The Latest From Anis Shivani

Salon writer Anis Shivani is that rarest of things at Salon: smart. His latest article, entitled “Time To Give Up On Identity Politics“, is a gem of a teardown. Some choice quotes:

Identity politics always felt like snake oil to me.


Today identity politics has taken up so much intellectual space that … economic calculations do not even register the way they used to. It is all identity, all the time, and while we may easily buy into a cultural narrative about a laudable personality like Malala Yousafzai, who appeals to us as a character we can identify with, we have no patience for any structural exploration of the kinds of economic devastation our policies are causing in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and other countries in the region.


What identity politics has ultimately led to is an uncontainable right. Through most of our modern history, the far right has been containable, because on the liberal side there was not a corresponding movement of mysticism and soul-cleansing grandeur, which is what identity politics is. The right, too, was forced to speak in the language of rationality, as was true of Establishment conservatives of every stripe following the successes of the New Deal. This went on well into the 1980s. But for the past 30 years, the right has not faced true opposition for its growing dream of nationalist mysticism, because liberals have been doing the same within their own communitarian splintering among various groups.

Bravo,  Mr. Shivani!



This Reporter’s Pet Peave: People Who Erroneously Spell it “Peeve”

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The Best Rose Quartz Fanpic Ever

In response to this story on Breitbart, especially this paragraph:

Paz’s most grievous sin, in the eyes of Tumblr, appears to have been her drawing of the character Rose Quartz. Paz’s drawing of the generously proportioned character, which can be found here, was accused of being too thin and thus “fatphobic.” Tumblr is well known for its community of vitriolic “body positivity” campaigners, who believe that fat people should be considered an oppressed minority.

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Dawkins gets a break at last

“If we construe ‘Islamophobia’ as ‘fear of Muslims’ and not ‘hatred of Muslims,’ then the press is guilty of it far more than is Dawkins.”

Why Evolution Is True

At last the British press has given Richard Dawkins a break! In truth, I can’t remember the last pro-Dawkins piece they’ve published, although there are dozens taking the other side, every one a carbon copy of the others.  Strident. Bigot. Racist. Superannuated.  You know the tropes. While people have every right to differ with Richard’s ideas, the wolf-pack behavior of the British press is more like a feeding frenzy than a reasoned assessment of his ideas.

But in the August 24 Spectator, British journalist and author Nick Cohen analyzes this phenomenon in a piece called “Richard Dawkins attacks Muslim bigots, not just Christian ones. If only his enemies were as brave.” He not only decries the press for its herd mentality, but indicts it for cowardice: its refusal to defend liberal Muslims who stand up against their oppressive and conservative coreligionists.

How refreshing is this beginning?

It’s August…

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The CFI Running Joke: A Timeline

Copied with great respect from skep tickle at the Slymepit:

Friday June 14:

  • CFI Board meets, after having been the recipient of letter-writing/email campaigns regarding Lindsay

Saturday June 15:

  • Silverman appears on Brave Hero Radio, spends 30 minutes berating Vacula to denounce “all the shit”, to listen to the women (those reporting feeling harassed, any way), and that evidence is not needed

Monday June 17:

Wednesday June 19:

Friday June 21:

  • Point of Inquiry hosts, Mooney and Viskontas, resign from POI/CFI (as reported Tuesday June 25 by Watson)

Saturday June 22:

Sunday June 23:

  • Zvan indicates acceptance of Lindsay’s apology in Apologies are Hard
  • Benson puts up several more posts about Lindsay’s apology, including saying that she was too grudging in her prior post, now that she’s read Zvan’s post, and also (somewhere else) points out that she was fir-irst to accept Lindsay’s apology

Monday June 24:

Tuesday June 25:

SkepDirt Shuts Up And Listens

In honor of the catchphrase of the just-passed Women in Secularism conference, SkepDirt will, for the next two weeks, hold a Shut Up And Listen mini-forum here in the Comments section of this article. Read more of this post

Rebecca Watson attempts to smear Justin Vacula

From the “Such A Common Occurrence It’s Not Really News Any More” department…

21st century labels should not be a quick route to fame

In this reporter’s opinion, “blogger” should be viewed as much of a profession as “juggler” or “gum-chewer” are.