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Ah, but given the buzzword ... Your response neither makes sense nor says anything of relevance to the content of McWhorter's article. Still, it takes all sorts I suppose.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
A friend passed on this article from the linguist John McWhorter on what the likes of Rachel Dolezal and Jessica "La Bombalera" Krug might mean for the rest of us. To adopt blackness can confer a sense of importance more generally. No person in academia or the media can miss that the educated class finds almost anything more interesting/dynamic/challenging/worth-a-look when a black person does it. We are taught lately that academia is shot through with bigotry, yet no scholarly work is dismissed because someone black wrote it. Indeed, scholarship by a black person is more likely to be elevated over scholarship by a white person on the same topic. Krug’s book would likely have gotten much less attention if a white person had written it. Certainly, she felt more interesting as an Afro-Latina fighting for “her” people than she would have as a white professor toiling in obscurity.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Note too the implication that the feelings of those who work hard and show ability should be trumped by the feelings of those who do neither. Melanie Phillips was writing about this kind of thing as far back as 1996 in All Must Have Prizes (a title fittingly based on a line from the topsy-turvy bizarro world of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland): Far from being a new development, ["a ludicrous prizes-for-all approach"] was an important contributor to the progressive destruction of our education system, the subject of my book. This attitude sprang from the belief in equality of outcomes. Instead of everyone having the same chances in life, or equality of opportunity, it ordained that all should enjoy identical benefits, regardless of behaviour or other circumstances. The doctrine became a general cultural orthodoxy. In education it destroyed the idea of meritocracy, because that created winners and losers and the very idea of losers was regarded as discriminatory and unfair.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Your Children, Their Politics at davidthompson
Less dramatic than some of the other news cuttings posted up between the salted peanuts and the old dartboard behind the bar there, but possibly more significant in the long run (for those at the British end of the bar, near the greyish 'sausage' rolls / fly mattress). Joanna Williams in the The Spectator 'Where have all the male teachers gone?': [T]the ‘exodus of male teachers’ from secondary schools that is raising concern. The proportion of men in secondary schools has fallen year on year since 2010 and now stands at just 35.5 per cent. And: White boys who have free school meals achieve an average point score of 28.5 at GCSE, compared with a national average of 46.5. The gender imbalance in the teaching profession may offer one clue as to why boys are falling so far behind girls. [ ... ] The achievements of famous women are showcased in school poster displays, inspirational women speakers are brought in to speak at assemblies, and girls-only science projects are standard fare. Schools treat girls like an oppressed minority when, in reality, it is boys who are underachieving. The Times Education Supplement's take on the same issue 'Pay freezes blamed for huge drop in male teachers': The decline of male teachers has been fuelled by a significant fall in the proportion of white male teachers in schools, with the number in secondary schools falling by more than 12,800 since 2010 – a decline of 17 per cent, according to an analysis by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) thinktank. Overall, this means the proportion of men teaching in secondary schools has fallen year-on-year since 2010, hitting its lowest level last year when 35.5 per cent of teachers were male, the analysis shows. But figures in primary schools have stagnated over the last five years to 14.1 per cent. However, the proportion of black and minority ethnic (BME) male teachers has risen to 17 per cent – which, for the first time, is broadly representative of the wider population at 16 per cent. I may have missed it, but, surprisingly?, The Guardian appears not to have considered it worth reporting on at all.
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Two Chaps, One Dog at davidthompson
It feels as if this is some kind of outcome from an extended period of psychological priming.
Well-meaning, my arse. Speaking of which, this rather telling transitive misuse of fail (my emphasis): According to data presented by the district, under the old grading system, teachers fail minority students more than White students – a lot more. It seems a shame to have to point this out to people entrusted with the education of the "[n]early 106,000 students" in the "San Diego Unified School District" school system ... but that's not how tests work. Ultimately, it is students, not teachers, that fail assessments. Asking questions as to why some, or indeed any, students fail is a crucial part of the educational process. The fact that "30% of all D or F grades were given to English learners" suggests a range of issues not the least of which is that it is inevitably harder to pass assessments written by and designed for proficient speakers of English if you are a student for whom proficiency in that language is limited to a greater or even a lesser degree. Similarly, all manner of other social and economic factors may impact on a student's performance in assessments (e.g. having parents who are addicts, or illiterate, or suffering with behavioural and cognitive problems; having parents who despise all forms of authority and state institutions and who loudly and energetically encourage that same hatred and contempt in their children at any and all opportunity; experiencing the turmoil of an acrimonious divorce; living in poor quality overcrowded housing, etc.) But to hear someone in the management of public education assert that it is the "teachers" who "fail students" while - mirabile dictu - not even mentioning, even if only to refute the charge, what this may imply about the quality of teacher training is to beggar belief. To then hear that same person decide to abandon standards altogether while declaring it progress is nothing short of a total and absolute fucking disgrace and every fuck-knuckle that approves it well and truly deserves to be hauled in front of an inquiry and investigated for their obvious incompetence. Public education across the West has been in trouble for decades. The death of this particular canary doesn't bode well for what's around the corner.
So stunning and brave Marketing and publicity at its finest. In an era when public trust in the media runs at something in the region of 25% or so, it must be comforting for a privately educated and Oxbridge graduate dominated British media industry to know that they can still successfully - and apparently with ease - foist the latest author du jour onto a naive public. Which brings me round to this 2019 review of Bernardine Evaristo by Will Gomperz, Arts Editor of the BBC. Just read Gomperz's summary of the first chapter of Evaristo's novel, Girl, Woman, Other (original italics): So, chapter one starts with Amma, a middle-aged, politically engaged lesbian theatre-maker whose latest play is about to be staged at the National Theatre. Next is her daughter Yazz, a precocious undergraduate who hangs with a group of similarly assertive female pals who agree that: "…the older generation has RUINED EVERYTHING and her generation is doomed unless they wrest intellectual control from their elders sooner rather than later" And then there's Dominique, Amma's great friend and long-time collaborator, who falls for a controlling radical feminist and moves to America. You would be forgiven for thinking this had been written by Titania McGrath. But no. Instead, it is in deadly earnest and socialist realist twaddle of the worst kind (which makes me wonder - Does Evaristo even know that she's writing in a genre of fiction developed by long dead white European males of the late nineteenth-century, ones who fiercely upheld distinctly European, and therefore to someone like Evaristo presumably distinctly "white", values?). Naturally, Gomperz gives it 4 out of 5 stars. Although that doesn't mean very much given that the possibility of him giving anything less than 4 stars to any BAME woman author would, entirely predictably, have been close to or even actually zero. But without even having seen that review much less picked up a copy of Evaristo's book and read it, it is evident from that summary alone that the novel will be completely unreadable shit. It is further quite plain to see that Evaristo is a novelist that white, privileged, socially connected elites, such as Gomperz want and even need to manufacture a success for. They want to hold her work up and say "You see! We told you this is what {BAME / LGBT / Trans} folk really think about the oppression we assured you that they suffer! You have it from the horse's mouth that everything we told you about their lives is true!". And that makes Evaristo about as radical, authentic, and liberated as a bear, numbed and glassy eyed with copious amounts of vodka and squeezed into an ill-fitting red satin waistcoat, dancing a jig at a freezing outdoor market in the Urals.
Toggle Commented Oct 10, 2020 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
I need to literally schedule time to binge watch TV, and I multitask like a freaking boss. That she should put these two together in the same sentence strongly suggests when her fluent bullshitese is translated into English it comes out as something like this: I've agreed to wait until my husband's home from work/finished reading the kids their bedtime story before pressing play on the next episode of Woklahoma. While watching Woklahoma, I send innumerable angry Tweets, which I believe is a form of aggressive political activism rather than, what is actually the case, me sitting on my ass on a sofa furiously pressing buttons on a small, black rectangular screen. Also, keep the change and have one for yourself. A complimentary pickled egg? Why thank you, but I must decline.
Toggle Commented Oct 7, 2020 on Her Restless Mind at davidthompson
an unintended irony of a rather grim sort That had been my first thought on hearing that, too.
Maybe it’s just the way her face works, and maybe she’s actually listening carefully, but her answers suggest otherwise. I think to be fair, if I have one criticism of Murray in that debate it's that he didn't appear to make enough of an accommodation in his language to take account of the fact that he was dealing with people who have English as a second language, even people like Kleiner and Derkzen whose English is evidently almost impeccable (although I did smile when Derkzen welcomed the audience with the minor solecism "Good night!" right at the beginning.) His reference to a Rubrik's cube for instance: There has been a presumption in recent years in Europe to assume that, historically, whenever you shake the great Rubik’s cube of humanity, it always comes out looking something like The Hague I mean if you heard (rather than read) that in French for instance: Il y a eu une présomption ces dernières années en Europe pour supposer que, historiquement, chaque fois que vous secouez le grand cube de l’humanité de Rubik, il sort toujours en ressemblant à La Haye. You'd either have to spend time working out what it meant - and then risk missing whatever else he was going to say next - or make a decision to ignore it and hope to make sense of it later. Having said that, there was little in Kleiner's speech or behaviour to suggest that her gross misinterpretation of Murray's views was the result of a language barrier.
Horace Dunn steers us to this debate between Douglas Murray, quoted above, and Flavia Kleiner I watched this last night and came away baffled, not only by Kleiner's fatuous comments*, but by the noticeable amateurishness of the livestream's organisation. Not only did the he chair, Sophie Derkzen, seem wholly unprepared to manage questions from the audience, but there was also this bizarre exchange near the end (from about 01:08) when Murray asks: Is that the end end can I ask or ...? At this, a smug grin can be seen infecting Kleiner's face as Derkzen seems to seek her approval. Apparently not getting it, Derkzen then gives Murray the faltering reply: I would suggest it is the end end, yeah. What makes this so odd is that, as Murray points out: If this, by the way, is to be the last round, I would just mention something very quickly. Flavia said that I hadn't prepared a speech. I do indeed have a speech here; I haven't been called upon to use it tonight. But my notes sit in front of me. [So] I don't quite know why that attack should be made. While Kleiner again smirks in something like a triumph, Derkzen is silent on this point. She offers neither explanation nor apology, either to Murray or to the audience, as to why the livestream has only delivered on 50% of the promised debate. It's possible that this was part of a deliberate strategy to undermine Murray, but incompetence seems the better explanation. *The opening lines of Kleiner's presentation read like a composition written by precocious 6th grade teacher's pet: I want to drink vino verde in Lisbon. I want to go there by night-train wearing a leopard-pattern pyjama in a compartment full of strangers. I want to have oranges for breakfast and know exactly where they come from. And I want to know that the workers who picked those oranges got paid for it. And I want to know that their children are going to [a] school whose teachers went to university, regardless of how much money they have. I only want to see guns when they are carried around by members of the army, or tiny plastic versions of it filled with syrup. I want to remember Srebrenica and read in one of the hundreds of free news outlets that its generals were prosecuted. And I want to look at their faces while they're being walked off to prison. I want to get stuck in a traffic jam and miss an appointment because people are holding a bike manifestation [i.e. protest/demonstration]. I don't ever want to smoke weed, but I want to know that in Amsterdam I could. What? Seriously, what? As Murray points out when Derkzen invites him to respond - respond to what exactly? There's nothing there.
Scottish National Party candidate experiences Identity crisis.
Toggle Commented Oct 3, 2020 on Friday Ephemeraren’t at davidthompson
Musically trained
Toggle Commented Oct 3, 2020 on Friday Ephemeraren’t at davidthompson
Me: English, rich as it is, seems inadequate for the task of describing what comes next Karl: witless, lying, arse-dribble I stand corrected!
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2020 on Friday Ephemeraren’t at davidthompson
An absence of humility is never attractive and none more so in Bernardine Evaristo's comments here.
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2020 on Friday Ephemeraren’t at davidthompson
Presenter: Laura joins us now.Welcome, Laura, hello. Laura: ... English, rich as it is, seems inadequate for the task of describing what comes next, but "mendacity", "fraud" and "delusion" will just about pass muster for this.
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2020 on Friday Ephemeraren’t at davidthompson
Regarding Heather McDonald's piece: Americans deserve the truth about crime and racial statistics from the governments their tax dollars pay for. Until the public understands why cops are in the neighborhoods they are, and why they interact disproportionately with black suspects, it will be impossible to counter the false and dangerous narrative about police racism. I'm just playing Devil's advocate here, but how would getting this information out to the public really make a material difference to the "anti-cop narrative" from the "[a]ctivists and their media enablers"? For instance, they'd be highly unlikely to deny that in New York "70% of all drive-by shootings, according to the victims of, and witnesses to, those shootings" are committed by black felons or that "blacks commit about 80% of all shootings and murders" or that "blacks commit up to 100% of all homicides, though they are less than 50% of the population" in St Louis. And the reason why they would not deny it is because they would present these data as direct evidence of the consequences of earlier generations of racist discrimination and, ultimately, slavery, arguing that criminal gangs form whenever more legitimate routes to making a successful life are closed off to what is presumably a majority in those neighborhoods (thus making racism the ultimate cause of crime). Likewise, they would surely suggest that the reason why "[b]lacks resist arrest at four times the rate of whites, according to one study" and also why "a decade’s worth of data show that black males make up over 40% of all cop-killers, though they are 6% of the national population" is precisely because of the decade's worth of racial prejudice from law enforcement, such that many young black men would rather risk their own life than again be harassed and humiliated by a racist police. Just Devil's-advocating here, but still ...
Toggle Commented Sep 28, 2020 on Elsewhere (300) at davidthompson
In fact, Krug is white, Jewish, and from suburban Kansas City. She attended a Jewish day school growing up and then the preppy Barstow School in Kansas City, where 12th-grade tuition is currently more than $22,000. Oh ... my ... God ... Nothing, literally nothing, in that sentence quoted above could possibly have prepared me for what was in this video. Here are some actual quotes of things she actually said in the persona of Jess La Bombalera: "I'm ah here in the Barrio, it's Harlem ... You probably know this neighborhood because [the New York City Council] sold mah fuckin' neighborhood to developers and gentrifiers" "So I got a couple a' things to say and y'all come on an' tell me mah time stops, fuck outta here!" "Ah also wanna call out all these white New Yorkers who waited four hours with us to be able to speak an' that did not give their time to black and brown indigenous New Yorkers ..." That comment didn't age well. "And thank you, much power to all my siblings, who was standing up, all my black and brown siblings ..." "The NYPD is a colonial occupation force. Let's be real honest -" Oh, the irony! "Y'all know they're bein' trained by the IDF" Fuck me!
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2020 on Elsewhere (300) at davidthompson
It’s almost funny. Almost, yes.
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2020 on Elsewhere (300) at davidthompson
Joan asks, drily, “Is it performance art?” [ ... ] It’s not just the ladies, of course. Quite a few leftist chaps seem a tad unstable too I think it is performance art. If you use parody not to entertain, but to persuade (hector might be more accurate), then what you're left with is a travesty. Except unlike most forms of travesty, it's the result of design not accident. Take Leo Guinan's Today I Gave My Dad A Choice: Trump or His Grandkids and His Son and the related earlier piece An Open Letter to my Dad ahead of the November election. I just don't believe either one of them. Like those women in their cars, like Jessica Krug, Rachel Dolezal, or C.V. Vitolo-Haddad, it feels too artful, too obviously inauthentic to be in any way credible. Reading An Open Letter to my Dad ahead of the November election is like reading an amateur Raymond Carver wannabe trying to imagine what it would be like to be the son of a Christian Trump voter, but failing dismally because they lack what all good fiction writers need - empathy with their subjects. "You have been victimized", Leo informs his ersatz Vater: Along with a good percentage of the population. They took advantage of the fact that you received your information from a selection of sources. The Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, etc. selection to be specific. They have fed you a very specifically curated selection of information, in order to elicit specific responses [ ...] If you would like to actually discuss any of the topics that Fox has been feeding you with an open mind, I will be happy to do so. Does Guinan really expect anyone to see a real flesh-and-blood father behind these lines instead of this cardboard cutout of a Trump voter? He's selling these posts as Greek tragedy, but I'm not buying. It looks like parody, even now I would hardly be surprised to discover that it is, but I'm pretty sure it's a case of travesty-by-design. And whoever would put their trust in someone like that?
The self-censoring font has some hilarious bloopers. "Diane Aboriginal person"
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2020 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
Well, meet Vicky Osterweil, who is more articulate with her gaslighting. This is Osterwell writing in 2011 under another name: Millenials all over the world have received a brutal political education. The lucky few of us paid far more and will get far less for our college degrees than any generation before, we have watched with dismay as our parents squabble over light bulbs while the seas boil, and we have witnessed the steady erosion of public space, individual rights, the fourth estate, and checks on executive power. America has been at war for basically the entire adult lives of everyone under 30. I mean, if I didn't know better that could literally have been written by Laurie Penny. In fact, come to think of it, it really looks like it was: This generation is on the cusp of waking up from the American Dream, just in time to see the urgency of the task ahead of us. We have five years until catastrophic climate change becomes a foregone conclusion, possibly far less time than that before the next massive financial crash, and 30 years of economic orthodoxy to turn around [ ... ] no jobs, no prospects, no safe places to live, none of the things we played the game for all our young lives. It was even published in The New Inquiry where Osterweil also publishes Except that Penny's piece comes almost eight months after Osterweil's - which makes it tempting to suggest that this might be where the fondness for expropriation and looting began. But then there must be countless articles stamped in the same mould out there.
Toggle Commented Aug 30, 2020 on Friday Ephemera at davidthompson
"It's just crazy how when you obey the law and you're not a criminal, you'll be fine." Worth watching
Toggle Commented Aug 26, 2020 on Two Items, Possibly Related at davidthompson
They do it because menacing other people - and spoiling someone’s day, or night, arbitrarily - is gratifying. 'Owning a car is racist' Benjamin Boyce interviews Shaun Cammack, a master's student researching the Evergreen protests of a few years back. Boyce: What's your take on the [protesters] treatment of [President of Evergreen State College] George Bridges? [ ... ] Because he was giving them everything they wanted and they kept on pillorying him. Cammack: Yeah [ ... ] I don't think he gets [the protesters'] whole worldview [ ... ] They see him as a white guy, white people I believe I'm not mistaken in thinking that if someone's worldview entails seeing an individual as not a person trying their best to mollify them and meet their demands, but as "a white guy" and not just someone who happens to be white, but as someone who is representative of all "white people" where all people who are white are viewed as irredeemably villainous and untrustworthy, then that someone is a fucking racist. Still, as Cammack ponders, it may actually have nothing to do with worldview at all. Cammack: Um, why did they keep treating him like that? [ ... ] Part of this might not have anything to do with the worldview. Part of it just might be that if you make it OK for people to abuse people, they might.
Toggle Commented Aug 25, 2020 on Shamelessly, He Quotes Himself at davidthompson
Trying to imagine how this will play out in the event of Trump being returned to the White House.
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2020 on Shamelessly, He Quotes Himself at davidthompson