Sunday, March 22, 2015

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen

[Trigger Warning:  The following sentence contains a word in German.  Those of you for whom German means (and can only mean) ‘Nazi’,  and thus might be disempowering to your sensibilities, are advised to skip this material.]

It is characteristic of the Zeitgeist, that the self-coddlers and shrinking violets  have (paradoxically) become extraordinarily aggressive in asserting their veto-power over public speech:  which now, given smartphones and YouTube, in practice means all speech whatever.   And that the sort of spineless wonders who typically become administrators,  cater to their strident whims.

"Don't ... use ... that ... word !"

From this morning’s New York Times, and account by Judith Shulevitz:

For our own essay on the subject (warning: contains verbs):


Just a moment ago, a curious sentence from the same newspaper  caught my eye.  Indulge me in a bit of free-association.
As you probably heard, the social-media mavens in ISIL have just put out a kill list  of 100 service members, complete with name, photos, and addresses.   All in a day’s work for the Islamic State.  But here’s the oddity:

Several women are included on the list, but their faces in the photos were blurred.

Not: “blurry”;  but deliberately blurred.   Want to know why?

If you pore through ISIS publications, you will notice that women seldom appear in them:  and if they do, any hijabless face is blurred-out.  (Oddly enough, politically-correct European publications sometimes do the same thing;  an example here.)  The reason is, the Caliphate deems barefaced display an affront against female modesty.  (For an amusing account of the contortions this leads to, read the account by Morten Storm of his efforts to find a wife for Yemeni terror-chieftain Anwar al-`Awlaqi.)  And, even though the whole point of the hit-list is to get those people killed, and blurring the photo on a Wanted poster is comically counter-productive, still, that is still a line they will not cross:  They’ll be happy to kill you, ladies, but they won’t show your face.
(Incidentally, this is yet another example of ISIL behavior that is inexplicable under the P.C. ground-rules that deny that the Islamic State is Islamic.)

Like the erinyes of America (“vengeance demons” in Buffyspeak), ISIL is offended by a great many things.  Classical antiquities offend them:  delenda sunt.   Yazidis, Houthis -- well most anyone apart from Wahhabis  offend them:  delendi.    When the professional victims on campus are offended, they march in protest or take you to court.  When ISIL is offended, they cut off your head.  Autres temps, autres moeurs;  but with some aptness, one might call the campus versions “American Wahhabis”.

[update 30 May 2015]  This from George Will:

[Update 18 June 2015]  And this from a UCLA law professor:

[Update 5 August 2015]  And now, a cool, level-headed contribution to the debate, by Kelefa Sanneh, in this week’s New Yorker.

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