Thursday, 8 February 2018

'Peoplekind': they couldn't agree more

Everyone has been mocking Justin Trudeau for interrupting a young woman at an event in Edmonton by telling her to say 'peoplekind' rather than 'mankind'. He's trying to get out of this spot of bother by claiming his comment was a joke. Fine, let's say it was a joke. Donald Trump says lots of jokes that people get all upset about because they misunderstand his sense of humour. However, the big difference here is that the young woman herself was very happy with Trudeau's correction, as were all the young people surrounding her. They cheered! They clapped! They thanked him! Arguably, Trudeau could have resorted to interrupting the young woman because her question was so long-winded and had by then veered into nutcase territory, with her claim that: 'maternal love is the love that's going to change the future of mankind.' And Trudeau might have been intent, also, on avoiding or delaying having to answer the question, which was about restrictions against religious organisations - and that would have been a good question. But the organisation the young woman was speaking for is crackpot in itself. It calls itself the World Mission Society Church of God and aims to be 'Spreading the love of the Mother' i.e. God the Mother ( It claims that the plural 'Elohim' in the Old Testament refers to God as Father and Mother. It proclaims the new name of Jesus, necessary for salvation, as Christ Ahnsahnghong, with reference, apparently, to someone in South Korea who founded the church in 1964. In short, it's full of heresies. As the video clip shows, the young missionary advocates of this church are fully on board with Trudeau's woke agenda in terms of eradicating maleness. That is a far more disturbing snapshot of Canada at the moment that any of the stupidities Trudeau regularly utters.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Misgendering and authority

A local incident here in Oxford has caught the attention of the world. Joshua Sutcliffe, a maths teacher at the state secondary school just down the road, has been suspended and faces disciplinary action for 'misgendering' a pupil - a 'student', as they are now called, apparently. Calling schoolchildren 'students' as if they were at University and of majority age confuses the fact that they are still minors. This is not a trivial point, in context. For essentially, the context is one of authority. Here we have a biologically female minor who is offended by being referred to as a girl by a teacher ("Well done, girls!", as the poor chap merely said) and this turns into a parental complaint several weeks later. The minor is then given the authority by the school's action on the complaint to utterly rule over the teacher, a responsible adult, who should by the nature of his position be in authority over the minor. This is a very strange state of affairs. The case has made waves, yet the reality is that it's  only a small manifestation of a rampaging problem: the destabilising effect the push for transgender children is already causing, and will increasingly cause, to the social fabric. How about we regain some sense and proportion by using this simple method: minors, school-children, those who are not yet legally adult and who participate in whatever way in primary and secondary level education, do not get to dictate to adults on the subject of their sexual identity. That's it. And here's why: for one thing, it's unfair to the teachers, who have too many social engineering burdens to deal with already. For another, it's just rude. Kids are not entitled to boss grown-ups around, let alone get them disciplined or possibly fired for not blinding themselves to the scientific reality of sex differentiation. Once out of school, at university, in work: knock yourselves out. Until then, where adults and children interact on daily basis, where the rational education of minors is at stake, the adults are in charge. If parents rebel against this they can educate their children at home and stop tripping up the teachers who are trying to do their best for all the pupils in their care.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Are you Charlie?

The response from French weekly magazine "Charlie Hebdo" to hurricane Harvey's devastation in Houston and elsewhere in Texas: a cover, portraying a bunch of Nazi flags and saluting hands going down in the flood, with the caption: "God exists! He has drowned all the neo nazis of Texas!" Sweet.  Last week the magazine published this cover in response to the murderous attack in Barcelona.
The caption reads: "Islam, religion of peace...eternal" a pun on 'peace eternal' as a way of referring to the after-life. This got them into all sorts of trouble for daring to equate the actions of the jihadis with their avowed motive i.e. Islam's call to jihad against infidels (us) and hypocrites (insufficiently Islamic muslims). They got into trouble for making fun of the truth about the perpetrators. The Texas cover, on the other hand, is an outright slur. And it's a slur against the victims of a natural disaster. Worse, it's a rejoicing over the deaths of the victims of a natural disaster, with a damnable slur thrown on top of it. I wonder if that's the kind of joy the magazine describes itself as having on its website. "Charlie Hebdo", it tells us, is a magazine that is "satirical, secular, political and joyous". But then , in English, it also says it is "a punch in the face" and "an angry magazine"; that life is too short to not be "laughing it up a storm", because "very nearly everything" is "ridiculous", "absurd or preposterous". Well, I'm going to stick my neck out here and say "Charlie Hebdo", shame on you for not sticking to your own motives. There is nothing satirical, secular, political and certainly nothing joyous about the Texas cover because there is no truth in it. And there has to be at least a drop of truth in a provocative stance to make it interesting.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

"Bake Off" on Channel 4

There's much to worry about in the world at the moment, so what better object to focus on than a baking show? The big move of "The Great British Bake Off" from the state-run, advertisement-free, BBC to commercial Channel 4 has finally materialised, with the first episode of the new series broadcast last night. A lot of fans took to social media to express their views on the added 15 minutes or so of commercials, viewing this development as either a good or a bad one. Good because it allows for tea/wine/cake breaks, or bad because it interrupts the flow of the show. I care more about the change in staff. Three out the four original presenters didn't make the move to Channel 4: baking judge Mary Berry, and the comedy duo of Mel and Sue as the jolly compères. They have been replaced with Prue Leith as judge, and an ill-assorted twosome of Sandi Toksvig and someone called Noel Fielding as the supposedly comic relief. Who - or indeed what - Fielding is I couldn't tell you. Transgender? Just a man who likes to wear weird clothes and lots of make-up? He is apparently a comedian, but is so tall and lugubrious, as well as strange looking, I had to check the impulse to hide behind a sofa every time he sloped onto the screen. He and Toksvig had no discernible chemistry. They both have unpleasant voices, and further grate on aesthetic sensibilities by being visual opposites (tall, thin, dark vs short, dumpy, blonde). There is no way of satisfyingly framing them in a screen shot. Neither seems remotely interested in baking. Channel 4 are perhaps trying to reel in a younger audience with this Fielding fellow (?). I have no idea who Toksvig's audience might be. She is a well-known 'out' lesbian, so maybe the thinking behind the new line-up is simply one of Political Correctness. (Of course Sue was also a well-known lesbian, but she and best-friend Mel balanced each other out very sweetly.) This is Channel 4, after all, and it would hardly be surprising if their take on the Great British Family Show was to make an in-your-face PC point from the start. One of the very first of the twelve bakers to be introduced last night was a female contestant who said that the sight of the famous tent had made her all giddy (or something), just like at her wedding. Then after a well-timed pause: 'Except that my wife isn't here". Well, that's us told. Of Prue Leith, all I can remember is heavy-framed dark glasses. She and her fellow-judge, BBC original Paul Hollywood, had no chemistry either.  I mean, come on, baking is all about chemistry! The cakes were pretty amazing, especially for a series opener. It would be a Great Shame if the series continued as it started last night, by undermining the talented contestants with dud presenters.  

Monday, 31 July 2017

Not Greening but burning

Wouldn't it be nice if Justine Greening, UK Secretary of State for Education, lived up to her name and sought to implement measures promoting natural wholesomeness? But no. Her proposal to bypass the gender dysphoria diagnosis and allow people to officially choose their gender merely on their own say-so is anything but natural and wholesome. It is a further assault on the basic facts of society and civilisation, as well as an assault on sanity, particularly on the well-being of children and young people. It is like wanting to make things easier for one or two smaller or overshadowed trees by burning down the rest of the forest around them. We know the Conservative party is no longer conservative. This announcement by Greening of a reform to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act to overthrow objective reality is so anarchic and destructive I can't think what it should be called. Peter Hitchens had a good line on this in yesterday's Mail on Sunday:
Let's change the Tories name - to Doris
I suspect the whole ‘Trans’ issue has been cooked up so that nobody can ever say anything about it (including here) without being somehow in the wrong, and open to attack by the Thought Police. Now that there’s no more mileage in homosexuality, it’s the best way of making conservatives look like bigots.
But those of you who have clung to the Tory Party through thick and thin must have wondered a bit last week when it endorsed the idea that anyone can be whatever sex, sorry ‘gender’, that they want to be.
Here’s the simple explanation. The Tory Party itself has changed sex, from Right to Left. It is a ‘Trans’ party. I’m puzzled that it has yet to change its name. How about ‘Doris’? And it now feels free to come out. Yet still you vote for it.
This is the best tactic if, as Mark Twain apparently said, 'Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand'. Maybe we can laugh this scorched-earth proposal out of existence. There has to come a point when turning basic, healthy reality on its head becomes too absurd and we can no longer go along with it for the sake of the feelings of a tiny minority. Tiny minorities are to be loved and cared for within the realm of sanity, not to be used as a flaming torch on the very structures which allow them to exist in the first place. 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Doctor Who cares? and female women

People seem interested in "Doctor Who". Certainly it gets a lot of publicity, year in year out. I've lived in the UK for a total of about 23 years without ever not hearing about it - but without ever watching it either. So basically I don't care. "The Week" describes "Doctor Who" as "a children's show that has only five million viewers". Yet the promotion for the upcoming series has been particularly unavoidable, to the point of being irritatingly sneaked into the Wimbledon coverage by the BBC (who make the show). And why the fuss? Because the new, 13th actor to play the title character is not an actor but, for the first time, an actress. Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of adults fans. They don't like the evermore PC direction the series has been taking, and who (so to speak) can blame them. Cue also the cover-clogs commentators who make out those dissenting fans to be knuckle-draggers. This tweet in particular, from the singer Mark Hoppus (I'd never heard of him - is that bad?) was taken as representative of the counter-backlash against the traditionalists: 

However, anyone inclined to see it as a slam-dunk should think again. Female doctors, pilots, scientists we already have. I don't hear anyone clamouring for more women in the dirty, dangerous, depressing jobs that only men do (as many others have pointed out (e.g. "Independent Man' and which keep us all in the comfort, cleanliness, security and satiety we've come to expect. A hollow argument. The next part of the tweet is already a non-argument. I have seen an article in 'The Times' which I could swear pointedly referred to sisters as 'siblings' to avoid gendering them. I didn't keep a record of the article, unfortunately, but no doubt there will be other instances of such neutering. In the meantime, we have pushes to make the word 'mother' disappear from birth certificates and presumably other official documents. We have the new concept that it's not only women who give birth: transgender 'men' do also. That is to say, women who identify as men, while retaining their female reproductive organs or retaining them long enough to give birth then having them removed. We have the now firmly entrenched concept that a man who says he's a woman is as much a woman as a 'cis' woman. Woe betide anyone who questions this malarkey, as once-fêted feminists have found out. The time when a woman needs to be specified as female is upon us. This recent piece in The Huffington Post is a good example. Look at the picture (trigger warning: menstrual blood).
Read the 'poem' that accompanies the picture. By all means have compassion for the predicament of the person who wrote it, angry, confused, clearly trapped in a hell-pit of rebellion. But also consider that this person is a communicator on the subject (new to me) of 'menstrual health'. The 'What next?' in the Hoppus tweet is not clever-clever. It's already out of date.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

O.J.Simpson again

He's in the news again, for being granted parole nine years into a thirty-three year sentence for a robbery attempt in Las Vegas in 2007. Naturally, the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her young friend Ron Goldman in 1994 get mentioned in reports or discussions of this latest chapter in Simpson's life. Those murders were gruesome and ferociously violent, impossible to forget. Simpson's criminal trial for the murders - the 'trial of the century' - resulted in a 1995 'not guilty' verdict which was infamously celebrated on one side of the racial divide and deplored on the other.  Simpson was deemed liable for the deaths in a 1997 civil trial, however, and ordered to pay over $30 million in reparation to the bereaved families - as a matter of principle (the money has not yet materialised and presumably never will).  It remains that, criminally speaking, the murders are considered to be 'case closed'. Simpson obtained custody of his two children with Nicole, and off he went on his not-merry way, a hero to some, a disgrace to most. The striking thing to me about any mention of Simpson since then is how it is taken for granted he committed those murders. It's as if it would be heresy to accept the 'not guilty' verdict. Yes, I know, there was a huge amount of racial tension in L.A. at the time, and the trial became a political hot potato. But it's also true that the prosecution bungled its case, quite spectacularly. It's arguable, furthermore, that the evidence was not entirely convincing. The murder weapon was never found, for example. And as I wrote previously on this blog ("O.J. Simpson: too dim to do it?") there was a remarkable lack of blood connected to Simpson. Or rather, an unremarked-upon lack of blood. That the blood evidence was spelled out in mere drops, in a crime of such sheer bloodiness, is bizarre at best. From a psychological point of view, I've never understood why it's assumed, as if it went without saying, that a man who pleads 'no contest' to spousal abuse (as he did in 1989) can go on to butcher two people in what must have been a frenzy of rage. One does not seamlessly lead to the other. If it did, wouldn't the criminal landscape be very different? Previous to the murders, a volatile marriage with incidents of physical abuse; after the murders, an idiotic attempt to recover sports memorabilia. In the middle of these two relatively low-grade transgressions we are to believe without question that a man leaped into the monstrous crime category for about ten minutes then came out of it again with enough composure to finish his packing and fly off to Chicago. And this from someone who based his whole life and career(s) on being a 'pleaser', someone who courted approval from the dominant culture at all times. Even his eligibility for parole came up because he behaved as a model prisoner. Of course he did. There is a narrative that does see O.J. Simpson as innocent, and his son from his first marriage as the potential culprit. ( Simpson did not help his own cause by penning an unpublished book entitled If I Did It, apparently featuring an imaginary person named Charlie and a convenient blackout when the murders occurred. One way or another I'm not arguing for Simpson's guilt or innocence, simply saying that on several levels the assumption of his unquestioned guilt is problematic.