This is fibber country

After using our patented razor, we were somewhat sceptical of Jussie Smollett’s allegations of an attack in Chicago last month.

Let’s get an update from that unbiased and objective news source, CNN:

Oh, that’s awkward.

The men, who are brothers, were arrested Wednesday but released without charges Friday after Chicago police cited the discovery of “new evidence.”

Interesting.

The sources told CNN the two men are now cooperating fully with law enforcement.

Which translates to something along the lines of, “police threatened to throw the book at them unless they confessed fully. This they’ve done and Smollett is toast“.

Smollett told authorities he was attacked early January 29 by two men who were “yelling out racial and homophobic slurs.” He said one attacker put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.

The sources told CNN there are records that show the two brothers purchased the rope found around Smollett’s neck at a hardware store in Chicago.

Two Nigerian brothers he just happens to know from his work.

Bill’s Opinion

When fighting in the Culture Wars, if a story emerges that supports your side and it seems perfect, the truth will certainly be 180 degrees reversed.

Sequel man

Ghostbusters, Predator, The Karate Kid, a slew of new Star Wars films, Miama Vice, etc…. the 80s remakes just keep on coming.

There’s one we’ve not seen yet, but it surely must be due out soon.

Soul Man

Plot (from Wikipedia):

Mark Watson, is the pampered son of a rich family who is about to attend Harvard Law School along with his best friend Gordon. Unfortunately, his father’s neurotic psychiatrist talks his patient into having more fun for himself instead of spending money on his son. Faced with the prospect of having to pay for law school by himself, Mark decides to apply for a scholarship, but the only suitable one is for African-Americans only. He decides to cheat by using tanning pills in a larger dose than prescribed to appear as an African-American. Watson then sets out for Harvard, naïvely believing that blacks have no problems at all in American society.

However, once immersed in a black student’s life, Mark finds that people are less lenient than he imagined and more prone to see him as a black person instead of a fellow student. He meets a young African-American student named Sarah Walker, whom he first only flirts with; gradually, however, he genuinely falls in love with her. As it turns out, she was the original candidate for the scholarship which he had usurped, and now she has to work hard as a waitress to support herself and her son George while studying. Slowly, Mark begins to regret his deed, and after a chaotic day—in which Sarah, his parents (who are not aware of his double life) and his classmate Whitney, who is also his landlord’s daughter, make surprise visits at the same time—he drops the charade and openly reveals himself to be white.

Mark declares to his professor that he wishes to pay back the scholarship and do charity work to make amends for his fraud. When asked what he has learned, he says that he realizes that he could have changed back to being white at any time and so does not really know what it means to be black.

Sarah decides to give him another chance, and Mark decides to work his way through college.

Instead of simply copying the story of the movie, perhaps it’s time for a twist. As we’ve read above, the original plot device was that a pampered white kid loses access to the money he needs to get to college. To modernise it, perhaps we could switch the ethnicities and reasons for being unable to attend Harvard?

Mark Wong, is the son of a 2nd generation Asian family who, through hard work and intelligence is about to apply to attend Harvard Law School along with his best friend Gordon. Unfortunately, Harvard has limited the number of places open to his ethnicity in favour of other ethnicities, such as African Americans and Cherokees, even if they have scored lower on against the entry criteria. Faced with the prospect of having to attend an inferior law school, Mark decides to apply, but as an African-American. He decides to cheat by using tanning pills in a larger dose than prescribed to appear as an African-American. Wong then sets out for Harvard, naïvely believing that blacks have no problems at all in American society.

However, once immersed in a black student’s life, Mark finds that people are less lenient than he imagined and more prone to see him as a black person instead of a fellow student. He meets a young African-American named Sarah Walker, whom he first only flirts with; gradually, however, he genuinely falls in love with her. As it turns out, she was the original candidate for the place which he had usurped, and now she has to work in a job to support herself and her son George while studying to achieve better grades with which she intends to re-apply to Harvard. Slowly, Mark begins to regret his deed, and after a chaotic day—in which Sarah, his parents (who are not aware of his double life) and his classmate Whitney, who is also his landlord’s daughter, make surprise visits at the same time—he drops the charade and openly reveals himself to be Asian.

Mark declares to his professor that he wishes to give up his place at Harvard, attend Boondocks University and do charity work to make amends for his fraud. When asked what he has learned, he says that he realizes that he could have changed back to being Asian at any time and so does not really know what it means to be black.

Sarah decides to dox him on social media and Kathy Griffiths retweets this, resulting in a Twitter mob ruining Mark’s life. He decides to jump in front of a subway train.

Bill’s Opinion

Pure fantasy, of course. Nothing like that could ever happen in reality.

I’ll take “things that didn’t happen” for $800, Jussie

Jussie Smollett is an actor and musician. Apparently he is famous for this and also for recently telling everyone about his sexuality.

No, I’d never heard of him either.

Shockingly, he was badly beaten at 2am on Tuesday morning in Chicago. The attackers apparently recognised him, called him a gay and racial slur, beat him, poured a chemical (possibly bleach) on him and wrapped a rope around his neck. The reports didn’t confirm which knot, if any, was used.

Side note of interest; the temperature in Chicago at the time was -14 degrees C.

There’s a breakdown of the reported facts here and a load of screen shots of the reactions of celebrities and politicians who clearly didn’t learn a lesson from the Covington Catholic School lunacy.

Bill’s Opinion

Using our patented razor, we are going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the explanation requiring the least number of assumptions to be correct, and therefore the most likely truth of the situation, is that Jussie is suffering from a mental condition that has resulted in him making the whole thing up.

Alternatively, there really are a pair of racist homophobes living in Chicago who were walking around in the early hours of a weekday morning in arctic conditions carrying bleach and a length of rope on the off-chance they recognise a famous gay black man buying a sandwich.

Let’s hope the Chicago Police investigate the hell out of this.

“People are annoyed….”

That a beauty treatment is being advertised with the inference that some people might need a beauty treatment to be more beautiful.

Which people?

Well, Jemeela Jamil, for a start.

No, I hadn’t heard of her before either. Apparently, she was an English radio DJ and TV presenter who moved to the USA to be a writer but, erm, carried on with her career of being easy on the eye relying on her looks instead for reasons that must be something to do with duh patriarchy.

This screen shot from her Twitter profile indicates she’s a perfectly reasonable, rational person with no mental hang-ups whatsoever:

Someone called Janey Godley piled in as well. Janey has a blue tick on Twitter, presumably because she’s that rarity, a Scottish comedian not called Billy Connelly.

A top beauty tip for Janey might be to consider not cutting her own hair in the dark as a quicker route to improved physical attractiveness rather than putting some cream on her legs.

If you make the mistake of going on a Google research fieldtrip on Janey in particular, see if you can find anything she has written or said that falls into the broad category of “comedy”. She seems most famous for wandering around in public with a piece of cardboard with the words “Tump is a cunt” in letters coloured in with a child’s felt tip pen set and posting drunken anti-Brexit rants on YouTube.

Bill’s Opinion

When advertising a product, it’s often important to identify the potential buyer’s need or desire that would be satisfied if they bought it.

In the case of beauty treatments, the inference is, if you agree you need it, you are also admitting to the possibility that your physical beauty is not currently optimal and can be improved.

In Jameela and Janey’s case however, no amount of physical improvements can change the truth that they both have repulsively ugly characters.

Behold, my virtue!

I’m the underrepresented voice in the room“?

That may be correct; there probably aren’t too many qualified actuaries speaking at the conference who have a degree from the prestigious Babson College, including 2 years of overseas study, a year of which was at the London School of Economics, and who have been employed by organisations such as Facebook and Willis Towers.

But yes, Steven, you’ve had it bloody tough, eh?

I bet nary a day has gone by in your career when some alpha male actuary with his white privilege has made a joke at your expense, perhaps suggesting that your ethnic background had a .74684 correlation with the 9th decile of life expectancy in a random sample demographic of the Bay Area.

The cruel laughter of your colleagues must have stung.

Bill’s Opinion

When exactly did being a victim become fashionable?

What an utterly pathetic individual.

He’s had one of the best educations money can buy, a exceptionally well paid international career and yet here he is claiming victim status to his entire professional network and beyond.

Here’s an idea, Steve; do the speaking gig and donate the fee to an orphanage in Bangladesh or a charity that digs wells for sub-Saharan African villages.

Also, “white-passing“? Ever met someone with vitiligo? That’s not a term I’d chuck around casually if I were you.

Oh, and as for helpfully explaining which gender pronouns you prefer….. I’d just stick with “Twat” if I were you, it seems to suit you.

That’s funny

Kathy Griffin has criticised the lack of women on Forbes magazine’s latest list of the world’s best-paid comedians.

The Emmy Award-winning comedian tweeted the top 10 of Forbes’ list along with the words: “No Women.”

Here’s the list;

She’s quite accurate in her observation; none of the 10 highest earning comedians in 2018 were women (or even, to comply with the modern parlance, “men with vaginas“).

The responses to her tweet were quite amusing and seem to fall into two distinct camps;

1. This is outrageous and damning proof of an oppressive patriarchy operating in the comedy industry, or

2. It’s a list of the comedians people choose to spend their own money on, the ten most competent comedians active in 2018, in other words, you unfunny and stupid woman.

Only one of those world views can be correct.

Bill’s Opinion

Comedy is a brutal job to choose. Nobody makes it to the top of the tree without learning their craft through thousands of hours of effort, failure, perseverance and continuous improvement.

During that time, your pay very closely matches your success rate at making people laugh. It’s a reasonably efficient market, in other words.

There is another interesting distinguishing factor between the comedians on the list above and many of the names suggested by the nutters in the “its duh patriarchy” camp, such as Amy Schumer, Samantha Bee, Lesley Jones, and Sarah Silverman; their recent material has deprioritised the comedic quality of their work in favour of attacking Trump supporters or men. That’s their choice but they perhaps shouldn’t be surprised that men and Trump supporters don’t choose to pay money for that type of act.

But, yes; “no funny women”, eh, Kathy;

Going for Gold in the Victim Olympics

Q. How interested are you in the details of what your colleagues do, and with whom, when they are not at the office?

A. Not at all, I’ve got a hundred things to get through on my things to do list and thinking about what Roger from Accounts gets up to in bed is neither of interest or value to my working day.

B. Mildly curious but only out of morbid curiosity because Roger from Accounts seems like a complete car crash of a human.

C. It’s the most important part of my job, forget the parts of my job description about delivering products to our customers on time and for a profit, I need all the details of where and in whom Roger pokes his snag. We’ll get on to the core business of the company once we’ve sorted the sexuality questions of every colleague.

If you answered (C), James Adonis wants you for a sunbeam;

Life as a bisexual man at work

By James Adonis

Barely a week goes by without some mention in the media about gay men, lesbians or trans men and women. The same applies in academic research. Of all the colours in the LGBTIQ rainbow, there have been countless studies on each of those letters except, it seems, the letter B, for bisexuals.

Oh oh, brace for incoming accusations that we are all awful people again for reasons we previously weren’t aware of.

What makes this a curious trend is that bisexuals comprise the largest proportion of this minority group and yet they “remain the most invisible and under-researched” of the lot. That’s the realisation that prompted a study due to be published soon in the Journal, of Vocational Behaviour.

Ah, another fine subject for free grant money research study, we are certain.

The researchers were intrigued by the experiences that bisexual employees encounter (or is that endure?) in the workplace. That intrigue stems from prior research which has revealed gay men and lesbians are six times as likely to be out at work than their bisexual colleagues. Bisexuals also report greater anxiety, stress, depression, panic attacks, compulsive behaviour and substance abuse.

Wait, more than transgender folks, those people with a suicide rate equivalent to inmates of holocaust camps and the gulags? Can we fact check this please?

In this latest study, which comprised more than 200 people, the bias against bisexual personnel was exposed as presiding quite strongly among gay men and lesbians, too. That’s surprising because it means it’s not just heterosexuals who actively discriminate but minority groups as well. In other words, those being discriminated against are themselves doing the discriminating. This is especially targeted towards bisexual men; far more than bisexual women.

More than 200 people we studied? Well, with a sample size that large we are clearly looking at a scientific endeavour that is on a par with the scale of the Human Genome Project. 

These consequences arise due to a pervasive human need to categorise. People are either black or white, male or female, young or old, and of course gay or straight. To suddenly meet someone who doesn’t squeeze into a binary code is too confronting and confusing for many individuals – particularly when the person they’re meeting is a bisexual man – and so they subsequently perceive them as “indecisive, inauthentic and untrustworthy”.

Or maybe the 200 people you interviewed were unusually indecisive, inauthentic and untrustworthy regardless of where they stick their genitalia outside the office environment? Correlation or causation? 

Here’s another point to ponder; humans are particularly competent at judging authenticity. It’s likely an ancient evolutionary feature that served our ancestors well. If your survey shows an unusual statistical trend towards judging these people to be inauthentic, why assume that it’s the fault of the observer and not a result of some characteristic of the observed? 

As a result, the researchers believe there are serious implications for employers, specifically in relation to staff turnover and career progression. Faced with such discomfort in the workplace, it’s not unreasonable to expect bisexual employees to hop from one job to another seeking an escape from bosses who “reward stereotypically masculine behaviour by their male employees”.

Wait, what? Bosses reward stereotypical masculine behavior? In which fucking universe? Have you actually visited an office in 2018? They are about as masculine as a Liberace Christmas Special and have been for the best part of a decade.

Apart from the obvious implication of that last sentence – that the denigration of non-masculinity in workplaces should cease – it’s also recommended employers make space for bisexual employees in their diversity policies, staff associations, training programs and initiatives. To this day, they tend to be neglected.

Oh goody, more diversity training. That’s what this company needs to turn the shareprice around.

As someone who’s been openly gay at work for over two decades, this research has made me try to think of a bisexual colleague I’ve had, either from the past or the present. None spring to mind. There have been plenty of gays, lesbians, trans people and queer folk but not a single one who’s been out as bisexual. When reflecting on the statistic noted earlier, that bisexuals make up the greatest proportion of LGBTIQ people, that’s quite an astonishing realisation.

Or perhaps they didn’t find you attractive enough to make the effort to flirt with you?

Bill’s Opinion

If we work together, please don’t tell me about your sex life. No, really; I just don’t care. It’s not important to our relationship at work. 

On a similar theme, I’d don’t want to know that you do Boot Camp, Cross Fit, are vegan, teetotal, Christian, believe in climate change, like quinoa, once met William Shatner, or any other number of facts completely irrelevant to our working relationship.

From the study’s own summary;

Our data reveal several important findings, the most striking of which is the divergence of experiences, attitudes, and outcomes between men and women who are bisexual.

People are different. Who knew?

First, we found evidence of more bias against bisexual men than bisexual women.

Your sample size was 200 people. So perhaps 100 bisexual men and 100 bisexual women? You’re drawing conclusions from a study that could fit in a village primary school’s assembly hall? Ah, science is fun.

Second, our data show that bisexual men are less likely to disclose their sexual orientation at work both prior to and during employment. Third, bisexual men report experiencing more workplace discrimination than do bisexual women, and they also report increased minority stress, psychological distress, and substance use.

Hang on, apart from for vacancies at brothels, when do sexual preferences get discussed at a job interview? Reverse that statement above and consider the legal case you’d be slapped with if, “…and which way do you swing?” was asked just after the obligatory, “….what previous experience do you have in this area?”.

Dear bisexual people, we’re just not that interested. Sorry.

Troll level; Jedi

We wrote about the Cloggy Kaas Kop who is taking the Dutch government to court in an attempt to change his age from 69 to 49.

At first blush this looked like a serious request and simply a logical extension of the “everything is a social construct” lunacy.

However, it’s increasingly likely this is an excellent exercise in trolling and is having the desired effect.

Hilary Brueck over at Business Insider, for example, is tying him/her/zherself in knots trying to explain why age isn’t a social construct but gender is.

In fact, no she isn’t, leaving this statement hanging awkwardly without any reasoning to explain why what Retelband is attempting is “problematic” (now there’s a great word to look out for when you suspect you’re being bullshitted).

Depressingly, there was no further “logical” explanation as to why age can’t be changed than what is written above. It would seem that simply saying the words, “problematic”, “offence” and “nonsense” constitutes an argument these days.

Here’s Shon Faye’s “takedown”, by the way;

Which seems to be saying, “it’s not the same because it’s not the same“. Again, not really an argument is it? Feelings trump facts.

Predictably, the Grauniad’s Komment Macht Frei gets in on the act with an article pointing out that our Dutch friend has a long and glorious history of trolling and mischief but never quite gets to the part we are, by now, desperate for someone to articulate. Namely, how is it that biological gender is a social construct but chronological age isn’t?

Bill’s Opinion

People such as Ellie Mae, Shon and Hillary might want to consider counting the assumptions required to be correct for each of these statements to also be true;

1. Gender is a social construct that can be altered by a change in societal attitudes of acceptance, application of hormones and surgery.

2. Age is a social construct that can be changed by societal attitudes, legal edict, and editing numbers on government databases.

3. Biological gender is determined by, erm, biology and gender dysphoria is an unfortunate mental illness that should be treated with sympathy rather than complicit fantasy.

4. Emile’s court case is what you get when people realise a large group of society has agreed to ignore a illogical and indefensible idea and are making significant practical real life changes based on the fallacy.

Loving your work, Emile.

“Mr. Chesterton, tear down this wall!”

One of the constants of our age is that, no matter how obscure and bizarre the question, it can be asked by the Guardian.

Well, apart from questions like, “how many genders are there?” or, “how does the Scientific Method relate to climate science?“.

We digress.

Here’s the Grauniad’s Komment Macht Frei section asking, “why do we even need prisons anyway?“.

Amazingly, the article is longer than number of words in the sentence, “because we don’t want Jeffrey Dahmer or Myra Hindley living next door“.

As is the Grauniad’s idiom, sub-editing and logical consistency are unknown concepts. Therefore we have the usual rambling bounce around many disparate points desperately trying to find a consistent narrative.

For example, the reason Australia has jails is because it was a penal colony;

For a settler nation that began as a penal colony, it is no coincidence that we have an obsession with putting people in prisons. 

If only there was a control experiment we could use as a comparison, something like a country that wasn’t originally a penal colony. We could then check to see whether there are prisons in that country or confirm whether they’ve found a more progressive solution. Ah.

It is also no coincidence the ninth biannual Sisters Inside conference held this month, previously titled “Are Prison’s Obsolete?”……….

Probably not as obsolete as that Grocer’s Apostrophe.

…..named after the Professor Angela Davis book and work, was retitled “Imagining Abolition … A World Without Prisons”. It propelled beyond begging the question and instead imagined a future. The conference attracted more than 300 people from Australia and abroad.

That must have been a fun conference. One wonders whether the organisers bothered with hiring security or not?

Redefining language is a key part of the progressive tool kit. This, for example;

At the heart of the three days of the conference were women who have experienced criminalisation and have been imprisoned, self-determination and the role of colonisation and white supremacy in the formation of the prison industrial complex. 

Can be translated back to English as, “female criminals“, unless the authors are suggesting they were (all) victims of miscarriages of justice, in which case the conference should have been concentrating on justice reform not prison abolition.

The rambling goes on;

Despite Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people make up roughly 3% of the nation’s total population, 28% of the total prison population is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, with Indigenous women representing the fastest growing of these numbers.

There seems to be an obvious solution staring us in the face here, something along the lines of……. don’t break the damn law.

That’s not how progressive logic works though, is it? A lefty will look at those statistics or the ratios of female to male CEOs and automatically know the root cause is (pick your preferred combination) sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia.

Just to ensure we run the gamut of fallacies, there’s a strawman chucked in the mix;

Any time a black person dies in custody the public often responds with “well they are criminals they deserve it”. 

Do they? Which people say that? Got any examples?

We also rarely see or give platforms for those who have been criminalised to speak to this in their own words.

Have been criminalised is an interesting turn of phrase, almost as if they have no agency or personal responsibility for the outcome. As for not having a platform; do you mean apart from an all expenses trip to Melbourne for a three day conference?

How about this for classic cognitive dissonance;

To build a world without prisons is to disrupt a society built on inequity, patriarchal violence and colonisation.

This means addressing the roots of poverty and trauma.

Nationally, 70-90% of Aboriginal women incarcerated have experienced family violence and most Aboriginal women in prison have experienced sexual trauma. 

That sounds suspiciously like the results of a fully-cultural patriarchy…. and the culture at fault isn’t Western European post-Enlightenment, is it?

But somehow it’s the fault of that Western European post-Enlightenment culture for not fixing it, of course;

This reflects a failure of the state to protect black women….

More intersectional language is deployed but nothing tangible or actionable is actually offered as a solution.

Here’s the final paragraph in full. You may recognise the meaning of the individual words but good luck with understanding them in this combination;

Through the centring of those with lived experience and solidarity between those affected by criminalisation and allies, this conference highlights this movement is growing and strong, and has moved beyond imagining a world without prisons and is ready to build it.

Bill’s Opinion

If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

By the way, the authors of this utter guff were;

Nayuka Gorrie is a Kurnai/Gunai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta freelance writer.

That’s five different “nations” they are claiming to belong to, which makes Elizabeth Warren’s Cherokee claims seem quite reasonable.

Witt Church is a white social worker living in Naarm (Melbourne). Their work focuses on abolition and supporting communities impacted by criminalisation.

Why do we care about his/her/zher skin tone? Also, if you’re going to use a proper noun to describe a place, it’s probably best to use one universally recognised. To understand why, perhaps try booking a flight to Carthage for your holidays.