Oceanic problems

Oceania, of course, was Winston Smith’s home country in George Orwell’s 1984. Problems in Oceania aren’t expressible in Newspeak.

Newspeak isn’t just a set of buzzwords, but the deliberate replacement of one set of words in the language with another. Or their removal entirely. The transition is still in progress in Orwell’s novel, but is expected to be completed “by about the year 2050.”

The Canadian Broadcarping Castration is advancing the schedule. Think NPR/PBS, but more to the left. CBC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canada’s far left government. They are proposing a new political philosophy. It’s early days in the development of this theory, and it is as yet unnamed. I have a suggestion later.

So far, we have only this to go on:
Eighteen ‘Offensive’ Words You Can’t Say in Canada This is the list:

“Ghetto; sell someone down the river; blackmail; brainstorm; savage; gypped; pow wow; tribe; spooky; black sheep; blind spot; blindsided; first world problem; spirit animal; tone deaf; lame; grandfathered in; crippled.”

You might wonder why they would bother with such a feeble effort. There are surely many more worthy words which the crippled minds of the lame SJW tribes might brainstorm, in their virtual pow pows, to create offenses with which to blackmail the rest of us: Black sheep (our spirit animal) all.

You can see where some of their angst comes from, but “first world problem?”

The term ‘first world problem’ began as meaning a trivial problem experienced by people in affluent societies. CBC’s list is an example of a first world problem. Progressives have come not to like ‘first world problem’ because it mocks stupid ideas like subjecting a list of 18 words to Newspeak.

A first world problem is running out of characters on Twitter. Or somebody else using all the hot water. But, these get uncomfortably close to having your pussy hat laughed at. Then, who knows? You go bonkers over a sign supporting the police on somebody’s lawn. From there, we might have people who hear the wrong pronoun, or get punished for committing a hate crime hoax. Jussie Smollett would not have been lionized by Vladimir Putin, but he was by Joe Biden.

Just around the first-world-problem corner from that, is some ‘Nazi’ claiming you shouldn’t live your life as if speech is violence.

Of course, CBC’s innuendo is that speech is violence. Or ought to be if you say the wrong word.

In the interests of fairly presenting the case for removing the phrase from our language, here’s an unintentionally hilarious article at Medium:
Seriously, Stop Saying “First World Problems”

[B]eing poor doesn’t mean you don’t experience similar inconveniences…

Right. Someone has ALWAYS used all the hot water. Because there never is any. Then it isn’t an inconvenience. It’s just life.

The term first world problem entered public consciousness back around 2005 as a way to shame trivial complaints. Shortly after catching on as a meme, it morphed into a way to justify those grievances by at least acknowledging some people, somewhere might see it as silly. I acknowledged it, now please sympathize with me with a like or a retweet…

We are so clueless to the real world that we imagine one where there [sic] only troubles in another country must be exhaustive in scale. Beyond the reach of our imagination to picture a day in the life…

It is past time to retire first world problems. Now is an age when we need to be highlighting our connections, our humanity. Let’s leave behind our instinct to create fake divisions.

Not getting likes and retweets, of course, is a first world problem. It doesn’t mean nobody in non-first world countries ever has that problem. When you say it without irony, as demonstrated by the last two paragraphs in that quote, it means you’re a narcissistic, virtue beaconing idiot. Or a TV network full of them.

It means you have no perspective about the problems you DO NOT have. That you are a fatuous ingrate. That what is beyond your imagination is the idea that saying ‘first world problem,’ for most if us, is simple embarrassment that we have adults who need coloring books in their safe spaces.

The idea that ‘first world problems’ is yet another example of colonialist racism is merely another way to condemn your own nation and culture. The author can’t see that running out of characters on Twitter for someone without access to clean water is STILL a first world problem. His plea to stop using the term is just a way of one-upmanship in the piety sweepstakes. Which is a first world problem.

On the more serious side, we are overflowing with hate crime hoaxes. That is also a first world problem. Doesn’t happen in Iran or China. Oh, there are hate crimes – committed by the governments – but they aren’t hoaxes.

We argue about whether 7 year old children should be encouraged, by our educators, without parental consultation, to be treated with potent hormones and undergo sterilizing surgery in order to advance the cause of a handful of anti-science activists. That’s a first world problem which would appall the Taliban.

We agonize about psychological damage to young girls from Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. In North Korea watching K-Pop on TikTok gets you a public execution.

Given that CBC’s control over the population is not what we could call absolute, erasing each of these words would end up requiring some word or phrase to take their place. Some euphemism will be cycled in. Then, the screams from those acting as though they’ve been flayed and then forced to wear hair shirts will repeat. Because someone says whatever has come to mean ‘tone deaf.’

How long will it be before ‘inspiration’ is verboten because it’s a synonym for brainstorm? Is ‘problem solving’ long for this world after that? It might be fun to go through CBC’s list and see what the replacements could be, but it probably wouldn’t turn out to be humorous enough to justify the time, though Middle School Trauma Syndrome occurred to me as a first world problems replacement.

Since CBC’s political theorizing appears to be a fusion of kakistocrism and authoritarianism, we should name it malapropism.

A state practicing kakistocrism is a kakistocracy. A state practicing authoritarianism is an autocracy. A state practicing malapropism is a malarky.

Further reading:
THE PRINCIPLES OF NEWSPEAK
-George Orwell, Appendix to 1984

Movie review

BUMPED. Update at the end.

The Rise Of Jordan Peterson

I bought this because of my interest in Jordan Peterson and because it received some good reviews as a dispassionate presentation of how a University of Toronto psychology professor suddenly became a world famous, polarizing “public intellectual.”

I was disappointed. I found it superficial and unenlightening. There are a lot of interleaved, ten second soundbites: Pro/con, “He is the ultimate father figure.”/“So, you’re anti-justice. Are you a Batman villain?” There’s a “what” to this documentary, but we are left to wonder why anyone holds such opinions.

This film doesn’t help in understanding the virality of a intellectual cultural phenom whose dozens of 2.5 hour University lectures attract ~5 million views each on YouTube. Or why an assistant professor of sociology will grade any paper mentioning Peterson with an “F;” seeming to confirm one of Peterson’s criticisms of the modern University.

Strictly as a documentary, it very nearly does manage to take no position. As an examination of Peterson’s ‘rise’ it is short on context or background.

Peterson’s objections to Bill C-16 gave him a viral blip when he publicly objected to compelled use of whimsical, invented pronouns: His corpus of prior work made him a phenomenon.

In fact, it’s the hundreds of hours of video he already had published that protected him from the SJW mob (and, until the Bill C-16 blip, was the motivation for the filmmakers to create this movie). There is no sign in this history of the patriarchal, sexist, transphobic, authoritarian, fascist thinking with which he is charged. A point which is not made evident in the film, despite a few truncated clips of his earlier work.

There’s much, much, much more explanation of Peterson’s rise in the video record preceding his tussle with the Canadian nanny-state. Peterson’s rise was propelled by the fact that he is a charismatic speaker and a powerful teacher.

The filmmakers’ attempt at even-handedness may be sincere, but the overall impression is more that Peterson promoted a free speech controversy as a way to enrich himself, not that he was risking his career. For an American audience, without a sense that freedom of speech in Canada is clinging to a cliff by one hand, the film is simply puzzling.

Supposed allies are shown expressing trepidation about Peterson’s outspokenness. This objection is to be expected from most Canadians, whose government has an uneasy relationship with freedom of speech and who are congenitally uncomfortable with controversy. See Mark Steyn, Lindsay Shepherd, etc..

And there are unanswered, factually incorrect slurs. A former supporter turned critic finds evidence of authoritarian impulses in Peterson’s collection of Soviet-era art (prominent in the movie). The reasons for this art are precisely the opposite of what is implied. If Peterson was asked for a response, it’s on the cutting room floor. Here is that response from an interview of Peterson:

[Tyler] COWEN: Let me start with a very lateral question. Why do you collect old Communist memorabilia and propaganda?

PETERSON: Well, part of it is dark comedy. Really, I spent quite a bit of time on eBay for a number of years. And I had read this article by a psychologist named James Pennebaker. He said that the past turned into history at 15 years. That’s when you start to see people commemorate events in the past. At that point, it was 2004, and I thought, “Oh, that’s interesting. It’s 15 years since the Soviet Union collapsed. Maybe I can go online and see what historical memorabilia is left over.”

So I went on eBay, looking up Soviet artifacts, and I thought that was so comical because there isn’t anything more capitalistic than eBay, right? Seriously, that was completely unrestrained capitalism. And then all this Soviet-era stuff was for sale. I thought it was absolutely comical that I could buy paintings of Karl Marx discounted on the world’s most intense capitalist platform…

Some of it is intensely propagandistic, and I’m interested in that because I’m interested in propaganda… So it was interesting to surround myself with these works that were battlegrounds between art and propaganda.

Here’s a vastly better look at Jordan Peterson from the Claremont Review of Books: The Jordan Peterson Phenomenon and it takes less time to read than it takes to watch the movie.

I was quite disappointed, and it caused me to wonder if those cancel culturists pressing theaters to scrub scheduled showings (that link also has a positive review, for contrast) had any idea what was in it. They couldn’t have watched it. Maybe that was just a marketing ploy by the producers.

2 stars anyway, because I learned more about his parents and his family via of the access Peterson granted.

**************

Update: March 10th, 2020
I’ve watched a Q&A with the filmmakers arranged by Columbia University (the filmmakers have established a presence on thinkspot, Peterson’s Patreon replacement), wherein they explained how they approached the filming. And where they answered some of my objections. I was impressed with their commitment to truth. I withdraw my suspicion of ‘marketing ploy.’

I can be persuaded by speech to change my speech.

So. I re-read the favorable review at Quillette. I watched the film again. I’m changing my rating.

If your expectations are informed by some knowledge of Peterson: That the pronoun controversy only triggered ‘The Rise,’ and that that ‘Rise’ would have been a two-day wonder, and only in Canada, and flaming out in a dog-pile of SJW hatred except for the preexisting, deep background of his lectures – then the movie is well worth watching for the peek into his life and family.

I’ll give it 4 stars on that basis.

Jordan Peterson was always the guy who would calmly expose Cathy Newman. We just would never have known it but for Bill C-16.

Rainbows everywhen

87983-poppyIf Ye Break Faith With Us…
-Mark Steyn on 11/11/2001

[T]hough we can scarce grasp what they symbolize, this year the poppies are hard to find. Three Canadian provinces had sold out by last Monday, and by the time you read this the rest of the Royal Canadian Legion’s entire stock of 14.8 million will likely be gone.

Canada today…
Former Conservative party candidate apologizes for viral rainbow poppy tweet

The apology was mistaken:

Rather than having been suspended for rejecting the poppy during choir practice as Bird’s initial tweet read, Natalie outlined that she had been suspended for “rejecting the idea” of the rainbow poppy…

It’s worse that Natalie was suspended for “rejecting the idea.” The idea is the problem.

I do know why Cyara Bird apologized: Unless you enthusiastically support the appropriation of Remembrance Day at SJW whim, and embrace compelled speech, YOU are a bigot.

The LGBT+ folks already have a plethora of their own days, weeks, and months – with parades and celebrations.

Every other occasion for reflection or pride does not require fealty to a group of aggrieved, narcissistic activists who occupy the space at the very edges of the Bell curve of human sexuality.

Single-nayer

What We Call National Health Care or Single-Payer Is a Crime Against Humanity

Wait times are rationing. The payer just says “nay” to timely treatment. The Other Club has been writing about wait times in Canada’s single-payer medical system since 2005. Click the tag below.

Elizabeth Warren’s plan would be worse than Canada’s.
The math for Warren’s health-care plan adds up if you accept its ludicrous premise

Consequences: logically absurd conclusions

I sent this link to a friend and muttered about “logically absurd conclusions.”

A Canadian Human Rights Spectacle Exposes the Risks of Unfettered Gender Self-ID

Part of his reply was, “It is interesting that this topic is consuming so much energy – and the unintended consequences of the efforts of those seeking change.” The assumption that the results are unintended is charitable. And self-disarming.

There is a VERY tiny number of people for whom the trans-absolutist contention that a man who says he’s a woman is a woman even matters.

Nonetheless, they are driving the debate over whether the fundamental concepts “male” and “female” have any biological or cultural meaning. That is intentional. In fact, it’s the core intent.

I want to believe that individuals like “Jessica” Yaniv are simply profoundly disturbed. Eventually to be dismissed. Yet, they have a following and are supported by large corporations, government, academics, and frothing at the mouth Twitter warriors. They are distorting the public perception of victimhood and oppression, while redefining “violence” to include pronouns.

In this article the author refers to Yaniv as a woman because he would otherwise be courting legal jeopardy in Canada. Yaniv is a sick man, being indulged by government (behind which indulgence is a gun) out of fear of the fraction of a fraction of (by one estimate involving 19 US states) .52% of the population attesting gender dysphoria.

I reluctantly include a link to social media threads between Yaniv and ~14 year old girls wherein, among other vile conversations, he is asking for advice about how to talk to the girls’ peers about tampons and pads when he is in a female locker room/bathroom. Until recently the records had been sealed by Canadian courts.

This link is supplied for documentary purposes. The content is disturbing, though the site is safe.

This man is heinously twisted. He is a sexual predator. A person possessing a penis and testicles who insists on a Brazilian wax job from 16 different economically marginal, immigrant women.

Using the word “man,” to describe him may be verboten in Canada. It is already verboten on Twitter. Meghan Murphy and Lindsay Shepherd were banned from Twitter for suggesting Yaniv is not a woman.

The charitable explanation fails to account for this:

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.””

― Theodore Dalrymple

Maybe Yaniv is simply a useful idiot taking advantage of an inflamed social zeitgeist to indulge his sexual deviancy while making a few bucks, but the purpose of those who originate such ideas is not to protect the marginalized, it is to marginalize and undermine Judeo-Christian mores, the idea of the nuclear family, freedom of conscience, and ultimately Western Civilization.

And even useful idiots are not innocent. They are culpable for their practiced, willful ignorance.

Look at where we’ve come. Children as young as 6 are being mutilated and poisoned to change their sex. Martina Navratilova, formerly a respected lesbian spokeswoman, is defenestrated for disagreement with the ‘men can literally be women’ trope. Men are winning women’s sports competitions. Female Brazilian waxers are being sued for refusing to manipulate a penis and testicles. Churches are being riven. Language is being radically distorted. College dorms are being resegregated according to identity-group fractures. Quotas based on sex, and sexual identity, are in place or being contemplated. Males are routinely vilified for their chromosomes. The Army pays for sex-change surgery. Libraries sponsor drag-queens reading to toddlers. Legislators cheer themselves for approving abortions at any time if the mother’s health is at risk (without defining ‘health’). Speech is being compelled. See also.

This is not an exhaustive list. It’s just about sex, and even then incomplete. If you take ‘intersectionality’ (the SJW claim that all ‘victimhood’ is related) into account, the list grows much longer.

It does explain why so much energy is being expended: Those consequences were foreseen and desired. Assuming otherwise is dangerous.

Canadian model?

At Neo-neocon: The cost of Canadian health care

It’s not just the financial cost, it’s also the suffering cost while waiting for an appointment.

There is no free lunch. There is no free health care. And anyone comparing outcomes in different countries by comparing statistics on infant mortality and life expectancy is comparing apples and oranges. These matters are influenced by much more than a healthcare insurance system.

Among other things, it’s whether you count preemies who die as stillbirths. In the US, it is far more likely they’ll be counted as live births.

Canada the Goof

Jesse Brown may be Canadian, but he’s definitely not forthcoming, eh? Mr. Brown has an Op-Ed in the New York Times:

“There is a certain image that Canada projects to the world, one that is particularly compelling to Americans. It’s the image of Canada as a tolerant, progressive, kind and humanitarian nation, populated by mild-mannered and polite people. The idea of Canada the Good — a Scandinavian-style socialist democracy, with the added bonus of multicultural harmony — is an attractive one, helpful in providing Canadians with some kind of national identity, and left-leaning Americans with a handy rhetorical device for political arguments: Look at what’s possible, right next door!

But it’s worth remembering that this image of Canada, currently personified by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is a relatively recent construction, largely put forth by Mr. Trudeau’s father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. “

Justin Trudeau’s father was a snooty playboy who married… shall we say a goofy development-arrested woman 30 years his junior. She was 22 upon their marriage, he was 51.

Justin’s contribution to “Canada the Good” follows soundly in the flower-child traditon of his mother. Just search the ‘net for ‘justin trudeau gaffes.’

I can tell you that many, many Canadians, at least since the 60s, thought of their country as “Canada the Good,” many of them did so in comparison to the ‘US Imperialists.’ The identity being expressed is, “We’re NOT Americans.” Which is tautologically true, if somewhat insubstantial as a national identity.

“Canada is home to many more Jordan Petersons than Justin Trudeaus.”

Debatable. Take a walk down Bloor Street and ask a few people some political questions. Say, about socialized health care, pronouns, CAGW, multi-culturalism or firearms.

“Pierre Trudeau might have technically been a liberal, but he was the kind of liberal who declared martial law in 1970”

Pierre Trudeau’s good friend Fidel Castro might technically have been a socialist, but Castro was the kind of socialist who tortures political prisoners. Pierre Trudeau was not a liberal, despite the name of the party he headed. He was an elitist authoritarian. He was a long, long way from classical liberalism.

“[T]he New Democratic Party, ostensibly the major party farthest to the left, ran its last campaign on a platform of balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility.”

That’s like our Democrats saying “We don’t want to take your guns.” The NDP is far left by our standards. Even the conservative party is the “Progressive Conservatives.”

“Not even the Green Party dares to suggest divesting from Alberta’s oil sands.”

No, they just block the pipeline construction needed to sell that oil and are wholly supportive of a punitive carbon tax Justin Trudeau is pushing.

“Canadian conservatism is not brash. It not belligerent, it is not loud. It is not Fox News.”

True, Canadian conservatism is more like Joe Lieberman Democrats.

“The proposed human rights policy that made Mr. Peterson famous is now Canadian law, and no instance of “compelled speech” has occurred as a result of it or resulted in criminal charges, as Mr. Peterson feared. On the issue of legal requirements for pronoun use, things remain the way Mr. Peterson wanted them — the same.”

If things are the same, one wonders why the law was needed.

There have been no charges yet, but Jesse Brown deftly ignores Lindsay Shepherd‘s experience at Wilfred Laurier University, where she was threatened with that very law for showing her class a video snippet of Jordan Peterson from an Ontario public television current events show. While the inquisitors were wrong, they did think the law could be used to compel Shepherd to toe the line. It’s only a matter of time before it’s applied to compel speech.