Whether we associate the song with Carole King or Aretha Franklin, the catchily named Trans Cultural Mindfulness Alliance is offended by it. This Norwegian outfit demands that it be taken down from Spotify and Apple Music.
Alerted by a BTL comment on yesterday’s post – More trans lunacy – my first response echoed that of Robby ahem Starbuck. It had to be a spoof, right? But the coffee magnate seems to have done his homework. In any case, that we both had that same immediate reaction shows how closely the paths of postmodernism, identity politics and what Tariq Ali calls the extreme centre entwine to create an Alice-in climate in which the satirical and the bonkers-but-sincere become increasingly hard to distinguish.
Update January 27. After writing about “the satirical and the bonkers-but-sincere becom[ing] increasingly hard to distinguish”, I found this on Twitter:
When a biologically male rapist can be sent to a woman’s prison 1 because he “identifies as a woman”, and a biologically female worker sacked for insisting that sex is biological and binary, why would anyone reading the TCMA tweet at face value have to be “taking themselves too seriously”?
(Even if both of my examples were subsequently reversed -: the one to save Nicola Sturgeon’s skin; the other after a prolonged legal fight.)
* * *
- A friend and natural woman pointed out to me that, whereas my reaction to jailed male rapists in women’s prisons was one of concern for regular inmates, the likelihood is that the rapist is the one most at risk. In the Cell Block H popularity stakes he’d likely be a few points below Rosemary West; moved at least once due to plots to do her in with billiard balls in a sock.
I am finding it harder and harder to summon up the strength to try and trace these bizarre labyrinthine twists and turns of what passes for news these days – but it seems that someone is now trying to backtrack on the whole King/Franklin trans-hater meme:
See? It was all just a laugh really. Which brings to mind a comment on the late Roger Scruton’s style: namely that he practices “a brinkmanship of withdrawable insinuation”. Still, he was vastly more sophisticated than the sledgehammer blunderings of the current media.
Agreed. I think “Robby Starbuck” nailed it.
Perhaps an answer, of sorts, can be found here?:
…….as does this handy diagram:
As someone who enjoys pineapple on their pizza, I’m not sure what to think now. What sex are pizzas? Is a pineapple pizza the same sex as a parmigiana? I once went to a pizza house in Glasgow where they offered to pack our half-eaten pizzas for take away. Imagine our delight on getting home to find the half pizzas inextricably moulded face to face. Could this be a sex crime? I imagine stranger and even more plausible accusations will be made imminently – probably by the SNP, and directed at Alex Salmond and Craig Murray. Or anyone else with half a brain.
I’ve long harboured the liveliest suspicions about Glasgow pizza parlours, Jams …
Keep it down Jams, with that kind of talk. Its all about Gender these days as sex is apparently considered a fascist construct of the imperial patriarchy. You’ll end up being labelled a bigot and sent to the woke incinerator.
Anyway, all pizzas are Genderfluid depending upon the topping applied. Whereas garlic bread is omnigender due, so I understand, to the garlic content.
Keeping with the theme of foodstuffs, serious drinkers should be aware that all cocktails are Two Spirit whose pronoun is Wallbanger.
There is a sad crossover effect revolving around satire i.e. it goes both ways. Actually it goes ALL ways. Possible cases:
A piece of satire could be taken seriously.
A deliberate slur could be made out to be satire when it really isn’t. It thus has a “double face” i.e. it is “withdrawable insinuation”. And so if it gets too much flak it can be “excused”. (Even as the pernicious effects will continue in some quarters.)
A radical or extreme statement that is perfectly sincere can be rejected as satire.
And then there are the possibly infinite ways that any statement could be misunderstood – though this is magnified when there is an ironic content.
There are a few examples that come to mind:
I have heard that the ferociously reactionary film “Forrest Gump” was based on a book that was intended as a satire on the American Dream. All the director had to do was to take the story at face value.
Bruce Springsteen’s angry complaint about the Vietnam War “Born In The USA” was sought by no less than Ronald Reagan to be a Republican anthem. The anger about a callous and cynically exploitative US government sending the young off to die in a criminal imperialist war could be translated into generalised anger about being a hated underdog – who is inevitably taken to be America itself. Ludicrous, but the media watchdogs are always sniffing around to see what can be misappropriated.
The king of satire, Randy Newman, noted that his 70s send-up of the paranoid American mind, “Political Science” (“Let’s drop the big one and see what happens”), was a piece whose satirical intent the 70s audience would understand. However, a couple of decades later he came to feel that audiences were more inclined to think, “Yeah! Damned straight!”
All of which goes to show that if you say the opposite of what you mean, it only serves you right when some take you at face value. (And they may even be perfectly aware of what you are doing but know they only have to “play dumb” to turn your words against you.)
Harry Enfield, to his credit, pulled his 80s “loadsamoney” sketch when he saw it worn as a badge of pride by those it targeted.
It’s often an effective ploy to ‘play dumb’ in the manner suggested in your final sentence: a form of sociolinguistic judo.
I recall that Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” has a remarkable moment when parasite Gordon Gekko says,
“I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it.”
But in a documentary extra on my DVD copy, Stone notes that, instead of taking Gekko as the villain of the piece, he became a hero to the majority of folk who watched the movie. They wanted to imitate him. Stone laughs – and if I recall correctly – makes some blasé comment about “the dark beast within us all”. Now if I’d made a movie that ended up having the opposite effect of the one intended I would be mighty annoyed. But Stone thinks it’s a hoot!