Saturday, June 13, 2015
The Pecking Disorder: Social Justice Warriors Gone Wild | Observer: "At the core of social justice dogma is fixation on identity and “privilege.” Some of this discourse touches on real and clear inequities: for instance, the widespread tendency of police and others to treat African-Americans, especially young and male, as potential lawbreakers. Yet even here, the rhetoric of privilege generates far more heat than light. University of California-Merced sociologist Tanya Bolash-Goza, who accepts the social justice left’s view of pervasive structural racism in America, points out that the term “white privilege” turns what should be the norm for all—not being harassed by cops or eyed suspiciously by shop owners—into a special advantage unfairly enjoyed by whites. (Indeed, in its dictionary meaning, “privilege” refers to rights or benefits possessed by the select, not by the majority.) This language speaks not to black betterment but to white guilt. It also erases the fact that the “privilege” extends to many non-white groups, such as Asians.
Privilege rhetoric offers an absurdly simplistic view of complex social dynamics. A widely cited essay by pro-“social justice” sci-fi writer John Scalzi seeks to explain privilege to geeks by arguing that being a straight white male is akin to playing a videogame on “the lowest difficulty setting.” Does the white son of a poor single mother have it easier than the daughter of a wealthy black couple? As a minor afterthought, Scalzi mentions that “players” in other groups may be better off if they start with more “points” in areas such as wealth. But generally, the “social justice” left strenuously avoids the issue of socioeconomic background, which, despite upward mobility, is surely the most tangible and entrenched form of actual privilege in modern American society. Rather, the focus is on racial, sexual, and cultural identities...
While social justice discourse embraces “intersectionality”—the understanding that different forms of social advantage and disadvantage interact with each other—this virtually never works in favor of the “privileged.” Thus, intersectionality may mean recognizing that disabled battered women suffer from both sexism and “ableism.” Recognizing that disabled men may be at greater risk for spousal abuse because disability reverses the usual male advantage in strength? Not so much. To acknowledge advantages enjoyed by the “oppressed”—for instance, gender bias favoring female defendants in criminal cases or mothers in custody suits—is pure heresy. The only moral dilemma is which oppressed identity trumps which: race or gender, sexuality or religion...
The practical effects of such “social justice” ideology be seen in the communities where it flourishes (mainly on college campuses and online). It is a reverse caste system in which a person’s status and worth depends entirely on their perceived oppression and disadvantage. The nuances of rank can be as rigid as in the most oppressively hierarchical traditional society. A white woman upset by an insulting comment from a white man qualifies for sympathy and support; a white woman distraught at being ripped to shreds by a “woman of color” for an apparent racial faux pas can be ridiculed for “white girl tears.” However, if she turns out to be a rape victim, the mockery probably crosses a line. On the other hand, a straight white male trashed by an online mob for some vague offenses deemed misogynist and racist can invite more vitriol by revealing that he is a sexual abuse survivor suffering from post-traumatic stress...
Working to correct inequities is a noble goal—which explains the appeal of the “social justice” movement to many fair-minded people. But the movement in its current form is not about that. It elevates an extreme and polarizing version of identity politics in which individuals are little more than the sum of their labels. It encourages wallowing in anger and guilt. It promotes intolerance and the politicization of everything. It must be stopped—not only for the sake of freedom, but for the sake of a kinder, fairer society."
Student, parents want college to ban 'Sandman,' 'Persepolis,' more - Robot 6 @ Comic Book ResourcesRobot 6 @ Comic Book Resources: "College student Tara Shultz is the latest in a long line of people to be shocked to find that Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir about growing up during the Iranian revolution, contains violence. A 20-year-old attending Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, California, was so dismayed by the graphic content in four of the graphic novels required by her English 250 course — official description: “the study of the graphic novel as a viable medium of literature through readings, in-class discussion and analytical assignments” — that she and her parents are seeking to have them banned by the administration. In addition to Persepolis, Shultz took exception to Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, the first volume of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man, and Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg & Co.’s The Sandman: The Doll’s House, due to the depictions of sex, violence and “obscenities.”"
Because 2 years later 'victims' advocate' friends told the woman she was assaulted. Because men are always evil, all the time. Through the looking class on this one. America in 2015. I blame the patriarchy, obviously.
Amherst Student Was Expelled for Rape. But He Was Raped, Evidence Shows. - Hit & Run : Reason.com: "Amherst College expelled a male student who was accused of sexually assaulting a female student while he was blacked out. Again, while he was blacked out. The woman he allegedly assaulted was fully lucid. How did that happen? It didn’t. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the male student did nothing wrong. If anyone committed sexual assault during their encounter, it was in fact the female student. The male student, “John Doe,” is suing Amherst...
The Washington Examiner’s Ashe Schow wrote: This is one of the few cases where we have an actually good idea of what happened the night in question. Doe accompanied the accuser (who was Doe's girlfriend's roommate) to her dorm room. The accuser performed oral sex on a blacked out Doe (Johnson notes that even the Amherst hearing found Doe's account of being blacked out "credible"). Doe leaves. The accuser then texted two people: First, a male student she had a crush on — whom she invited over after a heavily flirtatious exchange earlier in the evening. Then, a female friend. The accuser said during her hearing that she only texted one friend to help her handle the assault as she felt "very alone and confused." But her texts with her female friend give no indication of an assault. Rather, the accuser texted her friend "Ohmygod I jus did something so fuckig stupid" [sic throughout]. She then proceeded to fret that she had done something wrong and her roommate would never talk to her again, because "it's pretty obvi I wasn't an innocent bystander." She also complained that the other man, who had come over after the alleged assault, had taken until 5 in the morning to finally have sex with her.
The accuser found herself friendless after the encounter, when her roommate discovered what she had done. Between the encounter with Doe and the accusation — nearly two years later — the accuser developed new friends. And as it happens, these new friends were all "victims' advocates." After making those new friends, long after the incident, she accused John Doe of assaulting her. The adjudication process, as described by Johnson, was a Kafkaesque farce: Despite an accuser who offered borderline non-coherent responses that subtly expanded on her initial story, the panel ultimately accepted her credibility. It ruled that while Doe likely was “blacked out” during the oral sex, “[b]eing intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol is never an excuse.” Since AS [the female] said she withdrew consent at some point during the sexual act, and since Doe couldn’t challenge that recollection, the panel was at least 50.01 percent inclined to believe the accuser’s tale. Keep in mind what happened here. John Doe was with his girlfriend’s roommate when he blacked out. She then performed oral sex on him. She immediately regretted it—not because Doe had done anything wrong, but because she had done something wrong. Yet he was expelled."
Forever Reblog. xkcd: Photos:
Friday, June 12, 2015
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
6/10 - deadlifts, ab wheel
Wisdom and Inspiration from Lew Hollander: "“Life, your length of life, is like a bank account. You can put money in, or you can take it out. You can be in debt and die early and you’ll be miserable. Eat right and exercise and have a full life. That’s money in the bank.”"
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
In Defense of Meat Eaters | Mark's Daily Apple: "Life springs from death, everywhere and always. You cannot live without something dying to make it all possible. Grain heavy vegan diets require the destruction of ecosystems and all their inhabitants; meat heavy Primal diets require the slaughter of a pig or a cow. If you’re going to exist in this world, you have to accept the fact that things will die. Oh, and things won’t just die; they’ll die to ensure your survival. You, me, all of us have blood on our hands. Your pets have blood on their paws. Those pigs rooting around in the dirt have blood on their hooves. When you have a knee-jerk reaction to the reality of death and try to escape it, either by eating a vegan diet or hurling insults at meat-eaters, you risk throwing off the delicate balance of life on this planet. When you remove death from the equation, life simply doesn’t work."
The Vegetarian Myth Book Review | Mark's Daily Apple: "“Let me live without harm to others. Let my life be possible without death.” Keith realizes this vegetarian plea (which “borders on a prayer”) is impossible to fulfill. She can’t live and eat without something dying, and that’s the whole point of it all. Death is necessary and natural. Circle of life, you know? Without death of some sort, life would get a whole lot worse."
More at the link. ZEN PENCILS » 102. TIMOTHY LEARY: You aren’t like them: "Timothy Leary (1920-1996) was a psychologist, author and pioneer of psychedelic drugs. While working as a professor at Harvard, he explored the potential benefits of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. His later experiments with LSD made him a key figure and hero during the counter-culture movement of the 1960s."
Monday, June 08, 2015
The PC Revolution is Eating Its Own, But What Sort of Shit Comes Next? - Hit & Run : Reason.com: "The scandal surrounding the treatment of Northwestern's Laura Kipnis, a feminist professor of journalism who got into hot water for writing about her sexual activity in The Chronicle of Higher Education, has erupted into a full-scale what-the-fuck-is-wrong-with-today's-puritanical-and-easily-offended students fury. Offended students filed a Title IX complaint against Kipnis, charging that her work created a "chilling effect." Investigators found the complaint without merit, a decision widely hailed by anti-PC observers. Even writers at Jezebel, who are often quick to side with PC elements, look at the situation as an example of "feminism devouring itself.""
This sort of acknowledgement by liberals and even many on the harder left may be a long time coming, but it's out there and now creeping into popular culture. Chris Rock doesn't play colleges anymore because of the general offense taken at the mildest jokes and Jerry Seinfeld voices similar misgivings. Bill Maher, an atheist vegan who figuratively skullfucks conservative Republicans on a weekly basis, is protested at Berkeley and articles likening college students to "human veal" are popping up all over the place like support groups for readers traumatized by the auto accidents in The Great Gatsby...
...it's being done by folks such as student groups at Maryland and Michigan who attempted to ban showings of American Sniper on the grounds that it was hate speech against Muslims living in America. It isn't hate speech simply to diminish other people's concerns or to say, for instance, that trigger warnings are stupid and unworkable (even Taub admits the latter point). That's just disagreement, which is supposed to be one of the things universities revel in. With disagreement comes engagement and debate and with that comes, one hopes, newer and better understanding of truth (not with a capital T, mind you, but some incremental progress toward keener understanding of the human condition). The essential move in PC is shutting down discussion, not airing unpopular or marginal points of view."
Jerry Seinfeld: Comedians Say Don’t Go Near Colleges, Political Correctness Hurts Comedy - Hit & Run : Reason.com: "“I don’t play colleges but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges, they’re so pc.’ Hey, I’ll give you an example. My daughter’s 14. My wife says to her, ‘Well, you know, in the next couple of years, I think maybe you’re going to want to hang around the city more on the weekends so you can see boys.’ You know, my daughter says, ‘That’s sexist.’ They just want to use these words. ‘That’s racist. That’s sexist. That’s prejudice.’ They don’t even know what they’re talking about.” When asked by Cowherd if knee-jerk offendedness hurts comedy, Seinfeld responded, “Yes, it does.”
One of the supposed benefits of college is being able to connect with a lot of other smart people, and having the chance to interact with experts, artists, musicians, and policymakers who are invited to speak or participate in events on campus. As a student at the University of Michigan, for instance, I was able to meet several fascinating characters, including ‘60s radical Bill Ayers and lolcats founder Ben Huh. I also chatted with Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson and listened to Rep. Ron Paul give an awesome campaign speech. I didn’t like or agree with all of these people, but the experience was deeply enriching, and that’s the entire point of college. That’s what you’re paying for. How sad, then, that some students’ hostility to new or troubling ideas has comedians (understandably) convinced that campuses aren’t worth their time."