Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sheeeheeiit, man!

Looks like academia is "recommending" a further cleansing of the language.  Donna Braquet, the University of Tennessee's Pride Center Director,   requested that teachers, rather than calling roll, will instead ask each student to provide the name and pronoun he or she -- or ze -- wishes to be referred by. She says it relieves a burden for people expressing different genders or identities.

"Braquet said if students and faculty cannot use pronouns such as ze, hir, hirs, xe, xem or xyr, they can also politely ask."

Thanks, Donna.  We're glad that the umpteenth Center for Whatever is earning its keep.  

What the culture barons of academia haven't noticed is that amongst the unwashed, a gender neutral pronoun has already evolved: "they". Nobody wanted to keep flogging the unwieldy "he or she" qualifier, so in conversation, most folks use "they", somewhat in the way that the French have a gender/number-free pronoun: "on". Unfortunately, our Jacobin betters prefer to prescribe rather than describe. But that's the point, they like to make regal pronouncements.

This is no different than the Montagnards who wanted to start the world all over with a new calender, "Thermidor", "Fructidor", and all that. 

Dr. Johnson found such prescriptive attempts to be in vain


"When we see men grow old and die at a certain time one after another, from century to century, we laugh at the elixir that promises to prolong life to a thousand years; and with equal justice may the lexicographer be derided, who being able to produce no example of a nation that has preserved their words and phrases from mutability, shall imagine that his dictionary can embalm his language, and secure it from corruption and decay, that it is in his power to change sublunary nature, and clear the world at once from folly, vanity, and affectation.
With this hope, however, academies have been instituted, to guard the avenues of their languages, to retain fugitives, and repulse intruders; but their vigilance and activity have hitherto been vain; sounds are too volatile and subtile for legal restraints; to enchain syllables, and to lash the wind, are equally the undertakings of pride, unwilling to measure its desires by its strength. The French language has visibly changed under the inspection of the academy; the stile of Amelot's translation of Father Paul is observed, by Le Courayer to be un peu passé; and no Italian will maintain that the diction of any modern writer is not perceptibly different from that of Boccace, Machiavel, or Caro."
-Preface to A Dictionary of the English Language"

Johnson scoffs at the idea that it is in the power of the academy to render the language in its image, whether to freeze it in time or render the tongue of the commoners to its tastes and preoccupations. Whatever changes happen to American English will not be due to some nanny busybody.

Suggestion to Donna: We could try another gender-inclusive word: "OK, class, repeat after me.  'SheeHeeIt'!"




Tuesday, August 4, 2015

transgender triumphs over feminism

With all the press surrounding Ronda Rousey, it’s a good time to bring up a persistent would-be challenger whom Jezebel says Rousey is dodging. 
Say hi to Fallon Fox, the transgender MMA starlet:



Fallon responds to Ronda’s claim that such a fight would be unfair:

Fallon Fox is a women’s featherweight MMA fighter with a 5-1 record. The first openly transgender athlete in MMA history, she has been the target of vitriol from many prominent MMA figures, including the UFC’s president Dana White and women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Both White and Rousey have publicly insisted that Fox will never fight in the UFC women’s division. White has said, “I’ll leave it up to the athletic commissions, and the doctors and scientists,” to decide which gender divisions transgender athletes should compete in, but also declared, “I don’t think that somebody who used to be a man and became a woman should be able to fight another woman.” Rousey has said of Fox, “She can try hormones, chop her pecker off, but it’s still the same bone structure a man has. It’s an advantage. I don’t think it’s fair.”

Dana White and Rousey seem to have a problem with someone who had the first thirty years of his life to build up a man’s body, including a stint in special ops in the Navy, before spending that One Night in Bangkok under the scalpel, and identifying himself as a woman.  

What’s really going on here is hardly a fight for “equality”, but a kind of culture ranger spirit (rather than culture warrior) that has as much to do with cyberpunk and transhumanist ideas as anything else.  As Steve Sailer has pointed out, there’s definitely something sci-fi in all this, as  millionaires with previously macho backgrounds colonize femininity.   

Though a lot of people are signing off on the “T” part of the LBGT acronym without really thinking of its implications, there’s plenty who have thought this through, and in the interests of intellectual honesty, they need to own it. 

As many are starting to notice, a lot of “feminism” of the last few years is really about the triumph of masculinity in the feminine world.  Thirty years ago, a lot of feminists would have called this an  “invasion of womyns’ space”.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Voting Rights and Responsibilities

The question as to why our society should take the sale of a six pack more seriously than the franchise is one of those questions I can't get anyone to answer.  Show your ID to the beer barn, but in the name of some nebulous "disparate impact", one doesn't.  It's quite telling that a plastic display of maturity to get loaded is demanded, but the cool sobriety that democracy supposedly demands its "citizens" is some kind of tyranny.

Remember this inspiring image? 
Billions of US tax dollars went to ensuring the integrity of elections in Iraq three years ago.  Such integrity is under attack here. 
You need an ID to get beer, to qualify for EBT, for welfare, for WIC, to drive, for a plethora of cradle to grave social functions.  Why is voting supposed to be an exception to this?


Monday, June 15, 2015

Laugh at Them

Laugh.  Laugh at their absurd rhetorical conundrums.  Laugh at their navel gazing.  Laugh at their inability to enjoy themselves in the moment. Laugh at how the have made themselves ridiculous by doing anything  possible to preserve their sense of smug sanctimoniousness.

Laugh at the bedwetter Salonistas who tie themselves in knots explaining the logical conclusions of their beliefs. Laugh as these two-dollar pundits discover what happens when everything is a "social construct", and try to explain away the silliness of Rachel Dolezal.

Laugh at the Harvard law professor so divorced from the experience of regular people that he writes think pieces about how bowling leagues can lead to fascism.
 
Laugh at how they spill endless ink yougogirling a multimillionaire LA endocrine experiment.

Laugh at how the most privileged people in human history status jockey by calibrating the privilege of others and searching for microagressions that mess with their bubble. Laugh at how they hold hashtag signs to appear persecuted while they will never do anything more than express virtual "solidarity" with the truly persecuted who live thousands of miles away.

Laugh at how they turn college campuses into intellectual gulags.

You have no other outlet than laughing, since they won't debate, but turn into the very prim, humorless Church Lady caricature that they imagine they've overcome.

The Atlantic asks why there are no comedians beyond their circle, and that is because the absurd parade that is the news is its own comedy show. You're just not supposed to provide the laugh track.

 
If you want to laugh, but are afraid to do so because  you consider yourself part of their place on the "ideological spectrum" (one of the foundational rubrics of the Spectacle), console yourself by knowing that you are providing them much needed critique, as they won't critique themselves.  You will surely make them more honest, and their ideas better.  Perhaps they will begin to drift a bit away from identity politics, bedroom issues, congratulating their favorite hip millionaires, and start noticing the Davos world that has replaced the Daddy Warbucks capitalists of old.  Perhaps they'll reclaim the good sense of their forebearers, and notice a hollowed out economy, a continued warfare/welfare state, the same military bases in the usual countries, and the continued destruction of the earth.

And deconstruct, since humor is the oldest deconstruction.  They imagine that they own the techniques of deconstruction, but they got most of theirs from Nietzsche anyway- it is a device that belongs to no one.  They have spent decades tearing down idols, and merely replaced them with their own.