Monthly Archives: September 2012

My Favourite Ever Word Salad

One of my favourite unintentionally hilarious websites is Biased BBC: a bilious, self-important ball of super-far-right hatred, all aimed at Auntie Beeb. The belief of the Biased BBC community is that the BBC has some sort of intrinsic preference for some (i.e. left-wing) political opinions over others. A bias, if you will.

And they see their bias everywhere. In particular, they see it in the BBC’s supposed love of Muslims. Y’see, it turns out all Muslims are barbaric, murderous savages. Any that aren’t are easily explained away: they couldn’t possibly really be Muslims, because the Qu’ran is barbaric, murderous and savage. And so peaceful Muslims aren’t really following the Qu’ran, etc etc. A shame he doesn’t have a similar epiphany about monogamous Christians. How many wives did Abraham have again? One? or much much more than one?

But the BBC, who love Muslims oh so very much, reveal this bias by not mentioning how awful Muslims are in every other article. For example – the BBC have mentioned that JK Rowling, one of the most successful British children’s writers of all time has her first adult book out. “WHY AREN’T THE BBC TALKING MORE ABOUT THE MUSLIMS?”, Biased BBC asks.

But my favouritest ever article is this article, titled The Egg Headed Vanguard. If you can work out what they mean, translate into English in the comments:

The BBC?…..‘good examples of moderate, liberal devotion to the idea of a polite, eggheaded vanguard, without whom the proles get distracted, confused, besieged, and eventually succumb to the terminal disease of false consciousness.
The problem is that the contemporary Left has been used to the idea of itself as a paid bureaucracy as the measure of the success of class struggle.
You actually believe that someone like you [intellectual liberal/socialist] is better able to grasp the “objectivity of a social reality” than are poor workers, because your privilege, your education, has better equipped you to see the world as it really is, without the ornamentation of language, without the bias of place or time–absent the subaltern subject position they suffer from. You’ve been able to rise above ideological distortion.
Notice what you have made of yourself: God. Your perspective is from nowhere. In the name of those poor workers, you have turned yourself into the God who will judge them for their sins against the “objectivity of a social reality,” the sins that usually congregate under the heading of false consciousness.’

They’re quoting from some equally mental, equally unreadable screed from elsewhere on the internet, but Biased BBC seem to think this is wisdom so great it needs no further explanation.

If you have an RSS aggregator, follow this site. There a good 15 minutes of giggling every day to be had.

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Filed under Bloggers, Islamophobia, Racism, Republicanism

Abortion and Disability

(h/t @stfumisogynists)

The Telegraph today published a letter from anti-choice groups which argued that in the wake of the Paralympics, abortion laws should be tightened and the freedom of people to decide the fates of their own bodies reduced.

Putting aside the allegation (which I haven’t personally checked) that not a single signatory to the letter was from an actual, y’know, group representing disabled people, it seems pretty clear that the religious are happy to shoe-horn anything into their rhetorics if they think it will advance their cause.

But pro-choicers, such as myself, need to be careful on this topic ourselves. Talking about this issue can very easily fall onto the question over whether people should or should not get abortions, rather than whether they can or cannot. Anybody saying that living with a disabled child is too stressful for parents (and hence that pregnant women should abort foetuses which would be) is just as bigoted as denying abortion rights to women on the grounds of your own low redefinition of life.

s. e. Smith, a month ago, hit this on the head – far better than I ever could. It’s so easy not to be a total arsehole. Living with the crazy idea that other people are actually fucking people, rather than pawns in your own political narrative, is one that comes so easily when you actually give it a try.

The question is not whether people should abort a foetus which presents symptoms of future disability, but whether people have the right to choose to abort, for their own reasons, or not abort, equally for their own reasons. Take it away s. e. Smith:

In a world where people, yes, celebrate and honour disability, our lives would be valuable and we would  be considered on equal footing as nondisabled people. And in that world, people wouldn’t talk about disability in terms like ‘suffering’ and say that parents have a moral obligation to abort to ‘avoid inflicting suffering.’ They’d say that all parents have the right to make decisions about what happens inside their own bodies, on the basis of as much information as possible, and those decisions are private and not subject to public discussion and judgment.

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Filed under Abortion, Disability Rights, Ethics, Politics

Nailing "Dependency Culture"

The refrain we hear from Tories, and conservatives in general, is that welfare creates dependency. That once we start giving people jobless benefits, or disability benefits, the population becomes a bunch of layabout scroungers with no drive to improve their lot or become productive.

Mitt Romney revealed just how deep this opinion runs among the super-rich, and the more measured rhetoric we normally see is how this package of hatred for the poor is sold to us. In the wake of the Mitt Romney scandal, conservative columnist for the NYT nails exactly why we should write off this narrative of a dependency culture:

But, of course, no middle-class parent acts as if this is true. Middle-class parents don’t deprive their children of benefits so they can learn to struggle on their own. They shower benefits on their children to give them more opportunities — so they can play travel sports, go on foreign trips and develop more skills.

We are no more than the sum of the opportunities we are offered, and are able to take up. Offering opportunities for success doesn’t guarantee success in later life, but denying real opportunities definitely guarantees failure.

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Filed under Economy, Politics