15 May 2011

An A-Z of illogic

If you haven't read James Delingpole's atrocious Telegraph article from today [15/05/2011], I strongly suggest you don't as it will probably end up destroying whatever faith in humanity you have (likewise, whatever you do avoid the comments). If you have had the misfortune of seeing it, here's my response/letter-thing to his frankly ludicrous 'A to Z of Political Correctness'.

“A is for 'A-Levels'”
Which, contrary to popular belief, are not in fact just given away free with cereal, but require 2 years of work. Whilst the pass rate is pretty high (over 90% A to E, and yes over 25% get As), to make it look like this is due to a lack of effort on the part of the people taking A-levels and that A-levels are thereby worthless is pretty damn breathtaking. See also, 'Y'. P.S. If you think that people only go to University to get a self-esteem boost I strongly suggest you slap yourself in the face.

“B is for 'Bumper Cars'”
Not 'dodgems'. The Butlins guy explained it, come on. You were just pretty desperate here, weren't you.

“C is for 'Climate Change'”
Which there is, in fact, evidence for. From NASA, NASA. And anyway, we're running out of oil. We need to stop wasting energy to delay that too. If I find out you disapprovingly refer to people as 'deficit deniers' I'll... um... point out the disrepancy... on Twitter! Wait... that's a really shitty threat... never mind.

D is for 'Drowning'”
There's no denying that Jordon Lydon's death by drowning was immensely tragic, and, had the PCSOs been trained, could have been prevented. However, I doubt it was Health and Safety rules which prevented them jumping in rather than said PCSOs being unable to deal with such a situation. Also, considering that the media is fostering negative attitudes towards immigration and multiculturalism, having a degree of knowledge concerning how to help reduce that is important (especially for a Police Community Support Officer).

E is for 'Edinburgh, Duke of'”
An old man who makes not particularly funny jokes. Said jokes being non-PC has no bearing on the fact that they're shit. Also, I'm I'm fairly certain that the real 'greatest bastion of political incorrectness' is in fact another 'E': the 'Encyclopaedia Dramatica'.

F is for 'Feminists, and Our Sense of Humour'”
Which is odd, as feminists aren't one homogeneous group. Nonetheless, I do recommend following @MediocreDave on Twitter, since he certainly has one (actually everyone I follow generally does, even Philip Davies MP (albeit a small one)). Also, the joke you stuck here was actually less funny than some of the Duke of Edinburgh’s.

G is for 'Golliwog'”
An outdated, and possibly slightly racist, character. The suspension of two Conservative party activists after a complaint about them posing with one on Facebook (after being warned by the local branch that it didn't look good) being analogous to the censorship under the Soviet Union (you don't directly make this comparison, but it is certainly implicit (he refers to a couple of other probably racist things as being 'verboten' (German for prohibited, possibly utilised to produce Nazi connotations) and 'samizdat', apparently being unaware of what the latter term actually means). )).

H is for 'Health and Safety'”
Which has absolutely fuck-all to do with political correctness, moving swiftly on...

I is for 'Islamism'”
Which appears to have been conflated with Islam insofar that it isn't PC to offend people of other religions (at least deliberately offending people will be met with opposition, unintentional offence should really be met with an explanation of why something is offensive in my opinion). Also, I believe that this is the story you were referring to in your piece, so yeah, I'm actually inclined to take The Daily Mail's word on this and assume that you've managed to get your wires crossed in his head.

J is for 'Jon Snow'”
The Pub, specifically... um, people should be kicked out of pubs because people complain about their sexual orientation. Wait a second... isn't the point of that article that people being offended isn't a reason for this sort of stuff?

K is for 'KFC'”
Which only sells halal chicken in some of its 'restaurants' [citation needed] because it wants to have Muslim customers. Likewise, some Domino's Pizza have stopped selling pork products [citation needed], including pepperoni. Of course this is the truth, we should just take the good solid word of James Delingpole for it. EDIT: We actually should; he was half-right (KFC and Domino's did try the halal thing, but they stopped after it hit sales badly), well, even a stopped clock is right twice a day...

L is for 'Llantrisant, South Wales'”
Where apparently £190,000 has been spent on making sure that dormice don't get killed [citation probably needed]. Um... what's that article meant to about again? EDIT: Delingpole was also right here, this being the second time a day he's right. Although it's still unrelated to the topic at hand really, and he missed the opportunity to bring up the nationwide cost (which is only tangentially related to the subtitle of the entry, but hardly dissimilar to what he's done on a large number of entries).

M is for 'Motor Insurance'”
Because correlation doesn't equal causation, women have to pay the same as men when it comes to this. This is bad since women are 10 times less likely to have an accident (even though correlation is not the same as causation, and chances are it will pay off in the insurance excess instead). Unrelatedly, the EUCJ ruled that men and women should get paid equal pensions per year. Honestly "P is for Pensions" would have been way better than "P is for Peppa Pig".

N is for 'Nigger'”
An indisputably racist term. Nonetheless, you seem to mourn being able to use it. I do have to agree that changing it to 'slave' in Huckleberry Finn isn't the right thing to do though, due to it being an artifact from the social-historical context in which the book was written.

O is for 'Offence-Taking'”
Which we have become so skilled at it should become a new Olympic sport”. I'm quoting out of context, but see 'Jon Snow' for an example of someone taking undue offence.

P is for 'Peppa Pig'”
Who has been redrawn to wear a seatbelt because not wearing seatbelts offends Muslims or something. Alternatively, it's an attempt by whoever makes the show to avoid showing Peppa breaking the law.

Q is for 'Quangos'”
Such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which is bad. Because, um, human rights are bad? (Mind you, I wonder who's been put in charge of drafting the British Bill of Rights... if it's them you're going to end up eating your words for sure).

R is for 'Rover'”
Who is presumably not a human since we apparently have to refer to him as a 'companion animal' rather than a 'pet'. Seeing as this is literally the first I've heard of this, the PC-brigade is obviously far too ubiquitous./Sarcasm

S is for 'Sooty'”
A mildly racist nickname for the Prince of Wales's friend Kuldip Dhillon, which he apparently doesn't mind, and is probably not meant to be derogatory, but, since I don't know how he acquired it, I can't comment, so yeah.

T is for 'Twitter'”
Apparently run by the 'Twitter Taliban' (read: people like me), who pick up on anyone who isn't PC and scream at them until they shut up. Or, y'know, use the block button.

U is for 'Unreliable'”
Because I don't think you understand that people who are disabled have good and bad days, and thus are unreliable. Hereby, advertising for someone who is 'reliable' is being ableist (albeit unintentionally).

V is for 'Vegetarianism'”
Which is a real pain for you since you really cannot be arsed to cater for guests who partake in such eating fads as having a gluten intolerance, the politically correct bastards.

W is for 'Winterval'”
A fake festival in the way that the PopStation is a fake games console. What you doesn't realise is that Winterval isn't even that.

X is for 'The Cross'”
Um. No it isn't. I'm fairly certain the 'Cross' begins with 'C'. Don't be lazy.

Z is for 'Zoo'”
Which should really be in plural since we're moaning about the fact that they don't have any big animals in them any more, like in Twycross, what with their elephants, tigers, and apes. Also, I'm fairly certain that humans are the only animals with guns, so yeah, we are the most dangerous animals out there.

I am aware that I've skipped out 'Y', because I want to reserve the worst until the last.

Y is for 'Yoofs'”
A. It's 'youths' not 'yoofs', and yet my generation is the one which has been dumbed down, go figure. And B. You know what, I'm going to let Delingpole do the talking here.
Who, thanks to our failing education system’s “all shall have prizes” ethos, believe that the world owes them not only a living but also three taxpayer-subsidised years of rutting and drug-taking at university. Tell them it is unaffordable, and they riot around the Cenotaph. This is the generation whose parents were too caring to say “no”.

Actually scratch that. Because you know what? Yes GCSE pass rates are high, THIS IS NOT A BAD THING! 5 GCSEs A*-C is considered to be the benchmark, and far too many kids aren't getting that. As for the 'taxpayer-subsidised years of rutting and drug-taking', just because you, Davey, Boris and co. spent your uni days slacking off doesn't mean most kids do. Most kids have to work, and as for the 'all must have prizes' bullshit... what prizes are there to be had? I'm genuinely curious. The sad thing is, in my experience this isn't a fitting depiction of the generation I'm in, it's one for yours (well, for people of your class at least... yes, yes I am a bit bitter, but can you blame me?). 

Concerning edits: Thanks to @DickMandrake for giving me the info. 
By the way, his take on it can be found here: http://dickmandrake.blogspot.com/2011/05/a-z-of-delingpole-being-twat.html 

4 May 2011

"Empowerment" Merlin's Soggy left buttcheek

I'd like to apologise in advance for any cisnormavity here, but this is Nadine Dorries (who quite probably has a secondary citizenship to Daily-Mail-land) we're talking about here. And the bill this post rants incoherently about discusses is pretty aggressively gendered.

Did you hear? Girls like me have apparently been so corrupted by the sex which is ever-present in the media that we have completely forgotten who is in control of our bodies, and as such need the wonderful, amazing, uber-empowering, Conservative MP Nadine Dorries to empower us through the medium of having special lessons set aside solely to teach us how to say no. And by empower, I mean 'reinforce negative perceptions about'.

There is absolutely no way that I can see this actually doing anything empowering, the exact opposite would happen. But this is what you get with a bullshit bill based off the bullshit premise that girls aren't taught how to say no (we don't need to be, if anything people should be taught that 'no' means just that no but I digress) and being given decent sex-education has caused the teenage pregnancy rate to reach the unacceptably high rate of.. oh wait, as of 2009 the teen conception rate has been the lowest since the early 1980s (when, if I remember rightly, it was Nadine Dorries's own Conservative party which was in control, how very odd). How bizarre. Still there's no denying that teaching 7 year-olds how to put condoms on bananas is wrong. Which is why IT DOESN'T BLOODY HAPPEN. In my LEA we do get a nice lesson on STD prevention in Year 8 and one in Year 10 on contraception where we do the condom thing (the learning how to put a condom on 3 times bit actually being true, probably), but we're told that abstinence is actually the best way to avoid STDs and pregnancy. So this bill is redundant, this raises the issue of what the bill would, if passed (something which is, admittedly, rather unlikely unless our MPs are exceptionally rubbish... and I mean exceptionally), actually do.

Since the extra sex-ed lessons are female only, well it's hardly going to be good for gender roles in that area. These 'empowering' lessons work off the premise that 'consent' is simply not saying no, rather than saying yes, I can't exactly see this as being a good thing. Saying nothing is not the same thing as consent. These 'empowering' lessons will also quite probably provide our still patriarchal society with a handy way of blaming girls who are raped for their rape* because girls have been taught they can say no, it puts the onus on women for stuff like this, when it takes two to tango, and some people may well not take 'no' for an answer. Not to mention that it's just a reinforcement of the patriarchal assumption that girls aren't interested (which I actually can't rebuke from personal experience, but I reason that this probably isn't the case), and shouldn't be, meanwhile guys will never need to say no* which probably isn't an exactly brilliant image to send out. And by 'probably' I mean 'bloody well'.

Meanwhile, the capitalist hierarchical culture which gives rise to patriarchy is going to escape unscathed; Dorries outright said that the reason behind her moral panicking was related to the media which is then completely ignored (Dorries seemed concerned about the abnormally high (read:low) teen pregnancy rate, I don't think same-sex kissing should be an issue for her, unless it is (wouldn't surprise me)). Actually that's unfair, she did say that Mary Whitehouse was right, but that's going a little too far in my humble opinion. Still, as a Conservative, and going off this bill, she doesn't see any issues with our place in society. So let's see, the proposed bill will reinforce patriarchal perceptions of women whilst not actually doing anything about said patriarchal perceptions. Really empowering Nadine. Thanks.

*I am aware that it is possible that guys can also be raped, this bill isn't.