not subscribing to a toxic and oppressive view of social justice. I am afraid, not of actual social justice, but of what some people are willing to do, and are in fact now doing, in the name of social justice [ ... ] I am afraid because mandatory [Diverity, Equity, and Inclusion] statements resemble loyalty oaths. They invite an academic version of Havel’s greengrocer, who proclaimed fidelity to communism, not because he supported it, but because he felt he had to broadcast his obsequious fidelity to the ideology of the State.
A reminder ... I must say I didn't expect this from Karen Geier / Doxing Bae L'il: I am available to help companies build out their Content Strategies. I have worked with small businesses all the way up to Fortune 100 companies. I have written courses and whitepapers to teach executives how to use and leverage social media. I also give seminars and training sessions to small groups. If your company needs help, I would be glad to talk to you. The white paper she refers to there is called How Twitter and Hashtags can Help your PR and Marketing. Near the end of the paper, Geier explains that although hashtags are "a shortcut to find great conversations on social media, and a great way for you to identify fans and potential customers" she also warns that: It’s not always easy to figure out exactly what your hashtag should be, though. You should put in careful thought and consideration before you set it out into the wild. Not precisely certain, therefore, as to how sending a Tweet "out into the wild" that cheerfully gloats over the near death of a fourteen-year-old boy or unrepentantly following that "wild" Tweet up with the another declaring: "god it is fun winding these people up. All they want is the kind of civility you can only get from being a member of a party that allowed Jimmy Savile to fuck children openly for 30 years" would help executives learn how best to "use and leverage social media" (much less result in a shortcut to "great conversations"). Unless of course her strategy is basically to say something as preposterous, as provocative, or as inflammatory as possible - meaning that her strategy is quite literally to advocate for professional trolling in other words. Now there's a thought.
Toggle Commented Dec 29, 2018 on The Year Reheated at davidthompson
Unavoidably, over time, this makes you more rightwing, as you descend into an aerobics-powered moral universe where only the weak need each other. Why did this make me think of sleek North Korean leader, Kim Jung-un, I wonder? And why did thinking of Kim Jung-un remind me of this epic piece of debauchery? Maduro under fire for dining on steak cut by Salt Bae in lavish Turkish restaurant while Venezuelans starve
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2018 on The Perils of Jogging at davidthompson
However, elsewhere in the Guardian, we’re informed ... of much more pressing matters. Whether this is the kind of sloppiness common amongst self-appointed political officers of the people such as Virgie Tovar or whether this is the handiwork of a mischievous sub-editor after a liquid lunch, Item 4 on the list of ways to avoid "fat discrimination", provides a moment of unintentional comedy: 4. Romantic discrimination We chalk up a lot of our romantic decisions to evolutionary biology, but the truth is our partner choice is highly influenced by social expectations and ideals. If we lived in Mauritania, for example, where fatness is the beauty ideal, we would have no difficulty finding “biological” rationalisation for that attraction. We are taught who is beautiful, and get social cues about who to avoid choosing as a partner. Rather than taking you through to a page explaining the alleged Mauritanian preference for larger-sized ladies, clicking on "Mauritania" in that paragraph instead takes you to a full list of Guardian articles on the country which include the following: Women's rights and gender equality Jail fear prevents women in Mauritania from filing rape complaints, study finds Modern-day slavery in focus The unspeakable truth about slavery in Mauritania - Though outlawed, slavery persists in Mauritania. Modern-day slavery in focus US warned Mauritania’s ‘total failure’ on slavery should rule out trade benefits Women's rights and gender equality Threat of marriage hangs over young Malian refugee girls in Mauritania Women's rights and gender equality Child marriage in Mauritania: 'When it has ended, I will be so happy' - video Given such a heavy and consistent focus on on Mauritania's issues with human trafficking, slavery, and the exploitation of girls and women in The Guardian' own pages over the last few years, it does seem to be a spectacularly poorly chosen example of a culture where "body positivity" is praised ...
Toggle Commented Sep 9, 2018 on Land Of The Giants at davidthompson