Category Archive 'Political Correctness'
15 Nov 2019
A Durham, New Hampshire celebration scheduled for the beginning of holidays is undergoing some changes this year in an effort to remove religious overtones.
Formerly called the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, the newly named Frost Fest will include the absence of a formal tree lighting. Santa will be at the event but he will not arrive in a town firetruck as he has in the past.
The wreaths that traditionally adorned lamp posts on Main Street will also not be present this year.
Town Councilor Sally Tobias says the changes came about after some controversy last holiday season. â€œThere was another private citizen that came forward and said that he had always had a problem with the Christmas tree, as he called it,â€ Tobias said.
After holding a public meeting, the town formed a working committee and made changes to the event.
â€œThere were a couple of people that did express some concerns about how they felt being included,â€ Tobias said. …
Tobias, herself, is not the biggest fan of the changes but says the town is open to feedback.
â€œI will state that trees and Santas and wreaths are not Christian,â€ Tobias said, â€œAnd we would like to hear back from the community. Weâ€™d like to hear what they think about it, how they would like to see it evolve a little differently and how we can make it better.â€
Everywhere you look in America today, from Harvard and Yale to Big Corporations and local town governments, you’ll find invertebrates in charge who instantly surrender to the insolent demands of the crackpot malcontent left.
22 Oct 2019
Arnold Gingrich, once upon a time the editor of Esquire.
Long ago, Esquire used to publish articles celebrating masculinity and male interests, including contributors like Ernest Hemingway. The quality of those 1930s and ’40s issues was such that people now collect them.
Today, Esquire is an excruciatingly irritating voice of metrosexual soyboy hysteria endlessly denouncing Trump and grovelling apologetically on behalf of all mankind before the idols of politically correct wokeness.
Brian Patrick Eha notes that the same thing is happening today across the entire men’s lifestyle magazine genre and subscriptions are everywhere precipitously declining.
When the culture changes,â€ Esquire contributing editor Wesley Yang wrote earlier this year, â€œeach of us must either seek an accommodation or choose a hill to die on.â€ He was reviewing Bret Easton Ellisâ€™s White, a collection of jeremiads, many aimed, like poison darts, at millennials, the cohort Ellis has dubbed â€œGeneration Wuss.â€ The voice of an earlier generation, Ellis, who is gay, finds himself shocked byâ€”and contemptuous ofâ€”the weak-mindedness and quickness to take offense typical of some millennials. …
In June, Hearst promoted Esquire.com editor Michael Sebastian to replace Fielden as editor-in-chief. As with Pels at Cosmopolitan, the idea is to bring a digital sensibility to the print productâ€”while making digital the top priority. Esquire, a source told WWD, will be getting â€œa full Cosmo.â€ I take this to mean that the trends identified in this essay will only accelerate, and that the commitment to social-justice ideology will only harden; that Esquire will soon descend into the sucking morass of what Yang aptly calls â€œwoke clickbait.â€ No doubt the magazine will struggle on for a time, like a punctured blimp leaking helium, deflating while still aloft, but if it grows in prominenceâ€”if the metrics that men like Troy Young care about improve for a timeâ€”it will be only as a wounded airship, once high up in the atmosphere, grows larger in the eye as it sinks slowly groundward.
Just as one canâ€™t reinflate a leaky blimp, there is little reason to believe that Esquireâ€™s editorial quality will improve under Sebastian, however much he juices web traffic. The great menâ€™s magazines may eke out a lucrative afterlife hawking clothes and branding nightclubs in India; but as magazines, they are dying or deadâ€”and the dead do not improve.
03 Oct 2019
On Tuesday, a British [employment tribunal] ruled that belief in the Bible was â€œincompatible with human dignity.â€
That statement came in a case involving Dr. David Mackereth, a devout Christian who had worked as an emergency doctor for the National Health Service for 26 years. He said he was fired from his job because he refused to call a biological man a woman. The courtâ€™s ruling stated: â€œBelief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically here, transgender individuals.â€ The court added. â€œâ€¦ in so far as those beliefs form part of his wider faith, his wider faith also does not satisfy the requirement of being worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not in conflict with the fundamental rights of others.â€
Also reported by the Independent and by the BBC:
The hearing was told he would refuse to refer to “any 6ft-tall bearded man” as “madam” following a conversation with a manager at an assessment centre and later left his role.
The tribunal panel – sitting in Birmingham – found the [Department for Work and Pensions] DWP had not breached the Equality Act. It stated there was no contravention and dismissed the complaints.
“A lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others,” the judgement said.
Dr Mackereth, 56, said he was “deeply concerned” by the ruling.
“Without intellectual and moral integrity, medicine cannot function and my 30 years as a doctor are now considered irrelevant compared to the risk that someone else might be offended,” he said.
“I believe that I have to appeal in order to fight for the freedom of Christians to speak the truth. If they cannot, then freedom of speech has died in this country, with serious ramifications for the practise of medicine in the UK.”
27 Sep 2019
The Yale Political Union in 1973. I was there.
The YPU’s Liberal Party (dating back to the Union’s founding in 1934, which had McGeorge Bundy, Dick Posner, John Kerry, and Jorge Dominguez for Chairmen) has recently (in a fit of honesty) changed its name to the “Socialist Party,” and its current chairman announced today that it’s quitting the Yale Political Union because the Yale Political Union (O! God! O! God!) allows members of the Party of the Right to say flaming un-PC things, and has no mechanism to punish WrongSpeech.
Chairman Ian Moreau explains why the lefties are seceeding:
The debate over the Unionâ€™s usefulness has long been rumbling within our Party. For years now, the Unionâ€™s debate format has rendered the meaningful development of political beliefs nearly impossible. The quality of student speeches varies wildly and a few unfocused questions at the end of each speech limits direct engagement with a speakerâ€™s arguments. The ideas that members espouse, however, can be even worse. Just last year, members of the Union stood behind a podium to spew blatant transphobia and question whether women should have the right to vote, all without reprimand. In September 2017, the Party of the Right released a whip sheet in which they referred to Indigenous people as savages. Not a single individual was formally censured.
Such incidents have unfortunately become commonplace within the Union and have wrought significant damage on our Party. Members of marginalized communities â€” the people who are crucial to building an authentic Left â€” donâ€™t wish to sit through the needless denigration of their identities nor should they be required to in order to participate in spaces like ours. We have watched as the constant debasement of low-income people, people of color, women and queer folks has led both members and potential recruits to distance themselves from Union and therefore from us. Although our Party has made our concerns explicit and sought reform innumerable times, the structure of the Union itself has made it resistant to change. To be clear, this is not an issue with the current Union leadership; the problem is institutional, not personal.
By leaving the Yale Political Union, we hope to revitalize our Party and construct a better leftist space for future generations of Yale students. We will welcome the people we need to create the networks necessary for thoughtful activism and solidarity-building. We will cultivate a stronger sense of love and community amongst ourselves in order to ensure that our friendships last long after we leave this university. And, perhaps most importantly, we will think, interrogate and theorize as we fight for a better Yale.
We will no longer settle for the detached debate that defines the Yale Political Union. The political nature of our university, of our world, demands to be squarely grappled with. It is not enough to question the Canon, debate the research or criticize the corporation, for intellectual engagement alone will not suffice. Real leftism is bold and unyielding in its battle for greater justice for all people. As conscious inhabitants of this Ivory Tower, we are obligated not only to envision a brighter future, but also to take part in its creation.
Being Leftist today means that you cannot “meaningfully develop your own political beliefs” in an atmosphere that exposes them to different beliefs.
23 Sep 2019
The Harvard Lampoon today is a sinner in the hand of an angry Harvard Crimson Editorial Board.
Ten students recently protested one of the Harvard Lampoonâ€™s comp meetings, condemning the undergraduate humor magazine for its insensitive content, and what they claim is a hostile and exclusive institutional culture.
As a Board, we applaud the protesters for standing up to the Lampoon. We condemn the magazineâ€™s publication of offensive and culturally insensitive content and sympathize with the protestersâ€™ claims that the organization has a hostile internal culture. We hope the Lampoon views the protests as impetus to work harder to build a better culture and better institutional pathways to screen their content before publication.
Last May, the Lampoon published an inappropriate, sexualized image of Holocaust victim Anne Frank, which Director of Harvard Hillel Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg compared to the â€œobscenity of the Nazis.â€ This abhorrent incident was a striking dispay of hypersexualization and anti-Semitism, but must be understood as only one of many instances in which the Lampoonâ€™s actions have peddled in such morally reprehensible sentiments as humor. The magazine has â€” in the past â€” made sexist jokes, from comparing women to dogs to insensitive jokes about University President Lawrence S. Bacowâ€™s wife. And its insensitive content extends beyond the Anne Frank image as well, including an inappropriate joke about ISIS and minorities in final clubs. As if this smorgasbord of poor taste were not harmful enough, the Lampoon has also put out content trivializing a number of delicate issues such as suicide and fat-shaming.
The editors of the Lampoon said in a statement that their publishing process â€œlacks sufficient editorial oversight.â€ We believe this lack of oversight can lead to an inability to discern what kinds of humor are in poor taste.
We sympathize with the protesters and believe the Lampoon must take steps to address their concerns. And although the Lampoon has tried to take steps toward increasing diversity and accessibility â€” through steps such as newly instated positions to their Accessibility Council and Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response training for new members â€” we believe these efforts are insufficient. The Lampoon should, in addition to OSAPR training for its members, require implicit bias training and should be more explicit about the ways their comp and internal culture have improved to avoid this in the future.
In seeking change at the Lampoon, we believe the student body has a huge amount of power. We call on students who are considering comping the Lampoon to consider the culture that has enabled the systemic production and amplification of offensive and culturally insensitive content. In so doing, we hope they either choose not to comp the Lampoon, or, in comping it, to demand change.
The spirit of Cotton Mather rides again!
19 Sep 2019
Laurie Santos, new “Head” of Silliman College, famed for teaching an extremely popular course on Happiness.
The Yale Daily News reports that a Yale junior’s Instagram quip has the campus again in a turmoil over Free Speech, with many students demanding punishment, Silliman Head Laurie Santos promising action and then crawfishing, Peter Salovey timidly defending Free Speech, and faculty arguing.
All this ICE but no detention centers in sight,â€ read the caption, beneath an Instagram photo of a Yale junior smiling amid a backdrop of snowy mountains.
Was the gaffe a distasteful joke or an affront to undocumented immigrants? Yale administrators and faculty disagreed. Screenshots of the post â€” a play on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and ice itself â€” quickly went viral on social media. Students denounced the junior for joking about the plight of undocumented immigrants, who sometimes spend weeks and months in border detention facilities. Tweets criticizing the post received thousands of likes and more than 900 retweets. One student said he is â€œglad to see that Yale is still prepping for the future generations of Kavanaughs.â€ Others urged their peers to email the head of the juniorâ€™s residential college, psychology professor Laurie Santos and demanded consequences for the junior. …
As emails requesting the student to be held accountable for his Instagram post inundated Santosâ€™ inbox, the Silliman Head of College responded to at least one studentâ€™s call for action against the junior.
â€œI have now heard about this incident from many, many students,â€ Santos wrote in the email, which was obtained by the News. â€œIâ€™m upset that a member of my community would post something like this and I will take action on it. I will be bringing this up with the proper channels.â€
While some students said they appreciated Santosâ€™ note, many members of the University community voiced concerns about the emailâ€™s implications on whether administrators and faculty members have the jurisdiction to regulate studentsâ€™ speech.
English professor David Bromwich said the idea that the junior â€œshould somehow be punished, or cited to justify a reprimand, seems a clear overreach of authority.â€
â€œ[Of] course the result [of Santosâ€™ email] would be to chill speech generally,â€ Bromwich said. â€œPeople say silly things like this all the time, on campus and in everyday life elsewhere. Will you install microphones in the potted plants and try to catch them all?â€
In an interview with the News, Chairman of the Institute for Free Speech Bradley Smith said Santosâ€™ email is â€œabsurd and anti-liberal.â€ The email sends a message that students now have to be extra careful to not upset others and â€œgives a license to social justice warriors to pick on students they donâ€™t like,â€ Smith said. He added that free speech is not only about a lack of censorship, but also about an open attitude of accepting controversial ideas.
In an email to the News on Wednesday, Santos said in hindsight, she â€œwould have worded things differently to make it clearer that what I wanted to do was gather more information â€” that was the action I had in mind.â€ …
Salovey did not comment on whether he had spoken with Santos about her handling of the matter.
â€œI would like to take this opportunity to underscore that Yale is committed firmly to free expression,â€ Salovey said. â€œTo learn, to create knowledge, to teach and to improve the world, we must engage in the exchange of ideas freely, especially when we disagree with one another. I have always encouraged members of the Yale community to participate in open discussions because the answer to speech that offends us is, most often, our own speech.â€ …
Thomas Kadri GRD â€™23 â€” who is a fellow at the Yale Information Society Project â€” added that while people should have the right to speak freely, free speech does not mean that people cannot criticize others if they dislike what is said.
â€œThat said, it might also be worrying if many students â€˜fearâ€™ the â€˜consequencesâ€™ of expressing their ideas and opinions,â€ Kadri added. â€œQuite how worrying it is would depend on a few things, I think. Are their fears reasonable? What do they actually fear will happen â€” criticism, social ostracism, bad grades on assignments, worse job prospects?â€
American Studies professor Matt Jacobson said that while the University may have some work to do, feeling uncomfortable is â€œemphatically not a â€˜free speechâ€™ issue of the constitutional sort.â€ Self-censorship is different from government censorship, and is in some cases â€œan organic response to the contending interests and the internalized dissonance brought about by social change and societal polarization,â€ Jacobson said.
He added that even if the climate issues on campus are very real and need to be addressed, it is important to recognize that there is a concerted effort on the right to use free speech as an instrument to advance a particular agenda, such as framing discrimination of ethnic, religious and racial minorities as freedom of expression.
10 Sep 2019
How could they ever publish THIS in New Haven?
Back in the ’60s and ’70s, my own generation’s taste in humor ran to the transgressive and outrageous. We liked nothing better than violating all existing limits on expression and every conventional stricture of decorum.
Now, it seems that Cotton Mather’s generation has been reincarnated into the college students of today. With the Fall Semester opening at Yale, out comes a new issue of Rumpus, the current student humor magazine, and all over the Yale campus, the snowflakes are melting.
Goodness gracious! Mercy me! Somebody had the crudeness and insensitivity to joke about the possibility of girls getting hammered and led astray at a particular fraternity called “Leo.”
Evidently only last year an issue of Rumpus came out featuring Hookup Bingo,” some joking about campus Hookup/Blackout culture. There was outrage. At least a dozen Rumpus staff members walked out in protest, Rumpus was denounced and condemned from every pulpit on the campus, and the issue was actually officially retracted! I haven’t seen it reported, but I assume that a number of Rumpus editors spent a few days in the stocks.
Now, what do you know? Rumpus has sinned again, triggering the deacons of the Yale Daily News and all the rest of the campus elect. Lots of chin-stroking and grovelling and apologizing ensued.
Following a year of non-publication after staff backlash over jokes about sexual misconduct, the Yale Rumpus has returned â€” but not without controversy.
The annual Freshman Issue of the student-run tabloid magazine hit dining halls on Friday morning, greeting students with a cover that read, â€œATTENTION FIRST-YEARS: YOU WILL BE REJECTED.â€ The issue â€” the first to come out since last September â€” was produced by a new editorial team. But despite the new staff â€” which includes five members who actively worked on the issue and about 12 total staffers, compared to previous staff sizes of 30 or 40, according to Rumpus co-editor-in-chief and a former photo staffer for the News Jakub Madej â€™20 â€” the new tabloid issue has already sparked discontent among many Yalies upset with its new content. Students were particularly angered by jokes about the K2 overdoses on the New Haven Green and a â€œRumpâ€™s Reviewâ€ of Leo, which they believe made light of sexual misconduct once again.
â€œThe Leo joke was not intended to make fun of rape victims in any way, shape or form,â€ current Rumpus Co-Editor-in-Chief Anushka Walia â€™21 wrote in an email to the News. â€œIt pointed out messed up practices of frats, and it put Leo down. Part of the point of satire is this kind of commentary anyways. Iâ€™m sorry if it offended anyone, but it wasnâ€™t the intent.â€
Last September, at least 12 staffers quit the publication in protest over several jokes about sexual assault that appeared in the Rumpusâ€™ â€œFreshman Issue.â€ Those included a spot on the issueâ€™s â€œHookup Bingoâ€ reading â€œFreshmanâ€™s First Blackout (Free)â€ and a line in the editorâ€™s note making fun of a blacked out first year â€œlet[ting] a senior on the baseball team raw [them] on that foul mattress in the Sig Nu basement.â€
The objectionable content in last Septemberâ€™s issue had been reviewed only by members of the editorial team prior to publication, but not the remainder of Rumpus staffers. Following internal backlash, Rumpus leadership retracted the issue, removed all copies of it from dining halls throughout campus and issued an apology for the content.
According to Madej and Walia, this yearâ€™s publication â€” which the current board revived independent of the old editorial staff â€” was for the most part vetted by board members as well as several staffers prior to printing, unlike in previous years. Also unlike Rumpus leadershipâ€™s response to last Septemberâ€™s backlash, this year, Madej and Walia neither retracted the issue nor issued a public apology for the content.
Although Madej said the Rumpus has not established any written standards for the kinds of jokes it will publish, the editors review content on a case-by-case basis to decide if it is fit to print.
â€œThere were some issues last year regarding controversial issues and mismanagement,â€ Madej said. â€œWe noticed what happened last year, and we believe in the idea of Rumpus, no matter what they say. We do want to bring it back to life.â€
Still, social media posts from Yalies this weekend argued that the publicationâ€™s â€œRumpâ€™s Reviewâ€ of Leo showed that Rumpus had not learned its lesson from last yearâ€™s backlash. …
Hours after the issue hit dining halls, the Instagram parody account @yaleactualweeklynews posted a picture of the review with the headline â€œRumpus Learns From Mistakes; Only Publishes Subtle Rape Jokes.â€
In a statement to the News, Leo leadership called â€œthe Rumpusâ€™s attempt to make humor out of sexual misconduct extremely misguided and disappointing.â€
â€œWe take the issue very seriously and work actively to make sure our friends and guests feel safe and have fun at our events,â€ the statement read.
During a Friday night interview with the News, Madej said the post from the @yaleactualweeklynews Instagram page was â€œnothing moreâ€ to him â€œthan a kindergarten-level attempt to make jokesâ€ and bring up problems from last year, adding that he did not see a connection between last yearâ€™s controversy and this yearâ€™s issue.
But Walia disagreed with Madejâ€™s statement. In emails to the News following the interview, she stressed that she did not interpret the post as an attempt at humor, but rather as a way â€œto bring an important issue to light.â€ She explained that she did not expect the criticisms the post sparked, because she cares â€œvery deeply about the very issues everyone else cares aboutâ€ as both a woman and a feminist herself. Further, Walia underscored that the Rumpusâ€™ intent is never to be offensive or malicious, and that she respects â€œpeopleâ€™s beliefs as well as their criticism.â€
â€œI do care about the criticism received because I want everyone to read the Rumpus and have a good time and laugh at it,â€ Walia said. â€œI donâ€™t want anyone to feel offended or hurt by something that someone writes in it. So as editor in chief, I do take concerns seriously and keep that in mind â€” I care a lot about our readers.â€
Madej clarified in an email to the News on Sunday that he was not â€œsure of the intentionsâ€ of @yaleactualweeklynews, but â€œif they indeed wanted to be funny, itâ€™d be a tremendously bad level of a joke.â€
Former Rumpus staffer Leila Halley-Wright â€™21 â€” who quit the publication in protest of last yearâ€™s jokes about sexual assault â€” said she was â€œsurprisedâ€ to see that the Leo review had been â€œdeemed appropriateâ€ for the issue considering last yearâ€™s backlash and its thematic similarity to last yearâ€™s editorâ€™s notes.
Mia Arias Tsang â€™21, the editor in chief of Broad Recognition, said she was upset to find a screenshot of one of her posts advertising the feminist magazine featured in a collage on the front cover. She stressed that the cover upset her because of the publicationâ€™s past of making light of sexual misconduct issues, and she was disappointed to see several similar problems arise in the new issue.
â€œSatire, I think, is very different from rape jokes,â€ Tsang said. â€œI think thereâ€™s ways you can tackle these issues satirically, but it has to be done really well and really carefully, and you should probably have some people look at it multiple times that are outside of the sphere of your tabloid magazine if youâ€™re trying to go for a satire angle. â€¦ I think the stuff they do satirizing Yale culture has always been pretty on the nose and good, but theyâ€™ve just veered so far into this other territory for some reason.â€
29 Aug 2019
Frank Kelly Freas portrait of John W. Campbell.
Students of History chuckle when the read of the famous “Cadaver Synod” of 897, when a vindictive successor Pope had the corpse of his predecessor, Formosus, disinterred from his tomb and set up in a chair in full Papal robes to be tried for perjury and illegal assumption of the Papacy. The late Formosus was, of course, convicted and signally punished.
Today, long-deceased American statesmen and soldiers whose positions and views are looked upon unfavorably by snowflakes and SJWs are having their monuments taken down and their memorials renamed right and left.
The most recent victim of the Historical Wrong-Think Purge is the famed editor of Astounding Magazine, John W. Campbell (died 1971) who fostered the careers of such Sci Fi Golden Age giants as Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov.
Apparently, the latest winner of the book award named for the late Mr. Campbell was happy enough to receive the award but bears an animus toward its namesake.
A leading American literary magazine has dropped the name of the late sci-fi writer John W. Campbell from a major award after a Hong Kong author slammed him as a â€œfascistâ€ while receiving the honor.
â€œJohn W. Campbell, for whom this award was named, was a f**king fascist,â€ Hong Kong-born writer Jeannette Ng said in her acceptance speech in Dublin last Sunday.
Through his control of the influential sci-fi magazine Astounding Science Fiction as editor, Ng said, Campbell was â€œresponsible for setting a tone for science fiction that haunts the genre to this day. Stale. Sterile. Male. White,â€ 33-year-old Ng said.
Campbell launched the careers of some of the most notable names in sci-fi writing, including Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein.
But he was also known as a white supremacist who published essays supporting slavery and segregation. He died in 1971 at the age of 61.
In Sixth Column, written by Heinlein and commissioned by Campbell, the United States is invaded by Pan Asians, and the story ends with the invention of a race-selective weapon that kills the â€œslantyâ€ and â€œflat face.â€
â€œJeannette Ng is one of the people Campbellâ€™s fantasy world would have murdered,â€ one online comment bluntly puts it.
Astounding Science Fiction was later called Analog Science Fiction and Fact.
Analog, whose publisher sponsors the writing award, said Tuesday that it will drop Campbellâ€™s name from the honor, originally the John W. Campbell Award for the Best New Writer.
The new award will be called the Astounding Award for Best New Writer, the magazineâ€™s editor said in a statement.
29 Aug 2019
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, La baigneuse endormie [The Sleeping Bather], 1897, Winterthur.
The New Yorker rather outdid itself in the “PC Assaults on Civilization” Sweepstakes this week with Peter Schjedahl‘s smackdown of Renoir.
Targeting Renoir as problematic, sexist, and prurient seems not only Philistine, Puritanical, and just plain unkind, it seems to constitute a downright fascistic rejection of la douceur de vivre.
Roger Kimball identifies precisely what is so fundamentally wrong here in the Spectator.
Schjeldahlâ€™s judgments about Renoir are a fastidiously composed congeries of up-to-the-minute elite opinion. There at The New Yorker, everyone will agree with Schjeldahl about Renoir or â€” the more important point â€” about subjugating him to the strictures prevalent among the beautiful people circa 2019. What made Schjeldahlâ€™s essay notorious were not his particular judgments about Renoirâ€™s art or character but rather his imperative anachronism. â€˜An argument is often made that we shouldnâ€™t judge the past by the values of the present,â€™ Schjeldahl writes, â€˜but thatâ€™s a hard sell in a case as primordial as Renoirâ€™s.â€™
Is it? As Ed Driscoll pointed out at Instapundit, Schjeldahlâ€™s essay is sterling example of what C.S. Lewis described as â€˜chronological snobbery,â€™ the belief that â€˜the thinking, art, or science of an earlier time is inherently inferior to that of the present, simply by virtue of its temporal priority or the belief that since civilization has advanced in certain areas, people of earlier time periods were less intelligent.â€™ If, Driscoll observes, we add the toxic codicil that those previous times were â€˜therefore wrong and also racistâ€™ we would have â€˜a perfect definition of todayâ€™s SJWs.â€™
Exactly. Driscoll goes on to quote Jon Gabriel, who has anatomized this process under the rubric of â€˜cancel culture,â€™ a culture of willful and barbaric diminishment.
â€˜Cancel culture,â€™ Gabriel notes, â€˜is spreading for one simple reason: it works. Instead of debating ideas or competing for entertainment dollars, you can just demand anyone who annoys you to be cast out of polite society.â€™ Itâ€™s already come to a college campus near you, and is epidemic on social and other sorts of media. not to mention through the so-called â€˜Human Resourcesâ€™ departments of many companies. Wander ever so slightly outside the herd of independent minds and, bang, itâ€™s ostracism or worse.
There are many ironies attendant on the spread of â€˜cancel culture.â€™ One irony is that, despite its origins in the effete eyries of elite culture, the new ethic of conformity exhibits an extraordinary and intolerant provincialism. The British man of letters David Cecil got to the nub of this irony when, in his book Library Looking-Glass, he noted that â€˜there is a provinciality in time as well as in space.â€™
â€˜To feel ill-at-ease and out of place except in oneâ€™s own period is to be a provincial in time. But he who has learned to look at life through the eyes of Chaucer, of Donne, of Pope and of Thomas Hardy is freed from this limitation. He has become a cosmopolitan of the ages, and can regard his own period with the detachment which is a necessary foundation of wisdom.â€™
It has become increasingly clear as the imperatives of political correctness make ever greater inroads against free speech and the perquisites of dispassionate inquiry that the battle against this provinciality of time is one of the central cultural tasks of our age. It is a battle from which the traditional trustees of civilization â€” schools and colleges, museums, many churches â€” have fled. Increasingly, the responsibility for defending the intellectual and spiritual foundations of Western civilization has fallen to individuals and institutions that are largely distant from, when they are not indeed explicitly disenfranchised from, the dominant cultural establishment.
Leading universities today command tax-exempt endowments in the tens of billions of dollars. Leading cultural organs like The New Yorker and The New York Times parrot the ethos of the academy and exert a virtual monopoly on elite opinion.
But it is by no means clear, notwithstanding their prestige and influence, whether they do anything to challenge the temporal provinciality of their clients. No, let me amend that: it is blindingly clear that they do everything in their considerable power to reinforce that provinciality, not least by their slavish capitulation to the dictates of the enslaving presentism of political correctness.
20 Aug 2019
Jon Gabriel wrote an excellent column last Saturday in Arizona Central.
One normally only quotes some key bits with the intention of persuading readers to click on the link and read the whole thing at the original published location, but, Good God! the AzCentral page is so loaded with pop-up ads redirecting you elsewhither and, unaccountably, tosses you off the relevant page and on to later stuff with the touch sensitivity of (dry) Nitrogen Triiodide that I reluctantly came to the conclusion that this fine editorial has a very poor life expectancy and will very soon be completely inaccessible, so I’ve quoted the whole bloody thing.
Welcome to America, the land of the perpetually whiny and offended
Opinion: Instead of debating ideas, the left and right are demanding that anyone who annoys them be cast out of polite society.
Sarah Silverman has been canceled. A Hollywood director fired the progressive comedian because of a sketch she performed a dozen years ago.
â€œI recently was going to do a movie, a sweet part,â€ Silverman said on a recent podcast. â€œThen, at 11 p.m. the night before, they fired me because they saw a picture of me in blackface from that episode.â€
The Comedy Central sketch lampooned a well-intentioned liberal who stupidly wore blackface to better empathize with African Americans.
â€œI was doing an episode about race,â€ she explained. â€œIt was like, Iâ€™m playing a character, and I know this is wrong, so I can say it. Iâ€™m clearly liberal. That was such liberal-bubble stuff, where I actually thought it was dealing with racism by using racism.â€
Silverman may have lost a movie role, but at least she still has a career. Not everyone targeted by the â€œcancel cultureâ€ has been so lucky. Just look at Roseanne Barr, who was fired from her TV show for a bad tweet.
No one is immune from the Cancel Culture
All comedians are watching their backs these days. Kevin Hart was fired as an Oscars host because of decade-old jokes, and Aziz Ansari spent a year in professional hiding after a date gone wrong got him lumped in with the #MeToo backlash.
Silverman now regrets the blackface skit but fears more fallout. â€œI think itâ€™s really scary and itâ€™s a very odd thing that itâ€™s invaded the left primarily and the right will mimic it.â€
She didnâ€™t have to wait long for conservatives to join cancel culture.
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A trailer for upcoming film â€œThe Huntâ€ was released online and controversy followed. The horror film shows wealthy liberal elites hunting a ragtag group of red-state â€œdeplorablesâ€ before the backwoods heroes start fighting back.
Despite its portrayal of rural conservatives taking down villainous progressives, several right-wing media stars were outraged.
Even the president joined the backlash. â€œLiberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and Hate!â€ Trump said on Twitter. â€œThey like to call themselves â€˜Elite,â€™ but they are not Elite. In fact, it is often the people that they so strongly oppose that are actually the Elite. The movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos.â€
The movie didnâ€™t seem to deal with race one way or the other, but the studio took the hint. Within a day, they pulled the film.
Cancel culture is spreading for one simple reason: it works. Instead of debating ideas or competing for entertainment dollars, you can just demand anyone who annoys you to be cast out of polite society.
Way back in the mists of time, say five years ago, if you didnâ€™t like a TV show or movie, you wouldnâ€™t watch it. Now you can ensure that no one watches it, just by slinging some outrage on social media.
Our woke mentality is Americaâ€™s new Puritanism. Instead of a handy list of sins written thousands of years ago, modern sins are ever-changing. A joke that was deemed progressive a decade ago is retroactively condemned as hate speech.
â€œIf you say the wrong thing,â€ Silverman said, â€œeveryone is, like, throwing the first stone. Itâ€™s a perversion. Itâ€™s really, â€˜Look how righteous I am and now Iâ€™m going to press refresh all day long to see how many likes I get in my righteousness.â€™ â€
When the mob has burned one witch, they tighten the buckles on their hats and pore through old YouTube videos for their next victim.
Itâ€™s time for the perpetually offended on the left and right to bring back two concepts the Puritans were at least familiar with: grace and forgiveness.
31 Jul 2019
Katherine Timpf, in NR,
RTWT has our daily dose of liberal insanity.
A councilman in Seattle is reportedly opposed to hosing sidewalks that reek of excrement near a local courthouse because he fears that it might be racially insensitive.
No, this is not a joke.
The area surrounding King County Superior Court includes a homeless shelter and other social-services organizations and has become an â€œunsanitary and potentially frighteningâ€ scene â€” one â€œthat reeks of urine and excrementâ€ â€” according to an article in the Seattle Times. Desperate for help with the disgusting environment, two of the courtâ€™s judges have asked the city to please power-wash the poop-covered sidewalks. That seems like a pretty reasonable request, but apparently, one councilman is worried that doing so might be a form of microaggression.
According to the Times, Councilmember Larry Gossett â€œsaid he didnâ€™t like the idea of power-washing the sidewalks because it brought back images of the use of hoses against civil-rights activists.â€
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