(1) June 2021, the Dark Herald makes a side remark about Lois McMaster Bujold’s novel Memory, prompting me to glance at its Wikipedia article. I find this:
“After years of refusing to marry any of the tall, slim, eligible Barrayaran ladies paraded in front of him…Gregor unexpectedly falls in love with a short, voluptuous Komarran…”
I.e., short and fat. I’m guessing this is a fiction version of…
“Sailer’s Law of Female Journalism: The most heartfelt articles by female journalists tend to be demands that social values be overturned in order that, Come the Revolution, the journalist herself will be considered hotter-looking.”
(2) First, some background: The Williams Institute at UCLA is a gay and lesbian think tank. In 2011 they released a study claiming that 3.5% of American adults identify as homosexual or bisexual. (A little over half of those are people, mostly women, who identify as bi.) And since this is a gay think tank, they have an incentive to exaggerate the number. So this is an upper bound on the percent of homo- and bi-sexuals.
With that number in mind, let’s consider a recently-published novel.
Leigh Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom is a novel about a criminal gang of seven people (To recall them for those who have read it: Kaz, Inej, Matthias, Nina, Jasper, Wylan, and Kuwei). Three of the seven are homo or bi: Jasper, Wylan, and Kuwei. In the follow-up King of Scars, per Cataline Sergius’s review June 2021 https://arkhavencomics.com/2021/06/28/book-discussion-king-of-scars-by-leigh-bardugo/, Nina becomes a lesbian, making it 4 out of 7. So more than half of the main characters are homosexual or bisexual.
This is not about “representation.”
(3) A funny aspect of Game: Because it starts by accepting certain features of female psychology like their desire for assholes instead of nice guys, one way of describing Game in general terms is
“Men cannot change women. Men have to accept women as they are.”
If just left at that, it would prompt shouts of agreement from women in general and feminists in particular: “Right on, pal!” “Preach it, brother!” “You got that right!” But the details— what it actually means to take women as they are instead of trying to change them— is something that fills feminists with rage. Feminists of course cannot abide any speech other than “All women are totally perfect in every way.” And women in general do not like to be understood in the mating game: it destroys much of their power in the game.
(4) Uri Harris, July 2017: Even moderate leftists are becoming rarer in academia.
“What is particularly striking about this shift is that the number of moderates has dropped sharply among professors…
As part of the survey, members were asked to identify their political affiliation on an eleven-point scale, from ‘very liberal’ to ‘very conservative’…
Intriguingly, the least popular point among the left-of-centre points was the most moderate one… More than two thirds (67.8 per cent) chose one of the three points furthest to the left on an eleven-point scale, and more than a third (38 per cent) chose one of the two points furthest to the left. And 16 per cent chose the furthest possible point to the left on an eleven-point scale.
This means that there were almost as many people who chose the furthest possible point to the left as there were who chose all the conservative points, the centre-point and the most moderate left-of-centre point combined.”
(5) I once read that an old definition of heresy was focusing on one of God’s attributes at the expense of others. I don’t think this definition is doctrine, but maybe it should be, since it could damp holiness spiraling. For example, focusing on God’s justice at the cost of ignoring his mercy, or focusing on God’s mercy at the cost of ignoring his justice, would be heresies.
In an environment in which promulgating heresies in this sense is energetically punished, holiness spiraling probably would have a harder time getting off the ground: You and your buddies start holiness spiraling about who can be most like God in the sense of being most just. But soon the inquisitor shows up (or tons of people weigh in on Twitter) to give you a warning about obsessing about God’s justice at the expense of ignoring His mercy. And the opposite if you’re spiraling on mercy. It could be a built-in moderator.
As I was surfing around on this topic I came across the same thought here: https://quillette.com/2017/12/12/worry-piety-contests-not-virtue-signaling/
The problem, rather, is judging the acceptability of statements and actions on the basis of a single sacred criterion. Fundamentalism in this sense is part-and-parcel of the piety contest. No matter what your foundational principle, if you have only one, there will be bullets you have to bite.
The defense against piety contests, therefore, is to cultivate a multiplicity of irreducible sacred values. This gives the moral community a vantage point from which to evaluate the consequences of each norm against something else. Christianity, for example, is filled with pairs of concepts that orthodoxy holds “in tension”: trinity and unity, free will and predestination, grace and works, and so on. Indeed, heresy has been defined as emphasizing one element of one of these pairs at the expense of the other, and throughout Christianity’s history it has been heretical movements of just this sort that have been filled with the fervent zeal of the piety contest.
(6) Biden appoints a person who said that blacks are genetically superior to whites as his civil rights Czar.
The nominee is Kristen Clarke. Writing in the Harvard Crimson,
START OF QUOTE FROM FOREGOING LINK.
Clarke cited a number of “experts” regarding what she called the “truth” about the “genetic differences between blacks and whites.”
She posited that “human mental processes are controlled by melanin — that same chemical which gives blacks their superior physical and mental abilities.” Additionally, “melanin endows blacks with greater mental, physical, and spiritual abilities.”
The liberal editors of [Harvard University newspaper] The Crimson found Clarke’s “racist theories” to be “outrageous,” saying that Clarke had “resorted to bigotry, pure and simple.”… Not long after she penned her letter claiming that blacks are genetically superior to other racial groups, the Black Students Association under her leadership invited professor Tony Martin to campus.
A notorious anti-Semite, Martin’s ensuing lecture about his tract, “The Jewish Onslaught,” was apparently a racist diatribe against the Jewish people, their history, and their traditions, claiming they were the source of the supposedly “ordained” notion of “African inferiority.”
Yet Clarke told The Harvard Crimson that “Professor Martin is an intelligent, well-versed black intellectual who bases his information on indisputable fact.”
END OF QUOTE.
(7) Related: In the comments at https://blog.reaction.la/culture/mate-guarding-game/, Rick says “This isn’t surprising but remember to let your people know the score:
Black guy murders white retired police chief, confesses to the crime and the all black jury lets him walk.”
Here’a another link which confirms that he was acquitted: https://www.islandpacket.com/news/local/crime/article251701818.html, though neither link mentions the race of the jurors.
(8) France is worried that US identity politics is penetrating France and damaging it. It’s good to know that they have the sense to be worried. Though it might be too late at this point.
“French President Emmanuel Macron has joined numerous French intellectuals & journalists in warning that ‘out-of-control woke leftism of US campuses and its attendant cancel culture’ poses a grave threat due to the social strife it creates.”