Occasionally, when frustrated with the idiocy that characterises the workplace – or at least, every workplace I’ve ever had the misfortune to frequent – I consider returning to the realms of academia.
Then, something happens to remind me that the realms of academia are at least as daft as the realms of real life: a toffs’ club invites a pair of daft bigots to speak at their debate; and instead of nobody giving a fuck (beyond possibly turning up to jeer and laugh at the idiots), a mass toy-pram-throwing session ensues.
Now, Nick Griffin and David Irving are undeniably cunts, and undeniably people you wouldn’t want in charge of a whelk stall, never mind the country. But if you think that this means that a toffs’ club shouldn’t be allowed to invite them to talk stupid shit, then your views are idiotic.
Chris Brooke, who is [obviously, given his profession] dead clever and also a great chap, approvingly quotes some people who are almost certainly lovely in person, and are almost certainly exactly the reason why I’d never go back…
Mike: â€œThese privileged and stupid people have shown their contempt for the whole of the rest of society, with the sole exception of those few fascists who want to destroy it. They may be assured that the whole of the rest of society has nothing but contempt for them.â€
I thought it was only crazy right-wingers who referred to everyone they disapproved of as [Islamo]fascists? Anyway. The fact that the Oxford Union-ites are rich toffs is of no relevance whatsoever – how the fuck is calling someone ‘privileged’ in the context of this kind of argument anything other than meaningless personal abuse?
Antonia: â€œItâ€™s not even as if Irving and Griffin get to expound their vile views and be challenged: they have been invited to speak instead on freedom of speech. And even if they were to, is it not breathtakingly arrogant that Oxford undergraduates believe that in a five minute debating speech they could somehow defeat either, when it took a Cambridge Professor of Modern History weeks on the stand to rebut Irvingâ€™s assertions?â€
Similarly, an undergrad Marxist would struggle to defeat Milton Friedman. That’s why you invite articulate speakers on both sides. Have you ever been to, or heard of, a debate?
loneraven: â€œMaybe Iâ€™ve as little chance of getting attacked on the street tomorrow as I do any day. But here I am, thinking about it. Here I am, going to sleep at night thinking, there are far-right groups in Oxford tomorrow, oh dear. And why should I have to think that? Why? See above where Iâ€™m a human being, where I deserve to feel safe every second of the time in my home city, where white people donâ€™t have to worry about visual indicators and I do. How dare the Union blithely invite RACISTS into my city, so safe in their straight white male privilege that they donâ€™t have to think about the consequences of what theyâ€™re doing? I am not straight, white or male, and I have no uncomplicated identity, no simplicity or belonging – but I am an Oxford student. No one is allowed to contest the basis upon which Iâ€™m here, at this place and at this time. How dare they take the one thing that I have all of my own, my home, and compromise that?â€
Again with the ‘privilege’… garr. You’re a fucking Oxford student; even if you grew up in a workhouse eating rats and being beaten by Dickensian sadists, you’re totally fucking ‘privileged’ now.
On average, people who are gay, black or female face harder lives than people who are straight, white or male. But if you’re gay, black or female with an Oxford degree and you fucking dare to suggest you’re anything other than one of the luckiest and safest people in the world of any sexual orientation, race or sex [*], you are a fucking idiot who doesn’t deserve that degree. Come on, do you think the life chances and the opportunities open to a gay black woman with an Oxford degree are poorer than those of a heterosexual white man with a GCSE-level education? Seriously?
In short, the thing which pisses me off about academia to the extent that I’d never go back is the incessant me-me-me-ish ‘ooh, I’m so deprived, not like those posh bastards’ whining. If you are a student or an academic, then on any sane metric your life is awesome. You have it better than the vast majority of the idiots who vote for Nick Griffin. Stop fucking whining about oooh, I’m being *so* oppressed.
So I’ll stay in London, spending time with people who at least appreciate how disgustingly overprivileged their very lifestyle makes them…
[*] What about Aung San Suu Kyi?, you ask. The point is that her education gave her the choice on whether to go to Burma and fight against the junta, or to stay in the UK and be safe. The vast majority of the world’s population, whether male or female, do not have that kind of choice…
I like immigrants; I hate Daily Mail readers. Are there enough people who share my views to rise up and massacre David Cameron?
The BBC has a piece on its website on the impact of the Welsh language in Wales and the tensions between native and ‘cultural’ Welsh speakers, following its bizarre but entertaining resurgence. Now, just as I approve of the study of Anglo-Saxon and Etruscan, I approve of the study of Welsh.
However, contrary to many of the opinions expressed in the article, Welsh is not in a meaningful historic sense the national language of Wales (any more than ancient Briton is the national language of England): aside from a few inbred hillbillies in the furthest-flung corners, the modern-day Welsh are descended from people who’ve been speaking English and its precursors since well before they even reached western Britain.
South Wales, culturally, is English-speaking, industrialised, working-class and Methodist (not coincidentally, a bit like Birmingham); north-east Wales is a holiday resort for Scousers, West Wales is the terrifying backwoods with almost no inhabitants; and the borders are England (has anyone ever encountered a less Welsh town than Wrexham anywhere ever?). The Welsh language is only of any historical import to the West Welsh; for people in Newport or Cardiff to learn it conversationally is just as wanky as 1920s public schoolboys conversing in Latin…
[disclaimer: PDF is half-Welsh, and his fathers are welcome to it]
Yes, Stuart Dickinson is an embittered, cheating lying Aussie cunt who should be burned on the same pyre as Luis Medina Cantalejo, and rugby refereeing chief Paddy O’Brien should be sacked on the spot for giving the despicable bastard his support.
Nonetheless, England played badly and in no sense deserved to win. We are not the second-best rugby team in the world, and only a raving loony would believe otherwise; overall, we should be bloody pleased we got through to the final…
Noreen at Emerald Bile. Read the whole thing…
Once he has cleared off, the wife will be stuck in the arse of the country with kids she didn’t actually want, and the man will feel slighted that, by doing the right thing, he actually did the wrong thing, but still out of bloody mindedness and a desperation to prove that he was right after all, will then proceed to ruin the life of his second wife…
Yes, it’s only the second most important form of football; yes, England played badly while Russia played surprisingly well; and yes, if Israel beats Russia then we’re not necessarily out of the contest (the latter would also be quite funny).
Nonetheless, the game was actually a draw; the penalty was not a penalty; Luis Medina Cantalejo is a despicable cunt and if someone were to burn him alive shortly after raping his wife and eviscerating his children in front of him, that would be fair enough. Fucking cheating Spic bastard; I wonder how much the assorted Russian oligarchs bribed him?
(also, anyone who blames Rooney deserves glassed. It was unequivocally not a fucking penalty; it wasn’t really even a foul…)