Category Archive 'O tempora o mores!'
26 Aug 2018

Somebody Actually Funded This One

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Rolling Stone describes a new on-line marketing service which is bound to be controversial with the ladies.

Relationships, the saying goes, are hard. Many couples find their sex drives are mismatched over time, a problem that sex therapists often suggest fixing by working on communication. The Spinner, launched in April of this year, offers a different route to marital bliss — the online service encourages dissatisfied husbands to skip all that messy relationship effort and instead try to manipulate their wives on a subconscious level, in a way only possible in the age of the Internet.

For the bargain price of $29, husbands are sent an innocuous link that they, in turn, send via email or text message to their “target.” It can be accessed on a computer or mobile device and looks like any other hyperlink to an article, joke or video. Once she clicks on this link, a small piece of code is dropped on and then through browser cookies, she will be fed a slow drip of content chosen for her with the express motive of encouraging her to initiate sex.

RTWT

Ht: David Solin.

20 Feb 2018

Mass Shootings Caused By?

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El Borak contends that the cause of mass shootings is not actually the existence in the world of guns. We used to have guns in the older America, plenty of guns, but we had other things as well that today’s America dos not have so much.

[W]hat did we expect was going to happen? That’s not a rhetorical question, except in the sense that no one really thought to ask it.

We built a culture in which celebrity is our highest aspiration. From “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” to “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, we have taught our kids that being rich, being famous, being glamorous is what’s important. When we cut ourselves loose from any virtue higher than others’ opinions of us, no one thought it would result in a generation of teens who eat Tide Pods for a few Youtube clicks. Because no one ever thought.

We built a culture that promotes confusion. We tore down all barriers related to morality, especially sexual morality. We started with serial monogamy and hookup culture and moved right into married gays and bent genders. Now after 12 years of sex education our kids don’t even know what sex they are. We purposely tore down every protective social wall that humanity spent the previous 5 millennia constructing. No one ever thought to ask why they were constructed in the first place. Because no one ever thought.

We built a culture that promotes unresolvable interpersonal conflict. No more are we one nation under God; we are not under God at all, nor are we a nation. We are but intersectionalities of aggrieved classes, competing for the most oppression points by demonizing our fellow citizens for the original sin of being born white or male or straight or with 2 legs. We have set an entire generation against itself with manufactured claims of oppression. Did we truly not think that some of them would take up arms against the others or that a few would seek to destroy the many? We did not think at all.

We built a culture where drugs could take the place of discipline. Got a boy with ants in his pants? Instead of working with him to build his self control, we give him a drug. He can’t concentrate? Take this pill*. Don’t want chicken pox? Get this shot. Don’t have time to eat right? Here’s some processed cheese food and some deep fried GMO corn chips. Did we ever wonder what would happen to his developing brain when we pumped it full of these chemicals? No, we didn’t.

So now we have raised a generation of angry, bitter, drug-addled, under-developed aspiring rappers who don’t know who they are and never learned how to deal with life’s most common setbacks. We cut them loose without support on an America that has lost its way, lost its finances, lost its vision, and lost its history. Then we are surprised at the results.

What did we think was going to happen if we did this? We didn’t think at all.

We’re in a hole of our own making. It’s a deep hole. It’s so deep and so big that I do not believe we are collectively coming out of it. The monsters are already among us, the barbarians are inside the gates. And our culture creates more of them every day. We will not all escape.

RTWT

18 Apr 2017

The Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio, August 23, 1922

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26 Mar 2017

Time Worries Out Loud

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09 Mar 2017

This Morning’s News From Yale

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Founders Hall, 135 Prospect Street

The OCD reports important news:

The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Resources will relocate from Swing Space to the ground floor of Founders Hall in August, according to an email Secretary and Vice President for Student Life Kimberly Goff-Crews sent to students Wednesday morning.

The office, which was founded in 2009 and has operated out of Swing Space since 2013, provides programming, education and outreach to the University community on topics concerning sexual orientation and gender identity. The move to Founders Hall, located at 135 Prospect St., will situate the office in a 2,200-square-foot space with a lounge, full kitchen, all-gender restrooms and a multipurpose room for events. The office will also have shared access to 1,400 square feet of meeting space and two exterior courtyards. Students and faculty interviewed said the office’s new home will provide a more accessible meeting space for Yale’s LGBTQ community and enable its growth.

“The relocation and expansion of the office is terrific materially and symbolically,” said Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies professor Joseph Fischel. “I have been on campus for a relatively short period of time — four academic years — but it strikes me that the Yale community is by and large celebratory of gender and sexual diversity. So it is wonderful to see this appreciation institutionalized.”

Maria Trumpler, the director of the Office of LGBTQ Resources and a WGSS professor, said the size and amenities of the new location — which was designed by architecture firm Moser Pilon Nelson Architects and housed the School of Management until early 2014— will allow the office to expand programming and host more events. She added that the new space will ideally look and feel more like a cultural center, with drop-in space and a house staff like that of the four cultural centers. The office will be open daily until 10 p.m., and student staff will be available for conversations and programming, Trumpler said. …

In fall 2016, the Yale College Council LGBT Resources Task Force released a report calling for the relocation and expansion of the LGBTQ Resource Office, based on student feedback that the physical space was too small.

I find all this particularly interesting since I am otherwise aware that undergraduate fraternal, political, debating, a capella singing groups, and Political Union parties, these days, are not allowed to use Common Rooms and Residential College meeting spaces. Alumni of these student organizations have to raise thousands of dollars per annum through individual alumni contributions to rent rooms for undergraduate group meetings and debates off-campus.

Yale recently took away the Aurelian Honor Society’s historic rooms in Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall.

Historic, traditional, and legitimate undergraduate groups are looked upon by the Yale Administration with suspicion and disfavor: they might be drinking! they might be untidy! Worse, they might be exclusive!

But Sexual Perversion and Psychological Abnormality are, today, enshrined at Yale as a privileged combined identity group worthy of recognition, representation, financial subsidy, staffing, a full-kitchen, and its own department of academic study.

Personally, I am offended by the complete absence of rooms, directorates of resources, representation, and academic majors for Sportsmen, Shooters, Gun Collectors, Rednecks, Polacks, and Right-Wingers. If Yale ever comes to its senses, I have my eye on the original Wolf’s Head Hall at 77 Prospect Street.

01 Jul 2015

Past, Present, Future

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RelationshipsCartoon

12 Feb 2015

Laudator Temporis Acti

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ThenandNow1
ThenandNow2

Hat tip to Ratak Monodosico.

23 Jul 2014

Deresiewicz Attacks the Ivy League

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Commons
Yale’s University Commons, the freshman dining hall

William Deresiewicz criticizes American elite education from what might almost be a conservative perspective, but in the end he thinks the answer has to be a Utopia in which “you don’t have to go to the Ivy League, or any private college, to get a first-rate education.” Good luck with that, Bill.

If there is one idea, above all, through which the concept of social responsibility is communicated at the most prestigious schools, it is “leadership.” “Harvard is for leaders,” goes the Cambridge cliché. To be a high-achieving student is to constantly be urged to think of yourself as a future leader of society. But what these institutions mean by leadership is nothing more than getting to the top. Making partner at a major law firm or becoming a chief executive, climbing the greasy pole of whatever hierarchy you decide to attach yourself to. I don’t think it occurs to the people in charge of elite colleges that the concept of leadership ought to have a higher meaning, or, really, any meaning.

The irony is that elite students are told that they can be whatever they want, but most of them end up choosing to be one of a few very similar things. As of 2010, about a third of graduates went into financing or consulting at a number of top schools, including Harvard, Princeton, and Cornell. Whole fields have disappeared from view: the clergy, the military, electoral politics, even academia itself, for the most part, including basic science. It’s considered glamorous to drop out of a selective college if you want to become the next Mark Zuckerberg, but ludicrous to stay in to become a social worker. “What Wall Street figured out,” as Ezra Klein has put it, “is that colleges are producing a large number of very smart, completely confused graduates. Kids who have ample mental horsepower, an incredible work ethic and no idea what to do next.” …

Let’s not kid ourselves: The college admissions game is not primarily about the lower and middle classes seeking to rise, or even about the upper-middle class attempting to maintain its position. It is about determining the exact hierarchy of status within the upper-middle class itself. In the affluent suburbs and well-heeled urban enclaves where this game is principally played, it is not about whether you go to an elite school. It’s about which one you go to. It is Penn versus Tufts, not Penn versus Penn State. It doesn’t matter that a bright young person can go to Ohio State, become a doctor, settle in Dayton, and make a very good living. Such an outcome is simply too horrible to contemplate.

Deresiewicz is right and he is also wrong.

Elite culture in America always worshipped money and success. What is different today is that elite culture no longer respects its past or feels any meaningful connection to the rest of the country or the rest of society, except for recognized victims groups, patronage of which is useful for credentialing of the elite.

He’s right that race-based affirmative action is silly, and efforts at egalitarianism ought to be based on family finances and geographic representation. But, he fails to recognize that the education of national elites is not, in the end, about leveling. It is about building a leadership class, and our problem today is that American society has lost touch with its own identity and has replaced everything including conservation and transmssion of culture and paideia itself with left-wing power games based upon ressentiment.

01 Apr 2014

Anonymous Letter to the Harvard Crimson

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An anonymous Harvard coed published an angry letter in the Crimson, asserting that she was giving up and will be moving off-campus next semester because Harvard failed to prosecute, or even remove from the same residential house, the male student she claims sexually assaulted her roughly a year ago.

The young lady’s account of the alleged assault reads:

He was a friend of mine and I trusted him. It was a freezing Friday night when I stumbled into his dorm room after too many drinks. He took my shirt off and started biting the skin on my neck and breast. I pushed back on his chest and asked him to stop kissing me aggressively. He laughed. He said that I should “just wear a scarf” to cover the marks. He continued to abuse my body, hurting my breast and vagina. He asked me to use my mouth. I said no. I was intoxicated, I was in pain, I was trapped between him and the wall, and I was scared to death that he would continue to ignore what I said. I stopped everything and turned my back to him, praying he would leave me alone. He started getting impatient. “Are you only going to make me hard, or are you going to make me come?” he said in a demanding tone.

It did not sound like a question. I obeyed.

Shortly after I reported my sexual assault to my House staff, I was told by a senior member of the College administration that the Administrative Board was very unlikely to “issue a charge” against my assailant and to launch a thorough investigative process because my assailant may not have technically violated the school’s policy in the student handbook. Even though he had verbally pressured me into sexual activity and physically hurt me, the incident did not fall within the scope of the school’s narrow definition of sexual assault.

Her indignation over that incident and the failure of the Harvard Administration to avenge her honor, she claims have caused her to develop a mental illness.

I’m writing this piece as I’m sitting in my own dining hall, only a few tables away from the guy who pressured me into sexual activity in his bedroom, one night last spring. My hands are trembling as they hover across the keyboard. I’m exhausted from fighting for myself. I’m exhausted from sending emails to my resident dean, to my House Master, to my Sexual Assault/Sexual Harassment tutors, to counselors from the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, to my attorney. I’m exhausted from asking for extensions because of “personal issues.” I’m exhausted from avoiding the laundry room, the House library and the mailroom because I’m scared of who I will run into.

More than anything, I’m exhausted from living in the same House as the student who sexually assaulted me nine months ago.

I’ve spent most of 2013 fighting the Harvard administration so that they would move my assailant to a different House, and I have failed miserably. Several weeks ago, in a grey room on the fourth floor of the Holyoke Center, my psychiatrist officially diagnosed me with depression. I did not budge, and I was not surprised. I developed an anxiety disorder shortly after moving back to my House this fall, and running into my assailant up to five times a day certainly did not help my recovery.

“How about we increase your dose from 100 to 150 milligrams a day,” my psychiatrist said in a mechanical, indifferent voice. Sure thing.

This morning, as I swallowed my three blue pills of Sertraline and tried to forget about the nightmares that haunted my night, I finally admitted it to myself: I have lost my battle against this institution. Seven months after I reported what happened, my assailant still lives in my House. I am weeks behind in the three classes I’m taking. I have to take sleeping pills every night to fall and stay asleep, and I routinely get nightmares in which I am sexually assaulted in public. I cannot drink alcohol without starting to cry hysterically. I dropped my favorite extracurriculars because I cannot find the energy to drag myself out of bed. I do not care about my future anymore, because I don’t know who I am or what I care about or whether I will still be alive in a few years. I spend most of my time outside of class curled up in bed, crying, sleeping, or staring at the ceiling, occasionally wondering if I just heard my assailant’s voice in the staircase. Often, the cough syrup sitting in my drawer or the pavement several floors down from my window seem like reasonable options.

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This item came to my attention because several female Yale undergraduates from a fraternal group I belong to were circulating it and discussing it from a feminist point of view.

The whole business sounds very sad, and we older people find it very easy to be critical of today’s hook-up culture in which young women are apparently commonly expected to deliver sexual gratification to male associates as a routine courtesy at the conclusion of any shared social experience, however slight.

Nonetheless, it is bound to strike any sensible adult as obvious that it is impossible for third parties simply to accept the subjective account of one party to such a private encounter as completely factual and veracious. It is inevitable that two people will have different viewpoints and there can be no objective witnesses to a romantic liaison. It is part of the nature of relations between the sexes, too, that romantic encounters may be filled with mutual misunderstandings and may not infrequently lead to animosity and regret.

Just as young ladies are very liable to be confused and too easily pressured into doing things they may later regret, young men are too frequently liable to be loutish, uncouth, and simple-mindedly optimistic in interpreting the willingness of their partner. In earlier periods of history, these problems were widely recognized and young ladies were firmly advised to avoid finding themselves alone and intoxicated in the company of any young man.

When one reads this young lady’s anonymous account, one tends to think that she must be an example of the modern type of person who wants to have things both ways. She wants a modern sexually-liberated society, in which dormitories are coeducated, in which college authorities have withdrawn any pretension to acting in loco parentis or supervising the morals and behavior of undergraduates in any way, but when she finds herself regretting getting drunk, accompanying a young man she obviously did not know as well as she thought she did to his room, alone and at night, and then giving in to some sort of less-than-life-or-death pressure and finally doing something she regrets, she blames everyone but herself. Frankly, one feels obliged to reflect aloud: if society and your college are not going to have power over you or be in charge of protecting your virtue, then that task is really simply left to you.

Beyond that, I would say that pretty much everybody, when young, gets drunk a time or two and then does things he (or she) will inevitably regret. That kind of unfortunate experience ought to lead to a firm resolve in future to avoid levels of intoxication which might untowardedly influence one’s own behavior and to a certain amount of temporary personal chagrin. It should not lead to a campus-wide political campaign of agitation aimed at personal revenge, to the neglect of one’s studies, or to an obsession over one’s personal wrongs leading to mental illness.

This young lady fails to observe the obvious. When someone takes an unfortunate incident like this and proceeds to inflate it into a grievance making her the equivalent of one of the principals in a Jacobean drama, when she allows herself to get carried away with self-entitlement and self-righteousness to the point of striking such lurid and dramatic public poses over what must be essentially the kind of unfortunate private transaction which goes on routinely every day at colleges in today’s fallen world, when she wages a year-long campaign of this kind, no rational person is going to take her seriously as a reliable witness or responsible complainant.

21 Mar 2014

It’s Not Porn, It’s HBO

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Definitely NSFW.

1:52 video

From House of Eratosthenes via Bird Dog.

08 Mar 2014

Pornstar’s Boss Sent a Letter to the Classmate Who Outed Her

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Belle Knox

Duke University freshman porn star Belle Knox responded to being outed by her classmate Thomas Bagley by giving a series of interviews ( 1, 2) in which she defended her occupation and described her experiences in the most positive terms:

For me, shooting pornography brings me unimaginable joy. When I finish a scene, I know that I have done so and completed an honest day’s work. It is my artistic outlet: my love, my happiness, my home.

Few adult readers will agree with her that acting in porn films constitutes an artistic outlet or believe that her industry really offers a “home,” but it seems at least that her employer was disposed to come to her defense, retaliating for her outing at Duke by revealing her outer’s thousand-dollar-a-month porn habit and mockingly daring him to come out to sunny Los Angeles to star in his own porn film.

Letter to Thomas Bagley

10 Feb 2014

Meeting Prince Charming Millennial-Style

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