Goldsmiths students, she was told, have only correct beliefs

The Guardian reports on the Goldsmiths-Smurthwaite collision.

One item strikes me as very odd…

The first she heard about the gig at Goldsmiths being pulled was an email exchange with the college on Sunday evening. She was told of “complaints” about a range of past subjects in her shows, including her views on prostitution and on Muslim women being forced to cover up, but was not given details or any right of response.

Smurthwaite favours decriminalising those selling sex, while criminalising those who purchase it. Goldsmiths students, she was told, support legalisation of the sex industry.

[Read more…]

Hello Jamila!

Look who has joined this sinister group of bloggers – Jamila Bey!

In her inaugural post she tells us an atheist invented Black History Month, which I didn’t know.

Carter G. Woodson, autodidact who graduated with his Ph.D. from Harvard, was a leading thinker who came up with the idea of Negro History Month in 1926.  He hoped, (as does this writer) that the need for the commemoration would someday become obsolete.

Woodson was a staunch critic of religious institutions and wrote that they were oppressive to Blacks.  Just as he believed that the accomplishments and the global influence of Black people were unreported or at best under represented, the influence of freethinking and atheist people, particularly concerning American history, have been diminished.

Today’s Google Doodle, which celebrates the anniversary of the birth of African-American poet, and columnist, Langston Hughes, is also a great opportunity for atheists to remind folks that Hughes was also without religion.

So give Jamila a big welcome.

Kate’s version

So now there’s a lot of bullshit and ass-covering about the cancellation of Kate Smurthwaite’s comedy show at Goldsmiths. So Kate has presented the documentation.

The media have written a lot about my show at Goldsmith College being cancelled tonight and of course social media is now abuzz with people calling me a liar and claiming I’ve made the whole thing up. So here’s my version. With screenshots to prove it. My apologies for releasing shots of what was obviously intended to be a private conversation, I wanted very much to avoid this but I’m not going to put up with being called a liar repeatedly. I have blurred out identifying details of the representative from Goldsmiths Comedy Society because I know from personal experience how the internet can over-react otherwise.

I was booked to do a show at Goldsmiths College, in south London. I’ve performed there many times before. The show was a joint event for the Comedy Society and the Feminist Society – members of which could come for free – and we then agreed that they would put up a ticket page for anyone else – such as local residents who fancied coming. As a way to cover costs or raise a few extra quid.

The day before the show (Sunday) I was getting a lot of hassle on Twitter because I had dared to suggest that cutting the opening hours of Spearmint Rhino strip club was a good thing.

So she thought it only right to inform the organisers that there might be some protesty disruption at the show.

But they already knew… [Read more…]

Guest post: Convert or get out

Originally a comment by iknklast on Anxious love.

Where I live, they not only bully you if you don’t like football, but they are currently bullying a woman who moved here from somewhere else (Michigan), didn’t care about football, and had no desire to root for Michigan, but now because of the abuse (and yes, it is abuse!) is rooting for her football team hard and strong. Everyone acts like she has done something evil by maintaining a lifetime loyalty to where she grew up instead of being a convert to “our” state team (who will remain unnamed for now). To live and work in this state is to be required to bow down to the dominant football culture.

The sad part is that they do not think people leaving this state for somewhere else are required to adopt that local football team, but to remain loyal to “our” team. Loyalty for life if you are a “******”; drop the loyalty of any other team, and become a “******” if you move here.

(The reason I do not name the team is that I am not only personally not a fan but actively loathe them, and it is not safe for me to be seen hating on the team…I kid you not!)


Jonathan Chait says look out look out

I was going to mumble about Jonathan Chait’s much-discussed lament about “political correctness” but then I got caught up in my own laments about football mania. Now that I’ve got most of that off my chest, I want to say a little about what I think is both banal and wrong about Chait’s piece.

Here’s one banal and wrong place.

The recent mass murder of the staff members of Charlie Hebdo in Paris was met with immediate and unreserved fury and grief across the full range of the American political system. But while outrage at the violent act briefly united our generally quarrelsome political culture, the quarreling quickly resumed over deeper fissures. Were the slain satirists martyrs at the hands of religious fanaticism, or bullying spokesmen of privilege? Can the offensiveness of an idea be determined objectively, or only by recourse to the identity of the person taking offense?

[Read more…]