“Careful now” . On the difference between cultural humour from within, and “jokes” from without.

Irish jokes..can we just NOT.


“So if my friend who is Irish tells an Irish joke I can laugh and pass it on but if a non Irish person tells an Irish joke I shouldn’t laugh or pass it on – just asking? ”

Well dear inquisitor , I think you know the answer to that.
Even if the originator is of any group the joke is about ,your audience has only your word for that…

Would you pass on such if it were Jewish, for instance…
Now you could risk it, preceding it with “an Jewish friend told me this….”
But such friends are often the same apocryphal “friends” of the “I’m not racist, I have friends who are blah…”
And nobody would want to be seen that way, by a black, Jewish, Irish etc…person on the receiving end, just for telling a joke, would they…?

Now, if I were to post an Irish joke on Facebook, and you forwarded it, my identity as the original poster would be clear, do you’d be ok……
And that’s fair enough, because I’m clearly no apocrypha in the imagination….

It can be easy if one is ostensibly WASP, to be labelled, with no malign intent whatsoever, as a racist..and it’s so easy to avoid by applying the veracity test…

And you will notice the funniest Irish sitcoms for instance , like Jewish or Italian ones, are always made by those peoples themselves, showing their humour, not jokes based on external tropes.
They’re inviting the audience into THEIR OWN headspace, not labelling from without.
The difference between Irish* humour, (*substitute whoever), and Irish “jokes”, if you will.

Who, after all, benefits from labelling a race or people**- stupid, lazy, or criminal…..and what better vehicle for that than the seemingly amusing..?

And THAT, gentle reader, is the root of my point.

** now, I’ve encountered pedants who are at pains to point out “blah isn’t a race it’s a people”, or “blah isn’t a race it’s a faith” ….

You know what? It makes no difference. Unless you really ARE that obtuse you will know that race, faith, colour, whatever, if used to “other ” some other large group of humans, based on a common defining factor, may not technically “be” racism, but it sure has the same stench.

*** “but surely that applies both ways, to men and WASPs as well….”

Well, were there ever a power imbalance, globally, socially or sociopolitically, that favoured those whom men , and WASPs , otherwise preside over, I guess you’d have a point. But there isn’t. So you don’t, but thanks for asking.

So don’t even think of chiming either logical fallacy , unless you really do wish to be seen as obtuse, racist, or possibly both.


Womb transplants are bad for women. And this is why

“Aha”you’re thinking, “why would something that would bring such joy”…to some women be bad for all women?


Because it does nothing to liberate women that’s why

This is just another tool in the entrenchment of women’s primary status under patriarchy as uteri for the design of men….the best and most effective way of controlling women is to exploit the mammalian urge to procreate by making us seem that that’s our defining purpose and frame how it traps us under patriarchy as somehow a privilege.

I’m no athlete , does that make me feel a failure as “a woman”, of course it doesn’t…
The corollary is that women who are infertile would not either, unless they’re made to feel otherwise , and cui bono?

Well, it has enough resemblance of reward (historically … though people keep failing to mention rape as genetic cleansing etc) via “romance” and compulsory heterosexuality (the former the prettifying of the latter which is the exploitation of the human habit of mating up) to make it look like a privilege, but tell me, if it truly were, would there *be* such effort in entrenching it and such conniption when women eschew it?
And there is conniption**, which does make the contrasting though mirage reward appear as privilege.

Would there be such expense and effort put into scientific ways of enabling it, if it really weren’t such a tool.
Really? Can you think of ANY other privilege , by its very definition, that society would spend so much money and effort to SHARE?

Where’s the talk of testicle transplants,..?
There’s scant mention I can find, because men aren’t defined by their reproductive capacity or controlled via it and it seems to me, ergo, there’s no profit for patriarchy in such avenues.

Like it or not, it can be argued that uterine transplant is profoundly ANTI women, on many levels, especially women’s liberation.
Only once women are freed from the expectation , without and within, that they “must”*** bear young, can they ever be truly liberated.

*As to lili Elbe, a transsexual who died of complications from such a transplant…. there weren’t anti rejection drugs then, not to mention Elbe’s age….so that experiment is not fit for discursive purpose, though I can see why it would arise.

**I reference as exemplar the current obsession with women’s uteri in the U.S. Republican Party.

***And that’s before we even parse that this is SO entrenched that it even transcends medical ethics, alongside surrogacy and egg donation , all of which place woman under immense medical strain, such as is that other NON life saving procedures would not be countenanced had they the same inherent dangers.

Divide and rule . Again. On Feminism In London , Jane Fae, and my “hot take on the upshot”.

Ok. Hot take on the upshot.

When I saw CCP , JB , and GM had withdrawn from FIL I was initially mightily pissed off.

How dare they capitulate so?
Thunk I.
I posited that they’d better stand for the free speech of anyone, no matter how egregious, if free speech is to mean anything, as a zero sum game.

But then it dawned on me that actually , since they’d never once qualified their views, this is exactly what they’re doing.
You can’t campaign for total free speech and then equivocate later.

It doesn’t matter that JF wasn’t no platformed.
What matters is that it WILL be seen that way, and those withdrawing CAN and WILL face accusations of hypocrisy, and because they are prominent feminists(whatever we think of that) , such accusations will stick.
Rock and hard place, if you will.

That JF should have been invited in the first instance, is moot, highly so, but this was not their call, nor JF’s withdrawal.

I can only state that as far as this feminist is concerned, it seems blindingly obvious that JF , having written for several publications, having an acknowledged public voice and platform , knew fine well what accepting the invitation to speak in FIL would mean – never mind any subsequent withdrawal – and that their knowing this, in the face of their activating the cat/pigeon interface , the aforementioned withdrawal statement was highly disingenuous, at best.

Might I enjoin all the lovely feminists I know not to let the actions of one person, especially viewed through the prism of patriarchy , do what such always do, namely divide and rule?

In a final twist, Fae has written more disingenuous piffle, namely this…..


To which I reply…..

Jane Fae , being shall we say, artistic with the facts…again

Dear Jane, you know fine well It was your views in porn, which are not “supposed” and which you refused to defend, in open debate.
Nor was it because your are trans, as Feminism In London is trans inclusive , and states this explicitly

Because it is JF who is ultimately responsible , for accepting the invitation in the first place.

Pimps or socialists, perhaps it’s the same thing, in Corbyn’s post modernist misogyny.

Is THIS what you wanted, people like myself silenced by spittle flecked accusations of Blairism whist the brothers reify the right of men to buy sex, to commodify flesh?

Did some of us not warn you that your quasi Marxist “all work is wage slavery ergo all work is equal therefore all work is the same” idiocy would play RIGHT INTO THE HANDS OF LIBERTARIANS AND CAPITALISTS.

Your word games attempt to render the degradation of flesh for remuneration epistemologically the same as driving a bus when anyone can see it plainly isn’t.

And you Christian socialists? You effing hypocrites, you whited sepulchres, that not only do you not recognise what this commodification of flesh will do, but that you kid yourselves the brotherhood’s right to the female body, once industrialised , will somehow be a “good thing” for women?

I’m furious and ashamed that the last bastion of the Nordic Model may lie with David Cameron, and you DARE tell me to “rally behind”Corbyn?

Leave your incense alone, leave your charade socialism alone, hang up those badges , you’re done with them. Im sorry , I don’t care WHO that offends.

You think I’m happy to be right, AGAIN?

Don’t dismiss me any longer as disloyal, and Blairite.

If your socialism doesn’t include fifty one percent of the human race, if it expects that half to “take one for the team”, then you’re no socialist.

But good work boys, one wonders how you’ll react when it’s a female you esteem, given a dole sanction for refusing sex work.

Or when the Tories steal the march for women , and with women , with their current favouring of the Nordic Model, whilst you regard the sisters as nothing more than existing for the service of men.

You’d sell your own grannies, whilst patting yourselves in the back that this is the socialist thing to do.

On England’s pastures seen.

“And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountain green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.”

Anyone knows what the words to this hymn refer to?

Yes…the legend that Christ visited England, as a young child.

I lay no claim to “chariots of fire “…or quintessential Englishness .

But might I posit that those who think this hymn represents the best of English aspirations about a greener, safer , fairer land , would do well also to remember that it’s actually about a brown, Arabic, “MIGRANT”?

So instead of seeing a potential leech, or terrorist, how about remembering those stirring words – remembering Christ – see a potential saviour?

Dear America. An open letter from Europe.

Dear America.
I’m sure you’re watching the current refugee crisis in Europe with a level of detachment – possibly, some of you – thankful of the Atlantic that divides us.
Some even wondering what it has to do with you.
Many of you posit that this, like climate change , is nothing more than a cyclical phenomenon, that you can ride out, observant whilst unaffected , effecting few, if at all.

Well, this is what it has to do with you.
You pride yourselves in being The world’s most powerful country. And you are, for now at least.
You are undeniably colonising the rest of the world with your culture, your politics, your values , your economics even.
And you pride yourselves on this, this proselytising of “The American Way”*.

Europe has, in the last hundred years, suffered terribly through two global catastrophes, which , the Great Depression and the dust bowl aside, have largely left America, and ordinary Americans , largely unaffected.

The Middle East is fracturing in what’s looking like the lead up to another global catastrophe.

Only this time, THIS time, it may well affect the U.S, and not even the deep and wide Atlantic will be able to insulate you.
This is not WW2.
No longer will you be isolated from the effects of world events, your isolationism will become moot, at best.

Unless you face these facts.
You cannot blame the colonisers of the past, you cannot place yourself as no worse. The British , the French, the Portuguese , the Romans , the Third Reich even, cannot have known that which we know now, theirs are not the coat-tails upon which your excuses can ride.

If you want your American Dream, your American values to succeed, hell, survive even, you have to take your responsibilities as the world’s most powerful nation seriously, as well as the spoils therein**.
Police the world, if you call it that you must.
But for the sake of us all, take it seriously. Admit climate change. Admit it’s consequence.
In short, police the world for the GOOD of the world, not just its oil…or we’re all done for, even the good ‘ol U.S of A.
And the American way? Remembered as a particularly spiteful con.

Oh and finally, TAKE MORE REFUGEES. you’ve exported enough war, can you at least import some of the consequence?

*The old colonialist powers at least admit immigrants from their past empires, some having organisations such as the Commonwealth , providing trading and political connections in this post imperial world.

**what happened to “bring me your tired , your poor , your huddled masses”? When did the American way become so insular?

I’m not Druze, you’re not female, and trying to benefit from “one drop” is bullshit.

All humans have melanin in varying qualities, and generally 206 distinct bones , etcetera.
Our colour, our bone structure, our phenotype… is a spectrum which cannot be denied. This is anthropology…science.

My melanin is exactly the same as Halle Berry’s, varying only in quantity , and mixed phenotype folks exist within that spectrum, in varying levels of homo/heterogeneity.
Upon this varying level of homo/heterogeneity rides a construct, namely “race”.
This is social anthropology , also science.

Relying on an assumed parallel , it’s been increasingly fashionable to assert that sex , too, is a “spectrum” , that intersex is proof of this, and that since all humans have an X chromosome , then not only is sex a spectrum but also any binary -namely male and female – purely a construct..
This also relies on scientific and socio-scientific theory.

Leading to some concluding that identity is as, maybe more so, materially valid than construct…

Why then the conniption over people adopting certain racial identities , when none such is triggered regarding gender identity….?

Now, I can understand how adopting a “transracial” identity is [in the very least] problematic, since the race construct is clearly hierarchical ….. measured by and relying upon phenotype…
I can understand and applaud people on the bottom of that hierarchy calling out the likes of Rachel Dolezal..for instance….

So, back to chromosomes , biological sex. Even if it were purely and “universally”* a spectrum, the construct that is gender would still have to have something upon which it excuses it’s clear hierarchies.

I would , rightly, face ridicule and approbation, were I to don borrowed feathers and skip around in circles etcetera , seriously and with straight face, claiming any such caperings to be a “rain dance”.

Where this starts to wander off in all directions is the phenomenon of people not affording women the same courtesy when we object to our feathers being “borrowed”, and our mannerisms aped.
The SAME people.

If phenotype is a spectrum and race a hierarchical construct then surely , if you are going to assert that gender is a construct based on a chromosomal spectrum , you have also to recognise that the gender construct is equally hierarchical?

Who benefits from denying phenotypical spectrums , while simultaneously exploiting the attendant hierarchical racial constructs…?
White men, that’s who.
Who benefits from exploiting chromosomal spectrums whilst simultaneously denying the attendant gender hierarchies?

You see where I’m going?

You can’t have it both ways, unless you think women aren’t human.
And I put it to you that your spittle flecked invective, aimed at those of us pointing this out, is projection..because deep down, you suspect we’re right.

I’m calling racism, I’m calling privilege , I’m calling misogyny, I’m calling doublethink…
I’m calling hypocrisy.

*except it isn’t, approximately only 1% of humans are intersex…
Using such parallels would make me , for example, Druze, which I know I am not…
It takes more than “one drop”.

You don’t get to dictate what constitutes respect…..

Many thousands of socialists and republicans fought for us in WW2.

How a fellow of such, politically, chooses to honestly express remembrance , when “towing the line ” would have him slated as a hypocrite , is not up for debate.

He took a packed lunch that was provided, depriving nobody, rather than charging ££££ in lunch expenses at some swanky joint, (and not holding the simultaneous view that anyone who can’t live on £50 a week is greedy…IDS J’accuse) , and refused to sing the national anthem…which last time I looked is neither illegal OR immoral.

And sin of sins, he wasn’t in Saville Row cashmere.

He’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t, and I , as a Veteran , with purely political differences with Corbyn, have, do, and will, continue to defend his right to honesty, which, in a democracy , is not “the same” as disrespect.

Because like it or not, patriotism isn’t wrapping yourself in the flag, but defending equally the rights of those who don’t wish to.

Human Rights. It’s Magna Carta, innit?

After the carnage of WW2, Churchill had an idea.

It was one thing to go to war over clear egregiousness, such as genocide and/or invading neighbouring countries, but whilst obvious provocations of war, none of these actions, or the uncountable multitude of actions therein, were classified or reified as definable , accountable crimes – against the person – on a cross border, internationally agreed convention.

And , if war [or any other legal sanction ] were to be avoided, or legally justified, such a convention was not only desirable, but essential, especially to protect the weakest against any state – namely the individual – and any such convention needed to universal, or it would be pointless.

So, in 1951 , the European Convention On Human Rights was born, not the brainchild of out of touch liberals and intellectuals, but a deeply conservative ideologue, the aforemtioned Winston Churchill.

Since then, the principles have been regarded, in the west at least, as the very basis for universal human rights, including the right to healthcare*, referred to by President Obama in his introduction of PPACA.

Now, back to Churchill.
I would ask those of you who voted conservative, partly because they wish to recuse the UK from the convention, [and rescind its absorption into UK law] what Churchill would think , what he’d ask you, why you’re so keen to abandon his most lasting legacy, the internationally recognised set of defined rights and protections of the individual against the nefarious, which includes not only those you find despicable, but also you?

He’d ask you, no doubt haunted by visions of the holocaust, what the hell you’re thinking?
And I expect he’d remind you, that whatever you vote for as regards to “others”, also applies to you.

It’s not “Europe’s act”. It’s ours, and one of our proudest legacies.

*Remember, with no universal right to healthcare,[feel free to expand] it’s not just what you regard as vaguely indefinable rights being put in peril, but lives.

**The whole concept of individual rights and responsibilities as reified by act of law was a British invention, in the Magna Carta , so why are we so keen to abandon our own legacy, eh?
It’s madness.

A short note on the refugee, the sojourner, and greatness.

Ok , this is one for those of you who identify as Christian…..*

Moses was launched on his journey in a tiny woven basket, as unseaworthy as you can imagine.

By a mother fleeing a massacre.

He lead the Israelites out of Egypt and received the great covenants.

The potential for such greatness resided in every tiny body washed up on that beach, and no mother, no father, hell, nobody ever , puts themselves and their young ones to sea in such peril, in such an unseaworthy craft, if it’s safer on land.

The potential for greatness , even in tiny measure , resides in all of us, and it’s expression is compassion.

*well, the message stands regardless, but you and I know who I mean, namely the likes of Cameron, who claims his policies are informed by his Christianity.
We see you.