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I felt like I was bleeding out. I probably should have led with that, not the other. Still, I did enjoy the the hierarchy of 'John', 'Camille', and the narrator: John the firebrand and leading Marxist on campus, who turns out to have been a narcissist, Machiavellian, and psychopath; Camille who tries to rationalise her obvious sexual exploitation by John using rationalisations given to her by him (which is really appallingly cruel if you think about it); and finally the narrator, someone who's clearly what I believe all the kids are nowadays calling a "Beta orbiter" to Camille. At no point are any of them even remotely interested in what they profess to be in a struggle against. Terrible, needy, grasping people - that such as these we're supposed to believe are virtuous, often an hourly let alone daily basis, is just extraordinarily perverse.
Toggle Commented yesterday on The Lockdown Diaries (6) at davidthompson
Camille had been raised on Marxism since she was a baby. She explained that her polyamory was based upon the detachment of sexuality and commitment. It was a more ethical philosophy than monogamy because it didn’t conceive of people as possessions and it did not moralize about sexuality. Unlike me, she enjoyed stealing [ ... ] The world would be much better if everyone stole, Camille explained to me one day in the dining hall, eating food she had just stolen. This may not be for everyone, but I found this Quillette piece, "When I Was in Love with a Comparative Literature Student", a surprisingly worthwhile read. It certainly goes a long way to explaining the more likely underlying causes of campus radicalism.
Toggle Commented yesterday on The Lockdown Diaries (6) at davidthompson
Trust me, you need to watch this. This is absolute genius!
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on The Lockdown Diaries (6) at davidthompson
It must be the day for it. It’s a complicated dance. Everyone's favourite activist, healer, and radical intersectionalist slam poet Titania McGrath, makes an urgent plea
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Our Betters Hold Firm at davidthompson
a suitably woke BBC-employed writer and historian Raw is, or at least until recently has been, a regular contributor to the Morning Star, formerly known as The Daily Worker, and described by the New Statesman as "Britain’s last communist newspaper".
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Our Betters Hold Firm at davidthompson
Some of the replies to this are quite something to see.
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Counts as booze. I thought there was something familiar about the taste. OT Modern parenting
Toggle Commented May 21, 2020 on Insufficient Kink Detected at davidthompson
[ Slides expired jar of jam along bar. ] Not bad considering the label doesn't match the colour and the colour doesn't match the ... flavour?
Toggle Commented May 21, 2020 on Insufficient Kink Detected at davidthompson
Why do these weirdos claim to be tired all the time? Making it your life's mission to struggle against reality is unlikely to be a restful experience.
Toggle Commented May 21, 2020 on Insufficient Kink Detected at davidthompson
It’s a strange and self-destructive attitude to cultivate. A kind of psychological poison. Did I hear someone mention Vice?
Toggle Commented May 17, 2020 on Their Happiness Hurt My Feelings at davidthompson
he chap who wrote this belter of a piece Although I demur at his conclusion, that is a striking piece that, like the author, I'd never come across before - so that is much appreciated. Thinking of Polly Toynbee and her ilk put me in mind of this (my italics): Elizabeth Banks was inspired to undertake her 1892 investigation into service to find an answer to the question that vexed the English middle classes: why was it that many girls would do almost anything, even if it meant living off 'porridge in the morning and watercress in the evening with no midday meal', rather than undertake the work of cleaning someone else's home? She visited a young seamstress living in terrible conditions - 'the unwomanly rags, the crust of bread, the straw and the broken chair' - in a lodging-house in Camberwell on eighteen pence a week. When the dismayed Elizabeth offered to find her a job as a housemaid, 'with a nice clean bedroom, plenty to eat, print dresses in the morning, black stuff in the afternoon, with white caps and aprons and collars and cuffs', she was astounded by the girl's outrage at the suggestion. '"Did you come only to insult me?" she demanded, stamping her feet. "I go out to service! I wear caps and aprons, those badges of slavery! No, thank you, I prefer to keep my liberty and be independent."' [ ... ] The most important advantage of factory life was freedom. Factory girls did not have to endure the daily petty humiliations of being at the beck and call of a condescending mistress; of having no set hours to call their own, of having pitifully few opportunities to meet men (or even other women). - Lucy Lethbridge, Servants: A Downstairs view of twentieth-century Britain (ff. 83) It's quite eye-opening that, for many reasons, but not least the idea that working in a late 19th- or early 20th-century factory could not only be viewed as personally liberating, but actually seen as far preferable for having to work for the likes of Polly Toynbee's ancestors. It's also notable for the way Banks, apparently a Toynbee-like figure of her own time, seems unable to comprehend why the young seamstress would choose of her own volition to reject the benefits on offer. Coincidentally, or perhaps not, Toynbee made her name with A Working Life, a written account of her experiences, on safari as it were, in a series of low-paid manual jobs at the close of the 1960s. In that book, Toynbee remarks (my italics): The nobility of work is a bizarre concept. In all the jobs I saw and did, in almost all of the jobs for the working classes, I found little that wasn't stultifying and degrading to any normal human intelligence. Seen in the context of Banks's encounter with the young seamstress of Camberwell and the latter's insistence that she prefer to be free and independent, Toynbee's use of "any normal human intelligence" is ... quite something.
Toggle Commented May 14, 2020 on The Lockdown Diaries (5) at davidthompson
In other garbage-people-are-garbage news. [The supermarket worker] said: "One guy came up with three cases of Carling [lager], which were on offer for £21, no food or anything, and I refused the voucher. "He said to me, 'I spend enough on them t***ing kids as it is'.
Toggle Commented May 14, 2020 on The Lockdown Diaries (5) at davidthompson
Anybody care to share their thoughts on this scathing (and somewhat inflammatory!) critique of the dance choreography skills of nurses and other medical staff currently displayed all over TikTok?
Toggle Commented May 12, 2020 on The Lockdown Diaries (5) at davidthompson
Headline may need a slight rewrite The following stood out to me for some reason: The year before, I’d been involved in a horrific mugging-gone-wrong, a near-death experience where, gun to my head on an Oakland sidewalk, the only thing that seemed to save me was opening my mouth and speaking in my then-higher register. The mugger went on to shoot two other men in similar circumstances, and even the DA seemed to think that this body I’d rebelled against my entire life was what allowed me to live.
Toggle Commented May 10, 2020 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Can’t help noticing that the word imbalance, used repeatedly, seems tendentious, a tad question-begging. While common-or-garden varieties of incompetence can't be ruled out, it does fairly reek of a carefully managed dishonesty. (Although as incompetence and dishonesty are complementary rather than mutually exclusive, it could be both at the same time). On a related note, I came across this headline from The New York Times yesterday: Scrutiny of Social-Distance Policing as 35 of 40 Arrested Are Black The purpose of that headline seems all too clear - to provoke outrage at the injustice of what, it insinuates, are the actions of a clearly racist and discriminatory NYPD. Except it turns out that if you read down far enough, you discover this: Of those arrested, 35 people were black, four were Hispanic and one was white. You also discover that the article itself was prompted by a statement originating from the DA's office of Brooklyn and refers to that borough only. That this statement came out of Brooklyn seems to be quite significant to the story since that area's demographics break down to roughly the following: African American 64% Hispanic 30% Asian 3% White and other 3% This information isn't mentioned at all, only alluded to here: More than a third of the arrests were made in the predominantly black neighborhood of Brownsville. No arrests were made in the more white Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope. Anyone reading this who is unfamiliar with Brooklyn would be forgiven for thinking that the population of black and white residents are in roughly equal proportion, making the arrest rates a glaring anomaly. Of course, it might be argued that the numbers of those arrested still show evidence of racist discrimination since if the NYPD were arresting people according to the demographic make-up of the area then it "should" have arrested 25 African Americans (not 35), 12 Hispanic Americans (not 4), two white people (not one) and one Asian American. That Hispanic Americans were arrested at only a third of what would be expected according to demographics and that no Asian Americans were arrested at all seems to be a problem for the narrative that NYPD is incorrigibly racist. Although quite why anyone would expect rates of arrest to be proportionate with demographic make up in the first place, something that seems to be the underlying assumption both here and in The Guardian piece on the gender of experts, is left unstated and unexplained.
Toggle Commented May 10, 2020 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Today’s other word is inevitable Not entirely unrelated: Male experts dominate UK news shows during coronavirus crisis
Toggle Commented May 8, 2020 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
I tend to think that one should raise an eyebrow at purported book reviews, or, God help us, critiques, that don’t actually quote any of the book in question - not one sentence ... Just so. And yet while such a common sense rule might seem like a sound basis for major news outlets to weed out emotionally overwrought bloggers with fringe political leanings from others who can actually lay a more credible claim to being a writer, a journalist, an editor, a poet, a broadcaster or a teacher, apparently this is not the case. Here is Eleanor Penny reviewing the Political Week and again commenting on politics here, both for Sky News, and here on Politics Live for the BBC. They would no doubt argue that she is both a journalist and editor - which, I suppose, is the case. Except it's only for Novara Media. And that simply begs the question as to why they think such an obviously amateurish outfit as NM should be taken any more seriously than your average student's union committee. Maybe they have a MeToo / Joe Biden-like fondness for Novara Media's young women editors or maybe they think because they're young they will somehow appeal to other young people. Except even amongst a Left-leaning 18-24 year old electorate, their views aren't even close to representative of that generation as a whole. Certainly, they do not seem to be any more representative than the editors at Good News magazine would be, and I've never once seen them invited to take part on BBC Newsnight, Question Time. Still, maybe it's the spoken word poetry on climate change that first made those producers think - Now that's exactly the kind of fatuous bint we need to book for our politics show?
Toggle Commented May 7, 2020 on Elsewhere (296) at davidthompson
the people who most vehemently denounce Murray’s research, and who aggressively sabotage his attempts to speak to an audience, are usually - almost always - people who haven’t actually read anything he’s written. Eleanor Penny, "writer, journalist, editor, poet, broadcaster and teacher", has decided to weigh in on the debate, kicking off with this summary of The Bell Curve: [T]he authors argue that blood will out, that biology always claims the day. This is the myth of meritocracy filtered through a vicious kind of social darwinism to retroactively excuse the fact that wealth and power are both hoarded in the lairs of a slim minority of people; those who have it must surely derserve [sic] it, else biology’s destiny would have conspired to fling them on the trash heap with the rest of the unfortunates. It is, of course, screamingly racist. The chronic entanglement of race and class, warped through the skull-fondling obsessions of a neo-eugenicist ends with an argument that a) Black people are genetically distinct from their white counterparts and b) that they are less intelligent. Its not hard to recognise the familiar reheated cadences of the race scientist, attempting to carve out scientific foundations for a system of social dominance. Not really a betting man, but I think even I'd favour the odds that she's never even seen a copy of The Bell Curve leave alone read it - and that's to say nothing of her actually coming close to understanding it. Hey, at least you have trousers on, which is more than I can say for… [ Glances around room.] Some people. These mustard yellow Y-fronts have been in the family since 1973 I'll have you know!
Toggle Commented May 6, 2020 on Elsewhere (296) at davidthompson
Woke witch infighting is a thing, apparently. "Magic is not for white people." [ Turns to bookshelves brimming with Norse, Greek, Celtic and Slavonic myths and legends; Notes Grimm's Fairy Tales and books on witches and witchcraft in Medieval and Early Modern Europe ] Errr ... Wut?
Toggle Commented May 1, 2020 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
I was previously unfamiliar with the concept of titty money. As Kerry Katona might say, you should have gone to Iceland Iceland store in Manchester declares it won't accept money that's been in customers' 'mouths, bras or shoes' due to coronavirus fears
Toggle Commented May 1, 2020 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
members of Antifa are just like normal people and in no way unhinged or likely to be afflicted with quite serious personality disorders. I am only asking this since I've been caught out once before by a Diane Abbott parody account, but - and while not in anyway disagreeing that real members of Antifa are clearly deranged - are we sure this account was real? Like why does it say "closely matches the description of" when photo and video of Andy Ngo are widely available at the click of a button? Even with his head turned to one side, surely no one could possibly mistake that man for Andy Ngo? (Unless it was a Titania McGrath style parody where the point was to show that people obsessed with racism are, unsurprisingly, often profoundly and unironically racist). And "I will detain him for questioning" almost sounds a bit too ironic to be true - even for, as I wholeheartedly agree, a groupuscule that is less "a political movement" and more "a metastasising personality disorder, a Cluster B contagion."
Toggle Commented Apr 27, 2020 on Content Goes Here at davidthompson
This might be one for your "Speaking as were the other day ..." file: The group were taking part in Tribal Gathering, a festival in Panama billed as “an amazing indigenous musical journey through time and space” [ ... ] Then the weather changed.
Toggle Commented Apr 24, 2020 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Peter, a participant from a 3-month immersion programme with Lynx in 2012, comments on his experience: Since I dropped out of high school in 1998 and dedicated my life to returning to a more indigenous lifestyle, to rewilding, I spend my time divided between working odd jobs, reading, writing, learning, teaching, community organizing and wild-crafting. There's a lot to unpack there - and that's only his first sentence. Although the programme is highly recommended, he nevertheless also notes that: In reality, we weren’t living wild. We were simply camping, with modern-made primitive tools. There wasn’t much that separated us from other mountain back-packers other than our clothes and tools. Our stone age human ancestors lived sustainably on the planet for hundreds of thousands of years, tending the wild through regenerative methods of food production. Their myths, culture and traditions passed on this knowledge and kept the land and people healthy and happy. This is what “living wild” looks like to me: people living in cooperative groups, managing the land in a regenerative manner. We did not learn cooperative group dynamics. We did not learn regenerative land management. Sure, we were hunting and gathering, but not like hunter-gatherers. This was my one caveat with the program: looking wild is not the same thing as living wild.
Toggle Commented Apr 15, 2020 on Land Of The Before Times at davidthompson
Surprise ending.
Toggle Commented Apr 14, 2020 on The New Hotness at davidthompson
“I wish that I had done things differently, I wish I had said right off the bat, just so it was totally clear, ‘Katie, Matt, we’re in a foot of water here, but out further it’s waist-deep and the current is strong.'” This is very old, but it seems to have only got better with age.
Toggle Commented Apr 8, 2020 on Tune Your Amulets To 77 Megahertz at davidthompson