The war is won, go back to your farms and families

Let’s pick an arbitrary moment in history; the OJ Simpson car chase, perhaps. People who are old enough to remember that event are of an age where they will have also witnessed a huge change in society from that time to the present day.

If you were old enough to be aware of the OJ Simpson case in 1994, you’ll also remember how it was still considered a massive problem to be openly gay in many areas of public life.

Some obvious examples:

Freddie Mercury – it wasn’t until just before his death of AIDS in 1992 that his sexuality was publicly acknowledged. 

Liberace – also not publicly acknowledged as being gay until after his death in 1987, despite some fairly obvious clues.

Rock Hudson – same story, died in 1984.

It seems ridiculous now to think that homosexuality would be in any way a bar to career success, particularly in the entertainment industry, in 2019. In addition, most western countries have laws explicitly banning discrimination against someone based on their sexual orientation and recognising same sex marriage as equal in law as that between men and women.

 

Similarly, someone who grew up in  the 1970s and 80s would have seen a large change in the attitudes of the media and the general public towards the acceptability of racism.

Examples from the UK:

The Black and White Minstrel Show – a “light entertainment” show on the BBC featuring singers and dancers in blackface that ran for 20 years until 1978…. and continued on stage in London until 1988.

The Goodies – the Pythonesque comedy show regularly used offensive racial terms in the show, including at least one reference of the “N word”.

Jim Davidson, Bernard Manning, most mainstream TV stand-up comics – many relied heavily on racial stereotypes in their humour. Even the black comedian, Lenny Henry, had a rasta character of which he is probably somewhat embarrassed these days.

 

The same is true with the western societies’ attitudes to women in the workplace. At the highest level of office, many countries have elected female leaders, with New Zealand and the UK having had two (albeit with mixed results). There have been huge shifts in the numbers of women having successful corporate and governmental careers.

On a personal note, the majority of my corporate bosses over the 2nd half of my career have been female, completely the opposite of the previous half.

 

When one considers where we’ve come from to where we have arrived today, the improvements have been overwhelmingly positive. Someone uttering a racist, sexist or homophobic comment in society today would be, rightly, quickly criticised.

Perhaps we have an altogether different problem now……

If I had to give the problem a name, I’d offer something like, “the asymmetry of lobbyists and issues“.

To understand what I mean by this, consider the following thought experiment; 

If you could plot two lines on a graph over time, where one line measures the organisation size (by staff or perhaps revenue) of a campaign group against racism, sexism or homophobia and the other line measures the size of the problem they are campaigning to solve, which directions would each line be traveling?

That is, do you think homophobia is getting better or worse and do you think, say, Stonewall, has become larger or smaller (not to particularly pick on Stonewall)?

Bill’s Opinion

There comes a moment in every war where the combatants must decide whether the fight has been won or lost and what their plans will be as a consequence.

In the example of a “real” war, one fought with bullets and bombs, once it has been won the armies generally begin the process of de-mobilisation, go home to their loved ones and continue with their lives, “turning swords into ploughshares”, as the phrase has it.

It doesn’t seem obvious that anything similar is likely to happen with culture wars such as the ones described above as, obviously, the organisations have been created and are not motivated to dismantle themselves under a banner saying “Mission Accomplished”. 

The alternative is what we see today; scope creep. People who make their salaries from finding a problem and solving a problem will continue to find problems, regardless of whether those problems are material or even real.

 

Ring the bells that still can ring

…forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

The word “hurt” does yeoman’s work in this article in our favourite woke legacy news source.

The national anthem of Australia needs to be amended to reduce the harm the current version is inflicting on certain Australian citizens, apparently.

The good news is only one word of the three verses need be changed; from “we are young” to the proposed “we are one”:

Verse one of the proposed new anthem is the traditional verse with one minimal change – adding the single word “one” to replace the outmoded, and for many Australians the exclusionary and hurtful word, “young”.

There’s quite a lot of accusations being made against what people may have previously thought was an anodyne five letter adjective indicating relative age or maturity.

“Outmoded”, “exclusionary” and “hurtful” to many Australians?

Okaaaaaay.

So, let’s say there’s a nationwide debate on the subject and the conclusion is everyone agrees to drop the “young” bit, acknowledging the Aboriginal population’s arrival here tens of thousands of years ago. Would that result in this “oneness” we are encouraging, would everyone suddenly find a love of the anthem that previously was missing?

Doubtful.

Bill’s Opinion

There is a subset of people who will never be happy with the lyrics of the Australian national anthem. I have no proof but it’s my suspicion this subset correlates greatly with the people who claim the word “young” is the cause of “hurt and, if so, wouldn’t suddenly transform into flag-waving patriots cheering on the national sports teams or whatever other measure one chooses as a proxy of national pride.

Of course, people who are on the look out for the dog that isn’t barking, might wonder why these people are focusing on a single word of a song they’d never countenance singing while the infant mortality rate of indigenous children is double that of every other ethnic group in the country?

Show me on the doll where the word “young” hurt you….

Rights without responsibilities

If you’ve been living under a rock, been busy, aren’t interested in Australian politics or, frankly (and ironically), have a life, you might not have heard there’s an abortion debate going on in New South Wales.

Obviously, the first casualty in this type of debate is the truth. For the record, the legal status quo looks like this (where New South Wales is in green):

Keep that in mind before we look at the reporting on this issue.

In summary, a pregnant woman can have an abortion in NSW for several reasons, often quoted by pro-abortion lobbyists as the most valid arguments for terminating an unborn child’s life.

The one reason for an abortion not allowed in NSW is as a method of contraception. There’s a couple of big howevers to that; the woman could drive across the state border to the Australian Capital Territory and access abortion on demand there or find a doctor who is willing to prescribe abortion for reasons of mental health.

In other words, abortion in NSW is safe, legal, rare and, wink wink, not to be allowed for contraception.

That isn’t acceptable in these modern times though. Abortion on demand is a woman’s “right”, according to, well, the usual people we find ourselves regularly observing with incredulity here.

As the NSW government tears itself inside out trying to change the law whilst not losing the slim parliamentary majority it has, cue hand-wringing articles in our favourite woke organs of record.

This one, for example, which lists lots of terrible events which might lead to the agonising decision of a woman to kill her unborn child…. all of which are legal already and aren’t under threat of being criminalised.

Then there’s this article, which also describes an agonising choice made by a pregnant woman that is, wait for it, also not under threat of being made illegal.

What I’ve yet to find (please correct me in the comments if you’ve seen it) is an article explaining the current legislation and what impact the proposed changes will have if passed. i.e. will the categories of valid reasons be increased or decreased, will the time limit be decreased or increased, will abortion be available to be used as a form of contraception?

Bill’s Opinion

As I’ve stated earlier, my opinion on abortion has hardened the further away in time I have become from being likely to benefit from it.

The reporting on the current debate is actually activism not journalism. Cases on the margins are being cited as arguments for the change in legislation without explanation that these are already allowed.

If you are pro-abortion, I would suggest that, if your view is without nuance that it is completely the right of the pregnant woman to decide whether or not to continue the pregnancy, you are practicing a form of self-delusion.

If you believe the media reporting on the issue is balanced and impartial, I’d further suggest you may have a form of cognitive or mental deficiency. Perhaps I’ve only seen the worst examples though, so do post links to balanced reporting if you know of any.

There is a moral choice to be made with regards to abortion, but it is not the one many lobbyists might think. The choice to take an otherwise viable human life by abortion is actually the final choice in a long series of choices. In chronological order, those are:

  1. Abstain from having sex.
  2. Abstain from having sex with someone you know you don’t want to be be with for the rest of your life.
  3. If you wish to have sex with someone who isn’t an obvious life partner, diligently and responsibly use contraception. Be aware that there will still be a residual risk of pregnancy.
  4. If an “accident” happens, carry the baby to term and decide whether you can cope with parenthood after it’s born.
  5. Offer the child up for adoption to one of the desperate couples who can’t conceive naturally.
  6. Kill the damn thing like a virus.

The Tower of LGBTQ+ Babel

It’s not often I quote the bible on here, particularly as I’m not a believer, but this just seems too appropriate not to:

And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

Consider this headline:

At first blush, one might be wondering whether there’s been some sort of breakthrough at a genetic level that enables conception without sperm.

But then, bear in mind the advice we gave on how to get to the truth of these mendacious transgender journalistic attempts at confusion; look at the picture.

a woman wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Rebecca and Isabelle Sutherland's son, Bailey, has DNA from both his mums. (ABC News: David Sciasci)

If, instinctively, you thought “Christ, the woman in red looks really unshaggable and pathetic but, fuck me, the one holding the bottle looks like she fell out of the Ugly Tree and hit every branch face-first on the way down“, you’d be right. It’s a man.

Let’s fisk the various and several language-mangling crimes the ABC’s David Sciasci commits, shall we?

Rebecca and Isabelle Sutherland have known each other since they were children.

The couple, now in their late 20s, married and experienced the wonder of being new parents to their four-month-old son, Bailey.

Now would be a good time to tell us how two women conceived a baby, given the headline suggested it’s a medical breakthrough.

Isabelle had been increasingly troubled by information she was reluctant to share with her partner, causing Rebecca to fear the worst.

“I was worried because it was not long after we got engaged,” Rebecca said.

She was convinced Isabelle was having second thoughts about their engagement. She guessed her fiance could be about to leave her for someone else.

“I just cornered her on the couch and was like, ‘You’re going to tell me whatever’s going on’,” Rebecca said.

Isabelle explained: “We just kind of broke down and I said, ‘Look, I’m trans,’ and Bec said, ‘Oh, is that all?'”

Oh, ok. So Isabelle is a woman now but was a bloke and therefore baby Bailey was conceived via her female penis?

As you were, medical students; it’s the miracle of life but not a significant moment in scientific history.

There’s a punchline though:

Rebecca said her fiance’s revelation prompted her to make her own. “Oh, I guess I have to tell her I’m bi now. I was keeping it a secret.”

Boom tish!

Of course, the previous definition of bi (as in “bisexual”) was that a person found people of either gender sexually-attractive.

Rebecca’s new proposed definition seems to be, “I find men attractive, even the one sitting next to me, wearing my Mum’s dress”. The article is silent on whether or not she finds women with vaginas sexually attractive or not.

Let’s learn about the process to make a baby in 2019, shall we?

“We were never quite sure if we were going to try for a child before I started medically transitioning, or use in vitro fertilisation after the fact,” Isabelle said.

She began freezing her sperm in case she went ahead with a gender transition.

“Her sperm”.

“Ultimately, we decided, ‘You know what, we’ll just give it a try for a couple of months to see how it goes before I start hormones. Maybe something will happen, maybe it won’t, we’ll play it by ear’,” Isabelle said.

Rebecca was pregnant two weeks later.

Man and woman have sex. They fall pregnant. It’s a miracle!

The rest of the article goes on to describe, with a few complications, a process everyone on the planet has been through already. There is this unintentionally-hilarious quote though (emphasis mine):

The Sutherlands said there were times during the pregnancy, before they changed hospitals, when some medical staff seemed judgmental and “hung up” on Bailey having two biological mothers.

I think we can read between the lines that the two “mothers” met someone who didn’t go along with their demand to pander to their shared mental illness.

Finally, here’s a lie for our age:

They say the most common question they are asked is: “Who’s mum?” They answer: both of them.

Bill’s Opinion

Anyone who has ever met adult humans before and takes one look at the pair of them knows which one gave birth.

I’m willing to bet there are more people alive who have set foot on the surface of planet Mars than have ever been genuinely unsure which of this pair physically gave birth to Bailey.

Rebecca, who is writing a memoir, hopes telling her family’s story will help transgender parents be accepted and better understood, to the point where, one day, “no one bats an eyelid”.

Sorry Rebecca, it doesn’t matter how much you or anyone else force other people to pretend, “Isabelle” is always going to have facial features defined by the rather inconvenient biological fact that he is a man.

Granted, a man suffering what was previously defined under DSM5 as a mental illness, but still and always a man.

That Sam I are, that Sam I are

Someone called Sam Smith has announced to the world a requirement for everyone to stop using the pronouns he/him but to now use they/them when referring to them.  

I’d previously not heard of this Sam Smith. Apparently, he isn’t the brewery that produces some of Yorkshire’s finest ale.

Sorry, they isn’t the brewery….. 

No, wait. That doesn’t sound right. 

They aren’t the brewery? But aren’t suggests plural, does that mean they have just been cloned?

This transgender stuff is very hard to follow without completely breaking every grammatical rule we previously held to be correct.

Bill’s Opinion

Imagine poor old Sam’s dilemma; if they were fifteen years older, they would have been able to claim victim status simply by being homosexual. In 2019 though, being gay isn’t enough, especially in the entertainment industry.

Now, to stand out from the crowd, one must make claim to being a footsoldier fighting on the frontline of gender politics and announce to the world one’s transgender bona fides.

Of course, this is the epitome of crybullying; “Call me by whatever pronoun I tell you to or you are a hateful bigot

Because nothing says mentally-stable than a claim that a pronoun is the key to your happiness and personal well-being…..

Compare and contrast with this classic response from Olympian legend, Chris Hoy:

Hoy meets some Scottish journalists. One puts it to him that: ‘In the last 24 hours everyone has been offering an opinion on Chris Hoy. But what does Chris Hoy think of Chris Hoy?’

Hoy doesn’t miss a beat: ‘Chris Hoy thinks that the day Chris Hoy refers to Chris Hoy in the third person is the day that Chris Hoy disappears up his own arse.’

Sun Tzu and the art of phony war

Recently, we discussed whether or not Australia was under attack by China.

My conclusion was that, regardless of whether or not either party wishes to admit it, in a very real sense we probably are.

If one accepts that hypothesis, there are a range of common sense actions that should follow, at the very least, to prevent the status quo from deteriorating further and to reduce the risk of further hostile actions.

The problem, quite common in western democracies, is the election cycle tends to reward politicians who practice realpolitik, rather than taking a more principled approach to hostile foreign powers.

An example of this can be seen today with many on the Remain side of the Brexit debacle; the evidence is overwhelming that the EU negotiators have not been operating under good faith (an example is the use of the Good Friday Peace Agreement as leverage), yet many of the key players in the British parliament are behaving as if Micawberistic optimism will win the day. To suggest we’ll get a deal after three years of being told non and nien makes something will turn up seem almost pragmatic and sensible.

But we shouldn’t be surprised. Flying back from Munich with worthless pieces of paper only to have to say, “bugger it” and open up the armoury the following year is in the British national DNA. 

Australia’s too, it would seem.

The Lucky Country’s peace for our time moment seems to be playing out currently with barely a day going by without another story emerging about inappropriate Chinese state influence in Australian domestic politics.

Before we continue, there are a couple points to be clarified:

  1. When I refer to “the Chinese”, I’m referring to the state government and its agents, not the ethnic identity.
  2. It’s my belief that there’s very little distinction to be made between the Chinese government and large Chinese corporations. They may be nominally privately-owned and independent but, if you believe that to be true, I’ve a terracotta army I’d like to sell to you. 

I wish to present four pieces of evidence supporting my position that we are not dealing with a good faith actor when we do business at a national or corporate level with the Chinese:

  1. China believed to be behind hack of Australian National University.
  2. “State actor” believed to be behind hack of Australian national parliament computers (ok, it doesn’t name China but we all know who they mean). 
  3. Australian MP bribed by Chinese businessmen.
  4. Ex-pat Chinese government party member, now an Australian MP, can’t recall ever being a member….. for 12 years.

Bill’s Opinion

It’s not the fact these things have happened and are continuing to happen, it’s the dog that isn’t barking that is most concerning.

Look at the reporting of the statements coming from the various Australian government officials and opposition party leaders. It’s as if China was a synonym for Voldemort.

The most recent incident, for example; it’s a member of the Australian federal government with deep and enduring links to a foreign power, yet the official response is nothing to see here, move on.

It’s almost as if, I dunno, nobody has the testicular fortitude to mention the name of the government that always seems to be interfering in Australian domestic affairs in case, horror of horrors, they take their money away and spend it elsewhere.

 

Image result for peace in our time

 

 

Midas reveals his secret

There are just so many unscrupulous shysters out there trying to part you from your hard-earned cash. Recall my new best friend’s attempt to sign me up to spend $15,000 on how to be an “influencer”?

After frenetically removing from my life anyone who shares content from the likes of Brigette, Oleg and their insipid facsimiles, I thought it was safe to go back on to the interweb.

But no, every website, youtube channel and browser window I open has this orthodontically-perfect, jug-eared goon smiling at me and boasting about how he doesn’t need to work any more because, something, something, something…. selling on Amazon.

Image result for adam hudson

Call me a cynical old bastard if you will, but nothing screams “liar” to me more than watching a person work night and day to tell me they don’t need to work.

In fact, in his own words on his own website, Adam tells you quite how unlikely it is you will get rich by attending one of his courses or even following the instructions to the letter. This legal disclaimer is somewhat obscured, completely accidentally I’m sure, by a clash of font and background colours:

EARNINGS DISCLAIMER

Any reports of earnings published by Reliable Education are provided to a reasonable level of accuracy. However, reported results may differ slightly from actual results for various reasons, including returns & refunds, foreign exchange rate fluctuations, and brevity of communication. 
There is NO GUARANTEE that undertaking the same activities or employing the same techniques, ideas, strategies or initiatives published by Reliable Education will produce the same results for you.
From time to time, Reliable Education will publish results, testimonials, case studies and success stories relating to those who have employed the techniques and strategies published by Reliable Education. These outcomes are exceptional results which do not apply to an average user of the information published by Reliable Education. There is NO GUARANTEE that any user of those techniques and strategies will achieve similar results.
There is NO GUARANTEE that any reported past success (relating to Adam Hudson, Reliable Education, or any user of Reliable Education’s published information) can or will be repeated in the future.
WHETHER YOU SUCCESSFULLY EMPLOY THESE TECHNIQUES AND STRATEGIES DEPENDS UPON FACTORS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, YOUR INDIVIDUAL SKILLS, FINANCIAL RESOURCES, MARKETING KNOWLEDGE, BUSINESS MODEL, AND TIME YOU DEVOTE TO ENGAGING IN THESE ACTIVITIES. BECAUSE OF THIS, RELIABLE EDUCATION CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR EARNINGS LEVEL, NOR DO WE.

Reliable Education © 2019

What is incredible is the fact that Adam has been ploughing this particular self-help snakeoil furrow since at least 2004, as this retro page on the Sydney Morning Herald’s website shows.

Bill’s Opinion

Just the slightest research on a search engine teaches any curious entrepreneur everything they need to know about a) Adam’s “success”, and b) quite how genuine he is about wanting to help others copy it for themselves.

When pondering the question “why does Adam want to teach me how to be an Amazon millionaire?”, I wonder how many of his course attendees reach the conclusion, “because it doesn’t really work for him, but selling courses to the gullible does”.

If you ever find yourself at the poker table wondering which player is the sucker, consider the possibility it is you.

To a woman with a hammer

….the whole world looks like a nail.

For those who haven’t been exposed to the views and, such that it is, the career, of Caroline Criado-Perez before it might be worth a quick read of her Wikipedia page or a similar biography to form a view on her motivation. I won’t lead the witness by offering an opinion at this stage.

Caroline has written a book, Invisible Women, in which she details the myriad ways the world we find ourselves living in has been designed, not for women, but for men.

In an interview with Wired, she lays out some of the more egregious examples.

If we assumed she started the interview with the worst example, we will be unsurprised to learn it is in the serious area of medical treatment. Apparently, medical research has been traditionally performed on males far more frequently than females.

Around that same time I also found out that we don’t tend to involve female humans or animals or cells in medical trials, and the result of that is women have less effective treatment and more side effects.

I don’t have access to the data to confirm the underlying assertion of that paragraph but, for the purposes of today’s blog post, I don’t need to. I will accept it as fact; medical research has been performed far more frequently on males.

The question leaping to the front of curious minds then is, why?

Perhaps there are three categories of answer to that question;

  1. Mendacity by the medical profession including, one assumes, the many female research professionals, and/or
  2. Negligent or sloppy thinking by the researchers, and/or
  3. Some other more defensible reason.

We can all agree that, if category (1) and (2) were the most significant reasons medical research was carried out on males rather than females, there is a major scientific issue to be resolved.

However, before we start condemning as bad actors the thousands of medical researchers responsible for the huge positive health advances we have all benefited from over the last hundred years or so, let’s check whether there might not be some significant reasons behind Caroline’s discovery.

Without thinking too hard or long on the subject, I can think of the following possible reasons why males featured more frequently in medical research;

  1. From its commencement as a subject of study, medical research was performed on the cadavers of executed prisoners. Throughout human history, men have been executed at an incredibly greater rate than women. It’s still true today in countries where the death penalty exists, as this hilarious HuffPo article confirms (hilarious because it’s desperately trying to say women are less likely to be executed because of duh patriarchy).
  2. It’s an uncomfortable fact but we currently benefit from the findings of medical research of coerced and involuntary subjects. This includes prisoners who have agreed to the research but also awful and torturous research such as that on victims of the Holocaust. In the case of prisoners, as with the cadavers of executed prisoners, the demographics skew massively towards men.
  3. Until the 1960s, women could not control their menstruation cycle and had less reliable pregnancy testing facilities than today. They were therefore at far greater risk of being unknowingly pregnant during the early stages after conception. Unless the medical research is to be specifically on the effects on unborn children, many women would be excluded from participating.

Bill’s Opinion

Let’s assume Caroline is a good faith actor. She’s made a wonderful career from finding reasons to suggest women are victims in almost every aspect of modern life, generally to the benefit of men. 

Incentives matter though. There is currently very little reason for Caroline to search for logical and sensible reasons for the outcomes she documents but, instead, leaps to the far easier conclusion of duh patriarchy.

As Upton Sinclair famously put it;

It is difficult to get a man woman to understand something, when his her salary depends on his her not understanding it.

Finally, just to confirm to us that the issues Caroline raises are grave and important, let her describe the awful problems women have experienced, by design, in the area of technology:

The category of smartphones is a massive bugbear of mine because I actually got RSI [repetitive strain injury] from an iPhone 6. And I now am stuck with an iPhone SE which I can’t upgrade. The only small phone they had, they discontinued, and it’s the only one that fits my hand. It’s incredibly frustrating. And then later when [Apple] introduced Siri, you could use it to find a viagra supplier but not an abortion clinic. So there’s all sorts of examples like that, where there’s not as much thought being put into, you know—female customers exist.

Caroline Criado-Perez truly is our generation’s Rosa Parks or Emily Davidson.

Cultural appropriate shun

The American author, Lionel Shriver, is in Australia this month. Last time she was here there was a bit of a kerfuffle when she spoke about “cultural appropriation” at a writers’ festival and finished off the speech by popping a jaunty Mexican sombrero on her head. All the right people were offended and made a fuss, including a woman who seems to have made a career out of telling Australians and Britons how terrible they are, despite the awkward personal dichotomy of her revealed vs expressed preference of living there rather than her place of birth, Sudan.

“Cultural appropriation” is an interesting compound noun and one which prompts vicarious offence in some and extreme annoyance or amusement in others. We can find a definition on the internets that suggests the following:

Cultural appropriation, at times also phrased cultural misappropriation, is the adoption of elements of one culture by members of another culture. This can be controversial when members of a dominant culture appropriate from disadvantaged minority cultures.

In other words, it’s another branch of critical theory or cultural Marxism. How can we be sure? The emphasis on power. The second sentence in the definition tries to explain why the first sentence is problematic and reverts to an argument of power imbalance.

Without that qualifying sentence, most reasonable and sane people would never consider there was anything sinister about their enjoyment of tea as a refreshing beverage, cooking a spaghetti bolognaise for dinner or using duvets as bedding whilst wearing pyjamas.

A Google Ngram search shows cultural appropriation is a very modern sin:

There is amusement to be had when engaging those issuing accusations of cultural appropriation, however; ask them to describe the margins. By which we mean, a situation where one person uses a useful cultural invention of others and what would be considered over the line and cultural appropriation. Much hilarity often ensues.

Let’s show a worked example:

Bill is a white Englishman who very much enjoys Indian food (but we repeat ourselves). Not content with enjoying the cuisine in his local restaurant, he holidays in India and attends a cookery course to learn how to expertly blend the spices and other ingredients. Back home in London, he hosts a dinner party for some friends where he delights them with his newly acquired knowledge.

At risk of building a strawman, one suspects the cultural Marxists would suggest he’s innocent up until the point he invites the other gammons round to eat his culturally appropriated food.

The problems with this arise following just the slightest scratching of the surface.

Problem #1 – 80% of all “Indian” restaurants in Britain are no such thing. They are Bangladeshi.

Problem #2 – Several of the main ingredients of Indian cuisine only arrived with the Europeans. Chillies, potatoes, tomatoes and cauliflower, for example.

The burning question then is surely, which culture is Bill appropriating?

Bangladeshi? Perhaps, but maybe only those ex-pats who set up restaurants in Britain.

Indian? Perhaps, but if the cuisine they taught him is the Anglo-Bangladeshi version, maybe they are guilty of some cultural appropriation too.

South American? The cultivation of chillies, potatoes and tomatoes was initiated in South America but by which South Americans? Not necessarily the ones whose descendants are currently living there.

It’s a bit tricky, isn’t it?

 

Bill’s Opinion

It’s almost as if the people who suggest cultural appropriation is a sin are bullies who use a claim of vicarious offence as their justification (more on this in a later post).

Perhaps they are mistakenly or even deliberately missing the incredible amount of good work cultural appropriation has done for you, me, them and everyone around us? My suspicion is that they have fallen into the mental trap of zero sum thinking. That is, they believe there is a finite supply of something, in this case “cultural good”, and therefore feel it is their duty to protect those who they perceive as being without power from having their ration stolen.

Of course, this is the racism and bigotry of low expectations. The people who are having their culture “appropriated” have no qualms about taking the best bits of everyone else’s culture such as effective medicine, power generation, water sanitation, iPhones, Game of Thrones streaming, etc. and they really don’t give a shit if someone in another country is cooking a strange facsimile of the food they eat.

Returning to the Sydney Morning Herald report on Lionel Shriver’s visit, it’s interesting to note the article finishes with an explanation that Lionel wasn’t the original first name she was given by her parents, and that she changed it when she was 15. I have a couple of questions on that;

  1. How is it relevant to the news item, and
  2. Did you just “deadname” Ms. Shriver?