Nov

17

By nightowl

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Categories: WTF

The cultural appropriation is strong with this one

From an American on Quora:

I… what?

Oct

7

By nightowl

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Categories: The Grauniad strikes again

These boots are made for whingin’

For the Guardian and its readers, everything is political. Even walking for pleasure.

A reader describes her evening walks through Edinburgh and of course feels the need to shoehorn some leftie rhetoric into her prose:

The families, joggers and dog walkers in Braidburn Valley Park help me shake off the stress and insincerity of my corporate job.

Virtue signalling alert! What the hell is this woe-is-me bullshit? If her ‘insincere corporate job’ (that she presumably wasn’t forced into at gunpoint) clashes so hard with her ethics, what’s stopping her from resigning and applying for a less well-paid job at a non-profit organisation? Hmmm? Would the filthy lucre be too much to give up, by any chance?

“Hello, the She-Wolf of Wall Street speaking”

I’ll then head towards Hermitage Drive – where I might resent the obvious wealth if I weren’t so chilled out.

“Resent the obvious wealth”? Yeah, how dare these people be richer than she is! The sheer nerve!

Unspeakable. Unspeakable.

Can I just point out that she walks through that area by choice, because it’s pretty. And why is it pretty? Because the locals have the means to make it that way and keep it that way. If she doesn’t want to be surrounded by the trappings of wealth, may I recommend walking through the nearest council estate instead? Urban decay galore! Nothing to be envious of!

Welcome to the Trainspotting Experience! Your first mugging will occur in 3, 2, 1….

Then we have this other reader:

I am very fortunate that I can walk and do not require a wheelchair; however, my disabilities cause me severe pain if I walk long distances. There are millions like me who fall into the zone between able-bodied and wheelchair confined. When I hear the term “pedestrian friendly”, my first thought is “disability unfriendly”.

This person lives in the USA, where pretty much everything is car-friendly by design and pedestrian-friendly features are few and far between. The average American never needs to walk anywhere. And that’s still not good enough! She still feels discriminated against!

It is rather disingenuous to say “I do not require a wheelchair” if she can only walk short distances without excruciating pain. If she refuses to use a wheelchair when she needs one, what exactly is the city supposed to do to accommodate her? Provide conveyor belts? Or maybe she could just ignore the pedestrian-friendly areas, get in her car and drive wherever she wants!

There is a new outdoor mall near me with a pedestrian-friendly town centre design. It is a sprawling, lively place, but I can’t shop there.

Look, it’s very sad that she can’t walk very well or very far, but it’s nobody else’s fault. That mall wasn’t built to spite her personally, it was build to give pedestrians a bit of a break from the all-pervasive car culture. Not everything can be or should be inclusive (controversial statement).

Walking needs to be encouraged in a way that does not forget about the needs of the disabled.

Like how? Genuine question. What are these needs? How are pedestrian-friendly areas supposed to welcome someone who can only walk short distances but won’t use a car or a wheelchair?

Living in an airport is an option

Sep

27

By nightowl

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Aaand it’s time for another RRR (Rowling-related rant)…

Now we find out that Nagini used to be a woman

OK, at this point I do believe old JK should be forcibly relocated to a room on a remote Scottish island, far away from all computers, telephones, telegraph systems, carrier pigeons, post owls and all other means of communication with the outside world.

Dementor’s Kiss optional

Her retcons are getting more and more ridiculous. Not only is it now supposed to be canon – thanks to Cursed Child – that Hermione is black and that Voldemort had a child with Bellatrix (which is impossible for several reasons, but that’s another rant), his giant snake also turns out to be a woman under a curse!

Give me strength. How many more things is she going to ruin? Is the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets going to be in a unisex bathroom in future editions? Is Professor Flitwick going to come out as transgender? Will the Dursleys move to America and become Trump supporters?

A brave soul did try to take her to task:

“Representation as an afterthought for more woke points is not good representation”: now here’s a sentence that would have been totally incomprehensible ten years ago, by the way.

Rowling’s reply was as arrogant as ever:

“Have a lovely day”?! Could she possibly be more dismissive and passive-aggressive?

She’s also missing the point. Why cast a Korean woman to play an Indonesian character? Even in these ‘woke’ PC times, being yellow and slitty-eyed appears to be enough to play any character from any region of Asia. So much for representation!

Right. Let’s take a minute to remember that in the HP books, Voldemort regularly orders Nagini to kill and/or eat people and she happily complies. What exactly is her motivation if she’s not evil?

Uh-huh. If I believe that I’ll believe anything. If she really had planned to eventually unveil Nagini as a human being back then, it would have meant turning poor Neville into a murderer and ruining his heroic moment!

I call bullshit on an epic scale. She must really think HP fans are stupid or is too arrogant to care. Or both.

This is sad though. I was really disappointed by the first Fantastic Beasts film (pandering to Americans, uninteresting story, charisma-free protagonist, far too much filler and the only interesting character was the Muggle), then they cast Johnny Depp (who has become a caricature of himself, on top of the domestic violence incident) in the second one and now this. Cursed Child was a spectacular show ruined by a silly storyline and almost everyone behaving out of character. And they destroyed Pottermore!

I’ll stick to the books (and, to a lesser degree, the HP films) but this is where I check out of the franchise.

Aug

18

By nightowl

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Categories: Miscellaneous

I was defeated, you won the war

Every time I read about the Swedish government’s outrage at the latest antisocial or criminal act committed by immigrants, their reaction reminds me of a toddler who is learning for the first time that life isn’t fair.

“I am really furious, what the hell are they up to?” Stefan Löfven told Swedish radio on Tuesday morning.

Aww bless him, he’s really furious. Stamping his little foot and everything.

The Prime Minister of Sweden sounds like a sad and disappointed social worker who has just been just told the underprivileged teenager they’re looking after was caught buying drugs. With people like that in charge, Sweden is truly fucked. It’s like they genuinely cannot comprehend the concept of not being a nice person. Why wouldn’t someone want to be a nice person? Why don’t immigrants want to be like us? Can’t they just see it’s the best way to be? This seems to be a complete mystery to most Swedes.

This mindset is very well explained by Kjell Andersson (a Swede) on Quora:

“We have been taught that Sweden is the best.

When I was in school, in the 20th century, it was a constant message in school books and in media. We were taught that Sweden was a precursor for hunanity. A road model. By being so good we set an example for the rest of the world.

The ideology of Swedish supremacism was based on Hegels Dialectics: Progress occurs when history has created a thesis, like capitalism. This will create an opposition that create an antithesis, like communism. Conflict will follow until a synthesis, like Sweden, is created. The synthesis will combine the best of the two and be superior to both. The synthesis will then become the new thesis and history continues. Everything can only get better.

Note that Swedish supremacists do not legitimize their claims by history but by what will happen in the future. The result was a strong nationalism that claimed not to be nationalism. Contrary! All of humanity would become Swedish. It was the irresistible force of history. It was progress. Swedish chauvinism was not chauvinism but international solidarity.

This mentality is still alive. People in, for example, Afghanistan are not Swedish. Their culture is not Swedish but they are supposed to be longing to become Swedish. This is natural.

Example: No man really can be against gender equality because no man can wish that his old mother will be locked up in a small house when she could be free to move wherever she please.

A lot of Swedes believe that people with a very un Swedish attitude, like an Afghan taliban has an inner Swede who is longing to get out. Just give them a chance and they will show themselves as good Swedes. If you do not agree to this idea: You are a racist.

The chain of evidence is like this:

Development always means progress
Sweden is the most developed nation in the world.
Sweden is the best
Everyone wants improvement
Everyone wants to be like us
Claiming that there are people who do not want to be Swedish means claiming that there are people who do not want to improve
Claiming that some people do not want to improve means claiming that some people are bad.
Claiming that some people are bad is racism.”

Miranda was wrong. So is Sweden.

Aug

5

By nightowl

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Categories: The Grauniad strikes again

The sob story that never was

The Guardian is like the Terminator, it absolutely will not stop.

Here’s yet another immigrant’s tale of woe for your entertainment.

Five years previously, when I had entered the UK on a Writers, Artists and Composers visa I thought the road to settlement, and then citizenship, was flat and paved. As long as I could maintain myself financially, continued to work as a writer, and didn’t break any laws, I’d be eligible for ILR in five years, and citizenship a year later. And then there would be a citizenship ceremony to end it all, which seemed a pleasant enough idea.

So far so good, although I did raise an eyebrow at “which seemed a pleasant enough idea.” A rather curious choice of words to talk about acquiring citizenship, isn’t it? It almost sounds as if she isn’t really taking the concept seriously.

Fancy that.

But I wasn’t prepared for the mutable nature of immigration laws, and their ability to make migrants feel perpetually insecure, particularly as the rhetoric around migration mounted.

Weren’t you? Don’t you read the Guardian then?

“I didn’t think that would affect someone like you,” a large number of Brits said to me over the years, with the implacable British belief that if you’re middle class you exist under a separate set of laws. They weren’t entirely wrong – the more privileged you are in terms of income and education the more likely it is you’ll be able to clear all hurdles. It’s only the rich around whose convenience immigration laws are tailored.

And you’re what, shocked and disappointed? Of course a rich, educated immigrant will always be preferable to a poor, illiterate one! You need the skills, tools and social graces that money and education can give you in order to function in a First World country or else you’re wasting everybody’s time, including your own.

Seriously, show me one country in the world which is run as a charity and only takes in waifs and strays. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Soon after my arrival, I had heard of an overhaul of migration laws which would bring in a new “points based” immigration system; but the migration lawyer I spoke to said there was no way that the Writers, Artists and Composers visa could be brought within that system, since there was no way to actually measure “cultural value”. Speaking in a manner that suggested deep insider knowledge, the lawyer said that the migration route I had entered on would remain unchanged. I had enough faith in his polished assurance that I paid little attention when the new points based system was announced.

I’m afraid that lawyer had zero clue about it (how could they?) and therefore told you exactly what you needed to hear – and you believed them because you wanted to. You can’t exactly blame the government for this.

Several months later, near the time when I had to renew my writer’s visa, I went to the UKBA website and discovered my visa category had simply been abolished. I would either have to find some other category for which I was eligible, or leave the country.

I’m flabbergasted. The random lawyer was wrong after all! Say it ain’t so!

Even in all my huge relief, I registered a sense of disappointment at having been transferred from Writers, Artists and Composers to the category Tier 1 (General).

Yes, now you’re just an ordinary member of the public like the rest of us, instead of being an Artiste™. It must burn. It’s almost not worth applying for that pleb visa… oh wait.

Wanna bet this person is a fierce critic of ‘elitism’ the rest of the time?

I never really felt safe after that. Every announcement of proposed changes to migration laws made my heart stutter, every politician’s announcement about slashing migration numbers felt like a threat.

Look, at the end of the day, you have no god-given right to live in London for the rest of your life just because you want to. Half the flipping planet wants to!

You’re not exactly stuffed to the gills with skills the UK desperately needs either. Writers are two a penny. Retrain as a orthopaedic surgeon and we’ll talk.

And so, five years down the line, I was able to apply for ILR – though first I had to take the Life in the UK test, which continues to be mistakenly referred to as a Citizenship Test. At this juncture I received a tremendous outpouring of sympathy from my British friends. “It’s ridiculous,” they said. “Why should you have to learn about the kings and queens of England in order to stay?”

She keeps quoting these mysterious “British friends” who sound too stupid to be allowed. Are they even real?

In fact, the test teaches you little about kings and queens and is full of information about employment rights, schooling, the history of gender equality laws and other rather useful things (though the Tories want to add the kings-and-queens stuff, which will render it absurd.)

No more absurd than the history of gender equality laws. If you don’t know the past, you can’t understand the present.

This kind of knowledge will also allow you not to make a twat of yourself when playing Trivial Pursuit with locals (not your imaginary British friends though, they don’t sound the type).

I had thought dual citizenship would feel like a gain, not a loss. Instead, as I took my seat in the chamber I found myself reflecting on what it means to be from a country in which acquiring a second passport is regarded across the board as reason for celebration. Weeks later, I was trying to explain this to British-Libyan writer, Hisham Matar, who knew exactly what I meant. “In that moment you are betrayed and betrayer both,” he said. “You’re betraying your country by seeking another passport, and you’re betrayed by your country which makes you want to seek another passport”

So many insecurities and chips on both shoulders. Oh dear.

And she’s only got two countries to deal with. How does she think Jason Bourne feels?

What dissipated the feeling of melancholy was a glance toward one end of the council chamber. There was a picture of the Queen in her tiara, set against a large union jack. I might have laughed out loud. It seemed so American: the smiling portrait, all those flags. And then someone pressed “play” on a CD player and classical music filled the room. I want to say it was The Ride of the Valkyries but this seems so over the top that it must be a novelist’s imagination rather than memory. Mustn’t it? All I know is I kept looking across the room at my sister and giggling.

Well, I called it, didn’t I? Getting British citzenship is just a big joke to her, all that matters is that she gets to stay in London.

we all sang – or moved our lips meaninglessly in time to – the national anthem

Oh FFS. Just tear up her certificate and send her back to Pakistan. What a waste of space.

However high my levels of anxiety might have felt along the way, I always knew I had the luxury of another home to return to, as well as a livelihood which wasn’t contingent on being in one place rather than another.

How interesting. What was all that guff about feeling ‘unsafe’ then? Check your privilege, you silly moo!

We had all been given envelopes for our certificates, and when I opened mine out popped Theresa May. Or at least a letter of welcome from her, with her photograph at the top of the page. Just a few weeks earlier, May had sent her “Go Home” vans across the UK, so this hardly inspired a feeling of belonging.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.

LEGAL IMMIGRATION.

TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

is it even necessary to add that the irony here that the resources of the state, as embodied by institutions such as the NHS, would probably collapse without migrants?

But you’re not one of them, are you?

Also: hooray! The legendary “the NHS relies on immigrants” trope makes an appearance! We have a full house!

The first thing I did on returning home was download and fill out a passport application form. Wanting to stay was my primary reason for acquiring citizenship, but the added benefit of a passport that allowed me to travel without the visa nightmares that come attached to a Pakistani passport was also a strong motivating factor.

This says it all. What a worthy addition to the UK this person is. Not.

I filled out the form, took it to the post office, and handed it across the counter to a bearded man with the name tag Khaled.

Khaled, huh? Just like back home!

“First passport?” he asked.

“Yes.”

Khaled looked gravely at me.

“Welcome,” he said, and everything uncomplicated and moving I had wanted to feel in that citizenship ceremony, I felt then.

Oh, now you feel like you belong in the UK. Because Khaled said so. Right.

Jul

21

By nightowl

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Categories: The Grauniad strikes again

This puts the dim in dim sum

Chinatown is in trouble because the horrible Home Office is arresting all the illegal immigrants working in restaurants

WTF Guardian? Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t human trafficking A Bad Thing? Don’t you campaign against it on a regular basis?

Or is it only OK when it means Londoners are not deprived of their beloved Chinese food on a Saturday night? Never mind the exploited, overworked, underpaid, illegal Chinese sods in the kitchen, huh? Nothing else matters so long as we get to enjoy our duck shredded in a pancake, soaking in the hoisin of your lies!

So wrong yet so tasty

Jul

13

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

One little word makes all the difference

Newsflash: according to the Daily Mail, Serena Williams is a zombie.

No, really – I did a screen capture in case they correct their headline:

Oh, she nearly died then. I did think it might be a bit tricky to play tennis after you’re dead, but what do I know?

Jul

6

By nightowl

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Categories: Miscellaneous

When is cultural appropriation not cultural appropriation?

When nobody involved is white, that’s when.

First we had this ridiculous story: White star pulls out of West Side Story concert following race row

A white actress playing Maria, a Puerto Rican, is apparently unacceptable. She was told “This is not your story to tell” by some SJW on Twitter (why people care so much about Twitter is beyond me). The massive guilt trip has caused her to resign and make an apologetic statement about being “miscast”.

She played the same part three years ago and nobody batted an eyelid!

Meanwhile, it has recently been announced that Beverley Knight will play Emmeline Pankhurst in the West End.

Outrage? No. Twitter shitstorm? Nope. Not her story to tell? You must be joking, black women are always relevant.

And then we have a Dutch-Korean actress playing a Thai woman in The King And I. Still not a peep. By the way, the king of Siam himself is played by a Japanese actor! And said Dutch-Korean actress played Fantine (a white 19th century Frenchwoman) in Les Misérables in 2014. Somehow, by an absolute miracle, that was totally her story to tell. Huh.

Jul

1

By nightowl

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Categories: WTF

Male Ego 101

Welcome to the University of Adelaide, where we teach our male students to mansplain like a boss and our female students to listen respectfully like the lesser beings they are.

It could be worse: in the US the girls would have been urged to smile as well.

Mar

31

By nightowl

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Harry Potter and the Transphobic Tweet

JK Rowling finally loses her impeccable PC credentials

This is hilarious. These people can turn on each other faster than sharks! And of course rent-a-gob Jack “non-binary” Monroe just had to get involved.

I bet Rowling just saw the feminist message and automatically ‘liked’ the post without reading it too carefully. What’s even funnier it that everyone is attacking her as if she had written the whole thing, not just retweeted it. I don’t suppose a pack of hyenas can read too well either.

Men in dresses indeed.

A spokesman for Ms Rowling said she had ‘liked’ the tweet by accident, telling The Mail on Sunday: ‘It was a mistake. I’m afraid J.K. Rowling had a clumsy middle-aged moment.

‘This is not the first time she has favourited [a post] by holding her phone incorrectly.’

Oh, this is lame. I knew she was quite the coward as well as a hypocrite but this is truly lame. When you are the kind of person who loves attacking in an extremely self-righteous and vitriolic way anyone who disagrees with you, you really should be able to cope with being on the receiving end instead of hiding behind your minions. The next time Rowling has a go at Donald Trump for tweeting something stupid and/or offensive, I hope someone reminds her of this little incident.

In the furore, the message of the tweet – that trans rights matter more than womens’s rights – has been totally forgotten, thus beautifully proving the point of the original poster.