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Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Links - 8th May 2019 (2)

Matthew Seligmann on Winston Churchill’s navy | History Extra Podcast - History Extra - "Corporal punishment came up again in the 50s. The rules Churchill had introduced in 1913 were more or less still there... For a series of bizarre reasons that don;t really correspond to our logical way of thinking, but they did think it was time to get rid of these. One was that the kind of people likely to be punished by it might actually enjoy it and therefore it was counterproductive...
The majority of officers in Churchill's time were recruited... between the ages of 12 and 14. So their parents basically sent them to become cadets at the naval colleges at a very young age and they were more or less committed to a naval career thereafter"

Police defend drowning death case - "Police chiefs have defended two community support officers (PCSOs) who did not enter the water as a 10-year-old boy drowned in a pond. Jordon Lyon leapt into the water in Wigan, Greater Manchester, after his eight-year-old stepsister Bethany got into difficulties on 3 May.Two anglers jumped in and saved Bethany but Jordon became submerged.The inquest into his death heard the PCSOs did not rescue him as they were not trained to deal with the incident"
Health and Safety laws!

Police dive into canal to rescue 150 Islamic books... only to find they were dumped there on purpose - "Police dived into an east London canal to retrieve 150 Islamic books... It is thought a “well meaning” believer had put the books in the Limehouse Cut after misunderstanding the rules for proper disposal of the Koran... “Police were called at 8.27am on Thursday to Limehouse Cut to reports of Islamic texts in the water.“Two local officers and three officers from the Marine Support Unit attended and one MSU officer entered the water and removed 180 to 200 religious texts.“Local enquiries are being made to find the source of the books.“However there is no evidence of any hate crime.”"

White Porgy and Bess cast ‘asked to say they identify as African-American' - "The Hungarian State Opera has come up with a dubious way around a stipulation that George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess be performed by an all-black cast: it is allegedly asking its white, Hungarian singers to sign a paper saying they identify as African-American... Hungarian media have speculated that the opera house may be using illicitly made photocopies of the scores that were rented for the original performances last year, as they do not have permission to play the show with a non-black cast... The opera house’s contention is that in a country such as Hungary, the all-black cast rule essentially makes the work impossible to perform. The argument has won sympathy among many Hungarians. The debate has also become part of the culture wars over liberalism, a dirty word in Viktor Orbán’s nationalist Hungary."
I guess the only way Porgy and Bess can be performed outside the US is with a visiting cast. So much for Art

[UPDATE] NYC Casting Call Says ‘White Artists’ Will Be Paid Less Than ‘POC Artists,’ And Undergo ‘Mandatory’ Session Of ‘Anti-Racism Training’ - "white actors who were cast in the show would participate in a mandatory "anti-racism training" session. That training session would not be mandatory for actors of other races.Under the "compensation" heading, the call stated that actors of color would be paid more than white actors... it "would be illegal to require one race and not another to go through the anti-racism training if based only on race.""
If it were the other way around...

Confessions of a ‘Soulless Troglodyte’: How My Brooklyn Literary Friendships Fell Apart in the Age of Trump - [On a Master of Fine Arts in literary fiction] "Too often, their reasons for being there seemed to have little to do with a love of books. Some only read within a single genre. Others actually bragged about not reading at all. And the social climate could be tense—something I learned for the first time when a gay black classmate warned me to “be careful” before commenting on his story, which was centered on a gay black character."... Jamie said that Lolita bored him after the first few sentences, so he stopped reading: “Maybe it was a bad translation.”It brought me no joy to have to tell him that while Vladimir Nabokov was a Russian émigré who wrote his first nine novels in his native tongue, the later Nabokov of Lolita fame was one of the great prose stylists of the English language. What followed was a contentious exchange in which it became clear that Jamie has never read or finished many of the great books that I held dear. When I asked, in all sincerity, how he could teach writing to college students, he shot back by rejecting my beloved texts as artifacts of white, male European hegemony. It wasn’t long before tirades against the Western canon—against my use of terms such as “Shakespearean” or “Dickensian” in reference to Ralph Ellison and Zora Neale Hurston—spilled over onto Facebook pages, where they turned personal, especially after I critiqued Ta-Nehisi Coates’ politics of nihilism and doom... I refused to nod in agreement to Coates, who “could see no difference between the [police] officer who killed [Coates’ friend and classmate] Prince Jones, and the police who died [on 9/11], or the firefighters who died. They were not human to me.”... As a New York writer, I’m supposed to be reflexively hostile to Trump voters—a political breed that often is caricatured as a bunch of racist Appalachian hillbillies. But because of what I do for a living, and who my friends are, I’ve learned that Trump’s enemies can be every bit as Manichean and hysterical as Trump’s supporters. As with a massive gas giant orbiting a smaller body, the gravitational field of Trump’s symbolic presence has come to draw in the petty grievances, career anxieties and existential dread of a whole generation of intellectuals. I hate my boss: Fuck Trump! My spouse hates me: Fuck Trump! No one will buy my book: Fuck Trump! Please, I want somebody to love me: Fuck Trump! Here, at last, was somebody we could freely hate more than we hate each other or ourselves... Trump is as much a symptom as a cause. His appearance in American politics coincides with a larger trend on the left that now serves to elevate every form of personal disappointment into a symptom of “systemic” abuse. The result hasn’t just been that my erstwhile friends are afflicted with debilitating persecution complexes: It also has destroyed their ability to exercise independent thought"

Good Ideas Vs Bad Ideas: Against The Regressive Left, Islamists & Racists - "Many of the people who have this on their cars,
can't seem to 'coexist' with peple who have this on their heads.
'Make America Great Again'"

Stated Clearly - Posts - "Today I learned from @DrJoeHanson that blobfish just look that way because of the lack of water-pressure up here."

The Nigga List - Posts - "An Inclusionist Queer Trans Femme: Disagreeing with these facts will earn you a ban.
1. Trans women are women
2. Capitalism is bad
3. There are no good cops
4. People on the asexual and aromantic spectra are inherently 2SLGBTQIA+
5. Neither sex nor gender are binary"
I guess inclusionism doesn't mean including those with different views, or who believe in scientifically grounded facts

Curry chef wiped his bottom with hands and then cooked - "Disgusted health inspectors were sickened to find a milk bottle covered with BROWN FINGERPRINTS.They made the horrifying find after visiting the Yeahya Flavour of Asia takeaway, which he ran out of a rented kitchen in the Nine Elms pub in Swindon, Wiltshire.When they confronted staff chef Mahbub Chowdhury admitted it was his and said he did not use toilet paper after going to the loo for 'cultural reasons', instead using water to clean himself... "He did not use toilet paper for cultural reasons. Inspectors concluded the brown finger prints was fecal matter." But Mark Glendenning, defending, claimed the milk bottle had never been properly assessed and the stains could have been spices."

Girlfriend Changes Man Into Someone She's Not Interested In - "After two and a half years of subtle prodding and manipulation, Jill Nickles has finally molded boyfriend Brendan Eiler into the sort of man in whom she's not interested... "The reason I fell so hard for Brendan was that he was totally different from the guys I used to date," Nickles said. "He had beautiful long hair, and he was really smart and cynical. Now he reminds me of my boring ex-boyfriend Kevin, who's an accountant in Raleigh.""

AuthaGraph Map, The World's Most Accurate Map, Wins Prestigious Design Award - "The world maps we’re all used to operate off of the Mercator projection, a cartographic technique developed by Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. This imperfect technique gave us a map that was “right side up,” orderly, and useful for ship navigation — but also one that distorted both the size of many landmasses and the distances between them... Narukawa’s process indeed succeeded in creating a map that no longer shrinks Africa, enlarges Antarctica, or minimizes the vastness of the Pacific — and the list goes on."

Zach Weinersmith on Twitter - "So, about 5 years ago, we got on facebook. Why? Well, facebook has a big audience and they like to consume on facebook. So, we started posting comics there, even though we got paid nothing and facebook made money off the free content... Over time, like a bad business partner, facebook basically made it impossible to reach your audience without *paying them*. Thus, you supply them free content on which they run ads, and you get nothing in exchange. In fact, you get less than nothing, because readers who started reading you only on facebook sometimes don't even know you have a website or book.
So, as of last week, we've started posting much more frequently, linking back to the main site. Why? (1) It gets around the algorithms a little. (2) It encourages people to go to the main site. (3) It encourages people to stop consuming on facebook... Historically, our policy has been "we will put the content where the readers want it." But, facebook has made that environment so thoroughly bad for artistic careers, that we have no choice."

Muslims in Europe Becoming Less Secular, More Radical - "Professor emeritus of the University of Louvain, Felice Dassetto, has claimed the number of secular Muslims in Europe is in steep decline and more are becoming radicalised... On the topic of integration, Dassetto said that it was failing despite repeated attempts by governments, saying: “studies say that even the third and fourth generation youngsters, the children of parents born here, they maintain a certain hesitation about their belonging.”The professor’s comments echo those of scholar of radical Islam Professor Gilles Kepel, who has warned that without proper integration programmes countries in Europe could face the possibility of civil conflict... French sociologist Olivier Galland also warned earlier this year about the radicalisation and religious fervour among young Muslims, revealing the results of a survey he had conducted that showed 20 percent of Muslim students advocated religious violence."

In Defense of the Electoral College - "Electors cast their ballots for Donald Trump this week, but that has not ended calls to revamp or replace the Electoral College. While the disconnect between the electoral and popular votes may be cause for alarm, however, abolishing the Electoral College poses even greater dangers, particularly for liberals... the Electoral College is one of the greatest guarantees our system delivers to ensure that minority interests are represented in the office of the presidency... to win the majority of electors, a candidate must gain the confidence of the greatest number of interests in the country. And the ability to speak to a diversity of interests is an important quality in the head of state. The best analogy one might make is to a sports championship. Take the World Series. The winner of the World Series is not decided by the total number of runs a team scores in the season, but rather based on the number of discrete wins. This is because the number of wins tests the team’s winning ability in many different contexts... the presidential contest is not just about fairness but about values. Majority rule is an important value, but so is minority protection... let us not lose sight of the fact that, in this election, on the one issue that proved most salient to electors—the economy—Trump won a more diverse swath of voters than Hillary Clinton.
"Minorities" only matter when they're politically useful

If Your Girlfriend Doesn’t Argue With You, She Probably Doesn’t Love You - "a silent girlfriend is a plotting one.Women are not known for their stoic “suck it up and don’t let anyone know how you feel” attitude. They express their feelings and talk things through -- and the only time they’re closing their mouth is when they’re planning on closing the book. Stoicism is a sign of indifference. But when women argue with you, it’s a sign she loves you.... If she’s happy all the time, she’s seeing someone else.No relationship is perfect. No two people living together (or spending all their time together) will always be in a great mood. We’re bound to piss each other off every once in awhile.The girlfriend who never gets pissed, however, is hiding something. The happy-go-lucky woman is a guilty woman."
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