Could everyone just stop about Tulsi Gabbard?

She was never a serious challenger, she’s got a bizarre homophobic/racist background, she only seems to be supported by right-wingers, and yes, recently she had a freaky meltdown about being indirectly accused of being a Russian agent. Don’t care. She’s done. She was never going to get the Democratic nomination. All the attention being paid to this irrelevant distraction is meaningless, except as a tool to get you to ignore the slimeball-in-chief.

In every election, there is always an assortment of fringe kooks who make noise for a while, get the backing of some other fringies with money, and then melt away as the campaigning gets serious. She’s one of them. Move on.

I swear, media coverage of the Democrats is like watching a dog with the zoomies spotting a squirrel.

That’s quite the hatchet job on Emily Grossman…she should be proud

It’s been a long time since I last glanced at VDARE, the racist website, and there’s a good reason for that — it’s a slimy sewer with a lot of incredibly bad articles, and, surprisingly, is used by racists as a justification for the scientific basis of their beliefs.

(Narrator: There is no scientific justification for their racism.)

Anyway, what caught my eye was this brazen hack job against Emily Grossman, the British science popularizer. I like her work, so it was strange to see an article titled Extinction Rebellion’s Emily Grossman Is A Type—As Nutty As You Would Expect. How “nutty” was I supposed to expect? I guess I’ll find out.

I did quickly discover that the author was a “nutty” science denialist who rejects the evidence for climate change and misrepresents the positions of those lobbying government to address climate concerns. OK, way to put your credibility worst foot forward, guy.

These “rebels”—motto: “Rebel for Life,” because, they claim, based on falsified climate science data, that a “mass extinction” will begin in twelve years—have vowed to continue their insurrection until their demands are met.

And then he launches into a long tirade against Grossman specifically with what he thinks are damning facts against her. It’s a strange assault because he keeps writing these things that are apparently supposed to make us hate her, but I’m just reading them and saying, “So?”

Grossman—who is 41, childless and has paid £10,000 to freeze her eggs because she can’t find a man she regards as quite good enough for her

Oh, well, what a horrible harridan, too good for us! Except…isn’t it true of everyone? We don’t just have children willy-nilly, but have some standards. It’s also possible that she’s had an awesomely busy career, and just doesn’t have time for kids. There’s nothing wrong with that.

She attended the prestigious, high fee-paying South Hampstead School, an all-girls school in North London

Yes, we’re about to get inundated with evidence that she had an incredibly privileged upbringing. I agree. It’s not a crime, nor does it incriminate her personally. We don’t get to choose our family.

Grossman went to Queen’s College, Cambridge, where she studied Natural Sciences

While privileged, she also made smart choices.

Emily’s father, Ashley Grossman, is professor of endocrinology at Oxford University and a Cambridge graduate and that her mother, Susan Grossman, is also an academic, lecturing in journalism

Children of academics have a leg up in pursuing academic careers, true. I guess she should have had different parents.

Emily Grossman went on to Manchester University to do a PhD in cancer research—and then decided she wanted to become an actress

She had the discipline and opportunity to complete a PhD in a complex technical field, and then made a change in her plans. This is all good. I advise students all the time to pursue what interests them, and not to feel trapped in a rut. It’s also the case that scientific careers are really tough to break into, are demanding and often not particularly rewarding, and if you ask any scientist about the cohort that they entered grad school with, they’ll tell you that the majority do not go on to strictly academic research careers. Those who pursue alternatives are not failures, they’re often happier and more successful than those who settle into the university rat-race.

Good for Grossman. Don’t be afraid to change your goals.

Dramatic career changes tend to correlate with such traits an anxiety and mental instability

(Narrator: No evidence is provided that Grossman was anxious or mentally unstable.)

Grossman’s parents had divorced when their then only child was four; being from a broken home…predicts mental instability

(Narrator: No evidence is provided that Grossman has mentally instability.)

How do all you children of divorced parents feel about being called “nutty” because of that?

she had a mental breakdown, so changed career yet again

(Narrator: No evidence of a mental breakdown is presented.)

Actually, what’s described is that she combined her background in science with her training in acting to become a science popularizer. Smart move.

In 2013, Emily Grossman got back into science, via a BBC scheme called “Expert Women” in which she effectively auditioned, as one of 2000 applicants, to be a female science presenter.

Does anyone else find it odd to express it as auditioning to be a female science presenter, as if she had to get in front of the BBC and demonstrate her skill at being a woman?

When in 2015, Nobel Prize-winning British biochemist Tim Hunt said that women in science were an increasing problem because “when you criticise them, they cry,”—this was joke, but reported out of context— Grossman went on the airwaves to declare: “We desperately need to encourage more girls into science careers, and the concern is this might put them off.”

Uh, what is wrong with her declaration? Hunt was a bit of a fool, and to say that we need to help girls get into science seems like an entirely appropriate comment. Unfortunately, then Milo Yiannopoulos started yapping at her and marshaling his mob of know-nothings to harass her, and…

But this simple criticism was so unacceptable to Grossman that, according to senior Labour Member of Parliament Yvette Cooper, Grossman “was forced to take a break from social media”

Sounds sensible. I know lots of women who take breaks from social media, because it is a terribly hostile environment for outspoken women especially. But that’s not a good enough twist for this author.

As with the dramatic career change, this inability to cope with adversity is a sign of high Neuroticism.

(Narrator: there is no sign that Grossman is unable to cope with adversity, or that she is Neurotic.)

But wait: there is one more sin that must be mentioned.

Emily Grossman…is ethnically Jewish.

<GASP> Shock. Horror. Jewish? No. How can this be?

The revelations aren’t over yet. Grossman’s partner is…a woman. She not only failed to find a male who could meet her high standards for fatherhood, but she doesn’t even have sex with men any more.

Thus it seems Emily Grossman exemplifies a trend observed by F. Roger Devlin in his Sexual Utopia in Power: highly educated women are unable to fulfil their evolved desire to find a higher status male, so they become lesbians, specifically “femme” lesbians.

I am trying to wrap my head around this logic. So women are evolved to find high-status males as mates, presumably with the assumption that “high-status” is a property of some subset of men. But attractive, wealthy, privileged, well-educated women can’t possibly find a higher-status partner who is male, so they settle for lesbianism? Is it because their chosen partner is higher status than any male? None of this makes any sense. Are they evolved to favor maleness, or status? So why do they abandon both?

I guess he hasn’t considered yet that many people choose their partners on the basis of love, and kindness, and mutual interests, rather than the grasping calculus of capitalism. But that wouldn’t fit with his thesis, that rich Jews are acting to destroy society.

Emily Grossman can be added to the list that’s been growing for a while now. Those who spearhead our destruction are a specific type: privately educated, extremely privileged—often with academic parents—ethnic minority (frequently Jewish) and usually evidencing mental instability. In case of Grossman and Ben Van der Merwe, one can add “broken home” and “homosexual.”

A question: what do extremely privileged people stand to gain by wrecking the source of their wealth? Why is gay and Jewish treated as a failing?

As usual, a VDARE article can be summarized as unabashed Naziism written by a spittle-flecked rabid racist. How dare gay, Jewish, and hypothetically mentally ill people exist?

Jarring discovery of the day

I just discovered that Eric Gill, creator of the reasonably popular typeface Gill Sans, was one weird dude.

Arthur Eric Rowton Gill ARA (/ɡɪl/;[1] 22 February 1882 – 17 November 1940) was an English sculptor, typeface designer, and printmaker, who was associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. His religious views and subject matter are generally viewed as being at odds with his sexual behaviour, including his erotic art and alleged sexual abuse of his daughters, sisters, and dog.

I think we need a stronger word than “alleged” there. He wrote about it in his personal diaries, and further, his daughter discussed it frankly.

I don’t know that his behavior was at odds with his religious views, either. He was Catholic, but Catholicism covers a broad range, and he favored a socialist flavor of the faith, which has modern conservative Catholics angry, and his incestuous and bestial behavior are good reasons to flog him. Well, and also for good Catholics to “analyze” his erotic art.

Before pointing out a webpage with his works, I feel it necessary to give a prudent warning. Gill’s drawings are extremely indecent. I don’t recommend that anyone look at them. But since I was making a serious investigation into exactly who Eric Gill really was, I went to a site and analyzed some of his prints. I can assure you that the critics were not exaggerating. The prints contain many nudes, including pornographic and blasphemous ones. For instance, some depict male and female nude saints with their respective halos performing the sexual act; another entitled God Sending shows a naked and sexually aroused Christ descending to earth; yet another entitled Earth Receiving shows what appears to be the same Christ fornicating with a woman, possibly representing the earth.

All that sounds just lovely to me, while the bit about having sex with is close relatives creeps me out. Ick. What a mess of a man.

I haven’t been tangling with Catholics very much lately, but if I do, I guess I’ll have to quote them in Gill Sans from now on.

What happened to Indiana?

That state went from Eugene Debs to Mike Pence. What a downfall!

Another great quote from the great socialist, his statement after being sentence to prison for speaking out against war:

…years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

The zombie genre is dead, someone please shoot it in the head

I gave up on The Walking Dead. It was slow-paced, repetitive torture porn with a cast of unlikeable characters. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead was a classic that reinvigorated the genre by attaching themes of infection and social collapse to an existing idea, but his stuff was getting formulaic in the sequels — it’s gotten calcified and uncreative. I liked Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die, but it was more of a knowing, self-referential wink at all zombie films, with a cast that knew all of the zombie tropes and went through the expected motions. It ought to have punctured the whole genre and ended it, but I think the title was another self-aware joke. Dead movie ideas don’t die, they get endlessly recycled.

There’s another way we know zombie movies are creatively bankrupt: we’ve entered the “Abbot and Costello meets…” phase of their existence. The fear is gone, the plots are predictable, so let’s milk it for comedy now. Worse still, we’re getting sequels to mocking comedy takes on the zombie movies.

Yeah, I saw Zombieland: Double Tap last night. It shambled onto the screen like a microwaved platter of dried-out raw brains, and it strained to provide some manic flavor to old jokes and random plot shifts, tired and pointless cameos, and a feeble attempt to add some challenge by saying that zombies had “evolved” and there was a new type that was harder to kill…but that just meant they had to fire their big guns with infinite ammunition a dozen times to achieve the same effect, a dead splattered zombie. Dreary, unfunny, and I don’t care how often Woody Harrelson yells, throws a tantrum, and blows stuff up, totally lacking in tension.

I have a better title for it: Zombieland: Tapped Out.

If this gets out, our higher education system will be in trouble

What an insight! Why go to class when you can just listen to Joe Rogan?

Why spend my time sitting in two anthropology classes a week listening to some puppet talk about how the earliest advanced civilizations started around 7,000 years ago when one JRE episode with renowned egyptologist, Graham Hancock proves WITHOUT A DOUBT that highly advanced civilizations were around thousands of years before that? GOBEKLI TEPE, ANYONE? Has my anthropology professor ever talked to God through the use of Ayahuasca? I doubt it. Well Graham has, and he’s not charging me $20,000 a year to hear him talk.

How is anyone still paying for an education when a tool for personal development as effective and readily available as JRE exists?

At one episode a night, five days a week, that’s more than a full class load. Two semesters of that, summers off, for four years, and you’ve got one enlightened motherfucker on your hands. All courtesy of my personal spirit animal, Joe Rogan. And even at that pace there would be more than 200 more episodes left to digest.

I once listened to a Joe Rogan podcast, and it had the opposite effect on me — it was like that dumb meathead was reaching into my brain and shredding the information therein. I had to read a whole issue of Developmental Biology to recover. I think it’s really easy to teach people what they want to believe, not so easy to actually teach them things they don’t know.

You’re saying she didn’t melt into a puddle?

I guess Michele Bachmann is still around, and still saying stupid things, and sometimes journalists still publish her words. Did you want to know what Bachmann thinks of climate change? Too bad, because here it is.

“I want to refer people to the book of Genesis,” she said. “I would encourage pastors to start preaching on this issue of climate change and God’s view of climate change.”

You may be wondering where in Genesis the words “climate change” appear. Bachmann was referring to the covenant between God and Noah after the great flood.

“God put a rainbow in the sky as a sign of His covenant, and He said very clearly to the entire world, ‘Never again will there be judgment, never again will the world be flooded.’ …You can take that to the bank. That’s God’s word.

“And what is it these frauds tells us with climate change? That the world’s going to be flooded. Isn’t it interesting? …God says we will never be flooded.”

Bachmann challenged every pastor listening to spread this good news to their congregations, because “God’s people are perishing because of lack of knowledge.”

Close your eyes to the world around you, and only trust this myth about an event that never happened! Do nothing! Taking action would mean you don’t trust God!

It reminds me of Christian Science or Jehovah’s Witnesses, or cults where people will stand around and watch their children die agonizing, preventable deaths because their religion preaches that they’re supposed to just pray over the sick. Bachmann would like us to simply pretend the wounds we’ve inflicted on our planet don’t exist.

Scudding ahead of the wreckage

The first stage was Scienceblogs, which was great, but was burning through the cash, so they sold the network. Now it’s been bought up by a right-wing astroturf organization which is using our old content to sell ads. We got out in time.

We bloggers moved out to a new site managed by National Geographic, which you’d think was a step up, but they had no clue what to do with us, skimped on maintenance, and started blathering about imposing restrictions on what we could post. That’s one of the reasons Ed and I started up Freethoughtblogs. Then they started publishing garbage to court the yahoo dollars. We got out in time, because hoo boy has Nat Geo flushed itself down the craphole.

Hey, remember that guy who was so concerned about how my profanity-laced diatribes and lack of civil discourse about religion was going to ruin the reputation of dignified, noble NatGeo? I wonder how he’s doing nowadays.