The new shingles shot, Shingrix, is notorious for having fairly frequent side effects, including flulike symptoms, chills, etc. It’s a series of two, given 2-6 months apart, and is recommended for everyone over 50, so get yours. Despite possible side effects, it beats shingles! (I’ve heard horror stories from people who have had this outbreak.) At any rate, I had my first shot yesterday and now, about 20 hours later, have a bit of chills and a sore arm. Nothing serious, but I’m going to go light on the posts today so I can rest and summon up the energy to feed the many ducks (now about 45!) in Botany Pond.
At any rate, I have three items today that I call to your attention. Coincidentally (?), all are about the dangers of extreme Woke Leftism. I won’t comment on them except to give a brief idea of the contents, as you should evaluate them for yourself. And I’ll ask readers to share links to things they’re reading online.
The first piece is a long blog post for the Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society by Chuck Almdale, who wrote this post as “Chukar” (but put his name at the bottom of the post, reproduced with permission here). It’s a dissection of the controversy about the upcoming renaming of American birds, one that I touched on briefly in two recent posts. In particular, my posts and Chuck’s center on the renaming of McCown’s Longspur as the Thick-billed Longspur. The reason? McCown fought for the Confederacy. Almdale gives 13 reasons why the renaming was unwarranted, among which is that there seems to be no evidence that John McCown had slaves or was a racist (there are many reasons why soldiers fought for the Confederacy besides “defending slavery”). If simply fighting for the Confederacy for reasons unknown makes you an Unperson and effaces your accomplishments (and, ornithologically, McCown was accomplished), then we’re going to have to erase a lot of people.
At any rate, Almdale’s piece is long, and veers off into tangential explication of social-justice warriorism and its sequelae, but if you’re just interested in the ongoing bird controversy—148 more birds are going to be renamed because they’re named after white people and therefore “bear the stench of colonialism“—you can read the intro, the 13 reasons, and look at the tweets for and against the change. Who would have guessed that Wokeness would invade the bird community? Well, if it did down knitting, I suppose nothing is immune.
This article from the Times Literary Supplement is unusual in two respects: it’s free and it’s against Cancel Culture (the TLS is usually woke). A poem that appeared in Poetry Magazine was canceled (effaced from the online version and, apparently, with the paper copies withdrawn) because it contained the word “Negress,” even though the poem, called “Scholls Ferry Road”, was simply recounting a term used by the poet’s grandmother. Not only that, but the editor of the magazine apologized cravenly and then resigned. Click on the screenshot to read about the fracas, which is the first part of a two-part column. (The second is about the French writer and filmmaker Alain Robbe-Grillet.)
I think of The Atlantic Magazine as a Leftist organ—not one that would publicize the excesses of the Left, but I may be wrong. Viz., read the piece below by staff writer Conor Friedersdorf. (Wikipedia describes him this way, “In an interview with journalist Matt Lewis, Friedersdorf stated that he has right-leaning views but that he does not consider himself to be a doctrinal conservative or a member of the conservative movement.” But the entry also notes that Friedersdorf has called for the abolition of ICE and and “has praised Peggy McIntosh‘s essay White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.“)
The piece below recounts a controversy I was unaware of, involving “screen schools” (New York schools that funnel talented students, determined from testing into their classrooms) and, oddly, a white school board member who bounced a black child in his lap during a virtual meeting. I’ll leave you to read about Bouncegate:
So, what have you read online that is interesting and worth calling to the attention of readers? Put the links and maybe a few words in the comments.