Don’t Eat the Bugs

Don’t Eat the Bugs – Quadrant

You may have noticed that today’s progressive activist, busily toiling away at the latest cause, has something like an allergy to merriment. This lack of chirpiness, as Noah Rothman persuasively explains in ‘The Rise of the New Puritans’, is a mark of pious commitment to the tasks still to do: remaking our entire social, political and cultural order.

Read this review at Quadrant

The Sanguinary Daydreams of Trans Activists

The Sanguinary Daydreams of Trans Activists – MercatorNet

I am delighted to inform you that the Greens are in turmoil. For the last few months, various members have been trading verbal blows and bunging around legal threats all because of — come on, what else? — serious accusations of transphobia.

Read this essay at MercatorNet

The Cis-Hetero-Patriarchy Strikes Back

The Cis-Hetero-Patriarchy Strikes Back – Quadrant

Every time a so-called gender squabble assaults the news, I’m reminded that it could very well present a tremendous learning opportunity. For example, there has been a recent tussle over whether the nightmarish term ‘birthing parent’ is preferable to the more well known and civilisationally sustaining ‘mother’. It’s clarifying, right? Based on their choices, one can easily identify the well adjusted with a sense of biology and reality. And then there’s the rest: those unembarrassed to be thought of as insane.

For context, Sall Grover, a new mother, recently tweeted her annoyance with a Medicare form requiring her signature under the aforementioned category of ‘birthing parent’. For more context, such a term is even disputed among the gender warriors in their institutional redoubts. ABC Everydayreliably up to date with the latest stupidities, has often replaced the word ‘women’ with the allegedly more inclusive moniker ‘vulva-owners’. The academy, where all this nonsense got underway, likes the less than melodious ‘gestational individual’, as the asylum patients at ANU’s Gender Institute recommend.

Read this essay at Quadrant

A Tentative Cheer for the Sydney Festival

A Tentative Cheer for the Sydney Festival – Quadrant

Quadrant readers, I should hope, will be unbothered by Tom Ballard’s absence from the Sydney Festival, as the humourless comedian, at the urging of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, has decided not to participate.

As I write, the list of withdrawals, 30 at last count, is sure to get longer and longer. At what I imagine would be the panel discussion from hell, Yumi Stynes, Julia Banks and Louise Milligan were scheduled to bang on about the patriarchy and related themes until Stynes, also in solidarity with Palestine, pulled out. Again, for my readers, this may be the cause of amused cheer rather than annoyance.

That said, there is much in this campaign that we should find bothersome: the rebarbative manner in which it has been conducted, the pathetic non-effort by some in the media to question its claims, and what it all may foretoken for the cultural life of the country.

Read this essay at Quadrant

Ha Ha Ha to Sydney’s Twitter Mob

Ha Ha Ha to Sydney’s Twitter Mob – MercatorNet

My readers at MercatorNet, I suspect, are happily unfamiliar with the hip-hop tunes of Barkaa, the purported comedy of Nazeem Hussain, and whatever Yumi Stynes thinks of the pressing issues of the day.

Attendees at the Sydney Festival, which kicks off this week, are now similarly deprived: these artists and public figures, along with a few noisy others, have decided to boycott the event. As the organisers hastily edit the program lineup, activists and troublemakers are sniping at those yet to withdraw, and ticket-holders have been urged, lest they wander over to the wrong side of history, to request a refund.

A few readers, I also suspect, will be able to guess the reason for this kerfuffle, and you have until the end of this paragraph to consider your answers. Covid hysteria is a contender, sure. Insufficient commitment to diversity seems more likely, as there isn’t a non-binary disabled person of colour panelist anywhere to be seen. A common cause of grumpiness at these types of events is the presence of the wrong sort of speaker, so you may wonder if a conservative or right-minded thinker has been smuggled into the lineup.

Give up? Well, dear reader, there is but a single item on the bill of complaint, and well done to those who guessed correctly. Yes, it’s Israel.

Read this essay at MercatorNet

Do Race Academics Matter?

Do Race Academics Matter – Quadrant

Brittney Cooper, a Professor of Gender and Africana Studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey, recently introduced herself via podcast to an audience much greater than your usual academic conference. The conversation topic, one that is always a bit short on cheer, was the depravity of white people, whom she described as “villains”. Her preferred method of dealing with these antagonists, and she expressed this with a good deal of vim, was “to take these motherf***ers out”. She sadly acknowledged the logistical constraints of this approach, but became noticeably chirpier when relaying the declining rates of white births in America, largely due, I understand, to poverty, addiction and other social maladies.

If Professor Cooper would like to shake off her lingering reticence towards the violent extirpation of whites, she should listen to the insights of Dr Aruna Khilanani, a psychiatrist recently invited to give a lecture at Yale University’s Child Study Center. The title of her speech, which handily calls for little elucidation, was “The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind”. It’s difficult to select a favourite quote, but I would go with this one: “I had fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their body, and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step.”

I imagine that both of these ladies would get along chummily with Professor Ekow N. Yankah, best known for his New York Times column titled “Can My Children Be Friends With White People?” (The answer, though I know you don’t really have to ask, is no.)

These examples, and please throw in any of your own, demonstrate the moral imbecility that results from a mixture of academic credentials and race obsession.

Read this essay at Quadrant

Two Cheers for the Melbourne Queer Film Festival

Two Cheers for the Melbourne Queer Film Festival – MercatorNet

The Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF), I suspect, is not an event to which many MercatorNet readers have rushed to secure tickets. This fixture on the LGBT-etc calendar, squeezed in between Carols by Queerlight (self-explanatory) and Southern HiBearnation (no, Google that one yourself) offers attendees two weeks of cinematic merry-making, or so I’d been led to believe.

The theme of this year’s event, I’m sorry to report, is frequent sniping and a decided lack of chirpiness, and I see little prospect of renewed cheer occurring before closing night.

The trouble began with the inclusion in the lineup of Adam Kalderon’s film The Swimmer, a story about a gay Olympics prospect, the institutional discrimination he faces, and his struggle for self-acceptance. Topical and important issues, the reviewers would say. The film also features, I have been reliably informed, lingering close-ups of strapping young fellows in Speedos. For many viewers, that all sounds like a jolly night at the cinema, so one could be excused for wondering what all the bloody fuss is about.

Read this essay at MercatorNet

Minding your Language at Monash

Minding your Language at Monash – Quadrant

Pronouns are not everyone’s idea of a good time, and this is especially true of Bonnie Logan, a 23-year-old law student at Monash University. Last week, The Age drew its readers’ attention to the terrible hardship Logan has undergone while doing her pre-tutorial readings: repeated and unrelenting encounters with he and him.

Despite the fact that such pronouns are intended to be gender neutral, and such a reminder is helpfully included next to an asterisk, young Bonnie, a sensitive plant, has found it all too intolerable. To use her exact words, the whole experience with these masculine pronouns has been “deflating and disempowering.”

Read this essay at Quadrant

Young, Woke and in Need of Competition

Young, Woke and in Need of Competition – Quadrant

The trusty algorithm over at job-seeker site SEEK has recommended that I apply for the Social Justice Reporter position with Junkee Media, and I’m wondering if I should dash off a CV. The job advertisement informs me that

Junkees funny, smart, ballsy, and interesting take on news, film, politics, TV, and more has seen it develop a strong following. Junkee has a fresh take and unique attitude, and in just a few years has established itself as one of the most interesting new voices in Australian media.

There is sure to be a large pool of eager applicants, but I know how to distinguish myself. I would hasten to note that the use of gendered language like ballsy is very problematic and offensive to the trans community. As an ally, I am committed to dismantling — ah, what do the kids call it? Oh, yes — the cis-heteronormative patriarchy.

As you can see, I am well versed in the vocabulary of social justice nonsense, and I shall bang on like this in my cover letter. If I include “calling people racist” in my list of hobbies, I’ll get an interview, right?

Read this essay at Quadrant

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