Category Archive 'New York Times'
17 Jul 2020
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.
24 Jun 2020
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.
As protesters take to the streets to demand a reckoning with police brutality and systemic racism, the journalists tasked with covering those protests have taken to social media to demand a reckoning of their own. Journalists of color, most of them Black, have shared their experiences with pay inequity, discrimination, and hostile management at media companies like Refinery29, the New York Times, Complex, and Bon AppÃ©titâ€”leading to decades-late mea culpas and high-level departures across the industry. At the heart of the conversations playing out in newsrooms across the country is the double bind that Black journalists find ourselves in: Weâ€™re expected to do our jobs along with the additional, unpaid, and invisible work of making our workplaces more equitable. Weâ€™re labeled as â€œaffirmative action hires,â€ solicited as sensitivity readers for othersâ€™ work, and enlisted as diversity consultants for our newsrooms, all while we cover the deaths of people who look more like us than our colleagues do.
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”?
03 Jan 2020
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.
10 Aug 2019
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
HT: Guy de la Boer.
12 Jun 2019
How far down the road to Totalitarianism has our contemporary elite community of fashion gone? This far.
Aaron Bastani says:
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.
Sounds good, doesnâ€™t it?
“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.
25 Nov 2018
“Andrea Long Chu“
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.
03 Aug 2018
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.
25 Jul 2018
In 1843, well-educated people thought the Millerites were crackpots. In 2020, the consensus of the supposedly well-educated is the equivalent of Millerism.
Roy Scranton is a professor of English at Notre Dame. His discussion of his feelings of guilt over having brought a child into this doomed world appeared in the New York Times.
Anyone who pays much attention to climate change knows the outlook is grim. Itâ€™s not unreasonable to say that the challenge we face today is the greatest the human species has ever confronted. And anyone who pays much attention to politics can assume weâ€™re almost certainly going to botch it. To stop emitting waste carbon completely within the next five or 10 years, we would need to radically reorient almost all human economic and social production, a task thatâ€™s scarcely imaginable, much less feasible. It would demand centralized control of key economic sectors, enormous state investment in carbon capture and sequestration and global coordination on a scale never before seen, at the very time when the political and economic structures that held the capitalist world order together under American leadership after World War II are breaking apart. The very idea of unified national political action toward a single goal seems farcical, and unified action on a global scale mere whimsy.
And even if world leaders somehow got their act together, significant and dangerous levels of warming are still inevitable, baked into the system from all the carbon dioxide that has already been dumped. Thereâ€™s a time lag between carbon dioxide increase and subsequent effects, between the wind we sow and the whirlwind we reap. Our lives are lived in that gap. My daughter was born there.
Barring a miracle, the next 20 years are going to see increasingly chaotic systemic transformation in global climate patterns, unpredictable biological adaptation and a wild spectrum of human political and economic responses, including scapegoating and war. After that, things will get worse. The middle and later decades of the 21st century â€” my daughterâ€™s adult life â€” promise a global catastrophe whose full implications any reasonable person must turn away from in horror.
The irony here is that he may be right: civilization as we know it may be doomed. But the cause of doom is going to be the ineffable stupidity of the morons who took over our establishment institutions, not the junk science theory of Global Warming Catastrophism.
07 Mar 2018
“On the left was The New York Times, a former newspaper, which now reads like a cross between Pravda and a cluster of six-year-old girls who have just seen a mouse.”
31 Aug 2017
Vogue’s “Fashion Muse” Lynn Yaeger (see photo below) saw a photograph of First Lady Melania Trump boarding a Houston-bound plane in stiletto heels and made a major thing out of it.
This morning, Mrs. Trump boarded Air Force One wearing a pair of towering pointy-toed snakeskin heels better suited to a shopping afternoon on Madison Avenue or a girlsâ€™ luncheon at La Grenouille.
While the nation is riveted by images of thousands of Texans wading with their possessions, their pets, their kids, in chest-high water, desperately seeking refuge; while a government official recommend that those who insist on sheltering in place write their names and social security numbers on their arms, Melania Trump is heading to visit them in footwear that is a challenge to walk in on dry land.
A spokesperson says she has other shoes to change into on the planeâ€”and one sincerely hopes there is a pair of leopard-print Wellies-in-waiting to get her from the tarmac to the limo. But what kind of message does a fly-in visit from a First Lady in sky-high stilettos send to those suffering the enormous hardship, the devastation of this natural disaster?
And why, oh why, canâ€™t this administration get anything, even a pair of shoes, right?
The Washington Post chimed in:
Melania Trump is the kind of woman who travels to a flood-ravaged state in a pair of black snakeskin stilettos. Heels this high are not practical. But Trump is not the kind of woman who has to be practical. Heels this high are not comfortable. Comfort is not the point. Neither hers nor yours.
Trump is the kind of woman who knows that when she walks from the White House to Marine One there will be photographers, and so she will dress accordingly. On this soggy Tuesday morning, she wore her stilettos with a pair of cropped black trousers and an Army-green bomber jacket. Her hair was nicely blown out, and she was wearing a pair of sunglasses though it was overcast and drizzly at the time. As she walked to the chopper, she glanced toward a camera, and the photographer captured her with one hand in her pocket, her weight shifted slightly to one leg. She looked great.
Trumpâ€™s fashionable ensemble was defined by its contradictions. She was wearing a working manâ€™s jacket but it was juxtaposed with sexy limousine shoes. The trousers and the top were basic black â€” utilitarian. The oversize aviator sunglasses were Hollywood. Itâ€™s an image that would have been at home in any fashion magazine, which is so often the case with the first lady. …
It was also an image that suggested that Trump is the kind of woman who refuses to pretend that her feet will, at any point, ever be immersed in cold, muddy, bacteria-infested Texas water. She is the kind of woman who may listen empathetically to your pain, but she knows that you know that she is not going to experience it. So why pretend?
Well, sometimes pretense is everything. Itâ€™s the reason for the first lady to go to Texas at all: to symbolize care and concern and camaraderie. To remind people that the government isnâ€™t merely doing its job, that the government is engaged with each and every individual. Washington hears its citizens. Thatâ€™s what the optics are all about. Sitting around a conference table and talking into a speaker phone are not good optics. A politician has to get on the ground in work boots and a windbreaker. Rolled-up sleeves. Galoshes. Baseball caps.
and the New York Times also eagerly joined fashionista firing squad:
Mrs. Trumpâ€™s heels… appear to be classic Manolo Blahniks …redolent of a certain clichÃ©d kind of femininity: decorative, impractical, expensive, elitist (all adjectives often associated with the brand â€œTrumpâ€).
Mrs. Trump, of course, actually emerged from the plane wearing a pair of white sneakers.
The president himself was also criticized by Jezebel for inappropriate flood attire, i.e. khakis. Tom Knighton notes that khakis were fine for hurricane wear when Obama wore them.
All this was started by Lynn Yaeger of Vogue. The same Vogue whose idea of fashion these days is a cover shot by Annie Leibovitz no less of Bradley Manning pretending to be female in a swimsuit.
Milo Yiannopoulos described the Vogue columnist as: “An unspeakable Eldritch horror from the depths of aeons and untouched by mortal creatures.”
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