Former “Professional Wedding Vow Writer” Charanna Alexander, now editing The New York Times Weddings section.
Christine Rosen, in Commentary, reports that the flood waters of insane Wokery have swept away another cultural landmark: the Sunday New York Times Weddings section.
The New York Times Weddings section, once infamously described in an episode of Sex and the City as “the women’s sports pages,” recently announced that it is questioning whether marriage is worth saving at all. “The Weddings Section Asks What It Means to Be Committed in 2022,” the headline announcing the section’s new focus noted, but the question was clearly rhetorical. Its new editor, Charanna Alexander, has already begun to “move away from the traditional Times wedding announcement” and noted that the “evolved Weddings section” would now be “exploring what it means to be committed in 2022, whether or not that includes marriage.”
Evidently only rubes think marriage is an institution for raising families and ensuring social stability. Times readers know better. “I really came in wanting to change everyone’s perception of the types of couples we feature,” Alexander said. “I wanted to not only make it more racially diverse, but also culturally diverse. I just really wanted to look for holes in our previous coverage, so that we can start to be a section that everyone can see themselves in.”
If you are an average person who sees yourself in a traditional marriage, the Times is putting you on notice that your status has been downgraded. The traditional Vows column that runs every Sunday still features a story of a single couple, but the shorter traditional announcements that were long the meat of the marriage pages are no more. Instead, readers are invited to submit their stories for the diminutive Mini-Vows section, which might more accurately be called Struggle Love, since that is what it elevates. As Alexander puts it, “the common thread of all of our Mini-Vows is that the couples all share some moments of transition where they have to overcome something together.”
Presumably the Mini-Vows approach is meant to yield a section less apt to celebrate the predictable joining of family assets and/or Ivy League résumés. But what it has produced in its stead is a lot of emotive hyperbole and oversharing, the overall effect of which is remarkably banal. The new submissions process asks couples “to really dig deep into their love story and tell us what makes them click: how they came together; what their relationship means to them, and maybe even the people in their lives; and how they’ve changed since they’ve been together.” Alexander adds: “We’re just asking couples to go a little deeper, which gives us a better sense, once we get a submission, to say, ‘Hey, this is really inspiring.’” Merely getting married is too vanilla for the Times reader. Now, your story must be akin to a TED talk; it must “inspire” others.
The NYT these days publishes laments for the loss of public venues providing opportunities for rude uncivilized behavior on the part of representatives of the barbarian underclass community.
On a recent morning, the Regal UA Court Street in Brooklyn was uncharacteristically quiet. Posters for “Jackass Forever” and “American Underdog” hung in its windows, but the curving marquee had been stripped of its letters, and its glass doors were locked. Peering inside, you could see a scattering of dead leaves on the floor of the darkened lobby, like tumbleweeds in a western.
A pair of teenage boys, Kimani Augustin and his friend Demarcus Cousins (yes, like the basketball player), stood outside and reminisced about the good times they’d had there. “It could get crazy,” Kimani said, “but was amazing nonetheless.”
The theater closed last Sunday, taking regulars by surprise. Right away, the Twitter tributes poured in, many of them written in a tone of ironic amusement. Dean Fleischer-Camp, a filmmaker, said that his favorite movie experience ever involved people “screaming, laughing, singing” and “throwing popcorn” during a 6 p.m. screening of “Drag Me to Hell.” Lincoln Restler, the newly elected councilman whose district includes Downtown Brooklyn, shared a picture of a moving van parked outside. “For the shouting-back-at-action-movie experience,” he wrote, “there was no place better!”
Cyrus McQueen, a stand-up comic and the author of “Tweeting Truth to Power,” a book of essays on race and politics in America, was as struck by what these commenters didn’t say as by what they did. “I’m an African-American man, so I speak plainly,” he said. “It was a Black theater. You yelled at the screen, and folks would talk.” A longtime resident of Crown Heights, Mr. McQueen regarded a sold-out showing of “Black Panther” at the Regal as one of the highlights of his life.
“A major component of Black existence is forced comportment in white spaces,” he said. “There is a comfort derived from taking off the disguise, if just for a few minutes in the cinema.”
In New Haven, back when I was at college, locals would “take off the disguise” all the time in the College Street Cinema, drinking beer and smoking pot in defiance of theater rules and the law, talking loudly to one another, shouting at the screen, starting fights, and threatening any normal people who objected.
They were a nuisance and a public hazard and their habitual presence soon led to the normal audience abandoning that theater and its closing. It only took attendance at one or two films to modify my views on Segregation in the pre-1960s South.
If we are going to have “Diversity and Inclusion,” it ought to be on terms of assimilation of the primitive, barbarous, unruly, and inconsiderate of others to normal civilized standards of decorum and behavior. It is an absolute disgrace for an elite establishment institution like the Times to legitimize these sorts of standards and behavior and to provide a forum to people who have adopted a group identity rejecting both self respect and consideration for others.
The New York Times has determined that people who disagree with it are out of touch with reality, and SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.
Several experts I spoke with recommended that the Biden administration put together a cross-agency task force to tackle disinformation and domestic extremism, which would be led by something like a “reality czar.”
It sounds a little dystopian, I’ll grant. But let’s hear them out.
Where do you suppose they will erect the re-education camps?
NYT Classical Music Critic Anthony Tommasini says “ensembles [need] to reflect the communities they serve, [and] the [hiring] audition process [for musicians] should take into account race, gender and other factors.”
During the tumultuous summer of 1969, two Black musicians accused the New York Philharmonic of discrimination. Earl Madison, a cellist, and J. Arthur Davis, a bassist, said they had been rejected for positions because of their race.
The cityâ€™s Commission on Human Rights decided against the musicians, but found that aspects of the orchestraâ€™s hiring system, especially regarding substitute and extra players, functioned as an old boysâ€™ network and were discriminatory. The ruling helped prod American orchestras, finally, to try and deal with the biases that had kept them overwhelmingly white and male. The Philharmonic, and many other ensembles, began to hold auditions behind a screen, so that factors like race and gender wouldnâ€™t influence strictly musical appraisals.
Blind auditions, as they became known, proved transformative. The percentage of women in orchestras, which hovered under 6 percent in 1970, grew. Today, women make up a third of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and they are half the New York Philharmonic. Blind auditions changed the face of American orchestras.
But not enough.
American orchestras remain among the nationâ€™s least racially diverse institutions, especially in regard to Black and Latino artists. In a 2014 study, only 1.8 percent of the players in top ensembles were Black; just 2.5 percent were Latino. At the time of the Philharmonicâ€™s 1969 discrimination case, it had one Black player, the first it ever hired: Sanford Allen, a violinist. Today, in a city that is a quarter Black, just one out of 106 full-time players is Black: Anthony McGill, the principal clarinet.
The status quo is not working. If things are to change, ensembles must be able to take proactive steps to address the appalling racial imbalance that remains in their ranks. Blind auditions are no longer tenable.
Can there be any notion more preposterous, more incapable of surviving intellectual scrutiny, than today’s liberal shibboleth of “Diversity”?
Diversity requires abandonment of standards of merit, achievement, and genuine equality of opportunity, accompanied by lots of rationalizations, denial, and outright lying about what is needed to produce sufficient representation of members of various privileged victim identity groups. Note how Mr. Tommasini assures NYT readers that there is
remarkably little difference between players at the top tier. There is an athletic component to playing an instrument, and as with sprinters, gymnasts and tennis pros, the basic level of technical skill among American instrumentalists has steadily risen. A typical orchestral audition might end up attracting dozens of people who are essentially indistinguishable in their musicianship and technique.
But this begs the question: are there actually many representatives of underclass minorities in that “top tier”? Obviously, there are not, because, if there were, then blind auditions would work to achieve their hiring just fine.
Mr. Tommasini fails also to explain why “diversity” in the sense of more African-Americans in classical orchestras is an urgent problem, while massive over-representation of African-Americans in professional sports is no problem at all.
Why, I often wonder, are blacks, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, and homosexuals important for “Diversity” but not Finns, Ukrainians, or Belgians? If the answer is that a sob story about past hardships is required, then how come Jews, Appalachian hillbillies, and all those ethnic Catholic blue collar communities count for nothing in the Diversity sweepstakes? Tell us, Mr. Tommasini: what percentage of classical orchestra ensembles are made up of Southern Italians from the Outer Boroughs of New York?
You can imagine what I thought when I looked up Mr. Tommasini and found that he is a Yale classmate of mine.
Fat cat Columbia Journalism School prof, New Yorker writer, endless beneficiary of racial favoritism and diversity hiring, Jelani Cobb who makes a terrific living typing out fantastical complaints and brazen expressions of ethnic chauvinism dashed off a little piece in Slate, commenting bitterly in support of the recent rebellion of Woke minority hires at the New York Times.
How much extra do you suppose the establishment organs that performed all sorts of intellectual acrobatics to justify awarding special platforms and positions to pseudo-educated tokens and paying them professional salaries to produce this kind of tripe need to add to make up for all that “additional, unpaid, and invisible work of making [the] workplaces more equitable”?
Was the Times trying to warn Suliemani in this editorial published yesterday by Steven Simon?
Moreover, hypersonics are a weaponized moral hazard for states with a taste for intervention, because they erase barriers to picking fights. Is an adversary building something that might be a weapons factory? Is there an individual in an unfriendly country who cannot be apprehended? What if the former commander of Iranâ€™s Revolutionary Guards, Qassim Suleimani, visits Baghdad for a meeting and you know the address? The temptations to use hypersonic missiles will be many.
I wouldn’t put it past them.
HT: Sean Clarkson.
And who knew that Obama had previously stopped Israel from killing Suliemani?
When President Donald Trump gave the order to kill Iran’s Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani, he not only made an arguably proportionate response to the invasion of the U.S. Embassy this week but he also reversed a policy of the Obama administration. According to a report from 2018, Israel was “on the verge” of assassinating Soleimani in 2015, but Obama’s officials foiled the plan. In fact, they reached out to Iran with news of Israel’s plans.
Chadwick Moore, in the Spectator, helps out the NYT by writing their apology to Times subscribers for them.
Dear Valued Subscriber,
For a mere $39.99 a month, about what you pay your Guatemalan nanny, you depend on us for thought-provoking personal reassurance, award-winning arrogance, hard-hitting sycophancy, and up-to-the-minute coverage of Orange Man â€“ who is very, very bad.
The New York Times remains the worldâ€™s most prestigious Viewpoint Validation Service because we understand the crippling emptiness permeating the wealthy liberal soul â€“ we are that emptiness â€“ and you entrust us to make you feel good, smart and worthy every day.
While News and Opinion whisper watered-down postgrad nothings in your ear, Style and Dining guarantee youâ€™ll be validated on the outside, as well as inside. Style and Dining remain committed to informing you on exactly what Brooklyn thought was cool three years ago. While the city that is our namesake â€“ and the place youâ€™ve built your entire identity around â€“ might be a dead, stale cultural wasteland that no one cares about anymore, our Travel section reminds you that youâ€™re a global citizen. Times subscribers donâ€™t have homes, they have bases.
But even the pre-eminent VVS is vulnerable to mistakes.
As some of you are aware, we failed in our commitment to ferociously guard the sanctity of your echo chamber this week. A headline appeared on our front page suggesting Orange Man spoke against racism. While the headline was factual, it was a flagrant betrayal of the service you expect us to provide and we literally stopped the presses to fix it.
We listened to our readers on how to proceed from there. The headline writer was an elderly holdover from the days when we were a newspaper. But todayâ€™s lovepaper business is different. Inspired by the Texas revolutionary Joaquin Castro, our editorial board decided to take out a full page ad in our own paper to publish his home address and pictures of his family. Then we mobilized our 52,247 interns to brigade his employer, us, with phone calls to report that we have a racist in our ranks. The writer was immediately fired. Our interns, known as TimesHelpers, chucked milkshakes at him as he sadly strolled through the lobby with his little NPR tote bag full of desktop knick knacks. Just as he reached the door we unchained Sarah Jeong and watched gleefully as she dismembered and ate him alive.
Our customersâ€™ pomposity and fragility are important to us. We donâ€™t use words like â€˜neuroticâ€™ and â€˜repellantâ€™ to describe our readers the way shopkeepers, waiters, and dry-cleaners might. We think your quirkiness is the natural byproduct of the cosmopolitan, emotionally lavish life that you lead.
We know if we arenâ€™t delivering our best, every hour of every day, somewhere a Yale grad might lose an argument if she canâ€™t reference our content as the final authority. The Times subscriber understands that reading about something makes you a better person than doing something. You depend on us to be informed daily about the wretched lives of blacks and immigrants as a fair tradeoff for keeping them out of your own communities and schools.
Point of privilege, when tens of thousands of you threatened to cancel your subscription this week, we had a chuckle. You were never going to leave. Our authority is the only thing that gives you authority. And, besides, where else would you go, the Washington Post? That lovepaper is named after a slave owner. And itâ€™s not like youâ€™re going to subscribe to the Wall Street Nazi.
But we still listened to your grievances. Because of your diverse needs, on Monday we will launch the most intimate Viewpoint Validation Service on earth with TimesPersonal. Our new premium service will give platinum members the option to select how theyâ€™d like to see a story reported before they read it. Platinum members will be able to pick from options like, â€˜Skip to the white nationalism,â€™ â€˜Whatâ€™s the real estate value,â€™ and â€˜Trumpâ€™s fault.â€™ TimesPersonal comes with our new TimesTrauma feature that algorithmically eliminates potentially triggering content from your personal edition of the Times. Going forward, subscribers can log-in to our TimesRapeWhistle portal to flag content they feel may have been published without consent from the greater Times community.
We know that from the first day you picked up our product, youâ€™ve seen us as not just a newspaper but a social status accelerant. We will never forget our commitment to selling our subscribers more than just words, but personal brand and identity. In these dark and divided times, where 63 million white supremacists use the internet to ridicule their moral superiors with things called â€˜memes,â€™ we have an even more important calling: to protect your truth.
Minister of Feels, The New York Times Viewpoint Validation Service
The World Is a Mess. We Need Fully Automated Luxury Communism.
Asteroid mining. Gene editing. Synthetic meat. We could provide for the needs of everyone, in style. It just takes some imagination. …
But thereâ€™s a catch. Itâ€™s called capitalism. It has created the newly emerging abundance, but it is unable to share round the fruits of technological development. A system where things are produced only for profit, capitalism seeks to ration resources to ensure returns. Just like todayâ€™s, companies of the future will form monopolies and seek rents. The result will be imposed scarcity â€” where thereâ€™s not enough food, health care or energy to go around.
So we have to go beyond capitalism. Many will find this suggestion unwholesome. To them, the claim that capitalism will or should end is like saying a triangle doesnâ€™t have three sides or that the law of gravity no longer applies while an apple falls from a tree. But for a better world, where everyone has the means to a good life on a habitable planet, it is an imperative.
We can see the contours of something new, a society as distinct from our own as that of the 20th century from feudalism, or urban civilization from the life of the hunter-gatherer. It builds on technologies whose development has been accelerating for decades and that only now are set to undermine the key features of what we had previously taken for granted as the natural order of things.
To grasp it, however, will require a new politics. One where technological change serves people, not profit. Where the pursuit of tangible policies â€” rapid decarbonization, full automation and socialized care â€” are preferred to present fantasies. This politics, which is utopian in horizon and everyday in application, has a name: Fully Automated Luxury Communism.
“Just abolish freedom of choice and market capitalism, just surrender all decision-making power to us scientific experts, the Nomenklatura, and the world will be different.
We’ll abolish scarcity and inequality and with our great big brains and unlimited benevolence, we’ll create heaven on earth. Of course, you better not disagree, or criticize our vision, or try standing in our way.”
It’s been tried before, of course, in lots of places.
How does it feel to live in a time in which the grand establishment newspaper of record will publish, with grave seriousness and implicit nodding approval, the self-pitying posturings of a crazy who has created a personal identity and political ideology based on maladjustment and futile, self-destructive efforts to rebel against Nature and Reality?
Next Thursday, I will get a vagina. The procedure will last around six hours, and I will be in recovery for at least three months. Until the day I die, my body will regard the vagina as a wound; as a result, it will require regular, painful attention to maintain. This is what I want, but there is no guarantee it will make me happier. In fact, I donâ€™t expect it to. That shouldnâ€™t disqualify me from getting it.
I like to say that being trans is the second-worst thing that ever happened to me. (The worst was being born a boy.) …
I feel demonstrably worse since I started on hormones. One reason is that, absent the levies of the closet, years of repressed longing for the girlhood I never had have flooded my consciousness. I am a marshland of regret. Another reason is that I take estrogen â€” effectively, delayed-release sadness, a little aquamarine pill that more or less guarantees a good weep within six to eight hours.
Like many of my trans friends, Iâ€™ve watched my dysphoria balloon since I began transition. I now feel very strongly about the length of my index fingers â€” enough that I will sometimes shyly unthread my hand from my girlfriendâ€™s as we walk down the street. When she tells me Iâ€™m beautiful, I resent it. Iâ€™ve been outside. I know what beautiful looks like. Donâ€™t patronize me.
I was not suicidal before hormones. Now I often am.
I wonâ€™t go through with it, probably. Killing is icky. I tell you this not because Iâ€™m cruising for sympathy but to prepare you for what Iâ€™m telling you now: I still want this, all of it. I want the tears; I want the pain. Transition doesnâ€™t have to make me happy for me to want it. Left to their own devices, people will rarely pursue what makes them feel good in the long term. Desire and happiness are independent agents.
As long as transgender medicine retains the alleviation of pain as its benchmark of success, it will reserve for itself, with a dictatorâ€™s benevolence, the right to withhold care from those who want it. Transgender people have been forced, for decades, to rely for care on a medical establishment that regards them with both suspicion and condescension. And yet as things stand today, there is still only one way to obtain hormones and surgery: to pretend that these treatments will make the pain go away.
The medical maxim â€œFirst, do no harmâ€ assumes that health care providers possess both the means and the authority to decide what counts as harm. When doctors and patients disagree, the exercise of this prerogative can, itself, be harmful. Nonmaleficence is a principle violated in its very observation. Its true purpose is not to shield patients from injury but to install the medical professional as a little king of someone elseâ€™s body.
Let me be clear: I believe that surgeries of all kinds can and do make an enormous difference in the lives of trans people.
But I also believe that surgeryâ€™s only prerequisite should be a simple demonstration of want. Beyond this, no amount of pain, anticipated or continuing, justifies its withholding.
Nothing, not even surgery, will grant me the mute simplicity of having always been a woman. I will live with this, or I wonâ€™t. Thatâ€™s fine. The negative passions â€” grief, self-loathing, shame, regret â€” are as much a human right as universal health care, or food. There are no good outcomes in transition. There are only people, begging to be taken seriously.
Personally, I think that we sane and normal people have a lot more reason for melancholy based on sheer embarrassment over the contemptible intellectual state of our culture and establishment than does some nutcase who does not like the sexual characteristics he was born with.
I fail to understand how Society and the medical profession and government are all supposed to adapt to whims connected with sex on the part of an infinitesimally small number of deeply neurotic malcontents without feeling exactly the same obligation to “take seriously” and accommodate the wishes of every madman who thinks he is Napoleon.
Of course, Iowahawk is just joking around, rhetorically hoisting dog-eating Gook girl with her own Intersectional petard. In reality, I expect that he, like Robby Soave at Reason and Jonah Goldberg and Kevin D. Williamson at National Review and I, thinks 1) employers ought to keep their noses out of employees’ social media, 2) the current practice of print-mobbing people out of jobs for crimes against political correctness is outrageous, and 3) we old white men (despite our propensity to sunburn) are just not so thin-skinned as to get all weepy and distressed over a few insulting cracks on Twitter. Old white men are a lot more secure than all that.