Playing with fire

In some ways this story, seen on Twitter, is related to yesterday’s post about Pakistanis fighting Roma:

16 Vancouver women facing human rights complaints for refusing to wax transgender woman’s male genitalia

“JY” publicly identifies as a woman, but still has all the male parts.  In recent months, JY approached 16 Vancouver-area female estheticians who only serve women, requesting a “Brazilian” bikini wax on his groin area.

In spite of the fact that JY is able to obtain a Manzilian in Vancouver, JY has filed 16 complaints against these women at the BC Human Rights Tribunal, claiming discrimination on the basis of “gender identity.”

It is similar because it represents yet another example of the government creating protected classes in order to advance political agendas, and gifting them special rights and privileges which result in ludicrous yet predictable outcomes bringing misery to ordinary people.

As we saw in the US, no sooner did the Supreme Court grant homosexuals the right to marry in the name of equality when activists went from establishment to establishment looking for someone to accuse of discrimination. It was only a matter of time before transsexuals started doing the same thing, and Justin Trudeau’s Canada was the logical place to start. That the whole thing is a shake-down is obvious:

One of them, Shelah Poyer, is a single mom who works out of her home.  JY was willing to withdraw his complaint in exchange for $2,500.

If JY is demanding similar sums from the other 14 women, he stands to receive as much as $35,000 for dropping his human rights complaints.

It’s a handy racket, one that Jessie Jackson deployed in the US for years to good effect. But it does leave me wondering how many of these women now being clobbered by insane legislation initially supported it, confident it would eradicate bigotry as they saw it? Or at least, how many voted for the government that’s brought it in? Feminists were quite happy to use bad law to bludgeon men into submission, and now they’re finding men in dresses are using those same laws against them. Whose fault is that, then?

That said, I think the trannies might be overplaying their hand here. As I’ve remarked before, gays are largely accepted in western societies because there are enough of them around that anyone my age knows a few, and most of them will be normal, decent people. It’s a similar story with blacks in the UK: once you go to school with a few black lads, eat meals, play sport, and joke around with them it’s rather uncomfortable to hear people talking about “jungle bunnies” and the like, and you’d rather disassociate from those who do. If you see those pictures of black men being beaten senseless by police in the civil rights era for standing in the wrong place, it’s hard not to sympathise. Similarly, when Iran hangs young men for being gay you wonder if it wouldn’t be too much trouble just to leave them the hell alone.

But with trannies it’s different, because there simply aren’t enough of them. If gays make up around 2-5% of any given population, it’s enough that you’ll get to know a few and realise they’re not insane. But trannies are around 0.1% of the population or thereabouts, and few people know any outside a trip to a Bangkok nightclub they’d rather forget. While I’m sure there are transsexuals who are reasonable, decent people who generally want to be left alone, the ones the public see appear to be in desperate need of treatment for mental illness. And to make matters much worse, those in the public eye have adopted a nasty authoritarian streak aimed at forcing the ordinary public to share in their delusions. This will not end well.

I’m not entirely sure that gays, if the more militant of them continue to act as they do, will not be subject to an appalling backlash in at least one western country. Their approach to the ordinary population is perilous enough, so where does that leave trannies? Out on a limb, that’s where. Few will have much sympathy if some bloke in a frock launches a program of aggressive extortion against women and ends up unconscious in a ditch somewhere.

The fault lies squarely with western governments and progressives who support these insane policies. We often hear how dangerous it is being transsexual, usually in articles which ignore the fact an awful lot of them work as street prostitutes. By passing laws which encourage these people, who are usually mentally unstable to begin with, to go around ruining the lives of strangers they’re making it all the more likely they’ll come to grievous harm. Politicians of all stripes need to get a grip of this, rid the statute books of these insane laws favouring certain groups, and stop this extortion racket before someone gets seriously hurt.

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Shifting Sands

Via a reader, this is a good blog post which deals with several topics I write about on here, i.e. the degree to which large companies outsource expertise, the bureaucratic burden of compliance, people working in the gig economy, and the role of HR. Some quotes:

Today, Human Resources costs have gone up so much that small companies are outsourcing their HR tasks to service contractors.  If you’re a small company, perhaps around the 50-employee mark, the amount of time required to ensure compliance with the many laws interferes with the other things managers need to do.  As a result, they hire HR service companies to ensure they’re meeting all the regulations.

In the case of big engineering/manufacturing companies like the one I’m retired from, they will probably only keep the people who are their technology leaders as full time employees.  There will be fewer new graduate engineers hired: big companies were typically where new grads went for their first job because they’re too expensive for a small company to make productive. Perhaps those companies will soon be a few percent long-term employees, maybe twice that percentage in promising young engineers, but the majority of the “heavy lifting”; the jobs that require experience and the engineering judgement that experience brings, will go to contract engineers.

You may have heard this referred to as “the Gig Economy”; you don’t have a full time position anywhere, but you have a handful of part time jobs that you do as needed.

Go and read the whole thing.

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Clash of Clans

Here’s a story which was doing the rounds last week:

It was an unusually heavy response to a fight in a school canteen: a police helicopter, police dog and 15 police vehicles all rushed to Fir Vale Academy in Page Hall, Sheffield, one Tuesday in late September.

The drama, inevitably, was caught on camera. The screaming in the dinner hall, children climbing on tables to escape. Outside, a teenage girl in handcuffs, face-down on a police car; the man in a tracksuit being mauled by a police dog. A pupil had texted false talk of a knife fight, and parents had been trying to scale the fence to reach the school.

So what was it all about?

[T]he fight had begun when a Roma girl pulled off the headscarf of a Muslim classmate.

An incident which didn’t come out of a clear blue sky:

Angry Fir Vale parents – most Pakistanis, no Roma – shouted at a panel of wincing white council workers about “them”. Their new Roma neighbours. “David Blunkett was right!” yelled one man. “This is a ticking time bomb. If it goes off, you’re going to need the army.”

They refused to see the hijab incident as an isolated scrap between teenage girls. “This is not just a school issue… This is ready to blow up. Bang,” warned one man. “We’ve lived here 35, 40 years and you expect us to sit silently,” said another, claiming that he had 60 cousins ready to provide back-up for what he said could be “a riot like you’ve never seen before in your life”.

I was late to this story, but a lively discussion took place in the comments at Tim Worstall’s, which is worth reading. There are a few things going on here. Firstly, I very much doubt the people are Roma in the commonly understood sense; more likely they’ll be people who until last week were called “travellers”, fifteen years ago “gypsies”, and by nearly everyone in private, even now, “pikeys”. I grew up around communities of gypsies and they were indistinguishable in ethnicity from the locals. But at some point during the Blair years someone realised that classifying them as a different race made a whole new victim group on which public sector careers could be made; you have to do something with all these new social studies graduates, after all. So now a run-of-the-mill British gypsy alongside whose brethren I used to pick spuds and stack straw now belongs to a protected class.

Only on the other side of the battle lines we have another protected class, whose status was so assured that men in the very same locality were permitted to systematically gang-rape underage girls while the police looked on and did nothing. (Incidentally, if I were to guess, I’d say the number of gypsy girls these men abused was precisely nil). So having designated as protected classes two maladjusted, poorly integrated groups thus putting them beyond the bounds of even mild criticism on pain of imprisonment, what happens when they start fighting each other? Well, I don’t know because until now no government in history has been stupid enough to run such an experiment, but we can take a guess.

Firstly, the Pakistanis are more numerous: that chap wasn’t joking when he said he had 60 cousins, and even if some of them are in a village outside Lahore, they can become British citizens and over there in a jiffy. The gypsies maintain large families, but they don’t have an entire nation on which to draw reserves. Secondly, Pakistanis are darker skinned. Gypsies aren’t exactly blonde haired and blue eyed, but even the obese creature with green hair in charge of social inclusion at the local council is going to be hard pressed to deny categorising them as a separate ethnic group was a little fanciful. Particularly so if they’re lined up opposite a bunch of fellows who’d look pretty handy with ball in hand on 22 yards of short-cut grass. Thirdly, Pakistanis are Muslim, and have lobbying power which would make an oil executive kick a barrel out of pure jealousy. By contrast, the gypsies are members of a lesser religion – or perhaps none at all, it doesn’t matter. When designated victim groups have clashed before, it is always those of the one true faith who prevail, and it will be the same this time around.

So the authorities will hold frantic meetings in the Nelson Mandela – Salvadore Allende conference rooms in the local town halls, during which they’ll wrack their brains to come up with a way to blame this on Tommy Robinson. But in the end they’ll be forced to conclude that the gypsies are white after all, and racist to boot. Until they turn up on the common of a middle class village, anyway.

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The Blue Dribble

US Democrats win House in blow to Trump

booms the BBC’s headline, whose coverage throughout the night would have you believe he’s just been turfed from office. In reality, the results are so mediocre even the BBC has had to tone things down a touch.

Many on the left were hoping for a “blue wave” during these midterms, which would see the Democrats retake the House with a workable majority. Most people were predicting a 35-40 seat advantage over the Republicans, who under Trump have been ineffective in Congress and divisive (but reasonably effective) everywhere else. It now looks as though the Democrats will have a majority of around 27 seats, which is slim by historical standards and few can deny they expected a lot more. Perhaps more importantly, the Democrats not only failed to retake the Senate but actually lost ground, conceding two seats to the Republicans.

What this means is, come January, the Democrats will start throwing every spanner in the works they can think of to unseat Trump. As the BBC says:

They could also more effectively block his legislative plans, notably his signature promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

If that wall was going to get built, funding would have been approved when the Republicans held the House and construction would have already started, so I doubt this will make any difference. As far as legislation goes, Trump’s administration hasn’t done much which is hardly surprising given Paul Ryan was in charge of that and he couldn’t even manage to draft an alternative to Obamacare. Where Trump has made the biggest impact is in rescinding a whole swathe of Obama’s executive orders, and appointing judges to the Supreme and lower courts. Given the Republicans retain control of the senate and no longer rely on independent votes, they ought to be able to continue with this apace. Liberals from coast to coast will be on their knees praying daily that Ruth Burger Gingsburg, who is 85 years old, hangs on until at least 2020.

But this is equally important:

The Democrats could now launch investigations into Mr Trump’s administration and business affairs, from tax returns to potential conflicts of interest.

The majority population would likely welcome some increased level of congressional oversight, but I suspect they’ll have a low tolerance for the sort of lunacy they were witness to during the Kavanaugh hearings. Assuming Nancy Pelosi is elected speaker without an internal bunfight, Trump will relish batting away one deranged accusation after another; he’s at his best when under attack from buffoons who think the old rules still apply and he can portray himself as the only sane person standing. That crazies on the Democrat side are already screeching for the House to impeach Trump doesn’t bode well for the next two years. They’re hedging their bets on the Mueller report producing something damning, but my guess is whatever’s in there will hurt Democrats more than Trump and he knows it. It’s telling that even Pelosi is distancing herself from talks of impeachment; perhaps she’s looked at the election results and realised that the lunatics the Dems ran fared badly while the more sensible ones did well. Whatever happens between now and 2020, the Democrats need to convince American voters they’re not mental, and this means behaving like adults in Congress. Can they manage it? I doubt it, but we’ll see.

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Survive, rebuild, and…erm…forget it

Via Fay once more, a bizarre article about a lefty “prepper” who is ensuring she’s ready for catastrophes such as zombie attacks, giant earthquakes, and the election of a Republican president. Here’s an accompanying pic:

Both advantages and disadvantages of seeing out a nuclear winter holed up in a bunker with someone like this occur to me, mainly distinguishable by whether she’s alive or dead after Day 1. But she’ll not come alone:

While I was beginning to explore the art of prepping, I met my partner, a fellow anarchist who specializes in constructing urban shelters and creating makeshift weapons out of random finds from the local dumpster.

If you need a club fashioned from a stale baguette, he’s your man.

Ape teaches me how to handle and care for knives and guns, while I teach him how to recognize medicinal herbs in an urban setting, how to preserve food, and how to stitch up a wound.

Once he’s washed his hands, I hope.

Ape and I had sex at an “End of the World” orgy on the night of Trump’s election. The crowd was mostly sex workers and queer folks. None of us wanted to face this election alone, so we got together at a friend’s loft apartment to handle the news as best we could — with food, alcohol and sex.

I have no idea why this is relevant to the story, but research shows that people with blue hair and a history of orgy-attendance insist on telling others about it.

What was normally a group of boisterous party animals started off with us tentatively nibbling at cheese and crackers, whispering to each other in corners, and halfheartedly making out, one eye always on the votes coming in.

People who host orgies provide cheese and crackers? Well, I’ve learned something today.

When it became clear that Trump was going to be our next president, silence descended over the mostly naked crowd. Everyone seemed frozen in place. I felt a sinking in my gut and I knew what we needed to do; my boyfriend and I looked at each other and began to dress without a word.

Making your getting laid dependent on Hillary winning was probably not the smartest move in hindsight. And unsurprisingly:

And a surprising amount of my Burning Man community not only knew a lot about filtering and recycling water or using alternative energy but also seemed to own and use guns

She’s in with the Burning Man crowd, eh? Who would have guessed?

[The author], Kitty Stryker, is an anarchist, a Juggalo, and a street medic working in the East Bay. Her first book, “Ask: Building Consent Culture” was published through Thorntree Press in 2017.

Amusingly, the foreword to her book is written by none other than Laurie Penny; the two met in a fetish club in 2010. Come the Apocalypse, I think I’ll take my chances with the zombies.

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The consecration of the Grenfell Tower

When future historians look back on the collapse of Britain, they may devote an entire section to the Grenfell Tower. It started as a human disaster born of poor cladding, bad regulations, unaccountable management, and an obsession with green initiatives but quickly became a quasi-religious symbol erected atop a hill on which the ruling classes are prepared to die.

Most of the country thought it was a crying shame then moved on, but many believed it symbolised the utter corruption of British politicians who encouraged mass immigration, hosed foreigners with welfare payments, and ignored wholesale fraud. These feelings were reinforced when professional hustlers, many of whom appeared to be foreign, took up the disaster as a stick with which to beat the government, demanding yet more concessions. On top of that, the charred remains became the focus of possibly the most brazen acts of fraud in British history. For instance:

So as many saw the Grenfell Tower as a symbol of the government’s worst policies, the ruling classes realised their most cherished beliefs – mass immigration, generous welfare payments, and multiculturalism – were under attack. Their reaction was as predictable as the fraud: they attempted to shut down all dissent. The trouble is, while it’s possible to place people in protected classes and criminalise any criticism of their behaviour, it is rather more difficult to do so in the case of an incident like a fire. I can think of many cases of a person being off-limits for mockery and derision; I can think of several objects which must not be disrespected in various parts of the world; I can also think of several government policies and actions which may not be discussed, let alone criticised. But I cannot think of a single instance anywhere in the world when something like a domestic fire was elevated to the status of a holy relic, placed beyond criticism on pain of criminal prosecution. Yet this is what the British ruling classes have done:

In short, the day before thousands of Brits burn an effigy of a Catholic man in celebration of his trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament, someone made a cardboard replica of the Grenfell Tower complete with people hanging out of windows and chucked it on a fire. They then made a video which was passed around on social media. It’s in rather poor taste I admit, but hardly something to concern the police in a country populated by adults. And were this to have been something else, say an effigy of Jacob-Rees Mogg or a bus full of Brexiteers, they’d not have batted an eyelid. But the Grenfell Tower has become a holy relic, and blasphemy is a matter of national importance:

Theresa May tweeted: “To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable.”

Unacceptable to whom? The sensibilities of the ruling classes, who know their entire catalogue of cherished beliefs is represented by that cardboard model?

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire said the group’s actions were “beneath contempt”.

Was there anyone who held them in esteem?

Commander Stuart Cundy, from the Met’s Grenfell Tower investigation team, said any offences committed would be “fully investigated”.

“I am frankly appalled by the callous nature of the video posted online. To mock that disaster in such a crude way is vile,” he said.

I suspect Commander Stuart Cundy cares as much about the Grenfell Tower victims as his comrades in Rotherham did about the underage girls who were systematically gang-raped with their full knowledge. All he’s doing here is signalling to his masters he’s on-message, and smoothing the waters for when he’s confronted by the mob at the next public meeting. Whatever the case, his personal opinions are irrelevant: if he wants to talk about his feelings, he is free to sign up to Instagram and befriend some teenagers.

Now I’ve written before about how Britain has adopted the Soviet approach of “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime”, and sure enough:

Five men have been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence in connection with a model of Grenfell Tower being burned on a bonfire.

The Metropolitan Police said the men – two aged 49 and the others aged 19, 46 and 55 – handed themselves in at a south London station on Monday night.

A public order offence?

The men have been arrested under section 4a of the Public Order Act 1986, which covers intentional “harassment, alarm or distress” caused via the use of “threatening, abusive or insulting” words or signs.

If this legislation can be used to prosecute those who circulate a video mocking an incident which happened over a year ago, it can be used to shut down speech of any kind. The only reason it’s being brought to bear now, as opposed to when everyone else is insulted, mocked, and derided in appallingly bad taste, is because the Grenfell Tower is a holy relic in the religion of the ruling class. And right on cue, here’s a high priest who’s come to preach to us about sin, blasphemy, and holy punishment:

Moyra Samuels, part of the Justice For Grenfell campaign group, told the BBC the video was “a disgusting attack on vulnerable people”.

She added: “We have no doubt that there are actually decent, generous people across Britain and this actual act doesn’t represent ordinary British people.

“But there is a worrying rise of racism in this country at the moment. And that is concerning, because it’s now starting to impact on us directly, which means that we actually need to be thinking what we do about this, and how we respond to this as a whole.”

Were we asked to sign up to this new religion, or were we simply born into it like with Islam? ‘Cos I’d rather not have to listen to this imbecile lecture me on racism every time someone does something her priestly caste doesn’t like.

Under the Public Order Act, racially or religiously aggravated offences carry a prison sentence of up to two years, a fine or both.

Religiously aggravated, eh? See what I mean?

I think future historians will find this interesting not only because it signifies abject desperation on the part of the ruling classes, but also their departure from reality. I get the impression a lot of people are rather incensed that the entire country is supposed to be in perpetual mourning because, apparently, something was upsetting for Londoners. But just as nobody outside Liverpool cares much about Hillsborough, few outside Aberdeen or who aren’t in the oil industry are still traumatised by Piper Alpha, and hardly anyone remembers the Bradford stadium fire, Grenfell Tower isn’t something which non-Londoners care about that much. They certainly don’t expect the incident to occupy the national government to the point they’re reinstating blasphemy laws. Was this video even made in London? Had the fire happened in a tower block in Newcastle, you can be sure the police wouldn’t be running around arresting people over videos and the Prime Minister blubbering on Twitter.

As they lose their grip on power, the ruling classes cannot see beyond the capital, and attempt to appease only the noisiest mob outside the palace gates. They’re not alone in this, either in historical or contemporary terms, but it won’t end well. The trouble with those who start new religions is they often end up burned at the stake, usually when they’ve overestimated their numbers and begun to annoy everyone else.

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Google’s self-inflicted wounds

A reader sends me this story:

A Google executive has left the company with no severance after he was accused of sexually harassing a young female job applicant by inviting her to Burning Man and asking her to take of her shirt for a massage.

Google parent Alphabet confirmed on Wednesday that Rich DeVaul had left the company as tensions heightened over how they handle such matters of sexual harassment allegations.

He was accused of telling a young female hardware engineer during her job interview that he and his wife were ‘polyamorous’.

DeVaul invited the woman to visit the Burning Man festival with him the week after her interview. The woman said she took her mother along because she thought it was an opportunity to speak about the role.

She claims DeVaul asked her to take off her shirt for a back rub when they were at the festival. She refused initially but agreed to a neck rub after DeVaul kept insisting.

Polyamory? Burning Man? Strange, because he doesn’t look the ty…oh, wait:

Of the group of people who inspired my book, which loyal readers will know is in part about a polyamorous community for whom Burning Man was an annual pilgrimage, the men were overwhelmingly working in IT. During my research, the ever-reliable Daniel Ream pointed out that while not every bloke working in IT is a deviant, the sort of people who are into polyamory will gravitate towards IT. The degenerate in the photo above is a walking polyamorous Burning Man stereotype. While I don’t wish to engage in victim-blaming, I find myself asking what sort of woman would go to Burning Man with this guy having been propositioned in an interview, and bring her mother along?

The woman said she took her mother along because she thought it was an opportunity to speak about the role.

Do IT people usually involve their mothers when invited to speak about a professional role? And that her mother was willing to go to Burning Man at all, let alone in those circumstances, says rather a lot about the family.

And this brings me onto my wider point. Regular readers of my blog will hardly be surprised that an ultra-woke polyamorous man with green hair turns out to be a rampant sex-pest. If he hasn’t spent the past decade identifying as a male feminist, I’d be amazed. Yet these are the sort of people Google actively recruits and promotes, based on their adherence to the ever-evolving SJW scripture, while firing anyone who commits heresy. The world’s largest tech company has made a point of hiring people with severe mental issues who parrot the correct political mantra, and has absolutely no idea what to do about the inevitable result. Here, via Tim Almond, is the BBC:

Staff at Google offices around the world have staged an unprecedented series of walkouts in protest at the company’s treatment of women.

The employees are demanding several key changes in how sexual misconduct allegations are dealt with at the firm, including a call to end forced arbitration – a move which would make it possible for victims to sue.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has told staff he supports their right to take the action.

“I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel,” he said in an all-staff email. “I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on an issue that has persisted for far too long in our society… and, yes, here at Google, too.”

Like some medieval religious cult, the self-flagellating priests think the problem is they’ve not flagellated themselves enough. By hand-wringing, pandering to extremists, and recruiting the mentally unstable they’ve fostered an environment where major HR issues are inevitable. But because they’re so far up their own backsides, they can no longer identify the problem, let alone solve it. That’s why they have to pretend this problem of green-haired polyamorous managers taking interviewees and their mothers to Burning Man exists everywhere.

Staff involved in Thursday’s walkout left notes on their desks telling colleagues: “I’m not at my desk because I’m walking out with other Googlers and contractors to protest sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace culture that’s not working for everyone.”

These are not the actions of functioning adults. And besides, the managers are drawn from the ranks of people who are exactly like those walking out. Even if Google fired every manager tomorrow, they’ll be replaced by dysfunctional millennials who will act in exactly the same way. These people were recruited as perfect fits for the corporate culture they are now protesting.

They have also made formal demands to Google’s management. They are:

A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequality

A commitment to end things which by any objective measure don’t exist. Things haven’t got off to a good start, have they?

A publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report

This will read like the product of an algorithm taking stock phrases from The Huffington Post while mixing in a few generic “corporate values” available from any good PR agency.

A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously

This almost certainly exists: the trouble is, Google recruits psychopaths and promotes them as managers, who are then given control over said process.

The elevation of the chief diversity officer to answer directly to the CEO, and make recommendations directly to the board of directors

So diversity will become separated from HR? How’s that going to work? And what’s diversity got to do with sexual harassment?

The appointment of an employee representative to the board

Didn’t these used to be called unions? It’s going to be interesting to see what a unionised workforce thinks of Silicon Valley’s hiring practices.

An end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination for all current and future employees

With forced arbitration being:

Forced arbitration, a common contract clause for Silicon Valley workers, demands any disputes are dealt with internally rather than through other methods such as the courts.

I’d have thought this amounted to a denial of one’s statutory rights, but given it’s California I suppose anything is possible. What is amusing is we had the YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki publicly denouncing James Damore for wrongthink and Google CFO Ruth Porat weeping over the election of Donald Trump, all the while presiding over employment contracts which would look familiar to a 19th century Kentuckian mine worker.

Rather than ratcheting up the self-flagellation to levels not seen outside extremist cults, Google needs to get a grip by firing the bulk of its senior management and replacing them with sensible people who put in place policies which make the firm more like a serious corporation than a playground, thus changing the culture to one in which sane adults flourish while the mentally ill and perpetually aggrieved don’t get through the main gate. Their complete drip of a CEO can start this process by resigning on the spot.

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A paucity of talent

From the BBC:

This year, we felt it was time to direct the spotlight away from Hollywood and celebrate the best cinema from around the world. We asked critics to vote for their favourite movies made primarily in a language other than English. The result is BBC Culture’s 100 greatest foreign-language films.

The problem with asking people what they think is they might give troubling answers, as the BBC has discovered:

If there’s anything disappointing about the final list, it’s the paucity of films directed or co-directed by women. There are just four out of 100. But we made sure to contact as many female critics as male ones; of those who responded, 94 (45 per cent) were women.

The obvious conclusion is women don’t make particularly good films, something even women critics agree with. However, the BBC devotes an entire, separate article telling us this isn’t so. So what is? Why, sexism, of course!

This troubling result puts the current conversation about the dearth of women film-makers in a wider context: by being barred from the exercise of their craft in cinema, women run the risk of being excluded from its history.

So women were barred from being directors, eh? Then how come four films directed by women made it onto the list?

“It’s a matter of volume,” says producer Deborah Calla, Chair of the Diversity Committee of the Producers Guild of America, the West Coast Chair of Women’s Impact Network, and advisor to the Geena Davis Institute. “There are fewer films directed by women, and so there are fewer films directed by women winning awards or being picked by festivals. Women directors end up having a smaller footprint.”

I wouldn’t have thought it matters if only ten women were directing films if their output was good enough. Welshmen are not underrepresented in marathon running because not enough of them train.

Scarcity leads to invisibility, and invisibility leads to more scarcity – and thus the history of cinema comes to be written and taught with little or no women in it.

I’ve written about this before and asked why, if sexism prevents women prevailing in the arts, they have been so staggeringly successful in publishing. Are we to believe studios were hotbeds of patriarchal oppression while publishing houses were staffed by woke feminists?

As cinema progressed from novelty to business, however, women were pushed off sets and out of studios.

So despite their talents, women were kicked out of studios because of business interests? Is this a roundabout way of saying their output didn’t sell? After all, our aforementioned booksellers didn’t seem to mind Agatha Christie, did they?

“We are on the cusp of great change, not just in Hollywood and the West, but worldwide,” adds Kelly. “We are half the world and we need to tell at least half the stories because up until now we have been hugely outnumbered. The exclusion is systemic, and the change will not be easy, but it is happening. I look forward to a time when it isn’t an issue and a director doesn’t need the prefix ‘woman’ in front of that title.”

I have a feeling Kelly is going to remain disappointed, unless she’ll be satisfied with watching mediocre female directors being applauded by SJWs as they receive participation trophies for films nobody will watch. For I suspect what’s happening is being a director requires a certain technical ability, obsession with details, risk taking, and stubborn perseverance which are more commonly found in men than women. Simply put, most women aren’t interested in becoming directors and, when they are, they don’t do a particularly good job of it. There are some exceptions – Kathryn Bigelow and Sophia Coppola have made some good films, although it would be hard to deny they’ve benefited from close proximity to male masters of the same craft – but in general women don’t make very good films, and can’t compete with men in the way their sisters who write books can. The BBC may just as well have compiled a list of the 100 best rock drummers and complained only a handful of women were on that.

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More on women attacking men

This video was doing the rounds on Twitter the other day:


Here’s the story:

A 5ft 1in woman choked a nightclub bouncer into unconsciousness after mistakenly thinking he slapped her on the bottom.

Police have released video footage of Kierah Lagrave, 22, from Plattsburgh, New York, coming at the man from behind in a local nightclub.

She then puts her arms around his neck before they both fall to the floor.

The bouncer did not resist because he assumed it was one of his friends playing a prank, police said.

He was unconscious for a few moments.

There’s a lot wrong with this. Mainly, what kind of a bouncer would just stand there while someone choked them from behind? I can’t imagine any of the Manchester Doorsafe thugs circa 1996 doing that (I’m sure Thud can verify). Also, could she really choke him out like that? Her technique would have to be spot on, which isn’t inconceivable but it is unlikely. So it might be that the whole thing was a prank.

But assuming the story’s vaguely true, this is another example of modern women attacking grown men which I’ve written about before. Looking at the video, the bouncer could have literally killed that woman with two blows. Whoever is responsible for teaching women how to behave, they should really emphasise that physically attacking grown men, especially large young ones, is a very bad idea. If this keeps up, one of them’s going to mistake a violent criminal thug for a middle class white boy and end up dead.

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Banged Up Abroad

A friend, who earns too much to be seeking a coveted research assistant spot at this organ, sends me this story:

A 52-year-old American man is facing up to 20 years in a Russian penal colony after placing an online order for a cleaning product that contains a chemical banned by Moscow.

Gaylen Grandstaff, a former fireman from Topeka, Kansas, was arrested in July last year by customs agents who raided the Moscow flat where he lives with his Russian wife, Anna. He has had bail applications rejected, most recently this week, and has been held in brutal detention facilities. His trial for drug smuggling began in August and is expected to last until next summer.

The rest is behind the paywall, so let’s go here instead:

In the evening of July 19, 2017, Grandstaff and his wife Anna were at home in the north of Moscow, when a courier from the EMS service brought them a parcel from an online store. In June, a man ordered peptides there for cell regeneration and a metal cleaner.

Instead of the order in the box, the couple found two bottles of mineral water “Senezhskaya” and the magazine “Customs”. Later it turned out that the courier was not real – they were a disguised customs officer who participated in the “controlled delivery” operation.

A few minutes later eight people came to the Grandstaff: customs officers, several witnesses, an interpreter and a lawyer. After midnight, the investigator appeared with a decision to initiate criminal proceedings.

Grandstaff was accused of smuggling narcotic drugs on a large scale (part 3 of Article 229.1 of the Criminal Code). In the cleaning agent purchased through the Internet, gamma-butyrolactone was added to the list of drugs banned on the territory of Russia. It can be used as a psychotropic substance.

My initial reaction is that this chap has upset someone important, who has found a way to clobber him. It could also be the Russians want an American in jail to use as a bargaining chip with Trump, but this individual doesn’t really fit that profile and the story is hardly making the rounds in the US, or indeed anywhere (BBC Russia covered the story here but they didn’t run it in English.) Or maybe it’s exactly as reported?

It may also be tempting to use this story to highlight the callousness of the Russian judicial system, but frankly if there is one country whose authorities positively delight in jailing people for decades because of minor infractions of bizarre laws which run into thousands of pages governing what you can take where and how, it’s the United States. Probably the most comforting thing Mr Grandstaff has right now is the fact he’s dealing with Russian prosecutors and not the US Department of Justice. Some comfort.

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