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The year that was

David Thompson offers a whole year’s worth of reasons intelligent, rational people despair of the very concept of “human” “progress” as nothing more than a laughable conceit.

The year began with a tale of oysters and college lesbianism, via Bon Appétit magazine, in which Brooklynite pronoun-stipulator Isha Maratha was keen to overshare. For Ms Maratha, “My first time eating an oyster was an act of queer intimacy.” Indeed, we were told by an obliging editor, “The act of eating an oyster uniquely and intimately expresses her queerness.” And so, we were regaled, at length, with descriptions of mollusc-gobbling, stolen glances, and lemon wedges being squeezed. “There is something uniquely unspoken,” we learned, “between the eater and the eaten.”

We also pondered mass fare-dodging, now at record levels, and its progressive defenders – including those employed to maintain public transport – and whose pre-emptive disapproval of anyone noticing such crimes was remarkable in its vehemence and uniformity. The effects on social trust of a large and growing minority disregarding the law and norms of behaviour, and doing so with a learned impunity, is apparently something one shouldn’t – and mustn’t – register or explore. Because, in the progressive world, noticing habitual and brazen thievery is much worse than indulging in it. And obviously racist.

And we visited the pages of Scientific American, where wokeness is ascendant and thinking simply isn’t done. In particular, an “important analysis” piece in which we were urged – by Tracie Canada, a “socio-cultural anthropologist” at Duke University – to fret about “the violence Black men experience in [American] football,” and in which we were told that the physicality of the sport “disproportionately affects black men.” This was framed to imply, but never establish, some systemic racial wrongdoing – “anti-Black practices” that are “inescapable” – rather than, say, being an unremarkable reflection of the sport’s demographics, in which, at professional levels, black players are a majority. Or to put it another, no less scientific, way – the risk of injury while playing a contact sport disproportionately affects those who actually play it. When this rather glaring logical error was pointed out by readers, the magazine’s editor-in-chief promptly accused said readers of “systemic racism.”

In February, we encountered a suboptimal substitute teacher named Lydia Lamere – formerly Christopher Lamere – who spent lesson time directing students to his overtly sexual TikTok account, and conscripting middle-school children into his cross-dressing psychodrama. When not discussing “kink” and preferred sexual positions with other people’s eleven-year-old children, Mr Lamere found time to tells us, “I’m not a predator, I’m just a woman who happens to be super tall and hot.”

Matters academic cropped up again via an eye-widening overview of racial “equity” policies in various schools and institutions, where expectations of competence are deemed racist and terribly problematic. In New York City, for instance, thanks to “disparate impact” policies, firefighters are no longer expected to be able to read the instructions on their own firefighting equipment. Likewise, in scrupulously progressive Ontario, it is now illegal to use a maths test to determine whether maths teachers actually possess the knowledge that they are being paid to convey in class. Such is the world of triumphant wokeness, in which “suspending proficiency requirements” – and denouncing diligence and competence as “white supremacy,” a wickedness to be shunned – will somehow “benefit” the children on whom these things are imposed.

We also marvelled at a contrived and unconvincing display of forgiveness by Guardian contributor Anna Spargo-Ryan, whose home was invaded in the night by a gang of sociopaths armed with carving knives. It turns out that when being robbed by habitual predators, the progressive thing to do is to sympathise with the creatures breaking into one’s home and driving off with one’s stuff in one’s own car. Ms Spargo-Ryan was hailed by her peers as a “beautiful person” for gushing with pretentious sympathy for her assailants and for wishing to see the burglars spared the normal corrective consequences, presumably so that they might go on to burgle the homes of others, including her neighbours. Which of course they were busy doing. Though it occurs to me that a person breaking into someone’s home in the middle of the night and stealing their possessions is sending a pretty strong signal about how much concern, or how little, the rest of us should have for that person’s wellbeing.

The Pronoun Game, so very much in fashion, cropped up in March, along with a demand that employers accommodate the made-up identities of insufferable narcissists. Even when those made-up identities can change several times a day, with such changes being signalled via colour-coded pronoun bracelets, pronoun earrings, and other pronoun-stipulating accessories. Accessories that all colleagues would be expected to monitor closely, lest “misgendering” ensue, followed by a visit to Human Resources. A scenario that inspired the question of exactly how much farce in the workplace might be considered excessive.

Thanks to Oxford University’s Department of Biology, we beheld some ostentatious fretting about the “numerous negative consequences” of obscure Latin names that almost no-one knows about. According to Assistant Professor of Conservation Science Ricardo Rocha, some “1,565 species of bird, reptiles, amphibians and mammals” are named after “white, male Europeans from the 19th and 20th centuries,” which is apparently a very bad thing. What with all that whiteness and maleness, you see. This legacy of legwork and exploration is, we’re to believe, oppressing the people of Zimbabwe and Botswana, for whom the Latin textbook names of lizards and beetles are foremost in their minds. We were also assured that would-be botanists and biologists are in some way being psychologically injured by the existence of this Latin taxonomy, and by the fact that much of the “flora of New Caledonia” is “named after a man.”

Read on for the rest of it, there’s lots more yet to come, alas.

3 thoughts on “The year that was

  1. It’s a Chinese Communist-driven takeover – internal subversion at its worst – and the captured institutions must be destroyed and figuratively burnt to ashes, and new ones rebuilt in their places, with means in place to deter and stop entryist attack:

    “Good Trotsky-style entryists that they are, woke activists, knowing that they would be defeated in free elections and in open public debates, have sought to infiltrate institutions to control key chokepoints or gateways, which empower them to be gatekeepers.
    Today, unlike a generation ago, young Americans typically must pass through three gateways, in order to be economically successful. They must obtain college diplomas; they must join professional accrediting organizations; and they must be able to do business via platforms in the marketplace.
    The American Medical Association was founded in 1847, and the American Bar Association in 1878. Colleges and universities assumed their present form only in the late 19th and 20th centuries, and as recently as 1960 only about 10% of American men and around 6% of American women had bachelor’s degrees or higher.
    Of the three kinds of gateway—the professional, the academic, and the platform—the third is the newest, a product of the early 21st century. As one writer recently put it, “the Woke is a vanguard movement that seized control of a new technology and used it as a force multiplier to discipline and terrorize the larger institutional landscape.”
    Waiting for people at each gateway, like trolls under a bridge in a fairy tale, are woke leftists, who demand that they recite the in-group passwords before they are allowed to pass through the gates. What makes these gateways particularly vulnerable to capture by disciplined, zealous entryists in the United States is the fact that they are mostly private and unregulated. America’s most prestigious universities are private, and they set the standards for other universities in the country, both private and public. Whether private or public, all American universities are accredited by private, nonprofit accrediting agencies and not by America’s federal or state governments.
    But most traditional corporations either face rivals in competitive markets, or, if they are natural monopolies, are subject to regulation and government oversight. In contrast, platforms like Facebook, Amazon, and PayPal, along with search engines like Google, are near-monopolies in whole sectors of the economy, and yet have won the right not to be regulated by federal, state, or local governments. As a result, they can “deplatform” people, including the president of the United States, at will—and those who have been deplatformed, canceled, or otherwise disappeared from the marketplace or the public realm have little recourse, except to a rubber-stamp board appointed by the platform’s executives, on the basis of “rules of service” that the corporate managers and their puppets make up and can change at any time. This combination of exemption from regulation with legal impunity would have been unthinkable in the age of AT&T and the three broadcast networks, before the rise of the tech sector at the end of the 20th century.
    No wonder that woke entryists prefer worming their way into immense, centralized quasi-monopolies and oligopolies in the private sector instead of trying to capture the government by persuading voters and winning in thousands of elections at all levels.” https://rclutz.com/2022/10/29/woke-gatekeepers-the-problem/

    1
    1. See also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSmPc6uzc4g – Communists have to get inside institutions to subvert and transform them. Getting into them requires tactics. The name for these tactics is entryism, and it describes how a hostile ideological force goes about getting inside an institution that wouldn’t normally accept it.”

      1
    2. “It’s a Chinese Communist-driven takeover…”

      The CCP owns 95+% of the DC cabal in congress and 100% of the illegals in the White House. And probably 90+% of the entire federal govt bureaucracy.

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