Category Archive 'National Geographic'

13 Mar 2018

National Geographic Goes Gramscian: No More Brown-Skinned Boobs For You, Racists!

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The leftist nincompoops have captured another cultural landmark.

This month, Editor-in-Chief Susan Goldberg, accompanied by a specially-hired-for-the-occasion academic racial-grievances-mongerer with some Yale degrees, apologizes for the magazine’s traditional historic function: purveying photos of topless native girls in a respectable venue for men and boys to peruse while trapped waiting for their appointment in the doctor or dentist’s office.

Just listen to this crap:

[The black academic consultant] found… a long tradition of racism in the magazine’s coverage: in its text, its choice of subjects, and in its famed photography.

    “[U]ntil the 1970s National Geographic all but ignored people of color who lived in the United States, rarely acknowledging them beyond laborers or domestic workers,” writes Goldberg in the issue’s editor letter, where she discusses Mason’s findings. “Meanwhile it pictured ‘natives’ elsewhere as exotics, famously and frequently unclothed, happy hunters, noble savages—every type of cliché.”

Unlike magazines such as Life, “National Geographic did little to push its readers beyond the stereotypes ingrained in white American culture,” Goldberg says, noting that she is the first woman and first Jewish person to helm the magazine – “two groups that also once faced discrimination here.”

All of which strongly suggests that previous hiring policies were a lot wiser and better.

To assess the magazine’s coverage historically, [the racial grievance specialist] delved into old issues and read a couple of key critical studies. He also pored over photographers’ contact sheets, giving him a view of not just the photos that made it into print, but also the decisions that photographers and editors made.

He saw a number of problematic themes emerge.

    “The photography, like the articles, didn’t simply emphasize difference, but made difference … very exotic, very strange, and put difference into a hierarchy,” Mason tells NPR. “And that hierarchy was very clear: that the West, and especially the English-speaking world, was at the top of the hierarchy. And black and brown people were somewhere underneath.”

For much of its history, the pages of National Geographic depicted the Western world as dynamic, forward-moving and very rational. Meanwhile, [the professional race warrior complained], “the black and brown world was primitive and backwards and generally unchanging.”

How did the obviously true magically recently become “problematic”?

One trope that he noticed time and again was photographs showing native people apparently fascinated by Westerners’ technology.

“It’s not simply that cameras and jeeps and airplanes are present,” he says. “It’s the people of color looking at this technology in amusement or bewilderment.” The implication was that Western readers would find humor in such fascination with their everyday goods.

Then there’s how the magazine chose its subject matter. Mason explains that National Geographic had an explicit editorial policy of “nothing unpleasant,” so readers rarely saw war, famine or civic conflict.

So the depiction of insufficiently flattering reality in the old days was just plain wrong. People of color, even if living in the Stone Age techologically, ought to have been touched up editorially into sophisticated and superior Wakandas, and the old family magazine ought to have been delivering a steady ration of Marxist agitprop supporting Third World revolutionary movements in every issue. Right!

Left-wing idiots screw up everything they get their hands on. With the old National Geographic transformed into Whining-About-Discrimination-and-Bitching-About-Western-Civilization-While-Arguing-How-Not-Only-Equal-But-Downright-Superior-People-of-Color-Everywhere-Are Geographic, my prediction is that it’s going to be a lot less pleasant to read and circulation is going to tank.

Who the hell wants to read a bunch of Virtue Signalling sermons on Intersectionality and Oppression, the Evils of White Privilege, and the Historical Crimes of Europe and America, while waiting for one’s root canal? That sort of thing simply gratuitously deepens and extends the whole root canal experience.

12 Dec 2017

Shameless Warmist Sob Story With Dying Polar Bear from National Geographic

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According to National Geographic, you killed this particular polar bear with your CO2 emissions, you heartless creep.

Of course, polar bear numbers are up, not down. And that video maker and his agitator organization did not autopsy the bear or do anything else to establish factually why it was emaciated. Polar bears, like all other living things, do get sick and get old and die of natural causes with no connection whatsoever to ice or the weather.

In reality, the whole dying-polar-bears meme was invented by Charles Monnett, a whale researcher, who took a plane ride, looking for whales, and saw three deceased polar bears directly after a terrible arctic storm.

Never even having landed on the ground, just like the National Geographic video-maker, Monnett simply assumed that climate change was responsible, that the bears drowned due to lack of ice. He then took the quantity of deceased bears (three, rounded up to four) observed flying over 11% of his 630-kilometer-wide study are, and proceeded to project that equivalent quantities of dead bears were distributed over the whole area.

Now, that’s what you call scientific rigor!

Zoologist Sarah Crockford debunks the new sob story:

One starving bear is not scientific evidence that man-made global warming has already negatively affected polar bears, but it is evidence that some activists will use any ploy to advance their agenda and increase donations.

The photographer talks about polar bears.

In an interview yesterday, published in the Victoria Times-Colonist (my home town), photographer Nicklen stated…

    “Nicklen is careful about drawing conclusions from his pictures, noting that many people look to poke holes in what’s being said about things like the disappearance of sea ice from the North. …’Ice is melting earlier every spring and freezing later every fall,’ Nicklen said. ‘Bears are designed to go as much as two months without ice, but they are not designed to go four or five months without ice. “Well, this [the video] is what it actually looks like when polar bears are stranded on land.'”

Nicklen should do a bit more reading: polar bears in Western Hudson Bay routinely go four to five months without ice. Four months was normal in the good old days (ca. 1980) and almost five months in some recent years (Castro de la Guardia et al. 2017; Cherry et al. 2013; Ramsay and Stirling 1988; Stirling and Lunn 1997). WHB pregnant females spend 8 months or more on land with no ill effects that can conclusively be blamed on a slightly longer time without ice (Crockford 2017). Southern Hudson Bay polar bears spend a similar amount of time without ice (Obbard et al. 2016), see this post (with references).

22 Dec 2016

National Geographic Goes Tranny

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When I was a boy, National Geographic was a notable locus of normal sexuality, being the one respectable publication, available in every doctor’s and dentist’s office, where a fellow could pore over photographs of naked (albeit dark-skinned) breasts.

The Left’s Long March Through the Institutions and the Culture marked another major milestone this month, when National Geographic put the photograph of a 9-year-old female impersonator on its cover, and piously patted itself on the back for jumping on board the Radical Left’s crackpot ideology of Gender and starting “thoughtful conversations about how far we have come on this topic—and how far we have left to go.”

One consoles oneself with the thought that every age is marked by mass madnesses. But, why, I often complain to myself, did I have to be born to live in the time noteworthy for the sanctimonious submission to ressentiment in every form? I’ll take the massacre of heretics and the burning of witches over this kind of contemptible bleating any day.

Life is full of ironies, of course. And the justice of the gods grinds slowly and wondrous fine. It would not be surprising, if, say, 15 years down the road, we were to read about a twenty-four-year-old male Avery Jackson suing National Geographic for many millions for ruining his life by exploiting him, and publishing a shameful childhood image, promoting psychological disorder and sexual abnormality. I hope he wins.

06 Aug 2014

National Geographic Nature Video

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Hat tip to Henry Bernatonis.

23 Mar 2012

RMS Titanic

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Sonar image of the wreck

The upcoming April issue of the National Geographic will be devoted to coverage, including then and now photographs, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, which struck an iceberg on April 15, 1912.

25 Jun 2007

Peru versus Yale

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Recent years have seen a tremendous retreat by Reason from the public dialogue, providing a concomitant opportunity for ideologies embodying the worst of mankind’s vices and follies, socialism and nationalism, to take its place. When foreign governments behave contemptibly, asserting irrational and self-aggrandizing claims of ownership to artistic treasures created by civilizations which existed ages before their own time, the leftwing press typically rushes to add its voice in support for yet another contemporary expression of ressentiment.

Refreshingly, Arthur Lubow, in the Sunday Times Magazine, is less than sympathetic to Peru’s attempts to wrest custodianship of artifacts from Manchu Pichu discovered by Yale’s Hiram Bingham in the early years of the last century from the Peabody Museum.

other countries as well as Peru are demanding the recovery of cultural treasures removed by more powerful nations many years ago. The Greeks want the Parthenon marbles returned to Athens from the British Museum; the Egyptians want the same museum to surrender the Rosetta Stone and, on top of that, seek to spirit away the bust of Nefertiti from the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. Where might it all end? One clue comes in a sweeping request from China. As a way of combating plunder of the present as well as the past, the Chinese government has asked the United States to ban the import of all Chinese art objects made before 1911. The State Department has been reviewing the Chinese request for more than two years.

The movement for the repatriation of “cultural patrimony” by nations whose ancient past is typically more glorious than their recent history provides the framework for the dispute between Peru and Yale. To the scholars and administrators of Yale, the bones, ceramics and metalwork are best conserved at the university, where ongoing research is gleaning new knowledge of the civilization at Machu Picchu under the Inca. Outside Yale, most everyone I talked to wants the collection to go back to Peru, but many of them are far from disinterested arbiters. In the end, if the case winds up in the United States courts, its disposition may be determined by narrowly legalistic interpretations of specific Peruvian laws and proclamations. Yet the passions that ignite it are part of a broad global phenomenon. “My opinion reflects the opinion of most Peruvians,” Hilda Vidal, a curator at the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Peru in Lima, told me. “In general, anything that is patrimony of the cultures of the world, whether in museums in Asia or Europe or the United States, came to be there during the times when our governments were weak and the laws were weak, or during the Roman conquest or our conquest by the Spanish. Now that the world is more civilized, these countries should reflect on this issue. It saddens us Peruvians to go to museums abroad and see a Paracas textile. I am hopeful that in the future all the cultural patrimony of the world will return to its country of origin.” Behind her words, I could imagine a gigantic sucking whoosh, as the display cases in the British Museum, the Smithsonian, the Louvre and the other great universal museums of the world were cleansed of their contents, leaving behind the clattering of a few Wedgwood bowls and Sèvres teacups.

Terry D. Garcia, an ally and enthusiast promoter of Peruvian repatriation claims who works at National Geographic and who has made himself into an active participant in the controversy, was dismissive of Yale’s concerns for the preservation of the artifacts as politically incorrect.

It’s so patronizing of them to suggest that you can’t return these objects to Peru because they can’t take care of them — that a country like Peru doesn’t have competent archaeologists or museums,” he says. “Maybe if you were a colonial power in the 19th century you could rationalize that statement. I don’t see how you could make it today.

But Arthur Lubow describes his own experience with Peruvian standards of stewardship.

Fernando Astete, an archaeologist who has worked at the Machu Picchu park since 1978 and been director of it since 2001, wants the Bingham collection to be exhibited at the site’s museum. When I spoke with him in Cuzco, he said: “I am happy with the museum. It has temperature control and humidity control and guards.” But when I visited the site museum, which is located about a mile and a half from the Aguas Calientes train station, I found evidence of none of those amenities. The doors were open to the air, which was moist from the nearby river, and the sole official was a caretaker who sold tickets and then exited the building.

Read the whole thing.

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