Taiwan’s little EU problem and other things

  1. So the EU ambassador to China, a Spaniard, has announced that the Spanish government’s position on Taiwan (peaceful reunification for 1 China) is actually the EU position. It’s not. Horror across the internet this morning at this blatant contradiction of the majority stakeholder view across the EU.
  2. I’m so itchy I’m having trouble sleeping. My tear ducts seem to be blocked up too, and my eyes are sticking shut.
  3. Started working on Part II – 73 words so far.
  4. Three shootings in Toronto last night, one dead, two gravely injured, shooter or shooters still at large.
  5. Words cannot describe how much I’m hoping – and I’m an abolitionist – that Steve Bannon goes to jail in the same country where someone said that the economy would fall apart if jails didn’t contain almost free labour.
  6. Putin says Russia’s high tech sector is facing ‘colossal’ problems due to sanctions.
  7. They’re emptying the jails and putting the dregs of Russian society at the front, according to sources inside Russia.
  8. 110 degrees F in Fort Worth TX today that’s 43 degrees C. The grid in TX is teetering thanks to Repulsigan policies and chronic underspending by ERCOT on maintenance. Bad things are going to happen, it’s like sunshine and gravity.
  9. Wonderful Nova program about the JWST and the first pictures. I knew it was a hellaciously complex and overbudget project, but just HOW complex and HOW overbudget was kind of heartstopping, so thank science it worked. Ain’t nobody going to fix it if it quits.
  10. CBC is reporting lightheartedly that repeated COVID infections will be the norm and don’t pose a problem and this is directly counter to every reputable clinician and epidemiologist that I follow stating loudly and clearly that every repeat infection raises the spectre of disability from Long Covid. Fuck them for saying that.
  11. With Jeff’s kind assistance, I have taken Otto to the krankenhaus. I will receive word on Thursday.
  12. Keith reports that Jim is doing much better.
  13. I have finally seen “The Trouble With Harry”. Damn but John Forsythe was hotter than August in his prime, and what a freaking voice.
  14. 40 degree C weather in Britain. Monuments and bridges are at risk of cracking, damage and failure. Brits don’t take heat seriously so the betting is it will be super hard on the disabled and elderly. Australians and Americans on twitter are trying to help with inexpensive advice. From today’s twitter: In more “country totally prepared for hot weather” news: Blackpool Victoria Hospital (note, in the UK) has propped its doors open to keep the building cool, but now the hospital is full of seagulls  AND HERE’S ANOTHER ONE “SKY NEWS REPORTER, CITING MILITARY SOURCE: UK ROYAL AIR FORCE HAS HALTED FLIGHTS IN AND OUT OF ITS LARGEST AIR BASE IN THE UK BECAUSE THE “RUNWAY HAS MELTED” IN THE HOT WEATHER and ANOTHER:

    UK airport suspends all flights as heatwave melts runway tarmac

    A spokesperson for Luton Airport said: “Following today’s high temperatures, a surface defect was identified on the runway.”

  15. My dad does not like seagulls. Not in his aircraft engines and definitely not in his hospitals. NO WORD ON HOW HE FEELS ABOUT MELTY TARMAC
  16. The ERs at Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital in Clearwater and South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver are on diversion due to staff shortages.
  17. let’s talk about everything that’s wrong with this article. First off, fuck that family for booking a Disney cruise in Alaska during a pandemic. Second, Air Canada SAID it was going to be cancelling flights left and right at the end of June. Did they not get the memo? What did they think was going to happen. THIRD their daughter HAD COVID BEFORE THEY STARTED TRAVELLING or she wouldn’t have popped symptoms on the fourth day…..they would have ended up on a boat with a sick child anyway. How the fuck is that a vacation? fourth they got treated terribly by Air Canada and had to sleep in airports and it’s like HAVE YOU NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION TO THE NEWS? EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM CITED IN THIS ARTICLE has been part of the nightly news since the travel season started. There’s NO ROOM in the current Air Canada schedule for aircraft going mechanical.
  18. Maybe Roger Waters of Pink Floyd is a more important figure and musician than the Weeknd and Drake but why the fuck would he say so in public? I’ll tell you why!! HE DIDN’T GET REVIEWED IN THE MAJOR PAPERS! Oh, you poor poor man.  that’s get off my lawn style crankiness and RACISM. PS I hold no brief for either of them and Drake’s a creepy asshole who macks on minors and makes for great memes but HE’S A HOMETOWN CHILD IN TORONTO so of course it was a big deal. Not understanding the local politics doesn’t make you a likeable figure dude.
  19. Time to back up your computers, earth’s about to get smacked hard by a coronal mass ejection.  Radio and GPS disruption expected, low latitudes aurorae, first thing tomorrow. Chances of being an x event is 10% but we’ll get something for sure….
  20. WHO confirms a Marburg outbreak in Ghana.
  21. Zelenskyy remains pissed at Trudeau, line forms on the left pal.
  22. July 2022 heat dome temperature gradient europa
  23. Above is the atmospheric ‘ pot lid’ on Europa.
  24. NASA’s ‘climate spiral’ video.
  25. SO ITCHY

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Dorothy Sayers 80 years ago

Allegra Sloman made this. Font is Bangla MN.

oh this next item made me so mad. A list of words you can’t use as an amazon employee on amazon work chat

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these are words you can’t use in Amazon Chat. JFC (WHICH STANDS FOR JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.)

My replacement words  (you get the idea, also the above is truncated so some words are missing)

I nate

Scallion

Thermal event

Sleeps with Ahnold

Condensation

Play phrase

Bullriding

‘mint’

donut

Sandstorm By Da

Consarn it

this is foolish

this is foolish

The Big Rock Candy Mountain

Red Alert

Petticoat

Beef stew

Poutine

optimal staffing

Nicomachean or Eudemian

Flairness

accessibility – antarctica

Vaccine – Jolene

Junior mints

Living wage  pin money

Representation – mouthpiece

Unfair – more mints, or too many mints

 

 

 

 

Conrad Black in the NP

The Nazi Post is once again hosting Conrad Black, a man who stopped being a racist in public while he was in jail in the US because he would have been shivved in the shower, and who promptly went back to his racist ways the instant he was released.

This is the first paragraph of his latest pixellated excretion.

Seven months into the Biden regime, the truism that dare not speak its name is now almost too obvious to bear stating. It was a catastrophic error to evict Donald Trump. No one, and certainly not I, would try to whitewash the stylistic infelicities of Donald Trump. He said many things that were toe-curlingly embarrassing coming from the holder of so great an office. But he proved in government as he had in the private sector that he was capable and forceful, and although he had the terrible handicap of personalizing everything and escalating all disagreements, he had a clear conception of domestic and foreign national interests and pursued them very successfully.

I was thinking that Donald Trump did everything possible to show that he was forceful AND incapable, but …. my opinion aside …. can you imagine shilling for Trump like this?

Shrub got the US into Afghanistan, when any sane military person would have said AW HELL NAW! The Afghans, who have hosted the best and worst of Islam (by which I mean Rumi and blowing up other people’s cultural treasures) over their history, have been happy to put empires on the ground, with a combination of local militias, intertribal arrangements, brutal geography, opium, and a really strong opposition to having foreign overlords using Afghanistan as a testing ground for military technology.

The fact that Conrad Black NOWHERE MENTIONS that Donald Trump’s lackeys handed the Taliban an enormous (and candidly treasonous) package of information, including the names and addresses of everyone who ever worked for the US, shows very clearly that this entire article is a narcissistic, aged capitalist wanting another even MORE narcissistic, aged capitalist to run the most dangerous country in the world. Nowhere does Mr. Butter Pat mention that they did this on Trump’s orders once he lost the election, so that the situation in Afghanistan would be IMPOSSIBLE for Joe Biden’s team to manage when the end came… an end Trump’s team precipitated. 

Such is the truly fellatial tone of this mangy screed, it’s hard not to wonder what the hell Trump has on Black. But it’s enough that he was powerful, I guess, and Black admires tyrants.

I close this rant with my assessment of this deranged fondness for Trump, as expressed by Dorothy Lamour’s quote, regarding Bing Crosby and Bob Hope: “There’s always a click when two heels meet.”

Ow ow wow

This is Rachel Maddow really enjoying the ruling regarding the referral for sanctions and disbarment for the 9 Trump lawyers who tried to get the Michigan presidential vote overturned and Trump restored to power. This was among the most pleasant news items I have encountered recently and it’s worth watching, for the sheer glorious untrammelled schadenfreude it will unleash in you.

later that day, around 6 pm, I add this link – Capitol Police Sue Trump

F*** around and find out!!!! I am enjoying this part.

democracy at the Capitol

So despite preparing for the mob, the mayor of DC, Muriel Bowser, and the Chief of Police, had a victory over the mob taken away because the Capital Police let the mob into the White House, and then the federal prosecutor refused to prosecute anyone, on 45’s orders. (This according to Racine, whom I heard interviewed.)

I’m going to keep the news turned off, this is some bullshit.

Destiel round up (pretend this is a Private post)

sane people, pls leave – this is in response to Despair ep 18 of the last season of Supernatural.

Original creator of the show Eric Kripke (at least I think that’s who it is) with a rainbow flag and the word COPE:

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backstory for the above, fans who only like the relationship between the two Winchester brothers are called bibros. Having Cas (canonically his name is CASS but that’s not what we do in fandom, ha ha) an actual life partner – potentially or otherwise – is making them lose their cheese.

 

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Jesus Christ this above noted post made me laugh so fucking hard

the below-noted post IS IMMEDIATELY WHERE MY MIND WENT AFTER THE SHOW WAS OVER

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Yeah NO SHIT, love this callback, although Dean didn’t actually get enough time to say anything

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no, I really haven’t, because that’s the kind of love it is, and always has been represented that way, and fuck the haters

 

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now in the fandom they’re saying destiel is what makes Putin resign, which when you consider HOW MANY RUSSIAN FANS THERE ARE is quite possibly the funniest thing about this tempest in a teacup

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above is shown the catholic reaction….

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LOLOLOL this was the Friday after the show/election

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SPN fandom above is memeified in the Avengers universe. Cas disappears during the scene, but he’s already been resurrected three times, so…

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I think @solarbirdy’s comments on the above noted complete lack of reaction are best, but she’s a filker so I won’t reproduce her speech without permission

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In other words, this represents such an upgrade to the notion of queerbaiting they’ll have to throw out their previous thesis. Also, Tumblr as a social media platform was dying and the extra hits they got as a consequence of Supernatural 15/18 were substantial

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Destiel fans often refer to themselves as clowns.

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the above-noted isn’t exactly what happened either

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nope, not this either and anyone who DOES expect skin should probably give their good ol’ head a shake. I want A HUG FOR THE BOYS that means a little more than the ones they’ve given each other so far.

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EVERY G.D. WORD O’ THIS ABOVENOTED POST

palate cleanser

LOOK UPON THE WOMAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD, now we have to survive the next two months OH PS SHE’S OUT ABOUT BEING A SUPERNATURAL FAN but we do not know how she feels about destiel and I would very much like to think that she STANS.

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WELL I THOUGHT THAT WAS IT, BUT THERE’S ANOTHER CHASER FOR THAT SHOT

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JESUS CHRIST, THIS FANDOM

 

 

scratch track

the distortion is part of the charm – it’s a natural feature of whacking the guitar this hard at a harmonic point with a rubber mallet – yes this is a hammered guitar

It’s the hottest part of the summer and I’m treating myself to beer. God I love this song. Anyway, it sounds MUCH BETTER on headphones, I’m hearing stuff I didn’t hear the first time. It’s just got depth, you know, and then this sort of pounding howl of a chorus, so much pent up jealousy and rage and then back to… I do this, I do this, I do this, life has a rhythm, and then I JUST GET SO MAD. I LOVE IT so there

 

2019 commitment to not being an ableist fleshwad

So I’m working through my Youtube videos and captioning them. Already done: my most popular effort, at 14.2K distinct views! How to Cut Up a Pineapple. Lemming’s Twofer, Neener Neener and Blasteez (my advertisement for laxative coughdrops which, as you can likely imagine, work as poorly as advertised).

I shall continue with the making my videos more accessible until they are all done.

long stupid rant, please ignore

A couple of days ago, Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki got on social media to announce that the TV show Supernatural is ending next season (season 15, over 320 episodes) and the finale of all finales will thus be next season – their choice, most likely. A couple of them had been crying, which doesn’t bother me, I’d be crying too if I moved along from the best job I’d ever had even if it was my choice.

Inside the fandom, for the show, there is a substantial chonk of LGBT and straight cisgirl fans who absolutely love on the idea of a romance between Castiel the angel, who appeared season 4, and Dean the Hunter, who, along with his brother Sam the Hunter, carries the show week to week.

There are also Supernatural fans who write fanfic in the A/B/O universe (don’t look, it’s a concourse of poorly realized paraphilias and it’s even worse when you realize that (never mind, just more fandom bs) and I have read precisely one decently written A/B/O fic so I know it’s possible but Jesus it’s GROSS) and write explicitly incestuous fic (it’s called Wincest, and I haven’t even let my eyes roam over one of them, thanks).

Neither of these two things are supported by the show; Destiel, which is the mashup of the names of Dean and Castiel, while not supported word for word in script canon, is teased at, at least once a season, all through the show. I won’t go into the list of specific callouts as to there being romance in the air, just go to the Dean/Castiel page on Superwiki, where it’s all laid out in prim detail.

It’s my belief that the show would rather kill one of the characters than let any of them wander off into the sunset, encoupled. From a strictly ‘whose body is this’ standpoint, there’s no longer any squick about who Castiel’s vessel is, which removed a lot of the hassles about a canonical romance. But

 

it doesn’t fit the show. And Castiel, although he can be briefly physically affectionate, has not been represented as a sexual being, at least not successfully.

So yeah, I’ll write fanfic because it looks like love, romance and lifetime commitment to me. But anybody who thinks Destiel is gonna be canon is a fucking idiot, because the lead actor, the gold standard of a richly successful franchise, is happy with how things are.

The queer-baiting will continue until you make your own art, folx. (Definition of queer-baiting on the page linked to above.)

IP yip yip

Look at me, all brave. Stealing the IP of Kenan Malik. Or is this the property of the New York Times? Gosh, it’s so hard to tell who owns what these days. Anyway, below is a defence of cultural appropriation typed by Kenan Malik. By the time I’m done, my blood pressure will be up twenty points and I’ll look like an idiot in public, but I suspect I’ll look less idiotic than Kenan Malik. For this witless motherfucker has done the classic, classic, classic bait and switch on the topic. He says we’re all richer for cultural mixing. He’s wrong. Having your cultural markers stolen for profit makes somebody richer, and wanting to prevent that is not gatekeeping, it’s survival. He says that all cultural practices are up for grabs because anything else may prevent the privileged from having compassion for the underprivileged, which is a narrow case of special pleading aka bullshit. And he skates by colonialism as if it isn’t the SINGLE BIGGEST ISSUE facing all content creators these days; it’s the issue that palimpsest-wise underlies his argument, and he avoids it the way a cab driver just doesn’t see you when he’s booking off shift.

LONDON – It is just as well that I’m a writer, not an editor. Were I editing a newspaper or magazine, I might soon be out of a job. For this is an essay in defense of cultural appropriation.

yeah, well fuck you. You start out from a position of privilege and you want more.

In Canada last month, three editors lost their jobs after making such a defense.

yeah, well fuck you. They were unprofessional, racist and FUCKING STUPID <<<<<<—– the way elites never get how fragile their blessed state is ——-> and gloriosky, they lost their jobs.

The controversy began when Hal Niedzviecki,

A man with a history of racism and stiffing writers, oh yes. …. gosh, is this a trend? A trans woman of colour told me he stiffed her for solicited writing. It wasn’t much money, but honey, when a first nations content creator thinks she’s selling me something I FUCKING PAY FOR IT. SO … right off the top, a racist asshole with holes in his pockets is represented as being ‘besieged’ ‘beleaguered’ and ‘besmirched’ for having a problematic opinion in public. Will Robinson is getting the danger page from his puckering butthole at this point, at least in the universe I inhabit.

editor of Write, the magazine of the Canadian Writers’ Union, penned an editorial defending the right of white authors to create characters from minority or indigenous backgrounds. Within days, a social media backlash forced him to resign. The Writers’ Union issued an apology for an article that its Equity Task Force claimed “re-entrenches the deeply racist assumptions” held about art.

OKAY LET’S JUST STOP RIGHT HERE. What Mr. Malik, administering his homeopathically weak smackdown of this ‘defence of racist writers for getting shit wrong’ aka ‘horrible censorship event’ fails to mention is ANYTHING LIKE CONTEXT. THE WRITE ISSUE WAS SPECIFICALLY AN ISSUE ABOUT INDIGENOUS WRITING. Okay, let’s go again. THE WRITE ISSUE WAS SPECIFICALLY AN ISSUE ABOUT INDIGENOUS WRITING. He could have put his feelings in his blog. He could have penned it for another publication. That would have been gruesome, but in the era of Doubledown Douchenozzledom, Racist Edition, he used a position of privilege to kick the living snot out of the people who were being represented in the mag. Gosh, folks, you should have seen my twitter feed when this all went down. Indigenous activists and writers were foaming, and justifiably so. Niedzviecki knew up front he was going to get shit, and for the first little while he laughed at the shit he got. Then he went OH SHIT, which is what you do when that college kid “just for a lark” smirk gets wiped off your face by real life.

Another editor, Jonathan Kay, of The Walrus magazine,

A man who, ha ha, is well known as being a Joseph Boyden supporter (another riproaring case of mighty whitey, writing himself into native history with his very well reviewed (by whites) book “Orenda”). He only writes about native issues to talk about how racist natives are, let’s just skip all the decolonializing reasons Mohawk peoples might want to get white people off their land on Canada’s dime. Here’s the link. http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/jonathan-kay-the-one-place-in-canada-where-racism-is-still-tolerated-native-reserves. Now that’s not inflammatory at all. He could be talking about any kind of racism that happens in Canada. He could talk about how the city of Thunder Bay has more racially motivated hate crimes per capita than any other place in Canada; the hate crimes are overwhelmingly committed by white people on FN people. But the most racist place in Canada is a reserve. No hon, the most racist places in Canada are not reserves. They’re prisons. But I’ll stick the ‘and in conclusion, fuck you’ pin in that for the time being. WHY IN THE EVERLOVING FUCK would we want to take this asshole seriously about race issues, SPECIFICALLY about First Nations. The multiple appropriations of land, language, people, culture have no emotional content for him; FN are just getting upset because they’re special snowflakes. No hon, you’re the special snowflake, thinking Canada is 150 years old and that makes the First Nations 150 years old too. This kind of racism I call “Measuring the universe with a tapeline the same size and shape as you.” It’s another example of “I’m not racist but we should talk about how all injuns are alcoholic jailbirds,” but tidier… prettier… publishable by the Capitalist Choir of Discordant Twaddle responsible for the National Post.

was also compelled to step down after tweeting his support for Mr. Niedzviecki. Meanwhile, the broadcaster CBC moved Steve Ladurantaye, managing editor of its flagship news program The National, to a different post, similarly for an “unacceptable tweet” about the controversy.

I don’t suppose you’d care to guess what format this unacceptable tweetstorm took. A whole bunch of well-known, well-connected, mostly white writers and journalists, gathered ’round their beleaguered fellow lickspittle to mock the people who took offence and to pledge money for a “Cultural appropriation” writer’s prize. Steve was up for giving $500 but one thing I know about these folks is that they’re faster to pledge cash than cough it up, so I can well believe the fucker was kidding and I’ll give him my brightest and shiniest hall pass for that.

It’s not just editors who have to tread carefully. Last year, the novelist Lionel Shriver generated a worldwide storm after defending cultural appropriation in an address to the Brisbane Writers Festival.

Mr. Malik fails to provide the context, again. Shriver played the clueless and hectoring old white guy (surprise, she’s an American woman) in front of a group of people who mostly thought she was right on. Strangely, indigenous people and people of colour in the audience were horrified, oh puhleez. Them coloured folks and their identity politics, getting all mad about sombreros and such. They didn’t find her arguments about how white people should have unfettered access to all cultural traditions (so they can get the last word in, steer the narrative, drown out indigenous voices and get the fat stacks) convincing, mostly because saying that you mean well when you’re handing out the cultural equivalent of smallpox blankets just doesn’t go down as smoothly as it did two hundred years ago, who knew. Of course fiction is ‘fake’ Shriver but that doesn’t meant it isn’t real, and representation matters if the people being represented are being lied to and about

even more than when you get it right.

Earlier this year, controversy erupted when New York’s Whitney Museum picked for its Biennial Exhibition Dana Schutz’s painting of the mutilated corpse of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American murdered by two white men in Mississippi in 1955. Many objected to a white painter like Ms. Schutz depicting such a traumatic moment in black history. The British artist Hannah Black organized a petition to have the work destroyed.

I would have been happy with the painting not being publicly displayed, but I’ve read Hannah’s letter and I understand where she’s coming from.

Other works of art have been destroyed. The sculptor Sam Durant’s piece “Scaffold,” honoring 38 Native Americans executed in 1862 in Minneapolis, was recently being assembled in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. But after protests from indigenous activists that Mr. Durant was appropriating their history, the artist dismantled his own work, and made its wood available to be burned in a Dakota Sioux ceremony.

Which is a fine response. Works of art are destroyed by their creators all the time. I’ve torched my own shit, and why not, it was shit and it was mine.

What is cultural appropriation, and why is it so controversial? Susan Scafidi, a law professor at Fordham University, defines it as “taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission.” This can include the “unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc.”

It’s not just the permission. It’s the context. It’s the taking as if the act of taking ‘makes you native’ or ‘makes you black’ or ‘honours the traditions’ when it patently, replicably and reliably does not.

Appropriation suggests theft, and a process analogous to the seizure of land or artifacts. In the case of culture, however, what is called appropriation is not theft but messy interaction. Writers and artists necessarily engage with the experiences of others. Nobody owns a culture, but everyone inhabits one, and in inhabiting a culture, one finds the tools for reaching out to other cultures.

But the messy interaction is one-sided. Members of the dominant culture, with law, language, media and custom on their side, interact with the traditions of indigenous and creolized and ancient cultures from a mixture of fear, hatred, stark envy and jealousy, and call it art. Sure art’s theft; but it should also be thought made visible, and the thinking that’s made visible is DOMINANT CULTURE CAN STEAL ANYTHING IT LIKES AND IF YOU COMPLAIN you’re WHINY LITTLE BASTARDS WHO DON’T UNDERSTAND THE BROAD SWEEP OF 2500 YEARS OF COLONIAL HISTORY. Urk.

Critics of cultural appropriation insist that they are opposed not to cultural engagement, but to racism. They want to protect marginalized cultures and ensure that such cultures speak for themselves, not simply be seen through the eyes of more privileged groups.

The tone here is like Saruman chiding Gandalf in The Two Towers. To be chastised is one thing. To be told that your feelings are going to go in a big stew of rhetoric and come out normalized and standardized… part of the dominant culture, acceptable…. yeesh.

Certainly, cultural engagement does not take place on a level playing field. Racism and inequality shape the ways in which people imagine others. Yet it is difficult to see how creating gated cultures helps promote social justice.

Everything is mine to steal and my theft promotes social justice. Fucking breathtaking, isn’t it? Nobody creates a gated culture to start out with, but it may end up that way if anything you leave lying around gets stolen by white assholes – who tell you they’re doing you a favour by popularizing your cultural ideals, and then laugh in your face when you want to get paid. He wrote more, but since I don’t want to quote any more from this masterwork of spineless sucking up to thieves and monsters, I’ll just take my blood pressure off someplace else now. Okay, last questions. Why do members of the dominant culture have so little going on in their own minds that they must appropriate someone else’s marginalized culture in the first place? What failure of imagination is this, and why does Malik get so exercised in its defence?