Sunday, 25 October 2015

Being disin-Jennerous

I don't usually like to focus on any one individual,
hiding as I am, and take pot-shots, so this is not
an attack, just a report. I think transgender people
should do what they feel they need to do. My
opinion doesn't even matter in such cases. I wonder
about how their mind/body are set up, as in "what does it
feel like to feel you're a woman while being a guy?"
but that's it. (I might take this up again if I can find
the article written by a trans guy who found all
his "adjustment group" were, like him, electrical

The Bruce/Caitlin Jenner is a low-brow car-crash
type story, equally salacious and stupid, cuz it looks
like it was designed for the
"Entertainment Tonight" generation. Whhhhuuum!
central casting, non-issue as serialised soap opera.
it has it all: father, athlete, national hero, transgender,
a real car crash (once he became a woman, BAM, he also
became a woman driver. #kidding), fake docu-dramas,
the fattest butt on a white woman ever, Kanye, cloying
family members, girly/women's mags. All it would need is
Bill Cosby. Therefore:

I just want to make two points.

As a neurotic kid, I had many thoughts, most of which
never saw the light of day, cuz nobody cared what I
thought, or whether I drew breath, frankly.

When I saw Jenner for the first time, he was a
decathlon competitor for the US. A Hero. Then he
became a bit of a celebrity for a while.
My thoughts at that time, espec when I saw
Jenner looking at the camera, were:

1. that's a woman
-not a gay man, a woman. This didn't make any sense
so I just filed it away, until this year. Though his
voice wasn't particularly effeminate, this was a
very homophobic era. I was still a kid. To me,
sex was playboy mags.

2. he really knows how to control a camera, an 
interview and he seeks this out
-In today's famous-cuz-I'm-famous attention-
grabbing era, the old Bruce would not have even
registered as being odd.

Ya. I used to watch a lot of tv. It's hard even for
me to believe that I had had those thoughts. Or
that I'm that neurotic that I can remember them.
Anyway, there. I said these goofy things and to
some degree, I think I was right.

So, the first one has been proved. The second one
is the more interesting one now. Luckily for me, a
mouthy Australian feminist has said publicly what
I've been thinking for a while. S/He either knowingly,
or "psychotically" chose the Kardashians because
they provided him/her/them/the personhood
with the stage upon which to make
the biggest public attention-grabbing act ever
(even for our insane time in history).
Like I mentioned, I think the trans thing is genuine. But,
if s/he had done this alone, or if s/he was a street-living bum,
then s/he would have made one of those wonderful
Buzzfeed stories like "Where da f*ckze now?"
That would have made him a freak, a blip, done.

S/He has actually waited (or just got lucky) until
transgenderism had become an accepted part of
most aware urban people's lives, and now, he's a hero
of sorts. AGAIN

[My Hero- the Foos: kick-ass song & interesting video]

Anyway, here's the story. Greer raises some, interesting,
some funny and some scary points. But, I don't
want to engage. I'm outta here.

checkit: Guardian

Caitlyn Jenner 'wanted limelight of female Kardashians' – Germaine Greer

Comments by Australian-born feminist about US star likely to further alienate campaigners who object to writer’s views on trans issues
Damien Gayle
Saturday 24 October 2015 15.22 BST
Last modified on Saturday 24 October 2015 18.51 BST
Germaine Greer has accused TV star Caitlyn Jenner of stealing the limelight from other female members of the Kardashian family, in comments likely to further alienate campaigners who object to the writer and commentator’s views about transgender people.
Petition urges Cardiff University to cancel Germaine Greer lecture
The Australian-born writer courted controversy in an interview with BBC2’s Newsnight by claiming that “misogyny played a big part” in the rumoured decision by Glamour magazine to give Jenner its woman of the year award.

Jenner, who was born Bruce, was married to Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian’s mother, until they filed for divorce early last year.

She also refused to back down from her position that transgender women, who have begun life as men before undergoing surgery and hormone treatment to become women, are “not women”, saying they do not “look like, sound like or behave like women”.

Greer was speaking after it emerged that an online petition had been launched seeking to prevent her giving a lecture at Cardiff University. The organisers claimed her views were “problematic” for transgender people.

Asked to address the issue of Jenner being tipped for woman of the year, as reported earlier this week, Greer said: “I think misogyny plays a really big part in all of this, that a man who goes to these lengths to become a woman will be a better woman than someone who is just born a woman.
Germaine Greer says her views on transgender people is ‘an opinion, not a prohibition’
“It seems to me that what was going on there was that he/she wanted the limelight that the other, female, members of the family were enjoying and has conquered it, just like that,” she added, snapping her fingers.
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The petition on, which was started by Rachael Melhuish, women’s officer at Cardiff University students union, alleged that Greer has “demonstrated misogynistic views towards trans women, including continually misgendering trans women and denying the existence of transphobia altogether”.

It adds: “[H]osting a speaker with such problematic and hateful views towards marginalised and vulnerable groups is dangerous. Allowing Greer a platform endorses her views, and by extension, the transmisogyny, which she continues to perpetuate.”

By Saturday afternoon it had been signed by more than 800 people.

Greer has maintained her position on transgender women,saying: “I’m not saying that people should not be allowed to go through that [sex change] procedure. What I’m saying is that it doesn’t make them a woman. It happens to be an opinion. It’s not a prohibition.”

Addressing claims that she had been hurtful towards transgender women, Greer added: “People are being hurtful to me all the time. Try being an old woman. For goodness sake, people get hurt all the time. I’m not about to walk on eggshells.”

Greer, author of The Female Eunuch, a classic on women’s sexuality, had been due to speak on 18 November in a lecture called Women & Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century. She has now said she will not make the speech if the university cannot guarantee she “will not have things thrown” at her.

Asked about the petition, she told the Guardian on Friday: “I don’t really know what I think of it. It strikes me as a bit of a put-up job really because I am not even going to talk about the issue that they are on about.

“What they are saying is that because I don’t think surgery will turn a man into a woman I should not be allowed to speak anywhere.”

Friday, 2 October 2015

Art teaches us to insult artists

I have noticed that the end of religion as a public force
has left people with a lack of a system of living that
takes care of our morals and the needs of our "soul thing."

We need a sense of a community, a sense of self-awareness
and a cure for rampant logic and individualism. Most
secularists are very individualistic and very logic-driven.
They're really hard to tolerate as friends.

If you need proof that the strict use of logic as a way of life
is a quick path to a nut-house, then come to the UK. So many
people are so addled with their own thought processes that they
are unaware how much they are making themselves suffer.

Also being hedonistic and doing whatever the fuck you please
is, in the end, also not satisfying, because it makes you a
selfish pig. So, what to do?

In this first video, Alain de Botton covers this well. He has
understood what religion used to do for us. If we look at
it this way, it is amazing how religion grew to fill these
social needs. It's as if the Church Fathers were top-rank
sociologists of our times, not 2000 years ago.

at 10:00
The next issue is Art, in this new secular religion. Here's where my
ideas about art can really flourish. I think that art is over-priced
bullshit, or on a good day, a puzzle for us to appreciate and
understand, or at least try to.

It is a "visceral encounter", wherein you "love" and "hate"
works, especially those that experts tell you to like.
Despite that, I express my appreciation for Brian Sewell.
This guy died recently, prolly
critiquing his own decay and his lack of graciousness.
Anyway, he kicked the piss out a lot of pompous artists,
like the late 90s brats, like Tracey Emin and Damian Hirst.
Enjoy his art karate:

checkit: Guardian

Brian Sewell’s best cutting critiques – in quotes

Joel Gunter

Saturday 19 September 2015 18.10 BST
Last modified on Saturday 19 September 2015 18.31 BST

On David Hockney

“Hockney is not another Turner expressing, in high seriousness, his debt to the old master; Hockney is not another Picasso teasing Velázquez and Delacroix with not quite enough wit; here Hockney is a vulgar prankster, trivialising not only a painting that he is incapable of understanding and could never execute, but in involving him in the various parodies, demeaning Picasso too.”

On Damien Hirst

“Were Hirst’s canvases the work of a late teenager, we might take the random lines around the skulls as a clever allusion to the measuring-points of a sculptor of Canova’s generation, or as an illusion of cracked glass, and forgive the ugly clumsiness of inexperienced execution; but Hirst is nearing his half-century and should have a far higher level of skill than this rough daubing, with which he degrades his master, Bacon.”

On Banksy
Brian Sewell, ‘most controversial’ art critic, dies aged 84
Read more

“Any fool who can put paint on canvas or turn a cardboard box into a sculpture is lauded. Banksy should have been put down at birth. It’s no good as art, drawing or painting. His work has no virtue. It’s merely the sheer scale of his impudence that has given him so much publicity.”

On Banksy and Bristol

“The public doesn’t know good from bad. For this city to be guided by the opinion of people who don’t know anything about art is lunacy. It doesn’t matter if they [the public] like it.”

On Tracey Emin

“The sane man must ask whether he should give any of this pretentious stuff the time of day in aesthetic terms when it seems that this self-regarding exhibitionist is ignorant, inarticulate, talentless, loutish and now very rich.”

On female artists

“There has never been a first-rank woman artist. Only men are capable of aesthetic greatness. Women make up 50% or more of classes at art school. Yet they fade away in their late 20s or 30s. Maybe it’s something to do with bearing children.”

watch out, that pen is a poison dart

It is well-known that a proper spy must be able
to communicate in a sufficiently erudite manner,
both in speaking and in writing. This is why
the CIA created a style guide:

How to Scribble Like a Spook

Some other things a spy must tend to:

So, if you dream of joining the ranks of the
friendless, try these tips out:

checkit: Open Culture

The CIA’s Style Manual & Writer’s Guide: 185 Pages of Tips for Writing Like a Spook July 11th, 2014 2 Comments
cia style guide

Along with toppling democratically elected governments, funneling money illegally to dubious political groups and producing pornographic movies about heads of state, the Central Intelligence Agency has also been fiendishly good at manipulating language. After all, this is the organization that made “waterboarding” seem much more acceptable, at least to the Washington elite, by rebranding it as “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Another CIA turn of phrase, “extraordinary rendition,” sounds so much better to the ear than “illegal kidnapping and torture.”

Not too long ago, the CIA’s style guide, called the Style Manual and Writers Guide for Intelligence Publications, was posted online. “Good intelligence depends in large measure on clear, concise writing,” writes Fran Moore, Director of Intelligence in the foreword. And considering the agency’s deftness with the written word, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s remarkably good. Some highlights:

The guide likes the Oxford or serial comma. “Most authorities on English usage recommend [the serial comma], and it is the rule for CIA publications.”
It favors using adjectives and adverbs sparingly. “Let nouns and verbs show their power.”
In all cases, it favors American over British spellings, even proper names. Thus, “Labor Party” not “Labour Party.” And for that matter, the guide isn’t terribly keen on using phrases like “apropos” and “faux pas.” “Foreign expressions should be avoided because they sound hackneyed.”
It wisely discourages writers, or anyone really, from ever using the word “enthused.”
And they caution against using exclamation points. “Because intelligence reports are expected to be dispassionate, this punctuation mark should rarely, if ever, be used.”

And then there are some rules that will remind you this guide is the product of a particularly shadowy arm of the U.S. Government.

The guide makes a point of defining “disinformation” as opposed to “misinformation.” “Disinformation refers to the deliberate planting of false reports. Misinformation equates in meaning but does not carry the same devious connotation.” Now you know.
Undeclared wars, like Vietnam, should be spelled with an uncapitalized “w.” Same goes for the “Korean war” and the “Falklands war.” It goes on to argue that the writer should “avoid ‘Yom Kippur war’ which is slangy.” Presumably, the CIA prefers the term “The 1973 Arab-Israeli war.”
The confusing split between China and Taiwan – each refuses to recognize the other — is represented confusingly here too. “For what was once called Nationalist China or the Republic of China, use only Taiwan, both as noun and as adjective. … Avoid Taiwanese as an adjective referring to the island’s administration or its officials (and do not use the term Taiwanese government.)”

It’s unclear whether or not the guide is being used for the CIA’s queasily flip, profoundly unfunny Twitter account.

If you’re looking for a more conventional style guide, remember that Strunk & White’s Elements of Style is also online.