Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The uninvited




The problems with the adjunct structure of higher education are not merely quantitative. It’s not just about how badly adjuncts are paid, not just about the inadequate opportunities for our students to build enduring relationships with the faculty who guide them. It’s also about fear, despair, surrender, shame — the messy, hidden human elements that finance and policy always miss. 
The story of the adjunct faculty, of the postdoctoral scholars, of those in “alt-careers” — that story will be incomplete unless we recognize that we are refugees from a nation that would not have us. We have found our way to innumerable continents, but still hold that lost home in our hearts. We still, many of us, in quiet moments, mourn the loss of our community as we make our scattered way across diverse lands.

Herb Childress 


The Bill Evans Trio:





Monday, June 17, 2019

Gentlemen eat chocolates


McLaughlin: Can I get you more coffee?  

Fripp: I should love more coffee. Where do these chocolates come from?  

McLaughlin: They come from the Basque coast, where we go a lot of the time. Maybe one day you can come and visit.







Mahavishnu Orchestra:





Create blogs and led magnets for marketing funnels

A business is looking for a writer. I would apply, but I have no idea what any of this flannel means.



Seeking an experienced journalist or communications expert to join our team as our in house writer and copywriter. 

Responsibilities include: 
  • Our PR activations - working alongside PR agencies and creating required media releases and articles 
  • Interview clients and customers to discover the story behind individual or business and to bring this to life through storytelling
  • Create blogs and led magnets for marketing funnels
  • Build messaging for clients
  • Build out advertising copy alongside the marketing team
  • Build out and set up media contacts and dissemination strategy
  • Build out email campaigns and nurturing sequences
  • Understand our customer avatar and their wants and pain points like the back of your hand
  • Put together copy for online assets such as website and social posts
  • Undertake ongoing training and development, specifically in direct response copywriting
  • Report directly to content manager

Required Skills: 
  • Strong copywriter/writer, you must be able to show at least four examples of your writing style
  • Strong storyteller, you understand how to draw out stories from people, you can find the right approach and way to connect with our audience through our member and client stories
  • Understanding of online - you have ideally had experience working in the online space 

If you think you could be a perfect fit send in your resume! Don't forget to include examples of your writing style! 


Elvis Costello and the Imposters:




Sunday, June 16, 2019

Age


These are the years
of the lone park bench,
of empty harbours
and sunken ships. And yet
there’s a spaciousness
to this abandon
that keeps
insisting
it’s a sort of love. So
why should I fear
such a rich aloneness
when I’ve spent  lifetime
creating it for myself?

Peter Bland



The second line parade for Dr. John:





Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Munroe Show



Here, you may shrug and say, ‘well, that’s Twitter for you’. But the mistreatment of Janice Turner goes rather further here, and takes in some frankly culpable behaviour by supposedly responsible media outlets. 
The BBC, the Guardian and the Independent have all, by implication, presented the mere fact of a journalist asking questions as some sort of campaigning action. This is not a trivial matter. In this, they are contributing to the dismal trend of treating journalistic inquiry and expression as fair game for attack: see Donald Trump and sadly, Boris Johnson’s press conference this week for examples.

James Kirkup


The Spinners:




Friday, June 14, 2019

Nonbinary



Something urgent sure as hell is going on. There are large upticks in the numbers of people, particularly young ones (nonbinary folks are mostly under 30, Bergner reports), who are experiencing such distress at being seen as male or female that they desperately want out the whole thing. As this anonymous therapist points out, though, there’s just no way to know exactly what’s at play here. And most of the people who are suffering don’t have access to a good, thoughtful, careful clinician to help them figure this stuff out — they might not even know what to look for in one. There are a million screaming sirens urging caution, and the only response, in terms of how progressives are publicly discussing this issue, is to call anyone with questions about this a bigot.


Jesse Singal



Mahavishnu Orchestra:






Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Fisher people




In New Zealand, they don’t hesitate to use the word “female.” The signs for public rest rooms there (and in Australia) read, unabashedly, “Female Toilet” and “Male Toilet.” Some hairsplitters would argue that a toilet is just a toilet, regardless of which gender is using it; the porcelain itself has no characteristics that would identify it as male or female. Many Americans, myself included, will be less put off by the “male” and “female” labels than by the use of “toilet.” In this magazine, for decades, the word was considered vulgar, a judgment I seem to have internalized. 

Mary Norris



Birdie:


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Just the facts, ma'am



MYTH Puberty blocker drugs are harmless.
REALITY Medical professionals are voicing serious concerns about the use of drugs like Lupron to block puberty in children. Estrogen and testosterone are not just needed for puberty, they are vital for teenage brain development. Young adults have been left with stunted genitalia after using puberty blockers. Much more research is needed. In the US, the FDA is investigating Lupron. 
MYTH You can be born with a female brain in a male body.
REALITY There is no such thing as a male brain or female brain, especially at birth, when all but the most basic parts of the brain are undeveloped. Our brains are plastic and shaped by our experience.  


Trans Fact Checker


Tangerine Dream, 1969:





Monday, June 10, 2019

Pique Trans





There’s this belief that telling teenagers that their dysphoria may pass is wrong — ethically and factually — and I just want to know why? What’s so wrong with telling a teenager, “One day you will feel better.” There’s nothing wrong with that. I think that if the activism that pushed for teenagers’ ability to medically transition truly cared about kids affected by gender dysphoria, they would allow for a discussion that doesn’t manipulate teenagers — that didn’t make impressionable, insecure, unhappy kids feel like they have to transition now, or else. 
So we need to change the narrative. That’s my intent. And that’s a larger intent of the Pique Resilience Project: to diversify the narrative. We only have one mainstream story, and we need more. And slowly, we’re getting more. The detransition narrative is growing. It’s getting bigger — more people are hearing detransitioners’ stories every day. And, by extension, we’re starting to see the first glimpses of a third narrative.

Dagny



Paranoid Void





Sunday, June 09, 2019

We need to fight back




The model of alleged ‘informed consent’ to hormone therapy is woefully inadequate since children are not developmentally competent to give full, free and informed consent to such medical interventions or to comprehend, despite the transgender narrative that feeds youthful fantasies, that when they are adults they can be transformed to the opposite sex.  So called ‘gender affirmation surgery’ can only simulate sex organs, for example by excising the penis and testicles to construct an internal, insensate cavity into the male body, or by creating a prosthetic penis fashioned from flesh taken from elsewhere on the female body. The consequence of this is not only sterility, but the reduction or even complete elimination of sexual, genital sensation. The tragedy is that the vast majority of children will resolve gender dysphoria naturally during adolescence.

Heather Brunskell-Evans


Trash Kit:







Saturday, June 08, 2019

Girls with guitars



'Another common fate for girls with guitars was a trip to Vietnam to give the troops a shot in the arm. "We were there four weeks" remembers Rosemary, "and our dad, who was our manager, was very protective. Afterwards he admitted we'd been in quite a bit of danger, and places we'd played got mortared." Detroit's Pleasure Seekers (right), featuring 17-year old guitarist Suzi Quatro, played the same tour with a stop-over in Guam, site of the US military hospitals. "They asked us to play for a corridor full of wounded soldiers" Suzi recalled, "and it was horrible. They were 18-year old boys... legs missing, arms missing, eyeballs missing."'

Bob Stanley



St Etienne:






Friday, June 07, 2019

Undercurrent



Blanchard: I think that these ROGD kids are such a mishmash of kids with a variety of personality pathologies and social problems. I wouldn’t really know what to tell you about what’s within that mix.
Kearns: Okay but as for what Littman describes as the “social contagion” element, I obviously understand that it’s very complicated and there are lots of moving parts, but do you have any sense of any particular thing that helps explain the sudden spike of cases of these kids?
Blanchard: No, I don’t. I think there have historically been precedents, and they have typically involved more females than males, which is also true like in the ROGD phenomenon. For example, recovered memory was a fad for a while, and ritual satanic child abuse was a fad. Typically, these involved more female adolescents than males for whatever reason.
If you want to go a little further back in history and look at the Salem witch trials in the U.S. in the late 17th century, most of the individuals who were claiming to have been attacked by witches and who were executed as witches were predominantly female. While it was older ladies who were hanged as witches, it was young ladies who accused them of witchcraft. So there seems to be something about a young adolescent female population that is particularly vulnerable to certain kinds of psychiatric phenomena.i

Ray Blanchard and Madeleine Kearns




Bill Evans and Jim Hall:





Photograph: Weekie Wachee, Florida; by Toni Frissell

Thursday, June 06, 2019

More than a feeling



Trans woman: Think of gender identity like consciousness. Consciousness is experiential and has a first-person aspect. It cannot be so easily defined.
  • Yeah, except all of us experience consciousness, and we have ways of communicating different aspects of our phenomenological experience with each other. And I know you don’t understand this because you apparently live in that mirrored-hall known as your brain, but we don’t experience gender identity, and we literally have no idea what you’re talking about. What that means is that whatever the experience is that you’re calling ‘feeling like or being a woman’, isn’t an experience we share with you. We are women. And if we tell you that your experience of ‘being a woman’ is meaningless to us, then, whatever it is an experience of, it isn’t an experience of being a woman. 
  • Hall of Mirrors’ Tally: +9.5


Weekend:







Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Keating the night away



The craziest part really is watching the rules of responsible science journalism getting rewritten in real-time, but only for this one issue. For this one issue, anecdotes are more valuable than data (unless the data tell a straightforward pro-medical-transition story). For this one issue, 15-year-olds are qualified to make their own serious medical decisions and if their parents have questions about the long-term consequences, it’s the parents who are the ones being irresponsible. For this one issue, teenagers’ feelings couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the social and cultural milieu in which they are immersed — anything they feel is a deep-seated reflection of who they essentially are and always will be, because teenagers are known for their stability, of course. For this one issue, the most serious medical treatments available should be the first step to address psychological distress, not the second or third, after a spell of psychological counseling and assessment.
Jesse Singal

The Motors:




Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Men know what a woman is in Holbeck



From Mumsnet:


Full speech from today’s Declaration of a Sex Based Rights at Leeds Civic Hall, by Cllr Sarah Field:

Good afternoon everyone and welcome.

Firstly I’d like to thank everyone here for coming today, our panel and the Leeds Spinners for inviting me to Chair.

Our brilliant panel of academics will be speaking today about the Declaration of Sex Based Rights. But by way of introduction I am going to talk a little bit about Leeds and why I’m here.
So, I just want to start off by thanking the many women on the Mumsnet Feminism boards. You are a constant strength and inspiration. 

About three years ago, not long after I was first elected, I was contacted by a woman in Leeds, for advice. Her six year old daughter had been verbally attacked and then subjected to a violent outburst by a 17 year old male who had been allowed to join a local girls group as a helper. This was because he said he identified as a female. What had this child done? She had asked him if he was a boy. And then this six year old girl had been made to stand alone in front of the entire group and apologise to him.

And I couldn’t get my head around this. So I began to do some research. And this was how I found my way to gender critical thinking and radical feminism.

And these are the following statements I’d like to make:
Every single person on the planet is unique. And I don’t care what they wear. And I don’t care who they love or have sex with, as long as they are consenting adults.

There is no such thing as living as a woman. We are women. And it is our female biology which makes us women. It is our sex. And biological sex is observable in every single cell in our bodies: it is a physical, material and biological fact. And our sex is what makes us a class. Our sex which makes us uniquely vulnerable to male violence. Our sex which means we bear the entire burden of reproductive labour. The structural oppression which women face as a class is because of their sex. And that is why all women need legal recourse to separate and sex segregated spaces.

It is simply not ethical to categorise males as females based on their subjective feelings. To do so means the female sex no longer has legal protections or legal meaning and is instead reduced to destructive, regressive gender stereotyping.

If you cannot define women, then you cannot defend them.
Which brings me to Leeds City Council, which famously prevented a meeting here last year to discuss changes to the Gender Recognition Act. When the WPUK meeting was cancelled I read the email from a Labour Councillor and then I read the flurry of replies and actions that not once asked for clarification or any other viewpoints - just this blind acceptance of a hateful narrative – and it became clear to me that it’s become a virtue to dismiss, intimidate and silence women.

That meeting was to discuss proposed changes to legislation and the government’s consultation. Its purpose was not to tell Trans people what is best for them, but to tell politicians and law makers what is best for women.The vast majority of those who ask questions about Self-ID are lifelong left leaning, are lesbians, trade unionists, LGB allies and of all faiths and none. These accusations we face - transphobes, bigots, TERFs, religious fundamentalists, hate preachers - are utter nonsense. And I’ve had enough.And I must say I absolutely refute in the strongest terms any accusations of homophobia against gender critical women. A huge number of them are lesbians. And I stand with my lesbian sisters. Just as I’ve always done for years of solidarity with the LGB community. And since the woke brigade of word salad identity politics seems to love a good cliché, I’ll throw in a mention of my magnificent gay best friend and godfather to both my children.

Leeds City Council has brought in Self-Identification. Anyone can change their sex, or “gender marker” as they call it, across all council services and departments by completing a short online form.

When I asked, under FOI, for the Equality Impact Assessments I was told they didn’t do any. When I asked, under FOI, how this might impact sex segregated services and spaces I was told Leeds City Council does not have any such spaces or services. When I asked, under FOI, for a comprehensive list of women’s and men’s clothes, as cross dressing is specifically defined in council policy as a protected characteristic, I was told no such list exists. When asked to define a woman, they said no such definition exists.
So to be clear: men in this city can access a woman’s changing facility, toilet, leisure facility or support group or service – anywhere they are vulnerable, traumatised, undressed or asleep - because men might at some point feel like they are something which the council says is indefinable, but might mean he once wore something which may or may not be something a woman might also wear.

Well, women fought for those spaces and they are not this council’s to give away.

It is absurd, it is dangerous and millions of women across the country are saying we have had enough. You cannot identify into an oppressed class because you cannot identify out of an oppressed class. And women are uniquely oppressed across the planet: reproductive health and autonomy, Female Genital Mutilation, violence, rape, child marriage, no right to vote, death in childbirth, post-natal illness, denied access to education, lower wages, chemical contraception, sex trafficking, surrogacy, pornography, prostitution and objectification.

I’ve had women in prisons and post-prison services in Leeds who have contacted me in fear and despair because they are confined with men who threaten them with rape, assault them, repeatedly expose their so called female penises and taunt them about playing the system and flushing their hormones down the toilet.

Our statistics will be skewed and we will lose a tool of analysis that provides us with the ability to challenge the very inequalities for which sex based provisions and quotas were created.

And of course there is a wider underbelly of misogyny in Leeds. The so called managed zone of prostituted, emaciated and addicted women is our flagship. In the last few months I’ve visited Holbeck twice, once at night where I observed several men out on the street openly watching pornography in their cars as women stumbled to them to be used and discarded for a fiver. During the day I was approached by punters three times in 10 minutes while simply standing by a car for some fresh air at 2pm. We are spending hundreds of thousands of pounds so men can buy the addicted bodies of the most vulnerable women in the city. Men know what a woman is in Holbeck.

I’m often asked how I would feel if I was born in the wrong body. And I say, I’ve been feeling like that every single day for as long as I can remember. You only have to go into a shop, turn on the TV, open a magazine, click on the internet and women are assaulted with GET A BIKINI BODY, 12 WEEKS UNTIL YOUR CHRISTMAS PARTY BODY, GET THE BODY YOU DREAM OF, THE BODY OF SOMEONE 20 YEARS YOUNGER, THE BODY YOU DESERVE. Botox, surgery, hair removal, Photoshop, permanent makeup, designer vagina. We get it.

I don’t think all men are rapists. I don’t think all men are intrinsically violent, creepy or degenerate. God knows I love my dad and my brother and my dear nine year old son. But 98% of sexual violence is committed by men. And there is no way to tell the good ones from the bad ones. There never will be. That’s why we need our spaces and services and boundaries, for our privacy, our dignity and our safety. It’s why we need to preserve the social norms which generally prevent men from entering our spaces and preserve our confidence to challenge men who do so. Bad men will do anything to gain access to women and girls. That’s why every institution in the world attracts those who will use power and access to abuse us. If they do it in schools, the care system, churches and families then they will sure as hell do it in prisons, toilets, refuges and changing rooms. They already are. 

In terms of protecting females from a significant minority of dangerous males, these reasons don’t cease to operate when males self-identify as women. And self-identification removes any gatekeeping, safeguarding or requirement for any man to do anything other than complete a cursory administrative process via an online form. 

I’m truly sorry for any man who feels imprisoned and tortured by masculinity. But that is something for men to deconstruct, to dismantle and to overthrow. And there are men doing it. There are transsexuals and cross dressers and allies against the male stereotypes which damage everyone. But it is not the moral duty of women to facilitate that. If your feminism prioritises the internal identifications of men over the material conditions of women then you are not a feminist. In a world of structural and systematic oppression, and an epidemic of male violence, we owe it to women and to the legacy of every feminist who has fought before us, to stand for ourselves. 


Thank you.



Lindsay Cooper:





Monday, April 22, 2019

Okies

Barney, a constant poll winner, was gracious enough to answer our questions, frankly, and at great length. An interview by mail is hardly the best kind of interview, but, when an interviewee takes the trouble Barney obviously has, it makes such  an interview extremely provocative and revealing. We think you'll find Barney's comments highly candid and interesting. 

Q: We've often heard of the importance Charlie Christian has played in the evolution of modern jazz guitar playing. What, specifically, has he done"! 

A:Many people believe that Charlie Christian was the first man to play an amplified guitar; others, that he was the first to play horn-like jazz. (Jazz which was styled close to patterns being played by such musicians as Eldridge, Hawkins, Goodman, Chu Berry,  Berrigan etc., rather than following along in the more guitaristic approach such as demonstrated by Carl Kress, Dick McDonough, George Van Eps, Allen Reuss, and Eddie Lang).Actually, both beliefs are incorrect; however, Christian was the first guitarist to  play horn-like jazz not only well enough to play in the company of first-rate horn players, but was inventive to such a degree as to be a model for many horn players  as well as guitarists.

Up until Christian's time, the guitarists who played jazz lines like a horn rather than guitaristically, were still not up to playing as soloists with the horn players. Charlie Christian combined his natural creative talent with influences of horn players of his day (of which, Lester Young was the dominant one), and blazed a trail for every guitarist in jazz, who has followed after him.


Metronome, Volume 75, 1958 p95




Barney Kessel many years later, at the BBC, playing a  Gibson ES-350 with a Charlie Christian pickup:



Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Security means this

NSA security posters












The sensible party


 Another old piece:

Perhaps it is in the same spirit of liberal constipation that, with the exception of Charlie Brooker, we have been too polite to mention the Canadian study published last month in the journal Psychological Science, which revealed that people with conservative beliefs are likely to be of low intelligence. Paradoxically it was the Daily Mail that brought it to the attention of British readers last week. It feels crude, illiberal to point out that the other side is, on average, more stupid than our own. But this, the study suggests, is not unfounded generalisation but empirical fact.
Oh no it's Monbiot, as they chant on the terraces. And he is doing it again: being smug in public; smug and wrong. Read the abstract, George, the one to which you linked:
We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups.
See what they are saying there? They are saying that stupid people tend to be prejudiced and support right-wing views. They are not saying that right-wing people are stupid. There is an important difference between those two claims. For there may be many others, intelligent people who are right-wing, who were not part of this study: this was a study of stupid people, not of right-wing people. Is this difficult to understand? I only ask because it seems to have escaped Monbiot's attention, which is rather funny, considering. As A. J. P. Taylor observed in his essay on Lord Salisbury:

The Tory party has been called the stupid party (and not unfairly, to be stupid and to be sensible are not far apart. The Progressive party, Radical and Socialist, is clever, but silly).






Brian Auger and the Trinity with Julie Driscoll:





Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Professor Dickinson is dead



David's supervisor, Professor Dickinson, was one of the leading academics in Britain in her field. She died tragically when David was at the end of his second year. His supervision was taken over by an experienced researcher whose range of concerns was different and who had only a general interest in David's topic. 

David did not think it necessary to tell his new supervisor in any detail what he was doing, having it clear in his mind that Professor Dickinson would have given her approval. He thus worked without supervision for a further 18 months. When he came to submit his thesis the examiners felt that he had suffered from lack of supervision, which in the circumstances should be taken into account, but that they could award him only an MPhil, not a PhD. He appealed, but in due course the university confirmed the decision.

From How not to get a PhD. Notice, if you will, that it is David's fault his new supervisor failed to provide adequate supervision, that his university failed to provide an adequate supervisor, that the university failed to supervise that supervision; it is almost as if it were David's fault that Professor Dickinson died. In this story are contained the two most important lessons that any PhD candidate can learn: whatever goes wrong, it will be your fault; whatever goes wrong, you will suffer the consequences. 

Every new candidate should be told the tale of Professor Dickinson's tragic death and David's tragic MPhil. To avoid future disappointment, the candidate should learn - as soon as possible after paying the first year's fees - that that he or she has reached the bottom of the heap. Everybody in the university, academics and  administrators alike, is of greater importance and has higher priorities than the PhD candidate.



The university's employees also are blissfully free of any responsibility for their actions. They can forget to do what they are paid to do, they can take holidays without ensuring that their work will be done by someone else, they can act with gross incompetence or gross moral turpitude; they can do all of the above in a single day, yet still they will not be held accountable.


Boy With Cat (Jean Bourgoint), by Christopher Wood, 1926; Kettle's Yard, Cambridge.




Haunted Luau, by Lyon.










Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Late Capitalism


Another old piece, from July 2018, previously unpublished. 

Drink coffee. Shop High Street. Die happy.  Just imagine being dead. You spent your last day on High Street, shopping. You are a shade now; you were thrown off your feet and on to your head, on High Street. You died happily, because you got that thing you really wanted. You were run down by an oaf in an Audi; but you were happy, because bargains like that don't happen often. You were dying to get home and try it on; but now you are dead. Never mind. The coffee was good.

This advertisement probably cost the citizens of Auckland thousands. It is the work of Heart of the City, the organisation that takes substantial amounts of money from Auckland City Council and uses it to tell us to go shopping in our own city. Not long ago it started a campaign on the  Link buses, which showed  a film to captive passengers about a city which could have been Auckland, were Auckland a city where everybody and everything is colourful, vibrant and diverse. It went on for what seemed like hours, and then started again. A passenger who looked out of a window of the bus might see that Auckland is not like the film at all, were it not for the advertisements on the windows of the bus which make seeing out so difficult.



Nick Low with Rockpile